Provost announces broadened search for ICEO, new associate provost position

Associate provost position to be filled by Tim Jamison, chemistry department head

Provost Martin Schmidt wrote in a letter to the MIT community May 31 that the search for a new Institute Community and Equity Officer (ICEO) will be “broad” and not restricted to MIT faculty. Interim ICEO Alyce Johnson is retiring this summer.

Schmidt also announced that he is creating a new associate provost position, to be filled by Chemistry Department Head Tim Jamison, to support faculty and departmental leadership and advance “departments’ efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse academic community,” as well as support the ICEO search.

The associate provost will work with other administrators to “ensure equitable practices during the faculty hiring, promotion, tenure, and review processes.” The ICEO is a senior administrator and “thought leader on community, diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Schmidt wrote. Both the associate provost and ICEO will report to Schmidt.

The search for a new ICEO will be conducted by Jamison, Johnson, and a search firm. In an email to The Tech, Schmidt wrote that the search firm has yet to be chosen.

Schmidt wrote that he hopes to select a firm by the end of the month, form a search committee over the summer, and evaluate and interview candidates in the early fall.

The new ICEO will likely be “a senior staffer with professional expertise in the field,” Schmidt announced. Schmidt wrote in his email that after conversations with community members and Johnson’s research on best practices at other Institutions, they believed that “opening the position up to include consideration of candidates that are not faculty would give us the best chance to find someone who is an experienced and knowledgeable practitioner in diversity and inclusion.”

Jamison wrote in an email to The Tech that he will be looking for someone with “an eagerness to seek and understand different perspectives, an enthusiasm for learning about the MIT culture and community, and a desire to support campus leaders in initiatives within their units” to be the new ICEO.  

As associate provost, Jamison hopes to support faculty and looks forward to “working with Maryanne Kirkbridge of MindHandHeart and the ICEO to develop individualized support” to MIT’s many communities, such as schools and departments.

Schmidt announced that the associate provost position will be a three-year appointment, “to provide the flexibility to assess how well this new structure works.”

Jamison currently co-leads a working group that implements recommendations from a recent National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine report on sexual harassment, Schmidt wrote.