Deputy Executive Vice President Tony Sharon to retire after 20 years of service

Sharon advises students, ‘Learn how to learn’

Deputy Executive Vice President Tony Sharon will retire from MIT at the end of this year. Prior to spending six years in his current position, he served as a researcher and administrator in the Lincoln Laboratories for 14 years.

In an interview with The Tech, Sharon said his job involved running “all of the central administration HR, IT, finance, facilities, MIT medical, police, ... the day to day operations. [I made decisions] on any of the above offices or where all the above offices need to come together to support faculty or students.” 

Even though Sharon’s position doesn’t make him visible to the student body, he takes care of vital jobs such as fixing the heating systems, plumbing, and support structures for buildings. He has also played a role in overseeing the construction of the New Vassar dormitory and upgrading the MIT Central Utilities Plant to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.  

A major part of Sharon’s work has been formulating and running the MIT2030 framework. The framework, drafted in 2015, provides a capital plan to budget $5.2 billion for new construction, renewals, and upgrades on campus. 

Sharon said, “When you get five billion dollars, we should have something more than just buildings: having a dedicated staff that can care for the buildings once built is also important.” 

A mechanical engineer by profession, Sharon said he loves his conversations with faculty when redoing laboratories. “Whenever my team plans to redo a lab for faculty, they explain to me what they are doing and why they are doing it ... which is a great treat.” He said that this is a part of MIT he will miss after retirement.

The Tech asked how fun life at MIT was out of 10. Sharon answered, “It was cyclical, but if I integrate over the curve I would say eight.” He added, “I wouldn’t have kept coming back if it was not fun.”

Sharon said a rewarding part of his job was the satisfaction he gained by working for students, different from his previous work at the Lincoln Laboratories where there were only researchers. He also said he believes the balance between research and education at MIT to be very unique and something students should leverage highly.

Lastly, Sharon gave advice to students: “Faculty challenge you; you should challenge the faculty.” He also encouraged young adults to “learn how to learn, because two thirds of the jobs won’t exist once you get to my age.”