Task Force 2021 charged to brainstorm ‘better’ post-COVID-19 MIT

In a letter to the MIT community May 4, President L. Rafael Reif announced the creation of Task Force 2021, “a collaborative, cross-Institute group” meant to envision a post-COVID-19 MIT. The task force will present its initial findings to Reif “by the end of 2020.”

Task Force 2021 will be led by Chair of the Faculty Rick Danheiser and Vice President for Open Learning Sanjay Sarma. Its membership is expected to include over 75 Institute faculty, staff, and students, recruited by Danheiser and Sarma.

Reif wrote in the task force opening charge that the task force will draw from “lessons” from the pandemic to help imagine MIT’s future. Some goals that Reif outlined for the Institute were to be safer and more efficient, sustainable, inclusive, equitable, affordable, and financially resilient.

“There may be no full return to our familiar ‘normal’” after COVID-19, Reif wrote.

The task force is separate from Team 2020, which Reif charged to make plans for the summer and start of the academic year. Team 2020 is led by Ian Waitz, vice chancellor, and Tony Sharon, acting deputy executive vice president.