President Reif to step down at the end of 2022

Reif grateful for Institute’s progress and high ranking

President L. Rafael Reif wrote that he will step down as president “at the end of 2022” after serving in the position since 2012 in an email to the MIT community Feb. 10.

Reif wrote that remaining as president “through December will allow time for the MIT Corporation to conduct a search for MIT’s 18th president” and “smooth the transition to a new administration.”

This period of time will also be for “advancing important ongoing work,” including “implementing recommendations of Task Force 2021 and Beyond,” continuing joint online efforts at MIT with Harvard, and “completing a range of crucial work to strengthen MIT’s community, diversity, culture and values.”

Reif cited “wonderfully evident” “physical expressions” of what the MIT community has accomplished over the past decade, including MIT.nano, New Vassar, the new music building near Kresge Auditorium, the planned transformation of the Met Warehouse by the School of Architecture and Planning, and the location for the future Schwartzman College of Computing. Reif wrote that MIT “also bears witness to this community’s thoughtful strategy” toward tackling COVID-19.

In addition to these visible forms of change, Reif wrote that his decade as president “has included many shared advances less visible but no less important,” including a “broad new emphasis on making MIT a more humane, welcoming community” where everyone can “thrive.” He cited MIT’s Fast Forward climate action plan; developments in digital learning; the Quest for Intelligence; role in shaping “the national dialogue about the work of the future” and U.S. “competitiveness in science and technology”; progress of “fruitful alliances with industry, from computing to climate”; Solve; and the completion of the Campaign for a Better World.

“Thanks to the exceptional efforts and impact of the people of MIT in research, education and innovation, the Institute consistently ranks among the very top universities in the world,” Reif wrote.

Reif then thanked the Academic Council, Undergraduate Association, Graduate Student Council, Presidential Advisory Cabinet, alumni, postdocs, support and administrative staff, MIT Corporation, faculty, and senior leadership team.

“On my watch, our community has also endured some very painful moments,” Reif wrote. “While nothing I can say can erase or make up for that pain, I am profoundly grateful that, in the best MIT tradition, we have together been able to face hard facts and correct course for the Institute.”