Dear Lab community,
Thank you all for your patience during this deeply disruptive and confusing time.
Dean Hashim Sarkis announced today that effective immediately, leadership of the MIT Media Lab will be undertaken by a temporary executive committee that will manage Lab operations while initiating the search for a new director. I will serve as the chair of this committee, including leading the governance review and search for a new director; Deb Roy will serve as executive director overseeing operations and communications; and Tod Machover, the head of MAS, will oversee the internal community review process. Also joining the committee are Maria Zuber, MIT’s vice president for research, to oversee policies, practices, and culture of research; and Ramona Allen, the School of Architecture and Planning’s assistant dean for human resources and, as of October 1, MIT’s vice president of human resources, to oversee administrative organization.
MIT president Rafael Reif’s letters to the community have outlined the external investigation into the funding and practices in question (http://news.mit.edu/2019/letter-media-lab-action-0907 and http://news.mit.edu/2019/letter-regarding-updates-media-lab-0910). We welcome this independent investigation and look forward to a comprehensive, objective report.
Right now, our entire focus is on managing the Lab, restoring the health and rebuilding the trust of our community through a process of introspection, conversation, and reform that includes Media Lab students, staff, and faculty. More information about working committees and how to get involved will be forthcoming soon.
While this is a challenging time, the core of the Media Lab remains the same: we are a world-class research lab and academic program. The Lab has always succeeded on the strength of its people, and through the creativity, originality, and vigor of its research.
We look forward to working with all of you in building a healthier, stronger, and more inclusive Lab.
Pattie, on behalf of the executive committee