September 30, 2022

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Cynthia Barnhart named MIT provost | MIT Information

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Cynthia Barnhart SM ’86, PhD ’88, a longtime college member and MIT’s previous chancellor, will be the Institute’s following provost, President L. Rafael Reif declared nowadays.

Barnhart, a Ford Foundation Professor of Engineering and professor of functions investigation at the MIT Sloan University of Administration, has served the Institute in a selection of roles given that becoming a member of the college in 1992. She has been both equally affiliate and performing dean of the University of Engineering, and co-director of the Operations Study Middle and the Middle for Transportation and Logistics. As chancellor, from 2014 to 2021, she led a workforce that took numerous steps to enhance college student nicely-becoming, assistance, and accomplishment.

“A greatly highly regarded member of the faculty, Cindy is both equally a enjoyment to do the job with and one particular of the most energetic, identified and successful supervisors I have ever acknowledged. We are very privileged that she has agreed to stage ahead when more in company to the Institute,” Reif wrote in an electronic mail to the MIT group, which also declared his intention to stage down as president.

The provost is MIT’s senior educational and budget officer, with in general responsibility for the Institute’s educational plans, as very well as for the recruitment, marketing, and tenuring of college. Doing work intently with the president, the chancellor, the educational deans, and other associates of the Institute’s senior management crew, the provost heads attempts to establish educational priorities, take care of monetary arranging and exploration help, and oversee MIT’s worldwide engagements. Barnhart’s appointment is powerful March 7.

“As I action into the role of provost, I am energized by the exciting prospects that lie in advance,” Barnhart says. “And I am grateful to Rafael for at the time once more giving me the option to check out to make a difference at MIT. I seem ahead to aiding him have out his priorities as he finishes his expression.” 

Getting rid of boundaries to success

Barnhart succeeds Provost Martin Schmidt, who will be leaving the MIT community just after 40 several years to turn out to be president of his alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “Marty was an excellent colleague and considerate leader. I’m delighted to be in a position to carry continuity to the publish immediately after functioning with him closely as chancellor,” Barnhart claims.

On stepping into her new job, Barnhart designs to establish on crucial initiatives previously underway: “I deeply appreciate the lots of associates of our neighborhood who have generously invested their time, their thoughts, and their creativity around the previous years to identify requires and possibilities for MIT’s foreseeable future,” she suggests. “I am fully commited to continuing this do the job with the local community and advancing our strategic imperatives.”    

She also ideas to hook up immediately with faculty and other users of the MIT neighborhood to get a feeling of the comprehensive array of perspectives and priorities across the Institute.

“I see interesting options to deal with some of the longer-time period soreness factors for our community and eliminate barriers or hindrances to results,” Barnhart adds, citing ongoing operate on strategic spending budget preparing as just one region where by meaningful improve is achievable.

Open up learning and MIT’s function in strengthening accessibility and affordability in training are other areas of fascination for Barnhart. “Tackling these issues has generally been a passion of mine, and of Rafael’s, clearly,” she claims. “What we at MIT have collectively completed and acquired in navigating via the pandemic must not be lost as we imagine the foreseeable future of schooling at MIT and past.”

An advocate for students

As chancellor, Barnhart was accountable for “all factors students” at MIT. Along with Schmidt she also recommended the president on graduate and undergraduate education and learning, and participated in strategic planning, faculty appointments, useful resource growth, and campus planning.

With Barnhart at the helm, “Team Chancellor,” as she called it, expanded university student overall health and wellness applications, introduced a campaign to reduce and react to sexual misconduct on campus, and targeted on new attempts to enrich undergraduate and graduate education.

Quickly just after starting to be chancellor, Barnhart was charged by President Reif to just take motion to combat sexual assault at MIT. Immediately after conducting a landmark study of MIT pupils, she and her team worked to deliver more education and learning to learners about support resources, reporting choices, and how to problem damaging attitudes and behaviors. To meet up with students’ requires, Barnhart also bolstered staffing for a range of places of work and expert services associated to pupil guidance, psychological overall health and counseling, and violence avoidance.

In 2015, Barnhart created the Title IX and Bias Response Office, and later on expanded it to come to be the Institute Discrimination and Harassment Reaction Office environment, serving as MIT’s central resource for students, faculty, and staff with considerations linked to discrimination, discriminatory harassment, and bias.

Scholar mental overall health also became a leading priority at MIT during Barnhart’s tenure as chancellor her staff expanded support solutions and inspired students to check with for assist when they need to have it. Together with William Kettyle, then-director of MIT Medical, and Professor Rosalind Picard as founding school chair, Barnhart established the MindHandHeart initiative, growing MIT’s “mens et manus” (brain and hand) motto to acknowledge the significance of very well-currently being, self-treatment, and getting care of other individuals.

In 2020 and 2021, Barnhart led the Covid Final decision Workforce, the group of senior officers overseeing Covid-connected coverage and organizing decisions and response attempts.

“In her 7 decades as chancellor, Cindy’s values, expertise, eyesight and collaborative spirit built her a superb member of MIT’s senior management team — and I glance forward after once more to drawing on her analytical powers, humane knowledge and calm self-self esteem in getting on tricky difficulties, attributes we will depend on in sustaining momentum throughout the management changeover,” Reif wrote in his e mail to the group.

A professional dwelling at MIT

After earning her master’s and PhD in transportation methods and civil and environmental engineering in the 1980s, Barnhart joined the school at Ga Tech. She returned to MIT four years later as an assistant professor in 1992, turning out to be a full professor in 2002, with an appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and affiliations in the Operations Investigation Middle and the Center for Transportation and Logistics.

She served as co-director of the Centre for Transportation and Logistics from 2001 to 2003, and has served twice as co-director of MIT’s Functions Research Centre, from 1999 to 2002 and from 2006 to 2010.

Barnhart grew to become associate dean of the College of Engineering, MIT’s premier faculty, in 2007, doing work with the dean on issues together with tenure and advertising, budgets, strategic scheduling, and working day-to-day functions. She served as acting dean of the Faculty of Engineering from July 2010 to January 2011.

Barnhart has been an undergraduate adviser given that becoming a member of the MIT school, and has supervised graduate and undergraduate theses of learners in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering and Pc Science in the Engineering Programs Division in the MIT Sloan College of Management and in the Operations Exploration Heart and the Center for Transportation Scientific studies and Logistics. She has taught courses on big-scale optimization, airline operations study, the global airline sector, and transportation operations, planning, and management.

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