John Vander Sande chosen to head new Cambridge-MIT Institute

Scott Morton to be associate director

MIT has announced the appointments of Professor John B. Vander Sande as the MIT Director and Professor Michael S. Scott Morton as the MIT Associate Director of the Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI).

CMI, announced late last year (MIT Tech Talk, November 10, 1999), is a collaboration of the University of Cambridge (Cambridge) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The new institute is budgeted at $135 million (���84 million) for its first five years. Funded by the British government and industry, CMI will concentrate on undergraduate and faculty ex-changes, integrated research focusing on improving productivity and entrepreneurship, professional development for executives, and collaboration with eight British universities designated as Enterprise Centers.

Dr. Vander Sande, the Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been a professor and academic administrator at MIT since 1971. He served a leading role in developing the Singapore-MIT Alliance, MIT's distance education collaboration with two universities and the government in Singapore.

Dr. Scott Morton, the Jay W. Forrester Professor of Management in the Sloan School, concentrates on the organizational and structural changes that US firms must make if they are to succeed in the global marketplace. At MIT since 1966, he founded and directed the "Management in the '90s" research program, which challenged the ways Americans approach their work and which led to a book he co-edited, Information Technology and the Corporation of the 1990s (Oxford University Press, 1994). As co-director since 1995 of the group, "Inventing Organizations of the 21st Century," Professor Scott Morton has examined the range of organizational forms made available through new technologies.

President Charles M. Vest and Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow announced the appointments, which are effective immediately. They commented, "John Vander Sande is a skilled administrator who is uniquely qualified to head this very exciting new academic enterprise. He is dedicated to students and to research, he has broad administrative experience, including international academic and government collaborations, and he has helped found a high-technology firm. He is familiar with both the British and American styles of higher education, and is the only man we know who is equally at home working with 21st-century high-temperature superconductors and building 17th-century colonial furniture with hand tools.

"Michael Scott Morton's broad expertise in management, in the rapidly expanding fields of computers and telecommunications, and in senior executive education programs will be very valuable to the Cambridge-MIT Institute's program," Drs. Vest and Bacow added.

Professor Vander Sande will be working directly with his Cambridge colleague, Dr. David Livesey, who will direct the Cambridge University efforts for the new institute. Dr. Livesey, previously head of Cambridge's academic affairs, is an engineer by training, who has postdoctoral research experience in economic modeling.

Professor Vander Sande said a small team at MIT and Cambridge are working to move the memorandum of intent, signed in November, to a final agreement among the University of Cambridge, MIT and Her Majesty's Government. The kickoff date for CMI is expected to be July 1, 2000.

"The Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI) represents a new form of academic enterprise, bringing together two of the world's preeminent research universities to build on the complementary strengths of each," Professor Vander Sande said.

Funded by the UK government and industry, CMI will have four main thrusts:
Undergraduate student exchange will involve approximately 50 students per year from each university, who will spend an academic year at the host institution taking an agreed curriculum in which distance education will be an important component.
Integrated research between teams of researchers at Cambridge and MIT will have great impact on future technologies. One or more of these research programs will focus on improving the entrepreneurial spirit, productivity and competitiveness of UK industry. To identify likely research areas for collaboration, CMI will sponsor a series of small strategic research meetings which will bring five or six faculty together from each university.
Professional degree programs for executives developed at MIT will be adapted to the UK environment. Examples include Leaders For Manufacturing, Systems Design and Management, PD21 (Product Development in the 21st Century) in the Center for Innovation in Product Development, Master's of Engineering in Logistics, and Management of Technology. "In time, new professional degree programs based upon our experience through CMI will be developed," said Professor Vander Sande.
The CMI effort will be linked with the National (UK) Competitiveness Network being established among the eight UK universities that are designated as Enterprise Centers.

"It is understood that all of the relevant items in the final agreement must be ratified by the appropriate bodies at each institution as CMI begins actual functioning," Dr. Vander Sande said.

Dr. Vander Sande graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology and received the PhD from Northwestern University. He began his MIT career in 1971, following study as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Oxford. His research has centered on characterization of the structure and composition of materials using electrons.

In 1987 with former MIT Professor Gregory Yurek, Dr. Vander Sande developed a breakthrough technology for processing high-temperature superconducting oxides. This work led to the founding of American Superconductor Corp. and garnered the pair the 1994 Massachusetts Columbus Quincentennial Award in recognition of the "spirit of discovery." Professor Vander Sande has served seven years as associate dean of engineering and acting dean on two occasions.

Professor Scott Morton studied engineering at Glasgow University in Scotland and completed his undergraduate education at Carnegie-Mellon University before going on to obtain his doctorate at Harvard Business School. He served as deputy dean at the Sloan School for five years, and in 1981 began researching and teaching corporate strategy. He has helped found three companies and is a director of several public companies.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 2, 2000.

Topics: Education, teaching, academics, Faculty

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