MIT Libraries logo MIT Libraries

MIT logo

Office of the MIT Provost

Provosts of MIT

Julius Adams Stratton 1949-1952
Charles Hard Townes 1961-1966
Jerome Bert Wiesner 1966-1971
Walter A. Rosenblith 1971-1980
Francis Eugene Low 1980-1985
John M. Deutch 1985-1990
Mark S. Wrighton 1990-1995
Joel Moses 1995-1998
Robert A. Brown 1998-2005
L. Rafael Reif 2005-2012
Chris A. Kaiser 2012-2013
Martin Schmidt 2013-2014, Acting Provost; Provost, 2014-2022
Cynthia Barnhart 2022-

The provost is the senior academic officer of the Institute. He or she shares responsibility with the president and the academic deans for supervision and leadership of the Institute’s policies, plans, and priorities as they affect all academic programs. The provost, working with the executive vice president, also has responsibility for coordinating the budgeting of the Institute.

The academic offices within the Institute that report directly to the provost include the deans of the schools; the deans of the interdisciplinary centers, laboratories, and programs; the director of the Libraries; the director of Lincoln Laboratory; and the associate provosts for research, educational policy, and the arts. The provost also coordinates educational and research activities that do not fall under the jurisdiction of any one school, such as interdepartmental collaboration among faculty sponsored jointly by different departments.

The Office of the Provost was created in the spring of 1949. The first provost was Julius Adams Stratton, who continued to have the responsibilities of the Office of Provost when he was later appointed vice president and provost in 1952. During his term as MIT president, Stratton appointed the second provost, Charles Hard Townes, in 1961.

The provost is currently (as of 2010) a member of the following Institute-wide councils: Academic Council, Faculty Council, Administrative Council, and the Council on Educational Technology. The provost is also a member of the Committee on Resource and Space Planning, the Building Committee, the Budget and Finance Steering Committee, and the Enrollment Management Group.

Prepared by the Institute Archives, MIT Libraries
November 2004; updated August 2005, August 2006, October 2010, July 2012, November 2013, February 2014