President Kornbluth Shares Preliminary Listening Tour Summary

Students raise concerns regarding climate crisis, living costs on campus, and more

Since coming to MIT in January, President Sally Kornbluth has stated that she would like to learn about the current state of the Institute through the perspectives of current students, staff and faculty through a listening tour.

Kornbluth’s Listening Tour

On April 4, President Kornbluth sent an email to the MIT community sharing a website summarizing the highlights of the tour thus far. The website serves as a public summary of President Kornbluth’s listening tour and will be updated as the tour progresses.

The site breaks down the highlights of the tour into themed sections including “academic priorities, beyond MIT, collaboration and communication, culture and community, grad student unionization, housing and dining, mental health, operations,” as well as an open-ended section featuring what people hope from the new administration. 

Each section is broken down into staff, faculty, and student response categories. This breakdown provides a look into institute-wide opinions on different categories; it also offers insight into what the MIT community hopes to see in the future from the Institute.

In particular, the following topics emerged as a common theme.

MIT Community Interests and Perspectives

The climate crisis and rapid evolution of AI are clear academic interests among the students, staff, and faculty in the published comments. A push for increased interaction with the federal government and society at large is also apparent.

An underlying desire to rethink, redesign, and innovate the standard undergraduate education model is pervasive in the education section.

Cost is another heavy focus among the recorded comments. Both through a student lens, regarding the cost of living and eating on and around campus, and through a staff and faculty lens with regards to compensation and housing.

In the mental health section, a student-led push for more support is countered with staff concern that doing excessively so may not prepare students for the working world.

MIT community members can access the summary here.