School of Architecture + Planning (SA+P)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Statement on community well-being, diversity, and inclusion

The fields of architecture, city planning, media, design, real estate, and art are first and foremost dedicated to improving the human condition and quality of life for all people.  This credo applies in all the varied communities in which we are engaged, including our own here at MIT.   We value each member of our community – students, faculty, postdocs, staff, and visitors – as human beings, with all our wonderful differences.  These differences in culture, life experience, and opinion, fuel creative ideas and actions, which are the core of our school’s educational mission.  

We have therefore taken steps over the past decade to create a diverse and inclusive community within the school and its various departments, centers, and laboratories.  The school maintains a standing Diversity Committee that reviews all faculty hires to see that underrepresented minorities (URM) and women receive equal opportunities to become a part of SA+P. Individual units of the school have instituted their own procedures to meet this goal, and we have hired two staff members dedicated to diversity recruitment and inclusion activities.

We fully support the 2004 MIT goal of doubling the percentage of underrepresented minority faculty, and tripling the percentage of underrepresented minority graduate students.  Over the past decade we have made significant progress in this direction.  With regard to URM faculty, SA+P tripled the number from 3% in 2004 to 9% in 2014, exceeding the goal.  With regard to URM student admissions, SA+P increased the number from 7% in 2004 to 11% in 2014, which is short of the goal.  Consequently, we are redoubling our efforts to attract URM applicants, and to increase the number of students who choose to attend MIT after they are admitted.  Critical to this, is our dedication to the physical and emotional well-being of every member of the SA+P community, and to promoting an environment of equity, mutual respect, caring, and support for each other.

Hashim Sarkis, Dean, School of Architecture and Planning

Heads of Departments, Labs, and Centers

Judith Barry, Director, Program in Art, Culture and Technology
Eran Ben-Joseph, Head, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Alan Berger, Co-Director, Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism
Dennis Frenchman, Director, Center for Real Estate
Joi Ito, Director, Media Lab
Tod Machover, Head, Program in Media Arts and Sciences
James Wescoat, Co-Director, Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism
Andrew Scott, Interim Head, Department of Architecture

Faculty Diversity Committee

Phil Clay, Department of Urban Studies and Planning/Dean's Appointee
Joe Jacobson, Media Lab
Balakrishnan Rajagopal, Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Kristel Smentek, Department of Architecture
Anne Spirn, Department of Architecture and Department of Urban Studies and Planning (Chair)


Diversity Events


Diversity Events

SA+P Headlines

MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) is an important pipeline program for introducing underrepresented students into MIT graduate programs. It seeks to promote the value of graduate education; to improve research enterprise through increased diversity; and to prepare and recruit the best and brightest for graduate education at MIT.

Minority Introduction to Engineering & Science (MITES) Program addresses the low numbers of minority students pursuing advanced technical degrees. This national program is a six-week residential, academic enrichment summer program for talented high school students and gives participants a taste of the MIT freshmen year experience. Although admission to MIT is not the focus of MITES, for its graduates, there is a strong record of successful admission to MIT and to other engineering and science universities. SA+P has offered an architecture course for the last three years. Their end project is a full-size study pavillion made out of cardboard.

For more information on MIT's programs and initiatives on diversity development see the Diversity at MIT website, diversity.mit.edu