01.About the role#Section link copied to clipboard

The MIT provost promotes excellence

The provost serves as the Institute’s chief academic and budget officer, promoting excellence in academics and research.

Reporting to the president, the provost oversees academic deans, serves on Institute boards and committees, directs the Provost’s Office team, and stewards MIT’s finances and faculty growth.

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02.About the person#Section link copied to clipboard

Provost Barnhart: calling MIT home since ’84

Cynthia Barnhart serves as the provost and the Abraham J. Siegel Professor of Management Science and Professor of Operations Research.

A member of the Institute’s faculty since 1992, Barnhart has a distinguished career at MIT serving in many leadership roles, including most recently as MIT’s chancellor from 2014-2021.

Provost Barnhart up close:

Cynthia Barnhart is the provost and the Abraham J. Siegel Professor of Management Science and Professor of Operations Research at MIT. At MIT, she earned her master’s degree in 1986 and her PhD in 1988 in transportation systems and optimization. Barnhart has a distinguished career at MIT, serving in many leadership roles, including most recently as MIT’s chancellor from 2014 to 2021. She also served as the associate and acting dean for the School of Engineering.

A member of the Institute’s faculty since 1992 and an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Barnhart’s teaching and research has focused on the areas of large-scale optimization and analytics, with applications in transportation and logistics systems. She has supervised the thesis research of scores of students across a range of disciplines and has published widely in the flagship journals of her field.

The provost serves on the following committees: Academic Council, Axim Collaborative, Broad Institute Collaboration Coordination Committee, Budget and Finance Steering Group, Building Committee, Dean’s Group, Enrollment Management Group, Federal Relations Committee, Gift Acceptance Committee, Graduate Union Decision Team, Landmark BioLincoln Lab Advisory BoardMIT Technology Review BoardSchwarzman College of Computing External Advisory CouncilSingapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Board, and the MIT Solve Steering Committee.

03.About the office#Section link copied to clipboard

Behind the scenes, our office helps the Institute thrive

The people in the Provost’s Office work with a diverse group of leaders across the Institute to provide academic, administrative and financial resources, and support to MIT’s faculty and staff.

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The office supports the MIT community through:

  • Campus planning: Oversight of campus space management, including the Institute’s space assignments, renovations, and lease budget. The office helps to identify space for academic activities across the Institute. The office also helps to coordinate long-range campus planning and stewardship for large-scale capital projects in partnership with the Office of the Executive Vice President and Treasurer.
  • Research administration: Oversight of the Office of Strategic Alliances and Technology Transfer (OSATT), which includes the Technology Licensing Office, Corporate Relations, and OSATT Core.
  • International activities: Oversight of international policies and programs, consultation with faculty on the development of international activities, shaping of major new international initiatives, and development of strategic priorities for the Institute’s global engagement.
  • Arts: Oversight of extra-curricular arts programming including the List Visual Arts Center, MIT Museum, Council for the Arts at MIT, and student arts programs.
  • Headquarters staff: Management of day-to-day operations in the Provost’s Office and support for school and college administrators.
When I talk about my excitement for MIT, it hinges on the fact that we’ve been very successful in attracting and retaining the best talent. The leadership climate at MIT provides precisely the right conditions for our talent to do their best work.”
Cynthia Barnhart, MIT Provost
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