MIT's New Chancellor

EECS head Eric Grimson

Eric Grimson, PhD ‘80, a professor of medical engineering and head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, became MIT’s chancellor in March, succeeding Phillip L. Clay, who in November announced his decision to step down after nearly 10 years. As ­Grimson told the UA Senate, the chancellor is responsible for “all things students,” overseeing the deans for graduate education, undergraduate education, and student life.

When President Susan Hockfield announced Grimson’s appointment in February, she noted that “his record of scholarship, teaching, and service to MIT is measured not only in decades, but also in the thousands of students he has taught, advised, and mentored.” 

As a member of CSAIL, Grimson helped pioneer state-of-the-art systems for activity and behavior recognition, object and person recognition, image database indexing, image-guided surgery, site modeling, and many other areas of computer vision.

“Professor Grimson will inherit an office strengthened by Chancellor Clay’s wisdom and vision and that carries his legacy of connections and collaborations across MIT and around the world,” Hockfield said. Clay now serves as a senior advisor to President Hockfield.

“MIT has been my home for 35 years, and students have sustained and engaged me for all that time,” says Grimson. “I plan to continue to teach as long as my schedule allows, because I know no better way to stay close to students and to understand how best the Institute can serve them.”

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