Eric Grimson appointed interim vice president for open learning

June 16, 2022

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Eric Grimson PhD ’80, the Bernard M. Gordon Professor of Medical Engineering and professor of computer science and engineering, will become interim vice president for open learning, effective July 1. Eric will assume the vice president role while continuing in his current capacity as chancellor for academic advancement. 

Eric has been deeply engaged in Open Learning since before it had a name. In 2012, as MIT’s chancellor, he co-taught two of the first MITx classes, 6.00.1x and 6.00.2x (Introduction to Computer Science and Programming in Python, and Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science). Over the last decade, those subjects together have reached more than two million learners. His close engagement with Open Learning has continued over the years. In fact, last fall, when outgoing Vice President for Open Learning Sanjay Sarma was on sabbatical, Eric stepped in as interim dean for digital learning, expertly overseeing MITx and OpenCourseWare while simultaneously performing his duties as chancellor for academic advancement.

Eric’s service to MIT over the years has been exceptional, and his counsel to me invaluable. A member of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science faculty since 1984, he became department head in 2005 and chancellor in 2011. Two years later, as planning for MIT’s fundraising campaign gained momentum, I sought a leader who could help ensure that our fundraising priorities were deeply rooted in the needs and aspirations of our faculty and students. In 2013, I named Eric chancellor for academic advancement, and he proved integral to the campaign’s success.

Please join me in thanking Eric for his continued dedication to MIT and for his eagerness to serve in this important role.


L. Rafael Reif