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We sold our house in Washington, though it took some time. Again it was wrenching to leave this pleasant home on a dead-end street in Cleveland Park. We had a dinner-dance-cum-going-away party at the Chevy Chase Club with about 150 friends, including associates from NASA, the Defense Department, and the National Academy of Engineering. Then we left town, making a good clean break. I still see people today, however, who ask, "Do you and Gene still have your house in Washington?"

We were delighted to settle back in Cambridge. I started digging into what I might accomplish with my faculty appointment at the institute. Carroll Wilson asked me to join forces in a course on national and world energy issues. Carroll had been the first general manager of the Atomic Energy Commission. I also got involved with his World Coal Study (WOCOL), a big project on world coal supplies and usage.

I had also agreed to help Jerry Wiesner and Howard Johnson find a dean for the engineering school. Howard called me early in 1978 and invited me over to the Tavern Club for lunch. We chatted about this and that. "Well, now that you've got Washington well behind you," he said, "how do you feel about administrative work? Do you miss some of the things you were doing?" I had been feeling that I might be ready to get into the nitty-gritty again, and I told him so.

About three days later I got a call from him, asking me to come over to his office to chat with Jerry Wiesner and himself. I suspected that they wanted to ask me again to be dean of the engineering school, our efforts to find someone having so far failed. There were eight departments and four laboratories affiliated with the engineering school, making twelve heads reporting to the dean. These twelve were all more or less of the same vintage. To pick any one of them to be boss of the others would have been difficult. To bring somebody in from the outside also would have been tough, since Jerry was going to be stepping down within two years, and it would have been hard for an outside person not to know to whom he or she would be reporting in the near term.

The long and short of it was that I agreed, but in my formal letter of acceptance I asked for the option of stepping out at the end of two years. When Paul Gray succeeded Jerry after two years, I told Paul I would stay on for another year. It was a wonderful opportunity for me

to get to know MIT better after being away from it, except for a brief stint in 1968, for more than two decades. There were still people who knew my name when I passed them in the corridor, but there had been tremendous changes in my absence.

One of the responsibilities of a dean is to bring faculty appointments to the academic council, a body unique to MIT. It includes the president and the deans, the provost, and a couple of associate provosts. It meets every Wednesday for the morning and through lunch, grappling with all the major issues facing the institute. A lot of its time is spent on faculty appointments—the straightforward way to change the face of MIT. Before going to the academic council, an appointment had to be cleared first by the individual's department, then by the school. The engineering-school council is made up of twelve department and laboratory heads and is chaired by the dean.

One of the cases I was involved with was particularly interesting, a case involving tenure for a woman in ocean engineering named Judith T. Kildow. Ocean engineering was once known as naval architecture, but was expanded to include platforms at sea, some coastline problems, and other newer matters. Judy had been working in the policy area, not in engineering per se. Hers was thought to be a marginal case when it came before the engineering council. It was finally supported there, though most of us thought it would not pass the academic council.

One strike against Judy was that she had changed jobs quite a few times. I looked into this and realized that she had done so in order to follow her husband, whenever he had relocated. A second strike was what seemed to be gaps in her employment record, times unaccounted for. When I checked I found that the gaps coincided with the births of her children. I came to believe that Judy deserved tenure and should not be disqualified because of family matters. Getting her tenure approved by the academic council was one of the really satisfying things that happened to me while I was dean of the engineering school. Judy is still teaching ocean engineering there and doing a great job.

Being dean of the engineering school brought my whole career into focus. I realized that my expertise was not in any technical area—the design of aircraft control systems, for example-but rather in managing technological organizations. Such management poses special problems of its own: for an inventor trying to bring new ideas to market; for a

small company that needs large financing; for research laboratories that are not closely integrated with product divisions; for government trying to acquire high-tech systems within cost estimates; and so on. In the final analysis, an innovation can bear fruit only when the application is technically and financially feasible.

I couldn't see any place at MIT where these matters were being studied, except in the Sloan School where the discussion had little engineering or technical content. So I started working with Bill Pound, the Sloan School dean, to inaugurate a one-year master's program in the management of technology. As I got into it, I found that in almost every department in the engineering school, there was at least one person dealing with entrepreneurial or policy-type issues, Judy Kildow being one of them. The question was, could we get them all interested and participating in this new program? We finally pulled it together, and in my last year as dean, the first fifteen people came to MIT to take the program.

In the fall of 1992 I was sitting in my office when a student named Amanda Chou came in. She said she was interested in writing her master's thesis on the possibility of commercializing space activity. Specifically, she was considering the development and production of rockets by commercial entities and the selling of these rockets in a competitive market. I asked her what program she was in.

"The management of technology," she answered.

"How's the program going? How many are in it this year?" "There are about fifty-five or sixty people taking it each year now," she answered. It was gratifying for me to find that the program was still alive and prospering.

I stayed on the MIT faculty as Henry Luce professor for another year after resigning as dean. I had never taken a sabbatical in my onagain, off-again MIT career, so I took one during the second half of that year, 1984. I used the sabbatical to begin the process of examining, filing, and in some cases dispersing the material and intellectual property I had accumulated over the years.

Jack Kerrebrock, head of the "aero and astro" department, said to me, “I don't like the idea of your leaving the institute entirely, Bob. You ought to have an office here, at least." He told me about the possibility of my being made a “senior lecturer," a position reserved for a

small number of professors emeriti. I had been talking with my brother Peter (who was thinking of retiring from his law firm, Peabody Arnold) about taking an office together. Just about that time, he and his partners decided to move from their offices at 1 Beacon Street to new offices at Rowes Wharf, so Peter decided he would stay with the firm until mandatory retirement. I therefore decided to keep my office at MIT and soon accepted an appointment as senior lecturer. I retired from this position in June 1996.

One area in which I did substantive work in this capacity was to help organize Technology Day, the institute's version of homecoming. Technology Day is held during the week after graduation and is attended by large numbers of alumni. It includes the usual alumni functions outings to the Boston Pops, dinners, dances, and so on. But unlike homecoming at other schools, Technology Day has a different, specific agenda each year.

I first got into it in 1989, when Paul Gray asked me if I would head up the Technology Day effort on the twentieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I recognized the large role MIT had played in the Apollo effort, and I thought it would be valuable to collect memorabilia and organize lectures examining this role. I thought we ought to invite as the keynote speaker an astronaut who had a degree from MIT, as more astronauts have been graduates of MIT than of any other institution except the U.S. Naval Academy. We finally chose Captain Frederick Hauck, commander of the first space shuttle flight after the Challenger disaster. The program started with an abridged NASA documentary on the lunar landing. Then, following Captain Hauck, faculty from several departments discussed the relevance of their research to space exploration and manned spaceflight. The program was a sellout.

Venture Capital

In my first year back at MIT (1977-78), Jerry Wiesner called me to say that Governor Michael Dukakis had started a commission to see if the state of Massachusetts couldn't be more supportive of new commercial enterprises. Jerry said he had been on it, but that he was now too busy at MIT. Was I willing to take his place? When I looked into it, I found it fas

cinating because it concerned my area of expertise the commercialization and management of technology. Just about the time I said I would do it, Dukakis had the commission converted into the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation (MTDC). It was authorized to provide venture capital in the form of loans or equity to companies in the state of Massachusetts. One requirement was that the start-up be unable to get funds any other way. Another was that it be located in a disadvantaged area where the new outfit would create employment opportunities.

I became a member of the MTDC board, and when Edward King replaced Dukakis, I was asked to stay on. I remained there until well after Dukakis's comeback in 1982. Two professional analysts selected about one in fifty applications for the attention of the board. Several of us would then go and meet with the individuals involved to see what they were doing. Once we had agreed to put some funds into a start-up, the company almost invariably got additional funding from other sources. We had a revolving fund of about three million federal dollars, which we could use to make loans or equity investments. If the investment worked out and we made a profit, the proceeds went back into the revolving fund, as did any interest on the loans.

While I was there, we helped on the order of thirty-five companies get started. If I'm not mistaken, thirty of them are still going. Some of them, like Interleaf, a software company, have done extremely well. The MTDC is still in business and doing an effective job.

More recently, I've been on the advisory committee of a private venture capital operation, Morgan Holland. My two brothers and I made a modest investment in one of their funds. It had some similarity in my mind to the MTDC. I found that the entrepreneur with the hot idea had great difficulty staying with it once the company got to a certain level of activity. There was almost always a traumatic period of transition when an outside manager had to be brought in to run the show and when the biggest question was what to do with the original entrepreneur.

My brother Peter was the lawyer in three classic cases involving Henry Kloss, the brilliant inventor behind KLH, Advent, and Kloss Video. In all three cases, Peter found, Henry was able to bring products along and sell them-up to the limit of about $10 million in annual sales. Beyond that, he could not do it all himself; yet he would refuse to step back and let somebody else take over some of his responsibilities.

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