MIT Libraries Digitizes Content From Mary Roe | MIT News

Former MIT ombudsman Mary Rowe has donated professional papers As part of the Distinguished Collection for the Department of MIT Libraries Women@MIT Archival Initiative, which highlights the contribution of women to the Institute by accessing, preserving and making their personal archives accessible. Rowe is a conflict management specialist whose work contributed to MIT having one of the world’s first anti-harassment policies and one of the first organizational ombudsman offices. Important parts of his collection are now digital Through libraries, making the history of Rowe’s groundbreaking work more accessible.

“We are thrilled to be able to make this collection available,” says Alex McGee, interim head of public services and Women@MIT Project collectors for the Distinguished Collection at MIT Libraries. “Not only will this be a valuable resource for any researcher interested in the issues of conflict management, discrimination, gender equality, sexual harassment, and a systems approach to all workplace issues, but it will also be a valuable resource for women at MIT.” Also sheds light on the work involved in documenting and improving conditions for them.”

Rowe served for nearly 42 years as Special Assistant to the President and the Ombudsman, a designated neutral party available to every member of the MIT community. President Jerome Wisner and then-Chancellor Paul Gray designed the office for him to be an impartial, confidential resource; She would not keep any case records for MIT and would not have an office of “notice” at the institute. Rowe was to be an independent resource reporting only to the President and the Chancellor, if necessary, with access to the MIT Corporation. She had to exercise “informally”—meaning no authority to make general management decisions or provide redress—and may not need anyone to oversee her.

In his more than four decades as an Ombudsman, Rowe has received over 20,000 constituent visits (with concerns and good ideas) and worked with nearly 100 small and large affinity groups dealing with substantial workplace issues. He worked with each component to try to develop alternatives of their choice in dealing with their concerns. With permission, and upon request, she often helped bring issues to the attention of the institute’s decision makers.

Rowe’s position, called “Special Assistant for Women and Work,” debuted at MIT in 1973, when she reported directly to President Weisner and Chancellor Gray. She was joined by Clarence G Williams in 1974 as Special Assistant for Minority Affairs. From the very beginning, each of them looked after everyone who came to see them about any workplace problems. He then formally became the first ombudsman (or ombudsman) at MIT when then-President Gray established the Office of Ombuds in 1980. The Ombuds Office is a confidential and independent resource for all members of the MIT community to constructively manage their respective concerns and conflicts. Experience in the Institute.

Rowe’s work has had a profound impact on MIT – helping to shape the institute’s policies on harassment, discrimination, conflicts of interest and other research integrity issues as well as the ombudsman profession globally. He helped define the role of the Organizational Ombudsman and advance widely accepted standards of practice. An assistant professor of negotiation and management at MIT Sloan since 1985, Rowe built on MIT’s deep contributions to systems theory, coining the term “zero-constraint office” to highlight the unusual role of the Ombudsman in a conflict management system. He also coined the terms “micro-aggression” and “micro-affirmation” in 1973, about micro-aggression by Chester M. Pierce’s influential research. Rowe collaborated with Robert B. McCarthy and Richard E. To develop a curriculum on negotiation and conflict management at the MIT Sloan School of Management in the 1980s. Walton’s seminal work, the first of its kind.

“It takes a village to support an ombudsman’s office,” Rowe says. The Ombuds office that began at MIT and spawned two archival collections began with a vision — and value — of affinity groups at MIT and the presidents of Jerome Wisner and Paul Gray. Students, staff, teachers, postdocs, alums, and wives We were guided and inspired day by day by our constant endeavor to exemplify the ‘mind, hand and heart’ and share concerns and good thoughts. I am very grateful to the Distinguished Collections for their inspiring initiative of creating those who wish to be more visible to all human beings.”

Rowe’s Ombudsman Papers Closely Linked MIT’s administrative records of his tenure, also organized by Distinguished Collection. The newly digitized material includes items identified by Rowe as integral to the ombudsman profession (by the standards of practice, organizational ombudsmen keep no case records). The 38-box collection of material includes some of Rowe’s publications as well as records from several ombudsman associations, reflecting the evolving nature of the profession and highlighting workplace issues that emerged at specific times. Contents document practices of the Organizational Ombudsman in many types of organizations, including government, academic, corporate, multinational, international and non-profit organizations.

Rowe’s papers, digitized with the support of Jean-Jacques DeGroff SM ’93, PhD ’02, included as part of the Women@MIT Archival Initiative, linking records of female faculty, staff, students and alumni wants. Historical records by collecting, preserving and sharing his life and work with MIT and global audiences. Building on this initiative, Distinguished Collections is also making efforts to obtain, preserve, and make accessible papers from non-binary and non-conforming individuals at MIT to help share their stories and contributions.

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