Melissa Nobles was appointed chancellor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The provost and chancellor are the Institute’s two most senior academic appointments; both report to the president of MIT. The chancellor oversees matters including admissions, teaching and learning, residential life, student support, and efforts to prevent sexual harassment and misconduct.
Since 2015, Dr. Nobles has led the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at MIT. During her 26-year career, at MIT, she has served as associate chair of the faculty and later as head of the department of political science. She will take on her new role on August 18.
“Human societies face very serious challenges, and the world’s issues seem quite immediate and pressing, sitting here at our doorstep,” says Professor Nobles. “Our responsibility to educate our students in order to face these challenges is more important than ever. It’s an honor to serve as chancellor and to continue building on MIT’s work to create a healthy and respectful learning environment — one that nurtures intellectual curiosity and emotional maturation.”
Dr. Nobles is the author of Shades of Citizenship: Race and the Census in Modern Politics (Stanford University Press, 2000) and The Politics of Official Apologies (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Her current research is focused on building a database of racial killings in the U.S. South, from 1930 to 1954, an archival project developed with the Northeastern University Law School’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice law clinic.
Dr. Nobles is a graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where she majored in history. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.