By Amar Gupta, Thomas R. Brown Chair in Management and Technology
The most touching characteristic about Phil L. Clay is his extreme sense of his humility. When I wrote to him in January 2009 inviting him to address my students, he promptly responded with: “I am honored by the invitation.”
I first met Phil Clay in 1995, soon after his promotion as Associate Provost of MIT for International Affairs. At that time, MIT was considering major initiatives in India, Brazil, and other countries, and I was spearheading some of these efforts. I found Professor Clay to be one of the rare visionaries with whom I could talk freely.
Chancellor Clay will be addressing students of my course on International Management of Services. It highlights the notion of 24-Hour Knowledge Factory: you work in the U.S. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., pass the work-in-progress to a colleague in Australia or China who works from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in that country and then passes the work to another colleague in Poland or Romania; the latter works in day time in that country and then passes the work back to you. You get up in the morning and feel that a magic fairy has worked hard while you were asleep!
The relevance of the above paradigm was enhanced recently after the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society concluded that working at night — the graveyard shift — was a cause of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
Apart from his key management role at MIT, Professor Clay is widely known for his work in U.S. housing policy and community-based development. A quick search on the MIT website reveals his role as the gracious host to visiting royalty. And you can also read about Global MIT: a publicly accessible compendium of all MIT international and global activities, including research, education, internships and community service opportunities.
On April 23rd, you will hear first-head from Chancellor Clay about Global MIT and other issues of broad interest. The title of his talk is: Globalization of Education. Based on my past interactions with him, this talk will be truly insightful in content.
The course, ENTR/MGMT 414 & 514, is open to UA graduate and undergraduate students from all disciplines. The Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Lecture is open to the general public. I hope that you will attend this unique presentation, and encourage your friends and acquaintances to do the same.