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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 262-00
May 18, 2000

NAVY, MIT ESTABLISH GRADUATE PROGRAM IN PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

The Navy announced today that a memorandum of agreement with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been signed to establish a new master's degree program at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, Calif. This graduate degree, a masters of science in Product Development, was developed at MIT jointly between their school of engineering and Sloan School of Management to produce a cadre of professionals skilled in engineering and management to bring about dramatic improvements in the way American corporations develop and build new systems and products.

Because the demand for this curriculum greatly exceeded MIT's capacity to accommodate all applicants, MIT established a multi-university consortium to replicate the educational program at a number of other universities with the help of a number of corporations. The initial partner universities with MIT are the Rochester Institute of Technology (with Eastman Kodak Co. of Rochester, N.Y., and Xerox of Stamford, Conn., as their primary partners) and the University of Detroit Mercy (with Ford Motor Co. of Dearborn, Mich., as the primary partner and input from General Motors Corp. of Detroit and Chrysler Corp. of Auburn Hills, Mich.).

The newest partner with MIT is now the NPS. The Navy is proud to join this partnership, titled Product Development Leadership for the 21st Century (PD21), as another example of the long-standing cooperation between the Navy and MIT in numerous research and educational endeavors.

In a letter to Charles Vest, president of MIT, Undersecretary of the Navy Jerry Hultin, wrote: "PD21 is aligned with our efforts to transform the Navy and Marine Corps acquisition and procurement process. This initiative fits nicely with our broader campaign entitled Revolution in Business Affairs (RBA), a strategic change initiative aimed at dramatically improving the way we acquire, deliver, maintain, deploy and operate the business side of out national defense institution."

"I fully expect that graduates of the PD21 curriculum will become leaders and change agents in our RBA, and will apply their new knowledge to significantly increase the quality of our products and reduce acquisition life cycles. This initiative is a great example of inter-university collaboration, and cross-industry and government cooperation and has the potential to make a significant contribution to our Nation's economic competitiveness and national security."

The PD21 curriculum will convene its first class in September 2000 and will be conducted entirely through the use of distance learning technology at several military installations across the country. The program will take two years to complete including all class work and the completion of a thesis. The program is targeted at full time professionals working in Navy and Marine Corps organizations responsible for the development and acquisition of major defense systems.

Additional information can be obtained from Professor Carson Eoyang, director of PD21 at (831) 656-3200, email address ckeoyang@nps.navy.mil or on the web at www.pd21.nps.navy.mil