next step was to explore how to position RensselaerŅto describe it and to focus
on "the one thing" that makes it stand out from other institutions. Obviously,
condensing something as multifaceted as Rensselaer into one thought or phrase
is a major challenge. The faculty and academic leadership, admissions department,
alumni relations and development offices, and Rensselaer's advertising agency
would all need to reach consensus on whatever that "thing" is.
"The committee felt that if a simple phrase, a 'position,' describing
Rensselaer could be developed and agreed upon, it would serve as the foundation
of the Institute's communication efforts," says Robbee Kosak, vice president for
advancement at Rensselaer. Thus the not-so-simple quest began for this position.
The position would have to be derived from how Rensselaer peopleŅits
faculty, staff, students, and alumnifelt about the school. The committee
used research done with those very groups in 1997 and 1998 to understand how the
Rensselaer community feels about Rensselaer.
Through development and further research, many words and phrases
were considered, shuffled, combined, and tested. Finally two words emerged: technological
The committee felt that technological creativity got to the heart
of what Rensselaer has been about for nearly 175 years. It articulates how Rensselaer
alumni, faculty, and students have always brought something unique, valuable,
and personal to the technology they explored and harnessed. Technological creativity
expresses that "get it done," "solve the problem," "find a way to make it work"
attitude that Rensselaer people have always been known for.
Via additional focus groups, it was confirmed that "technological
creativity" translated to external audiences as out-of-the-box thinking and creative
solutions to real-world challenges. As much as any two words possibly could, "technological
creativity" sounded like Rensselaer. However, the evolution was far from over.
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