Faculty Senate Meeting

September 9, 1997


Present: M. Abbott, B. Carlson, C. Canier, A. Desrochers, J. Durgee, D. Ellison, R. Fleischer, K. Fortun, R. Franklin, G. Handelman, R. Leifer, R. Messler, R. Norsworthy, C. Pfau, F. Scott, T. Willemain, J. Wilson, ex officio


Guests: M. Halloran, D. Haviland, N. Clesceri





Summary of Presentation on Brookhaven Labs management Initiative – Jack Wilson, Acting Provost





A. Wallace:  The Executive Committee met September 2, 1997.  The agenda for the coming year was discussed.  Please email items for the agenda to Al Wallace.  During the summer, Al Wallace met with all RPI Vice Presidents and obtained their suggestions for topics for the Senate to consider during the current year.  An item that was suggested by a majority of the Vice Presidents was to develop and incorporate new non-financial measures of performance for academic programs into the Responsibility Based Budgeting process.  A. Wallace stated that this task as well as the impact of the new budget process on interdepartment/school cooperation will be addressed by the Planning and Resources Committee.  The summer retreat on priorities for RPI: R. Messler will report at this meeting.


Summary of Presentation on Brookhaven Labs Management Initiative –

Jack Wilson, Acting Provost

RPI entered the competition in a joint venture with Westinghouse.  The proposal development team headed by Richard Lahey, on temporary leave from his job as Dean of Engineering.  Other RPI team members included G. Adams, L. Gerhardt, N. Connell, R. Burnham, Vic Rauscher.  The due diligence team was J. Wilson, Chair; E. Rogers, V. Gregg, L. Snavely, L. Rudgers, W. Bruggemen (Trustee) and S. Barre (Trustee).  Key dates in the proposal development process are shown in the overheads included in the full Minutes.  The proposal process was necessarily accelerated due to the short time between the release of the RFP and the due date.  Thus the proposal development and the due diligence process proceeded in parallel.  President Pipes made the decision to withdraw from the process on September 6.  It was determined, based on the due diligence committee report on that date and additional material supplied by Dean D. Daves and acting Dean W. Jennings, that the potential gain fro RPI was outweighed by the potential risk.



David Haviland provided a background sketch to focus the retreat.  The objective was to integrate three major efforts within RPI: teaching and research, overall directions (vision), and action and business plans of the Schools and the Administration.


Six planned areas for RPI activities consonant with this theme were identified: Information Technology; Interactive Learning; Global University; Energy and Environment; Leadership Education; Manufacturing, Materials and Design.


The group determined to examine only the first three of these, in two break-out groups for each topic.  The groups’ reports are summarized in the overheads.  [missing from FS office]  President Pipes synthesized the reports on the three topics.  He stated that the most promising elements for development are those that lie at the intersection of the three topic areas.  They provide the greatest leverage.  Our teams cannot be just electronic because trust-building is essential, travel and face-to-face communication is needed, and our partners can and should be companies.  Technological entrepreneurship (TE) is “best told” by example in classrooms and integrated programs.  TE gives schools and divisions the opportunity to galvanize their efforts because business plans are already aimed in this direction, and strategy/position/signature can separate us from other technological universities.


Randy Norsworthy, Recording Secretary