I am pleased to welcome you to Rensselaer. As a relatively new arrival myself, I cannot help but be impressed with the enthusiasm and optimism that pervades the Rensselaer community. The goal of the Rensselaer Plan "to achieve greater prominence in the 21st century as a top-tier world-class technological research university with global reach and global impact," has galvanized the community. This goal is entirely consistent with the vision of the founders, Amos Eaton and Stephen Van Rensselaer, to educate the leaders of tomorrow for technologically based careers. Because of the critical role of technology in the everyday lives of millions of people, their vision is even more important now than it was when the university was first created.

    At Rensselaer, we inherit a 176 year old tradition of excellence in technological education, innovation in teaching methodologies, outstanding scholarship, and dedicated service to technology-based professions. The challenge before us is to determine how an already outstanding institution can be made even better: to decide what must be done to insure the positive academic development of the Institute; to determine what must be done to move the academic quality to an even higher level; to identify ways to make the graduates and the education they receive more relevant, so as to better prepare them for productive technologically based careers; and finally, to build partnerships between Rensselaer, its students, faculty, friends, former students, and industrial supporters.

    I believe that we can accomplish all of this by continuing to focus on the most important aspect of the institution, the people. Here at Rensselaer we must endeavor to attract the highest quality individuals, with a diversity that accurately reflects the society in which we live and an appreciation for the global community in which we exist. We must create an environment that will help us to attract, develop and retain the highest quality faculty possible, communicate to them what is expected of a faculty member at Rensselaer, motivate them to excellence, and provide them with the resources required to be successful. In other words, to build a community of scholars, committed to excellence.

    In addition to our efforts to improve the faculty, we must continue to recruit the very highest quality students and to not only provide them with a broad based education in the arts, humanities and sciences, but to also inspire within them a desire to become the leaders of tomorrow. In addition to having a strong technical background, they must also have an appreciation for the arts, and an understanding of the role and impact of research and the scientific principles on our society.

    Finally, we must instill in all the people of Rensselaer, the faculty, the staff and the students, an understanding that it is not necessary, or even desirable for everyone to be the same or to contribute in the same way, only for them to be good citizens and to contribute their very best talents, energies, and knowledge to improve the university and the society in which we live.

    As Provost, I look forward to working with you to develop a shared vision that will continue the tradition of excellence for which Rensselaer has come to be known and one that will help it become a technological university with a truly global impact. Together, we can make Rensselaer an even better place; one that is a nationally recognized leader in the development of highly effective and innovative educational programs; one that is internationally renowned for the caliber and quality of its faculty and graduates and the scholarly activities in which they are involved; and one noted for the significant service role it plays within the technology related professions and society at large.

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