Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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Reassessment Leadership Committee
(ReaLCom 2.0)
  • Prabhat Hajela, Provost (Chair)
  • Jonathan Dordick, Vice President for Research (Vice Chair)
  • Timothy Sams, Vice President for Student Life (Vice Chair)
  • Evan Douglis, Dean of Architecture
  • David Rosowsky, Dean of Engineering
  • Mary Simoni, Dean of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
  • Thomas Begley, Lally School of Management & Technology
  • Laurie Leshin, Dean of Science
  • Lester Gerhardt, Professor of ECSE and Chair, Faculty Senate
  • Isom Herron, Professor of Mathematical Sciences and President, Faculty Senate
  • Shekhar Garde, Professor and Head, CBE
  • James Hendler, Professor and Head, Computer Science
  • Cynthia Collins, Assistant Professor, CBE
  • Ed Staats, Administration
  • Nikki Gallant, Undergraduate Student Member
  • Joe Perchiacca, Graduate Student Member

The Rensselaer Plan
Writing Committee

  • Dr. Prabhat Hajela, Provost.
  • Dr. Timothy Sams, Vice President, Student Life.
  • Mr. William Walker, Vice President, Strategic Communications and External Relations.
  • Ms. Virginia Gregg, Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer.
  • Mr. John Kolb, Vice President for Information Services and Technology and Chief Information Officer.
  • Dr. Jonathan Dordick, Vice President for Research, the Howard P. Isermann Professor, and Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.
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Open Sessions on
The Rensselaer Plan: 2012-2024

Memo to: The Rensselaer Community
From: Prabhat Hajela, Provost
Date: October 5, 2012

The first open session for discussion of the updated Rensselaer Plan was conducted Wednesday afternoon, and the unanimous view of the ReaLCom 2.0 members was that the conversation produced many excellent observations and suggestions. President Jackson opened the meeting by setting the context for the conversation, and while she will be unable to join the sessions next week, the ReaLCom members leading the discussions will use the same approach.

The schedule for the sessions is as follows:

  • Tuesday, October 9, 7:00-8:30 p.m. - Jon Dordick, VP/Research, Facilitator
  • Wednesday, October 10, 2:00-3:30 p.m. - Prabhat Hajela, Provost, Facilitator
  • Thursday, October 11, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Tim Sams, VP/Student Life, Facilitator

Your ReaLCom representatives encourage members of the campus community to participate in these conversations. The sessions next week will be held in the auditorium of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. These discussions are being guided by a series of five questions about where Rensselaer should be at its 200th anniversary, and within this context, about the updated Plan. Those questions may be found at the end of the read-only first draft of the Plan, available at https://afsws.rpi.edu/AFS/dept/metasite/plan/draft/rensselaerplanrefreshdraft.pdf accessible through authentication with RCS credentials.

Let me remind individual portfolio leaders to schedule sessions to focus specifically on how the Plan relates to their portfolios. Portfolio leaders are asked to conduct the meetings of their groups, and input from these discussions will be recorded by ReaLCom members. Please advise Cindy Novak in the Provost’s Office as soon as these sessions are scheduled.

Finally, we have made arrangements for written comments to be shared with ReaLCom and the Writing Team. Those comments should be sent to realcom2@lists.rpi.edu.

We appreciate the substantive contributions being made to the development of the Plan, and we look forward to our conversations next week.

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Draft Revision of The Rensselaer Plan Available Online

To: The Rensselaer Community
From: Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
President
Professor of Physics
Professor of Engineering Sciences
Date: September 30, 2012

In anticipation of the open sessions for discussion of the updated Rensselaer Plan among members of the university community, a read-only first draft of the Plan has been posted for review. It may be found at https://afsws.rpi.edu/AFS/dept/metasite/plan/draft/rensselaerplanrefreshdraft.pdf accessible through authentication with RCS credentials.

This draft has been completed by the Writing Team, with initial review by the Deans Council. In the next stage of the process, the Reassessment Leadership Committee (ReaLCom 2.0) will organize and lead the open public sessions for faculty, staff, and students.

Your ReaLCom 2.0 representatives and I encourage members of the campus community to participate in these conversations. All four sessions will be held in the auditorium of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies. These discussions will be guided by a series of five questions about where Rensselaer should be at its 200th anniversary, and within this context, about the updated Plan. Those questions may be found at the end of the draft PDF document.

The schedule for the sessions is as follows:

Wednesday, October 3 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, October 9 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 10 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 11 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

A session for alumni and alumnae participation has been scheduled during Reunion/Homecoming weekend as part of the annual State-of-the-Institute presentation, and I encourage members of the campus community to attend as well. That session is scheduled for 2:00-4:00 p.m. Friday, October 5, in the Concert Hall of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.

As a reminder, see the following schedule for the process that will culminate with Board of Trustees review at its December meeting.

October 13-21: Individual portfolio sessions will focus specifically on how the Plan relates to each portfolio. Although hosted by Portfolio owners, input from these discussions will be recorded by those not within the portfolio, and relayed to the Writing Team.

October 22-29: The Cabinet will review all reports from the public and portfolio discussions above and make recommendations for further refinement of the draft.

October 29-November 14: The draft will be revised, based on Cabinet reviews.

November 14-26: Socialization of the revised draft document will occur. Groups invited in this phase will include the Faculty Senate, Endowed Professors, Pillars of Rensselaer, a student leadership group (designated by Vice President, Student Life), and members of the Board of the Rensselaer Alumni Association.

A revised document will be submitted to the Board of Trustees by December 1, in anticipation of discussion and approval of the revised Plan by the Board at its December meeting.

Let me reiterate the importance of this process. The updated Rensselaer Plan will play a key role in setting the direction for Rensselaer in the years to come. I encourage active participation in these discussions, and I look forward to receiving the many creative ideas you have for addressing the Global Challenges we will face in the future.

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Next Steps in the Refresh of The Rensselaer Plan

To: The Rensselaer Community
From: Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
President
Professor of Physics
Professor of Engineering Sciences
Date: September 6, 2012

As we continue the process for the refreshing of The Rensselaer Plan, I am pleased to announce the members of the Reassessment Leadership Committee (RealCom 2.0) and the schedule for a series of open sessions for discussions among members of the university community.

The following individuals have agreed to serve on RealCom 2.0:

Prabhat Hajela, Provost (Chair)
Jonathan Dordick, Vice President for Research (Vice Chair)
Timothy Sams, Vice President for Student Life (Vice Chair)
Evan Douglis, Dean of Architecture
David Rosowsky, Dean of Engineering
Mary Simoni, Dean of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
Thomas Begley, Lally School of Management & Technology
Laurie Leshin, Dean of Science
Lester Gerhardt, Professor of ECSE and Chair, Faculty Senate
Isom Herron, Professor of Mathematical Sciences and President, Faculty Senate
Shekhar Garde, Professor and Head, CBE
James Hendler, Professor and Head, Computer Science
Cynthia Collins, Assistant Professor, CBE
Ed Staats, Administration
Nikki Gallant, Undergraduate Student Member
Joe Perchiacca, Graduate Student Member

This group will organize and lead open public sessions for faculty, staff, and students, in discussions guided by 4-5 questions about where Rensselaer should be at the time of its 200th anniversary.

Your RealCom 2.0 representatives and I encourage members of the campus community to participate in this important process. Please register in advance for one of the four scheduled sessions through this website. All four sessions will be held in the auditorium of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.

The schedule for the sessions is as follows:

Wednesday, October 3: 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, October 9: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 10: 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 11: 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

A session for alumni and alumnae participation has been scheduled during Reunion/Homecoming weekend as part of the annual State-of-the-Institute presentation, and I encourage members of the campus community to attend as well. I will deliver a brief report on the State of the Institute, then will moderate a panel discussion featuring members of RealCom 2.0 and extensive audience participation. That session is scheduled for 2:00-4:00 p.m. Friday, October 5, in the Concert Hall of the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center.

The process we have launched will play a key role in setting the direction for Rensselaer in the years to come. I encourage active participation in these discussions, and I look forward to receiving the many creative ideas you have for addressing the Global Challenges we will face in the future.

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Refreshing The Rensselaer Plan

To: The Rensselaer Community
From: Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
President
Professor of Physics
Professor of Engineering Sciences
Date: August 29, 2012

Over the course of the past year, there have been discussions within portfolios, within the Cabinet and Deans Council, and with the Board of Trustees about the strategic priorities that should guide our activities and efforts in the coming years. A major part of those discussions has revolved around a set of Global Challenges that Rensselaer is uniquely positioned to address through its research prominence.

Since the development of The Rensselaer Plan during the 1999-2000 academic year, its approval by the Board of Trustees, and its inception in 2000, we have accomplished much as a university as the Plan has been implemented (see the list of Accomplishments Under The Rensselaer Plan).

The Plan was designed to be, and has been, evergreen. Its fundamental framework remains sound, providing a solid basis to update our goals and our specific strategies. The Plan’s overarching guiding principles relative to our desired intellectual balance and institutional diversity remain valid.

A refresh of the Plan gives us the opportunity to position Rensselaer for its 200th anniversary in 2024. We should take stock of where we are as a major technological research university, and we should project where we should be at the time of the Institute’s 200th birthday.

With these thoughts in mind, we will launch, with the beginning of the fall semester, an Institute-wide discussion and process to refresh and update The Rensselaer Plan by the end of this calendar year. The refreshed Plan will guide our priorities and efforts leading up to 2024, and will be the basis for our next major capital campaign.

Following this memo is a timeline to guide our activities to refresh The Rensselaer Plan by December 15, 2012.

Rensselaer Plan Update—The Timeline

The Rensselaer Plan (“Plan”) writing committee includes:

  • Dr. Prabhat Hajela, Provost.
  • Dr. Timothy Sams, Vice President, Student Life.
  • Mr. William Walker, Vice President, Strategic Communications and External Relations.
  • Ms. Virginia Gregg, Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer.
  • Mr. John Kolb, Vice President for Information Services and Technology and Chief Information Officer.
  • Dr. Jonathan Dordick, Vice President for Research, the Howard P. Isermann Professor, and Director of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies.

This group has been examining the existing Rensselaer Plan document, and while keeping the overall document structure intact, is revising the language of the document to reflect the discussions/conclusions of the President’s Leadership Retreat, Portfolio discussions, Board of Trustee deliberations, and campus-wide meetings.

Based on “Grand (Global) Challenges” discussions at the Board of Trustees retreat and the President’s Leadership Retreat, the team has completed a rough draft document for discussion by the Rensselaer community.

SEP
7
* President Jackson will appoint by September 7 a Plan Reassessment Leadership Committee (ReaLCom 2.0) to organize and lead campus-based and, as appropriate, web-based discussions.
SEP
1
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SEP
14
* The draft document will be reviewed and discussed within the Deans Council and the Cabinet.
SEP
14
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SEP
21
* On the basis of discussions in the September 1—14 period, the Cabinet will provide input to further refine the draft Plan. The draft document will be posted online for read-only access to members of the Rensselaer community.
SEP
24
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OCT
22
* The period September 24—October 22 will be used for discussions in two phases:

Phase I – There will be several open public sessions between October 3 and October 11, where the discussions will be guided by 4-5 questions about where Rensselaer should be at its 200th anniversary, and within this context, about the updated Plan. The group of individuals hosting each session will capture the essence of the discussions. Additionally, members of the community will have the opportunity to submit specific comments about the draft Plan through online communication channels. The detailed schedule for these sessions will be released shortly.

Phase II – These sets of discussions, during the period October 13 and October 21, led by portfolio owners/leaders, will focus specifically on how the Plan relates to each portfolio. Although hosted by Portfolio owners, input from these discussions will be recorded by those not within the portfolio, and relayed to the committee responsible for writing the revised Plan.

OCT
22
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OCT
29
* The Cabinet will review all reports from the public and portfolio discussions above and make recommendations for further refinement of the draft.
OCT
29
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NOV
14
* The draft will be revised, based on Cabinet reviews.
NOV
14
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NOV
26
* Socialization of the revised draft document will occur. Groups invited in this phase will include the Faculty Senate, Endowed Professors, Pillars of Rensselaer, a student leadership group (designated by Vice President, Student Life), and members of the Board of the Rensselaer Alumni Association.
DEC
1
* A revised document will be submitted to the Board of Trustees by December 1. President Jackson will seek Board approval of the revised Plan at the Board of Trustees December meeting.
Performance plans for FY 2014 will reflect changes in the revised Rensselaer Plan. The revised Plan also will be the basis of our planning for our next major capital campaign, together with Global Challenges outlined in the Plan.
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