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* The Rensselaer Plan The Rensselaer Plan
The Rensselaer Plan
Rensselaer

Enabling Change

Rensselaer *

Achieving Rensselaer’s goal requires a systemic and relentless commitment to change.

8.1 Administrative Processes
8.2 Information Infrastructure
8.3 Physical Facilities
8.4 Our Public Face
8.5 Managing Financial Resources
8.6 Expanding the Resource Base

Meaningful change, of course, must be driven by well-based and meaningful plans. Thus, as The Rensselaer Plan enables change, change enables The Rensselaer Plan.

People are the principal enablers. Rensselaer’s communities, discussed above, must have the business processes, information infrastructure, physical facilities, and financial resources to do the job.

8.1 Administrative Processes

A university’s programs and initiatives are actualized through administrative processes. The Rensselaer Plan requires that we achieve high performance levels in key administrative processes. We will:

  • Identify, as part of Performance Plans, essential and critical administrative processes. We will transform, outsource, or sunset processes that are not essential.

  • Execute each chosen process with excellence, emphasizing access, simplicity, outcomes, and appropriate uses of technology at every step.

  • Emphasize customer service.

  • Create a thoughtful and friendly “electronic Rensselaer” to help knit the Institute and its communities into a seamless whole.

8.2 Information Infrastructure

A leading-edge integrated information environment is integral to teaching, learning, and research. Rensselaer employs a first-rate information culture and a robust information infrastructure. We must sustain this advantage, valuing information literacy at every level and implementing new methods for scholarly communication and electronic interactions. We will:

  • Provide an integrated portfolio of education, access, and support technologies, policies, and services for teaching, learning, and research, particularly as we create a ubiquitous environment for mobile computing.

  • Provide seamless multimedia access to library, research, and scholarly materials for both on-campus and off-campus use.

  • Centralize administrative information systems, while improving distributed decision support throughout the Institute.

  • Extend and continually upgrade the inter- and intra-networking infrastructure to support strategic purposes.

  • Partner with other universities, companies, and public agencies to augment the Institute’s intellectual and capital resources.

  • Utilize communication technology to enhance the image of Rensselaer to external audiences, build relationships with key external constituencies, and provide state-of-the-art capabilities, such as online transactions.

  • Exploit the full potential of communications technology to build community, enhance employee relations, and serve as a source of vital and interesting campus information.

8.3 Physical Facilities

Rensselaer requires land, buildings, and infrastructure that meet essential research, learning, living and dining, cultural, recreational, and other essential needs. Facilities will be accessible to our diverse population, inviting to the internal and external community, and have a cohesion that emphasizes and complements relationships with the community. Facilities will employ state-of-the-art systems and operate safely, efficiently, and reliably. Academic facilities will be research-ready with modern infrastructure and services, and will be flexible to meet changing research requirements. We will:

  • Manage and utilize existing facilities for maximum contribution to the strategic purposes of the Institute.

  • Establish annual maintenance levels that provide clean and safe facilities that meet Rensselaer’s baseline quality of life requirements.

  • Plan investment in deferred maintenance and continuing capital renewal for facilities needed to meet strategic needs.

  • Construct a new biotechnology and interdisciplinary studies research facility to support and promote interdisciplinary thrusts in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and microsystems.

  • Define and deliver new capital, renewal, and deferred maintenance projects consistent with the academic, research, residential, athletic, and administrative priorities derived from The Rensselaer Plan, and with careful attention to benefits achieved relative to initial and continuing costs incurred.

  • Seek creative facilities delivery and financing approaches, including privatization, development partnerships, and other innovative concepts.

8.4 Our Public Face

Rensselaer is a dynamic institution, and expects to step up the pace. Even as we gain prominence, we must project the image of the top-tier technological research university we expect to be. We will:

  • Project a cohesive identity, promoting the public’s understanding of Rensselaer’s accomplishments and increasing the Institute’s name recognition and prestige in strategic environments.

  • Create a cohesive, creative, timely, and user-savvy Web presence for the institution and its principal programs.

  • Improve “front door” and public spaces to ensure a professional, state-of-the-art, and elegant Rensselaer.

8.5 Managing Financial Resources

The Rensselaer Plan has substantial implications for financial resources. While expanding the resource base is paramount, we must first manage existing resources to best advantage, directing expenditures to strategic purposes. We will:

  • Derive Performance Plans and then annual operating plans (budgets) from The Rensselaer Plan.

  • Refine or reinvent the budgetary model to focus resources for maximum strategic impact, whilemaintaining appropriate institutional flexibility.

  • Provide managers at every level with accurate, timely, and relevant performance and management information.

  • Deploy financial and administrative processes (payroll, billing, payables, collection, purchasing, etc.) that provide a baseline quality of service for students, alumni, families, employees, vendors, and partners.

  • Pursue aggressive risk management and internal auditing to assure a safe working and learning environment, appropriate controls, and regulatory compliance.

8.6 Expanding the Resource Base

Garnering substantial additional resources requires a multi-front effort led by the President and Board of Trustees, financially supported by the Board of Trustees, and focused and energized by The Rensselaer Plan. We will:

  • Mount a comprehensive fund-raising campaign.

  • Grow the base endowment via campaign gifts and investment return so that endowment spending can support 20% or more of the budget (now 10%). Manage the pace and structure of debt financing to strategic purposes.

  • Restructure corporate partnerships, adding leadership technology companies in priority areas, meeting partners’ criteria for top-tier status, and achieving substantial annual total revenue (research, philanthropy, equipment, educational programs) and placement of graduates from these companies.

  • Pursue major federal and state partnerships that provide facilities, specialized equipment, and maintenance and operating capital to the Institute in exchange for research and technology transfer in areas of national or state need.

  • Build philanthropic and other financial support, maximizing alumni and volunteer involvement through long-term mutually beneficial relationships and doubling private investment within five years. We will challenge our major donors to provide “stretch” support as we move forward boldly and quickly.

  • Pursue an advancement program that mobilizes and integrates the entire Institute to achieve the financial goals set out in The Rensselaer Plan. This includes coordination of distributed advancement efforts, outreach to students as future alumni, maximum use of technology for communications and commerce, integrated marketing, and focusing policies and programs on maximum return.

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