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* The Rensselaer Plan The Rensselaer Plan
The Rensselaer Plan
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7. Rensselaer's Communities

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As a citizen of the world, Rensselaer must extend its reach and impact beyond present borders. Teaching and research are the starting points.

7.1 The Campus Community
7.2 A Very Diverse Community
7.3 Alumni
7.4 Neighborhood, City, and Region
7.5 National and International Reach

A university community comprises a collection of communities: the campus community of students, faculty, staff, administration, and trustees lives in a series of larger neighborhood, city, and regional communities, and is supported by a broad national and international community of alumni, friends, business, and professional partners. Rensselaer draws its vitality from, and adds vitality to, each of these communities.

7.1 The Campus Community

World-class people create world-class universities. Students are drawn from the best and the brightest. Faculty are recognized leaders, receiving peer recognition and funding, defining the discourse in their fields, and setting scholarly and professional agendas in national and international arenas. Staff exemplify excellence and commitment; many are leaders in their fields. Institute leaders bring vision, strategic focus, managerial ability, and integrity to their work. The Board of Trustees provides the sustaining stewardship, fiduciary oversight, and financial support that help Rensselaer achieve its plans and aspirations. To achieve Rensselaer’s goals, we will:

  • Develop recruiting and admissions processes that identify the best students who will succeed at Rensselaer, and provide them an informative, exciting, and seamless process of joining our university.

  • Recruit, empower, and compensate staff and faculty at levels commensurate with their skill and contribution.

  • Require all faculty to do research/scholarship, innovative teaching, and service, increasing the emphasis on research and scholarship in performance evaluations.

  • Strengthen/elevate, significantly, the standards for hiring, promotion, and tenure of faculty with regard to research distinction and teaching quality.

  • Expect and assist faculty to garner external research support through competitive grants, fellowships, research centers, research partnerships, and other mechanisms.

  • Increase, significantly, the number of women and minority tenure-track faculty.

  • Make Rensselaer an employer of choice among faculty and staff by developing uniform policies and approaches to critical human resource activities, and partnering between Human Resources and other academic and administrative divisions to establish optimal strategies, policies, and procedures.

  • Provide staff with the tools and the training required as roles and skill-sets change.

  • Create innovative administrative alignments, organizational arrangements, and reward systems designed to focus energy on goals and strategies, build teams and partnerships, and convert “low walls” to “no walls.”

  • Strengthen the Institute’s leadership at all levels, from department heads to the most senior ranks. Strengthen administrative capabilities in every unit, including planning for leadership development and succession.

  • Attract a Board of Trustees that reflects a rich mix of position and influence as well as wealth, work, and wisdom, and is philanthropically oriented.

7.2 A Very Diverse Community

Today’s ideas will reach maturity and today’s students will be called to lead in a world that is increasingly diverse. The Rensselaer community must be just as diverse, and the Institute must commit to leadership in bringing diversity to science and technology. We will:

  • Seek a diverse body of students, via careful attention to excellence and to intellectual, geographical, gender, and ethnic diversity (especially groups underrepresented in science and technology), moving to a resident student body that has a much greater presence of women and underrepresented minority students.

  • Expand pipeline programs that provide access for women and underrepresented minority students, especially to research and graduate studies.

  • Build a diverse faculty and staff of women and men drawn from all ethnic groups.

  • Pursue alliances with historically minority institutions to increase the flow of people and ideas to and from the campus.

  • Employ interactive pedagogies to bring together students and researchers from diverse settings, including those at distance from the campus.

  • Create a lively discourse on important cultural, social, gender, and ethnicity issues in courses, colloquia, fairs, and festivals as well as in residence halls, student activities, and the research environment.

7.3 Alumni

Rensselaer is fortunate to count many friends and colleagues in the industrial, academic, research, and public sectors. Our 70,000 alumni are foremost in this group. Alumni owe a significant part of their success to Rensselaer; at the same time, Rensselaer’s success is coupled with the accomplishments of its alumni and depends on their continued interest, involvement, and support.

To forge lifelong partnerships between the Institute and its alumni and friends, we will:

  • Direct continuing professional and executive education to alumni on leadership paths.

  • Involve alumni as recruiters, visiting lecturers and critics, mentors, and employers of resident undergraduate and graduate students.

  • Create services and networks that provide a seamless transition from student to alumni life, assist alumni in career success, and establish linkages among alumni and between alumni and their alma mater.

  • Celebrate the achievements of alumni as leaders.

7.4 Neighborhood, City, and Region

Greatness in a university is inextricably linked to the vitality of the region in which it is situated. Rensselaer’s campuses are located in regions with a rich tradition of technological innovation, predicated on close and mutually beneficial relationships with the surrounding community. Such mutuality extends from campus edges and gateways to the larger region. We will:

  • Develop with the community an extended program for teaching and research in disciplines such as architecture, urban design, ecological economics, environmental policy and management, entrepreneurship and business development, and the human, social, economic, and political dimensions of science and technology.

  • Offer to the Capital Region, the Hartford Metropolitan Region, and our other communities, faculty resources and research skills in community development and regional design. Collaboration with established community development efforts will provide an intellectual core as well as a context for action.

  • Redevelop community fabric contiguous to and along gateways to the campus by joining in carefully selected neighborhood renewal, housing, hospitality, and commercial projects with private developers and public agencies.

  • Expand regional technological entrepreneurship in order to assist in attracting industry, people, and capital to the Capital Region and the Hartford Metropolitan Region.

7.5 National and International Reach

As a citizen of the world, Rensselaer must extend its reach and impact beyond present borders. Teaching and research are the starting points. Students study and experience cultures that expose them to diverse outlooks, expand their ability to communicate across cultural boundaries, and deepen understanding of their own cultural circumstances. Researchers are leaders on the global scene, collaborating with colleagues and placing students in top-tier international organizations. Thus, we seek a broad representation of international students and scholars on campus. We will:

  • Enable our students to increase their knowledge and understanding of international issues and cultures, including participation in international exchange programs.

  • Forge strategic research partnerships with excellent national and international academic institutions and research laboratories.

  • Expand corporate partnerships, adding new multinational technology-based companies and extending current partnerships to include international divisions and global operations.

  • Extend education programs for working professionals into the international arena.

  • Assume prominent roles in shaping federal and state research and technology agendas.

  • Expand global name recognition through international media, corporations, and international alumni.

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