Executive Summary
The Rensselaer Plan 2024
Goal Fundamentals Undergraduate Education Graduate Education Research Communities Enabling Change Leadership


Prominence in the 21st century as a top-tier world-class technological research university with global reach and global impact.

A great university has at its core an intergenerational community of learners engaged in the pursuit of new knowledge, committed to disseminating that knowledge, and seeking to use their skills and talents to make a difference for themselves, and for the world at large. This requires intellectual agility, multicultural sophistication, and a global view, in order to make important linkages across disciplines and to operate within a broad scholarly and social milieu.

Excellence, Leadership, and Community are the fundamental values that drive our actions.
Excellence is the mantra and the metric. Leadership means we shape the agenda and discourse in areas related to our mission and plans. Community is what we are. We are “One Rensselaer.”

As we build toward our overarching goal, we insist on excellence, leadership, and community in each core enterprise—resident undergraduate education, graduate education, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. This is imperative in each academic and administrative unit, and most importantly, in the people of Rensselaer—its faculty, students, staff, alumni/ae, partners, and friends.

Education and research are inextricably linked in world-class universities.
Discovery and innovative pedagogy are core characteristics of the Institute. The creation of new knowledge is critical to fostering an engaging and inspirational learning environment for our students. To provide a superlative education, we must be trailblazers in key research fields. Research enables our students to be partners in discovery and to remain open to inquiry.

At the intersection of research and education is the entrepreneurial spirit that drives Rensselaer faculty and students to address societal aspirations and challenges of substance with imaginative solutions. The Institute will, therefore, continue to assign added emphasis to research and scholarship as key components of excellence in education.

Research potentiates education.
Research brings education to fruition by enhancing fundamental understanding of the world. Research, therefore, is about learning. At the same time, education teaches students how to see what others do not, how to pose thoughtful questions, and how to proceed when the answer is not obvious. Education, therefore, is about research. Ultimately, one cannot exist without the other.

Research and education drive reputation.
As the impact of the research and education of Rensselaer grows, its prominence as a world-class technological research university also increases. This positions Rensselaer to continue to attract highly talented students and well-respected faculty and staff, to expand its global reach, and to garner increased financial support from private philanthropy and public sources.

Intellectual congruence leads to excellent education.
A Rensselaer education is rigorous, holistic, multifaceted, and supportive. A pedagogical approach that is multidisciplinary, and that connects the classroom, design studio, or laboratory to the living environment of the students, cultivates robust and sustained learning. Rensselaer will continue its commitment to providing an education that extends from traditional settings to every sphere of student living and learning.

Global Challenges lead to transformational education.
Rensselaer asks: Why not change the world? The answer to this question requires groundbreaking discoveries and contributions to public policy that will have a powerful impact on the most pressing issues we face as global citizens. Rensselaer will draw upon the resources of its distinguished faculty, talented students, and outstanding educational and research platforms to create and disseminate knowledge, and to devise solutions for the world’s greatest challenges. In this way, Rensselaer honors and invigorates its founders’ mission: The application of science to the common purposes of life.

Diversity and inclusion are essential to academic excellence and innovation.
In an increasingly intertwined world and amid global demographic shifts, Rensselaer faculty, students, and staff benefit from an educational environment where diversity is a hallmark of excellence. Rensselaer will strengthen and advance its commitment to diversity and inclusion to provide a research, teaching, and learning experience that is democratic in nature and global in scope.

Strategic focus is essential to achieving THE GOAL.
Rensselaer will build upon its distinguishing strengths in interdisciplinary inquiry, interactive learning, and entrepreneurship to:

  • Enhance national and international leadership in innovative learning and teaching by providing an outstanding and distinctive EDUCATION for resident undergraduates and graduate students, and for working professionals. Educational programs will incorporate interactive pedagogies, provide an engaging student experience, and create lifetime connections with Rensselaer.
  • Dramatically expand the RESEARCH ENTERPRISE, including associated graduate education, by (i) creating new Institute-wide initiatives in signature research thrusts closely aligned with societal and global priorities; (ii) building upon and enhancing existing core research strengths; (iii) strategically supporting additional critical priorities in areas that offer opportunities for research impact and leadership; and (iv) building new infrastructure that enables growth.
  • Increase our focus on INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP across education, research, media and the arts, technology commercialization, and new venture creation, to spur regional and national economic development, and to use science and technology for social advancement and environmental stewardship.
  • Strengthen ethnic, gender, intellectual, and geographic DIVERSITY among our students, faculty, and staff in order to draw upon the best talent available, and to prepare our students to work and lead in a global economy.
  • Revitalize our diverse COMMUNITIES on our campuses, among alumni/ae and friends, and in all of our activities locally, nationally, and globally.
  • Redesign and invigorate ENABLING ACTIVITIES to focus Rensselaer people, administrative processes, information infrastructure, physical facilities, and financial resources on the realization of strategic goals.
The Rensselaer Plan 2024

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