Six pillars for success at RIT
We are in the home stretch of the 2009-2010 academic year and I see no slowing down for RIT, by all measures a university with a steep upward trajectory.
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting with alumni in 15 cities since September. Learning about the success of our graduates always reinvigorates me. Indeed, many of our alumni are leaders in their fields and have forged exciting careers. (You can meet a few of them in the special feature Labors of Love.)Conversations with alumni, students, faculty and staff have helped me crystallize my vision for the university. I believe RIT’s future rests with six pillars of success. RIT will become:
- A creative and innovative university: We want students to experience the adrenaline rush that comes when they solve a problem or create a new product or service.
- A renowned career-focused, teaching university: Students must always come first. We will stay true to our heritage as RIT remains committed to career focus and experiential learning, with our cooperative education program among the nation’s elite. That said, RIT will move from the current quarter system to a semester-based academic calendar starting in Fall 2013. We see many reasons why this will positively impact the quality of the education experience for students (Story, FAQs).
- A respected research and scholarship university: Consider how quickly we’ve advanced in this arena. We received a record $58.4 million in sponsored research funding during fiscal year 2009, a 20 percent increase from the previous year. We have set a goal of $100 million by 2013.
- A great student experience university: The needs of future students will drive RIT. We seek to create a holistic experience that is enjoyed by students and remembered by alumni for life. One recent example of this was a group of students who led a project to build a Habit for Humanity House in a Rochester neighborhood. The home was built with a “green” design, making it more energy efficient (see feature Sustainable shelter).
- An international university: We have set goals to increase the total number of international students studying at RIT, as well as increasing the number of RIT students partaking in study-abroad programs and who study at our international sites. Later this year, we will open Global Village, a $54.5 million retail marketplace and housing complex on campus that will bear a resemblance to the street-side cafés of Europe.
- A sustainable university: RIT seeks to become a world leader in sustainability education, research and practice. We’re on our way! We recently achieved the pinnacle in recognition for sustainable construction and design with a new building that is among the world’s “greenest” (see feature Sustainable shelter).
So this is where RIT plans to go. What will it take to get there? What have I left out? I can always use your feedback. Feel free to send ideas and suggestions to bill.destler@RIT.edu. As you can see, there is little time to catch your breath around this magnificent university.
P.S. Please accept my invitation to join us from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, for the third annual Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival. The festival drew more than 25,000 visitors last year. It is a spectacle you need to experience to fully appreciate the RIT
of today. The free festival will feature hundreds of exhibits and activities showcasing the best
of technology, art, science and more from our students, faculty and staff. I’ll see you May 1,
rain or shine.