Papers and Speeches

RIT–Required InnovaTion

“Every undergraduate at RIT will, before graduation, complete an individual or team-based project that demonstrates a measure of creativity, innovation, or invention.”

Rationale: This would be one way of distinguishing RIT from all other colleges and universities and would reinforce a current competitive advantage of American college students. It is also consistent with RIT becoming a “Category of One” university. Completed (or in-progress) projects could be showcased at an annual Spring RIT Innovation Festival to which the world would be invited.

How might this work?: Students in many programs such as those in imaging arts and sciences already meet this requirement, and some other programs such as engineering could probably modify capstone projects to include an innovation requirement. Participation on team projects already underway (e.g., mini-Baja) would also qualify, and many existing student clubs and organizations are already involved in creative work.

Questions:

Is this a good idea?
If so, is it doable? How would programs without a current creativity requirement adjust
their curricula?
Would all the projects have to be supervised? If so, how?
Could we involve staff in addition to faculty in the supervision of student projects?
Could Co-op employment experiences be included somehow?
Should we restrict this to undergraduates? Ph.D. students certainly qualify via their dissertation research, but how about Masters students?
How would we protect the artistic and intellectual property interests of students, faculty, and staff?
For projects with the potential to produce new products and/or services, how would we help transition them to commercialization?
Are there special opportunities to take advantage of NTID and its students in such a program?
Could we allocate one or two upperclass dormitories to students who wish to live together while undertaking qualifying team projects?
Would we be courageous enough to advertise such a program to students applying for Fall 2008 admission?
Is there an existing entity at RIT that could organize and lead such a program?

 

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