Dimension Three

Leveraging Difference

RIT has long recognized the importance of diversity to organizational growth and synergy. Beginning in the 19th century, when we welcomed women into our classes decades before other colleges even considered co-education, we have intentionally sought students, faculty, and staff from multiple backgrounds, ethnicities, and countries. The 1968 addition of NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) brought an intellectual, linguistic, and programmatic diversity to RIT that is unmatched in higher education. We are likewise proud of the high percentage of low-income students enrolled at RIT (as measured by the number of Pell grants awarded annually) as well as of our growing ranks of underrepresented and international students. The unmatched diversity of our academic programs is a direct result of the diverse voices that constantly participate in the RIT conversation.

international students photo

Through our new strategic plan, we will intentionally develop practices, opportunities, and programs that harness the power of difference to drive creative solutions, innovative combinations, and productive collaboration.

Difference Maker III.1

RIT will be among the top five national universities in global engagement, as measured by the breadth and size of its international student and alumni populations.

Objective III.1.1
Establish research partnerships in emerging international centers of excellence.

Objective III.1.2
Deploy innovative ways to educate international students.

Objective III.1.3
Establish an RIT Global Faculty Exchange/Symposium Program and International Collaboration Grant Program to support faculty collaboration and student interaction across RIT’s network of international partners and sites, as well as with our international student population.

Objective III.1.4
Identify select new academic programs that could be developed through international partnerships and offered within emerging international centers of excellence.

Objective III.1.5
Develop strategic alumni engagement activities to connect RIT with alumni around the world. Leverage these connections to build robust experiential educational opportunities for students abroad.

Difference Maker III.2

RIT students will be internationally recognized for their global experience, their mastery of intercultural competencies, and their engagement with globally relevant problems.

Objective III.2.1
All undergraduate programs will identify a place in their curricula for a specific program opportunity through which students can participate in a global, international, or multicultural educational experience.

Objective III.2.2
The Office of the Associate Provost for International Education will transform study abroad into “RIT Global Experiential Learning,” with a focused commitment to developing a new model of international experiential education.

Objective III.2.3
Ensure the intellectual interaction of international and U.S. graduate students in research teams, project teams, and course assignments.

Objective III.2.4
Establish a reverse study abroad option to allow faculty from our global campuses to study at the Rochester campus during summer and intersession.

Objective III.2.5
Develop a set of curricular and co-curricular offerings through which graduate students may achieve the global and intercultural competencies valued by employers.

Difference Maker III.3

RIT faculty will be internationally recognized for their global experience, their mastery of intercultural competencies, and their engagement with globally relevant problems.

Objective III.3.1
Increase the opportunity for professional interaction among RIT faculty at U.S. and international locations.

Objective III.3.2
Develop and fund a faculty exchange program through which faculty from all RIT sites can pursue research and teaching interests on any RIT campus.

Objective III.3.3
Encourage faculty to take international sabbaticals and provide associated resources.

Difference Maker III.4

RIT will establish targeted centers of collaborative research with international universities, laboratories, and/or corporations in areas of common expertise and aligned goals.

Objective III.4.1
Develop a strategy and associated protocols for the internationalization of research to enable faculty to secure international funding and expand their international research capabilities in targeted strategic areas.

Objective III.4.2
Create a program of faculty and graduate student rotations through these centers for both U.S.-based and international students and faculty.

Difference III.5
Difference Makers highlighted in orange are the 15 priority items for the first implementation phase.

Within ten years, lead private U.S. universities in the number of STEM undergraduates enrolled at and graduating from RIT.

Objective III.5.1
RIT will be the largest producer of female, underrepresented male, and deaf or hard-of-hearing STEM graduates among all private colleges in the U.S.

Objective III.5.2
Develop new B.S. STEM programs, concentrations, and options that 1) fit within our STEM program portfolio; have high post-graduation employment potential; and show promise of enrolling sufficient numbers of females to offset partially the male-female imbalance in STEM programs.

Objective III.5.3
Examine the effectiveness of the existing marketing and recruitment strategies for each STEM program and create, expand, or replicate successful college-based recruitment programs for the three underserved populations.

Objective III.5.4
Conduct an analysis of attrition patterns from STEM programs for these three populations, and develop and execute an action plan for increasing retention rates.

Objective III.5.5
Develop 10-year plans for increasing the number and percentage of females, minority males, and deaf or hard-of-hearing students in STEM majors.

Difference Maker III.6
Difference Makers highlighted in orange are the 15 priority items for the first implementation phase.

RIT will eliminate the achievement gap between minority and majority students, becoming a model of inclusive excellence for all students.

Objective III.6.1
Using an asset-based assessment and research model, develop a profile of success factors and institutional challenges for minority males.

Objective III.6.2
Develop a comprehensive mentoring program for minority males in which two mentors are assigned to each student throughout his/her RIT career, engaging alumni where possible.

Objective III.6.3
Using the model of the biannual attrition study conducted in the President’s office, interview minority students who leave RIT before graduating.

Objective III.6.4
Develop a national model for the preparation, recruitment, and financial support of urban, minority, and low-income high school graduates through the Rochester City Scholars program and the RIT-Rochester Prep Charter School partnership.

Difference Maker III.7
Difference Makers highlighted in orange are the 15 priority items for the first implementation phase.

RIT will become a model of inclusive excellence for all faculty and staff in the areas of professional development and promotion.

Objective III.7.1
Increase the number of female and minority employees in supervisory and management positions.

Objective III.7.2
Increase and enrich professional development opportunities for all faculty and staff.

Objective III.7.3
Design, distribute, and publicize a set of career ladders and lattices for advancement and promotion within each RIT division.

Objective III.7.4
Examine the current RIT Mentoring program to determine if it addresses the personal, professional, and career advancement needs of minority and female faculty and staff.

Difference Maker III.8
Difference Makers highlighted in orange are the 15 priority items for the first implementation phase.

RIT’s core values of diversity and inclusion will be reflected in performance and promotion assessment at all levels of the university.

Objective III.8.1
The President will include “attention to diversity and inclusion” as a performance criterion for his leadership team.

Objective III.8.2
“Attention to diversity and inclusion” will be considered as an addition to the tenure criteria.

Difference Maker III.9

RIT will be a model of excellence in its deployment of difference to solve problems and practice innovation.

Objective III.9.1
Ensure that all policy- and decision-making bodies contain diverse voices and viewpoints.

Objective III.9.2
Create a mechanism by which students participating in faculty and/or staff committees receive co-curricular credit.

Objective III.9.3
Encourage the productive interaction of students from multiple disciplines in academic, co-curricular, and social settings.

Objective III.9.4
Create undergraduate and graduate multidisciplinary capstone projects in which students from distinctly different disciplines collaborate on a common project.

Objective III.9.5
On all RIT campuses, create curricular and co-curricular forums that encourage the interaction of international students, alumni, and visiting scholars with resident students, faculty, visiting scholars, and alumni.

Difference Maker III.10
Difference Makers highlighted in orange are the 15 priority items for the first implementation phase.

RIT will initiate a comprehensive marketing campaign to make all current and potential stakeholders and higher education at large fully aware of the university’s history, its unique character, and its exceptional record of success.

Objective III.10.1
Create a Chief Marketing Officer position charged with overseeing all university marketing efforts and leading an associated marketing effort.

Objective III.10.2
Constitute an interdivisional committee of high-level stakeholders led by the CMO to develop an integrated strategic marketing communications plan for the university.