The Power of Diversity

The Future

The university that was born of an unlikely institutional marriage; that welcomed women into its 19th-century technical classes; and that combined curricula in technical skills, the arts, and the humanities was a university destined to understand the creative power of diversity. The RIT of the future will be powered by an intellectual and social diversity unmatched within higher education—a diversity that distinguishes its academic and research portfolios, its population, and the multiple modes of learning, thinking, and knowing practiced daily. In the coming decade, RIT will intentionally assemble and leverage its many forms of diversity in order to invent and discover new solutions, new programs, new kinds of graduates, and the highest levels of stakeholder satisfaction.

  • Imagine the new questions that might be asked, the new solutions posed, and the innovations achieved by a team of glass artists, imaging scientists, and physicists.
  • Imagine the new courses and research projects emerging from the collaboration of a biomedical engineer, a materials scientist, a three-dimensional designer, and a physician assistant student.
  • Imagine a team of architecture students, history professors, and photographers collaborating with our Kosovo students and faculty in the repair of ancient war-damaged monuments in Pristina, Kosovo.
  • Imagine the job offers received by an RIT student graduating with a double major in biotechnology and philosophy, extended membership on a funded research team, demonstrated competencies in innovative thinking and intercultural relations, and a one-year co-op with Amgen.
  • Imagine RIT as a model civil community in which all difference—from ethnicity to nationality to sexual orientation to political persuasion to socio-economic level—is leveraged
    as an engine to solve seemingly unsolvable world problems.

RIT has all the ingredients to realize these and countless other scenarios. Through the new Strategic Plan before you—Greatness Through Difference—we will develop the necessary mechanisms to make them a reality while simultaneously enriching our highly student-centric environment, demonstrating a high return on tuition investment, and meeting the ever-shifting needs of the world.

The making of the strategic plan

During the 15 months in which all constituencies of the university were deeply engaged in strategic conversations, the following five intersecting spheres of effort surfaced repeatedly and ultimately became the framework of the plan.

  • Career Education and Student Success
  • The Student-Centered Research University
  • Leveraging Difference
  • Affordability, Value, and Return on Investment
  • Organizational Agility

Within each of these five Dimensions is a set of “Difference Makers”—strategic goals that are in turn supported by concrete objectives mapping the route toward full achievement of the RIT vision.