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Provost's Remarks: President's Address to the Community

September 8, 2017

The following is a transcript of the remarks given by the Provost at the President's Address to the Community on August 25, 2017. The full video of this event can be found here.


Good morning and welcome to the President’s Address to the Community – a special address as this marks President Munson’s first such address. There is always a mixture of joy and anxiety with the start of the new year.  Joy in seeing old friends and of course the excitement of the students and parents. Anxiety about the work ahead and whether we are prepared adequately.

That is why it is healthy to take a step back and reflect on the summer. The longer days, warmer weather, opportunities to explore … new ideas, podcasts, technologies, places, races, books … And while I’d love to share with you all what I explored, let me just focus on one.
A very cool app. The app is called “One Second Everyday” and it is written by Cesar Kuriyama and he has given a wonderful TED talk describing the origins of the app and why he developed it.  The idea is very simple. The app lets you record a video or a photo every day. Then it automatically extracts 1 second per day and stitches all the 1-second images together for a montage of your life. 

You might wonder how 1 second could capture an entire day but you’d be surprised how that one second jolts your memory for the rest of the day. And think what an amazing digital journal of your life you’d have if you were persistent in using it. So RIT community: I invite you to become part of my 1 second today as I record this video that will be added to my journal! This is so cool!

And you know what else is amazing? The RIT partnership with edX. edX, you’ll recall, is a MOOC consortium of leading universities across the world and was founded by MIT and Harvard. RIT joined the consortium in 2015 and we currently have a XSeries on video game design, MicroMasters programs in project management and in cybersecurity and soon, one in communication skills. The amazing part is that last week we enrolled our 300,000th learner, making RIT a top-4 consortium partner with edX. But there’s more. On Friday, we enrolled our first student who completed a MicroMaster certificate into our regular MS in professional studies, validating the hypothesis that this new model of education could be a fruitful one for RIT. Hats off to the terrific faculty teaching these courses and to the RIT staff who assembled the content into an engaging format. 

One last thing. My wife Maurin and I moved our last one into the residence halls on Saturday. The move went smoothly or at least as smoothly as possible for a 17-year old. The move prompted me to reflect on the amazing fact that all three of our boys have now attended RIT. Now underlying all this, I think, is our deep belief and confidence in the RIT faculty and staff to deliver an exceptional educational experience for our sons. Would we send them here if we didn’t have this confidence? Of course not. 

And let me say that this is powerful for me as your provost.  I often have an opportunity to talk with future students and their parents. And it gives ME great perspective to tell them that I have so much confidence in this institution that we have chosen to send our children to RIT. 

So to all of you – the faculty and staff at RIT: Thank you for the tremendous work you do.