A responsive university: The context

At a time when the public disenchantment with higher education is growing, and disruptive (often commercial) alternatives are looking more and more appealing to prospective students and their families, the real measure of a university’s success is the degree to which its offerings satisfy the demands of its many stakeholders. The current list of these demands is lengthy and all too familiar—including calls for lower tuition, higher return on investment, and graduates who are competitive in the job market. Not surprisingly, RIT is aggressively addressing these demands. Leveraging its appetite for difference, its talent for adaptation, and its commitment to student success, RIT has listened and acted.

The public is demanding: Career preparation for jobs at graduation (parents and students).
RIT has responded with: A 95 percent employment/graduate school acceptance rate six months after graduation.

The public is demanding: Return on tuition investment (parents and students).
RIT has responded with: A combination of a strong career-oriented mission, curricular currency, and excellent relations with business and industry, yielding one of the best ROIs in the nation.

The public is demanding: Affordability (parents and students).
RIT has responded with: Need-blind admissions; tuition below the national average for private institutions; intervals of paid cooperative employment; historically high percentage of Pell-eligible (low income) students.

The public is demanding: Breadth and depth in content mastery (employers).
RIT has responded with: Education in fields with high employer demand integrated with design, management, critical and innovative thinking, and data management. Broad participation of undergraduates on funded research teams, which sharpens critical and innovative thinking, data analysis, and problem-solving skills.

The public is demanding: More STEM graduates (employers).
RIT has responded with: The second highest number of STEM graduates among U.S. private universities.

The public is demanding: Experiential education and work experience (employers).
RIT has responded with: An educational experience that includes considerable time learning outside of the classroom—either working in a paid cooperative education position, designing new products and businesses in the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship, or participating on interdisciplinary research teams.

The public is demanding: Groundbreaking research in multiple disciplines (business, industry, government, society).
RIT has responded with: Interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs—ranging from imaging science to microsystems to sustainability—dedicated to providing solutions to complex problems that defy a single-discipline approach.

The public is demanding: Anytime, anywhere learning (students, alumni, community members).
RIT has responded with: A program (the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies) that gives credit for prior learning; an Innovative Learning Institute providing credit and non-credit experiences to traditional and non-traditional students in multiple electronic formats.

The public is demanding: Diverse population.
RIT has responded with: Over 50 percent international students at the graduate level; 1,200 deaf and hard-of-hearing students on the Rochester campus; and a history of serving low-income students.

The public is demanding: Global reach.
RIT has responded with: Unusually high number of international students; four international campuses with multiple opportunities for student exchange; courses in 10 languages.

More on the Strategic Plan:

Greatness Through Difference: Preface
A University of Firsts: The Past
A University of Innovation: The Present
A Responsive University: The Context
The Power of Diversity: The future
Dimension I: Career Education and Student Success
Dimension II: The Student-Centered Research University
Dimension II: Leveraging Difference
Dimension IV: Affordability, Value, And Return on Investment
Dimension V: Organizational Agility
Already Great and Making a Difference