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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

The Faculty 500

From the President's Desk

October 2, 2017

To: The Rensselaer Community
Re: The Faculty 500

To the wonderful Rensselaer community:

The most significant transformation at Rensselaer since 1999 has been the creation of a research portfolio of greater size, significance, quality, and prominence, allowing Rensselaer both to address pressing global challenges—and to offer a world-class education to our students at all levels, because research and education potentiate each other.

This transformation has been led by our remarkable faculty—and we continue to hire more, among whom are four members of the National Academy of Engineering, three members of the National Academy of Inventors, one member of the National Academy of Sciences, 176 fellows of technical and professional societies, 63 CAREER award recipients, several who serve on key national panels and committees, and numerous recipients of national and international awards.

Since 1999, we have hired over 360 tenure and tenure-track faculty, across all five schools, focusing on our signature research thrusts in

  • Biotechnology and the Life Sciences;
  • Computational Science and Engineering;
  • Media, the Arts, Science, and Technology;
  • Energy, Environment, and Smart Systems; and
  • Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials.

Among these hires have been individual “star” faculty who anchor research “constellations”—multidisciplinary teams of senior and junior faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates. By adding this focus and firepower to our research enterprise, we have tripled our sponsored research expenditures to approximately $100 million annually.  

Yet, we need to continue to grow, to make the most of our scientific and intellectual capacity, to lead in emerging disciplines of great global import, and to offer a superb education in these emerging disciplines to both undergraduate and graduate students. So the second pillar of our coming campaign is attracting top faculty talent and empowering world-changing research.

That means building our tenured and tenure-track faculty size to 500, expanding the associated graduate education, and growing our sponsored research expenditures to $250 million annually. We also need to use the resources we raise to create more endowed professorships, allowing us to recognize the most talented teachers and researchers among us, and to attract leading scientists, engineers, artists, scholars, and architects from across the nation and from around the world.  

By expanding and empowering our faculty, we truly will ready Rensselaer to change the world.