Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

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Enabling Activities

Enabling Activities


The Rensselaer Plan Aim: Expand the resource base and redesign enabling activities to assure that we accomplish the Plan aims.



Created new senior leadership team for the university (* = new position):

  • Provost
  • Chief of Staff/Associate Vice President, Policy and Planning*
  • Vice President for Research*
  • Vice President for Student Life
  • Vice President for Institute Advancement
  • Vice President for Strategic Communications and External Relations*
  • Chief Information Officer*
  • Vice President for Administration
  • Vice President for Human Resources*
  • Secretary of the Institute and General Counsel*
  • Dean of Engineering
  • Dean of Science
  • Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Dean of Lally School of Management & Technology
  • Vice President and Dean, Rensselaer at Hartford
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education*
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship*
  • Vice President for Enrollment*
  • Treasurer and Chief Investment Officer
  • Dean of the First Year Experience*
  • Assistant Vice President for the Student Experience*
  • Athletic Director
  • Executive Director, Office of Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and New Ventures*
  • Director, Public Safety and Emergency Management*
  • Director, Emergency Management*

Enrollment Management

  • Elevated Enrollment Management to vice presidential level division.
  • Elevated undergraduate admission standards.
  • Substantially increased number and quality of applications for undergraduate admissions.
  • Improved selectivity.
  • Increased geographic, intellectual, gender and ethnic/cultural diversity of incoming classes.
  • Increased number and quality of applications for graduate admission (especially Ph.D. students).
  • Increased national pipeline connections and recruitment of underrepresented students (ACE, Project Lead the Way, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, College Bound, ABC, New Jersey Seeds).

Human Resources

  • Elevated Human Resources to vice presidential level division.
  • Hired vice president for human resources, as university officer.
  • Developed Total Compensation System based on:
    • Development of Performance Management Tools.
    • Redefinition of positions and rebaselining of salaries.
    • Development of career ladders for staff.
    • Comprehensive performance appraisal system.
  • Implemented new hiring protocol for faculty and staff.
  • Elevated standards for faculty promotion and tenure.
  • Created staff education and development program.
  • Increased employee and retirement benefits while decreasing or moderating costs to employee and to Rensselaer.

Administrative Processes

  • Re-engineered Institute procurement process.
  • Implemented on-line e-Procurement system.
  • Implemented new Travel Management system (Spring, 2012).

Major Deferred Maintenance Projects

  • Extension of campus gigabit backbone.
  • Renovation of West Hall auditorium.
  • Complete historical restoration of West Hall exterior.
  • Rolling upgrades of all undergraduate laboratories.
  • Replaced roofs on twelve (12) buildings.
  • Developed ROI based model to update priorities and needs for deferred maintenance and the upgrade of campus buildings.
  • Restored Greene building façade to historical status.
  • Installed new UPS and emergency generators throughout Troy campus.

Campus Safety

  • Installed sprinkler systems in all residence halls.
  • Developed new Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (implementation underway).
  • Established RPIAlert emergency mass notification system.
  • Developed long range Master Plan for installation of a comprehensive security management system.
  • Installed access control and cameras at various locations, improved campus exterior lighting, installed new emergency call boxes.

Research Facilities

  • Renovated Materials Research Center (MRC) to provide new facilities for NSF funded Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center.
  • Established Watervliet as an Institute research facility to facilitate future growth in research.
  • Renovated Low Center to provide research facilities for Future Chips constellation, expansion of Terahertz research program, and to provide server capacity to support research computing.
  • Further renovated Low Center for NSF-sponsored Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center (ERC).
  • Fabricated and installed new Earthquake Simulator.
  • Constructed experimental virtual classroom for the School of Architecture.
  • Completed renovation of the Science building to provide new Microbiology lab.
  • Acquired and installed new Subsonic Large Scale Wind Tunnel.

Scientific and Technological Entrepreneurship

  • Defined as a university core enterprise.
  • Created new Office of Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, and New Ventures.
  • Developed new Intellectual Property policy.
  • Appointed a Vice Provost charged with infusing entrepreneurship across the curriculum with an emphasis on educational programs.
  • Initiated the “Change the World Challenge” Student Competition, with support from Sean O’Sullivan ‘85.
  • Selected to award the Lemelson Student Prize.
  • Established “Emerging Ventures Ecosystem” (EVE) in 2011 as a distributed incubation program to help young student businesses grow and succeed.

Troy Revitalization Initiatives

  • Established Communiversity programming.
  • Extended fiber optic backbone to downtown Troy.
  • Initiated $10 million in home ownership initiatives, neighborhood revitalization and rehab initiatives, streetscape and infrastructure improvements.
  • Relocated certain academic and administrative activities to downtown Troy.
  • Secured agreement with Columbia Development Companies to assume ownership and development of Proctor’s Theater and Chasan office building in Troy.

Fund Raising and Financial Resources

  • Secured $360 million unrestricted gift to university (2001).
  • Announced a $1 billion campaign, the boldest campaign in Rensselaer’s history.
  • With the announcement of an in-kind contribution commercially valued at approximately $514 million from the Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE), exceeded the Campaign goal earlier than expected (September 2006).
  • Increased campaign goal to $1.4 billion and extended time frame to June 30, 2009 (in September 2006).
  • Met $1.4 billion campaign goal on October 1, 2008 (nine months early).
  • Initiated new graduate tuition and student support policy.
  • Developed and implemented new performance/activity-based budget process.
  • Financed The Rensselaer Plan and other initiatives through series of $500+ million actual and planned new borrowings.
  • Implemented more diversified endowment strategy, resulting in top quartile return for FY2007 (22%) and three-year return of 17%.
  • Outsourced internal audit function.
  • Centralized financial management structure.
  • Restructured research administration.
  • Increased research overhead recovery rate by 10%.


Students represent 50 states and 69 countries around the globe.



Rensselaer proudly prepares students to make a difference in the world and to make a good living while doing so, and financial support for all students is critical. Financial support allows us to attract the most talented students to Rensselaer, regardless of socioeconomic background.

At Rensselaer, more than 90% of our students receive some kind of financial aid.



Rensselaer’s Red Hawk Shuttle service consists of a fleet of buses, operated under the supervision of Parking and Transportation and the Department of Public Safety offering students safe transportation around campus and downtown Troy.



Since 1999 research expenditures has grown by 176%.