The Rensselaer Forward Plan

Beautiful Spring day on RPI's campus with a view of the Troy Building

The new Rensselaer Forward Plan, which will guide us for 10 years following our bicentennial in 2024, will address foundational issues across all portfolios and will have significant impact on our future as one university.

The ideation and engagement stage of the planning will be an important time to solicit ideas and to engage the entire RPI community to ensure that the plan is truly collaborative. Gathering the community’s input throughout the process is critical and will be important in helping us to realize our vision.

The committees are organized around five themes:


Embrace Rensselaer’s rich history of pedagogical innovation and pursue new ventures in areas such as personalized learning that adapts the delivery of information to the preferred learning style of each individual.

Chair: Mary Simoni, Acting Provost, Office of the Provost 
Vice Chair: Shayla Sawyer, Professor, ECSE

Learn more about the Education Committee


The success of Research at Rensselaer depends critically on the Institute’s commitment to all aspects of the research enterprise.  From the Research Initiatives to the new assistant professor just starting his or her research journey, the research organization must serve both our ongoing research programs and enable an evolving research enterprise.  Continuing to build a modern, functional internal infrastructure is one critical aspect.  Expanding industry engagement modeled after the very fruitful collaborations we already have with IBM, Corning, and Boeing will be a cornerstone of RPI’s regional and global engagement.  Attracting world-class research faculty while also building robust and innovative curricular programs that meet the needs of today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders will lay the foundation for the future of Research at Rensselaer. Research at Rensselaer is not only one of these four but is infused throughout what we do at Rensselaer and positioning the research enterprise will be a force multiplier for the Institute’s future success.

Chair: Robert Hull, Vice President of Research
Vice Chair:  Karyn Rogers, Associate Professor, E&ES

Learn more about the Research Committee


As an institution, we need to do everything possible to help our current students and our faculty carry their ideas into the marketplace. That means using our convening power vigorously, to bring together the financial and intellectual capital to help our entrepreneurs. We need to think creatively and flexibly about partnerships that can launch our innovations into the world. Finally, we need to bring out the natural entrepreneurship that exists among our students, faculty, and staff, including the excitement and reward of taking risks, whether that be in forming a new company or pursuing challenging solutions to complex problems facing society.

By educating so many brilliant young people who start and staff local businesses, RPI already plays an important role in regional economic development. However, we also have the opportunity to do even more.

Chair: Jonathan Dordick, Institute Professor, Office of Research  
Vice Chair: Jason Kuruzovich, Associate Professor and Director of the Severino Center, Lally

Learn more about the Translation Committee


We need to deliberately amplify the strengths of this region in a way that lifts all boats. As turnarounds in cities throughout the country have shown, university leadership in economic development is key—because, by definition, we are focused on the technologies and industries of the future. These public and private partnerships have shown the power of deliberate strategies to grow regional economies. As noted above, the passage of the CHIPS Act and its support for domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research is a tremendous opportunity and one that RPI and the region must leverage. Biomedical manufacturing, gaming, and other examples are areas where Rensselaer will play an important role by linking all of the interested parties to bring more industry to the Hudson Valley. 

We need to work closely with regional partners to realize these opportunities—including our neighboring schools, colleges and universities, medical centers, and government and industry leaders. Together, we can advance the Capital Region as an innovation hub.

Chair: Matthew Ter Molen, Vice President, Institute Advancement
Vice Chair: Dennis Shelden, Associate Professor, Center for Architecture Science and Ecology

Learn more about the Engagement Committee


It is time to consider ways to… 

  • make navigating a hilly campus with limited accessible buildings much easier for our disabled students—
  • lift any sense of isolation felt by our international students—
  • make sure our underrepresented minority students feel fully included in every aspect of life at Rensselaer—
  • support women students and faculty in departments where they are severely out-numbered—and even the playing field for them in their careers—and 
  • instill a sense of safety and belonging in the LGBTQ+ members of our community.

Beyond that, we need to be one Rensselaer in spirit and practice. We may have vastly different backgrounds and experiences, but we cannot allow this to divide us when there is so much potential ahead.

Chair: Peter Konwerski, Vice President, Student Life  
Vice Chair: Nishtha Langer, Associate Professor, Lally

Learn more about the Welcoming and Inclusive Community Committee

Finally, there will be an overall Steering Committee that will provide guidance and track progress to assist in communication and ensure engagement of the five working groups with the community.

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