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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson Outlines Institute Response to the Global Economic Crisis in Meeting with Faculty

January 14, 2009

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson met with the tenured and tenure-track faculty today, to discuss the proactive steps the Institute has taken to successfully navigate through the current historic global economic crisis.

Noting that the Institute was operating from a position of strength due to the extraordinary advancements under The Rensselaer Plan over the last decade, she outlined “the difficult, but essential steps required to ensure Rensselaer remains one of the preeminent universities in the world.”

“The staff reductions and other measures were taken to help in a number of areas: to address the additional financial need of our students who are impacted by the current economic crisis; to minimize tuition increases in the coming year; to enable continued faculty recruitment; and to meet required increases in contributions to the defined benefit pension plan that continues to support a number of our current faculty and staff, as well as those who have retired under this plan.”

“Importantly, we have protected our academic enterprise, the foundation of which is the tenured and tenure-track faculty,” President Jackson said. “The combination of measures we have taken will help enable us to continue to recruit and hire new faculty members — to add to our academic strength.”

Noting the contribution Rensselaer will make in helping to reverse the current economic trends, President Jackson said: “Investment in our faculty is important because, as we all understand, it is scientific discovery and technological innovation that will revive our economy, and preserve our global leadership as a nation. But innovation requires innovators, and that is why the health of institutions such as Rensselaer is crucial. And it is why you, our faculty — both as researchers in your own right and as the educators of the next generation of innovators — are so important.”

“As we navigate our way through the economic storm, we will stay on the path laid out in The Rensselaer Plan. In addition to our commitment to you — the faculty — we will continue to meet our commitment to enhance the student living and learning experience,” President Jackson said, in thanking the faculty for their work and their support.

Read the full text of President Jackson’s remarks — “Responding to the Global Economic Crisis: Challenge and Opportunity.”

Contact: William N. Walker
Phone: (518) 276-6531
E-mail: walkew2@rpi.edu