Rensselaer Board of Trustees Enthusiastically Endorses Leadership and Presidency of Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson

May 3, 2006

Rensselaer Board of Trustees Enthusiastically Endorses Leadership and Presidency of Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson

Trustees Cite Transformational Progress Made Under The Rensselaer Plan

TROY, N.Y. — After a review of accomplishments achieved under Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson’s leadership, and in response to a failed “no confidence” vote recently taken by the faculty, the Institute’s Board of Trustees unanimously adopted a resolution strongly endorsing the leadership and presidency of Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson and the transformational progress made under The Rensselaer Plan .

The Board of Trustees has reaffirmed its faith in Dr. Jackson’s leadership by signing her to a new five-year contract.

Board members unanimously adopted a resolution to “recognize and enthusiastically affirm that the transformational progress achieved in support of the bold vision of The Rensselaer Plan is without precedent in higher education, and the results being achieved are in accord with the Board’s stated goal of moving Rensselaer into the ranks of top-tier, world-class universities as we enter into the 21st century.” 

“We believe that the exemplary leadership of President Shirley Ann Jackson has resulted in a transformation at Rensselaer that is perhaps without precedent in higher education, and this achievement deserves to be applauded,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Samuel F. Heffner Jr. ‘56.  “The change under way at Rensselaer under Dr. Jackson’s leadership is not only bold and visionary, but it is also reaping clear and visible results. She and her team have attracted scores of talented new faculty; they have worked to achieve a dramatic rise in research funding and initiatives; they have built new, and refurbished older facilities campuswide; they have recruited and enrolled stellar students; they also have been careful fiduciaries of the Institute’s finances. To “Change the World” as our tagline asks, we recognize that we must first change Rensselaer through bold and innovative means — and we are well on our way to accomplishing that. Dr. Jackson is doing exactly what the Trustees expect her to do in order for the Institute to continue to grow as a world-class institution. We are on the right track and are moving full-speed ahead.”

“The Institute is undergoing fast-paced and extraordinary change, and change can be challenging,” Heffner continued.  “We will continue to engage in positive, constructive dialogue with the Rensselaer community, but we will not reverse course on a Plan that has, under the leadership of President Jackson, been able to accomplish so much in just a few short years, nor will we slow down on the work that is yet to be done.”

The Rensselaer Plan, initiated in 1999, and unanimously adopted by the Board of Trustees on May 13, 2000, is a comprehensive strategic plan for the Institute, and serves as the catalyst for change. The Plan serves as the Institute’s roadmap for improvement and transformational change.  Since its adoption six years ago, Rensselaer has experienced unprecedented growth and renewal.  Progress has been rapid and significant.  Dr. Jared Cohon, chairman of the Rensselaer Middle States accreditation team, and President of Carnegie Mellon University, recently stated that “Change at Rensselaer in the last five years has occurred with a scope and swiftness that may be without precedent in the recent history of American higher education.”

Contact: Theresa Bourgeois
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