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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Statement of Samuel F. Heffner, '56, Chairman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Board of Trustees Regarding President Shirley Ann Jackson's Compensation

November 2, 2009

Statement of Samuel F. Heffner, '56, Chairman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Board of Trustees Regarding President Shirley Ann Jackson's Compensation

Troy, NY – Following is the statement of Samuel F. Heffner, '56, Chairman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Board of Trustees, regarding President Shirley Ann Jackson’s Compensation:

When the Board of Trustees began a search for a new President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute over ten years ago, it was with the specific goal of finding a leader who would stabilize and revitalize this, the oldest technological research university in the country.

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer graduates have been involved in complex and pioneering projects in the 19th, 20th, and now 21st century across the U.S. as well as in every corner of the world. With the approach of the 21st century the board recognized the necessity of finding strong leadership to continue this outstanding tradition.

In Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson we found a visionary whose leadership as well as organizational and managerial abilities, has transformed the institute well beyond the expectations of the board and also in ways that we could not have imagined. Rarely, are these qualities found in a single individual. By developing, then implementing, a formal plan for the future, Dr. Jackson’s decade as president has overseen an extraordinary renaissance at Rensselaer, continuing its position as a top tier, world class teaching and research institution with global reach and global impact.

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson’s leadership embodies prescient vision, meticulous strategic planning, and persistent implementation. The magnitude and complexity of the changes that Dr. Jackson has wrought at Rensselaer could not have been accomplished in a short term presidency so prevalent today in many of the nation’s colleges and universities. The length of her tenure has been a key factor in the success of the implementation of the Rensselaer Plan. As Dr. Jackson begins her second decade of the transformation of Rensselaer, we the Board of Trustees unanimously affirm our support for what she has accomplished, and look forward to the years ahead with the expectation that the best is yet to come. 

The Board of Trustees of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is extremely pleased with our president, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson. 

Samuel F. Heffner, ‘56, Chair, Rensselaer Board of Trustees


The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D.
The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., is President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York. She has held senior leadership positions in government, industry, research, and academe. A theoretical physicist, she was chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (1995-1999). President Obama has appointed her to serve on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Her research and policy focus includes energy security and the national capacity for innovation, including addressing the “Quiet Crisis” of looming gaps in the science, technology, and engineering workforce and reduced support for basic research. She is a Vice Chairman of the Council on Competitiveness and co-chairs its Energy Security, Innovation and Sustainability initiative. She is past President (2004) and Chairman of the Board (2005) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American Philosophical Society, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society, and AAAS. She serves on the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution, and on the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a member of the Board of Directors of global companies including IBM and FedEx. Calling her a “national treasure,” the National Science Board selected her as its 2007 Vannevar Bush Award recipient for “a lifetime of achievements in scientific research, education, and senior statesman-like contributions to public policy.” Dr. Jackson holds a S.B. in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical elementary particle physics, both from M.I.T.. (as of October 30, 2009 )

About Rensselaer
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer is the nation’s oldest technological research university. The university, which has undergone an extraordinary transformation during the last decade, offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the humanities and social sciences. Institute programs serve undergraduates, graduate students, and working professionals around the world. Rensselaer faculty are known for pre-eminence in research conducted in a wide range of fields, with particular emphasis in interdisciplinary research in the areas of biotechnology, energy and the environment, nanotechnology, computation and information technology, and media and the arts. The Institute is noted for its success transferring technology from the laboratory to the marketplace so that new discoveries and inventions benefit human life, protect the environment, and strengthen economic development.

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.