Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute seeks a visionary, courageous, innovative, and institutionally ambitious leader with a deep commitment to research excellence and an exceptional student experience to serve as its next president. The 19th president of Rensselaer will join this dynamic community at a pivotal moment as Rensselaer, a top-tier research university with global reach and impact, continues to lead the technological and scientific innovations that are confronting the greatest challenges facing humanity and our planet.
Building upon the highly successful 22-year tenure of President Shirley Ann Jackson, Ph.D., the next Rensselaer president will lead an institution defined by groundbreaking technological advancements, far-reaching intellectual exploration, and a commitment to serving humanity. Founded in 1824 and the oldest private technological research university in the U.S., Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of 7,400 students and over 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer students truly embrace the school’s motto, “why not change the world?” They confront challenges with a collaborative spirit and unabashed enthusiasm. Even before graduation, students have launched companies, earned patents, created breathtaking new art, and impacted lives through their volunteerism. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Rensselaer students volunteered on the front lines in their home communities, made personal protective equipment on their 3D printers, and took part in vital research across campus to battle the unrelenting virus.
Rensselaer faculty and alumni are pioneers in their fields, and 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. Ranked among the top 15% of universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and 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.
A major new research initiative is tackling climate change head-on. The Institute for Energy, the Built Environment, and Smart Systems (EBESS) is reenvisioning and designing integrated building environments for human well-being and sustainability. Other groundbreaking research efforts are advancing the field of personalized medicine, conducting high-impact research into the challenges facing the high-tech financial services industry, and taking a sophisticated technological approach to studying fresh water.
Rensselaer has forged critical partnerships with world-leading corporations, organizations, and government agencies, including IBM, Boeing, Mount Sinai, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, New York State, CDPHP, and myriad others. The incoming president will be expected to foster and grow those partnerships, and to create more partnerships to advance the research enterprise.
The incoming president will be expected to partner with the Rensselaer board of trustees, senior leadership team, academic deans, alumni, and external partners to realize the Institute’s promise and aspirations, envision its future, advance academic and research excellence and growth, and forge new and bold intellectual directions while strengthening existing ones. To support these efforts, the new president will grow resources, foster transformational partnerships, and assure financial strength and resilience. The president will enable the success of Rensselaer academic and administrative leaders — empowering them to think boldly and pursue big ideas — as well as support and advocate for the needs of a diverse body of students. Underpinning all of this will be vigorous leadership in advancing an institutional culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The president of Rensselaer will be a leader of national prominence with the intellectual vision; global worldview; courageous yet humble leadership style; strategic and operational strength; and energy, integrity, and ambition to inspire the Institute to new levels of excellence. The incoming president will have experience as a leader of complex organizations that have advanced a significant research agenda; resonate with the distinctive character and mission of a technological research university; possess a record of establishing productive, collaborative, and generative relationships with both internal and external stakeholder groups; and have a transparent leadership style that is marked by an ability to build consensus as well as make bold and defining decisions. An earned doctorate or equivalent degree and credentials that garner the respect of the Institute’s outstanding faculty are essential.
All applications, nominations, and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the leadership profile, available at www.wittkieffer.com. WittKieffer is assisting Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in this search. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by September 23, 2021. The search will remain open until an appointment is made. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. Nominations and inquiries can be directed to Suzanne Teer, Robin Mamlet, and Jessica Herrington at RensselaerPresident@wittkieffer.com.
Rensselaer has a strong institutional commitment to diversity and is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. As such, the Institute welcomes applicants who will bring diverse intellectual, geographical, gender, and ethnic perspectives to the Rensselaer community