President Munson calls on the RIT community to reinvigorate the campus this academic year

Rochester Institute of Technology President David Munson greeted the community for the start of a new academic year with a call to reinvigorate the campus atmosphere to its pre-pandemic level. During his annual President’s address at the Ingle Auditorium on Friday, Munson encouraged all RIT faculty, staff and students to make a resolution for the new academic year to spend more face-to-face time with each other. others.

“RIT is a place to experience, in person,” Munson said. “And we want to do everything we can to engage our students so they get a well-rounded education. So, let’s bring back the thrill. Zoom has its place, but you can’t catch the wave online!”

Munson began by thanking the public for their resilience throughout the pandemic and said the RIT had made great strides over the past year in student enrollment and success, research, fundraising funds and construction projects to improve the campus.

Some of the successes he reflected on include:

Looking ahead, Munson said RIT is charting the future of its physical footprint, with a finalized plan expected later this year.

“We are literally designing our future as we plan what this campus will look like in the next 25 to 50 years with a new master plan,” Munson said. “This is a long-range planning document that provides a conceptual layout to guide future growth and development on our 1,300 acres.”

Munson noted many other ongoing strategic developments for the university:

  • RIT now has a performing arts school with the intention of offering the nation’s leading performing arts program for non-majors. Nearly 500 new Performing Arts Fellows joined RIT this fall.
  • RIT extends its Ph.D. portfolio with new programs in business administration, cognitive science and physics.
  • RIT’s global programs in China, Croatia, Dubai and Kosovo continue to thrive. RIT Dubai has a stunning new campus and RIT Croatia is celebrating its 25th anniversary.
  • The university has just launched RIT Certified, a new educational organization committed to promoting career advancement and economic mobility in the Rochester area, across the country, and around the world.
  • Several people have recently taken on new leadership positions: Erica Haskell is the first director of our new School of Performing Arts; Matt Huenerfauth is the new dean of Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences; Diane Slusarski is our new Dean and Vice President of the RIT Graduate School; André Hudson will serve as interim dean of the College of Science; and Chad van Gorder will be the first Director of Veterans Services and Military Affairs.
  • The Student Hall for Exploration and Development will open in fall 2023 as the heart and creative hub of the university.
  • Improvements to the sports facilities continue and a new stadium will be built with changing rooms, concessions and a hospitality suite.
  • Work began on a near doubling of the Saunders College of Business footprint.
  • The renovation of the College of Art and Design has made significant progress over the past year.
  • Brown Hall is undergoing a total makeover to become a research laboratory building.
  • RIT opens the performing arts center‘s first theater, which is expected to be completed in 2024.
  • NTID’s performing arts renovations begin this fall in the spaces surrounding the Panara Theater to create much better dance facilities, enabling collaborations with organizations in the Rochester community.

Additionally, Munson noted that the RIT board approved a $120 million bond issue to fund numerous on-campus projects. Included are the new Tiger Stadium, a new research building with wet and dry labs, and air conditioning where still needed at the College of Art and Design and the College of Science. RIT is also planning major renovations to the halls of residence, adding air conditioning where it is still needed and improving toilets and public areas.

Munson noted that Transforming RIT: The Campaign for Greatness is now in the home stretch. This summer, the campaign crossed the $900 million mark. He said the campaign enables RIT to implement its strategic plan, serve students, grow its status as a leading research university, and build deeper relationships with government and corporate partners.

Remarks were also delivered by RIT Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Granberg, Staff Council President Emily Heyman, Faculty Senate President Atia Newman, Student Government President Aditya Khanna and the vice president and associate vice president for diversity and inclusion Keith Jenkins.

Munson concluded by saying, “RIT embraces and designs for a very bright future. Our incredible community of creators and innovators shape the world with ideas that inspire, inform and improve lives. Once again, I want to thank each and every one of you for doing your part to move this great university forward. I am humbled and honored to work with such a talented and committed group of faculty, staff and students.

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