RPI, from its inception, has been a school focused on “furthering the boundaries of human knowledge.” While that phrase has turned into somewhat of a sound-byte, I urge anyone reading this to take a minute, and let it sink in. Nearly 200 years ago, a group of individuals came together with the focus and drive to assemble a place where individuals could learn, and apply, things that were entirely new to the human race. That’s an amazing concept.
This led to generation after generation carrying out that goal. We produced thought leaders, change makers, and world shapers, time and time again. That is the legacy, and the vision, that every member of the community has become a part of, and it’s a truly inspiring thing.
The fact is, however, that making that kind of an impact requires enormous dedication. It requires one’s focus on a given passion, devoting time and energy to a specific goal, inherently at the cost of others. For this reason, responsible governance, the maintenance of a productive environment, is of paramount importance. This need is further exacerbated here by the fact that RPI’s disciplines of excellence generally don’t include studies which create skill sets allowing one to examine the efficacy of practices in place. We produce far more rockets and rocket fuels than we do administrators.
Nonetheless, it would seem that the time has come to take a thorough look at what the effect of the policies in place is. For quite some time now, numerous policies have been enacted that raise the concern, and indeed sometimes protest, of the faculty and student body. It is an important mark of a leader to be able to act in such situations. An effective leader must be able to continue moving their constituency forward even amongst turmoil. It’s a difficult task, which is why roles of leadership are held in high regard.
Despite the difficulty, and the inherit charge of continuing in the absence of consensus, no leader is beyond reproach, and certainly not beyond examination. Thus, many of us feel the time has come to distract ourselves from our real passion, the focus of our studies, to ensure a suitable environment for ourselves and for posterity.
Fundamentally, we reject the information that has been provided to us on the state of affairs as unbiased, and are therefore moving to gather this information for ourselves. This will take time, and it will take much effort, but it is absolutely critical. We seek to form a comprehensive wealth of knowledge on the status of the institute, including with equal weight what seems to be working, what isn’t working, and what is inconclusive at this time.
From this, we can draw conclusions about where we need to go, and what needs to be done. It is only by establishing our current position, clearly and concisely, that we can decide the best course to take towards our end goal.
We are ARG. We welcome all those who share these concerns and this vision to join us.