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April 25, 2007

RCNJ Wins Chapter of the Year for Second Consecutive Time

The Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) announced that the Rensselaer Alumni Club of New Jersey (RCNJ) will be awarded the Craig W. Angell '35 Chapter of the Year Award for 2006-2007. The chapter will be recognized at the Annual RAA Awards dinner during Reunion Weekend June 8 in Troy with a formal presentation taking place in New Jersey sometime in the fall.

This is the second consecutive year that the RCNJ has won Chapter of the Year from the RAA. This is the third overall award for the RCNJ, with the first time in 2000-2001. The RCNJ now stands in second place behind the Boston Chapter (five-time winner) for overall Chapter of the Year awards. (See the list of previous Chapter of the Year winners for more information.)

RCNJ Chapter President Sandeep Nandy '94 said, "This is truly an honor to be recognized for the second consecutive year with this award. This recognition is symbolic of the efforts of our officers and each member of the Rensselaer Club of New Jersey Leadership Committee. A special round of thanks to Vice President John Cloninger '96, Vice President Steve Nudelman '90, Treasurer Phil Lurie '74, Chairman Ken DeGhetto '50, and Leadership Committee Members Dave Aiello '89, Dave Bressen '56, Jason Consoli '01, Betty Lurie '75, Yasmine McNellis '82, Joe Pilaro '55, Henry Rosenblatt '54, Harry Rosenthal '60, Dick Shive '54, and Gordon Snyder '66 for all their hard work and efforts on behalf of the RCNJ."

"I would also like to express my appreciation to all RCNJ event attendees throughout the year, as well as those who attend our monthly Leadership Committee meetings. The RCNJ looks forward to seeing everyone at all future events."

April 2, 2007

Rensselaer Men's Hockey Puts 22 Members on ECACHL All-Academic Team

The Times Union reported on Saturday that the RPI men's hockey team lead the ECAC Hockey League in number of members to make the All-Academic Team. According to the article:

RPI had 22 members of its roster named to the ECAC Hockey League All-Academic team, easily best of the 12 teams in the conference.... Brown was second with 20 members; Union had 12.

Seniors Kevin Broad and Oren Eizenman both made the team for the third consecutive season.

A player is eligible for the All-Academic Team if he has a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.0 or higher, or has achieved a 3.0 or higher grade-point-average for the past three semesters.

February 20, 2007

Rensselaer Receives Over 10,000 Applications for Class of 2011

Good news on the Freshman admissions front.

Campus.News reports that RPI received a record number of applications for the Class of 2011. According to the article:

As of Feb. 19, Rensselaer’s Office of Enrollment Management had received 10,100 total applications. This record number is a more than 46 percent increase over the previous year and represents a record growth of 81 percent in just two years.

Huge increases in applications from women, minorities, international students, and students interested in the arts, humanities, and social sciences took place.

February 18, 2007

RPI's Operations and Investment Policies Scrutinized by Endowment Research Group

A couple of weeks ago Joe Pilaro pointed out an article in The Times Union that we should have brought to your attention earlier. The article has the attention-grabbing headline RPI policies earn C- on green report card and goes on to point out that the school earned "mediocre marks for its environmental and investment policies...." The article doesn't really discuss what the study, called the College Sustainability Report Card published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, was or what the Rensselaer would have to do in order to achieve higher scores.

The Sustainable Endowment Institute focuses on encouraging policies that promote the notion of sustainability as defined by the United Nations World Commission on the Environment and Development. In other words, this is a report card that narrowly focuses on the following issues: "energy efficiency, renewable energy, species extinction, food security, international trade, managing the commons, {and} global poverty".

According to the portion of the report devoted to Rensselaer [ Adobe Acrobat / PDF document ], our worst performance is in "Endowment Transparency" and "Shareholder Engagement", where we received "F" grades. RPI received a "C" in "Investment Priorities" because "The Institute prioritizes investing to maximize profit and has not made any public statements about investigating or investing in renewable energy funds or community development loan funds."

President Jackson and other campus leaders have emphasized that Rensselaer needs to raise additional funds and seek high returns on its investments so that its endowment grows to a comparable level with its peer schools. Profit maximization is a logical investment strategy for situations like this. As for community development loan funds, isn't a commitment to this sort of thing self-evident in RPI's commitment to the redevelopment of Troy?

Rensselaer gets better grades on "Climate Change and Energy", but it deserves more credit for housing the Lighting Research Center than it received in this report. It should also receive more credit in the "Administration" section for recycling 25 tons of surplus electronics per year. Think of how many laptop and desktop computers that represents.

The schools that got the best grades in this report tended to be those with endowments that dwarf RPI's, or liberal arts schools that don't have to deal with the kind of complex environmental issues that come up every day at a technological university. Rensselaer seems to be focusing on cost-effective operational improvements that also help the environment while growing its endowment as fast as it can. In my opinion, it's doing pretty well when you consider the challenges it faces.

April 19, 2006

Rensselaer Announces Seth Appert as Men's Hockey Coach

John Cloninger pointed out that RPIathletics.com now carries an announcement that Seth Appert has been chosen as the next men's hockey coach. According to the article "Appert is slated to become the 12th head men's hockey coach in RPI's storied hockey history."

Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson said, "Rensselaer attracts the best of the best and once again we have done so with the hiring of Seth Appert. He is a proven teacher and a leader. His passion for the sport and commitment to education make him a perfect fit for the Institute and we enthusiastically welcome him into the Rensselaer family."

The article concludes by saying, "Appert has verbally agreed to, and is in the process of finalizing, a four-year contract with Rensselaer."

Update: RPI held a press conference at The Mueller Center on Friday, April 21, 2006 to introduce Seth Appert as the men's hockey head coach. The Times Union article about the press conference include quotes from Appert, his wife Jill, and RPI goaltender Mathias Lange.

RPI Expected to Name Seth Appert Next Men's Hockey Coach

A number of reports suggest that Seth Appert will be named the next head coach of the Rensselaer Men's Hockey Team at a press conference on Friday in Troy. Appert is an assistant coach for the University of Denver, a Division I hockey program in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Denver won the NCAA Division I Championship in 2004 and 2005.

Appert has also worked as an assistant coach at Mercyhurst College. He was a goaltender at Ferris State who graduated from that school in 1997. He also has a master's degree in Sports Management from the University of Denver that he was granted in 1999.

Media reports indicate that former Los Angeles Kings coach Andy Murray was offered the job and turned it down before it was offered to Appert. This is an unfortunate disclosure because no one deserves to enter a high-pressure job like this with the public knowing that he was the second choice.

April 18, 2006

RPI Pushes for Significant Changes in Fraternity and Sorority House Operations

My friends in the RPI Greek alumni community pointed me to an article in the Albany Times Union which discusses Rensselaer's plans to overhaul aspects of fraternity and sorority house operations including things like:

  • "Starting July 1, drinking will be allowed only in the rooms of students who are at least 21 years old, and forbidden in common areas."
  • "In ... July 2007, RPI plans to require every fraternity and sorority to hire a house director, and impose changes in the groups' recruiting drives."

The article goes on to say that RPI says it wants "to strengthen fraternities and sororities, not wreck them, and hope de-emphasizing alcohol will help the groups focus on other principles of Greek life, such as academics and public service."

Some members of fraternities and sororities and their alumni brothers and sisters feel that this program was presented to them as a fait accompli which calls into question the terms of a previously-negotiated Relationship Statement between the Rensselaer administration, the Alumni Inter-Greek Council, the Inter-Fraternity Council, and the Panhellenic Council.

There's a lot more information about this meeting and the administration's push for changes being passed back and forth among alumni of the fraternities and sororities. If you are an alumnus of the Greek system, you may want to get back in touch with your alumni leaders for more information.

Update: Rensselaer Vice President of Student Life Eddie Ade Knowles and Acting Vice President of Institute Advancement Terry A. Cerveny wrote an open letter to Rensselaer Greek Alumni that discusses the administration's initiatives and the disciplinary actions that precipitated them.

At the time that this article was initially published, we weren't aware of the existence of the letter, otherwise we would have included it.

March 8, 2006

Wesley Clark to Speak at 200th Rensselaer Commencement

Campus.News reports that General Wesley K. Clark, former candidate for the U.S. presidency and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, will deliver the keynote address at Rensselaer's 200th Commencement. The ceremonies will begin on Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 9:30am, and will take place at Harkness Field in Troy.

General Clark will receive an honorary doctorate. Others to be granted honorary degrees at the 2006 Commencement include architect Peter Bohlin ’58, architect, artist, and engineer Santiago Calatrava, and FedEx Corporation chairman, president, and CEO Frederick W. Smith.

February 7, 2006

Men's Hockey Team to Raise Money for Cancer Research at 29th Big Red Freakout

RPIAthletics.com reports that the Rensselaer Men's Hockey Team will raise money for cancer research in honor of Kirk MacDonald at Saturday's 29th Annual Big Red Freakout. This gives the hundreds of alumni and thousands of students who will attend the game another opportunity to make a donation to the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Kirk's honor.

Why are members of the team shaving their heads and asking for donations to benefit testicular cancer awareness and cancer research? Kirk was diagnosed with metastatic testicular cancer right after the end of the 2004-05 hockey season. He endured four rounds of chemo therapy, an extended hospital stay, and several operations in order to rid himself of the disease. For more information, check out Background on Kirk MacDonald's Testicular Cancer Ordeal elsewhere on RCNJ.org.

The team has raised over $6,000 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation so far this season and hopes to double that amount this weekend.

Background on Kirk MacDonald's Testicular Cancer Ordeal

Kirk MacDonald
Kirk MacDonald: Senior forward
for the RPI Men's Hockey Team.
[ Photo: Rensselaer Athletics ]

Some Rensselaer alumni are only now hearing the story of Kirk MacDonald, the Rensselaer senior who lead the RPI Hockey team in scoring in 2004-05. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer just after the season ended last spring and had extensive medical treatement to fight the metatisizing cancer.

I wrote this email to members of the Rensselaer Club of New Jersey leadership committee on October 21:

Guys:

An article appeared in yesterday's Albany Times-Union headlined Cancer orderal sidelines RPI star that caught my attention. Kirk MacDonald, a senior who lead the men's hockey team in scoring in 2004-05, had a press conference on Wednesday to announce that he would not play this season because he is recovering from a serious case of metastatic testicular cancer.

According to the article, he had an orchiectomy at Albany Med in April, had four chemo cycles, and ended up in the hospital for 65 days in Vancouver BC for procedures to remove metastisies and deal with complications. He got out of the hospital two weeks ago, but was down to 160 pounds when he left:

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=410767&category=SPORTS&newsdate=10/20/2005

A member of my family had testicular cancer three or four years ago, so this is a personal thing for me. Testicular cancer is a terrible shock to a man in his 20s or 30s. Most men who get it have never seriously contemplated their own mortality.

I will make contact with the Hockey Office at RPI and try to get more details. Please respond if you want me to provide you with more information. I'm at least going to send Kirk a note telling him I'm raising money for cancer research and offering any help I can provide.

-- Dave Aiello '89

[ Note: I would have published this note on RCNJ.org, but our publishing system wasn't working at that time and didn't come back on-line until December 13. ]

Other articles that appeared on Internet about Kirk's cancer treatment:

January 30, 2006

Rensselaer Doing Better Than Many Area Schools in Student Retention

One of the big concerns of Rensselaer alumni, current and prospective students, and parents is student retention: how many students who complete their freshman year return for their sophomore year. Student retention is discussed in an article in today's Philadelphia Inquirer called Many freshmen rethink their college choices. The article says:

... It's usually not until this time of year, long after tuition checks have been cashed and teary farewells have been exchanged, that freshmen break the news to their stunned parents:

You know that school I worked so hard to get into? I hate it. I want out.

Call it the freshman churn, the students who bail before sophomore year. Most first-year students stay put, but in every class an antsy minority switches schools, spurred by homesickness, a creepy roommate, social anxiety, geographic shock, or financial or academic concerns. The place is too small, too big, too cold, too remote.

The story is about students from the Philadelphia area and students who've been attending Philadelphia-area schools, but it's quite interesting. It includes the student attrition rates (the percentage of students who leave) of many area schools.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the attrition rates of the schools mentioned in the Inquirer article with that of Rensselaer. Sorted from lowest to highest with lowest being best:

  • Haverford College 1.2%
  • U. of Pennsylvania 2%
  • Swarthmore College 3.6%
  • Villanova U. 6 %
  • Rensselaer 7.6%
  • Bryn Mawr College 8%
  • St. Joseph's U. 10.8%
  • Rutgers U. 11.5%
  • Penn State U. 14.8%
  • LaSalle U. 16%
  • Temple U. 16%
  • Drexel U. 20%
  • Philadelphia U. 26%
  • Lincoln U. 31.7%

(Sources: Student attrition figures from college admission offices, reported in Philadelphia Inquirer article. Rutgers and Penn State figures for all campuses combined. Penn State figures for 2003-04 freshman class. Rensselaer retention published in Institute plans new initiatives for undergraduate programs, Rensselaer Polytechnic, September 28, 2005. I subtracted the published retention rate from 100 to get the attrition rate.)

If you want to help us put together a picture of how RPI is doing compared to the schools that we compete directly against, feel free to do some research, and post any statistics you find as comments to this story. Please include the URLs for any web pages that illustrate the numbers that you cite.

September 9, 2005

Rensselaer Hosting Students from Schools Affected by Hurricane Katrina

Earlier this week Rensselaer News and Communications announced that RPI will open its doors to students affected by Hurricane Katrina. According to the article, two groups will be specifically supported:

  • "up to 100 students who had enrolled at Tulane Univerity or Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans and aren't able, at this juncture to be accomodated by those institutions."
  • "students who are from the New York state Capital Region, who were enrolled at another affected college or university, and who have been temporarily displaced from their studies."

These students will be able to take part in the Gulf Coast Visiting Scholars Program and they will not have to pay tuition or fees for the Fall 2005 semester. The 100 students from out of the area will also not have to pay for room and board. The offer to host students from Tulane and Xavier from out of the area is presumably limited to 100 students because of dormitory space constraints.

Rensselaer has established a toll-free number, +1-866-436-6210 and a website http://www.rpi.edu/katrina for information about the Gulf Coast Visiting Scholars Program. According to this website, 62 students have already enrolled under this program and more are somewhere in the process of applying.

In addition, RPI is donating $25,000 to the American Red Cross and $5,000 each to the Salvation Army and America's Second Harvest to benefit hurricane victims. Members of the Rensselaer coummunity are invited to consider donating to these organizations or to the charities of their choice.

April 21, 2004

RPI Buys Proctor's Theatre Building in Downtown Troy

Earlier this month, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute purchased the Proctor's Theatre building at 82 Fourth Street in Downtown Troy. Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer, said that the "goal is to develop a high-end hotel that will provide economic and community benefits to the city of Troy and to the surrounding area."

An organization called Friends of Proctor's Theatre has published a brief history of the theater, which includes:

Proctor's Theater, Troy, New York, was built in 1914 as the newest link in the chain of theaters owned by F. F. Proctor. Although a separate building, the theater is linked to the adjacent office building constructed at the same time. Proctor's began as a "high class vaudeville" theater, eventually adding movies to the venue. In its heyday, Proctor's Theater showcased such stars as Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Jimmy Durante. After closing in 1977, the building stood vacant and vulnerable to the elements until this fall when it was purchased by private developer who plans to turn the former office building into a first-class hotel.

The "private developer" referred to in the quoted text above is Ali Yaghoubi of 1888 Hudson Realty LLC. According to Final Act, an article in Online Preservation, he was the developer who purchased the building in 2000 and ultimately sold it to Proctor Hotel Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RPI.

The purchase of Proctor's Theatre continues the real estate development portion of the Communiversity initiative. This has included the rehabilitation of the Hedley Building, Gurley Building, and Rice Building in Downtown Troy, and the Homebuyer Incentive Grant Program which has allowed the rehabilitation of 30 homes in the immediate vicinity of the Rensselaer campus.

Other on-line resources containing information about Proctor's Theatre in Troy:

Office of the First-Year Experience Rolls Out Web Site in Anticipation of Class of 2008

The Office of the First-Year Experience at Rensselaer has rolled out a new website at http://www.fye.rpi.edu/. It was built to better support the Class of 2008, whose first on-campus event will be Student Orientation 2004. The first session of SO 2004 will begin on Wednesday, July 14.

This is an interesting site that will help alumni and parents of Rensselaer students to better understand what the Office of the First-Year Experience does. In fact, there is an entire section of the FYE website that is designed to answer parents' questions and provide access to resources.

Rensselaer Retains 96.5 Percent of Class of 2007 for the Spring Semester

The Polytechnic reported that 96.5 percent of the Class of 2007 returned for the Spring Semester of their freshman year. This is in-line with the average fall-spring retention rate over the last eight years.

The number of freshmen returning for the Spring Semester was carefully watched because of the extreme size of the Class of 2007. This was the largest freshman class in history at 1,347 students. The target size for the Class of 2008 is only 1,200.

The Class of 2007 will undoubtedly shrink a bit between its freshman and sophomore year. The freshman to sophomore "persistence rate" for the three older classes at RPI averages 93.3 percent. If the Class of 2007 maintains this persisitence rate, the class will only have shrunk by 90 students from when it matriculated.

Lisa Trahan of the Office of First Year Experience reportedly said that Rensselaer would like to have a year-to-year persistence rate of 95 percent. This would put RPI four percentage points higher than the average private highly selective Ph.D. bearing institutions.

April 12, 2004

Bud Baeslack Leaving Rensselaer to Become Dean of Engineering at Ohio State University

Bud Baeslack '78, Dean of the Rensselaer School of Engineering, has accepted the position of Dean of the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. Five years ago, Dr. Baeslack left an administrative position at Ohio State to become RPI's Dean of Engineering. Prior to receiving his Ph.D. from Rensselaer, he received both his batchelor's and master's degrees from OSU. So, he will be returning home by accepting this position.

Dr. Baeslack has participated in a number of RCNJ events and activities since he became Dean of Engineering. For instance, he was in attendance when Howard Isermann presented his Ruth-Gehrig baseball to the Yogi Berra Museum back in 2002. He also spoke at a dinner in February 2003 on the topic of The Process of Academic Transformation.

In a statement regarding Dr. Baeslack's resignation, Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer said:

For the five past years, Dean Baeslack has led the School of Engineering with a steady hand and a clear vision. Under his leadership, the school has played a central role in advancing the Rensselaer Plan's initiatives and bolstering the strength of undergraduate and graduate education. The School of Engineering has hired 34 outstanding junior and senior tenure-track faculty; identified key research areas that build upon the university's core engineering strengths; supervised and supported new multidisciplinary programs and laboratories; and helped to increase School of Engineering research awards.

Campus.News says that an international search has been launched for a new Dean of Engineering. It will be headed by Dean Joseph Flaherty of the Rensselaer School of Science.

The RCNJ wishes Dr. Baeslack the best in his new position.

April 5, 2004

Robert Metcalfe, Ethernet Inventor, to Speak at 2004 Commencement

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently announced that Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com Corporation and the inventor of Ethernet, will speak at Commencement 2004. The ceremonies will begin on Saturday, May 15, at 9:30 a.m., and will take place at the Harkness Field.

Dr. Metcalfe will be awarded an honorary doctorate. Here is the list of distinguished people joining Dr. Metcalfe in receiving honorary doctorates from Rensselaer on May 15:

  • George Bugliarello, former leader of Polytechnic University, currently serving as foreign secretary of the National Academy of Engineering.
  • Donald Keck, member of the team at Corning that developed fiber optic cable technology. Currently CTO of Infotonics.
  • Charles Thornton, structural engineer who worked on the Petronas Twin Towers, Chicago Stadium, Comiskey Park, and the Americas Tower.

March 18, 2004

Rensselaer Puts Archive of Early Institute History Online

Earlier this week, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announced that it is making five books of great historic value available on-line. The books:

  • The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Its Reorganization in 1849-50, Its Condition at the Present Time, Its Plans and Hopes for the Future (1855), Benjamin Franklin Greene.
  • Biographical Record of the Officers and Graduates of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1824-1886 (1887), Henry B. Nason.
  • A Chapter in American Education: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1824-1924 (1925), Ray Palmer Baker.
  • History of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1824-1934 (Third Edition, 1934), Palmer C. Ricketts.
  • Education for a Technological Society; A Sesquicentennial History of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1968), Samuel Rezneck.

... provide a great deal of historical information about RPI, and technological education through the ninteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Access to these books is available in the Digitized Institute Publications of the Institute Archives and Special Collections Website. The books were digitized by OCLC Preservation Resources in Bethlehem, PA.

February 1, 2004

Times Union: Saving Scholarships Proved Smart Move

On Friday, the Albany Times Union gleefully reported that Rensselaer's men's hockey team scored a 3.08 GPA in the fall semester with 20 of 27 players being named to the Dean's List. According to the article:

In fact, RPI's student-athletes posted an average GPA of 3.06, which ranked higher than the general student population of non-athletes (3.01).

Reports like this have occurred regularly during the tenure of Rensselaer Head Coach Dan Fridgen. Congratulations to the coaching staff, the academic advisors, and especially to the players.

The article goes on to point out that the women's hockey team achieved an even higher team GPA, 3.24. While this is also a wonderful achievement, the current players are not scholarship athletes.

Administrators from colleges and universities that opposed NCAA Proposition 65 often claimed that Division I athletes at Division III schools were not student-athletes in the truest sense of the word. The academic achievements of RPI's Division I athletes demonstrate that this reasoning is fallacious.

January 25, 2004

RPI Reunion 2004 to Take Place June 10-13

Dave Aiello wrote, "I'm serving on the 15th Reunion Committee for the Class of 1989, and I'd like to report that we are making preparations to get together in Troy on June 10-13, 2004. Alumni who graduated in years ending in '4' and '9' are especially welcomed to attend, since each class focuses on coming back every five years."

"My class has started a Class of '89 website, with updated information about the reunion. General information about Rensselaer Reunion 2004 can also be found on AlumServ."

"Kathy (Page) Lane and Mike DeVivo are New Jersey alums who are serving with me on our reunion committee."

"If you are a member of a reunion class, and you want help getting in touch with someone from your class reunion committee in order to say that you are planning to attend, or just to provide information about yourself, feel free to email me at dave_aiello@ctdata.com."

December 31, 2003

Man from Delaware Sentenced to Jail and Probation for Stalking President Jackson

Last week, the Associated Press reported that Gary Rullo, a 56-year old former employee of FedEx Corporation, was sentenced to six months in jail and subsequent probation for threatening Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. According to the article, Rullo, a resident of Middletown, Delaware, travelled to Troy and posted "Wanted" posters on campus with Dr. Jackson's name on them. He also passed out literature at businesses in Troy, threatened to harm her if she went near Rullo's family, and sent e-mails to her containing racial remarks.

The only apparent connection between Rullo and Dr. Jackson is that Rullo is a former FedEx employee with a grievance against the company, and Dr. Jackson is a member of the company's board of directors.

Previous articles about the situation indicate that RPI Public Safety picked up Rullo on September 6 after he was observed posting the "Wanted" posters. Congratulations to all involved in his apprehension. Now that his actions have been made public, it is easy to conclude that he was a threat to Dr. Jackson's personal safety.

November 10, 2003

RPI Web Site Features President Jackson's Presentation to the RCNJ

We noticed that the presentation that Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson gave to the Rensselaer Club of New Jersey, entitled Renaissance at Rensselaer, Progress on Achieving the Rensselaer Plan, is being featured on the Rensselaer web site. This presentation took place on October 21, 2003 in Morristown, NJ.

Each slide from the presentation is reproduced as a separate web page. This gives alumni who were not present at the reception an opportunity to review it.

President Jackson is the Top University President in Total Compensation in 2003

The Albany Times Union reports that Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson has become the highest paid university president in the United States with annual salary, benefits, and other compensation estimated at $890,400. This estimate is published in the Chronicle of Higher Education's annual survey (details available only to subscribers).

The Times Union article quotes Claire Van Ummersen, vice president for the Office of Women at the American Council on Education, who said, "I'm just pleased to see a woman at the top of the list for a change.... I think she has been one of the most effective presidents that I've seen in a long while."

Members of the RPI community who were quoted include Board of Trustees Chairman Samuel Heffner, Honorary Trustee Harry Apkarian, and former Rensselaer president Roland Schmidt.

November 5, 2003

NYSE Chairman Nominates Rensselaer President Jackson to New NYSE Board of Directors

Sandeep Nandy pointed out that Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson has been nominated to the new Board of Directors for the New York Stock Exchange. Dr. Jackson was one of eight independent board members nominated by NYSE Interim Chairman John Reed. Other nominees include Madeline Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State, Herbert Allison, Chairman of TIAA-CREF, and Sir Dennis Weatherstone, retired Chairman of J.P. Morgan and Company.

September 24, 2003

Rensselaer Opens Office in Washington, DC

The Times Union reports that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has opened an office in Washington, DC that will be used as a "base of operations" for a number of campus constituencies. According to the article:

... RPI's Office for Government and Community Relations would increase the school's exposure in Washington and help it shape federal and state research in technology. Through its contacts in Washington, the office also hopes to persuade lawmakers, federal officials and researchers from government agencies to visit and lecture at RPI....

June 9, 2003

RPI Student Jesse Jordan Was Targetted by Recording Industry Association

ABC News and TechTV are reporting that the most significant outcome of the civil suit that the Recording Industry Association of America filed against Rensselaer freshman Jesse Jordan is that Jesse had to drain his savings account in order to pay off the negotiated out-of-court settlement.

Jesse is one of the latest victims of the high-profile legal offensive by the RIAA. The RIAA is attempting to stop the sharing of MP3s (digital music files) because they believe that the availability of recorded music on the Internet has reduced album sales througout the world.

It is obvious from this article, and from the transcript of an interview that CNN did with Jesse and his father several weeks ago, that Jesse's treatment was meant to be an example to other college students who might consider operating Internet services that could be used to find MP3s that have been uploaded to campus computer networks.

May 27, 2003

Biochemistry Constellation Includes Lots of Smaller Stars

In February, we reported that Robert Linhardt was recruited to lead a constellation in biochemistry. Today, The Times Union reports on the surprisingly large number of students and junior faculty who will be joining him in the move. According to the article:

As many as 14 students, post-doctoral researchers and assistant professors will follow the 50-year-old scientist when he migrates from the nation's heartland {University of Iowa} to Troy. That RPI was willing to make room for so many people shows how far the school is willing to go to recruit top-notch talent....

{The} team won't cost RPI as much as one might think. While the school is paying for moving costs and some salaries, much of the staff is funded through $1 million worth of grants Linhardt has received, mostly from the National Institutes of Health. He's expected to earn more once he's in New York. The New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research is already interested in his work, said Executive Director Russell Bessette.


Explanations of constellations by RPI administrators have focused on the effort to recruit new, high-level faculty such as Dr. Linhardt himself. But, it hasn't always been clear that the constellation chairs would bring significant entourages with them from their previous institutions. Undoubtedly, this will strengthen the Rensselaer community.

Graduation Includes Stealth Bomber Flyover

OK, so maybe nothing can top last year's May snow storm for a unique Rensselaer graduation moment. But, this year's graduation included a flyover from an Air Force B-2 (Stealth) Bomber. This moment was particularly appropriate when combined with the address by Dr. Ben Carson, famed neurosurgeon, who urged RPI graduates to "think big".

May 16, 2003

Rensselaer Student Richard McNutt Named Army's Top ROTC Cadet for 2003

Campus.News reported this week that Richard McNutt '03 has been named the Number 1 ROTC Cadet in the Nation by the U.S. Army for 2003. According to the article:

Throughout his Rensselaer career, McNutt has maintained a 4.0 grade point average as a dual major in biophysics and biochemistry. He oversaw a ROTC company of 20 cadets, routinely clocked 12 minutes on two-mile runs, never achieved less than a perfect score on the Armys physical fitness test, and is currently working toward his black belt in karate.

McNutt reportedly intends to pursue an assignment with either the 173rd Airborne Brigade or the 82nd Airborne Division after graduation and receiving his commission.

Harnett Redefines the Term "Working His Way Through College"

This week, Campus.News reported that graduating senior Brendan Harnett has successfully paid for his entire undergraduate degree himself, without using any student loans. The architecture major reportedly worked at a number of jobs in high school, invested in the stock market during the boom, sold in a timely manner, paid the capital gains, and used the proceeds to fund his education.

While at RPI, Harnett worked as a Teaching Assistant, "usually had another job on the side, and always worked in the summer". He also had the time to start his own architectural design firm and win an award from Architecture for Humanity for a mobile medical unit to be used in sub-Saharan Africa.

April 15, 2003

President Jackson Delivers William D. Carey Lecture at AAAS in Washington

Campus.News reports that Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson delivered the 2003 William D. Carey Lecture at a colloqium sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The lecture was given on April 10 in Washington, DC.

According to the article, Jackson addressed the importance for technology leaders to participate in policy making, public outreach, and education. She said:

As the events of the past century have made painfully clear, there is a knife-edge to the advancement of science. The misuse of science could take us to the brink. Yet, science also can lead us toward salvation.

In December, Dr. Jackson was elected President of the AAAS for 2004. The William D. Carey lecture was established by the AAAS in 1989 to honor its former executive officer. Others who have given the Carey Lecture include President Clinton's science advisor Neal Lane, National Science Foundation Director Rita Colwell, and former White House Science and Technology Policy Director John Gibbons.

April 9, 2003

RPI Names Carson 2003 Commencement Speaker

Sandeep Nandy writes, "According to the main Rensselaer website, pediatric neurosurgeon Benjamin Carson has been selected to be this year's Rensselaer commencement speaker."

"Since 1984, Carson has served as director of the division of pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins. He rose to national prominence in 1987, when he led a medical team that separated West German conjoined twins who were connected at the cranium. Both children survived the surgery."

"Dr. Carson will receive an honorary doctorate degree in science. Other honorary degree recipients will be Robert Solow, Richard Smalley, Morris Silverman, Donna Shahala and state senate majority leader Joesph Bruno."

"The 197th commencement exercises at Rensselaer will take place on Saturday May 17th beginning at 9:30 am on the Harkness Field. The commencement program will be followed by a campuswide picnic held on the '86 Field."

February 23, 2003

Renowned Biochemist to Lead Research Constellation at Rensselaer

Earlier this week Rensselaer announced that Robert J. Linhardt was appointed a "senior constellation chair" of biocatalysis and metabolic engineering at Rensselaer. Dr. Linhardt is a world renowned researcher into the properties and new applications of complex carbohydrates. This includes the use of complex carbohydrates carriers of drugs for advanced brain cancer and thrombotic problems.

Dr. Linhardt will serve as chairman of a "constellation" at RPI. According to the press release:

At Rensselaer, a constellation is a multidisciplinary team of senior faculty, junior faculty, and graduate students led by one or two outstanding stars in a particular research field of strategic and focal interest to the university. Rensselaer has chosen biocatalysis and metabolic engineering as one of these focal areas. Linhardt will take the lead in structuring the rest of the constellation, including attracting additional high-level faculty researchers.

January 16, 2003

Dordick Investigating Using Nature as a Warning of Bioterror Attack

Campus.News reports that Jonathan Dordick, The Howard P. Isermann '42 Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rensselaer, is investigating the use of naturally occurring pigments as indicators of bioterror attacks. He hopes to be able to develop a means of manipulating enzymes "to prepare uniquely pigmented compounds that could be implanted into any materials to indicate the presence of biological and chemical agents, such as anthrax, smallpox, and mustard gas."

This might allow the production of bio-engineered plants in the future that would turn un-natural colors if exposed to biological and chemical agents. They could be of major assistance if such plants were placed around government and industrial facilities, and a terrorist attack subsequently occurred.

January 7, 2003

RPI Anthropology Professor Writes About Miscarriage and Stillbirth

Rensselaer Professor Linda Layne has written a major new book on the effect of miscarriage and stillbirth on families and American society. In
Motherhood Lost: A Feminist Account of Pregnancy Loss in America
, Layne "challenges society and women's movements in particular to publicly discuss the topic and to offer more helpful support to 'would-be' parents."

According to a Rensselaer press release:

About 15 to 20 percent of pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage or stillbirth each year, according to Williams Obstetrics. In Motherhood Lost, Layne explains that the losses are seldom acknowledged or rarely discussed. "Grief for a dead loved one may be both inevitable and necessary, but the additional hurt that bereaved parents feel when their losses are dismissed and diminished by others is needless and cruel," she says. "It is high time we recognize pregnancy loss and offer our support."

Layne is a Professor of Anthropolgy in the Science and Technology Studies Department of the Rensselaer School of Humanities and Social Sciences. This book, which was published by Routledge in November, is now featured on the home page of RPI.edu.

December 23, 2002

Jackson Elected President of AAAS for 2004

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has announced that President Shirley Ann Jackson has been elected president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She will serve as president of the AAAS in 2004 and will be Chairperson of the Board of Directors in 2005.

The AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of the magazine Science.

October 22, 2002

RPI in the Top 50 Universities in 2003 USNews Rankings

Rensselaer reports that U.S. News and World Report has again ranked RPI as one of the Top 50 universities in the nation in its America's Best Colleges issue, which was published in September. The Undergraduate Engineering program was ranked 15th in 2003, up from 17th last year. In the rankings of Best Values in the National Universities category, Rensselaer ranked 34th, an improvement of 8 places from 2002.

The RPI press release lists a number of significant achievements accomplished recently that contributed to the improvement in ratings: 41 new faculty members hired, 22 in engineering, a complete student union renovation, a new fitness center, and $35 million in residence hall renovations.

October 21, 2002

Jackson Named One of 50 Most Important Women in Science

Campus.News reports that President Shirley Ann Jackson has been named one of the 50 Most Important Women in Science by Discover magazine. The report is contained in the November 2002 issue of the magazine, on newsstands now.

According to the Campus.News report, "Jackson is one of only two university presidents to be named in the story, the other being Princeton President and molecular biologist Shirley Tilghman."

October 14, 2002

Two On Campus Biotechnology Presentations Coming Up in November

Jackie Baker asked us to point out that The Lally School of Management & Technology and The Severino Center for Entrepreneurship are sponsoring two major on-campus biotechnology talks in November. On November 6, James Mullen '80, CEO of Biogen, will speak. His presentation is entitled, "The forest and the trees: My perspectives on the biotechnology industry". This will be followed on November 20 by Bioethics for entrepreneurs, engineers and executives, a presentation by Rahul Dhanda of Interleukin Genetics. Dhanda is the author of the recent book Guiding Icarus: Merging Bioethics With Corporate Interests.

August 8, 2002

President Jackson's Corporate Directorships Discussed in Forbes

Forbes Magazine has published a number of articles on corporate governance, with particular focus on the directors who serve on the boards of multiple Fortune 500 companies. An article called America's Most Overworked Directors says "For some there doesn't appear to be enough hours in the day. Shirley Jackson is a case in point. Jackson, an accomplished theoretical physicist, sits on the board of eight major companies, all while tending to her day job as president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute."


Another article Black Directors: Diversity Without Diversity says:


In recent months, many have noted the emergence of African-Americans at the very top tier of America business. Richard Parsons, chief executive of AOL Time Warner, always gets a nod, as do Stanley O'Neal, the next CEO of Merrill Lynch, and Ken Chenault, the boss at American Express...


But what about Shirley Jackson and William Gray III? Neither Jackson, the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, nor Gray, president of the United Negro College Fund, is often listed among black business leaders even though they do what no one else in corporate America does--black or white. Gray and Jackson both sit on eight boards of S&P 500 companies, including AT&T and FedEx in Jackson's case and Pfizer and J.P. Morgan Chase for Gray.


We would point out that President Jackson may be on AT&T's board of directors because she worked at Bell Labs for 15 years back when it was part of AT&T, and distinguished herself in that capacity. There is also no attempt in either of these articles to assess Dr. Jackson's effectiveness in any of her jobs. We would argue that her achievements since assuming the presidency of Rensselaer speak for themselves.

July 18, 2002

Albany Chosen as Research Center by Sematech

Articles in The New York Times and the Albany Times Union confirm that International Sematech, a consortium of microelectronic manufacturing companies, has chosen to locate a new $403 million semiconductor research facility at the State University of New York at Albany. The Times Union says that the center will initially be located at the a soon-to-be-completed building at the Center for Environmental Studies and Technology Management on the SUNY campus. A ceremony will take place at 10:30am today to announce the official selection.


The New York Times article focuses more on the potential regional economic impact of the announcement, including its importance to RPI:


... Despite the weak economy and a slumping technology sector, state and industry officials, as well as people who follow the industry, say the project could draw investments worth several times the cost of the project to the region.


The only other such center created by the computer chip consortium, International Sematech, was built in the late 1980's in another state capital and college town, Austin, Tex. Over the next decade, Austin became one of the best places to be in the high-tech world....


Austin's great advantage, he said, was a a large, first-rate engineering school at the University of Texas that supplied a steady stream of professors and graduates to high-tech industries. It remains to be seen whether SUNY and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in nearby Troy, can be a similar source of talent.

Continue reading "Albany Chosen as Research Center by Sematech" »

July 16, 2002

President Jackson the Focus of Major Times Union Article

A major article on President Shirley Ann Jackson was published in Sunday's Albany Times Union. The article summarizes her three year tenure in the position including the successes, such as fundraising, and the controversies, like the change in Graduate School tuition and some of the more controversial elements of The Rensselaer Plan.


The article quotes Howard Isermann '42, an RCNJ member and an RPI trustee emeritus as saying: "Some people don't like her top-down management style, but it's her vision and she wants to make it happen." Lots of other juicy information and quotes may be found in the article. It's worth reading.

NY Times Feature Article on Nanotubes Touts Research at Rensselaer

John Cloninger pointed out that today's New York Times carries a major feature article about nanotube research and the Nanotube 2000 conference taking place in Boston this week. John said, "On page one of today's Science Times, there is an
article on nanotubes. Therein, RPI is cited for
creating an 8-inch nanotube, the longest ever. There
are other references to RPI in the article as well."

May 20, 2002

Commencement Moved Indoors Due to Snow Storm

Sunday's Times Union reported that Rensselaer's Commencement ceremonies took place inside Houston Field House on Saturday due to a snow storm that hit the Capital District. Another article in the same newspaper reports that the snowfall, measured at 2.2 inches at the Albany-Colonie Airport, was the latest measurable snowfall in the Albany area since 1795, when the earliest weather records began.



...the Capital Region's premiere technical school proved its mettle as dozens of RPI employees, working since 4 a.m., managed to transfer the scene of graduation from the Harkness Field to the Houston Field House next door.

...The Rev. Beth Illingworth, who began the ceremony, threw away a prepared prayer and, instead, thanked God for providing a day no one would soon forget.

May 1, 2002

WRPI Participating in Internet Radio "Day of Silence"

If you take a look at the WRPI Home Page, you will find the following announcement posted:


We Interrupt This Internet Stream...


WRPI will not stream today and will instead, participate in the Day of Silence, a demonstration of the impact that the DMCA will have on Internet Broadcasting.


What is the Day of Silence and why is it being observed? USA Today covered the story on Monday in its article Net Radio Will Pull Plug This Week to Protest Fees.


We encourage all Rensselaer alumni who appreciate the ability to listen to WRPI for any reason to call their Congressman and Senators and ask them to oppose the CARP (Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel) proposal. The U.S. Copyright Office provides complete details on the CARP Webcasting Rate Proposal. For more information on why it would be difficult for WRPI to continue webcasting under the CARP Webcasting Royalties, read the previously posted RCNJ article on WRPI and CARP.


Update: Dave Aiello wrote to the staff of WRPI to inform them of the RCNJ's interest in this issue. Read on for the text of his letter....

Continue reading "WRPI Participating in Internet Radio "Day of Silence"" »

April 29, 2002

RCNJ Representative Sought for May 13 Open House in Troy

Joe Pilaro writes, "Jacqueline Baker, RPI Alumni Relations, sent the following invitation to me. I am unable to attend this year. Any alum in the RCNJ interested in attending should contact Jackie Baker {as indicated in the following message from her}:"



It's that time of year again - Rensselaer's Commencement
is fast approaching. The graduating students are busy completing their
last classes, preparing for exams, and packing up for new adventures
outside of Rensselaer. To help prepare them for what lies ahead, the
Office of Alumni Relations will be hosting the fourth annual Regional Open House on Monday, May 13, 2002 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Heffner Alumni
House. This event serves as an excellent opportunity for alumni to meet
graduating seniors and graduate students in an effort to assist them in
making a smooth transition to life after college.

Read on for more of the Jackie Baker's message....

Continue reading "RCNJ Representative Sought for May 13 Open House in Troy" »

April 23, 2002

Grad Students Form Organization to Oppose Tuition Changes

The Polytechnic reported that graduates students have formed an independent organization to oppose graduate tuition changes recently approved by the Board of Trustees. The new organization, called the Concerned Graduate Students Association has collected over 550 signatures on a petition detailing "seven concerns and requests" to the Institute's administration.


Although the petition was designed to be presented directly to President Shirley Ann Jackson, it was instead presented to Provost Bud Peterson and Graduate School Dean Tom Apple. The Poly quotes Peterson in a formal response dated April 3: "Our current graduate tuition is substaintially underpriced ... those who choose to continue to enroll as part-time students should be required to pay a competitive price for their education."

WRPI May Shut Down Internet Broadcasts as a Result of DMCA

The Polytechnic reports that WRPI may be forced to shut down its 24 x 7 internet broadcasts due to recently proposed implementing regulations for the Digital Millenium Copyright Act proposed by the United States Copyright Office. According to the article, " As a non-commercial community and student operated radio station, WRPI would be forced to pay about $4,000 in licensing fees to continue its online broadcasting. Additionally, it would have to implement new software and hardware to catalog statistics such as song title, artist, date, and time of broadcast, and retail album title for each song played online."

Mather Elected GM, Ament Elected PU

The Polytechnic reports that Chris Mather was elected Grand Marshal and Zachary Ament was elected President of the Union during the student government elections that took place on April 17. Mather apparently ran unopposed, since he received all of the votes that did not go to write-in candidates.

April 15, 2002

Bobby Farrelly '81 Visited Campus to Discuss His Career in Hollywood

Campus.News reported that Bobby Farrelly '81 visited campus during GM Week to discuss his success as a film producer in Hollywood, and to introduce a free showing of his latest film "Shallow Hal". The release of this film was previous reported on RCNJ.org.

Troy Industrial Development Authority to Issue Bonds for Campus Construction

Campus.News reports that the Troy Industrial Development Authority will issue $220 million in tax-exempt bonds for the development of the biotechnology, performing arts, and parking garage projects on the RPI campus. These projects have all been approved by the Rensselaer Board of Trustees and the Planning Commission of the City of Troy.


Some estimates indicate that the City of Troy will receive proceeds of $500 thousand dollars from the bond issue. These proceeds will be used for additional economic development projects.

April 14, 2002

RPI Researchers Demonstrate Fabrication Techniques for Next Generation Chips

Campus.News reported that RPI materials science researchers have demonstrated controlled carbon nanotube growth and documented their results in the journal Nature. Associate Professor Pulickel Ajayan and Assistant Professor Ganapathiraman Ramanath are the first researchers to achieve such specific and controlled nanotube growth.


Carbon nanotubes are considered important in the construction of next-generation integrated circuits and microelectric-mechanical devices.

March 28, 2002

Dennis Tito to Speak at Commencement 2002

Sandeep Nandy '94 writes, "I just found out from my brother Sumon that Rensselaer has chosen Dennis Tito '64 as its 2002 commencement speaker. Commencement will be held for the 196th time at RPI on May 18, 2002."


"According to an article on the Campus.News web site, Tito is the founder and chief executive of Wilshire Associates and is the first civilian space traveler. He will be awarded an honorary doctorate of Engineering. In addition to the degree Tito will be receiving, Rensselaer will also bestow honorary doctoral degrees on Bobby Farrelly '81, Claire Fraser '77, and Ruth Simmons."

March 3, 2002

Rensselaer Tuition Set at $26,400

The Rensselaer Board of Trustees has set undergraduate and graduate tuition
at $26,400
for the 2002-2003 academic year. This represents a 6.37 percent increase in undergraduate tuition compared to the current academic year.


The graduate school has not assessed a comprehensive fee in this fashion before. So, it is difficult to compare graduate school expenses for this year and next. As we reported two weeks ago, the Board of Trustees only decided to change the way graduate students pay for their education recently.

February 20, 2002

Administration Devises Plan to Significantly Restructure Grad School Tuition

A report in this week's Campus.News indicates that Rensselaer plans to alter the way graduate students pay their tuition. Key in this proposal is the idea that graduates would pay a flat tuition, like undergraduates do, and no longer pay on a per credit basis. The plan also calls for financial aid and payment for work by graduate students to be restructured.


An interesting article about this proposal has been published in the February 13 edition of The Poly. A number of professors are concerned that this policy would hurt research projects on campus, if it were implemented. But, the article also states that graduate students often have to sign up for zero credit hours for one or more semesters in order to fulfill non-course-related degree requirements. This is a practice known as "degree completion".


What is degree completion, in reality, and why does the Poly call the process "the primary reason that RPI takes an average of 1.5 years longer to graduate a Ph.D. student, and one year longer for masters candidates"?

December 12, 2001

Silverman Donates $7 Million to RPI for Biotech Constellation

The Troy Record reports that yesterday RPI announced a $7 million gift from Morris Silverman to fund the Noble Enterprise Constellation, a group that will conduct research into regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. RPI will match the donation, bringing total funding of the constellation to $14 million. This announcement was made at the recently-opened Amtrak station in Rensselaer, NY.


According to the Record article, Governor George Pataki said, "This partnership {between} RPI and New York State strengthens my efforts to make certain New York leads in developing the technology to protect our health, preserve our peace, and improve our lives." RPI President Shirley Jackson reportedly said, "Advances in biotechnology will bring considerable international recognition to the capital region, and it will attract funding for scientific inquiry and promote economic development."

December 9, 2001

RPI Professor Gets NSF Grant to Study WTC Disaster

Sunday's Times Union reports that Rensselaer Professor William A. Wallace is studying how the utilities serving New York City cooperated in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack. Dr. Wallace is a professor in the Decision Support and Engineering Systems department, which generally educates both engineers and management students.


Dr. Wallace will be joined in this project by Joe Chow, also from Rensselaer. The team also apparently includes a third person who is unidentified. This study is one of only eight studies of the World Trade Center attack that has been funded by the National Science Foundation so far.

December 6, 2001

Trustees Approve $255 Million in Construction Projects

An RPI Press Release dated December 4 states that the Rensselaer Board of Trustees approved $255 million in spending on new construction for the Troy campus. This press release conclusively answers the question asked of David Haviland by an RCNJ member about the total cost of new construction plans. The question was initially posed at the RCNJ Fall Dinner two weeks ago.


According to the Press Release, "The plan calls for building a center for biotechnology and interdisciplinary studies, a center for electronic media and performing arts, a parking garage, a boiler plant, a chiller plant, and for related improvements to campus landscaping and infrastructure."


Hat tip to Dave Bohan and his Alumni Email News Update service for pointing out this Press Release.

December 5, 2001

Jackson Says America's Nuclear Power Plants are As Secure As Possible

In today's Times Union, Alan Wechsler interviews Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson on the subjects of U.S. nuclear power plant safety and terrorist threats. Prior to assuming the RPI presidency, Dr. Jackson served as Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, so her opinion on these matters is sought after.


The article summarizes a telephone interview which Wechsler conducted with Dr. Jackson. She is said to have called our commercial nuclear plants "...are as secure as they possibly could be." Regarding the possibility of terrorists posessing the components necessary to make a "dirty bomb", Jackson is quoted as saying, "If you have people who manage to get their hands on nuclear material, not necessarily weapons grade, it would be a concern, even with a conventional bomb."

November 25, 2001

Two RPI Seniors Risk Lives to Save Neighbor

Last week, Terrence Brown reported in The Poly that RPI Seniors Zach Ashwell and Ian Blanch pulled a man out of a burning College Avenue building. The man they rescued, William R. Halloran, Sr., 55, later died of his injuries at Westchester Burn Center. Halloran was transported to Westchester after initially being treated at Samaritan Hospital.

November 19, 2001

RPI Rolling Out New Web Functionality Across Many Web Sites

In case you hadn't noticed, Rensselaer Marketing and Media Relations has been aggressively rolling out new designs for many of RPI's Core Web Sites. Examples include: RPI.edu, AlumServ, and Campus.News. These sites are greatly improved, and we congratulate the staff of Marketing and Media Relations for a job well done.


Of particular interest to RCNJ members is the fact that the redesigned AlumServ Web Site provides eliminates some of the more troubling problems with finding out about our activities. Now, it's possible to get from the AlumServ home page to the RCNJ home page in only three clicks (starting from AlumServ: click on the Stay Involved -> Regional Chapters -> RCNJ.org).


Also, Alumni Relations has eliminated the page they used to maintain that duplicated some of the content on RCNJ.org. Thank you to Dave Bohan and the staff of Alumni Relations for making this change that we have requested for over a year.

October 18, 2001

In Memory of Jeanne M. Lynch, Professor of Management Emerita

Dave Aiello wrote, "Earlier today, Dean Wellington '83 called to tell me that Dr. Jeanne Lynch, Professor Emerita of the Lally School of Management, died on Sunday, October 7. Dr. Lynch was a great professor who made a huge impact on Dean's education and career, and she did the same for me."


"When I was at Rensselaer, Dr. Lynch taught the Principles of Entrepreneurship and Strategy & Policy courses. She was critical to the successful development of the business plan for my company, CTDATA."


"I want to express my deepest sympathy to Dr. Lynch's family, her friends, and especially to Dean Wellington. All of us who knew her will never forget her. I will ask members of the faculty, staff, and alumni of Rensselaer to join me in setting up a suitable tribute to her and her life's work."


Here is the obituary that appeared in the Troy Record on October 9:


Dr. Jeanne Mary Lynch, 74, of Menands, died Sunday at home. Survived by two sisters, Helen Hastings of Buffalo and Margaret Lynch of Pawtucket, RI; a niece, Jeanne M. Hastings; three nephews, Robert D. Hastings, Alan T. Hastings, and Timothy J. Hastings. Memorial service 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dufresne & Cavanaugh Funeral Home. Burial Mount Auburn Cemetary, Cambridge, MA.

Update: Campus.News posted an obituary for Dr. Lynch on October 22. It provides more details on the achievements of her career.

October 1, 2001

Chatter Urges Entrepreneurs to Focus on Growing Revenues

On September 21, Mukesh Chatter '82 received the William F. Glaser '53 Rensselaer Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship. In a news report in this week's Campus.News, Chatter urged entrepreneurs to focus on growing revenues. He said, "Furniture, fancy chairs, and expensive parties don't bring in revenue. People and equipment do. They are the two things we focus on and invest in. At the end of the day they are the only things that have the capability of making money for your business."

August 20, 2001

Admissions Provides Details of Class of '05, Student Life Changes

Joe Pilaro writes, "Some interesting statistics on this fall's incoming class. There are 1147 enrolling freshmen: that represents the largest class applying to Rensselaer since 1986. Two hundred ninety-three (293) are women, 84 are minority students, 48 are legacies, and 204 are Rensselaer Medal recipients. The average SAT score is 1305."


"Also, beginning in the fall of 2002, first-year students will not be allowed to bring cars to campus. The reasoning for the decision is that the first-year experience is such an important part of the student's connection to Rensselaer and to his/her classmates, that we want to incentivize students to spend as much time as possible around the campus and among its people. This was the reason given in 1951, my freshman year!"


"We will be calling for Admissions Volunteers in August for the Fall 2001 series of College Fairs to be held at New Jersey High Schools during September and October. If you've relocated, have a new job, etc., please forward all new information to Gloria Pappas in the Admissions Office at pappag@rpi.edu and to JF Pilaro at BRAEmgb@aol.com. Thanks and have a great summer!"

May 15, 2001

Joseph Flaherty, Long-Time RPI Professor, Named Dean of Science

Campus.News is reporting that Joseph E. Flaherty has been named dean of the School of Science. Dr. Flaherty, who has been at Rensselaer for 28 years, is the Amos Eaton Professor of Computer Science. He was also the founding chairman of the Department of Computer Science at RPI.


Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer, said, "Dr. Flaherty has served Rensselaer for 28 years as a distinguished scholar and administrator. He will bring the intellectual leadership, the vision, and the commitment that will move the School of Science forward to even higher levels of excellence. In addition, his research is at the intersection of biotechnology and information technology, the two research areas given priority in the Rensselaer Plan."


Rensselaer's announcement of Joseph Flaherty as Science Dean apparently supercedes the announcement of Dr. Heinz Engl as Dean of the School of Science. That announcement was made in March 2001 and was to take effect on September 1.

May 14, 2001

Cosby Tells New Graduates to "Learn from Everybody"

Saturday, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute held its 195th Commencement Ceremony at Pepsi Arena in Albany. Over 1,100 graduates received degrees. Bill Cosby delivered the main commencement address, urging graduates to learn from everyone, even the "janitor or the person making coffee." Dr. Cosby, who received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts and Humane Letters, delivered his address after removing his doctoral regalia, revealing a red Rensselaer sweatshirt.


Senator Charles E. Schumer also addressed the new graduates and their families. Schumer called Rensselaer "one of the greatest universities in the entire nation" and paid tribute to President Jackson for her leadership.

May 1, 2001

Internet Pioneer Vint Cerf to Receive Honorary Degree

Last week, Rensselaer announced the honorary degree recipients at the 2001 Commencement taking place May 12 at Pepsi Arena in Albany. The more well known of the two among technophiles is Vinton G. Cerf, a man who many consider one of the fathers of the Internet. Dr. Cerf is the Senior Vice President for Internet Architecture and Technology at Worldcom. His resume of technical and management achievements is a long one, as can be seen on his Worldcom Web Site called Cerf's Up.


Also receiving an honorary degree at this year's commencement is William J. Wilson, a renown sociologist. Dr. Wilson is the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University and the director of the Joblessness and Urban Poverty Research Program.


These two honorary degree recipients join Dr. Bill Cosby, previously announced as the main commencement speaker.

April 9, 2001

Student-Founded Company Receives $250k in Venture Funding

Campus.News is reporting that Incubator tenant ProductivityNet received $250,000 in seed funding from iDeal Partners an Albany-based investor group. According to the article, this is the largest amount of venture capital raised by a student-run company in history.


First news of this investment broke in the Albany Times Union about ten days ago. The Times Union article points out that ProductivityNet won the student category of the Rensselaer-Lucent Business Plan Contest last year.


iDeal Partners is led by John Cavalier, MapInfo's co-chairman. MapInfo is a firm that has been associated with RPI since its founding by another group of Rensselaer students in 1986.

March 29, 2001

Bill Cosby to Speak at 2001 Commencement

Rensselaer News and Communications reports that Bill Cosby will speak at Rensselaer's Commencement, to be held on May 12, 2001, at Pepsi Arena in Albany. Cosby will be presented with an honorary doctorate in Arts and Humane Letters.


John Cloninger said, "Bill Cosby is a first-class choice as a commencement speaker. He is a man who is both an accomplished entertainer and a devotee of education." Dave Aiello put it more bluntly. "The guy who gave the keynote address at my graduation was the head of Battelle Memorial Institute. He meant well, but, he wasn't Bill Cosby. This is another step toward greater national recognition for RPI. We should all thank Dr. Jackson for making this happen."


For more information about the Rensselaer's 195th Commencement, visit the Commencement 2001 section of www.rpi.edu.

March 18, 2001

Times Union Article Fuels Speculation About Donor's Identity

Dave Aiello wrote, "This Sunday's Times Union ran an article speculating about the identity of the donor who made the $360 million donation to Rensselaer last week. It's amazing how many ex-RPI fund raising and PR people that Times Union writer Paul Grondahl managed to quote on-the-record."


"I got a particular kick out of the revelation that the donor is not likely to have distinguished himself (or herself) academically while on campus. That makes me wonder if I should put out a press release denying that I am the big donor. Hmmm...."

March 15, 2001

AlumServ Back On-Line

Dave Aiello wrote, "We have been checking periodically to see if Rensselaer's main alumni Web Site, http://www.alumni.rpi.edu/, has come back on-line. This Web Site refers to itself as AlumServ. This afternoon, I was able to access AlumServ for the first time since late last week. So, those of you who have been trying to access information about Alumni Relations, Regional Programs, or the RAA will probably have better luck now."

March 12, 2001

Anonymous Donor Triples Gift to Rensselaer to $360 Million

Campus.News is reporting that the anonymous donor who recently pledged $130 million has agreed to increase the gift to Rensselaer to $360 million. According to the article, it is the largest single gift to a public or private university in U.S. History.


In addition, the terms of the gift, originally reported in the New York Times, have been changed so that the entire gift is now unrestricted.


Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson said, "In extending this new gift, our donor expressed the desire to increase support to Rensselaer, and to make an even bolder gesture in support of the Rensselaer Plan and its ambitious goals to advance the position of the Institute as a world-class technological research university. With this new gift, the donor carries out an intention to provide sustained support and make it available to an unlimited array of initiatives. On behalf of Rensselaer, I express my gratitude for this donor's singular, heartfelt, and visionary commitment."

Heinz Engl Named Dean of School of Science

Campus.News is reporting that Dr. Heinz W. Engl has been named Dean of the School of Science effective September 1. Dr. Engl is the former dean of the College of Science and Engineering at Kepler Universitat, Linz, Austria. He is currently head of the Industrial Mathematics Institute at Kepler University and founder of MathConsult a firm with expertise in mathematical modeling and related fields.


Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer, said of Dr. Engl,
"... {He} is an internationally recognized mathematician whose work has earned him numerous honors. His international perspective on IT and mathematical modeling, his broad knowledge of the physical sciences, and his range of experience as a teacher, researcher, and academic administrator make him uniquely qualified to lead the School of Science."

March 9, 2001

Main Alumni Web Site Off Line for Maintenance

The main Alumni Web Site at Rensselaer, called AlumServ, is not available at the moment. A Web Page displayed in its place says (in part):








AlumServ is temporarily off-line for maintenance.

There are definitely two schools of thought about outages like this. Some Webmasters of community-oriented Web Site (like AlumServ or RCNJ) think that they ought to bring their server down over a weekend when maintenance is required. RCNJ.org, on the other hand, attempts to minimize night and weekend service interruptions because we feel that is prime-viewing-time for our fellow alumni.


Speaking of sites that are down, RCNJ.org is planning to go off-line for a short period of time in the next few days. We need to do this in order to relocate our server from one physical location to another. More information about this planned outage may be found in the customer service notice posted to CTDATA.com.


AlumServ Not Available

Continue reading "Main Alumni Web Site Off Line for Maintenance" »

March 4, 2001

Troy Receives $100k Grant to Create On-Line Youth Programs

Dave Aiello wrote, "In his presentation at the RCNJ Spring Dinner Meeting, Rensselaer Provost Bud Peterson mentioned a grant that the City of Troy had received to create an on-line self-service database to enhance youth programs in the city. I found a report about the grant, called The Connected Kids Project, in the February 20 edition of Campus.News."


"Here is the best source of information about the Troy Community Networking Program, of which the Connected Kids Program is a part."


"I don't understand why Rensselaer is not making more noise about this. It's an excellent example of how RPI and the City can cooperate to improve the lives of Troy's children. Perhaps the effort is considered somewhat impractical, because the children that could benefit most from this program may not have Internet access at home. But, I think lower income households will strive to obtain access to the Internet to make this sort of information available to their children."

March 2, 2001

RPI and SUNY Albany Receive $1M Grant for Incubators

The Times Union is reporting that RPI and the "University at Albany" will receive $1 million to fund their incubator programs. The purpose of these grants is to allow the schools' incubator centers to join the U.S. Department of Energy's National Alliance of Clean Energy Business Incubators. This will help them to facilitate the development of new ventures that work on clean energy or renewable energy applications.

March 1, 2001

Recent Graduate Died in Skiing Accident, February 18

Dave Aiello wrote, "At the RCNJ Spring Dinner Meeting last night in West Orange, Don Bielecki told me that another recent graduate of Rensselaer had died in a skiing accident earlier this month. I subsequently discovered a Campus.News report stating that Orley Kantz '00 had died as a result of injuries suffered in a February 18 skiing accident."


"Although this accident was nearly two weeks before the accident that claimed Robert Svensson's life, it was the second accidental death of a recent graduate that we learned of in one day. I'm sure that our members join me in expressing heartfelt sympathy to Orley's friends and family."

February 28, 2001

Grad Student Dies in Albany County Spelunking Accident

John Cloninger reports that the campus was rocked yesterday by reports that Rensselaer Computer Science graduate student Robert Svensson was killed while exploring Clarksville Cave. The latest story, also published in the Times Union, indicates that emergency rescue personnel from various Albany County agencies have decided to drain the subterrainian pool in which his body lies because a team of a dozen divers has been unable to recover the body. {Update on 03/01: Divers successfully recovered the body today, overcoming a number of difficult natural obstacles.}


In an article published on The Poly Web Site, Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson said, "We are deeply saddened to hear of this tragic and untimely accident. Our hearts and our deepest sympathies go out to Robert?s family and friends.... Our first priority is to come together to provide a support structure for those who are grieving. Counseling and support services have been made available to the students and an on-campus memorial service is being planned."


The RCNJ certainly joins President Jackson in extending our sympathies to the family and friends of Robert Svensson.

February 21, 2001

Downtown Troy Becomes a Location for DreamWorks

Ketan Vakil recently reported in The Poly that Monument Square in Downtown Troy was used as a movie set by DreamWorks. According to the article, "... DreamWorks SKG was here on Friday and Saturday nights to film the 19th century scenes in a remake of H.G. Wells' classic science-fiction story The Time Machine."


The same area of Downtown Troy was a scene for several movies in the 1980s and 90s, including Ironweed, the movie version of the famous William Kennedy novel.

February 14, 2001

RPI Introduces a Web-Based Campus Tour

Dave Aiello wrote, "Marketing and Media Relations at Rensselaer has produced a beautiful Web Site that provides a Virtual Campus Tour. This site debuted in mid-January and was the result of several months of work by Steven R. Morris, Gary Gold, and Mark M. McCarthy."


"This is possibly the most user friendly Web Site that has ever been built at RPI. It shows off the best features of the campus, and is accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world who has access to the Internet. I recommend it highly, particularly as an introduction to RPI for prospective students."


"I picked out some parts of the tour that I thought were particularly well done. Read on for that list...."

Continue reading "RPI Introduces a Web-Based Campus Tour" »

February 13, 2001

Alumni Relations Presents "Ask the Expert" Web-based Discussions

Rensselaer Alumni Relations is sponsoring two "Ask the Expert" on-line discussions which will take place continuously from February 12 to 23. The topics are "Directions in Information Technology" and "How to Get a PE License".


Ask the Expert discussions are led by alumni who are experts in these subject areas. Roy Forsberg '82 from Nortel Networks will lead the Directions in Information Technology discussion. Doug Hasbrouck '57 will lead the Professional Engineering licensing discussion.


For more information and instructions on how to participate, visit the Discussion Groups page of the AlumServ Web Site at RPI.

February 5, 2001

President Jackson to Receive Black Engineer of the Year Award

Campus.News reports that Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson will be named Black Engineer of the Year at a conference organized by U.S. Black Engineer and Information Technology Magazine this week in Baltimore.


Tyrone D. Tayborn chairman and CEO of Career Communications Group (publishers of USBEIT) said, "Dr. Jackson is a distinguished theoretical physicist with a long string of 'firsts' to her credit. She is the first woman to win the prestigious Black Engineer of the Year Award; the first African American on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the first African American to head that agency; and the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. at MIT in any discipline...."


As an organization, the RCNJ feels particularly close to Dr. Jackson because she lived and worked in New Jersey for many years. She held positions at Bell Laboratories and Rutgers University prior to her appointment by President Bill Clinton as Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She left the NRC to become the President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in July 1999.

Professor Glicksman to Receive Research Award from German Foundation

Campus.News is reporting that Professor Martin E. Glicksman '57 was selected as a recipient of the Humboldt Senior Research Prize by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany.


Dr. Glicksman, the John Tod Horton Professor of Materials Engineering, gave a presentation to potentential Rensselaer students at the New Jersey Rensselaer Medal Reception in 1998. At that time, he spoke about his work on the Isothermal Dendritic Growth Experiment (IDGE), a series of microgravity crystal growth experiments that flew on space shuttle missions in 1994, 1996, and 1997


The von Humboldt Foundation is a non-profit group organized by the Federal Republic of Germany to promote international research co-operation. The foundation takes its name from Alexander von Humboldt, a noted German scientist of the 18th and 19th centuries who distinguished himself in geography, climatology, ecology, and oceanography.

January 1, 2001

RCNJ Web Site in the Spotlight at RPI

Dave Aiello wrote, "It gives me great pleasure to note that Rensselaer is featuring the RCNJ Web Site as its current Spotlight Web Site. This program, run by Tom Torello, highlights one RPI-affiliated Web Site at a time that contains useful or interesting information. The benefit is a link from the Rensselaer Home Page directly to our home page."


"On behalf of the Rensselaer Club of New Jersey, welcome to those visitors coming to us from www.rpi.edu. The RCNJ is the regional alumni chapter for the State of New Jersey, and we provide the 4,000 alumni in the State with information about what is going on at Rensselaer, as well as information about social events and business and community service opportunities. We also provide information about alumni activities in New York City and the metropolitan area, and Eastern Pennsylvania as a service to our fellow alumni chapters. If you are interested in hearing more about our programs, please register as a user of our Web Site, and sign up for one of our mailing lists."

Continue reading "RCNJ Web Site in the Spotlight at RPI" »

December 20, 2000

Survey Finds Students Like Using Laptops in Class

Campus.News is reporting that The Anderson Center for Innovation in Undergraduate Education published results of a survey of the Freshmen who participated in the laptop purchase program, conducted by Rensselaer for the first time last year.


The article said, "... 83 percent of {respondents} were satisfied with their laptops. More than 81 percent said that having a laptop allowed them to communicate effectively with course instructors. In addition, 75 percent said that having a laptop enabled higher-quality interaction with their professors."


The Poly had an interesting article on the faculty forum to discuss the results of the laptop survey. It reveals some concerns that the faculty has about their ability to tailor the courses to utilize the laptops in a meaningful way. Read on for a summary of the article as well as a brief history of the Laptop Program itself....

Continue reading "Survey Finds Students Like Using Laptops in Class" »

December 13, 2000

Anonymous Donor Gives $130 Million to Institute for Two New Buildings

Today's New York Times informs us that an anonymous donor has given Rensselaer $130 million for a new biotechnology research center and a performing arts center.

The NYT article is here.

A set of press releases and other related documents can be viewed at RPI's web site.

Continue reading "Anonymous Donor Gives $130 Million to Institute for Two New Buildings" »

November 29, 2000

Alumni E-mail News Update is a Valuable Resource

Dave Bohan and his associates at Alumni Relations have established a service called RPI E-mail News Update. It is a mailing list that provides summaries of news stories about Rensselaer.


Since this program formally began in September, Alumni Relations has consistantly produced a News Update once a month. The stories selected for inclusion in the News Updates have often been different than those we have highlighted on this Web Site. So, if you are interested in what is happening on campus, you will probably find this service interesting.


To subscribe, visit http://www.alumni.rpi.edu/Online/alumninews.asp.


Read on to see the latest News Update, sent by Alumni Relations earlier today....

Continue reading "Alumni E-mail News Update is a Valuable Resource" »

Student Life Forum Held on Campus

A new article on the Poly Web Site discusses the second meeting of the Student Life Forum. Apparently, this was a meeting between Rensselaer students and staff where student quality-of-life issues were discussed.


Many RCNJ members are vitally interested in the quality of student experience. But, it is difficult to understand the issues referred to in the article because no background is provided.

Continue reading "Student Life Forum Held on Campus" »

November 28, 2000

RPI Buying Real Estate in Foreclosure Bordering Troy Campus

Campus.News is reporting that the Rensselaer is actively attempting to buy residential real estate bordering campus that is in tax foreclosure. According to the article, the intent is to rehabilitate the buildings on these properties into "multi-family homes {to be} sold to qualified homeowners."


The idea is stated as a goal in Section 7 of the Rensselaer Plan: "Redevelop community fabric contiguous to and along gateways to the campus by joining in carefully selected neighborhood renewal, housing, hospitality, and commercial projects with private developers and public agencies."

Continue reading "RPI Buying Real Estate in Foreclosure Bordering Troy Campus" »

November 19, 2000

Followup: FBI Returns Seized Computer Gear to RPI Student

A few weeks ago, we reported that a student at RPI had his computer equipment seized by the FBI in an investigation into the defacement of the New York Yankees' Web Site. We are happy to note that Andres Salomon, the student who was under investigation, received his equipment back from the FBI on November 10. You can read his account of every step of the investigation on this Web Page.


We are pleased to hear that the FBI returned the student's equipment so expeditiously. The tendency in criminal investigations of this nature is for computer equipment to be held by the police for long periods of time. No doubt both parties to this story have learned something from the experience.

November 1, 2000

RPI Student's Computers Seized in Web Site Vandalization Investigation

Dave Aiello wrote, "Yesterday, I noticed an article on Slashdot that indicated that an RPI student had his computers seized and was questioned by the FBI in connection with an investigation into the vandalization of the New York Yankees Web Site. I did not want to post a story that discussed this until I could confirm the information, and I was too busy to do much digging. But now, the story has hit the mainstream press, appearing in USA Today. If they ran the story, we can be pretty confident that the details check out."

(Update: The Poly is now providing a report on this incident, as are the The Times-Union and the Associated Press.)

"The student, Andres Salomon, a sophomore, posted this explanation of what occurred. If you are interested in a simpler explanation of what he claims he did, read on...."

Continue reading "RPI Student's Computers Seized in Web Site Vandalization Investigation" »

October 12, 2000

Tahira Reid Interviewed on NPR

Campus.News reported that Tahira Reid '00 was interviewed on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition radio program. Reid is from the Bronx and invented the Dutch 2000 automatic double dutch rope-turning machine.


The Campus.News article includes links to a RealAudio clip of the NPR interview.

Continue reading "Tahira Reid Interviewed on NPR" »

October 5, 2000

Barton Hall, Student Union, and George Rickey Sculpture Dedicated

Over the past few weeks, many people on campus have been busy even if their only job was to attend the dedication of campus improvements. Campus.News reported that Barton Hall, the renovated Student Union, and a sculpture by George Rickey were dedicated in the same week.


Barton Hall is the first new residence hall at Rensselaer in many years, and it has the kind of amenities for collaborative work that are normally only present at hotels and conference centers. The dormitory was favorably mentioned in
Time/Princeton Review's "The Best College for You in 2001"
.


The Student Union has also been extensively renovated. Much of the work depicted on the Campus Planning Web Site were completed prior to the dedication.

Continue reading "Barton Hall, Student Union, and George Rickey Sculpture Dedicated" »

September 28, 2000

Poly Web Site Comes Back to Life, Better than Ever

The online version of the Rensselaer Polytechnic (aka The Poly, the student newspaper) has been relaunched. The authors of the newly redesigned site say that it "provides more information, contains more pictures, and is easier to navigate". We agree.


We are adding a link to the Poly Web Site to the collection of Quick Links that appears on the right hand side of the RCNJ home page.


The design credit on the Poly Web Site goes to Jason Golieb, a senior from Parsippany, NJ. He is in the EMAC program for his BS degree and also in the 5 year accelerated MBA program at the Lally School of Management and Technology.

Continue reading "Poly Web Site Comes Back to Life, Better than Ever" »

September 10, 2000

Gartner Group Study Says Napster Use Permitted at RPI

The Gartner Group, an influential technology market research firm, has published a report about the availability on major college and university campuses across America of a controversial Internet service called Napster.


Napster is a service that allows its users to share files containing music and other types of multimedia with each other. As such, many in the recording industry consider Napster a tool that primarily enables users to avoid paying for music that they would otherwise want to purchase on CD.


According to the Gartner report, 17 of the top 50 universities in America have banned the use of Napster. The remaining 33 universities surveyed, including Rensselaer, have not banned it.

Continue reading "Gartner Group Study Says Napster Use Permitted at RPI" »

September 7, 2000

President Jackson to Lead Campus Town Meeting Sept 7

Campus.News is reporting that President Jackson will lead a Campus Town Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 7 to "discuss the achievements of the last year and to introduce the first-year priorities of the Rensselaer Plan." According to the main page of the RPI Web Site, the event will be Webcast from 3:00 to 6:00pm Eastern Time.


According to information about the Webcast, it will be served for Windows Media Player only. It is not clear if the stream will be saved for later viewing. (Update on 09/08: The page from which the Webcast could be accessed simply says "Broadcast Complete". This must mean they are not archiving the meeting.)

Rensselaer Rolls Out Campus.News

We noticed that the Review, RPI's old weekly campus news publication that was like the faculty / staff equivalent of the The Poly, has been replaced by a Web-based publication called Campus.News. It's home page calls it "a convenient online summary of the latest Rensselaer news. It is posted weekly on Mondays or whenever breaking news warrants."