RIT's new president calls for the university to 'double down’ on creativity and innovation

Sep 29, 2017

Credit A. Sue Weisler/RIT

It was inauguration day on Thursday for the tenth president at Rochester Institute of Technology.

David Munson told the hundreds who gathered at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center that RIT needs to double down on making the campus a thriving ecosystem to stimulate creativity and innovation which is the translation of an idea into a product, service or process that has economic or social value.

"Every student can be involved in creating things that never before existed and then putting those concepts into motion in an effort to improve the world."

Munson also talked about the university embracing diversity, equity and inclusion. He said that the RIT of the future will be “powered by many dimensions of diversity, where the talents of all are valued and employed...wouldn’t Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, long-time Rochestarians, be proud of where we are headed?"

Munson also said that RIT must continue to rethink its educational systems, “so that we are building a broad, multidisciplinary skill set where creativity is exercised at every turn.”

Dartmouth College President Philip Hanlon served as keynote speaker for the inauguration. Hanlon, who worked closely with Munson at the University of Michigan, looked toward Munson’s past to make predictions about the future for RIT.

“Dave will challenge RIT to elevate its capacity to tackle the great issues of our time — through the research and creative work that occurs on your campus and by honing a student experience that equips your graduates for impact in the years to come,” said Hanlon. “He will help you realize your loftiest ambitions and overcome those sometimes artificial boundaries erected within academia that limit our ability to address such complex and wide-ranging questions.”

The inauguration was witnessed by the past three presidents of RIT, Bill Destler, Al Simone and Richard Rose.