1. Purpose
  2. Mission Statement
  3. History of the Institute
  4. Campus Map
  5. Governing Authority
  6. Organizational Chart
  7. Human Resources
  8. Employee Relations Committee
  9. Staff Representative to the Board
  10. Ombudsman Committee

1.01 Purpose

This staff handbook has been prepared to serve as a reference publication on employment related issues for staff members of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. It is intended as a general guide to policy, practice, and conditions of employment. Detailed policies and additional documents are included in the appendix and referenced throughout the text.

Due to the dynamic nature of the organization, and the legal and regulatory environments, the Institute reserves the right to change provisions in this handbook when deemed to be in the best interest of the Institute and its staff members.

This handbook and its provisions are not a contract or guarantee of continuous employment between the Institute and employees. Additionally, by Indiana law, all employees of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology are employees at will. As an “at will” employee, each employee has the right to separate employment at any time with or without reason or notice and the employer has the right to terminate an employee at any time with or without reason or notice.

1.02 Mission Statement

To provide students with the world’s best undergraduate education in engineering, mathematics, and science in an environment of individual attention and support.

1.03 History of the Institute

In September of 1874, Chauncey Rose, a respected Terre Haute businessman and philanthropist, founded the Terre Haute School of Industrial Science. Mr. Rose, a native of Connecticut, came to Terre Haute to seek his fortune some sixty (60) years earlier. By a combination of luck and drive, Rose became the Wabash Valley’s foremost industrialist and entrepreneurial capitalist, amassing a fortune from railroads, oil, real estate, and lumber. Seeing a serious need for better educated mechanics and draftsmen, Rose envisioned a school to prepare young men for the mechanical and design demands and opportunities of the Industrial Revolution. In a mood of great celebration according to accounts in local newspapers, the cornerstone of the large Gothic main building was laid on September 11, 1875 at 13th and Locust Streets. Over Rose’s strenuous objections, the Board of Managers changed the name of the school to Rose Polytechnic Institute to honor its founder.

Eight years later in March of 1883, with a secure endowment, substantial buildings and laboratories, and a carefully selected faculty of seven under the leadership of Charles O. Thompson, the school opened for the instruction of twenty-five men. All were enrolled in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Included in their numbers were three “upperclassmen” who would constitute the first graduating class of June 1885.

In succeeding years, new majors were added as the demands of industry and the interests of students changed. For example, in 1887 the civil engineering major was fully established, and two years later Walter Wiley earned a degree from the Chemical Department, becoming the Nation's first chemical engineer. In the early 1890s a strong interest in electrical engineering swept the student body. In fact, all but two in the class of 1893 made the switch to electrical engineering amid the excitement of this new source of power and energy.

From the beginning, the students worked and studied long hours. For many years, the curriculum was basically taught on a six day basis (half days on Saturday). The faculty met weekly to evaluate the academic progress and social behavior of each and every student. But, students being students, they found outlets for extra energy and creativity. The first social fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, was chartered in 1893, followed by Sigma Nu in 1895, the P.I.E.S. (later Theta Kappa Nu, then Lamda Chi Alpha) in 1900, and Theta Xi in 1907. More recently Triangle, Phi Gamma Delta, Delta Sigma Phi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Chi Omega, and Delta Delta Delta were chartered. The students literally ran athletics, paying a special fee to finance the purchase of equipment and the traveling expenses of the various teams. A field day event in 1889, at which Rose bested Indiana Normal, was the first intercollegiate competition. Other outlets for student time and talent were started, and many of our same clubs and activities like the Modulus, student government, a form of intramurals, drama, chorus, and band were firmly established.

Through wars and national recessions and depressions the school flourished. Even in tough times, students and their families found the resources to pay the expenses of a Rose education. Scholarships were few, but most students found ready employment in the large number of existing factories and mills, particularly during summers. Local boys did have some advantage over those from outside the county. No tuition was charged to Vigo County residents until 1922, when the move to the new school necessitated the change in policy.

As early as 1908 plans to move to a larger location were being discussed. The open fields of 1874 had given way to factories and boarding houses, leaving no room for the school to expand. The opportunity to do so came in 1917 when the Hulman family sold to the Board of Managers 123 acres of farmland east of Terre Haute on the National Road. Later the Hulman’s would donate the purchase price back to the school as part of their contribution to the school’s first national fund drive. On September 13, 1922 (WWI and a major recession had delayed construction) the cornerstone of what would become Moench Hall was laid. For many years it was the sole classroom/laboratory facility on campus. Deming Hall, the first student residence, was added in 1926.

Following WWII, a succession of presidents of vision and intellect built the campus we have today. The growth in the student body led to the construction of four residence halls and married student apartments. Many of the fraternities built houses on the east side of campus. Hulman Union was made possible by the Hulman Foundation in 1966.

Templeton was remodeled in 1969, Crapo Hall built in 1970, and a new library and recreation center were built before the decade ended. In the 1980s Moench Hall was entirely remodeled and Hadley and Olin Halls built. In the 1990s, Hulman Union was

doubled in size, the Olin Foundation provided a major expansion of Olin Hall, the old field house and recreation center gave way to America’s finest small college athletic complex, and a new residence hall. In addition to all of the growth in the size of the student body and changes in the landscape, Rose Poly was rechristened in 1970. The holdings of the Hulman Foundation were donated to the school in December 1970 and the Board of Managers voted to rename the school the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in recognition of the longstanding support of the Hulman family.

The crowning event of the school’s history in the last decade of the century was the decision to become coeducational. The graduate program had long since admitted women, so there were female alums. However, admitting women to the undergraduate student body was a decision not lightly made. All constituencies, students, faculty, staff, Board members, alums, and friends, had to be convinced that it was the right thing to do for the continued success of the Institute. A pioneering group of ISU coeds took classes here during the 1994-95 school year, with plans to transfer in as upper class students when the school officially admitted its first coed class in the fall of 1995.

From its beginnings at 13th and Locust to its move in 1922 to the former Hulman family farm and rebirth as the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1970, the school has been devoted to helping young people pursue the very best education possible. From a graduating class of three mechanical engineers, the school has grown to an enrollment over 1500, including graduate students and a hundred plus professors teaching in Applied Optics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry & Life Sciences, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics.

Today’s students work and study in an environment of high technology, laptops, virtual classrooms, internships and co-ops, and group projects. Mandolin and telegraph clubs have given way to the Solar Phantom and aerial robotics. Students leave the school for employment in a global marketplace possessing a keen commitment to their profession and life-long learning. So, while the mission of Rose-Hulman may have expanded over the years, the same focus on being the best place for an undergraduate education in mathematics, science, and engineering still remains, true to the vision of Chauncey Rose. 

1.04 Campus Map

See Appendix 1

1.05 Governing Authority

The ultimate governance of the Institute lies with the Board of Trustees, which is charged with "the management of the business and prudential affairs of the Institute." The Board has 35 members, 32 selected by the Board, two alumni nominated through the Alumni association and elected by the Board, and the President of the Institute. The Board holds three annual meetings: Homecoming, mid-winter, and Commencement. 

1.06 Organizational Chart

See Appendix 2

1.07 Human Resources

The mission of the Office of Human Resources is to coordinate the hiring process, provide continuous employee development by supporting the evolving needs of employees, and to serve as a reliable source of information for faculty and staff. The office provides direction and guidance in administering Institute personnel policies, payroll services, benefits administration, professional development and training

The Office of Human Resources provides various support services to all departments of the Institute to help attract, develop, and retain the human resources needed to effectively accomplish the Institute’s mission. The Office of Human Resources is available to support departments in their administration of the policies set forth in the staff handbook. 

1.08 Employee Relations Committee

The Employee Relations Committee is a liaison between the administration and employees (faculty and staff) to facilitate decisions that involve compensation and fringe benefits to promote a smooth running workplace. The committee also is charged to provide a suitable forum for mediating conflict, to facilitate change, and to advocate for a fair and supportive workplace as outlined in the Fair Treatment Practices Policy (See Section 7.0 Fair Treatment Practices Policy). The committee is composed of six faculty members and six staff members (3 from exempt classification and 3 from non-exempt classification) appointed by the President. The Director of Human Resources, Benefits Coordinator and Vice President for Business and Finance serve as ex-officio members. This committee meets regularly during the academic year. 

1.09 Staff Representative (REV. 2/1/06)

The Staff Representative to the Board is a professional/exempt staff member who is elected by the staff and serves a two year term effective July 1st. The Staff Representative serves three primary roles:

  • A confidential resource (Ombudsman) to assist staff in matters relating to their job at Rose-Hulman. The Staff Representative is to be open-minded and not pass judgment. The Staff Representative may meet in confidence with the Director of Human Resources to seek ways of resolving conflict. The Staff Representative will reference the Staff Handbook regarding policies and procedures, explain employment practices, listen and offer counsel as required, and attend at the request of the staff member, meetings with the supervisor and/or Director of Human Resources.
  • A member of the Ombudsman Committee which provides staff with an additional confidential channel for addressing workplace concerns. The Committee members serve to help staff express needs, identify issues, and explore possible solutions to concerns. The faculty also elect two faculty members to the committee.
  • An ex-officio member of the Business Administration Committee of the Board of Trustees (or other Committee as designated by the Board of Trustees) for the primary purpose of providing communication between the Staff and the Board of Trustees. This Representative may, when invited, attend meetings of the Board of Trustees and the President’s Cabinet.

The Staff Representative will serve as “Staff Teller” at the conclusion of his/her two year term. The Staff Teller, in conjunction with the Director of Human Resources, will conduct the voting process for election of the new Staff Representative. 

1.10 Ombudsman Committee

The Ombudsman Committee provides staff with a confidential and informal channel for addressing workplace concerns. The committee members help staff express needs, identify issues, and explore possible solutions to concerns. The members consist of the elected staff representative to the Board of Trustees and two faculty members elected by the faculty. The President may appoint additional persons to the committee to ensure diversity.