As they came together, the Rose-Hulman "family" considered where Rose-Hulman has been and where it might go. They offered their observations, ideas, and hopes. Out of those many voices, several consistent themes emerged loud and clear. Here is an overview of those themes, the brainchildren of The "Great" Debate:


Ball machine   
Rose-Hulman senior project -- ball sorting machine.   

Creativity and Innovation

The Rose-Hulman campus, culture, and faculty serve as a powerful base of inspiration for our students. The ideas collected to build on this area of expertise include 

  • expanding project formats (interdisciplinary projects, projects with a global emphasis)
  • encouraging risk taking (in and out of classes). Additional suggestions include a customized degree plan and unifying student access to shop facilities.

Creative Approaches to Teaching and Learning

Rose-Hulman has been a leader in innovative teaching methods. The most commonly suggested ideas for positively impacting Rose-Hulman in this category in the future were

  • adopting some form of alternative academic schedule (for example: to move to semesters, to implement a January term, to create longer continuous blocks of time for students to work on, reflect on, and apply course material)
  • developing alternative course formats (such as workshop or studio-based classes, competency based courses, project-based courses).

Dealing with Complexity

Our graduates go on to find success defining and solving the problems of a complex, global society. The demand for these individuals is on the rise. Rose-Hulman must continue to be on the forefront in preparing our graduates with the technical, professional, and 'success' skills (innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship) to face these demands in a fast-paced global economy.


Rose-Hulman will need to define what diversity means in the context of its unique environment. The discussion captured these top ideas:

  • increase the diversity of people on campus
  • new diversity-focused programming and classroom activities
  • more/new interactions between the varied groups on campus
  • facilitate or require study/work abroad

External Collaboration

Real-world learning is a hallmark of the Rose-Hulman education. Participants suggested

  • establishing partnerships and collaborations to inspire and/or sponsor senior design projects, sabbaticals, internships;
  • sending Rose-Hulman students to business school seminars.
  • encouraging a culture of collaboration
  • encouraging and promoting external projects (encouraging faculty to involve students in their professional lives; having every student work on at least one external project; publicizing existing external collaborations).
  • establishing collaborations with other schools (possibly international) for degree programs and collaborative projects.
  • leveraging Rose-Hulman Ventures as a platform for collaborations with a broader mission. 

K-12 Outreach

The desire to spark a passion for math and science at an early age is something we share with everyone who works in our field. Ideas from our campus community include

  • create opportunities for our students to work with younger individuals in our community (for example: to mentor K-12 students) and to create summer camps for K-12 students. 
  • offer training for K-12 teachers,
  • conduct new high school/middle school activities. 
  • Robotics is a likely area of potential K-12 outreach.
  • be on the lookout for ways to connect with local schools, guidance counselors, parents, and other K-12 stakeholders. 
  • establish a central Rose-Hulman committee to coordinate and facilitate K-12 outreach efforts, and becoming involved with the development of K-12 state curricula.


Impelled by headlines of a tough economy and rising higher education costs, our community sought solutions for our brand of student that included various financial aid strategies. They looked at:

  • changing how aid is allocated and changing tuition pricing policies
  • generating money through new initiatives
  • increasing development efforts/the endowment and investments.
  • moving to a year-round academic calendar
  • adopting an outcome-based retroactive payment system rather than an "up-front" tuition payment system.
  • creating a three-year degree
  • focusing the budgeting process on Institute strategic goals
  • using internal expertise whenever possible


Engineers without borders Dominican    
 Rose-Hulman Engineers Without Borders in Dominican Republic   

Global Experiences

Our graduates are in demand at global companies solving global issues. As the demand for global agility increases, Rose-Hulman will want to meet this need with fresh ideas about facilitating work/study abroad, increasing work/study abroad participation, creating exchange programs and academic partnerships, and bringing more global experiences to campus. Other suggestions for offering broad global experience within the Rose-hulman education:

  • Course-related global opportunities, such as short-course projects to be conducted abroad
  • the facilitation of attendance at international conferences
  • the conducting of international service projects
  • the creation of new types of study abroad opportunities, for example, a six-week structured travel/learning opportunity with faculty/staff oversight and alumni involvement.

Improving Rose-Hulman's Name Recognition

Rose-Hulman has a strong reputation among our peers and with many job recruiters, but considering the wide and diverse communication channels available today, more work needs to be done to increase name recognition among ever wider audiences. Campus community ideas to this end included:

  • promoting our successful alumni and students
  • promoting opportunities for engineers/innovation
  • promoting faculty expertise
  • increasing on-campus programming were also suggested

On-Campus Environment

The most commonly suggested idea for positively impacting Rose-Hulman in this category was to change buildings/facilities/spaces in various ways. The second most commonly suggested idea in this category was to maintain or adopt innovative human resources practices. Attitude was a common theme among suggestions, including portraying Terre Haute and Rose-Hulman in a positive light; fostering the "Rose-Hulman family" atmosphere; creating a new employee welcome group; and better integration of faculty and staff.

Our Local and Regional Environment

Among the most commonly suggested ideas in this category were to bring more local people on campus and have Rose-Hulman participate in the local educational system. Additional thoughts were encouraging Rose-Hulman personnel to perform local service projects and link local groups/businesses with Rose-Hulman and increasing the visibility of Rose-Hulman senior administrators in the community.

The Student Experience

Our student satisfaction scores always rank high. To help sustain this special distinction, participants' top suggestions included providing new or expanded services for students and improving student relationships with other Rose-Hulman stakeholders. Some suggestions focused on

  • helping students become part of the caring Rose-Hulman culture
  • providing more support for international students
  • student-to-student mentoring programs for students
  • a successful entrepreneur mentor

Student Preparation for Professional Practice

The most commonly suggested idea in this category was to give students work experience. The next most common suggestion was to require additional coursework (for example, additional business classes; additional projects; additional work/learning involving topics, such as leadership, ethics, intellectual property, the literature of practice in their field). The creation of academic minors in business/professional practice was suggested, as was a speaker series. Other ideas included institutionalizing the Leadership Advancement Program and increasing students' leadership experiences.