Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson announces retirement

On Friday afternoon, President Shirley Ann Jackson announced that she will be retiring from her position as President of Rensselaer in July 2022. Jackson has served as president since 1999.

An email sent to the RPI community listed some of her many accomplishments, such as building the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, the East Campus Athletic Village, and the Center for Computational Innovations. Jackson also oversaw the implementation of the Arch program and the Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students program.

Jackson was the first African-American woman to receive a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She headed the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Clinton administration, and was the Chair of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board during the Obama administration.

Jackson’s tenure at RPI has not been without controversy. She has received criticism for her removal of the student-run nature of the Union and her high compensation. A faculty vote of no confidence in Jackson narrowly failed in 2006.

The email did not specify the plans for the hiring of a new president. Previously, there was a Presidential Search Committee of trustees, faculty, staff, students and alumni to hire Jackson. The Polytechnic asked the Institute for a comment on whether a Presidential Search Committee for Jackson’s successor had been formed and who would be represented on the committee. RPI Senior Communications specialist Mary Martialay responded “I don’t have that information for you now, but these questions will be answered in the coming weeks.”

Editor's Note: The article previously stated that the vote of no confidence was overturned. This has been corrected to reflect that the vote of no confidence failed. The Polytechnic regrets this error.

Editor's Note: The article's previously stated that the vote of no confidence was done by the Board of Trustees. This has been corrected to show that the vote was done by the faculty and not the Board of Trustees. The Polytechnic regrets this error and has updated the link to an article that gives more details about the vote.