Just had to add a little something to make sure that this nomeclature is not thought to be horrible by all at RPI. I am currently an adjunct professor there, and I recently got my masters (in PHILOSOPHY, and I'm proud of it!) there as well. While I understand that I chose the school because the philosophy there had a computational bent, I am not unsympathetic to those who feel any name with 'polytechnic' in it marginalizes those who aren't in technical fields. I saw a really brilliant prospective student start looking elsewhere, because she was looking for a school with a strong engineering program and a strong music program--RPI was NOT the place for her. If RPI, as an institution, wants humanities and social sciences that don't suck, it needs to attract people with those interests.

All of that said, I do think that the majority of the student body feels the same way rampagingredneck, derF024, and Labrys feel. I don't really know why--other than a pretty nice alma mater, I don't see that the name helps anyone much. If they lament the decreasing role of engineering and the sciences on campus, this seems to me ludicrous--last I heard, half the students were engineers. How dominant does this field need to be? Heck, even if you just want decent electives, shouldn't you support the improvement of other departments? Interdisciplinary work?

So I don't understand what the problem is. People at Dartmouth made a huge deal about opposing calling 'freshmen' 'first-years'. Who cares? It just isn't a big problem, call them what you get asked to call them, and relax! Tradition shouldn't be followed blindly, and if changing the name of the Institute to both a) make non-engineers happy and b) make it sound more like an institution of higher learning than a research institute, what difference does it make to the students?

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