Interim President Wole Soboyejo

A Message From Interim President Wole Soboyejo

At press time, a month into my service as interim president, there is already much to reflect upon and still more to look forward to in the year ahead. As we navigate this presidential transition period, the WPI community continues to amaze and to inspire me.

From the celebration of Alumni Weekend to review and planning meetings with the university’s academic and administrative leadership team to day-to-day business across campus and around the world, I see clearly that we are well-positioned to continue our progress.

The many institutional strengths reflected in our strategic plan, Lead With Purpose, will ground us as we confidently enter into this new stage of our history. We continue to increase our efforts in diversifying our student population. WPI’s investment in additional financial aid for students has grown by over $20 million, to a $122 million annual aid budget, an important step in increasing affordability and decreasing student debt. We also continue to raise the bar for teaching and learning as we infuse value creation and innovation into who we are and what we do at WPI. 

We aspire not only to be good, but to be good for something bigger than ourselves. Let us continue to walk in this direction, together.

It is important to note that the distinctiveness of our work and the strengths of our foundation and approach to education were most recently recognized by the New England Commission of Higher Education in its report continuing WPI’s accreditation. Among other strengths, our holistic focus on students was emphasized.

In my conversations these past weeks, I’ve been struck with how all our stakeholders are consistent in what they value and cherish about WPI. Of course our distinctive project-based learning is noted with pride, as well as how faculty address global challenges in their research—fittingly called “research with a purpose”—and involve the next generation of young scholars and changemakers in that mission.

It takes every part of WPI to truly transform the lives of our students. We’re a national leader in providing new teaching tenure tracks that give our faculty a true sense of belonging and investment in WPI. We recognize that the national mental health crisis requires a sustained, thoughtful response, and we are emphasizing wellness for our students, faculty, and staff. Our new Center for Well-Being is taking shape and new programming will kick off this fall as the physical space is built out in the next few months.

WPI is a dynamic ecosystem of students, faculty, staff, and collaborators tackling the greatest challenges of our time. We are deeply committed to cocreating the solutions and advancing the frontiers of discovery that impact the lives of people, and that enable the well-being of our community and our world. Such remarkable clarity of purpose is a gift.

It is my great honor to be part of the WPI community in which there is respect for each other, where we work every day to be an inclusive community that’s committed to innovation that is making a difference in the world. We aspire not only to be good, but to be good for something bigger than ourselves. Let us continue to walk in this direction, together.


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