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M. Richard Rose speeches

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0082

Scope and Contents

The M. Richard Rose speeches consist of speeches given by Rose to the university and other organizations. M. Richard Rose was president of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) from 1979-1992. The speeches were written for university events such as Rose's inauguration ceremony, faculty addresses, awards dinners, and commencement ceremonies, as well as for off-campus organizations such as the Rochester Rotary Club and the Christian Women's Club of Syracuse, NY. Additionally, the collection includes copies of Rose's State of the Institute speeches from 1980-1991 and various reports Rose made to the Board of Trustees.


  • Creation: 1979-1992


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Merle Richard Rose (1933-2021) was born in 1933 in Fredonia,Pennsylvania. As the youngest of three children, Rose's parents encouraged him to start his own businesses as a child. Some examples of his business ventures include a popcorn stand and a fruit stand on the side of the road. After graduating from Slippery Rock State College in 1955, Rose served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a platoon leader. He then began working as a teacher in the Lakeview School District. Rose also attended Westminster College where he earned a master's degree in counseling. From 1962-1972, he worked at the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.

Rose left his position as Assistant Provost at the University of Pittsburgh when he was appointed Deputy Assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense for Education in 1972. Next he accepted a position as the president of Alfred University (1974-1979) in western New York. He kept this post until 1978 when he was chosen from over 120 candidates as the next president of RIT. On January 1, 1979, Rose took office as the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) seventh president.

During his tenure, Rose helped to build RIT's reputation while expanding its curriculum. For instance, in 1979 RIT acquired a small liberal arts school, Eisenhower College. This was partly due to Rose's interest in expanding the liberal arts and humanities curriculum at the university. Yet, Rose is most remembered for his involvement with the CIA.

In 1980, the RIT Research Corporation was created. The corporation was a for-profit company that conducted proprietary research. Although legally separate from RIT, the corporation was staffed entirely by RIT faculty and students. Then, in 1985 a Memorandum of Agreement was signed by the CIA and RIT. The agreement established a relationship between the agency, the university, and the RIT Research Corporation. Part of the agreement stipulated that the CIA would pay the salaries of faculty members whose work tangibly benefited the CIA. The following year, Rose and approximately 30 faculty members received government security clearance. By 1990, RIT had received $855,000 in research funding from the CIA.

Initially, the RIT community seemed unbothered by the university's involvement with the CIA; though there were mixed feelings on the National Intelligence Technical Support Program (NITSP), which was set up to screen, recruit, and train RIT students for future CIA employment. Then, on February 7, 1991 Rose announced that he was taking a four month sabbatical from RIT for a confidential assignment. A retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Rose had occasionally left the campus for duty in the past. People assumed that Rose's assignment was linked to the Gulf War effort. But, in April 1991 it was discovered that Rose was actually working for the CIA as a consultant on educational strategies. A group of 50 or so faculty, staff, students, and alumni called for Rose's immediate resignation. Although this was followed by a written letter to the Board of Trustees by the RIT-CIA Off Campus Coalition and the Community for Peace and Justice, Rose did not resign. He did, however, announce his retirement in September 1991, effective June of the following year. On September 6, 1991 the CIA terminated its agreement with RIT, withdrawing $20,000 in support funding and choosing not to renew $200,000 in research contracts.


3.13 Linear Feet (12 binders, 1 folder)




Transcripts of speeches given by M. Richard Rose during his time as president of the Rochester Institute of Technology (1979-1992). The speeches were given during various events to both the university and off-campus organizations.


Materials are arranged in chronological order.

Physical Location

C.S. South, Shelf 588-589

Related Materials

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in February 2011.

M. Richard Rose speeches
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
14 February 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA