NJIT Faculty, Staff and Students
Robert A. Altenkirch
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Welcome to a New Academic Year
Welcome to the start of a new academic year at NJIT. This past academic year was one of accomplishment and recognition on many fronts. For the second year in a row, NJIT was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and is included in the second Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges recognizing the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada. NJIT was also included in Princeton Review’s The Best Colleges of 2012 as well as the 2012 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges, a selective, subjective, and systematic look at some 300 hundred colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain. Most recent data collected by the National Science Foundation on research and development expenditures in science and engineering put NJIT in the top 100 of U.S. public universities and in the top 40 of public universities in the U.S. without a medical school.

Students, faculty, and alumni continue to excel. NJIT students from the School of Art and Design took home two of three regional awards from the 2011 Interior Design Educators Council Student Competition. For the sixth straight year, the American Society of Civil Engineers Steel Bridge Team took first-place honors at the annual Metropolitan New York Region Steel Bridge Competition. Faizan Naqvi, a member of the Albert Dorman Honors College, received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, as did both of his brothers in previous years when at NJIT. They are the only three brothers ever to have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships. Alumnus Al Tarasiuk ’86 was recently appointed Chief Information Officer, Office of the Director of National Intelligence by President Obama. And Patrick McGowan ’88, an NJIT Overseer, was last fall named by the Irish Voice to its Irish Education 100, a list of leading figures in education across North America.

Professors Norm Loney, Otto H. York Department of Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering, and Ron Rockland, Department of Engineering Technology, were elected Fellows of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Society for Engineering Education, respectively. Professor Carol Johnson, Department of Humanities, won the 2010 National Council of Teachers of English Best Book Award in Technical and Scientific Communication for The Language of Work: Technical Communication at Lukens Steel, 1810-1925.  

Enrollment continues to grow. This fall we are counting over 9,000 students, the largest enrollment in history at NJIT, as well as over 1,000 in the freshman class, again a record. Enrollment in “new” programs, started since 2006, is nearing 700, including over 100 in the BS in Business and Information Systems, a joint program of the School of Management and the College of Computing Sciences.

The 2010-11 academic year saw some firsts for NJIT Athletics. The Women’s Tennis Team captured the Great West Conference title while the NJIT Ice Hockey Team won the Great Northeast Collegiate Hockey Conference Championship. Men’s Basketball Coach, Jim Engles, was one of only 11 coaches to receive a vote for Associated Press Coach of the Year.

Team New Jersey, a collaboration between Rutgers and NJIT, was one of twenty teams selected world-wide to compete this September in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, which involves building and operating a solar-powered house. With more than $600,000 in private support and led by two students--one from Rutgers and NJIT’s Jen Switala--Team New Jersey  produced the first precast-concrete house ever entered in the competition, the ENJOY House.

Implementation of the NJIT Campus Gateway Plan (, a mixed-use, residential and retail redevelopment of properties north of campus, plus the NJIT parking lot bounded by Raymond Blvd. and Colden and Warren Sts., took some major steps forward. Monument, LLC was selected as the Developer for the Greek Village/Residence Hall complex to be built on the Raymond/Colden/Warren parking lot. Groundbreaking is anticipated this coming spring with an opening for the 2013-14 academic year. Temporary parking will be made available to accommodate the construction while permanent replacement parking is secured as part of the Gateway Project.

Renovated classrooms in the Central King Building, formerly Central High School, were brought on line, and the architectural firm Rogers Marvel was brought on board to design a complete renovation of the facility, turning it into Discovery Hall and Learning Complex. The Naimoli Family Athletic and Recreational Facility, the largest covered floor space on campus, was dedicated. It will be the site of University Convocation on September 14. And the former Warren St. light rail station on the west edge of campus is now the Warren St./NJIT station.

There is a lot to look to forward to this academic year, including continued implementation of the five-year strategic plan ( and final preparation by our Self-Study Team for an accreditation visit by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) in the spring. The Self-Study Team, under the direction of Professor Norbert Elliot, Department of Humanities, began work over a year ago to complete a Self-Study Report for submission to MSCHE just prior to the spring visit.

We are, as always, never without challenges, but working together toward common goals, we rise to meet them. 2011-12 promises to be a year of progress for New Jersey’s Science and Technology University.