Joel S. Bloom
November 7, 2011
Upon being appointed your Interim President, I wrote to you on October 3, 2011, stating that I will keep you informed and solicit your input on the priorities that the Board of Trustees and Senior Staff would be implementing during this interim period in order to achieve continuous improvement. The following is a brief status report on four of the priorities.
Ian Gatley and the college deans are developing the initial draft of the Academic Plan. The draft will be submitted to the Board of Trustees at a special meeting scheduled on December 14th with the intended result of enabling the initiation of searches for mid-career faculty to be hired for fall 2012.
As the result of a meeting of faculty representatives including Mill Jonakait, Dale Gary, Richard Sher, Ian Gatley and the Executive Committee of the Trustees, Kathy Wielkopolski, Vince DeCaprio, Steve DePalma, the Faculty Council has been asked to identify a representative to be a liaison member of the Trustees’ Academic Affairs Committee. In addition, input from the Council will be sought during the drafting of the Academic Plan.
A letter withdrawing NJIT’s application to establish a medical school was submitted to the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners on October 18, 2011.
On the President’s website, please find two important reports, “State Strategic Plan: New Jersey’s State Development & Redevelopment Plan,” and “Building Bridges Between Academic Institutions, Business and Government to Bring Innovation to the Marketplace.” The former discusses plans for New Jersey’s economic growth, and the latter, how academic institutions should partner to achieve economic growth. NJIT, as New Jersey’s Science and Technology University, needs to ensure that our education, research, and commercialization plans are responsive to these state initiatives. I have had recent conversations with industry corporate CEO’s to discuss further developing relations with NJIT, including AECOM, Alliance for Action, St. Barnabas Health Systems, Merck, Panasonic, and Verizon. In the coming months, we will engage in conversations about our response to these reports.
At the November 3rd Board of Trustees meeting, the NJIT students who participated in the New Jersey Solar Decathlon were present to receive “Certificates of Appreciation” from the Trustees for the outstanding effort.
Plans are being finalized for the development of the Greek Village and the Residential Honors College for review and approval by the Trustees at their December 14 meeting. This housing will add 600 beds to our existing 1400 bed capacity for residential students. Significant work to develop the plans has been done by Henry Mauermeyer, Monique King-Viehland, Jack Gentul, Thea Schoenberg and Urs Gauchat along with our partners Jones Lang Lasalle, Monument, and the Greek Housing Council led by Jim Krucher ’73. The development of these facilities are closely linked to our ability to attract hard working, high achieving undergraduate students to our university, as well as bringing additional campus amenities of a restaurant, convenience store and fitness center to the southern side of the campus.
The Trustees at their November 3rd meeting approved a proposal to borrow funds up to $10.1 million to purchase equipment over the next years in order to support the university’s education, administrative and research functions. The development of the plan was led by Dave Ullman, Don Sebastian and Henry Mauermeyer.
Enrollment goals of enrolling over 10,000 students for fall 2012 have been established based on meetings with the college deans, the Strategic Plan, marketplace, program capacity, and improving student retention. The effort has been led by Kathy Kelly. As requested by the Trustees, we will be initiating a capacity study to determine facility and service needs as we make progress toward our strategic enrollment goal of 11,000 students.
In response to concerns raised by the Student Senate, Jack Gentul and Ted Johnson are developing a plan for improving customer service.
I will be presenting our recommendations to the UMDNJ Advisory Committee on Thursday, November 10th for medical education as well as higher education in Newark. Our proposal is for a collaborative approach to providing education, training, research and commercialization of technology in the converging disciplines of engineering, technology and the life sciences.
In preparation for the meeting we have developed three documents that can be found on the President’s website: “Convergence of Engineering, Technology and Life Sciences, Vols. I&II, and “Collaborations: Science Park and the Council of Higher Education of Newark.” I have had meetings with our Newark university colleagues to discuss our proposal as well as with individuals who have a critical role in producing the final report .
I thank those of you who have submitted statements of work you are engaged in and are continuing in these disciplines and your collaborative efforts with colleagues at Rutgers, UMDNJ and Essex County College.
NEXT Campaign for Scholarship, Fellowship, Endowed Chairs and Facilities
During this past month alumni events have been convened in Jersey City, Orlando FL., and Big Bear CA. These were often accompanied by individual visits with significant donors. Charles Dees reports that thus far we have reached $61 million of the $150 million campaign goal. We look forward to the Campus Community’s participation in the NEXT Campaign.
I also want to thank Renee Watkins and Shareakah Hopson who have assisted in producing the reports referenced above as well as the materials for the additional meetings of the Board of Trustees, and I also want to thank Mary Jane Pohero who continues to assist with our fund raising efforts and the Honors College Board of Visitors.
I hope you find the above informative and look forward to your feedback.