NJIT Community
Joel S. Bloom
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
NJIT Community Update - October, 2012
The fall 2012 semester is proceeding well, total enrollment set new records with 9,943 students, 1045 first-time-full-time freshman with SAT score 20 points higher than the fall 2011 class for a combined    (critical reading & mathematics) average SAT of 1161, about 140 points higher than the New Jersey and national scores. There is a need to increase our masters’ degree and PhD enrollments.  A total of 24 tenured/tenured track faculty have been hired, 16 strategic plan hires and 8 to fill faculty vacancies. In addition, 9 university lecturers have been added to meet our demand for teaching.

Construction is on schedule for the Warren Street Village comprised of the Greek houses, the residential Albert Dorman Honors College, and a campus restaurant, convenience store and fitness facility. The Central King Building fascia on Summit St. has undergone significant restoration with new windows and terracotta surrounds , an expanded green in front of the building and work is continuing on the third and fourth floors for biology laboratories, faculty offices, classrooms and student lounges. A Capacity Study has been initiated to plan for enrollments beyond 2015. The study is being led by Provost Gatley and Vice President Fey. The study along with the Academic Plans will be used to review the University Master Plan.

Additional work is being done to implement the tactics from last year’s committee report for increasing retention and graduation rates as per the Strategic Plans objectives. This effort is being led by Vice President Fey, NCE Associate Dean Baltzis and Dean Saigal. We need to increase our freshman to sophomore retention rate by 6-8 points and our graduation rate by a many as 10 points.

A third effort is a Branding/Marketing Task Force being led by Trustee Dennis Bone and Vice President Dees in order to continue to expand NJIT’s visibility. Each task force or study group has broad-based community participation, should you desire to add to the input, please contact a co-chair. I thank all of those who have agreed to serve on these task forces as we work toward the continuous improvement of our university.

Personnel searches are underway including one for the Vice President of Human Resources. The search committee is being chaired by the Chief of Staff Hank Ross.   Dean Deek is leading the search for the Dean of the College of Computing Sciences and for the Dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College. The strategic plan faculty searches have also been initiated. Given the highly successful outcomes for the searches done this past academic year, the same process is being implemented with the expectation that this round of faculty hires will continue to build critical mass of faculty expertise and experience in the three thematic areas of the University Strategic Plan. I thank all of you who are serving on the search committees. I look forward to output of the search committees and the recommendations of the chairs, deans, Provost and the Senior Vice President of Research & Development.

I also want to thank the many alums who warmly greeted an NJIT delegation of Charles Dees, Don Sebastian, Diane Bloom and me as we traveled during 11 days to 5 cities across China. Prof. Richard Garber also joined us for part of the trip as did alumni Dick Sweeney who is the co-chair of the Board of Visitors for the Dorman Honors College. Dick also assisted in setting-up business and alum meetings, as did stateside alum, Dr. Fang Chu.  Ying Wu, Chair of the NJIT Chinese Alumni Association, and his assistant, Angela Huang made numerous travel arrangements and offered much support during our trip as did Dr. Jingong Pan, Jackie Zhou, David Tang, Shawn Chou, Daniel, Acton & Thomas Yip. Tao Qu hosted a bar-b-cue at his ranch in Pear Valley for 15 alumni. During our trip we also met with officials from three universities, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing Institute of Technology and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for the purpose of developing master’s degree relationships, faculty and student exchanges. We also had extensive meetings with officials from 7 companies:  China Southern Railroad, China National Building Materials (is supporting our China Solar Decathlon entry), Apollo Solar (a partner in the development of thin film solar), Simatelex (currently supports NJIT honors students scholarships), Yihai Group, New Oriental Education & Technology Group, and G.E.W. International. We have returned home with good success toward the NEXT campaign, and have much work to do as we continue to develop relationships with our Chinese alumni/na, university and company partners.  

I also want to thank all of you in advance as you go to the polls and encourage others do so on Nov. 6 Election Day to support the “Building Our Future Bond Issue for Higher Education Facilities.” This bond act is critically needed for a quality higher education for New Jersey students, workers, industry and our overall quality of life.

Thank you.