The start of a new academic year is an exciting time for all who are engaged in higher education, and I want to wish faculty, staff and students the greatest measure of success for the coming year. I especially want to extend a warm welcome on behalf of the NJIT community to those students who will be embarking on their studies at NJIT and experiencing both the opportunities and challenges of college life for the first time.
Our student body continues to grow, and the 2014 freshman class is, once again, the largest in our school’s history. The SAT scores of these very talented young men and women also confirm that they are exceptionally well prepared for the rigors of academic work in majors that span the STEM spectrum of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The knowledge and skills that our students gain at NJIT are vital for the economic and social well-being of New Jersey, our country as a whole, and nations around the globe. The preparation that leads to an NJIT degree is a solid foundation for personal success as well. As America’s innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders of industry, NJIT graduates continue to be recruited into the most promising and best-paying careers at a rate exceeding the national average. Their achievements on the path forward after graduation have led to NJIT’s ranking in the top one percent among public universities in the United States for alumni earning potential.
What our graduates achieve clearly reflects the dedication of NJIT’s faculty to the highest standards in education and to advancing research at the leading edge of every discipline. I am very pleased to say that we have concluded a three-year strategic hiring plan that has brought a total of 50 new faculty members to NJIT. I welcome 14 of whom have arrived on campus for the fall semester.
Two new deans are joining us this fall, bringing a wealth of academic and administrative experience to NJIT. Dr. Kevin D. Belfield, who has been named dean of the College of Science and Liberal Arts, comes to us from the University of Central Florida, where he served most recently as Pegasus Professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. Dr. Moshe Kam, the newly appointed dean of Newark College of Engineering, joins NJIT from Drexel University. At Drexel, he served as Robert Quinn Professor and head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
These additions to the NJIT faculty are central to moving forward with our current interdisciplinary initiatives in education and research. Looking further ahead, it is a core endeavor reaffirmed in 2020 Vision, a strategic plan for 2015-2020 that emphasizes a continuing interdisciplinary commitment to convergent life sciences and engineering, data science and information technology, and sustainable systems.
Appropriate investment in physical resources is also integral to the success of our university’s mission. The freshman class of 2014 and returning students will benefit from improvements that include the Warren Street Village, now in full use as a focal point of campus life and community learning for members of NJIT’s Greek organizations and students in Albert Dorman Honors College. Use of the Central King Building is increasing as renovation progresses. With completion anticipated for 2017, the Central King Building will be a state-of-the-art STEM teaching and learning hub that will stimulate the exchange of ideas and the application of emerging knowledge in hands-on laboratories, and design and modeling studios.
Congratulations to the Newark College of Engineering and the College of Computing Sciences for the receipt of the maximum six years of accreditation from ABET. Accreditation is a rigorous review of the undergraduate degree programs being offered by these colleges and recognizes the commitment to continuous improvement being achieved by the faculty and staff on the behalf of their students.
I wish you all success on your individual educational and professional paths this year, and I look forward to continuing our cooperative journey toward solutions needed to improve the quality of life on our campus and its environs.
Joel S. Bloom
President, New Jersey Institute of Technology