MEMORANDUM

To: NJIT faculty, students and staff

From: Robert A. Altenkirch

Date: Sunday, August 31, 2008

Subject: Welcome to a new academic year

Welcome to the start of a new academic year. For those of you returning, the new year is always a time to reflect on last year’s events and accomplishments, and for everyone on campus this fall, students, faculty, and staff, a time to look forward to accomplishing their goals here at NJIT.

Our vision is to be recognized as a preeminent technological research university known for innovation, entrepreneurship, and engagement at “The Edge in Knowledge.” Our values consist of pursuing excellence, acting with integrity and civility, and celebrating diversity as a student-centered university.

Much progress has been made in reaching our vision, meeting our value proposition, and achieving the goals and objectives of the university’s Strategic Plan (http://www.njit.edu/president/planning/; see Strategic Plan Progress Assessment). A few highlights include:

  • Enrolling the largest number of students in the Albert Dorman Honors College, over 600, last academic year;
  • Enrolling one of the largest freshman classes last year in the Educational Opportunity Program;
  • Implementing sixteen new academic, degree-granting programs to continue to provide a broad array of educational opportunities;
  • Growing federal expenditures in the university’s research program by nearly 140% from 2000 to 2007, the most recent year for which data are reported; and
  • Being named, for the third consecutive year, by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nations top tier national research universities.

Some notable events occurred this past year. In the fall, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education reaffirmed NJIT’s accreditation with the next evaluation visit scheduled for 2011-2012. In the spring, the Newark Municipal Council passed a resolution designating NJIT as the “sole and exclusive redeveloper” of properties north of campus, plus the NJIT parking lot bounded by Raymond Blvd. and Colden and Warren Sts., which comprise the Gateway Plan area (see http://gateway.njit.edu/). The Gateway Project, to be funded through private investment, is focused on neighborhood retail and entertainment enhancements for the enjoyment of the community and for NJIT, providing living opportunities that will make NJIT an attractive destination for students, faculty, and staff, and a “Greek Village” that will contribute to growing our fraternity and sorority population. 

Students and faculty continue to be recognized. Examples, among many, include for the 2007-2008 academic year, NJIT was home to the New Jersey Professor of the Year, Osama Eljabiri, as recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Black Enterprise magazine named NJIT faculty member Treena Arinzeh as one of “40 under 40” to watch in 2008.  And, six NJIT student-athletes were named Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars.

There is a lot to look forward to this academic year. While we are never without our challenges, we continue to make progress through hard work and the dedication of those who work and study at NJIT. We anticipate enrolling this fall NJIT’s largest freshman class and reporting a record in research expenditures as well. Another round of program development during the 2008-2009 academic year is projected to result in an additional ten new academic, degree-granting programs to start in fall 2009. Follow these and other developments, activities, and events at a great university of which we can all be proud to be a part by visiting the NJIT Newsroom, which can be reached via the News link at http://www.njit.edu/.

Thanks, and best wishes for much success this academic year.

Bob