To: The NJIT University Community

From: The Office of the President

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2011

Subject: Appointment of Joel Bloom

The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Board of Trustees has unanimously appointed Joel Bloom, EdD, to serve as interim president of the university, effective immediately. This follows the recent announcement of the resignation of Robert Altenkirch. Altenkirch will serve as a consultant to the interim president until the end of October.

Speaking for the NJIT Board of Trustees, Kathleen Wielkopolski expressed confidence in the selection of Bloom. “Our priority during this period is to assure that all the initiatives currently being undertaken at NJIT, both internal and external, continue to proceed. With Dr. Bloom’s extensive experience and involvement in many of these initiatives, and working closely with the Provost, the Board is confident that this can be accomplished,” she said.

Bloom, who is NJIT vice president for academic and student services as well as founding dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College, is well-positioned to take on this leadership role.  Bloom, with a career spanning 20 years at NJIT, is passionate about the university and its students as their education in the sciences, engineering, technology, design and management transforms their future and that of their families. 

Bloom’s impact on the university has been significant.  Under his watch, student enrollment increased from 7600 to over 9500 students, including increases in female and minority students.  The average SAT math score is now in the top quarter nationally; Dorman Honors College enrollment increased 70 percent, totaling 685 with combined average SAT scores over 1335 for fall 2011; articulation agreements are currently signed with the state's high-tech high schools and 19 county colleges; and accelerated joint admission agreements exist with UMDNJ Medical and Dental Schools, St. George’s Medical School, SUNY Albany School of Optometry and Seton Hall Law School.

In his role as dean of the Dorman Honors College and vice president for student and academic services, Bloom  has been integral in helping to shape  the academic plan for the university. Further, Bloom is leading the development of a Dorman Residential Honors College and the planning for a Greek Village in collaboration with Greek alumni and currently enrolled students.  Previously, Bloom led the successful effort to raise $23M for Dorman Honors College scholarships.  

Bloom expanded the Center for Pre-College Programs to help prepare students for the rigors of science, mathematics, engineering and technology education; with the college deans and faculty, he expanded honors courses and undergraduate research, established the university's medical and health committee of faculty to advise and assist undergraduate students entry into graduate and professional schools and to coordinate the health-related NJIT disciplines; he increased retention and graduation rates, and planned residence halls that transformed a commuter campus to one with more than 50 percent of the freshmen living on campus.

“As the university proceeds to implement a major comprehensive fundraising campaign, Dr. Bloom brings an understanding of the university, its history and contacts, and will provide the necessary continuity needed at this time,” said Trustee Wielkopolski. Bloom has served the Newark Community through his participation in the development of Science Park High School.  He has also initiated multiple programs with the Newark Public Schools, most recently with the new Central High School—yielding the largest number of enrolled NJIT freshmen from the school. For over a decade, he has served as vice chair of the board for Community and Schools, a national dropout prevention program serving Newark and other urban school districts.  He is active in many education organizations including The NJ Presidents' Council Executive Board for New Jersey Edgenet and the executive board of the NSF-funded Philadelphia Alliance for Minority Participation.

Prior to joining NJIT, Bloom served as an assistant commissioner for education during Governor Thomas Kean's administration and was responsible for statewide assessment, curriculum standards, math/science/technology education, and the improvement of urban education through piloting the Effective Schools research and Alternative Education programs.

Bloom holds baccalaureate and master’s degrees from Hunter College, City University of New York, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University.