Office of the President

MEMORANDUM

To: NJIT Community

From: Joel S. Bloom

Date: Thursday, December 15, 2011

Subject: President's Updates

Allow me to update you on the status of the four university priorities since I last communicated with you on November 7:

Academics

  1. A 3-year proposal was reviewed at a special meeting of the Board of Trustees on December 14 to initiate the hiring of tenured/tenured track faculty and university lecturers. The Trustees have agreed to accelerate the hiring of 12 tenured/tenured track faculty and 9 university lecturers for fall 2012. The plan reflects the input of department chairs, college deans, Ian Gatley, Don Sebastian and Henry Mauermeyer. The planned hires correspond to the thematic research areas and the enrollment growth goals of the strategic plan. The plan anticipates the retirement of a significant number of highly valued faculty members as a result of the FSIP. The proposal reviewed by the Trustees included “start-up packages” and equipment for 31 faculty through fall 2014. Now, we need to move aggressively to recruit and hire the tenured/tenured track faculty and university lecturers for fall 2012.

  2. During the spring 2012 semester, faculty and others will be invited to participate in discussions about the content to be included in NJIT’s response to the “State Strategic Plan: New Jersey’s State Development & Redevelopment Plan.”   The response is to position NJIT as an essential component of the State’s capacity for jobs and economic development, and therefore part of its Strategic Plan and the allocation of State resources to achieve the plan’s outcomes. We need to identify individuals who wish to lead in areas of the State Plan, i.e., pharmaceuticals and the life sciences, technology industries, financial services, manufacturing, and transportation- logistics.

  3. As part of the effort to respond to the State’s Strategic Plan, and to seek education, training, research, and business opportunities for the future of NJIT, we are enhancing company and industry relationships. Therefore, we have recently met with the leadership from AECOM, Barnabas Healthcare System, Merck, NeST and Panasonic companies. Please see, www.erc-assoc.org/ecosystems/ for a discussion about “ecosystems,” a model that is increasingly being discussed for working at the interstices of university and industry partnerships.


Campus Planning

  1. At the December 14th Board of Trustees meeting, following on-going discussions and multiple meetings of Trustee committees, the “project development” and the “land lease” agreements for the Greek Village and the Dorman Residential Honors College project were approved. The project developer will be NJIT’s Campus Gateway Development, Inc. led by Monique King-Viehland. The project has three primary components: 1. Project Financing led by Henry Mauermeyer, 2. Construction Management led by Joe Tartaglia, and, 3. Village Management led by Jack Gentul.   The objectives of this project are to continue to attract hard working, high achieving students to our campus; to improve campus life by increasing our residential capacity (600 additional residential students); and, to expand campus amenities for dining, convenience store food purchases, and fitness activities.

  2. Upon our return to campus for the spring 2012 semester, the Student Mall facilities for the Bursar, Financial Aid and the Registrar functions will have undergone renovations. These changes have been initiated to improve services to students through the establishment of a “triage desk,” additional student work spaces, an area for confidential counseling, and more professional workspaces for the employees of these units. These changes are the result of discussion with the Student Senate about “unhappy students.” The planning for the changes was led by the Student Senate President Tessy Thomas, Jack Gentul, Stan Jakubaszek, Joe Tartaglia and the three directors for these functions, Carla Perez, Ivon Nunez, and Joe Thompson.   We look forward to student and staff feedback about these changes.

  3. The Fall Enrollment Open House on October 23 was very well attended by over 1100 students and family members. We are increasingly financially dependent on student enrollment. The weekly enrollment reports indicate that our applicant pool is strong for FTFTF and MS students. We, staff and faculty, now begin the challenging work of converting admitted students into enrolled students. We also recognize that a most important component of enrollment is retaining the currently enrolled students who are making satisfactory academic progress. The outreach to the newly admitted and advising of the currently enrolled are functions that need to be planned, coordinated, and well executed in a timely manner by administrative and academic departments. While outreach is generally well coordinated by the EMC (enrollment management team), advising appears to lack sufficient coordination to achieve continuous improvement for increasing our retention and graduation rates.

Government Relations

On November 10th, I met with the UMDNJ Advisory Committee. My presentation emphasized that NJIT is a very highly ranked Institute of Technology focused on educating students for the high demand STEM careers, and that NJIT has achieved significant enrollment and research milestones. Nationally, we are one of only thirty-four such institutes of technology, intentionally autonomous in order to focus on technology education and research for a mission of jobs and economic development. I advocated for three autonomous universities in Newark (NJIT, Rutgers-N and UMDNJ), reiterating the history of significant collaborative achievements through CHEN (an informal organizational structure) and Science Park (a legally formed organizational structure).   I proposed that with additional State support, an alliance of these Newark universities could yield mutually agreed upon outcomes of high value, particularly in the converging fields of engineering, technology and the life sciences. The feedback from the Committee was extremely positive. It is expected that the report of the Committee will be completed by the end of December. I would draw your attention to a comparable policy issue that was recently resolved in the University of Maryland system, with the regents rejecting a merger of the medical school into the University of Maryland in College Park; instead they called for a strategic alliance fostering “collaboration” across the two campuses (see www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-regensts-reject-u-md-umb-u).


NEXT Campaign

Between September and December., University Development led by Chuck Dees, convened 93 events including regional meetings, individual solicitations, and other cultivations. November’s “Celebration” netted over $235,000 for student scholarships, and a most enjoyable evening celebrating accomplished alumni, Ying Wu ‘88 and Larry Raia ’65; a corporate partner, AECOM; and a friend of the university, Dr. Rick Bowles, Merck. In the “quiet phase” of the campaign we are counting over $62 million.

I hope you find the above informative and look forward to your feedback. I thank you for all of your good work and support during this fall 2011 semester.

Warmest regards for the Holiday Season,


Joel