NJIT Community
Joel S. Bloom
March 21, 2016
Community Update - March 2016
Dear NJIT Community,

Volunteering at NJIT—Alternative Spring Break (ASB)

The hardworking, high achieving students of NJIT continue to excel in community service.  For the fourth consecutive year, hundreds of NJIT students elected to forgo spending their spring break at some traditional warmer-climate destination.   Instead, they chose to remain closer to campus to serve others through Alternative Spring Break (ASB).  This year’s ASB, which ran from March 12th through 17th, involved 27 projects in four counties: Essex, Hudson, Bergen and Monmouth -- from Newark to the Jersey shore.  For example, 30 members of our women’s and men’s track teams worked on an asparagus farm in Middletown, NJ.  The farm is run by OASIS Therapeutic Life Centers, a nonprofit group supporting autistic adults.  Our students tilled the soil and sowed seeds for a crop that will bloom in the spring.  I am extremely proud of our students and ASB is a shining example of our Highlander Spirit.  The ASB effort is led by NJIT’s Career Development Services in partnership with the Campus Center working with multiple nonprofit groups. This past year more than 3,000 of our students contributed over 45,000 hours of service to our communities.  NJIT and its students have a very deep commitment to community service.  A BIG THANK YOU to all!

More Volunteering--NJIT’s Student Senate

I also want to take this opportunity to thank the Student Senate for their efforts this year to improve campus life including the funding for charging stations, hydrating fountains and equipment for the fitness center. They are giving back to our student body now and into the future.  The Senate and Student Activities Council will host a week, Monday, March 21st through Thursday, March 24th, of health-related events to encourage students to stay fit.  All students are invited to join-in to compete for prizes.

Graduation Rates

While talking about students, we have been very focused on improving the graduation rate of our students, particularly the undergraduates.  Rating entities, based on the quality of our entering freshman class have projected that we should be graduating at least 65% of our entering freshman class.  We have adopted this as a goal in our “2020 Vision” strategic plan. In fact, the graduation rate for the 2015 year was a record high of 61%.  This is the result of a concerted effort by the Provost’s Office with the college deans led by Fadi Deek and Academic Services and Student Affairs led by Charlie Fey and the newly established Advising Center.  The improvement effort has focused on the advising of students and using technology to track and report on our students’ progress toward graduation.  While this achievement exceeds the national graduation rates by 10% for students in our STEM disciplines, we still have much work to do, not only to achieve the 2020 Vision goal, rather to exceed it, as the workforce demand for our students in this state and region compels us to increase the graduation rate.  New Jersey’s economy is highly dependent upon an engineering, science and technology workforce.  Currently, over one-fourth of the engineers in New Jersey have an NJIT degree.

NCE’s Annual Salute & Outcomes

Last week’s Newark College of Engineering (NCE) “Salute” held at the neighboring Newark Museum, a wonderful venue, was truly a celebratory evening for our award winning students, faculty and staff. The event attracted nearly 200 alumni, faculty, students and friends, kudos to Dean Moshe Kam and his staff as well as the NCE Board of Visitors and Chair Robert Cohen.  The week ended on a history-making note for NCE by being ranked in the top 100 of engineering schools in the nation at #92.

Upcoming Events

As of the writing of this message, our Men’s Basketball Team is in post-season tournament play. Tonight, join us in the Fleischer Gym at 7:30pm for the CIT (College Insider Tournament), NJIT vs. Boston University. These student-athletes and the coaches are truly a hard-working team as evidenced by its athletics performance and its academic GPA of 3.0.  From our Fencing Team, a record number of six fencers will be heading to NCAA National Championships, March 24th-27th.  Congratulations to Lenny Kaplan et al!

On Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 10:00am our community is invited to attend the State of New Jersey, Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2017 State Budget in the Campus Center Atrium. Senator Paul A. Sarlo, NJIT alum and chair of the committee will be joined by vice chair Senator Brian P. Stack and committee members Senator Peter J. Barnes, Senator Jennifer Beck, Senator Anthony R. Bucco, Senator Sandra B. Cunningham, Senator Linda R. Greenstein, Senator Kevin J. O'Toole, Senator Steven V. Oroho, Senator Nellie Pou, Senator Teresa M. Ruiz, Senator Samuel D. Thompson, and Senator Jeff Van Drew.

All My Best,