Welcome from the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost - August 2016
Welcome to Binghamton University! In less than seventy years, Binghamton has earned a reputation for academic excellence and become one of the best public research universities in the nation. Our excellence has been built by world-class faculty who are internationally known for their research and creative work and some of the best students in the world. It’s the interaction between top faculty and students that provides the spark that makes Binghamton special.
Guided by our Road Map strategic plan (http://www.binghamton.edu/president/road-map/index.html), Binghamton’s enrollment has grown by almost 20 percent since 2011. As the fall semester begins, we welcome 17,200 to campus. As we have grown, we have significantly increased faculty and staff, expanded our physical facilities, developed new programs, increased our global reach, and become even more engaged with the local community.
We have grown with quality, reaffirming Binghamton’s historic commitment to excellence. That commitment is reflected in the new students we welcome to campus this fall.
Our freshman class of 2,620 was selected from over 32,000 applicants and is among the strongest in Binghamton’s history with an average SAT of more than 1300 and a high school average of 95. We also welcome an outstanding group of 1,060 transfer students who bring with them an average GPA of over 3.5. As a major research university with outstanding professional schools, we remain a popular destination for top graduate students. This fall, almost 1,200 new students will enter our masters and doctoral programs.
Outstanding students deserve top faculty, and this fall about 40 new tenure-track faculty will join schools and departments across campus, lowering our student/faculty ratio, increasing critical mass in research programs, and bringing with them fresh ideas and new approaches to scholarship and teaching. These new colleagues join over 200 new tenure-track faculty hired in the past four years. The quality of our new faculty is as impressive as the number hired. Already they have enjoyed success in the scholarly realm, strengthened research programs across campus, and brought new classes and perspectives to our curricula.
During the past three years, much of our hiring has been linked to our Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence (TAEs)—five themes that address important scientific, social, technological, cultural, and policy questions that can best be answered by teams of faculty from multiple disciplines (http://www.binghamton.edu/tae/). With over 150 Binghamton faculty associated with the TAEs, we are creating intellectual communities that offer rich possibilities for collaboration, establishing a bold new approach to inquiry, and shaping the future of research on our campus.
As we have grown, we have introduced new academic programs—many of them transdisciplinary—that are attractive to students and support our research objectives. These include a Ph.D. program in Community and Public Affairs and the Pharm D. as well as masters programs in health systems, taxation, public archaeology, applied statistics, applied liberal studies, and sustainable communities, with programs in public health and data analytics in development.
Health Sciences, one of our transdisciplinary areas of excellence (http://www.binghamton.edu/tae/health-sciences/), is among our most important foci in research and program development. With support from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (http://www.binghamton.edu/blog/index.php/blog/story/14015/upstate-revitalization-initiative-how-will-this-funding-affect-binghamton/) we are developing a health sciences campus proximate to Wilson Hospital in Johnson City, about 2 miles from our main campus. It will be the site of our new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (whose first class matriculates in August 2017), expanded Decker School of Nursing, a nurse-run community clinic, and partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.
Binghamton University has long been known for excellence in undergraduate education, and we’re not resting on our laurels. We are committed to offering 21st century students a transformative learning experience that prepares them for advanced education, careers, and purposeful living. To that end we have invested in a dynamic center for teaching and learning that provides support for pedagogical innovation, new classrooms that facilitate engaged teaching and active learning, civic engagement opportunities that allow students to apply in the community what they learn in the classroom, and undergraduate research, including our acclaimed Freshman Research Immersion Program (http://www.binghamton.edu/freshman-research-immersion/).
The coming year will be a time of significant change as Binghamton University continues to grow in size, ambition, and quality. One thing, however, will not change: our commitment to excellence. We remain a place where world-class faculty conduct path-breaking research and help remarkable students realize their enormous potential.