President Stenger updates alumni on State of the University
By Steve Seepersaud
Although he went in considerably more detail, the phrase "we're getting popular" was a neat summary of President Harvey Stenger's State of the University address.
During his presentation on Saturday, Oct. 12, during Homecoming 2013, the president discussed recent celebrity visits to campus as well as the University's ambitious plans for growth. (Pictured above: Tom Bondy '73 and President Stenger)
In August, sportscaster and Foundation board member Tony Kornheiser '70 returned to the area for the Dick's Sporting Goods Open golf tournament. Shortly on the heels of that visit, President Barack Obama visited Binghamton University to discuss his plans to make college education more affordable for the middle class. Just after classes started, Buddy Valastro – more commonly known as the Cake Boss – taped scenes on campus for his show on the TLC cable network.
Stenger also provided alumni with a progress report on the plan to grow the University's enrollment to 17,000 students and hire 150 net new faculty by 2017.
The president said new faculty will be hired strategically; a faculty committee will give priority to requests for new positions if they strengthen the University's five Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence: citizenship, rights and cultural belonging, health sciences, material and visual worlds, smart energy and sustainable communities.
"If we are going to hire 150 new faculty, we need to have a plan and we need to involve the faculty in that," Stenger says. "These Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence allow us to connect deep knowledge with a personality of collaboration. I feel in many ways this is energizing the campus."
In a number of measures such as SAT scores of admitted students, graduation rates and faculty-to-student ratio, Stenger says that Binghamton University compares favorably to elite public institutions such as the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Michigan.
"We know that we provide an excellent undergraduate education," Stenger says. "However, I feel we had room to grow in the area of graduate education, especially career-directed master's programs."
Binghamton has submitted a letter of intent and proposal to the central office of the State University of New York for a pharmacy school. The program would meet a growing need in the marketplace; the University at Buffalo is the only school in the SUNY system to offer such a program.
"There is strong demand for the Doctor of Pharmacy program and after the students graduate, they can stay here and have promising careers," Stenger says.
Heidi Goldstein '81, vice president of the Alumni Association, provided introductory remarks that encouraged alumni to stay connected to Binghamton and help fuel the University's future success.
"This is a time to relish present achievements and wonder about promise for the future," Goldstein says. "A lot has changed since I graduated, and Binghamton's future is indeed very bright."
To learn more about the University's strategic plan – Road Map to Premier – visit the President's website.