Vice presidents outline 2012-13 goals, objectives
September 25, 2012Tweet
The Division of Academic Affairs has established a “wide-ranging and ambitious” set of goals that are aligned with NYSUNY 2020 and the University’s Road Map project, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald Nieman told the University Council at its Sept. 21 meeting.
“The goals are designed to allow us to meet our commitments under NYSUNY 2020 and also start us down the road to take us to the Road Map’s ultimate destination of becoming the premier public university of the 21st century,” he said.
Nieman and the other vice presidents outlined their goals and objectives for 2012-13 during the University Council’s first meeting of the academic year.
One area emphasized by Nieman was faculty recruitment, as 45 new tenure-track faculty members (and 60 total) were hired for 2012-13. Academic Affairs will support the Road Map’s goals of a net gain of at least 30 tenure-track faculty members next year, Nieman said.
“This is an important goal for us,” he said. “This signifies better service to our students. It will allow us to reduce the student-faculty ratio, give students a wider range of academic expertise and also more contact with faculty. And it will help us increase our research strength.”
A second goal is continued enrollment growth, with the University targeting an additional 500 students per year.
“We are committed to doing that while maintaining the high level of academic preparation of the students we admit,” Nieman said.
The third category of goals – student success – will include projects such as growing a freshman mentoring program; investing in the undergraduate research experience; strengthening the residential college system; and developing new graduate student fellowships that will help the University recruit top PhD students, Nieman said.
The other vice presidents also stressed their divisions’ commitments to NYSUNY 2020 and the Road Map. The Division of Research, for example, will help execute planning for a new smart-energy facility, while supporting improvements to campus research buildings such as the Center of Excellence (scheduled to open in fall 2013).
“We feel that our research excellence and growth will be assured,” Vice President for Research Bahgat Sammakia said.
The division also will advocate and support the planned Southern Tier High-Technology Incubator, a campus-community partnership in downtown Binghamton, Sammakia said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his staff will visit Binghamton on Oct. 16 to discuss and examine regional economic projects.
“We see this (incubator) project as a key aspect to an emphasis on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region,” Sammakia said.
Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Rose said his division is working on several infrastructure goals, such as developing the furnishing and equipment needs for an “indoor town square” at the soon-to-be renovated University Union. The division is also readying the opening of the new Dickinson Community.
“We are going to spend much of this year training and preparing both our professional and student staff to deliver the same cohesive community and identity within a much different physical infrastructure,” Rose said.
Student Affairs also will identify and launch a long-term project that will bring students and faculty members together to address a community concern. Rose said that such a project will help answer the question: “How do we engage our students in educationally purposeful activities during their time outside of the classroom?”
Rose also discussed how the division plans to conduct a comprehensive review of the fraternity/sorority system and implement changes based on that review. A Greek life update, including a timeline of all actions taken so far, can be found at http://www2.binghamton.edu/dean-of-students/greek-life.html.
“Binghamton is prepared to engage in the hard work and put forth an effort befitting of this institution to address the (hazing) problem,” said Rose, who added that he was proud of his staff members for the actions they have taken and for accepting challenges that lie ahead.
Vice President of External Affairs Marcia Craner said the division will evaluate how the University can strengthen future fund-raising. “Bold. Brilliant. Binghamton” met its initial $95 million goal and went on to raise more than $101 million.
“We’ll look at some of the lessons learned – what worked and what didn’t work so well in the campaign we just closed,” Craner said.
External Affairs also will continue to introduce President Harvey Stenger to national audiences: He has already met with alumni and donors in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C., Craner said.
The division plans to create more student-alumni programs that will prepare undergraduates to be lifelong alumni, she said. Examples include more alumni speakers on campus and an Alumni Leaders Conference in April 2013.
“It is so important for our students to have connections with our alumni,” Craner said. “But it’s also important for our alumni to have those connections back to campus.”