It might surprise you to know that a visit by the president of the United States was on one of our Road Map team’s list of objectives. The group that was brainstorming ideas about our rankings and reputation wondered if the University could host a presidential debate for the next election. We did better than that when we had the unexpected opportunity to host President Barack Obama for a town hall–style meeting on campus in August. I believe that Binghamton University, with its history of providing affordable, accessible, quality higher education to students, was the perfect place for the president to speak about the value of public higher education.
President Obama’s visit coincided with the arrival of students who were moving into residence halls, including brand-new buildings in Dickinson Community. The completion of the East Campus Housing project (Newing and Dickinson communities) helped provide room for some of the 16,000 students enrolled this year; it’s a record, but one that is in line with our NYSUNY 2020 goals. Our faculty numbers have also grown. In the past two years, we’ve added 93 new full-time faculty members.
It’s easy to see new buildings and count new faces, but there is a lot of other growth on campus that is less visible but no less important. I’ve talked a lot about our Road Map process and goals; now I can start to check some off as being completed. One of those projects was the creation of our new Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which is being led by Valerie Hampton, previously director of affirmative action. Another project is the revamped Center for Learning and Teaching, which is now a one-stop source for instructors who want to explore innovative ideas in teaching; we didn’t need President Obama to tell us that was important!
Many of you have never experienced a “flipped” classroom, an online class or the chance to learn a subject in as much time as you need. These are some of the innovations you’ll read about in this issue of Binghamton University Magazine. And to keep up with our Road Map projects, visit binghamton.edu/president/road-map.
President Harvey G. Stenger