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DeFleur outlines vision for University

In her first address to the full faculty this academic year, President Lois B. DeFleur on Tuesday provided a snapshot of who we are and of the broad-based excellence that makes Binghamton University such a unique institution. Drawing from the Universitys recent presentation to the SUNY Mission Review Team, DeFleur outlined what the University proposes to accomplish as part of the Mission Review process.

The quality of entering undergraduates continues to rise, she said, even as the University has increased its graduate student enrollment and added new graduate programs.

But Binghamton is not only focusing internally, DeFleur said. Outreach and development activities are contributing to the advancement of local technology firms and the University and its faculty are working to enhance education and other services for local schools and government.

The Universitys strategic plan will guide the campus, DeFleur said, as it “commits us to both enhancing our core strengths and to additional growth and development to meet the needs of our students, our communities, our state and our nation.”

Three key themes that Binghamton will pursue are: academic excellence, creating an adaptive infrastructure and enhancing engagement and outreach.

With a total enrollment of slightly more than 14,000 students, Binghamton must develop new academic programs, co-curricular opportunities and integrated curricula to continue moving forward, DeFleur said. “We want to increase faculty by 20 percent and reduce our student to faculty ratio to 20:1,” she said.

Other initiatives will include development of graduate programs and enrollment to achieve a ratio of undergraduate to graduate students of 3:1; establishment of a School of Education and a College of Community and Public Affairs; establishment of new programs in such fields as educational leadership and exploration of the establishment of a law school; and a doubling of sponsored research activities in the next five years.

To attract the best faculty, students and staff, DeFleur said the University will require new investments in facilities to provide appropriate office, research and support space as well as modern residential communities. And to enhance engagement and outreach, “Binghamton is committed to increasing the number of partnerships by 25 percent,” said DeFleur. “In addition, we are also committed to raising more private funds to help support these ambitious goals and to enhancing the professional development of our staff.”

DeFleur also highlighted the challenges facing the University as it implements the strategic plan. They include a competitive faculty hiring environment; the need for better stipends and tuition waivers to attract quality students; garnering funding and matching support for research equipment and support for technological advances for libraries and media-intensive learning environments; the need to seek funds for a new science and engineering building; and the need to significantly renovate existing science buildings.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08