Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Parents, Alumni, Colleagues and Friends,
When I stepped into the role as president of Binghamton University, I knew I was entering into an incredibly exciting time of my life — and that feeling has not abated. In fact, I am more excited about our future now than when I arrived!
That excitement stems from all that has been accomplished in 2013. In April, we launched our Road Map to Premier, embarking on our strategic plan that will guide us to becoming the premier public university of the 21st century. I hope it is as gratifying to each of the 400+ faculty, staff, alumni and community volunteers who worked so hard on the Road Map to see it come alive as it for me.
Our Road Map is not a static document but a true, working plan. As we implement nearly 50 of the proposals that came out of the process, I want you to know that I am absolutely amazed and proud to be working with each of you to move Binghamton University forward.
Coinciding with the end of the academic year, we saw the departure and hiring of several senior personnel at the University. In March, we announced the appointment of a new dean for Harpur College: Dr. Anne McCall, a scholar of 19th-century French literature and, for the past five years, dean of arts, humanities and social sciences at the University of Denver. The following month, College of Community and Public Affairs Founding Dean Patricia Ingraham retired and Professor and Chair of Social Work Laura Bronstein was appointed interim dean.
In June, I named Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Donald Nieman executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, with authority to answer many of the day-to-day questions that come before the president's office. This is a common arrangement among top universities that will serve us well as we grow in size and scope, as projected by our Road Map.
Finally, in July, I reorganized the Division of External Affairs into the Division of Advancement, focusing on alumni relations, development and philanthropy. I appointed Rebecca Benner as interim vice president, pending a national search for a vice president scheduled to begin in the fall. As part of this change, the Office of Communications and Marketing now reports to the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, where it can better focus on promoting our academic and research programs, help recruit outstanding students and faculty, and brand our institution as the premier public university.
In time to welcome our 16,000 new and returning students to campus, we officially celebrated completion of the largest construction project ever on our campus – the $375 million East Campus Housing Project that replaced the Newing and Dickinson residential communities. We're now able to accommodate about 900 more students on campus as we continue to grow our enrollment.
Finally, I must say the highlight of the year is our opportunity to host President Barack Obama for a Town Hall meeting on campus. The historic visit came unexpectedly, but I believe Binghamton University, with its history of providing affordable, accessible, quality higher education to students is the perfect place for the President of the United States to speak about the value of public higher education. And that's just what happened the first half of the year – I can't wait for the fall semester to begin!
Harvey G. Stenger