Welcome from the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost - Spring 2015
As 2015 begins, we can take pride in the accomplishments of the past year and look forward to many more to come.
Binghamton University continued to grow in 2014—both in size and academic quality. Enrollment hit 16,700 students in fall 2014, putting us ahead of schedule to meet the growth targets we established in our NYSUNY 2020 plan. Moving forward, we will cap our undergraduate enrollment and focus on continuing to grow at the graduate level.
Key to our plan is a new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which is on track to welcome its first class of students in August 2017. As 2015 begins, we welcome a new dean, Gloria Meredith, who will guide development of Binghamton's newest school. A distinguished neuroscientist who is currently dean of pharmacy at Rosiland Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago, Gloria has the experience as a researcher, teacher, and academic leader to build a program that will educate outstanding professionals and engage in pathbreaking research and drug development. As Gloria prepares to join us, we are working with SLAM Collaborative to design a new building to house the school, which will be located adjacent to Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City.
We are also in the midst of a busy recruiting season. During the past three years, we have hired almost 200 new faculty, increasing the number of tenure track faculty by almost 100. Faculty growth will continue as we conduct over 60 searches this year for faculty to join us in August 2015.
By increasing the size of our faculty, we're not only reducing our student-faculty ratio, but increasing our strength in research. To assure that we hire strategically, we have focused recruitment on five Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence. These are cross-disciplinary themes that address important scientific, social, technological, cultural, and policy questions that can best be answered by teams of faculty from multiple disciplines (http://www.binghamton.edu/tae/). Each of the TAEs is guided by a steering committee of 10-15 faculty members who are involved in faculty recruitment, vetting proposals for grants to support faculty research, and programming.
Our recruiting efforts have brought a group of outstanding scholar-teachers to campus. Consider several budding stars we've added to our faculty. They include NSF CAREER winners Sarah Lazlo (psychology), Stephen Levy (physics), and Tim Miller (computer science), as well as Seth Spain (School of Management) whose work on the "dark side" of managers has received national attention, Elizabeth Moser (Theater) who brings with her a wealth of experience on Broadway, and Kaiming Ye, a senior scholar in biomedical engineering who is a leader in 3D printing.
These new faculty join a group of distinguished colleagues who have established Binghamton as a major research university. Consider Stan Whittingham, whose pioneering work on batteries was recently recognized with a $12.8 million U.S. Department of Energy grant establishing the Northeast Center for Chemical Energy Storage at Binghamton, or Wendy Wall, the historian whose work on immigration has garnered a prestigious 2015 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. There's also Hari Srihari, the dean of the Watson School of Engineering, who was awarded the 2014 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, and Linda Spear, whose highly acclaimed research on alcohol addiction won renewal of an $8.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue support for the Developmental Exposure Alcohol Research Center.
To accommodate growth, we have added new facilities. In the fall of 2014, we opened our beautiful new Admissions Center, as well as the Center of Excellence, the latest in a series of new research facilities that have increased research space on campus by over 10% since 2010. And the construction continues. 2015 will see us beginning renovation of the Student Wing, which will add 20 classrooms, breaking ground on the Southern Tier High Technology Incubator in downtown Binghamton, and concluding design of the home for our school of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences.
Our growth has been guided by our Road Map to Premier strategic plan, which we launched in April 2013 (http://www.binghamton.edu/president/road-map/index.html). It established strategic priorities for the campus and led us to develop a set of metrics to measure progress as well as a new approach to making investments that will help us achieve our goals. Each year we call for proposals and vet them through a process that includes the vice presidents, the Faculty Senate Budget Review Committee, and the Road Map Steering Committee. The process has led to investments in faculty start-up, library collections, graduate assistantships, our Center for Learning and Teaching, undergraduate research, civic engagement, need-based scholarship assistance for study abroad, and staff to support international students, graduate and undergraduate recruitment, communications, and research. In the spring of 2015, we will review and prioritize almost 100 proposals for projects to be funded in 2016-17.
Binghamton University is moving steadily toward the goal we established in the Road Map: becoming the premier public university of the 21st century. As we grow in size, we are growing with quality while maintaining our commitment to diversity and access. We are also enhancing our research infrastructure and, most importantly, recruiting top faculty. Together, faculty, staff, students, and alumni are building on a tradition of excellence to make a great university better.