Welcome from the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
August 14, 2018
As a new academic year gets underway, Binghamton University remains committed to its mission: transforming lives and changing the world.
This year, we welcome a freshman class of 2,850, selected from almost 40,000 applicants. The Class of 2022 is an exceptional group of students, even by Binghamton's high standards, boasting an average SAT score of 1380 (evidence-based reading and writing and mathematics) and a high school average of 95. Our new freshmen will be joined by 1,080 transfer students with an average GPA of 3.5, as well as 1,200 new graduate students recruited from across the country and around the world to study in doctoral and master's programs that are among the most competitive in the nation.
We not only recruit some of the best students in the world, but we provide access to a high-quality education irrespective of students' financial situation. Almost 30 percent of our undergraduates are students of color, 28 percent are eligible for Pell grants and international students make up 16 percent of our student body. Our diversity is a strength that fosters robust discussions and offers our students and faculty a rich environment in which to teach and learn.
Given Binghamton's remarkable combination of selectivity and access, it's not surprising that U.S. News & World Report has ranked us among the top 50 public universities for the past 19 years, and we are always featured in The New York Times' "Colleges that Do the Most for the American Dream."
Our new School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences welcomes its second class of PharmD students this fall and also moves into a state-of-the-art facility on our new Health Sciences campus next door to UHS Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City. Design work has been completed for our new College of Nursing and Health Sciences building adjacent to the pharmacy building, with completion scheduled for 2020.
We continue to find new ways to offer students a life-changing experience. Since 2011, Binghamton has hired over 300 tenured and tenure-track faculty. We have increased our faculty far faster than our student population, thereby decreasing our student-to-faculty ratio and offering students access to a wider range of classes and faculty expertise. We have also created new programs that open new avenues for Binghamton students. These include our Freshman Research Immersion program, our Summer Artists and Scholars Program, a unique master's degree in health systems, a new graduate certificate in community schools and many others.
Our alumni are a testament to Binghamton University's ability to transform lives. Many grew up in families of modest means and found Binghamton a place that challenged them, offered them a world-class education and launched them into successful careers. As a result, Binghamton alumni are leaders in law, medicine, technology, finance, academia, government, the arts and the non-profit world.
Binghamton graduates also change the world. Alumni like Aaron Mair, past president of the Sierra Club; Owen Pell, a partner at White & Case, LLC and chair of the board of the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation; and Yasmin Hurd, a professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and leading addiction researcher are doing it every day, as are thousands of their peers.
Binghamton faculty also change the world through teaching and mentoring our students, as well as through their path-breaking research. Whether it's developing biomedical sensors or algorithms that use tweets to predict behavior, creating the next generation battery or a radioactive bandage, discovering ways to make data centers more energy efficient or to personalize drug delivery, or helping us understand how to predict and prevent mass atrocities or how gender has shaped and continues to shape our culture and politics, Binghamton's strength in research is rooted in our willingness to be different.
In an academic world too often constrained by disciplines and departments, we have long been committed to interdisciplinary experimentation. From our renowned Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities to our Center for Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging and Developmental Exposure Alcohol Research Center, Binghamton faculty have collaborated with colleagues from different departments and schools — as well as from other universities — to produce path-breaking research. Building on this rich history, we recently established five Transdisciplinary Areas of Excellence (TAEs) http://www.binghamton.edu/tae/ that bring faculty together from a wide variety of disciplines to explore such critical issues as energy, health sciences, citizenship and human rights, sustainability, and material and visual culture. This bold approach has been so successful that we have added a sixth TAE — data science.
We haven't achieved excellence by accident. Since our inception more than 70 years ago, we have planned carefully, executed our plans well, and linked planning and budgeting. Under the leadership of President Harvey Stenger, we launched our Road Map Strategic Plan in 2013 through a process that involved widespread participation. The Road Map has guided resource allocation, allowed us to develop innovative programs and facilitated growth with quality. Through our Road Map Renewal process, a group of over 200 faculty, staff, students, and alumni identified four areas — data science, presidential diversity doctoral fellowships, expansion of our health sciences core, and a new college of nursing and health sciences — as areas for investment in the coming years.
I invite you to explore the Academic Affairs website where you will find a wealth of information on the programs and people that make Binghamton University a place that transforms lives and changes the world.
Donald G. Nieman
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost