New gifts and commitments to The Power of Stevens campaign totaled $179 million at the end of FY20. Gifts and pledges for FY20 were $14 million bringing total campaign gifts to the endowment to $82 million and exceeding the strategic plan goal of $80 million. While Stevens’ U.S. News & World Report peer assessment ranking has not yet reached the desired target, the peer reputation score, which is used in the ranking calculations, remains at 2.9, up from 2.6 in 2014. Despite the challenges of a campus under construction and transitioning to remote learning and business operations in March 2020, progress continued to be made to enhance the campus visitor experience. Stevens’ 150th anniversary was the primary initiative leading into 2020, and it provided the basis for highly visible activities on campus. The pandemic created new challenges, and many campus activities were put on hold. As a result, Stevens created and provided many different but compelling virtual experiences for visitors, and consistent with prior years, a wide variety of initiatives were implemented to demonstrate Stevens’ value and contributions to the Hoboken community. Two “corporate friendly” committees continued to work to advance the university’s corporate engagement initiatives.

Hoboken skyline at night

Goal E1

Through The Power of Stevens campaign, we will secure at least $150 million in new gifts and pledges by December 31, 2018 and continue to elevate the level of philanthropic support in the post-campaign period. We will achieve an $80 million growth in the value of the endowment over 10-years (as calculated by new gifts and pledges and bequest expectancies, but not including return on investment), from a baseline of $144 million as of June 30, 2011 and $166 million as of June 30, 2016.

Owner: Vice President Laura Rose

Following the revised target of $200 million, a more ambitious goal set by the Board of Trustees in FY18 after exceeding the original $150 million goal more than six months ahead of schedule, the campaign total at the end of FY20 was $179 million. Gifts and pledges for FY20 were $14 million bringing total campaign gifts to the endowment to $82 million.

An experienced Vice President for Development and Alumni Engagement joined Stevens in May 2020, and overall, the Division of Development and Alumni Engagement added 12 key hires between May 2019 – May 2020. These professionals are injecting momentum into programs and reaffirming the pathway to achieving goals set forth in the strategic plan in order to successfully complete the historic Power of Stevens campaign. Additionally, the team adapted to the unexpected virtual environment, leading to numerous improvements for divisional communications with the goal of keeping the Stevens community connected, informed, and engaged in the early phases of the pandemic. The Virtual State of Stevens Series is one example of a range of virtual events and meetings. New branding for e-mail templates and invitations along with refined communications amplified the ability to reach a wider range of constituents interested in engaging with Stevens and contributed to uninterrupted programming.

Internal and external factors increased the attention and focus on three priority areas: the Stevens Rises Relief Fund, Stevens ACES, and the Student Housing and University Center project. These, in addition to traditional funding priorities, will be the focus through the end of the campaign.

Year 8 Endowment Giving

Goal E2

We will expand and diversify opportunities for alumni to be more engaged with Stevens, in ways that lead to growth in the university’s donor base. The undergraduate alumni giving rate will increase from a 2011 baseline of 17 percent to at least 19 percent by 2017 and to 21 percent by 2022. The average gift, as measured by all gifts above $10 and under $10,000 from alumni, will increase from the 2011 baseline of $353 to $433 in 2016 and $550 by 2022. The Office of Development will work closely with academic units in order to increase donations that support and directly relate to the academic enterprise.

Owner: Vice President Laura Rose

The undergraduate alumni giving rate met the midyear goal of 8% by December 31, 2019. Due to the pandemic and the resulting ongoing financial implications, participation goals at Stevens and across higher education were significantly impacted. FY20 closed with an undergraduate participation rate of 13%, short of the original 17.5% target. In terms of overall undergraduate donors, these numbers translate into a net loss of 413 donors. The Edwin A. Stevens (EAS) Society welcomed 604 members and reached 93% of the annual goal. The average gift size at year-end was $451.77, a 1 % increase. The Ad Astra Ambassador's Growing Alumni Participation (GAP) initiative, an alumni-driven effort to increase annual giving participation, recruited 33 Ad Astra Ambassadors and yielded a participation rate of 19% among their peers.

The Stevens Rises Relief Fund was launched with university-wide support and partnership with the mission of providing immediate financial support for students impacted by the pandemic. In the opening months, the fund was supported by well over 400 donors and raised close to $80,000.

Year 8 Undergraduate Alumni Giving Rate 

Goal E3

We will enhance and expand the reputation and increase the prestige of Stevens Institute of Technology among peer institutions, graduate and undergraduate admissions stakeholder groups, business and industry, the media, and other key constituencies commensurate with our substantial contributions in research, the stellar educational, career outcomes and societal impact of our graduates, and our legacy of innovation. We will monitor all generally accepted metrics, and, in particular, the Stevens peer assessment ranking in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges edition will be at least 103 in 2022, compared to 140 in the 2012 edition and 123 in the 2017 edition.

Owner: Vice President Edward Stukane

Stevens maintained its efforts to provide exposure aimed at enhancing the reputation and prestige of the university among key constituencies. A public relations campaign was launched with the support of an external public relations firm. The focus has been on gaining positive exposure for Stevens through increased media coverage of faculty members as experts on multiple subjects. The result has been hundreds of mentions in media outlets across the country. The highlights of these media placements are being shared with presidents, provosts, and deans of admissions who have the potential to vote in the U.S. News & World Report (UNSWR) survey.

The specific USNWR Peer Assessment Ranking for 2020 was 141 out of a list of 389 national universities, compared to 133 the prior year. U.S. News & World Report changed the structure of its survey as well as the total number of universities in the national university category. The number of universities to receive the survey was 389, and less than 37% of survey recipients, which includes presidents, provosts, and deans of admissions, responded. Stevens’ focal points are, broadly, to increase awareness of impressive research outcomes, awareness of Stevens’ faculty experts and their findings and opinions on multiple topics, awareness of student outcomes, and the leadership of President Nariman Farvardin as Stevens progresses.

Year 7 U.S. News Best National Universities Undergraduate Peer Assessment Rank

Goal E4

Our campus will reflect our proud legacy, our student-centricity, our technology focus, and our commitment to global impact. A compelling campus visitor experience will be created that conveys our rich history, our transformative aspirations for the future, the achievements of our alumni, our educational philosophy, our commitment to sustainability, and our strong relationship with Hoboken. The campus will be a source of pride and engagement for our entire community, inclusive of all key stakeholders in Hoboken.

Owners: President Nariman Farvardin, Vice President Robert Maffia, Vice President Marybeth Murphy, Vice President Edward Stukane

Despite the challenges of a campus under construction, progress continues to be made in making the Stevens campus a wonderful place for visitors. Significant work was done in the past year to improve the campus (see Goal I7). The Student Center and Gateway Academic Complex opened – and very soon the Gateway Café on lower campus will open. These changes have an impact on the daily lives of students and are a source of pride for the community.

The 150th Anniversary was the primary initiative leading into 2020, and it provided the basis for highly visible activities on campus including:

  • 150th anniversary light pole banners were created to bring Stevens’ celebration to all campus visitors and remind the campus community and visitors of Stevens’ rich history and bright future.
  • The 150th website, featuring 150 stories of Stevens and a timeline of milestones and events, was launched for the anniversary celebration.
  • 150th anniversary trivia was distributed across the campus display system.
  • Fence-wraps around the Student Housing and University Center construction site were refreshed to highlight the features of the project, share imagery, and invite guests to imagine the future that will be made possible by this historic project.
  • Extensive signage, branding, giveaways, and an interactive, hands-on tour experience launched the 150th celebration with members of the Stevens community.

Stevens Institute of Technology achieved a STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), showcasing Stevens’ strong dedication to sustainability in both the classroom and campus operations.

The pandemic created new challenges, and many campus activities were put on hold in early March as the Stevens community transitioned quickly to online learning and remote business operations. As a result, Stevens created and provided a different but compelling visitor experience. While there was already a robust online campus tour, Undergraduate Admissions quickly moved all activities online: webinars, panels, chat rooms, online Visit Days, and Online Accepted Student Days.

There was a “Summer Melt Prevention” working group that included all key stakeholders who interact with incoming students over the summer including academics, student affairs/orientation, housing, financial aid, and student accounts to coordinate efforts and develop a much more expansive program over the summer. These efforts paid off as students stayed connected with Stevens and melt was mitigated to the extent possible. The results were so positive that the working group will continue every year.

Use of outdoor space during the pandemic was much needed. Multiple tents, lighting, and increased outdoor seating have made the campus a more inviting place to congregate, while also socially distancing.

While most visitors are not permitted on campus during the pandemic, a visitor policy was developed that provides a way for visitors to access the campus while enforcing pandemic policies and precautions. The automated online request system was developed in record time.

Goal E5

We will continue to develop synergies and collaborations between Stevens and the Hoboken community that span academic and research interests, student life and volunteerism, employee and community engagement, cultural and performing arts programming, entrepreneurship and economic impact, and other areas that contribute to the mutual benefit of Stevens and Hoboken.

Owners: President Nariman Farvardin, Provost Christophe Pierre, Vice President Marybeth Murphy

Stevens continued to develop and conduct a number of programs to strengthen ties with and enhance its positive impact on the Hoboken community.

In order to showcase Stevens’ positive societal impact and significant contributions to the City, it was arranged for the City Council to recognize Stevens with a proclamation for the university’s 150th anniversary at its Feb. 19th City Council meeting, which was presented by the Mayor, and for two students to present the 150for150 service initiative to bring STEM lessons to all Hoboken schools. This initiative was paused due to the pandemic.

Additional activities included the “Ask-a-Stevens Prof,” a program in which Stevens faculty provided online STEM lessons targeted to K-12 students; continuation of the partnership with Hoboken High School in the ACES program; implementation of the SATMAX program with Hoboken High School; a School of Business internship program to assist Hoboken businesses; among others.

Stevens has collaborated closely with the City of Hoboken and members of the Hoboken community in adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, including accommodating requests for housing by the Hoboken University Medical Center and the Hoboken Fire Department; participating in Hoboken Emergency Management meetings in the early stages of the pandemic; and engaging in daily communications between Stevens’ Student Health Services and the Hoboken Department of Health.

Also, an Appleseed Economic Impact Report was commissioned for FY19. This report demonstrates Stevens’ economic and other contributions to Hoboken, Hudson County, and New Jersey. To preserve funds, the plan to print and distribute a distilled version to elected municipal, County, and State officials in Spring 2020 was not implemented.

Goal E6

We will forge a small number of meaningful and mutually-beneficial agreements with prestigious domestic and international partner institutions that significantly enhance the work of the faculty and the learning opportunities for students from both universities.

Owners: President Nariman Farvardin, Provost Christophe Pierre

Stevens entered into a contractual arrangement with Noodle Partners to be an online program manager, helping to enhance the online M.S. in Computer Science program and develop the online M.S. in Data Science program. The first cohort is expected to start in January 2021.

Stevens also signed a partnership agreement with Seton Hall University for several 3+2 joint undergraduate-graduate degree programs, awarding students a Bachelor of Science degree from Seton Hall University and a Master of Engineering degree from Stevens.

Stevens also entered into the following international agreements:

  • National Technical University of Athens, Greece – Dual Ph.D. degree
  • NMIMS Bangalore, India – Dual Degree (MBA degree at NMIMS and Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics degree at Stevens)

Goal E7

Stevens will become a more corporate-friendly university in all its dimensions: undergraduate and graduate student engagements with corporations (including internships, co-operative education, student and faculty projects, and career transition), research collaborations, corporate and professional education programs, philanthropic support, and other joint programs.

Owner: President Nariman Farvardin

In Year 8, building on the earlier work done by the “Corporate Friendly Committee,” two separate committees were formed: (1) The Corporate Relations Committee which provides coordination and input on corporate opportunities and priorities; and (2) The Corporate Transaction Committee which considers and resolve unusual or difficult issues which arise in corporate transactions including decisions regarding risk assessment or special arrangements tailored for specific corporations.

The Corporate Transaction Committee was launched and has analyzed and approved several unusual corporate transactions, considering legal, compliance, and risk issues, and offered solutions which have been implemented to conclude research relationships with companies. The Corporate Transaction Committee focused specifically on research-related matters in Year 8.

The Corporate Relations Committee met from November 2019 through February 2020 and formed four sub-groups to address:

  • Developing an external facing webpage and a communications outreach plan
  • Creating a repository for documents and templates for engagements with corporations
  • Creating a framework and system for corporate care, cultivation, and information-sharing among key Stevens constituents
  • Identifying key obstacles to corporate engagement and proposing creative solutions

The use of templates for corporate sponsorship of senior design projects has demonstrated initial success in streamlining this type of corporate engagement.

The Corporate Relations Committee’s meetings were suspended in March 2020 due to significant responsibilities of all committee members related to campus planning and operations during the pandemic.