Executive Summary - Year 4 Report
Launched in 2012, the 10-year Stevens Strategic Plan has been aggressively implemented and methodically monitored for four years. This progress report provides an update of progress toward the 451 goals specified in the plan during the fourth year of implementation. Detailed reports for Years 1 through 3 were published and are archived. This report covers academic progress taking place during academic year 2015-16 (AY15-16); financial and philanthropy reporting for fiscal year 2016 (FY16), the period of July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016; and fall enrollment and retention statistics as of October 15, 2016, the “freeze” date for AY16-17.
Progress has been exceptionally strong in undergraduate admissions, student success and graduate admissions, and significant advances have been made in enhancing the reputation and prestige of Stevens and in improving Stevens’ financial profile, physical infrastructure, and IT capabilities. Incremental progress has been made in many other areas. Over the four years of implementation, progress has been made on 43 of the 45 goals. As described in the Year 3 report, and with approval from the Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees, several goals were revised to correct baseline data or to clarify the intent2; progress is reported against these revised/merged goals in this report.
In addition to the progress reported in the Year 4 report, the Stevens community achieved several very significant milestones and accomplishments during the past year:
- Launch of the Stevens Venture Center, a co-working space to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship and to host startup companies formed by Stevens students and faculty, in the Pearson building in Hoboken
- Appointment of an outstanding new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; a stellar Dean of the College of Arts and Letters; and a renowned Director of the Department of Computer Science and Farber Chair
- Approval of the Academic Gateway Building, the North Building, and the Babbio Garage expansion, setting the stage to accommodate the strategic growth envisioned in the strategic plan
- Award of $19.25 million in grant and bond funding for the Academic Gateway Building by the State of New Jersey
- Public launch of The Power of Stevens, a $150 million capital campaign
- Further ascent in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of national universities, an increase of 17 places since Fall 2011
- Lifting of the terms of the 2010 consent judgment reached with the New Jersey Attorney General
- Goal C6 and I1 were combined into a single goal, bringing the total number of goals included in the Strategic Plan as of Fall 2016 to 45.
- The revised goals include: Goals G1, G2, R3, R4, C5, and E9.
A summary of other noteworthy progress made during Year 4 includes:
Several measures of undergraduate studies and experience met or exceeded strategic plan goals. Total undergraduate enrollment increased from 2,976 in Fall 2015 to 3,115 in Fall 2016, a 5 percent increase. Applications increased to 7,409 and selectivity reached 39%, an improvement from 44% in Fall 2015. The middle 50% SAT score reached 1260-1440, exceeding the Fall 2017 goal of 1230-1420 for the second year in a row. The freshman-to-sophomore retention rate increased to a new record of 95% percent. The six-year graduation rate for the freshman cohort of 2010 reached a record high of 83%. The placement rate for 2016 graduates who secured full time employment, graduate school or the military six months after graduation increased to a new record of 96%, one percentage point higher than for the Class of 2015.
Graduate student applications increased by 37 percent; the cohort of new graduate students increased 23 percent; and full-time graduate enrollment increased 8 percent over Fall 2015. Selectivity increased by one percentage point. A number of initiatives to integrate graduate students into campus life are having an impact.
Research awards in FY16 were $35.8 million, down from a high of $42.8 million in FY15 (which included several multi-million grants), but higher than the previous four years. While the number of proposals submitted declined from FY15 (286) to FY16 (266), the number of awards increased over the same period by 21%. Highly-competitive “early career” awards from prestigious federal agency programs have increased sharply. The Stevens Venture Center was launched to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship of faculty and students. Revenue generated from Stevens IP increased 243% YoY, and the number of patents issued increased in FY16.
A number of effectiveness and efficiency initiatives were implemented, resulting in more strategic use of institutional resources. The IDEaS initiative and the American Bureau of Shipping Engineering Center were launched to promote interdisciplinary education and research. A market-based compensation analysis for faculty, staff, and executive administration was initiated. Progress has been slow in significantly increasing faculty diversity.
Significant improvements in Stevens’ academic and administrative technology infrastructure occurred in Year 4, including expansion of the Virtual Learning Environment, completion of the Data Center, and migration of the campus to the new voice over IP (VOIP)/unified communications (UC) system. The university’s financial position continued to improve. A number of new capital projects, including two new academic buildings and the Babbio Garage expansion, were approved and enabling work to meet aggressive construction schedules is underway. The American Bureau of Shipping Engineering Center renovation/expansion at the Davidson Laboratory opened.
A $150 million capital campaign, The Power of Stevens, was launched, with $85 million in gifts and pledges secured during the silent phase. A mobile-friendly and improved Stevens web site was launched. Stevens rose four places, to 71st, in the Fall 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” issue. A multi-faceted approach to improve the campus visitor experience was initiated, including plans for improved signage, lobby upgrades, a virtual campus tour, improved visitor parking, and landscaping and hardscaping projects. Engagement with the City of Hoboken by students, faculty, and staff increased.