A Farewell Message
As most of you are aware, August 31 will mark the end of my five-year term as Provost of Stevens Institute of Technology. Beginning September 1, I will be focused on my position as a member of the mechanical engineering faculty in the School of Engineering and Science, and a new leader is expected to take charge of Stevens’ academic mission.
It has been a privilege to serve as a steward of this university and be a part of this unique institution for the past five years. When I arrived here, I found an oasis in the center of a bustling metropolis and a true campus environment that nurtures research and learning. I am proud that despite all of the adversity we have faced over the past few years, this university is as strong as ever.
Stevens is a community that offers many ways to make an impact. We are large enough to be influential in the academic world and in industry, yet small enough for individual faculty members, students and staff members to be heard. We are focused on fields that are poised to grow substantially in the coming years, and we are nimble and agile enough to expand our portfolio into emerging fields. We are at the forefront of the growth in online graduate education.
Atop this foundation, which stretches back 150 years, I sought to build a modern, efficient academic administration with infrastructure and systems that would allow us to set high standards and achieve goals, allocate resources judiciously, support our researchers, build upon our graduate school foundation and — most important — serve our students efficiently and effectively, setting them on a path to success. I also secured resources and supported efforts by our schools and departments to recruit a large cadre of top-notch faculty who are instilling academic renewal in Stevens thanks to their competency and energy.
I believe that this new infrastructure, both systemic and human, promotes creativity and innovation and will enable our academic community to thrive for many years to come. And while I am stepping aside as chief academic officer, I know that the leadership of this university — especially the members of the Academic Council and the capable team that I am leaving for my successor in the Office of the Provost — will continue to work diligently and persistently to strengthen Stevens and advance its reputation.
I am grateful in particular to the faculty, the Academic Affairs team and the administration for their support and dedication. The second half of my term has been busy and at times, turbulent. We faced a rigorous reaccreditation process, a disruptive cyberattack, the transition to Workday Student and, most notably, a coronavirus pandemic that upended all of our lives.
We have, however, been able to cope with these events not only because we created robust processes, but also because of the dedication and passion from our team of faculty and staff working together to better the university.
For all of us who serve in leadership, our stewardship is temporary, and now it is someone else’s turn to take the reins of the academic enterprise. As I move on, I would like to remind all of you that Stevens offers unmatched opportunities to leave your mark. I sincerely hope that our students, faculty and staff will take advantage of this unique environment.
And I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my university colleagues, our students and, especially, the faculty — the core of the university — for making my term as provost unforgettable.
I look forward to seeing you around campus this fall!