Thank You for Your Dedication and Cooperation
As you are aware, this academic year got off to a difficult start. The August 8 cyberattack affected critical systems across the university, causing significant disruptions for everyone in the Stevens community as we were winding down the summer semester and preparing for the start of the fall semester.
President Farvardin has commended the dedication and effort of our Information Technology (IT) and Emergency Management teams, and I want to echo his praise. Their hard work made it possible for us to complete our summer session successfully and to begin the academic year on time.
Beyond that, I would like to express my profound gratitude to everyone on the academic side. While there were some hiccups, our faculty and the staff in our schools and in key administrative offices demonstrated their commitment to ensuring that Stevens was able to carry out its academic mission and serve our students.
I would like to offer special appreciation to:
- the offices of the deans, which helped prioritize needs within each school so that we could bring as many critical functions back on line as quickly as possible;
- members of the faculty, who adapted quickly and proved enormously resourceful in ensuring that their students would be served;
- the Office of Sponsored Programs, which helped keep important research projects and funding applications on track;
- the Offices of Graduate Education, Undergraduate Academics, and International Student and Scholar Services, which made sure that new and returning students were welcomed and that issues related to international students were handled smoothly;
- the Office of the Registrar, which got our students and faculty scheduled for their classes despite difficulties accessing their normal systems;
- my own team, which went above and beyond to help the academic departments and schools interact smoothly with IT; and
- last but not least, our students, who coped with the disruptions and demonstrated true Stevens spirit.
That list is not exhaustive as there are many others who worked tirelessly to ensure student needs were being met. Thank you to everyone for your patience, understanding and cooperation.
Although some of the effects of the cyberattack remain with us, I am happy to report that the 2019-2020 academic year is off to a strong start.
This year, we welcomed over 1,000 new undergraduate students to the Stevens family, a diverse and accomplished group drawn from a record applicant pool. For the first time, more than 10,000 undergraduate students applied to Stevens.
We also have over 1,500 new graduate students, including more than 100 Ph.D. students, which is an all-time high for Stevens.
And our faculty includes 24 new members across all four schools, recruited from prestigious institutions across the United States and abroad. The expansion of our faculty and the addition of a talented cadre of Ph.D. students is an important part of our strategic effort to build Stevens’ reputation as a top-tier research university.
We still have work to do in this area, but I am encouraged by the number of promising doctoral candidates and talented researchers who have elected to join Stevens. Their efforts will play a major role in building our capabilities and our prestige, benefitting all of our students, faculty and alumni.
I look forward to many more milestones to come this year, among them the imminent full completion of the 90,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Gateway Academic Center. The South Hall opened its doors just earlier this week and over 1,000 students are expected to attend classes there.
Thank you again for all of your efforts. I am excited about all that we can continue to achieve together in this academic year and beyond.