A Milestone Semester – With More on the Horizon
This week, we mark a major milestone – the completion of the Gateway Academic Center. If you have visited the south hall of the center, which is already open, you already have a sense of what a spectacular addition the completed structure is to our campus.
Gateway provides much-needed state-of-the-art academic space, but in some ways, it is more than just an academic building. It is also emblematic of the many positive changes taking place at Stevens. Our university remains on an upward trajectory, and the addition of Gateway reflects the growth in our student body and our faculty.
We took many important steps forward this semester as we worked together toward our strategic goal of making Stevens a premier, student-centric research institution. Although the academic year got off to a rough start due to the cyberattack, the university community rallied and made sure that we continued to fulfill our mission.
Strong Enrollment Numbers
Enrollment numbers were strong virtually across the board, a testament to the hard work of our admissions offices and our schools. I am especially pleased with the growth in graduate student enrollment. Building our graduate programs is one of the principal goals in our strategic plan and a key part of our efforts to become a premier research institution.
The final numbers for the semester are in and I am happy to report that new graduate student enrollment rose 29 percent versus a year ago, to 1,525. This is a record and it brings total graduate student enrollment to over 3,600, a 3.6 percent increase from 2018 and an increase of roughly 20 percent since 2012. Domestic and international master’s, Ph.D. and StevensOnline new enrollments are all up substantially this year.
This success is a result of the dedication and collaborative teamwork of many, many people in both the Office of Graduate Education and the schools.
Encouraged by the doubling of our new Ph.D. student enrollment, from 52 last fall to 110 this year, we are working to make further strides in graduate education and research. Maintaining growth in these areas is critical to building our reputation and visibility as a research institution.
Focus on Faculty and Students
We are also continuing to build our world-class faculty. We added 24 faculty members this year, and 30 searches are underway for the next academic year.
As you are aware, another central part of our mission is student-centricity. We expect to take important steps toward improving the student experience in the upcoming year with the launch of additional components of Workday Student. When completed, Workday Student will replace our outdated student information system, streamlining many aspects of the student experience at Stevens. Watch for new developments in the spring semester.
I also look forward to future opportunities to engage with our students. This semester, I continued our Pizza with the Provost gatherings, which provide opportunities to meet with graduate and undergraduate students and learn about their experiences and concerns.
Finally, I would like to note that Vice President for Information Technology David Dodd, who led our recovery effort from the cyberattack, is retiring at the end of December. I thank him for his leadership and counsel, and I wish him the very best.
When we return in the new year, we will be marking one of the biggest milestones of all – the 150th anniversary of the founding of Stevens. I am excited about the events that will be taking place throughout 2020 and beyond and I hope you plan to participate in the celebrations.
To everyone in the Stevens community, congratulations on a successful fall semester and happy holidays!