Internal Bridges - Year 3 Report

IT and campus infrastructure upgrades, such as the implementation of the Virtual Learning Environment and Workday Human Capital Management, are modernizing internal operations and the campus environment. A number of renovations to facilities were completed to accommodate growth, enhance student spaces, and reduce Stevens’ carbon footprint. The university’s financial performance remained stable.

Goal I1

We will institute an efficient process to periodically assess every graduate and undergraduate program from a strategic and fiscal perspective to ensure currency and relevance for our students, the employers and partners who hire them, and other key stakeholders.


The first of the five-year reviews, CAL’s Music and Technology Program, was completed. Additional programs are scheduled to take place over the next six months.

Year 4: The following units will be undergoing their first five-year review during Year 4: Visual Arts and Technology, Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathematical Sciences.

Goal I2

A business and operational enhancement initiative will be established at Stevens.


The implementation of Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) system and Workday Recruiting has provided the focus for the operational enhancement initiative in Human Resources. While an Organizational Development and Training function has not yet been established, training is provided on Workday on a regular basis. The organizational structure for the Division of Human Resources is in the initial phase of being adjusted with new position descriptions and task assignments.

Year 4: Focal points for Year 4 in Human Resources will include the activation of the Talent Management function in Workday and the creation of a comprehensive onboarding process including the use of electronic tools to provide orientation for new employees. The Administrative Council will review business and operational enhancements that may be scheduled for other areas.

Goal I3 (Augmented)

We will have an information technology enterprise that is an enabler for our research and educational missions, including the deployment of a Virtualized Learning Environment to support students’ access to powerful and specialized engineering applications from their own computers and mobile devices, support of academic online and digital learning initiatives, and the modernization of the University’s Data Center, to support enhanced information systems and network infrastructure in academics, administrative operations, and research.


Significant progress includes the following:The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) was successfully used in the E120 Engineering Graphics course in the Fall 2015 semester. Numerous improvements have been made to the system. The VLE has been expanded for use by other areas of the university and currently delivers 45 specialized applications securely from Stevens’ private cloud, including the entire Adobe Creative Cloud, SOLIDWORKS, Mathematica, MatLab, Mimics, and others.The Data Center project is nearly complete, and expected to be fully deployed in early Spring 2016. The new Data Center is already supporting all central networking and systems, as well as the Pharos high performance computer utilized by Davidson Labs for the Port Authority of NY/NJ research project.

Year 4: Continue full implementation of projects already underway: the VLE, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program for students; the Data Center and high performance computing capabilities to support increased research activity. Stevens is quickly developing powerful tools to support data-driven research and will make these tools available to support research efforts across the Stevens enterprise.

Goal I3-A

Consistent with Stevens’ historical leadership as a pioneer in use of information technology in instruction, Stevens will identify, deploy and implement state-of-the-art IT systems to increase effectiveness and efficiency for administrative functions across the University, in financial systems, alumni and development, communications and marketing, human resources, admissions, student information/student services, facilities management, and other areas of university operations.


The Workday HCM/Payroll system was successfully launched on April 1, 2015 and is now in full operation. All HR and Payroll functions are now being performed through Workday. In December 2015, Stevens completed the first online benefits enrollment through Workday.

Year 4: Priorities for Year 4 include the VOIP/unified communication system project and the external wireless project; the security camera project, which will provide the base system of operation as well as the first deployment of cameras to high priority locations at Stevens; and the Workday Student project, a state-of-the art student information system.

Goal I4 

Stevens’ finances will improve to the point that the university will have sufficient liquidity to weather short-term adverse financial conditions, from a baseline of 0.2 in 2012 to a target of 1.0 by 2022.


The liquidity index measures whether the university has sufficient cash and liquid assets to cover a portion of its annual total operating expenses. A threshold value of 1.0 indicates that the university could cover approximately three months of its annual operating expenses. The historical June 30th balances for this metric are:

2012: 0.20

2013: 0.36
2014: 0.55
2015: 0.83

Additional indices related to the university's financial health follow:The net operating revenue ratio indicates whether the university is living within its means. Two percent is considered a reasonable amount to achieve on an annual basis. The historical June 30th balances for this metric are:

2012: 0.93%
2013: 2.0%
2014: 4.98%
2015: 5.04%

The return on net assets percentage indicates if the university is financially better off than the previous year. Four percent is considered a reasonable amount to achieve on an annual basis. The historical June 30th balances for this metric are:

2012: 1.54%

2013: 18.70%
2014: 15.10%
2015: 8.82%

The viability ratio measures the availability of the university's expendable net assets to cover its long-term debt. The threshold value is to have 2.0 times its debt in its expendable net assets. The historical June 30th balances for this metric are:

2012: 0.389

2013: 1.226
2014: 1.602
2015: 1.66

The primary reserve ratio measures whether the university has sufficient expendable net assets to cover a portion of its annual total operating expense. The threshold value is to be able to cover 0.4 of its annual total operating expense with existing expendable net assets. The historical June 30th balances for this metric are:

2012: 0.171 

2013: 0.508
2014: 0.625
2015: 0.56The composite financial index is a weighted calculation of the first four metrics into a single measure of overall financial health. A threshold value of 3.0 is to be considered as the minimal acceptable financial health. The historical June 30th balances for this metric are:

2012: 1.06

2013: 4.52
2014: 5.21
2015: 4.46

Year 4: Continue to improve the financial health of the university.


Goal I5

Stevens will construct a university center that will function as the heart of the university and a hub of student, faculty, staff and visitor interactions.


A university center is one of the key needs identified to accommodate enrollment growth, along with additional academic and residential space. A combined university center and student residence is now in preliminary design. Financing options and regulatory filing strategies for this facility are being discussed.

Year 4: Continue to formulate a regulatory filing strategy and enter into discussions with city authorities to file the project. Development will continue to develop a fundraising package.

Goal I5-A

A Campus Master Plan, identifying the long-term vision to accommodate Stevens’ growth initiatives described in the Strategic Plan, will be developed and enacted. The Master Plan will address instructional and research space needs, student life and athletic needs, student housing, and associated administrative space needs related to a 60 percent and 30 percent growth in our undergraduate and graduate student populations, respectively, along with growth of faculty, research, and student services. Initial priorities are an Academic Gateway Complex creating a new south entrance to the campus, state-of-the-art laboratories, smart classrooms, conference rooms, collaboration space, and a visually stunning and welcoming pedestrian plaza, as well as a University Center that will function as the hub of student, faculty, staff, and visitor interactions.


The Campus Master Plan was put on hold, pending internal discussions on near and later term needs for Stevens’ present programs and growth initiatives described in the Strategic Plan. Discussions are also in process on a strategy for how future development will be filed with city regulatory agencies. A draft Campus Map has been developed as a guide for nearest term projects while these discussions continue. Once Master Plan discussions continue, it will address instructional and research space needs, student life and athletic needs, student housing, and associated administrative space needs related to a 60 percent and 30 percent growth in the undergraduate and graduate student populations, respectively, along with growth of faculty, research, and student services. The most immediate priority, the Academic Gateway Project, has been approved by the Hoboken Zoning Board of Adjustment, and construction is expected to commence in 2016. This project will provide state-of-the-art laboratories, 11 “smart” classrooms, conference rooms, and collaboration space, targeted to be ready for the Spring 2019 semester. Other priority projects are the expansion of the Babbio Garage, and planning for a student residence/university center, which will add a significant capacity to dormitory space on campus and function as the hub of student, faculty, staff, and visitor interactions.

Year 4: Continue to develop a strategy for creating the Master Plan while continuing to move forward with our high priority near-term projects.

Goal I5-B

The physical infrastructure of Stevens, inclusive of all new and existing academic, student-oriented, and administrative buildings, as well as the campus environment, waterfront properties and green space, will symbolize excellence commensurate with a premier, student-centric, technological research university in one of the world’s most desirable locations.


Three classrooms were renovated or created in Year 3 in McLean Hall and Burchard Hall, adding 50 new seats for instructional use. Also, new offices were created for new staff and faculty, and renovations were made to the fifth Floor of the Babbio Center. To improve service, critical infrastructure projects were completed, including the complete modernization of two elevators with high failure rates (EAS Building and the Howe Freight Car) and the connection of 11 buildings and campus domestic water pumps to emergency power. Landscape enhancement continued, transforming the Ninth Street Gate, Howe Circle and CJ’s Plaza into a more colorful, manicured and consistent design, as well as using staff replacement opportunities to hire experienced landscape workers. Work continued on the Howe Restack project, creating efficiencies to accommodate staff growth. The south bay of the Griffith Building was transformed into much needed flexible space for student projects (most recently used for the Solar Decathlon SU+RE House design and construction). Lastly, work has begun on the ABS Davidson Laboratory project, adding three engineering labs, 13 faculty offices, and 34 seats for student study space.

Year 4: Continue renovations and improvements across the campus, including additional classrooms, further enhancements to student study space, and continued work on the Howe Restack to create more space to accommodate growth. Begin construction of the Academic Gateway Project, the Babbio Garage Expansion, and the repaving of the River Parking Lot, which will add 41 parking spaces.

Goal I5-C

Stevens will be a model of sustainability, through innovative energy initiatives, policies and programs to promote use of biodegradable materials and recycling, and smart transportation initiatives to reduce use of cars.


A host of energy initiatives have been implemented to reduce Stevens’ carbon footprint and bring the university closer to its goal of being an energy leader in higher education. Adding to prior energy initiatives, new initiatives in Year 3 include the formation of a Sustainability Committee, comprised of close to 20 faculty, staff and students, who participate in the suggestion and implementation of sustainability initiatives; the installation of 10 water bottle fill stations, diverting close to 50,000 plastic bottles from landfills; a more robust campus-wide single stream recycling program; the installation of the first phase of Stevens’ smart grid system, providing for sub-metering and continual monitoring of electricity in three campus buildings; the creation of a more sustainable Furniture and Finishes program, with initiatives such as Cradle to Cradle Certification, creating a healthy, sustainable and productive work environment; and the creation of a Sustainability web site. In addition, Stevens was recognized with the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Silver Star rating.

Transportation initiatives have also continued. In addition to enhancing shuttle ridership to close to 2,000 trips per day, decreasing drive-alone visits to campus and increasing rail ridership to Hoboken Terminal, on-campus bicycle parking has been increased to more than 300 spaces. Stevens has also partnered with the Hoboken Bike Share program, installing one station on 6th and River Streets with two more stations due in 2016. The Zipcar car share program has been expanded and reports a higher usage volume than Zipcar’s average in the city.

Year 4: Continue to grow the smart grid system to include sub-metering and monitoring of the Burchard and McLean buildings. This will allow for tracking and control of energy usage and will provide the data required to increase cost recovery for sponsored research programs. An on-site food digester will be installed in Howe, which will break down food wastes and reduce dining hall trash pickups from 5x/week to 1x/week. A community garden will be constructed and maintained by staff and students who have requested this addition to campus, and a more robust, user friendly sustainability website will be launched. A sustainability guide will also be created to educate all students, faculty and staff about sustainability. This will be distributed to students and parents at Freshman Orientation. A partnership will be formed with NJHEPS to host a Sustainability Research Summit, with support from Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.