Culture and Governance

A Responsibility Center Management (RCM) budgeting model was adopted, and organizational changes were implemented to improve unit accountability and administrative effectiveness and efficiency. Faculty award programs were launched or enhanced, and a framework for a faculty leadership development program was created. A governance structure was established for the IDEaS program. Gender diversity increased among full-time faculty hires and total full-time tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track faculty.


Goal C1

From a baseline of 2011, our faculty will increasingly reflect greater diversity from multiple perspectives, including ethnicity and gender.


In AY16-17, 38 percent of new full-time faculty hires (8/21) were women, compared to 22 percent in AY15-16 (6/27).  From AY15-16 to AY16-17, the percentage of women faculty among total full-time faculty increased from 23 percent (69/296) to 25 percent (73/297). In this same period, the percent of tenured women faculty increased from 19 percent (19/93) to 22 percent (20/92), the percent of tenure track women faculty increased from 30 percent (20/66) to 31 percent (22/70) and the percent of non-tenure track women faculty increased from 22 percent (30/136) to 23 percent (31/135). Faculty from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups remains low despite an increase from four Black and three Hispanic faculty in AY15-16 to four Black and five Hispanic faculty in AY16-17.

Programming under NSF ADVANCE continued, introducing thought leadership, best practices, and resources to Stevens faculty members and administrators across three critical areas of focus (academic culture, leadership development, and hiring and faculty advancement) as determined by the findings of the Academic Climate Study conducted in January, 2013. Over 100 faculty participated in workshops to increase awareness of how unconscious bias impacts hiring, advancement and retention of faculty from underrepresented groups. These discussions continued with Schools and Departments convening search committees for faculty and academic leaders. The “Excellence Through Diversity Lecture Series” launched in Year 4, continued to introduce ideas and perspectives to increase understanding of the value of diversity and enhance the University's efforts toward inclusive excellence in STEM.

Goal C2

Stevens will have identified the metrics by which we identify “exemplary faculty members.”


A new early career faculty award was established to recognize early excellence and potential for future preeminence in research. It will be awarded each year. Eligibility is limited to full-time faculty members who have earned their doctoral degrees within eight years of the date of nomination and it is based on: innovation and impact of the nominee’s research program and associated discoveries developed while at Stevens; national and international recognition of excellence and impact of the nominee’s research efforts; and teaching and service contributions while at Stevens.

The practice of recognizing exemplary faculty contributions through the teaching and research excellence awards was enhanced during Year 5 by moving the nomination and recognition to coincide with the annual Commencement ceremonies. 

The Research Incentive Award (RIA) program was enhanced, with both an increase in the award pool and the provision to allow unspent funds to roll-over into the next fiscal year.

Goal C3

A study of the organizational structure at Stevens will be completed to ensure clarity with regard to accountability, alignment with mission and enhanced effectiveness and efficiency in the use of resources.


Measures to improve efficiency and effectiveness (E&E) continued in Year 5.  A significant E&E measure included the adoption of the Responsibility Center Management (RCM) budgeting model, which is an incentive-based budgeting model, across the university.  In addition, two budget advisory committees focusing on the operating budget and the capital budget were created to better anticipate, prioritize, and allocate financial resources.  Additional budget realignment was achieved via a reorganization of the School of Systems and Enterprises, which resulted in moving academic programs and associated resources in Financial Engineering to the School of Business. Additional organizational changes were implemented within the divisions of (i) Academic Affairs, (ii) Facilities and Campus Operations, (iii) Finance, and (iv) Human Resources to improve unit accountability and administrative effectiveness and efficiency.   

Goal C4

A faculty leadership development program will be established.


The framework for a faculty leadership development program has been developed, focusing on providing training and development opportunities for faculty to enhance performance in their current positions and to set the stage for career advancement. The objectives are:

  • to prepare faculty members to assume leadership roles;

  • to support newly-appointed academic leaders (Department Chairs and Associate Deans); and 

  • to ensure continuous professional development of academic leaders.

Academic Department/Unit Leader Training: Department chairs and program directors were convened to provide input in generating plans for academic unit leader training at Stevens. It was determined that department chair training should be available on-campus, off-campus and online; be required at the beginning of an appointment and optional later on; require a minimal time commitment; bring department chairs across campus together to network and problem-solve; and include mentorship from previous chairs. 

Academic Chairpersons Conference: Funding was provided to interested and qualified faculty to attend the Academic Chairpersons Conference, which took place during the second week of February 2017. Four faculty members were selected to attend, and debriefed with staff of the Center for Faculty Engagement and Advancement (CFEA) upon their return to consider what can be adapted for use at Stevens. 

Assistant to Associate and Associate to Full Professor Workshops: A benchmarking study is in progress to determine what other institutions cover in workshops designed to help faculty transition from assistant to associate and from associate to full professorships. During AY17-18, the CFEA will work to solidify the content of the workshops and identify presenters and/or facilitators to lead those sessions.

Goal C5 

We affirm the interdisciplinary educational and research programs that are underway and seek opportunities for additional such programs.  We will review the academic organization and university policies and practices to remove or mitigate barriers to the successful development and execution of interdisciplinary programs and efforts.


A governance structure was established for the IDEaS program, launched in Year 4, under the School of Engineering and Science. This has led to growth in interdisciplinary projects, which were nearly 30 percent of all the capstone projects in Year 5 and involved participation by students from the School of Engineering Science, School of Systems and Enterprises, and the School of Business. 

The IDEaS program infrastructure, availability of the manufacturing and rapid prototyping facilities in the PROOF lab, availability of the ABS center facilities, coupled with the support by the academic departments, all contributed to this success. Nearly 25 percent of the interdisciplinary capstone design projects were funded by industrial sponsors. The interdisciplinary teams also participated in the NASA Rock Sat-C program involving the successful design, testing, integration and launch of small satellites.

Goal C6 (Merged with I1)

A review methodology will be established to assess all undergraduate and graduate programs. Annually: assess program alignment with Stevens' strategic and fiscal plans. Every five years: assess program currency and relevancy to our students and possible employers.


The Academic Council has recently approved a policy to sunset academic programs that do not meet certain criteria. The process focuses on program output over a three-year period and establishes performance limits, below which a program is classified as under-enrolled. The classification triggers a review through which a justification for program continuation needs to be established within a six-month period.  

Program performance data, including number of students enrolled in the program and number of students graduated over the past three academic years (AY13-14, AY14-15, AY15-16), have been catalogued and low enrollment programs have been identified. The data was shared with the Academic Deans and the following actions were taken:

  • The School of Business combined several under-enrolled MBA programs under one umbrella.  Moving forward, the MBA program will be packaged as a single offering with several concentrations. 

  • The School of Systems and Enterprises eliminated, in most instances, several low enrolled certificate programs, and in other instances, combined them with other certificate programs in order to achieve critical mass. 

  • In anticipation of the change in leadership in the School of Engineering and Science, the school postponed decisions until the new Dean is on board and a strategic plan for the school can be developed. 

A plan to review four units, the Departments of Physics, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Civil Environmental & Ocean Engineering, and Mathematical Sciences, was postponed to allow the new Dean of the School of Engineering and Science, Dr. Jean Zu, whose appointment coincided with the timing of the review visits, to be fully involved in the process.

With Dean Zu’s input, it has been agreed that the School of Engineering and Science will conduct three unit reviews during the AY17-18 for the departments of Chemical & Material Science, Mathematical Sciences, and Physics.

Goal C7

All salaries (faculty at all levels and disciplines, administrative and staff positions) at Stevens will be benchmarked against an appropriate peer group to ensure quality and ability to attract the very best talent.


The Division of Human Resources reviewed the staff compensation program with each Vice President to ensure the appropriate placement of jobs within the organizational structure based on similar scope, knowledge, skills, and internal reporting relationships/hierarchies. Once the review was completed, the staff compensation program was implemented and used to inform hiring, promotion, and reclassification decisions. The new program was also used in 1:1 meetings with Division Vice Presidents to identify those employees in their respective division who will require a significant market equity adjustment because of where their salary is currently positioned within the pay band and where they should be based on their experience, qualifications, and performance. This data will be used to determine the total dollar amount needed to bring these employees in line with the Stevens’ compensation philosophy. The Division of Human Resources is also preparing informational materials to educate staff about the new compensation program and how it impacts their pay and career growth at Stevens. Work on reviewing the faculty compensation analysis will begin in early 2018.