Executive Summary - Year 7 Report
The seventh year of implementation of Stevens’ 10-year strategic plan, coinciding with fiscal year 2019 and Fall 2019 enrollment statistics, continued a strong upward trajectory in undergraduate and graduate enrollment; student success; faculty growth; financial profile; and campus modernization and expansion.
A summary of noteworthy progress made during Year 7 includes:
Undergraduate Studies and Experience
Total undergraduate enrollment increased from 3,431 in Fall 2018 to 3,659 in Fall 2019, an increase of 6.6%. Applications increased from 9,625 in Fall 2018 to 10,475 in Fall 2019, and selectivity improved from 41% in Fall 2018 to 40% in Fall 2019. The middle 50 percent SAT score improved once again, from 1330-1480 in Fall 2018 to 1340-1500 in Fall 2019. Although the six-year graduation rate for the freshman cohort of 2013 (Class of 2019) decreased to 85% from 87% for the cohort that entered in Fall 2012 (Class of 2018), there were a number of activities implemented to maintain and improve the strong six-year graduation rate. The placement rate for 2019 graduates who secured full time employment, were admitted to graduate school, entered the military, or secured other outcomes six months after graduation was 96%, maintaining the record high reached in 2016.
Stevens made good progress in balancing undergraduate engineering enrollment with other majors, (56% engineering of total undergraduate enrollment compared to a target of 60% for Fall 2022) and in increasing the percentage of underrepresented minorities in the undergraduate cohort (14.2% in Fall 2019) against a target of 15% for Fall 2022. The percentages of women and out-of-state undergraduates held steady at 29% and 38%, respectively, in Fall 2019 compared to the previous year. More progress is needed to increase these percentages and that of international undergraduates to reach the 2022 targets.
Activities to effect continuous improvement in student-faculty interactions, including publicizing the office hours policy, creating an Instructor Best Practices intranet page, and developing an Instructor Training Resources Canvas shell, were implemented.
Graduate Studies and Experience
After a sharp decline in total graduate enrollment (FTE) in Fall 2018, enrollment increased 5% in Fall 2019 to 2,848 due to the implementation of aggressive recruitment strategies and partnerships with international universities. Stevens’ standing in well-recognized rankings was realized, including moving up 20 places to #83 in the Best Graduate Business (MBA) Schools ranking and holding steady at #75 for Best Graduate Engineering Schools. Selectivity remained at 60% in Fall 2019 from Fall 2018, and the quantitative GRE scores for entering engineering graduate students decreased slightly from 161 in Fall 2018 to 160 in Fall 2019. Numerous new initiatives to strengthen support and community for graduate students were continued and augmented. There were significant increases in Stevens’ online rankings (#8 in Computer Information Technology, #14 in Business (non-MBA), #22 in Engineering, and #45 for MBA programs).
Research and Scholarship
Research expenditures were $36.7 million in FY19, compared to $33.1 million in FY18, and research awards totaled $37.1 million in FY19, down from $45.5 million in FY18. However, the number of research proposals submitted during FY19 was 352, the highest in Stevens’ history, and an increase of 20% from FY18. A total of 583 conference and refereed journal articles were published in FY19 compared to 528 in the prior year, a 10% increase. There was a 70% increase in the number of patent disclosures in FY19 compared to FY18, increasing to 50 from 29. The Stevens Venture Center partnered with several entities in Hoboken to promote entrepreneurship in the City.
Culture and Governance
Twenty-four new faculty were hired including from top research institutions such as Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, UCLA, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania. A set of new initiatives to improve faculty and staff satisfaction was developed for each senior leader and incorporated into their annual objectives. One third of the 24 new faculty hired were women resulting in the overall percentage of female full-time faculty increasing to 26%, a 1% increase over the previous year. This year, 3% of the full-time faculty are underrepresented minorities, increase from 2.1% in AY 2018-19. Stevens conducted a market study of faculty salaries and a benchmarking of a third of staff positions, and salary adjustments were made as necessary.
Responsibility Center Management (RCM) is nearing the end of the pilot period (FY18-FY20), and the Budget Advisory Committee has endorsed the continued use of the model pending formal review in FY20. External unit reviews were conducted for four academic units and five administrative units during the 2018-19 cycle. Numerous IT initiatives progressed, including Workday Student, PowerFAIDS, and the implementation of cybersecurity enhancements. Stevens continues to have a healthy fiscal profile. Construction activities commenced for the new Student Housing/University Center project; finishing work was done on the Gateway Academic Center in time for opening for the Fall semester; a new Student Wellness Center was completed; substantial work was undertaken for the interim Student Center; and numerous other renovations and upgrades were made across campus.
Despite significant staffing transitions in key fundraising positions in FY19, new gifts and commitments to The Power of Stevens campaign in FY19 totaled $15.4 million, short of the $24 million goal, and increased the campaign total to $165.9 million by the end of the fiscal year. While Stevens’ U.S. News & World Report peer assessment ranking has not yet reached the desired target, the peer reputation score, which is used in the ranking calculations, has improved to 2.9 in 2019, from 2.6 in 2014. A significant number of facilities, landscaping, signage, and communications activities enhanced the campus visitor experience, and consistent with prior years, a wide variety of initiatives were implemented to demonstrate Stevens’ value and contributions to the Hoboken community. To advance the university’s efforts to become a more “corporate friendly” university, the Corporate Friendly Committee produced its recommendations and two standing committees were subsequently formed. These committees will serve as the organizational infrastructure for Stevens’ corporate engagement initiatives: the Corporate Relations Committee and the Corporate Transaction Committee both of which began their work in the Fall of 2019.