Message from the Provost: February 2022

An Exciting Semester Lies Ahead

It’s good to be back! I’d like to thank everyone for the smooth transition to in-person classes last month after a brief period of remote learning to start the semester. And it should be quite an exciting semester. We are just weeks away from the opening of the first phase of the University Center complex, which will transform the heart of our campus. On April 29, conditions permitting, we can look forward to the return of a full on-campus Innovation Expo. And plans are moving ahead for in-person Commencement ceremonies.Provost Jianmin QuDr. Jianmin Qu, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

These events are taking place against the backdrop of Stevens’ ongoing rise in stature. We speak often about the university’s ascendance, and key metrics point to continued success as we work toward our goal of becoming a premier institution.

  • A record number of graduate students applied to and chose to attend Stevens this semester. Undergraduate applications are pouring in, and all signs point to another exceptional incoming class this fall.

  • Our research enterprise is booming; research awards to our faculty have continued to grow to unprecedented levels. We expect total awards for FY2022 to greatly exceed last year's University record of $50 million.

  • We plan to hire 40 faculty members for the coming academic year, and some of the teacher-researchers that we’ve targeted with our searches have already accepted offers.

All of this is central to our focus on student-centricity. Along with new faculty, we are hiring staff in student-facing positions to serve both undergraduates and graduate students. Additionally, we are adding 10 new classrooms for this upcoming fall to ease our space crunch.

Our Long-Term Future

Most importantly, we are moving forward with a strategic planning process that will define our university for the next decade, developing goals and benchmarks that will lay a strong foundation for Stevens for the next decade.

Earlier this month, six subcommittees of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee completed work on a proposed series of strategic goals. These goals are available for you to review on the Strategic Planning Process myStevens page under the heading, “Updated Draft Strategic Plan Goals – February 2022.”

The steering committee, which I chair, has been collecting and absorbing feedback from across the university community. We expect to provide these goals to the Board of Trustees on February 25 and expect the final strategic plan to be approved by the Board in June. Along the way, there will be several more opportunities for community input and feedback on the draft plan as we work to finalize it.

Brown Bag Lunches

Finally, I would like to announce that I am launching a series of brown bag lunches for our faculty. At these informal lunches I hope to: learn directly from faculty members about how I can aid their career development at Stevens; hear their thoughts about how things are going in their school and how they can be improved; and get to know them better. I will send an email with dates for this semester in the next few weeks.

I’ve had the privilege being at Stevens for six months now and I continue to be impressed by the brilliance and dedication of our faculty and students and diligence of our staff. I look forward to meeting many more of you now that we are back on campus.

Best wishes for a successful spring semester.