Welcome from the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost - Fall 2013
The beginning of a new academic year always brings excitement, as we greet new students, faculty, and staff, renew relationships interrupted by the summer, and continue the quest for discovery that is the lifeblood of the academy. The start of the 2013-14 academic year, however, is an especially exciting time for the Binghamton University community.
This fall we welcome 2,600 freshmen, 1,100 transfer students, and 1,100 new graduate students, keeping us on pace to achieve our goal of increasing enrollment to 17,000 students by 2016. These students were selected from the largest pool of applicants in Binghamton University's history—over 29,000 freshman applications and almost 4,000 graduate applications. With the competition for admission so keen, it's not surprising that the students who join us this fall add to the tradition of excellence for which Binghamton University is well known. The SAT scores and high school GPAs of our freshmen continue to climb, new transfer students boast a mean GPA of 3.4, and we recruited top graduate students from across the United States and around the world.
Outstanding students need world class faculty to challenge them and help them grow intellectually and personally. Binghamton University has long been known for its excellent faculty—individuals who combine cutting-edge research and discovery with a passion for teaching. This fall, there will be a lot more of them as we welcome 46 new tenure-track faculty to campus—a net gain of 32 tenure-track colleagues. Combined with the 47 new tenure-track faculty who joined us last fall, we are on track to increase the number of our tenure track faculty by 150—or 25%--between 2012 and 2016. The rapid expansion of our faculty will continue, as we launch over 50 searches for new tenure-track faculty to join us in August 2014. These new faculty not only bring enormous energy, intellectual vitality, and exciting research programs. They are helping us decrease our student-faculty ratio and contributing to a richer experience for our students.
As we enter the 2013-14 hiring season, we are taking a new approach to faculty recruitment.
Last year I worked closely with faculty leaders to develop a strategic approach to
hiring designed to help Binghamton University enhance its strength and visibility
in research, scholarship, and creative work. A faculty team identified five Transdisciplinary
Areas of Excellence (TAEs) in which Binghamton University has significant strength
and can become internationally recognized by making additional investments in faculty
These areas address important scientific, social, technological, cultural, and policy questions that can only be answered by teams of faculty from multiple disciplines. Approximately 60 percent of our searches this year are for faculty who will strengthen the TAEs, and the faculty steering committees responsible for guiding each of the TAEs will play an important role in searches for the new colleagues who will join their area. The steering committees will also develop programming, research, and plans for future hiring that will strengthen their respective areas.
The 2013-14 academic year also finds us hard at work implementing the Road Map (http://www2.binghamton.edu/president/road-map/docs/binghamton-road-map.pdf), our new strategic plan that was developed during the 2012-13 academic year with broad input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members. To help Binghamton University reach the ambitious milestones established in the Road Map, the Division of Academic Affairs is increasing the size and scope of the Center for Learning and Teaching, expanding Bartle Library's collections in critical areas, working to further increase graduate enrollment and recruit the very best doctoral students, developing new approaches to enhance diversity and inclusiveness, building on recent successes to assure that Binghamton University remains one of the most international campuses in the U.S., and working hard to provide our faculty and students with physical spaces that are conducive to their success. We are also working closely with faculty to expand undergraduate research opportunities and reinvent gateway science courses and collaborating with the Division of Student Affairs to develop new strategies to ensure that Binghamton University's remarkable students are able to realize their full potential.
The coming year will be a time of significant change as Binghamton University grows in size, ambition, and quality. One thing, however, will not change: our commitment to excellence. We remain a place where world-class faculty conduct path-breaking research and help remarkable students realize their enormous potential.