It is my pleasure to welcome you all back to a promising academic year. I am proud of the students who will join us for the first time, as well as of those who will continue their education at NJCU. In particular, I send my warmest welcome to the new faculty members of the University family. They come with a wealth of knowledge from the four corners of the globe.
From Morocco to China, France, Korea, Russia, India, and Kenya they hold degrees and have taught at world renowned institutions, including Cornell University, Haldia Institute of Technology (India,) West Point Military Academy, Georgia Southern University, Xiamen University (China,) Duquesne University, and Mohammed V University in Rabat. They bring expertise in International Nursing, Marketing, Instructional Technology, Folklore and Folklife, World Economy, Environmental Geochemistry, just to name a few.
I am also delighted to introduce to you two new members of the administration. Our search committees’ diligent work during the last academic year yielded impressive results: a new Provost and a new Vice President. With significant experience as a senior academic administrator across the country, Dr. Daniel Julius has begun as our Senior Vice President and Provost. Simultaneously, with broad experience in marketing, sales, fundraising, and organizational management, Daniel P. Elwell begins today as the new Vice President of University Advancement.
We begin the new academic year with several other administrative changes as well. Our own Dr. Bernie McSherry will serve as acting dean of the NJCU School of Business, as Dr. Allan DeFina will assume additional responsibilities due to the retirement of Dr. Sandra Bloomberg. Allan will temporarily oversee the activities of the School of Professional Studies. I have also asked Dr. Francis Moran to serve as Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and he has graciously accepted.
All in all, these changes point to a new and dynamic administrative team that will work with me to move NJCU forward.
Much has happened over the summer. Enthusiastic faculty members have been developing General Education courses and attending course development workshops. Impressive work has been done by faculty volunteers on assessment. The mathematics summer bridge program has enabled students who were placed into developmental math to catch up over the summer and be ready for college-level work. Our international program continues to flourish with students studying abroad over the summer in China, Cuba, France, Israel, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and Tanzania.
With all the summer activities and the opportunity to enjoy a summer break, we are poised for a most productive and exciting fall semester. In the coming weeks, be on the lookout for announcements and reports on General Education, President’s Speaker Series, international activities, music and dance performances and our athletic events.
While the beauty of our campus continues to be one of our great assets, you will discover that it is also a construction site. I am pleased to report that we have completed the architectural drawings for the Science Building and will submit these so that the funding can be obtained from the state. At the same time, drawings for the Academic Building on the west campus are almost complete and the roads that will frame the West Campus will go to bid in October. Plans for the residence hall are moving along, scheduled for a fall 2016 opening. Construction for the Tutoring Center in the first floor of the Library will be completed by October and our services will be moved this year to provide students with a unified place for tutoring services.
With so much on our plate as the new semester begins, I am confident that this will be a very good year. Welcome back and welcome aboard.