Senior Administrators Discuss University’s Progress During Campus Address

The Charger Bulletin

By DAN KALMANSON, Associate vice president for communications and public affairs

At the October 4 campus-wide meeting, President Steve Kaplan and senior administrators updated faculty and staff on a wide range of topics including new campus initiatives, student enrollment, budget issues, facility enhancements and fundraising success.

The president kicked off the meeting by welcoming the 133 new faculty and staff who were hired during the last year including Liz Davis, the new dean of the College of Business. He then went on to highlight several new and ongoing University initiatives:

• Strategic Plan – the new Strategic Plan, UNH 2020 Vision, has been completed and will be posted online in the near future. The plan’s executive summary is already available online.

• University Ventures – UNH is exploring a partnership opportunity with a for-profit educational firm, University Ventures, to offer a number of high-demand engineering programs at several locations around the country.

• Allingtown Neighborhood Development Coalition – the president noted that the recent coalition community forum was the most positive meeting with campus neighbors in recent years and that the new coalition banners and awnings in the Allingtown area are having a positive impact.

• New Residence Hall Project – design work continues on a proposed new 100,000 square foot, 375-bed student campus housing project with start of construction targeted for May 2013.

• Engineering Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) – plans are moving forward to relocate ESUMS to an $80 million, 120,000-square-foot facility adjacent to campus on Boston Post Road.

• Graduate Campus — the University’s plans to purchase the former Hubbell Electronics headquarters in nearby Orange continue to move forward. The 47-acre site features three attached buildings totaling approximately 70,000 square feet that can easily be converted into classrooms, science and computer labs, and faculty offices. The new branch campus would be used to house select graduate and executive education programs.

• Tuscany Campus – the new satellite branch campus in Prato, Italy, is off to a great start with approximately 35 students taking classes there this fall. The president expects that number to nearly double during the spring term.

• Marine Science Center – the city of New Haven is scheduled to begin construction this winter of the new Boathouse at Canal Dock that will house the Robert Lee and Linda Lee Marine Science Center.

Provost David Dauwalder provided an update on faculty salaries, new academic programs, student success and grants. He noted that 69.7 percent of full-time faculty members’ salaries are now at or above individual benchmarks. The University launched two new undergraduate degree programs (economics and human resource management) and four new graduate programs (online criminal justice, EMBA, forensic accounting and 6th-year certificate in instructional technologies and digital media literacy).

The provost also noted that undergraduate students showed significant gains in a number of key areas according to the latest National Survey of Student Engagement and that the amount of sponsored research grants increased during the last academic year by more than 20 percent to $3.2 million.

In addition, he announced that he is looking to identify and develop a signature curricular experience that will define the UNH undergraduate experience and will differentiate the University from all the other competitors.

Dean of Students Becky Johnson noted that her office is going to implement a division-wide program to assess and develop a plan to support students’ spiritual needs and that the Career Development Center will be increasing its online presence through the use of social media and the virtual career center.

In addition, the Office of International Student Services is working to demystify stereotypes by connecting faculty and staff with international students to create a better understanding about teaching, learning and cultural differences.

Vice President for Enrollment Management Jim McCoy then released undergraduate student enrollment figures for this fall. The target number for first-year and transfer students was 1,350 and the actual number enrolled totaled 1,323. McCoy noted, however, that the University was successful overall in shaping the entering class, maintaining quality and lowering the discount rate.

The University exceeded its annual operating margin target of four percent in FY12, according to Vice President for Finance and Administration George Synodi. In addition, UNH completed the acquisition of Soundview Nursing Facility and New Hall (now Bergami Hall) as well as the remaining parcels necessary for the construction of ESUMS.

In the area of fundraising, Vice President for Advancement Rick Tuchman said the University raised a total of $10.5 million last fiscal year – the second year in a row to break the $10 million mark. He also noted that last year national and international media placements featuring the University, its faculty and students increased by 22 percent.

Vice President for Human Resources Carol Koziatek announced that the Employee Handbook is now online. In addition, she noted that faculty early retirement plan has been implemented and the University has increased its contributions to the employee pension plan from 8 to 8.5 percent. The HR also office plans to go live with Banner in January.