STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
President Joel Seligman
Address to the Faculty Senate and University Community
September 8, 2009
(To view the slides while reading the speech below, place your cursor over each "SLIDE" link.)
Let me begin with very good news.
Unless unexpected developments occur, I am now confident that Brad Berk will return to his job as Chief Executive Officer of the University of Rochester Medical Center at a time to be determined later. In the weeks since Brad’s severe bicycle accident, he has continued to make significant progress. Though he is currently using a wheelchair to move about, he now has motion in all of his limbs; his mind is unaffected by the accident; his sense of humor remains unimpaired. Brad is remarkably determined and committed to returning to work. After an August conversation among Brad, Brad’s doctor at Kessler, our Board Chair Ed Hajim and me, we concluded that even if Brad’s recovery were to plateau at current levels, he would be able to resume his duties at the Medical Center. It is essential, however, that we not attempt now to determine precisely when this will occur. Soon Brad will return to Rochester. He will continue physical and occupational therapy at Strong Memorial Hospital. At an appropriate later time, he will begin working on a part-time basis at the Medical Center.
The Medical Center has been extremely well served by Mark Taubman and the Medical Center senior leadership team in the period since Brad’s accident. Until Brad is able to return full time to his job as Chief Executive Officer, Mark will continue in charge as Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Center.
After Brad returns to Rochester, there will be several major issues for Brad and me to discuss such as the best approach to selecting the School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean.
The very good news is that Brad is coming back. I am delighted with the progress that he already has made and am confident that he will be able to resume his duties as Medical Center Chief Executive Officer.
I. STATE OF THE UNIVERSITY
I am proud to report that the State of the University remains strong. The probability this year is that we will revitalize implementation of our strategic plans with appropriate accommodations to a changed economic environment. Make no mistake about it. There are no certainties with respect to predicting our economy. But the extent to which we already have seen clear signs of economic stabilization and the beginning of a recovery provides a basis for optimism going forward.
We have had a very busy summer.
That will be a day of triumph for the University. Since its original opening on September 4, 1922, Eastman Theatre has been one of this nation’s leading performance venues. When it began, the Theatre had 3,352 seats, the nation’s largest theatre organ, the nation’s largest marquee at 367 feet,SLIDE 6
and a magnificent glass chandelier, 35 feet tall, weighing 5,000 pounds, with 20,000 individual pieces of crystal.
For George Eastman, this was “such stuff as dreams are made on.” Eastman’s dream was to run a silent movie theatreSLIDE 7
that would provide the resources to support the finest school of music in the world.
In the Eastman School of Music, George Eastman achieved his ultimate objective.
Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre will enhance the grandeur of the original Eastman Theatre with 21st century acoustics, improved seating and new lobbies. On October 8, Kodak Hall will open with a gala performance by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra featuring an original composition by Eastman School of Music Dean Doug Lowry entitledGeoin honor of George Eastman.
Later this academic year, Renée Fleming will star in a special University gala to celebrate the reopening of Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre.
Approximately one year from now, a new wing of the Eastman Theatre Complex will open with the new Hatch Recital Hall to complement Kodak and Kilbourn Halls.
On May 13, the Medical Center announced the creation of the Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute, supported by an initial $10 million contribution from Ernie and Thelma Del Monte, the second largest gift in the Medical Center’s history. This is the first installment of what the Del Montes hope will be a $20 million commitment.
The Del Montes’ generosity will lead to the establishment of the Institute in the former Medical Research Building Extension, commonly known as MRB-X, and provide pivotal new resources for path-breaking work already initiated at the Medical Center in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, stroke, and brain and spinal cord trauma, among other neurological illnesses.
The Del Monte Institute will be led by Dr. Web Pilcher, the Frederick P. Smith Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery. A formal dedication of the Del Monte Neuromedicine Institute will occur on December 4 of this year.
In July, we dedicated a new 80,000 square foot Ambulatory Surgery Center located in Brighton on Sawgrass Drive. The Center adds 10 operating rooms and three procedure rooms to Strong Memorial Hospital’s 33 operating rooms. Ten years ago, approximately 20 percent of surgery at Strong involved outpatients. Today 50 percent of surgery at Strong is for outpatients. Our new Surgery Center is the largest center of its kind in upstate New York, with state-of-the-art imaging and surgical equipment.
Dr. Michael Maloney, the Center’s Medical Director, anticipates that these outpatient facilities will define a new standard of care in the region for ambulatory patients.
In June, the Medical Center broke ground for the Clinical and Translational Science Building. This 200,000 square foot facility is scheduled for completion in March 2011 and will be the first building in the nation dedicated solely to clinical and translational research since the School of Medicine and Dentistry received an inaugural $40 million National Institutes of Health award in October 2006. Let me again express my gratitude to Governor Paterson and the New York State Assembly for providing $50 million in support for this landmark project. We are particularly proud that the CTSB is estimated to add 600 permanent jobs to the Rochester economy.
This past summer over 100 University employees relocated to a new office building at 910 Genesee Street in Brooks Landing, where the University is the lead tenant in 20,000 square feet of the new facility. This follows the successful opening last year of theSLIDE 18
Staybridge Suites andSLIDE 19
Riverview Apartments, which in its second year is oversubscribed again by our students. We anticipate within the next year or so a new free-standing restaurant and additional apartments will be built near the Staybridge Suites.
The College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering received a record 12,047 applicants for the Class of 2013, with continued progress in high school grade point average, SAT scores and in diversity. The record- breaking number of applications occurred in part because of the popularity of new majors at the College such as International Relations, Economics and Business Strategies and Financial Economics. This year the College will introduce four new Public Health majors that were developed in partnership with the Medical Center and add a new Technical Entrepreneurship and Management master’s degree jointly created by the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Simon School of Business.
For our research scientists, this has been a particularly busy year. We finished the 2008 federal fiscal year with our aggregate government and private sponsored research funding increasing from $359 million to $389 million.
Then early in 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) became effective and our researchers began submitting additional ARRA grant proposals. Through September 4, 2009, University researchers had submitted 457 proposals under the ARRA seeking $244 million. By that date, 85 proposals have been funded with a cumulative value of $18.4 million. Significant additional proposals will be considered later, including an $18 million request to support the Medical Center’s modernization of electronic medical records; an additional $15 million being sought from the National Institutes of Health to help complete funding for the Clinical and Translational Science Building; and a $10 million proposal to the National Science Foundation to renovate Hutchison Hall in the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering.
This summer we received the good news that the New York State Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program will help fund renovations of our student dining facilities in Wilson Commons. Next summer “the Pit” will be closed so that by the time the 2010 fall semester begins, we will have added new dining options and expanded service capacity, including a new pizza oven, salad bar, char broiler, “Zoca” Mexican food station, a Panda Express station and expanded to-go options for added convenience.
In October of this year, Steve Chu, Secretary of Energy and Nobel Laureate, will return to his alma mater to deliver the keynote address of Meliora Weekend. There will be 195 other events during this very special weekend, includingSLIDE 25
a presidential symposium focusing on the future of financial regulation, featuring current and past Securities and Exchange Commission chairs Mary Schapiro and Richard Breeden, past president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Jerry Corrigan, and one of this nation’s leading behavioral economists, the University of Chicago’s Richard Thaler. The symposium will be moderated by Hugo Sonnenschein, President Emeritus of the University of Chicago.
Meliora Weekend will feature the formal dedication of the Edmund A. Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, including an engineering symposium that will include keynote speeches by Charles Vest, MIT president emeritus and current president of the National Academy of Engineering, and Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University.
A reception will follow the symposium on the Engineering Quad adjacent to the newly constructed Hajim Wall that honors Ed’s $30 million gift commitment, the largest single commitment in the University’s history.
On October 10, we will honor the pivotal role that George Eastman played in the transformation of our school into a great research university with the dedication of a statue in his honor near Lattimore Hall on the Eastman Quadrangle.
This fall we will begin the process of creating a College Town in the Mt. Hope Corridor by circulating a Request for Qualification, which is the first step toward selecting a developer to create what will be an impressive mixed use development during the next few years. The new College Town potentially will add new retail establishments, housing, office space, academic buildings, and parking facilities in a location contiguous to Mt. Hope Avenue between Elmwood and Crittenden.
The Board of Trustees and I devoted considerable attention in the last few months to the University’s senior leadership team. Following Brad Berk’s accident, I selected Mark Taubman to be Acting CEO of the Medical Center. Mark was Chair of the Department of Medicine, which is the largest Medical Center department, and had distinguished himself with outstanding recruitments and effective leadership of the same department from which Brad earlier was elevated.
Shortly before Brad’s accident, School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean David Guzick completed seven great years here and accepted the position of Senior Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Florida. Lissa McAnarney, Chair Emerita of our outstanding Department of Pediatrics, is serving as Acting Dean of our School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Today let me announce that Lynne Davidson, Deputy to the President and Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity, will step down from these posts on October 1st. During the past four years, Lynne has been pivotal in chairing our 2006 Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness and in implementing its 31 recommendations. Of particular significance, the faculty diversity initiative has established a new assessment program, increased the amount and visibility of the Special Opportunities Fund and overseen the dissemination of best practices that will lead to the hiring and retention of a more diverse faculty.
Vivian Lewis, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, has overseen diversity initiatives at the Medical Center and has been a member of the University Faculty Diversity Officers Committee since its inception. For the balance of this academic year, Vivian will serve as Acting Deputy to the President and Acting Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity. During the spring semester we will conduct a search for a permanent successor to Lynne.
Our Board of Trustees will be strengthened by the addition of three members this academic year. They are John Bruning, former CEO and President of Corning Tropel and one of this nation’s most highly regarded optical engineers; Phil Pizzo ‘70M (MD), Dean of the Medical School at Stanford University and a member of California’s pioneering Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a state-wide effort to fund stem cell research; and Danny Wegman, Chief Executive Officer of Wegmans Food Markets, who returns to our Board.
II. FINANCIAL CONTEXT
Against this background, let me address the University and the economy. This past academic year we experienced the most serious stock market crash in the post-World War II period and the continuation of the most sustained recession in the past six decades.
Between selected dates in October 2007 and March 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 54 percent from a high of 14,165 to a low of 6,547.
National unemployment rose from 4.8 percent early in 2008 to 9.7 percent in August 2009.
In an atmosphere that Federal Reserve Board President Bernanke characterized as having “elements of a classic panic,” the debt markets effectively shut down for several months.
Inevitably the economic emergency had an impact on the University.
Total University assets declined from approximately $2.70 billion on June 30, 2008 to approximately $2.18 billion on June 30, 2009 or about 19.3 percent.
Our endowment and similar funds declined from $1.75 billion to $1.37 billion, some 21.7 percent. Of that decline 19.8 percent was the consequence of investment performance, which was better than the 26.4 percent decline in the Dow Jones Total Stock Market benchmark or the 30.9 percent decline in the All Country World Index and better than many, but not all, of our peers.
Everyone in the University deserves credit for having pulled together to respond to the economic emergency. We put in place measures that reduced our planned endowment payout from $98.2 million to $83.1 million for this academic year; deferred several significant capital projects and some faculty hiring; agreed to a pay freeze for virtually all employees earning over $40,000; reduced discretionary expenditures throughout the University; and focused on minimizing job loss. To date, 55 employees have lost their positions. Taking into account unfilled vacancies and some hiring, total Full Time Equivalent positions declined from 19,441 on December 31, 2008 to 19,360 as of June 30, 2008.
Challenging as this past year was, we were fortunate compared to many other academic and non-academic institutions. University academic programs generally are funded by four types of financial support: Tuition, sponsored research, gifts and endowment payout. Most of our academic divisions are tuition driven, notably the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, the Simon Graduate School of Business, the Warner School of Education and the School of Nursing. Losses in endowment, while serious, are only a small part of resources in these schools. For the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the College, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act offers an important countervailing source of support during the time that stimulus funding will be available.
As we begin this academic year, there are grounds for optimism that the economy has stabilized and a recovery has begun. Between the market nadir on March 9, 2009 and the close of market on September 4, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44 percent to 9,441. To be sure, the Dow remains 33 percent below its historical high of 14,165 on October 9, 2007, but the general direction of the stock market during the past six months is encouraging.
As with most of our peers last year, our University experienced a challenging year for fundraising. After dramatic growth in total cash received from $69.9 million to $84.7 million to $108.9 million during the prior three years, total cash received last year equaled $68.4 million.
We have several reasons to be optimistic about this academic year.
The George Eastman Circle was responsible last year for our annual fund giving growing by 12.3 percent, the largest year-to-year increase among select peer institutions. Our balance of pledges has grown from $8.9 million in FY 06 to $123 million at the close of FY 09. During the first two months of this academic year, we have received $11.7 million in total cash, which represents a 41 percent increase over the $8.3 million we received during the same period last year.
The seizing up of the debt markets and reduction in our net assets last year caused us to defer a planned bond issue of approximately $250 million. This summer we were able to return to the debt markets and issue a $117 million financing to address a number of projects, including the Clinical Translation and Science Building, laboratory and office renovations in the College and School of Medicine and Dentistry, residence hall renovations and safety upgrades and the University’s portion of the Wilson Commons renovation. At about the same time, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed our credit ratings, including a ratings upgrade that Moody’s had issued earlier last academic year.
Unless unexpected developments occur, we will have access to the debt markets in the next few years to address several planned strategic initiatives. Our challenge is to correlate how much we seek to borrow to underlying financial realities. As the Standard & Poor rating report of June 25, 2009 put it: “Standard and Poor’s expect future debt issuance to be commensurate with growth of financial resources.” Continued positive investment performance and operating performance will enable the University to increase debt capacity.
III. STRATEGIC PLANNING
In October 2008, the University Board of Trustees approved strategic plans for the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering; the Eastman School of Music; the Medical Center; the Simon School of Business; and the Warner School of Education and approved the Campus Master Plan. As we near completion of the first year under these plans, each academic division has made adjustments to respond to the challenges of a weakened economy. At the same time, the divisions have reported considerable progress in implementing strategic plans to date and a determination to move forward and achieve core objectives.
The Medical Center strategic plan includes seven fundamental objectives:
First, achieve program growth in translational research and clinical care through development of five Integrated Disease Programs and four Integrated Scientific Programs. A key measure of progress under this goal is the hiring of additional translational research and clinical faculty. Through FY 12, the Medical Center plans to hire 45 translational and research and clinical faculty. To date, 20 have been hired. The Medical Center this past year recruited new chairs of Emergency Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology, and new Chiefs of Endocrinology, Hematology/Oncology and General Medicine.
Second, maintain financial stability by continuing a 2 percent Medical Center operating margin and a 5 percent operating margin at Strong Memorial Hospital. Preliminary results for last year indicate that the Medical Center overall margin will be approximately 1.3 percent and Strong will achieve a 5 percent margin. These results were achieved because of a Medical Center wide cost reduction program which reduced the Center’s expenditures by $40 million per annum beginning January 2009.
Third, the Medical Center has continued to maintain its objective of a 5.5 percent endowment draw both in the School of Medicine and Dentistry and in the School of Nursing.
Fourth, the Medical Center hospitals have sought to achieve improvements in patient safety, quality, and satisfaction. This has been a top priority of the Medical Center senior leadership and Board during the past two years. Improved results are being reported in patient satisfaction and in several quality measures, including decreased mortality and infection rates.
Fifth, enhance national reputation. Between Fiscal Years 07 and 09, high impact publications by URMC faculty increased, particularly in the highest rated journals. The School of Medicine and Dentistry ranking in U.S. News rose from 36th to 31st in research between 2007 and 2009 and during that same period from 19th to 15th in primary care.
Sixth, increase our relative position in NIH funding. The School of Medicine and Dentistry rose from 30th in 2006 to 25th in 2008 for NIH grant funding.
Seventh, complete fundamental capital projects. Underlying progress in the Medical Center strategic plan are four key capital projects. Three are now either completed or underway: The Ambulatory Surgery Center, the Clinical Translational and Science Building and the Clinical Transformation Project, which is intended to provide state of-the-art IT to the Medical Center.
A fundamental objective this year for the University and Medical Center will be to definitively begin the new Pediatric Replacement and Imaging Modernization (PRISM) wing of Strong Memorial Hospital. Given occupancy rates over 98 percent at Strong during the first six months of 2009 and very high rates at each of the other Monroe County hospitals, there is an urgent need to proceed with PRISM. Before the economic emergency, after comprehensive review by the University and Medical Center boards, a $262 million project was approved by both Boards and in October 2008 received a Certificate of Need from the State Department of Health. The original PRISM would have required borrowing of approximately $150 million and would have been the most expensive project in the University’s history. After several months of intensive review, a modified version of PRISM soon will be proposed for consideration by both the University and Medical Center boards. The modified version will add some beds earlier than the completion of the modified PRISM wing itself, reduce the footprint and square footage of PRISM, significantly reduce the amount of debt that will be required to initiate the project, but substantially achieve each of the basic objectives of PRISM, including adding additional medical/surgery beds, expanding Imaging Science and modernizing Pediatric care.
The Medical Center will continue to monitor closely how Federal health care reform legislation and the New York State budget might affect our health center.
The School of Nursing this past year made significant progress in its NIH support, rising to sixth nationally. The School has added the equivalent of 6.4 clinical faculty since FY 08, increased enrollment in its Accelerated Program for Non-Nurses from 90 in FY 08 to 160 this year and in its master’s programs from 54 to 75 during the same period. A continuing challenge for the School of Nursing involves recruitment of tenure track faculty. Since FY 07, the size of the tenure track faculty has declined by three due to retirements but is projected to increase by 13 new tenure track faculty by FY 13. The physical proximity of the Clinical and Translational Science Building to the School of Nursing should provide a further boost to the School of Nursing’s research and community engagement.
In June, we dedicated the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, which merges the Eastman Dental Center, the Department of Dentistry and the Center for Oral Biology. By integrating our dental clinical, education and research, the new Institute will better address the region’s growing clinical needs and prepare leaders in oral health. The Institute will offer a new Translational M.S. program, has increased capacity in our Medical Center facility and has recently completed the expansion of its downtown clinic.
Dr. Cyril Meyerowitz leads the Institute, which builds on the strength of a combined dental research program that was number five in the country in NIH dental research support in 2008 and number one in faculty FTE research in both 2007 and 2008.
The College’s ambitious strategic plan focuses on six pivotal areas. As the first year under the strategic plan nears conclusion, the College has made marked progress in many of these areas.
As earlier noted, in the part of the plan called the World beyond the United States, a highly popular new major has been implemented in International Relations. This fall 111 students, a record number, will study abroad, including an all-time high of 10 recipients of Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Awards. The College is on track to increase the proportion of students studying abroad from 21 percent in the Class of 2007 to 35 percent in the Class of 2016.
The College also has made notable efforts to strengthen advising and academic support. Efforts are under way to expand undergraduate research opportunities, including the popular portable research scholarship which provides selected first-year students with a $3,000 research fund to be used at any time during their undergraduate years.
During the past academic year, the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering reduced its endowment draw from $32 million to $22 million for this academic year. This level of endowment draw provides a sustainable base for implementation of the College’s strategic plan. After a one-year hiatus in faculty growth, the College expects to enlarge the faculty this year and has authorized a substantial number of searches with the goal of expanding the faculty to 336. Several searches, such as those in International Relations and in East Asia, are in areas central to the College’s strategic plan. I am committed to helping the College find the incremental resources that are necessary to sustain this growth.
On the drawing board are proposals for a new Science and Engineering Building, undergraduate teaching labs, and a new Integrated Nanotechnology Center.
This also will be a year of substantial progress for the implementation of the Eastman School of Music strategic plan.
Eastman is involved with several initiatives to elevate its national and international profile, including the recent introduction of an online course in music theory designed by Steve Laitz of the School’s Department of Music Theory. This course will prepare both Eastman students and students elsewhere who are entering music school. Eastman also is working to offer streamed music lessons from the School’s premiere music faculty delivered via “iTunesU” and to participate in an increasing number of events throughout the country in locations that recently have included Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Boston and the Tanglewood Festival, Naples and New York City.
Eastman is strengthening its international presence, with new partnerships in Germany, Norway, Great Britain and China. This past summer Eastman faculty and students made a ten-day tour led by Dean Doug Lowry, visiting conservatories in Guangzho, Xi’An and Beijing.
Within the School, the Eastman Institute for Music Leadership has been a platform for music innovation for the past several years. The School of Music intends to create a new Eastman New Music Center to combine the Hanson Institute for American Music, new music ensembles such as Musica Nova and student groups such as Eastman Broadband and the New Eastman Orchestra.
The Simon Graduate School of Business established three new centers in 2008-2009 – the Center for Leadership Development, the Center for Information Intensive Services and the Center for Pricing – and continued to increase its first-year MBA enrollment from 119 in FY 06 to 180 last year with a projected 200 this year. Including the impressive growth in specialized master’s programs, this year Simon will have the largest aggregate enrollment in its history.
Concomitant with enrollment growth has been striking improvement in Simon GMAT and grade point average metrics.
Simon successfully recruited four new tenured or tenure eligible faculty for the 2009-2010 academic year, including Toni Whited, who will occupy the Michael and Diane Jones Professorship.
Notable progress was made in advancement at Simon with 184 members of the George Eastman Circle to date. Five new professorships have been created at Simon during the past three years as well as the Rajesh Wadhawan Professorship Fund, the first such gift from an Indian family to a leading United States business school.
This year Simon will focus on job placement for students and the need for additional faculty to address growing enrollments, particularly in finance and accounting.
The Warner School last year increased its course credits by 16 percent, achieving its strategic plan target one year ahead of schedule.
In recent years, Warner has added an Accelerated Ed.D. degree and a new master’s program in Education Policy; and announced new scholarship programs. For this academic year, Warner has also augmented its financial aid by awarding 10 full-tuition Noyce scholarships, funded by NSF, to math and science pre-service teachers and 17 other scholarships covering 50 percent of tuition for Class of 2009 graduates.
The fundamental challenge for the Warner School remains the need for additional space. Working in tandem with the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering, the Warner School has finances in hand that so far address over half the anticipated cost of a new building. In the Spring of 2009, the design phase of the new building was begun. A pivotal issue to be resolved in the near future will be the most appropriate site for the new building. No ultimate decision on building construction will be made until cost estimates can be further reviewed and a financing plan is in hand.
Two strategic issues will be of general interest to all of our academic divisions this year.
First, diversity and inclusiveness are University priorities. We intend to be a campus that is welcoming and supportive of all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender. In the last few years, there has been some progress in terms of gender and racial diversity across the University. Between the 2006 and 2008, the number of women faculty grew from 411 to 496; the number of faculty who identify themselves as members of an underrepresented group has increased from 37 to 52. But in an academic environment as competitive as the one in which we operate, progress is not always linear. Between July 1, 2007 and July 1, 2008, the University hired 199 new faculty, of whom 47 percent were women and 5.5 percent identified themselves as members of an underrepresented minority group. During that same period, 114 faculty left the University, of whom 40.4 percent were women and 4.4 percent identified themselves as members of an underrepresented minority group.
I recognize the sincere efforts throughout the University to simultaneously achieve academic excellence and diversity.
But I am also impressed by challenges in many of our programs because of pipeline issues and how, in a relatively small University, the loss of a single faculty member of any race or either gender, can resonate widely.
This year, I will increase my involvement with the University Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness program. I have begun attending Faculty Diversity Officers Committee meetings on a regular basis and look forward to reviewing with that Committee the recommendations of the year-long listening tour that Lynne Davidson, Frederick Jefferson and Carol Shuherk conducted primarily during this past academic year.
Second, no one can help but be impressed by the speed with which communications is being transformed. Print news media are under tremendous stress today, which means that the opportunity for universities to communicate results of important research and other achievements are shrinking. This past year the University of Rochester took the lead, working with 34 other research universities in the United States and Canada, to create a research news Web site called Futurity.org. The site, which is edited at the University of Rochester, allows universities to communicate discoveries directly both through the site itself and potentially through partnerships with internet news providers. Futurity will make its public debut during an international launch on September 15, with all 35 universities promoting the site to reporters and bloggers who cover higher education and research and their university communities.
The implications of today’s communications revolution will touch the University in other fundamental ways in the decades to come. I have asked Susan Gibbons, the Vice Provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries, to lead a year-long conversation about the ways in which digital technology will change publishing and scholarly communication in all of our academic disciplines and otherwise impact the University of Rochester.
IV. A UNIVERSITY OF THE HIGHEST ORDER
During Meliora Weekend in October 2011, we will publicly announce the largest capital campaign in our history.
We will build on considerable strength. We can be justifiably proud that throughout our history, our faculty, students and alumni have produced transformative ideas that have made a difference in teaching, research, health care, community service and the performing arts.
Our Medical Center is one of the originators of modern medical education, which integrates teaching, clinical care and research and this University is home to the Medical School that originated the biopsychosocial model approach that views patients not merely in terms of a diagnosis, but in terms of the whole person. In the years to come, the Medical Center looks forward to enhancing its position as an international leader in the translational application of basic medical research, in developing novel health technologies and as the regional leader in health care, particularly through efforts that improve the health and quality of care of the Rochester community and our region through integration and cooperation.
Our School of Nursing originated the unification model that combines education, patient care and research. In the years to come, the School of Nursing similarly will play a leadership role in developing the nursing profession’s response to changing healthcare needs.
Our Eastman School of Music is the nation’s leading graduate program in music in part because of its role in ending the separation between the music conservatory and the University and revolutionizing music pedagogy through the study of American music. The aspiration of the Eastman School is to be a leader in music innovation in the 21st century by broadening the international context of music study, bridging music and science, and increasingly integrating multimedia into the school’s curriculum.
Our College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering has contributed to path-breaking work in several areas, including optics, high energy physics, political methodology, history, and visual and cultural studies. The overarching strategic objective of the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering is to strengthen and enlarge the faculty by 25 percent, emphasizing outstanding appointments in the years to come.
The Simon School of Business has long been a thought leader that helped transform the study of financial economics through the agency costs model and prides itself on being the home of positive accounting theory and models of effective organizational architecture. Simon aspires to be an international leader in integrating management theory and practice, particularly stressing its economics-based approach and its cross-functional scholarship and teaching.
Our Warner School of Education has been at the forefront of innovative work in education research and practice that recognizes that learning and development shape and are shaped by social practices and contexts. Warner aspires to seek solutions to the complex problems that face our educational system and to attract, prepare and support educational professionals and researchers committed to being agents of social change.
Our University-wide vision may draw inspiration from the Medical Center’s new credo, “Medicine of the Highest Order,” and seek as our overarching objective to become a University of the Highest Order by pursuing a strategy of quality growth that will provide the most outstanding platform for teaching, research, scholarship, health care and service to the community. To achieve this objective, we will:
- Emphasize the central role of the faculty and provide our faculty the means and opportunity to do their best research and scholarship at the highest levels of excellence while teaching in what even under a strategy of quality growth will continue to be one of the smallest and most collaborative of the nation’s leading research universities.
- Enhance the student experience by providing students the freedom and support to seek their academic passions in a University that values the whole student including, extracurricular and community opportunities, and is committed to being a diverse and welcoming University.
- Build upon our record of extraordinary achievement in multidisciplinary programs in such fields as Music Cognition, Laser Energetics, Biomedical Engineering, Political Economics, Advanced Imaging Engineering and environmental sustainability, to become an international leader in multidisciplinary research.
- Achieve national leadership in connecting the humanities and performing arts to sciences and engineering to address a 21st century-environment that will be increasingly digital and multimedia.
- SLIDE 79
Build and renovate the facilities necessary to provide our students, faculty, and staff the classrooms, laboratories, residences, dining areas, and other facilities that are consistent with a world-class university.
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Embrace our position as a leading stakeholder in Rochester to help make Rochester a thriving community and a model for partnerships among the University, political, social and business organizations.
During the last four years, we have made significant progress in developing the intellectual framework for our future. Each academic and most non-academic divisions have developed strategic plans.
Our University communications have been strengthened through increased staff dedicated to expanded media coverage of faculty research, five new electronic newsletters customized for different constituencies of the University community, the redesign of the University Web and of Rochester Review, and the creation of a new graphic identity. An on-campus studio for remote TV will be finished this month.
Substantial progress also has been made by the schools and Advancement in developing the infrastructure for our campaign.
Each academic division now has a National Council to provide advice and support on strategic planning and the upcoming capital campaign.
We have completed 25 University Leaders Initiative events across the nation. Through this program and ongoing research, we have increased the number of potential significant supporters from 300 in 2005 to approximately 3,500 today.
Our program of creating Regional Cabinets to better connect the University to our alumni throughout the country will begin this year with Cabinets in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
I began my June 2009 Annual Report to the Community with the observation: “The true measure of a social institution is not whether it thrives when times are good, but whether it thrives when times are hard. By that measure, in what was an extraordinarily challenging economy, the University of Rochester had a very solid year.”
I anticipate that this year will be better. This year we again will strive to lift our sights. We will, as always, “aim high.”