President MJ Saunders’ Self-Report to Board of Trustees on 2010-11 Goals
August 29, 2011
These accomplishments would not be possible without the committed team of Vice Presidents and the talented faculty, staff and students at Florida Atlantic University working in concert toward the goal of making FAU a great university.
Goal 1. Initiate Strategic Planning and Focus University Mission
Re-initiated strategic planning process to build on 2006 plan. Focus on increasing academic excellence, establishing University-wide signature themes, ensuring student success.
The strategic planning process has been re-engaged through appointment of a new Strategic Planning Steering Committee (SPSC) co-chaired by Dr. Gitanjali Kaul, Vice President for Strategic Planning and Information Technology, and Dr. Timothy Lenz, FAU Trustee and Professor of Political Science. The committee’s 12 members include key University administrators and faculty members and, from the greater community, Dr. Claudia Hillinger, President of the Max Planck Foundation. The group’s mission is to revisit the 2006-13 Strategic Plan in its entirety, retain all aspects of it that are serving the University well, revise and refine goals that require updating, and develop new goals to address today’s opportunities and challenges. Once again, the strategic planning process is designed to be inclusive, incorporating input from the University’s key constituencies, including academic, administrative and support units throughout the University.
To facilitate this process, I retained The Learning Alliance for Higher Education, a consulting firm that provides valuable research and leadership support services to college and university presidents. Members of The Learning Alliance came to FAU in February 2010 to facilitate the Campus Roundtable, a forum promoting dialogue on the University’s strategic goals and priorities. Interviews conducted with faculty members representing many diverse academic units yielded a list of key issues that was presented for general discussion during a full-day roundtable on March 15.
In April a memorandum signed by the SPSC co-chairs was widely disseminated to the University’s internal constituencies. It provided details on how units and individuals could provide input to the planning process. Attached was a set of carefully formulated questions that were to be addressed by all units of the University by May, with reports due by June 30.
The questions in the survey were as follows:
What does FAU do well?
What should FAU do in the next five years to become a distinctive and distinguished institution?
What should your unit do in the next five years to become a distinctive and distinguished department?
What challenges does FAU face today?
What challenges does your unit face today?
The SPSC included a list of some attributes often associated with successful units and suggested that those responding to the survey incorporate some or all of them in their discussions and subsequent responses. The attributes are:
Community and public service
Ethnic diversity, cultural and global perspective
Financial support of excellence and stewardship of resources
Interdisciplinary inquiry and collaboration
Recruitment and retention of faculty
Recruitment and retention of students
Scholarship and research
Teaching and learning
Working across campuses and with non-university partners
Responses to the survey were synthesized over the summer into overarching, University-wide goals to be presented in a report to be distributed by the SPSC in September. Ongoing opportunities for individuals and units to provide additional input will continue to be provided.
As we re-engage the strategic planning process, we are focusing our efforts on continuing the University’s development in all three core areas of its mission: education, research and creative activities, and civic engagement. In each area, we will seek to build upon existing strengths and move toward new frontiers of achievement that will increase FAU’s value to the students and communities it serves. Our intention is to make mid-course corrections and additions to the strategic plan that will enable the University to take advantage of new opportunities and frame new challenges for the future.
Emerging from this process is the opportunity to set direction for the University utilizing signature themes to support research, educational programming and community outreach. Three themes are being proposed: Marine and Coastal Issues, Biotechnology and Contemporary Societal Challenges.
Exploiting new opportunities and starting mutually beneficial community partnerships.
We undertook this effort from a position of strength and well demonstrated institutional value. FAU’s designation as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching provides an impressive outside endorsement of its growth as a center of important 21st century research, particularly in the areas of biomedicine, biotechnology, marine science and ocean engineering. FAU has become a powerful engine of growth and prosperity in South Florida, with a current regional economic impact of about $2 billion annually. This impact will increase dramatically with the advent of the stadium and the medical school. FAU is committed to the concept of stewardship of place and is working in the community in many ways, from operating healthcare clinics that serve low-income families to providing thousands of student volunteers to a large variety of non-profit and public service organizations. FAU’s campuses are vibrant cultural centers that offer members of the public a wide array of personal enrichment experiences, including Lifelong Learning classes, plays, concerts, art exhibitions and film showings. All of these aspects of the University’s mission have been conscientiously developed over a period of many years, and they are all receiving my close attention and active support.
I have had a very busy speaking schedule during my first year in office, addressing more than 45 outside organizations and University groups throughout our service area, always stressing FAU’s rapid maturation as a comprehensive university and its growing stature in the academic arena.
I was the keynote or featured speaker at several high-profile events presented by economic and civic organizations that included the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews, the South Palm Beach County Bar Association, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Board of Directors, the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale and the Martin County Council of Chambers.
Additionally, I made presentations to the Broward, Palm Beach and Treasure Coast legislative delegations, and I visited Tallahassee to speak with individual legislators.
I became a founding member of the Life Tech Corridor Executive Committee, Board member of MedUTech, elected member of Broward Workshop, Chair Broward Educational Alliance, Member HBOI Foundation Board, and Trustee of Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.
I officiated at the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 commencement ceremonies, reviving the practice of awarding honorary doctorates to persons of outstanding achievement and continuing the practice of awarding President’s Distinguished Service Medallions to special friends of the University. Expressions of thanks such as these are very meaningful to the recipients and serve to reinforce the University’s relationship with them.
I spoke at many student events, including the Freshman Convocation, the Phi Kappa Phi Initiation Ceremony, the FAU High School graduation ceremony, the Student Government Inauguration Ceremony, the Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the University Honors Program event, the Graduate Student Owl Awards and the Student Leadership Conference.
When addressing any audience, I take pride in celebrating FAU’s status as the most diverse institution in Florida’s State University System, with 46 % of our students classified as African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander, multi-racial or international. All 50 states and more than 130 countries are represented in our student body. We celebrate the rich diversity of our student body in many ways, including presentation of the annual Festival of Nations and observance of Black History Month, Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Month.
In addition to face-to-face interactions, I maintain contact with the University community in a number of ways, including Inside FAU webisodes on subjects of current interest, monthly MyFAU columns and mass email messages to make important announcements such as new academic and administrative appointments.
Goal 2. Increase Student Success and Affinity to FAU
This goal lies at the very heart of what both Florida Atlantic University and my presidency are all about. The institution exists to offer superior academic opportunities to students, who deserve to be given the tools they need to excel. Every other enterprise undertaken by the University, from facility construction to fundraising, serves the ultimate goal of creating a place where students can enhance their lives by acquiring a world class education in the fields of their choice.
Create e-learning opportunities to increase access and diversity of offerings.
I made creation of a Center for eLearning and hiring of a Center Director/Assistant Provost for eLearning top priorities during my first year in office. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Task Force for eLearning, the Center was brought into existence in record time with a well-defined mission, and a highly qualified Director/Assistant Provost was found through a national search. Dr. Monica DeTure, formerly Director of Distance Learning and Outreach Technology at Auburn University, began her duties at FAU in April. She is responsible for leading our efforts to implement eLearning across all academic disciplines and programs. eLearning has tremendous potential, not only from the point of view of responding to students’ need for ease of accessibility, but also as an evolving educational environment in its own right.
In 2008-09,503 course sections were offered online, which reflected a 12 % increase over the previous year. In 2009-10, 591 sections were offered, reflecting a 17 % growth rate. In 2010-11, 686 sections were offered online, representing a 16 % growth rate. For 2011-2012, Dr. DeTure anticipates a growth rate of 15 to 20 % for fully online sections%.
Improve retention rates by increasing academic support, creating a culture of success and improving student life.
In pursuit of this objective, I have engaged in the following activities during the first year of my presidency:
Completed establishment of the Center for Teaching and Learning, a multi-departmental initiative designed to ensure the academic success of every student and provide faculty with teaching tools and resources.
Appointed the Honors Task Force, headed by Dr. Edward Pratt, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Dr. Jeffrey Buller, Dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, to explore creative ways to build and enhance all of FAU’s undergraduate research, creative activities and scholarship experiences and thus embed honors education in the entire curriculum of the University.
Announced selection of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan topic: “Integrating and expanding a culture of research and scholarship at FAU through the framework of an honors program.” Stressed the importance of University-wide support for this initiative in a detailed email message to all faculty and staff.
Supported and encouraged all activities of the Center for Learning and Student Success, including Living-Learning Communities, Supplemental Instruction, the Success Series and Tutoring Services. Programs such as the Learning Communities and classes in Supplemental Instruction are having a marked effect on overall student success. Last fall our Living-Learning Communities were the strongest ever, with 200-plus students studying under the guidance of more than 20 faculty members. During its 11 years of existence, the Learning Community program has impacted more than 4,000 students and raised the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate by 10 %age points. In fall 2011, more than 700 students are expected to enroll in Learning Communities. The Supplemental Instruction program, which focuses on more than two dozen courses that are historically difficult for students to pass, has helped increase the success rate in College Algebra and Methods of Calculus to more than 75 %, up from less than 50 % two years ago. Programs such as these will continue to receive my strong support. In August 2011 all academic support services offices moved to a beautiful redesigned space on the second floor of General Classrooms South. This new facility is the premier learning support center in the state and also houses offices to support teaching pedagogy.
Oversaw implementation of a $1.6 million Title III grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support second-year at-risk students. With this five-year grant, the University created a program called Academic and Career Enhancement for Second-Year Students (AcCESS), which is designed to get students back on track academically and reduce choice-of-major and career indecision, an important factor behind second-year attrition. The grant allowed FAU to create five full-time positions to implement programs, including vigorous advising, tutoring, major and career counseling, and time management and study skills workshops. The AcCESS program welcomed its first cohort of students in spring 2011. Of the 71 students who participated, more than two-thirds achieved term GPAs over 2.0, and one student earned a 4.0. In the past, most of these students would have been dismissed from FAU.
FAU’s individual colleges are crafting plans aimed at advancing student success, including increased emphasis on faculty mentoring and the creation of new majors for students who are unable to get into their majors of choice, such as nursing.
FAU students were awarded $158.8 million in financial aid in 2010-11, up from $136.7 million the previous year – an increase of 16 %. We also implemented a textbook rental program to help ease the financial burden on students in this age of rapidly escalating textbook prices.
Enhance residential life and academic programs with new facilities.
Recognizing the important role that the physical environments of our campuses play in attracting and serving students, faculty, staff and members of the greater community, I took pride in cutting the ribbon on these major new facilities, which all came in under budget and with high LEED certifications (approval pending on several):
Engineering East Building; LEED Platinum; $46,385,563 (Certification awarded)
Culture & Society Building; LEED Gold; $25,594,000 (Certification pending)
Henderson School Expansion; LEED Gold; $5,991,800 (Certification pending)
Harbor Branch Research Lab II: LEED Gold; $19,300,400 (Opening October 2011.) (Certification pending)
This year the Division of Student Affairs continued to be thoroughly immersed in student life on all campuses, assisting students with everything from academic support and healthcare to social activities. Recent achievements include the following:
The Weppner Center for Civic Engagement & Service was named to the Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service.
1,887 FAU students completed 65,832 volunteer hours from Summer 2010 through Spring 2011.
Once again, the Weppner Center coordinated Alternative Spring Break, which this year saw 23 students and 4 advisors travel to Tallahassee to work with the homeless in two shelters and a church.
25 new student organizations were created this year, including six new sorority and fraternity chapters, bringing the total number of active student organizations to 228.
Leadership training is also on the rise, through programs such as the Learn 2 Lead Institute, the Presidents’ Leadership Experience and the Leadership Conference, which this year attracted 550 student participants.
The University’s first Resource Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allied students opened in January. This Center is staffed by a paid graduate assistant and more than 30 volunteer students. It is attracting from 50 to 100 visitors per week.
U.S. News and World Report’s 2010 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card ranked FAU’s sexual health programming 18th nationally and 2nd in Florida.
I will continue to support the development of student life enhancements of all kinds, from encouraging the initiative to bring fraternity and sorority housing to the Boca Raton campus to expanding student activities and services on all campuses. As FAU grows in stature as a university of choice for students of traditional age, availability of the full range of enrichment activities becomes increasingly important. The quality of campus life is a key factor in attracting students, motivating them to become deeply involved in the college experience and retaining them through graduation.
I have spent this year enjoying one-on-one and group contact with students at every opportunity, including at the array of inaugural events, freshman orientation sessions, the Freshman Convocation, the Phi Kappa Phi initiation ceremony, receptions at the Baldwin House and the Forkas Alumni Center, classroom visits, research symposia, athletic events including traveling with the football team to away games, academic conferences and forums, volunteer activities such as the March for Babies, and Conversations with the President.
I am a strong believer in the value of international experiences for students and stand firmly behind the proactive efforts of our Office of International Programs. Last year, Florida Atlantic University was one of 10 universities selected to join the Institute for International Education’s International Academic Partnership Program to develop relationships with universities in India. The 2010-11 set of activities led to new ties in India that will undoubtedly produce Agreements of Cooperation in the future. FAU is now a member of the United States-India Education Foundation and, as such, will be able to more actively recruit students from India.
We have also entered into a partnership with the American Council on Germany, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to enhancing transatlantic dialogue and collaboration. Some of our activities with this organization may also involve the Max Planck Florida Institute.
FAU has renewed its membership in the European Union Network, which links Florida public universities to the European Union Center of Excellence based at Florida International University and the University of Miami. Funded by the EU, the Network gives FAU faculty and students access to grants, speakers and travel awards as it promotes expanded knowledge and understanding of the EU and EU-US ties.
New Agreements of Cooperation have been established between FAU and London South Bank University, the American University of Rome, Nirma University (India), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), IQS Barcelona Business School, Angelos University Foundation (Philippines), Guayasamin Foundation (Ecuador) and ESSEC Business School (France). In addition, we have renewed the University’s agreements with the Federation of German American Clubs (representing a consortium of nearly 20 German universities) and Silla University in South Korea.
Fall ‘11 enrollment success
Another theme that I have returned to again and again in presentations to both campus and community audiences is that of FAU’s emergence as a university of choice, as evidenced by soaring freshman enrollment and campus housing applications. By late May, the Admissions office had received 3,519 FTIC applications for summer and 24,600 FTIC applications for fall. Together this is an increase of 88% over last year’s FTIC applications (2,330 summer and 12,610 fall). In line with the BOT projection, we have welcomed 3,360 first-time-in-college students in the fall, FAU’s largest-ever freshman class an increase of 555 freshmen students.
Our transfer applications were also up, but not nearly as dramatically. By late May we had received 3,613 transfer applications for summer entry, or 6% over last year (3,424) and 5,485 applications for the fall, 4% more than last year (5,287). Overall student credit hours are up 6% for fall 11.
In the same timeframe, fall housing applications totaled a record-high 3,688 (3,473 for the Boca Raton campus and 215 for the Jupiter campus), up 44% over last year. The residence halls opened with 100% occupancy, including Innovation Village, and 84 students were housed at the Boca Raton Marriot until rooms opened for them on campus
The academic credentials of our incoming students are on the rise as well. Last fall’s incoming class of 2,772 first-time-in-college students had an average high school GPA of 3.4, a combined SAT score of 1620 – up 18 points over the previous year – and a composite ACT score of 24.
Our incoming Honors College students had even more impressive academic credentials, boasting an average high school GPA of 4.0, a combined SAT score of 1950 and a composite ACT score of 28. Included in their number were 13 International Baccalaureate graduates, four recipients of Cambridge University’s advanced international certificate in education, two National Merit Finalists, a valedictorian and a salutatorian.
Even greater cause for celebration is the fact that the Honors College enrolled 147 students, achieving a growth rate of 380% over last year. The Wilkes Medical Scholars Program has accepted its first four students, with provisional early acceptance by the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. Honors enrollment for the program for the first two years on the main campus also more than doubled.
Eighty-three of our student-athletes graduated this year, and 210 of them (42%) earned GPAs of 3.0. Additionally, the FAU women’s golf team was honored at the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Golf Championship for posting the highest GPA among all 2009-10 women’s teams. I take great pride in the academic achievements of all of our students and take advantage of every opportunity to congratulate them publicly. Also, every semester I host a luncheon for the teams with the highest GPAs teams.
I have made a concerted personal effort to encourage, recognize and reward academic achievement in students through activities such as the following:
My husband, Dr. George Newkome, and I established the President’s Scholarship Challenge with a $50,000 pledge that has grown to $240,618 to date from 1,452 donors and will provide financial assistance to more than 60 students in the fall.
I created a Presidential Award for the student-athlete with the highest GPA.
In my commencement addresses I make it a regular practice to showcase students of special achievement, particularly those who have overcome obstacles to obtain their degrees.
Goal 3. Establish a Culture of Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity
FAU’s research enterprise experienced significant growth as the number of awards funded rose by 21%, from 277 in 2009-10 to 335 in 2010-11. Eighteen awards were funded at $500,000 or more. Funding sources include the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Naval Research, NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the State of Florida. We reported $56.473 million total R&D expenditures to the National Science Foundation for FY2010.
I named Dr. Barry Rosson, Dean of the Graduate College, to the additional position of Vice President for Research, thus facilitating closer interaction between our graduate and research programs. During his four years at FAU, Dr. Rosson has worked to create a synergistic relationship between the Graduate College and the University’s research activities. That initiative will derive great benefits from his joint appointment as Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College.
A Mentor/Mentee Program designed to pair tenure-track faculty with senior colleagues on joint research projects was launched in September 2010 with 15 teams. All teams have submitted at least one research proposal.
Last fall, the U.S. Department of Energy designated FAU’s Center for Ocean Energy Technology a national center, naming it the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center. Annual funding from the DOE increased from $250,000 in 2008 to $1.189 million in 2009 to $2 million in 2010. Including state Center of Excellence funding and funding from industry, the center has received $17.36 million since 2007 in support of its efforts to generate energy from Florida’s offshore ocean currents.
FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has claimed much of my attention this year. I have spent a considerable amount of time familiarizing myself with the personnel, mission, achievements and challenges of this remarkable institute, which is known around the world as a leader in ocean-related innovation, exploration, research, education and conservation. I am a member of the HBOI Board of Directors.
In December 2010, I appointed Dr. Margaret Leinen to the dual position of Director of HBOI and Associate Provost for Marine and Environmental Initiatives – a new office at FAU. She brings a wealth of experience to FAU in the critically important field of environmental science, having served in leadership positions at the University of Rhode Island and the National Science Foundation as well as in private industry. We are indeed fortunate to have the benefit of her great knowledge and skills as we work to take Florida Atlantic University to a position of international leadership in ocean-related environmental science education and research.
Recently, HBOI established a formal research and education partnership with the Georgia Aquarium that is designed to focus their combined expertise and resources in ocean sciences and conservation on the ecosystems of the southeastern United States, with eventual expansion to other regions. The plan calls for research and education collaborations in the areas of marine mammal research and conservation, coral reef research and conservation, and marine species husbandry/aquaculture.
I have also been involved in getting an important new regional economic development initiative off the ground. The Life Tech Corridor (LTC) is a multi-member project that is working to establish an industry cluster in South Florida focused on biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and information technology. Plans call for the LTC to partner with the Florida High Tech Corridor in Central Florida and with public and private institutions throughout South Florida under a long-term innovation and high technology growth strategy.
Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are demonstrating significant interest in locating in South Florida, and in recent years the state has invested more than a billion dollars in the life sciences. High performance information technology has joined biotechnology to greatly advance informatics, drug design, image analysis and clinical record-keeping. The research capabilities of the region’s universities are rapidly expanding. The time is clearly at hand to launch a regional effort to establish South Florida as one of the world’s most productive centers of scientifically and economically important research activities, and that is what the LTC is all about.
Spade work to set this initiative in motion began in August of 2010. I am a member of the LTC, representing FAU. Other institutions and organizations with representation include Florida International University, the University of Miami, Enterprise Florida, the Beacon Council, Nova Southeastern University, Broward College, Miami Dade College, the Broward Alliance, the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County and other entities in both the public and private sectors. State Senator Jeremy Ring is a strong supporter of this broadly based collaborative undertaking.
MedUTech is a related initiative focused exclusively on the Boca Raton area and actively supported by FAU and some of the University’s strongest allies, including Dick Schmidt, who heads the Schmidt Family Foundation, Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, and Jerry Fedele, CEO of Boca Raton Regional Hospital. The MedUTech initiative is aimed at growing the city’s healthcare, education and technology clusters. MedUTech kicked off in November 2010 at a well-attended program held at the Boca Raton Resort & Hotel. I am a member of the MedUTech Board.
I demonstrate my sincere interest in and deep respect for the work and concerns of faculty in a number of ways. I have reinstituted the practice of bringing the Eminent Scholars together for an annual lunch at the Baldwin House. I have also hosted recognition events at the Baldwin House for faculty members who mentor less experienced faculty researchers and graduate students. I attend both general and steering committee meetings of the University Faculty Senate on a regular basis. Upon arriving at FAU last year, I enthusiastically endorsed the concept of the Faculty/Staff Club, and I am a frequent lunchtime patron there. I stipulated that faculty research symposia be featured during my Inaugural Week activities and I spoke at the Research Recognition Event. Upon becoming President of FAU, I made visiting each college a top priority, and during my first semester here I made it known that I would welcome opportunities to sit in on classes, an overture that was very well received. I have, in fact, had the privilege of sitting in on several classes. I stipulated in my request to faculty that I simply wanted to be “a fly on the wall” in their classes, did not need to speak and was not motivated by a desire to evaluate their lecture styles. The result was several very enjoyable classroom sessions with faculty members and students who welcomed me into their interesting class discussions. I found these experiences exhilarating, and I intend to continue seeking such invitations in the year ahead.
As a final note I might mention that I sought and found some beautiful pieces of faculty artwork for my office on the Boca Raton campus to demonstrate my admiration for the work of our talented faculty.
As a lifelong supporter of the arts and humanities, I take great personal pleasure in celebrating the creative and artistic achievements of the University’s faculty and students. I attend plays, dance performances, concerts and exhibitions, often meeting those whose work is being showcased. In my speeches this year, I have made a point of announcing that Blane de St. Croix, a professor in our Department of Visual Arts and Art History, won a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship – the highest recognition in the arts and humanities. The University’s talented musicians perform at many events at the Baldwin House and at other campus venues, including at every commencement ceremony. In the coming year I will work with the Provost to find a new Dean for the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters through a national search.
Set University academic themes via strategic planning process and funding of research priorities.
The following research priorities for internal funding have been established and FAU researchers have formed partnerships to pursue funding and move various aspects of the projects forward:
Climate Change: “Research, Engineering and adaptation to a Changing Climate”
Partner: Florida Public Health Institute
Joint proposal has been submitted to the National Institutes of Health
Partner: Florida International University
Working on developing a joint proposal on sustainability for submission to the South Florida Regional Planning Council under their HUD award
Partner: U.S. Geological Survey
Working with the USGS on climate change, sea level rise, carbon sequestration and rainfall intensity
Partner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Working with the Corps on sea level rise and planning issues
Neuroscience: “Brain Function, Damage and Repair”
Partner: Max Planck Florida Institute – joint symposium
Healthy Aging: “Healthy Aging: Interdisciplinary Research to Improve Quality of Life and Quality of Care for Aging Americans”
Partners: Mae Volen Center, LA Lee YMCA Family Center, West Palm Beach Housing Authority, City of Miami Gardens Parks & Recreation Department, Hispanic Unity of Florida, West Palm Beach Housing Authority, Deerfield Beach Century Village
These themes will play a key role in the setting of internal funding priorities during the coming year, and they will influence the development of academic themes pertaining to the University’s research activities.
FAU is actively engaged in many funded partnership research projects. Here are some recent highlights:
Project Title: “Structure Function and Application of Metallproteinase Inhibitors in Osteoarthritis”
Principal Investigator: Dr. Keith Brew
Partner: Imperial College (London)
Funding Source: National Institutes of Health
Project Title: “Early Dual Language Development in Children from Spanish-speaking Families”
Principal Investigator: Dr. Erika Hoff
Partner: George Washington University
Funding Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Partners: Florida Wildlife Commission, The Citadel, Florida State University
Funding Source: Florida Institute of Oceanography
Project Title: “Diabetes Education and Research Centers”
Principal Investigator: Dr. Kathleen Valentine
Partner: Palm Beach Atlantic University
Funding Source: Palm Healthcare Foundation
Project Title: “Characterization of Electromagnetic Fields”
Principal Investigator: Dr. Manhar Dhanak
Partners: Nova Southeastern University, U.S. Navy
Funding Source: Office of Naval Research
Project Title: “Discovery of Anti-tumor Agents Effective Against Pancreatic Cancer”
Principal Investigator: Dr. Amy Wright
Partner: University of Central Florida
Funding Source: National Cancer Institute
Additionally, FAU has just executed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute to work on collaborative research projects within the context of the recently established, Florida-based Infectious Disease Research Institute.
A major, three-pronged partnership initiative involving the Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering and SeaTech has brought more than $3 million in federal funding to FAU. The three projects are briefly described as follows:
Atlantic Center for the Innovative Design & Control of Small Ships (ACCESS): This five-year Office of Naval Research-sponsored international research collaboration between Stevens Institute (lead), the Naval Academy, Webb Institute, Naval Postgraduate School, FAU and University College in London is aimed at developing innovative unmanned autonomous small surface ships. FAU will receive more than $900,000 over the five-year-period for this project, which will lead to the development of systems for autonomous cooperation between small surface ships and autonomously launched autonomous underwater vehicles.
Naval Engineering Education Center (NEEC): This is a five-year, multi-university, $50 million U.S. Navy initiative that involves collaboration led by the University of Michigan to support the development and maintenance of a skilled engineering workforce in the Navy laboratories. Collaborating universities include FAU, MIT, Virginia Tech, Webb Institute, Penn State, Stevens Institute, Georgia Tech, Florida State University, Old Dominion University, the University of Texas-San Antonio, the University of Washington, the University of New Orleans, the University of Iowa and Tennessee State University. FAU will receive $1.45 million for this project, which will provide new research opportunities for FAU faculty as well as career, scholarship and internship opportunities for FAU students.
Characterization and Exploitation of Magnetic and Electric Fields in the Coastal Ocean Environment: This project is a collaborative research initiative between FAU’s SeaTech, the U.S. Navy and Nova Southeastern University. FAU received $705,000 for this project, which is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. This is potentially a multi-year effort that will lead to the development of a one-of-a-kind, in-water electromagnetic test facility on the Navy range in the Atlantic Ocean just off SeaTech in Dania Beach. It will be designed to identify the sources and nature of background electromagnetic noise in coastal waters that affect the detection of weak man-made electromagnetic signals.
Again, the partnership research projects cited above are simply highlights of those in progress at FAU.
Recognize, reward, and communicate faculty/student accomplishments to local and national audiences.
The Office of Media Relations has generated widespread publicity about the achievements of FAU’s students and faculty in media venues that include the Associated Press, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, local NPR stations, U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, National Geographic, the Washington Post, Delta Sky, Bloomberg News, the Seattle Times, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the San Diego Union Tribune.
In the immediate aftermath of the Gulf Oil spill, NBC correspondent Kerry Sanders spent several days at Harbor Branch interviewing marine scientists and reporting from under water in Harbor Branch’s submersible.
In May, stories about the ocean-oriented energy research work that is taking place at FAU received coverage in Florida Trend and The NewYork Times.
Local and national reporters make frequent use of the FAU Experts Guide that is posted on the University’s homepage, contacting faculty members for information and commentary on issues ranging from local, state and national elections to the death of Osama bin Laden.
The Department of Marketing and Creative Services has greatly increased FAU’s presence on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and iTunesU. Here are some statistics:
Facebook: Fans 12,598 – increase of 5,050 over last year; ranks 9th as a referral site to FAU.edu.
Twitter: 1,775 followers – doubled this year.
YouTube: 21,233 channel views since the launch – also houses videos that are viewed from FAU.edu and FAU.com.
iTunesU: average of 200-300 unique viewers each month, with an average of 500 previews and 400 downloads.
Flickr: used for photo galleries – 178,387 views since October 2010.
Search engine optimization and Google ads contributed to 6.9 million hits to fau.edu from May 2010-May 2011.
Successful launch of FAU.com – average of 300-400 hits per day; ranks 7th as a referral site to FAU.edu.
Successful launch of FAU Today – average of 150-200 hits per day.
Establish the independent Charles Schmidt College of Medicine.
During the first year of my presidency, I have been deeply involved in the establishment of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. I have met with Dean Michael Friedland on a regular basis to make decisions about all aspects of the lengthy and complex process of bringing a new medical school into existence. I met with the members of the accreditation team when they visited campus, hosted the event at which the college’s launch plans and preliminary accreditation were announced, and wrote an op-ed piece about the advantages of having a medical school at FAU. To date, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine has established relationships with more than 350 local physicians and partnership agreements with eight leading area hospitals. The program’s appeal to potential medical students was demonstrated early on, when about 1,500 applications for admission were received for the 64 slots that are available in the founding class. A highly distinguished initial cohort of medical students will begin their studies at FAU in the fall of 2011. Third-year and fourth-year internships have been established, and we are working with a consortium of hospitals on a variety of residency programs.
Goal 4. Improve FAU’s Financial Stability
Develop multi-year enrollment revenue/other revenue/resource/expenditure plan for appropriate growth and financial stability.
A detailed multi-year plan has been developed by the Division of Finance. We balanced the 2010-11 budget despite continued cuts. Guided by the strategic plan and informed by current economic conditions, it includes the following 2012-13 Legislative budget request (LBR):
Improve baccalaureate retention and graduation -- $1 million
Meet student demand in face of continuing growth -- $2 million
General Classroom Phase 2 -- $19.5 million
Expand research opportunities -- $6 million
Vivarium -- $8.9 million
Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) -- $985,981
Faculty salary/retention program -- $5 million
With regard to tuition income, it is the goal of the Board of Governors and the Florida Legislature to get to the national average. An incremental increase of $4 million for 2011-12 is projected through the combination of base tuition and differential tuition and increased enrollment.
The University has achieved significant savings and optimized revenue in a number of ways this year, including the following:
Implementation of the federal Direct Lending program, providing all loan processing previously handled by private lenders at no cost to the University.
Sales tax recovery initiative – processed $12.6 million in exempt purchase orders, yielding a tax savings of more than $750,000 in 2010-11.
Significant salary and benefits savings were realized through elimination of the positions of Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications and Vice President for Regional Campuses and combination of the positions of Dean of the Graduate College and Vice President for Research. Many open positions were not filled in all areas of the University. Units were merged and positions eliminated.
Efficiencies have also been achieved through better classroom space utilization, merging sections and closing small enrollment classes.
The faculty and police contracts were settled through the collective bargaining process.
Growth projections have been met to fully fund the 2011-12 budget (500 additional freshman and 6% SCH growth). The maximum tuition increase was approved by the Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors. Out-of-state students and full-paying students increased.
A plan has been developed to meet a potential 10% reduction from the state that includes flexible calendaring (9 +10 month appointments and 75% positions), merging units, out-sourcing all maintenance, and staff reductions.
Define branch campus academic priorities with consideration of community needs, academic resources and financial planning.
Assigning specific missions to the branch campuses is always a work in progress. The following emphases have been established:
The Davie campus (the largest branch campus in the Florida system) offers a broad range of degree programs to upper-division students, in partnership with Broward College. Lower division labs will be offered in fall 2011.
The Downtown Fort Lauderdale campus offers degree programs that have urban environment applications.
SeaTech is an ocean engineering research and development center strategically located between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean in Dania Beach.
The Jupiter campus has developed a strong focus on the biosciences, thanks to the presence on that campus of Scripps Florida and the Max Planck Florida Institute. As the home of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, it is also a center of honors education. Upper-division programs are offered in partnership with Palm Beach State College.
The Treasure Coast campus offers upper-division degree programs, in partnership with Indian River State College.
The Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute offers students education and research programs in the marine sciences.
We plan to promote the science initiative in Jupiter, offer more lower-division courses in Davie, integrate Harbor Branch programming with the teaching and research mission of the University, and in general raise the profile of FAU’s Honors programs in all locations. The planning process is still in the data collection and analysis phase, and it will be early fall 2011 before we have a complete plan.
FAU’s articulation partnership with Broward College has a long history of success and has been widely hailed as a model 2+2 program. The 2010 Legislature authorized an allocation of $915,000 to FAU to support existing 2+2 partnership programs with Broward College, Palm Beach State College and Indian River State College and create new 2+2 programs with the same partner institutions. This funding was received in May 2011.
The University’s relationship with Broward College is key to its growth and development in Broward, where three of FAU’s seven campuses are located. Building linkages at every level in Broward is one of my top priorities. I meet frequently with our Broward supporters, including the Broward President’s Community Council, attend high-profile FAU Broward events such as the Seaside Shindig and speak before Broward community groups,
I have been accepted for membership in the Broward Workshop, an important economic development group.
Promote the University internally and externally, creating a climate of pride and excellence.
From the beginning of my presidency I have struck a theme of institutional excellence, both to celebrate the achievements of Florida Atlantic University and to encourage everyone who is involved with the University to visualize and move toward even greater heights. The theme of my first major address at FAU, the 2010 State of the University Address, was “FAU 2010: Engaging Students, Preserving the Vision, Pursuing New Goals.” For my inauguration, I chose the theme “Making Waves: Celebrating and Cultivating Discovery, Diversity and Distinction.” Going beyond rhetoric, I incorporated into the week-long inaugural activities many events that demonstrated the outstanding capabilities of FAU’s students and faculty, including the Research Priority Symposium on Climate Change, the Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Research Symposium and the Higher Education Symposium, which was titled “The Changing Landscape of Higher Education.” A total of 29 events were held in conjunction with my inauguration, ranging from these very interesting symposia to the Waves of Blue Concert, Spirit Day and the FAU-FIU football game. All of them were designed to celebrate FAU’s rapid emergence as a well-rounded institution of higher education that offers students a wide variety of scholarly, entertainment and athletic experiences.
I have had frequent interaction with the news media, making visits to the editorial boards of the Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, the Palm Beach Post and the Sun-Sentinel just before the beginning of the 2010 fall semester. Return visits are scheduled for fall 2011. Additionally, I have been interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Florida Trend, the South Florida BusinessJournal and Delta Sky magazine, as well as by local print and broadcast media, including the University Press, FAU’s student newspaper.
I had the good fortune of beginning my service at FAU just as the University’s 50th anniversary year was approaching. This presented the opportunity to direct public attention to the tremendous strides that FAU has made over the years, beginning as a small but innovative upper-division institution built on an abandoned U.S. Army airfield in Boca Raton and developing into the large, comprehensive, multi-campus university that it is today. Throughout 2011, we are weaving the celebration of FAU’s 50th anniversary into all high-profile events by incorporating the specially designed 50th anniversary graphic into printed materials, making note of the historic occasion in speeches and publicizing it through all available venues. Banners are being displayed on all campuses. A 50th anniversary website has been created and a book chronicling the history of FAU in photographs and text is in production. A video is also planned.
Increase philanthropy to University for scholarships, athletics and special events.
My husband, Dr. George Newkome, and I established the President’s Scholarship Challenge with a $50,000 pledge that has grown to $240,618 to date from 1,452 donors and will provide financial assistance to more than 60 students in the fall.
The 50th Anniversary Gala is scheduled to be held in the new stadium on October 29. To date, 40 leading members of the outside community have agreed to serve on the host committee for the gala and $429,909 in sponsorships have been obtained (through August 22). Through linking regularly scheduled events on all campuses to the 50th anniversary and finding underwriters for special projects such as the video, we are able to celebrate this milestone year in a cost-effective way.
Existing strategic partnerships will continue to be nurtured and new ones sought. The University’s key current partners include:
School districts serving Broward, Palm Beach and Indian River counties
Area hospital districts and hospitals
The Scripps Research Institute
The Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies
The Max Planck Society
The Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute
Foundation endowments have almost recovered from the economic downturn of the past two years. As of April 30, the FAU Foundation’s endowments were valued at $180 million against a high of $192 million in 2007.
As of May 1, the Foundation had raised $13.6 million in new gifts and commitments, surpassing its goal of $9.6 million. It was anticipated that $14 million would be reached by the end of the fiscal year (June 30) independent of stadium gifts.
Recent major donations include a $2 million stadium gift from the Schmidt Family Foundation, a $5 million deferred gift to the Louis and Anne Green Memory & Wellness Center from Holly Rockwell, and a $1 million gift from the estate of Thomas Chastain for the Honors College.
Dean Anne Boykin’s retirement led to an opportunity to create the Anne Boykin Institute for the Advancement of Caring in Nursing. Christine E. Lynn gave $500,000 to this initiative and the Schmidt Family Foundation committed $200,000. Mrs. Lynn will donate additional dollars to bring the total to $1 million.
Philanthropic dollars pledged or collected for the stadium for annual year 2010-11 is $3,921,025, and the total for all stadium contributions to date is $6,089,984
The annual faculty/staff giving campaign had another successful year as 416 employees contributed just under $396,000, demonstrating their belief that this University is on the rise.
The total number of donors to FAU has reached 5,568, which is a five-year high. This includes 1,794 alumni donors – also a five-year high.
Throughout the first year of my presidency, I have met with a number of potential major donors in a variety of settings, including at dinner, at football games and on the golf course. I hosted or attended more than 100 of these development events. I will continue to seek to expand the University’s base of friends and supporters.
Goal 5. Build an Effective Administration Team
Participate in national New Presidents’ Academy program.
In July 2010 I went to Stowe, Vermont, to attend the week-long New Presidents’ Academy of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. I found the experience to be quite helpful both in establishing the mindset and offering some practical tools to create a solid foundation for a successful and proactive university presidency.
Attract key senior administrators: Provost, VP for Finance, VP for Strategic Planning and Information Technology, VP for Research
This goal has been accomplished with the following appointments:
Dr. Brenda Claiborne, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Mr. Dennis Crudele, Sr. Vice President for Finance
Dr. Gitanjali Kaul, Vice President for Strategic Planning and Information Technology
Dr. Barry Rosson, Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College
Dr. Margaret Leinen, Executive Director of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Establish a collegial Vice Presidential team whose members take responsibility for their individual areas and collaborate on University-wide decisions.
The Vice Presidential team that has come together to serve Florida Atlantic University is composed of 10 individuals who have extensive experience in their respective areas of responsibility. They are all seasoned mid-career professionals with well-demonstrated ability to think strategically, analyze and solve problems, manage large and diverse staffs, develop and function within budgets, work effectively with others both inside and outside the University, and achieve their goals. I meet individually with each one of them on a regular basis, and they take part in our weekly Senior Staff meetings. They work very effectively as a group, helping one another deal with problematic issues and collaborating on projects that call for the cooperation of two or more divisions. Their group dynamic is characterized by “good chemistry” and genuine collegiality; it is easy to see that they are friends as well as professional associates.
The Vice Presidents are men and women of high accomplishment and impeccable ethics who are dedicated to serving FAU and who model the highest and best institutional values in all they do. I am proud to call them my colleagues, and I look forward to working with them in the years of challenge and opportunity that lie ahead.