I am very pleased to report that the University has leased space in downtown Vancouver to serve as the home of Fairleigh Dickinson’s fourth campus and second campus outside the United States.
As previously reported, in May the University gained approval from the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education to offer degree programs in business management and information technology and to operate as a university in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Since that time, the Vancouver Working Group and the Academic and Administrative Steering Committees have undertaken significant initiatives to ensure a strong foundation for our new campus. But securing a prime location for the campus in the heart of Vancouver has been our top priority.
Based on the characteristics established by the Vancouver Working Group and the two steering committees, we are confident that we have secured a downtown location that is an ideal fit for the University. This 17,800-square-foot site, located at 840 Cambie Street, is very close to a popular residential and retail community known as Yaletown. We will occupy the first floor of a four-story building. The location is within two blocks of the Vancouver Public Library and a major sky train station. There are also many restaurants and entertainment options in the vicinity, including BC Place Stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2010 Olympics will be held.
The University has engaged an interior design firm, Prime Interiors, to design the space in a manner that best supports the academic programs and support services that the University will provide. The firm has been working with members of the Vancouver Working Group and the Administrative and Academic Steering Committees to finalize the layout and design.
In addition, the University is in the process of submitting documentation necessary to obtain the approvals required to begin renovation. We anticipate that the actual work will begin in January 2007 and will be completed in time to launch a Pre-University and Early Start Programs in May 2007, a Vancouver Summer Study Abroad Program in June 2007 and to welcome our inaugural class in August 2007.
Working with various members of the University community, the Academic Steering Committee has developed three important and exciting programs. The first of these programs, the Pre-University Program, will provide advanced English-language training for students who meet the University’s admission standards but require additional training in English (in speaking and/or writing) prior to matriculating in one of the two degree programs that will offered by the University in Vancouver. Students enrolled in this program, in addition to English-speaking and writing courses, will be permitted to take up to two university courses (a pre-calculus or calculus course, and a computer technology course). For students who do not require additional English-language training but who want to get a head start on their degree requirements, a second program, the Early Start Program, has been developed. More information on these two programs can be found at www.fdu.edu/vancouver.
A third program, the Vancouver Summer Study Abroad Program, will provide an opportunity for students on the University’s New Jersey campuses to visit and study at the University’s campus in Vancouver. Five courses have been developed and will be available in June and July. Each of the colleges at the University will offer a three-week course in this program. Courses will meet for two weeks on one of the main campuses in New Jersey and for one week in Vancouver. All courses will be taught by full-time faculty from the main campuses. Complete information concerning this exciting program will be posted on the University’s Web site in the coming weeks.
We also have hired our first two employees for Vancouver: Derrick Banks, director of admissions, and Wei Kang, associate director of admissions. Derrick was previously the director of the Office of International Students and Study Abroad Programs at Santa Barbara City College, California. Wei comes to FDU from the University of Colorado at Denver, where she served as the international admissions coordinator. In addition, interviews for the position of campus dean have been in progress since August and the four finalists recently visited our New Jersey campuses. We expect to reach a decision shortly.
Recruitment activities also are in progress. Our current international admissions staff members are busy recruiting students for our New Jersey campuses and spreading the word to potential students about the imminent opening of our Vancouver campus.
As noted earlier, the Vancouver campus will initially offer a BS in business management, with multiple dual concentrations, and a BS in information technology, with a single concentration. Professor Daniel Wischnevsky of the Silberman College of Business and Professor Kalyan Mondal of University College’s Gildart Haase School of Computer Sciences and Engineering have been appointed faculty program coordinators of these respective programs.
As we move forward, we will continue to update you on the progress of this historic venture. I also urge you to keep up-to-date by visiting our Vancouver Web site regularly, which can be accessed from the www.fdu.edu home page.
I am very confident that this newest addition to the FDU community will be a wonderful success. Major tasks must be completed soon, but dedicated and talented people are working diligently to make sure we get off to a great start.