President’s Update – Welcome Back! – September 2, 2009
Welcome to a brand new semester! I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful summer and is ready to write a new chapter in our storied history of service and distinction.
Personally, this is a very special year for me. I am tremendously proud and privileged to be celebrating my 10th anniversary as the president of this extraordinary institution. During my 10 years here, I have had the honor of collaborating with some of the finest individuals I have ever known. I have been continually uplifted by your inspiring efforts to serve our students.
Together we have made outstanding progress. Building on longstanding traditions, we adopted a new mission: to prepare world citizens through global education. We created breathtaking initiatives like the Global Virtual Faculty™, we integrated global components within many key offerings, we became more closely linked with the United Nations and forged partnerships with many prominent institutions, we expanded our presence internationally and created a model branch campus in Vancouver, and we are close to concluding the largest capital campaign in our history. In addition, we regained our place as the largest private university in New Jersey, with particularly strong growth in the number of first-time, full-time freshmen, and we became an increasingly selective institution. Our dedicated faculty and staff are gaining great recognition, and our talented students are seizing the opportunities available and making their dreams come true.
Just recently, FDU Magazine dedicated a special edition to highlighting our accomplishments during the last 10 years. I hope you have or will have a chance to review the issue and learn more about some of the people and programs that are helping to fulfill our mission. More importantly, I hope you read about the students whose lives are being transformed. You can see the online version of the magazine at www.fdumagazine.us.
I want to emphasize, though, that while I am celebrating a special anniversary, I am not the one responsible for our success during this period. The credit for our accomplishments goes to each of you for your many contributions to our mission. And, the promise for what we can next achieve lies in your hands. I believe we have only scratched the surface of FDU’s potential, and I am ready to serve you to the fullest extent possible to make sure we realize that potential.
Certainly, there are many challenges ahead. You know we rely too heavily on tuition dollars to fund our operation. That is why we are anxiously, but optimistically, waiting to see our final counts for this term to better assess our fiscal health. At this point, the enrollment numbers look positive. You also know we are not alone in the field of global education, and we must continue to stay in the forefront of this important realm. The competition is fierce and the external environment changes rapidly. So above all, we must renew our commitment to be agile, innovative and responsive to a public with greater needs, more choices and rising demands for accountability.
Despite such challenges, I am more optimistic about the future than at any point since I started at FDU. I know our foundation has grown stronger in the last decade. I know we have a sense of mission. And, most importantly, I know well the commitment and the caliber of our community.
When I arrived 10 years ago, I was humbled by the honor of serving this incredible institution. Knowing better our history, our values and our potential, I am even more humbled today to serve you and to serve our students. Thank you for the support you have given me, the dedication you display daily to FDU and the invaluable role you play in changing the lives of our students. I look forward to what we will accomplish next.
Warmest wishes for a sensational academic year!