The View from T-Hall

Charting the Course Together

FOUR YEARS AGO, THE CLASS OF 2006 and I, as UNH's new president, arrived together at this outstanding university to begin the journey of discovery that is known as a UNH education. Since our arrival, our days have been filled with intellectual growth and the excitement of both determining and following our individual paths to the future. Along the way, we have learned what it means to be citizens of this vibrant learning community; as we leave here, we are equipped with the skills and compassion to serve our larger communities.

The lessons we have learned will shape our future decisions and help to define the way we live our lives. Our time at UNH will serve us well.

Students, faculty, alumni, friends, administrators and staff have all played a part in the success of UNH. Together we have shaped a better, more responsive and stronger university, which provides research, public education and outreach for the greater good.

We have raised the bar on academic excellence through the implementation of the Academic Plan. Our blueprint for the future provides the goals and guiding values for the University of New Hampshire through its central themes of discovery, engagement and outreach, institutional effectiveness, resourcefulness and community. This valuable tool remains a source of strength and continued growth. The plan takes the university closer to its goal of providing a traditional liberal arts college environment that is charged with the energy and opportunities of a research institution with its eyes on the future.

We have matured as a research institution and have realized a substantial increase in sponsored grants and contracts to support research efforts. Our totals have surged from $86.2 million in 2003 to more than $108 million in the last fiscal year. Private fund raising for faculty support, research, student scholarships and facilities has raised $14 million this past year, up from $12 million.

We have emerged as a leader in outreach scholarship and engagement. As one of only nine universities ranked as a top-tier land-, space- and sea-grant institution, the university is better positioned to reach the largest possible number of beneficiaries—people the world over—who stand to gain from inspired, world-class research.

The focus on research provides tremendous opportunities for students, who participate in original research, scholarship and creative performances under the guidance of faculty mentors both throughout the year and during the annual Undergraduate Research Conference, a signature event that draws growing numbers of students each year.

We have built a better community. The university has embraced a culture of inclusiveness and respect. The launch in 2003 of the Student Summit on Responsible Celebrations signified a change in student culture that has resulted in more Greek life accountability, improved community relations through the Durham: It's Where U Live program, and a core value of civic responsibility among UNH students.

The university has taken steps toward greater diversity through a strategic plan that recognizes and honors the differences among community members. Administrative commitment has resulted in greater numbers of students of color enrolled at UNH and outreach efforts that educate the community surrounding the critical issues of diversity.

We have taken strides toward providing a more cohesive student experience that closely aligns residential life and the academic curriculum. We have also developed a campus master plan with ongoing improvements to academic and residential facilities that ensures a beautiful future for one of the nation's most scenic campuses.

We have set high standards for all aspects of a UNH education. I am grateful for the time we have shared; together we have charted the course for the future of the University of New Hampshire. Like the state it serves, it is strong and enduring.

blog comments powered by Disqus