Message from Dean James W. Hughes
We are busily immersed in the familiar rhythms of the academic calendar. We enter this year with a number of recent peer-evaluated national rankings affirming the high quality of the Bloustein School – a graduate planning program ranked fourth (Planetizen) in the nation (2008) and a doctoral faculty ranked seventh (“Academic Analytics” in The Chronicle of Higher Education) in the nation in scholarly productivity (2007). What a great base to build upon!
The school continues to attract grants from national, state, and local entities in significant amounts. The size and number of grants awarded to our faculty and staff are indeed impressive. In 2007-2008, the Bloustein School was awarded a total of $22 million in grants. In total the school received 90 grants for the academic year. Among the larger grants are:
- $4,300,000 awarded by the Federal Transit Administration for Transit Training to the National Transit Institute under the direction of Paul Larrousse.
- $2,507,066 awarded by the Department of Labor to Promote Leadership for Employment and Economic Independence for Adults with Disabilities under the direction of Kathy Krepcio at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.
- $1,819,525 awarded by the State of New Jersey to teach building inspectors and architects the details of the Uniform Construction Code for enforcement and compliance purposes to the Center for Government Services under the direction of Mary Lou Giese.
- $1,500,000 for Security and Emergency Response Training from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Agency to the National Transit Institute under the direction of Chris Kozub.
We welcomed a large group of new students in early September. There are other new faces at the school this year. Despite the reduction in state support for the university and therefore the school, we have, through the terrific efforts of many people, successfully appointed four new full-time faculty members, a new Director of Information Technology, and a Director of Development. In addition, there have been several new academic administrative appointments. These are all vital to the continued success of the Bloustein School.
The School’s four new faculty members are: Robert Noland, Professor; Harold Salzman, Professor; Gabriella Carolini, Assistant Professor; and Stephanie Curenton, Assistant Professor. This is a great entering faculty “class.” You can find additional information about our new faculty in this issue of Forum.
Professor Dona Schneider has enthusiastically and generously agreed to serve as Associate Dean for Academic Programs responsible for assessment; oversight of TA and GA allocations and assignments, as well as other aspects of student financial support; faculty support; online and continuing education; and instructional technology.
With Professor Schneider’s move to this new position, we are pleased that Professor William Rodgers, unanimously endorsed by the undergraduate faculty, has graciously agreed to serve as Director of Undergraduate Programs. He will oversee the administration of the two undergraduate majors – Planning and Public Policy, and Public Health. This year’s entering first-year undergraduate students are members of the Class of 2012!
We have also forged a new relationship with the School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies. Professor Jorge Schement, the new Dean of that school, will have a courtesy appointment in the Bloustein School. We look forward to working with Dean Schement – whose field is communications policy – on collaborative projects.
New to the school this fall, Martin O’Reilly, Bloustein’s Director of Information Technology, has assumed responsibility for the school’s increasingly vital and complex information technology networks and computer systems – including those of our centers and institutes, student computer labs and computer clusters, classroom and instructional technology, and broader network infrastructure – working with all of the IT staff to keep us at the cutting edge of technology and competitive with our peer institutions. (The school’s computational infrastructure now includes 34 server computers and nearly 400 personal computers storing a wide range of research and collected data in four different buildings, as well as a backup system at the Hill Center for the Mathematical Sciences on the Busch Campus.)
Donald Sutton has been appointed Director of Development for the Bloustein School. Don is hard at work planning the school’s efforts in the university’s Capital Campaign and has already made several initial contacts with prospective funders. As the university embarks on its $1 billion capital campaign, Bloustein School faculty identified eight initiatives targeted at $29.5 million to enhance the academic quality of our programs and fulfill the mission of the school. (These will shortly be posted on the Rutgers University Foundation’s Web site.) Efforts are under way with alumni, faculty and friends to form a Leadership Council to assist the Bloustein School’s participation in the campaign.
Leading the way, we are pleased to have established two new endowments:
The first is the Michael J. and Susan Angelides Public Policy Research Fund, the purpose of which is to support Bloustein faculty and students in the school’s pursuit of educational, research, and public service excellence. This endowment by Michael and Susan is now complete and has supported numerous faculty and student projects over the last two years. Information on how to apply for a new cycle of awards will be announced during the coming semester.
The second is the Ralph Voorhees Center for Public Service. This center will honor Ralph Voorhees’ life of public service by providing scholarships to undergraduate students for public service internships. The children of Alan Voorhees, Ralph’s brother, are generously providing the initial funding for this center, most of which will be received by the end of the fall semester.
The total endowment of these two initiatives will approach $1 million by the end of 2008.
I am also pleased to report that applications, enrollments, and student quality continue to expand and advance. Graduate applications have increased 20 percent over the past five years; the new MCRP class is nearly a third larger than last year's; the total new graduate-student class consists of more than 25 percent U.S. minorities; and our graduate students have received three of the most competitive university fellowships this year -- two Ralph Bunche Fellowships and one Rutgers Presidential Fellow. There are only nine Rutgers Presidential Fellows awarded each year across the entire university, and this is the second consecutive year that the Bloustein School achieved such an award. In addition, there are only seven Bunche Fellows awarded to professional schools at Rutgers. The Bloustein School’s success in this highly competitive fellowship program is a significant recognition of the quality of its students.
Moreover, our undergraduate enrollments continue to increase, and we are now offering 50 percent more undergraduate credit hours than we were only three years ago! It is such enrollment gains that have provided critical new fiscal resources in the context of severely curtailed state budgetary support and have enabled the school to move forward with its new appointments and student support.
Congratulations and appreciation to our program directors – William Rodgers (and Dona Schneider, former director), Cliff Zukin, Clint Andrews, and David Listokin – as well as to our student service staff – Steve Weston, Lynn Astorga, and Christina Miller – for delivering such enrollment and fellowship success. We look forward to a successful instructional year with both our graduate and undergraduate student communities.
Thank you for all of your efforts in advancing our school and programs. I look forward to continuing our work together to build academic excellence and effectively serve our many communities.