Welcome to the 2011-2012 academic year at the University of New Haven. Whether you are a returning student or just beginning your experience at UNH, you are arriving on campus amid many exciting changes. You have much to look forward to, particularly in light of the University’s new programs and facilities.
The most obvious changes are the many improvements to our campus. Last fall, we dedicated the new Henry C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science building. This state-of-the-art facility includes a public learning center, command center, laboratories, classrooms and offices. I urge you to tour this spectacular resource if you haven’t already.
In the spring, we opened the Bartels Student Activity Center, which is dedicated to the social and career needs of UNH students. The new Center houses the Career Development office and features multiple spaces for student use. It is located near the residence halls along the Bixler/Botwinik Quad.
You also will notice several efforts to beautify campus. Thanks to a generous gift from an alumnus, one of the University’s three original buildings, Maxcy Hall, is undergoing a facelift that will result in a completely refurbished façade. In addition, you will see several sculptures that have been placed around campus. These resulted from the work of the Art on Campus Committee, a group of students, faculty and administrators committed to campus beautification through the display of artwork created by faculty and students as well as pieces on loan from community artists.
Finally, this fall you can take advantage of a newly renovated and expanded Campus Bookstore. The bookstore will feature a coffee bar, sitting area, expanded general book area, computer peripherals, laptops and netbooks, among other improvements.
Along with new spaces, you also will see a few new faces, including three recently appointed deans. Lawrence P. Flanagan is our new Executive Dean of the College of Business. A UNH graduate, Flanagan is regarded as one of the most accomplished global marketing leaders in the country. As the former Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for MasterCard Worldwide, he was responsible for the hugely successful “Priceless” advertising campaign. Dr. Ronald S. Harichandran, formerly chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan State University, has been named Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering. Dr. Marsha K. Ham is our new Associate Vice President and Dean of College of Lifelong & eLearning. She joins us from Ohio University, where she led distance learning and program development efforts. In addition, Dr. Allen Sack is now serving as interim Dean of the College of Business, and Dr. Stuart Sidle is interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Our new deans will spearhead continued efforts to introduce academic programs to meet emerging student interest. Last fall, we launched a new Ph.D. program in criminal justice, and we anticipate launching new undergraduate and graduate programs in sports broadcasting, information design and data visualization, gaming, and creative arts, to name a few. We also will introduce a revamped Executive MBA program for business professionals.
All of this progress reflects the upward trajectory the University has experienced over the past five years. During that time, enrollment has grown by 28 percent to almost 6,000 students, and full-time undergraduate enrollment has expanded by 50 percent. Applications have increased by 176 percent. Student quality has improved as well, judging by SAT scores and class rank. Overall, the University has completed more than $100 million in construction projects and has launched 15 new academic programs. These achievements have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report, which now lists UNH among the top comprehensive universities in the North. This accolade underscores our rapidly growing reputation as a world-class institution of higher learning.
I want to encourage you to become fully engaged in the life of the University. Become involved in research, service-learning, study abroad, athletics or one of the many extracurricular programs on campus in order to achieve your greatest potential. Make the most of your time here at UNH.
With best wishes,
Steven H. Kaplan