UNH President Shares University Priorities with Legislators

Salaries and facilities top her list of challenges

By Lori Gula
UNH News Bureau

August 6, 2002

CONCORD, N.H. -- University of New Hampshire President Ann Weaver Hart shared her priorities and issues of interest with members of the Public Higher Education Study Committee this morning during remarks at the Legislative Office Building.

"Before becoming president, I knew that UNH and the colleges that are a part of the university system constitute the economic engine of the state and are the key to future economic development and research. I remain convinced that this is the case, and I know, working together, we will advance to new levels of prosperity," said Hart, the 18th president of the university who took office July 1, 2002.

"Nevertheless, we have some real challenges, as well as opportunities, facing the university, and I would like to share some of these with you this morning," she said.

These challenges include:

  • Achieving competitive salaries, especially faculty salaries, to assure that the tradition of superb faculty intellectual leadership continues at UNH.

  • Assuring that the maintenance and quality of UNH physical facilities, especially our laboratory facilities in the sciences and engineering, are preserved.

  • Providing state-of-the-art instructional facilities, equipment, computers, instruments and laboratory facilities in the sciences and engineering.

  • Securing financial aid support so that the very best higher education for all qualified students in New Hampshire is assured.

"These challenges are real. We will work with you to meet them," she said.

The president also outlined her immediate priorities and goals for UNH. They include:

  • Increasing coherence and quality of the undergraduate experience, with special attention to the freshman experience and the proposed new general education requirements, the Discovery Program.

  • Successful planning and realization of Project KEEP New Hampshire and success in obtaining the funding needed for the renovation and renewal of outdated science and engineering buildings, protecting the citizens' past investments in higher education.

  • Creating a more effective structure and greater focus around outreach and engagement missions within the state and across the nation.

  • Recruiting a more diverse faculty, student body and staff to assure a world-class educational environment and a globally authentic education for New Hampshire students.

  • Completing implementation of the new administrative enterprise database system, as well as other important initiatives in information technology that cut across research administration, security, e-commerce, e-learning and other information technology initiatives.

  • Continuing to work on the University System of New Hampshire fringe benefit cost containment effort crucial to UNH's future financial health.

  • Continuing the work on the quality of the student life experience, including student-landlord relationships and the Greek Life experience, and relations with our friends and neighbors in Durham.

  • With the support and leadership of the UNH Foundation, setting priorities for future friend-making and fundraising activities, and the timing and scope of the next capital campaign for the university.

"These are a few of our priorities. They are ambitious, but I am convinced they are achievable with hard work and collective effort," Hart said.

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