University of New Hampshire
President Ann Weaver Hart Outlines Goals in State of the University
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
September 2, 2004
Editors: The full text of President Ann Weaver Hart’s address
is available at http://www.unh.edu/news/news_releases/2004/september/lw_20040902speech.html.
DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire President Ann Weaver
Hart reviewed the previous year’s accomplishments and set
goals for the future during the 2004 State of the University address
Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004.
|UNH President Ann Weaver Hart
Titled “2005: The Will to Believe,” Hart’s address
touched on the themes of the Academic Plan -- discovery, engagement,
community, effectiveness and resourcefulness – which she said
represent UNH’s blueprint for the future.
“Last year was eventful in many ways. Our combined efforts
resulted in the University of New Hampshire being named to The Kiplinger
100, where we were named in the top 100 best values in public colleges
and among the top 50 public universities by U.S. News & World
Report,” Hart said.
In discussing discovery, Hart cited examples of how a UNH education
is grounded in inquiry. In addition to moving forward with its Discovery
Program, UNH has developed a number of “inquiry” courses.
On the theme of engagement, Hart said UNH’s role as a land-,
sea-, and space-grant institution requires that communities benefit
from its knowledge creation. She cited several examples of how UNH
partners with communities, including a National Science Foundation
grant allowing graduate students in the Leitzel Center to work with
nine New Hampshire high schools to re-vamp existing science curriculum
into an inquiry-based model.
The university’s study circles series, and review and analysis
of racial and ethnic diversity were cited as examples of UNH’s
commitment to fostering a welcoming community.
Hart also noted that “continual assessment of our performance,
costs and benefits, and risks and rewards is necessary to sustain
UNH. Some efforts in this domain this past year included the New
England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) self-study and
the faculty contract negotiations.”
The president also said UNH must continue to ensure efficient use
of available resources in order to accomplish goals. “With
state funding the lowest per capita in the nation and providing
only 15 percent of our annual operating budget, we must be frugal
in our operations and resourceful as we seek additional funding,”
UNH’s strategy to make the most of its resources has been
successful on several fronts, including through smart partnerships
such as the state’s EPSCoR designation from the National Science
Foundation (NSF) that qualifies all state institutions of higher
education eligible for $400 million of NSF funding.
In FY ‘04, UNH received a record $94 million through grants
and contracts—up 9.1 percent over the preceding year. Faculty
across campus contributed to this increase, which continues a 20-year
trend that has seen external funding for research increase nine-fold.
And despite a flagging economy, UNH ended FY ’04 with $12.4
million in private fundraising, compared with $10.7 million the
“With at least 50 percent of state-owned buildings on university
system campuses, and the majority and oldest of those buildings
at UNH, we are the major stewards of New Hampshire’s capital
investment in the future,” she said, citing the importance
of state support for capital improvements such as those ongoing
with the Kingsbury Hall renovation.
In looking ahead to 2005, Hart said the year holds more opportunities
and called it “The Year of Resourcefulness and Engagement.”
“Our Academic Plan, Campus Master Plan, and budget and finance
processes only lay the groundwork for the future. Mutual trust and
a united effort will drive UNH forward—we have ‘the
right to believe’ that the future we have laid out in our
vision for UNH will become a reality, despite the challenges ahead,”
According to the president, financial resources will be a significant
theme for the 2005 fiscal year, with one of the most important challenges
being the state biennial budget process. Hart plans to focus on
a grassroots advocacy effort and, in conjunction with the USNH office,
a strong communication effort in Concord. “We must clearly
demonstrate the excellence of our educational programs, underscore
the impact of our research, continue our commitment to our communities,
and be responsible in the use of all of our resources. This focus
is especially critical in the upcoming session as we seek funding
for the desperately needed renovations of DeMerritt, James, and
Parsons Halls,” she said.
UNH will continue to pursue federal research funding, including
NIH-based research. And in the coming year, Hart said she will work
with the UNH Foundation to prepare for the next capital campaign.
Hart has requested formation of a Planning and Alignment Committee
(PAC), which will develop metrics to measure and assess student
learning. It will examine efficiency and effectiveness from both
a curricular and organizational standpoint, including faculty productivity,
institutional reputation, the student post-graduate experience,
and financial well being.
UNH also will continue to serve the educational needs of nontraditional
students and community members, Hart said, outlining her recommendations
for the future of the Division of Continuing Education (DCE):
- Nontraditional credit offerings and Summer Session will remain
a part of the Provost’s Office and will be renamed The Office
of Outreach Education and Summer Studies.
- Noncredit professional development will merge with the Center
for Graduate and Professional Studies and become a part of the
- Interhostel/Familyhostel will operate as a stand-alone auxiliary.
Hart also said she would soon be announcing the newly created UNH
Community and Citizenship Leadership Council. “The council
will serve as an umbrella oversight group to coordinate the many
efforts with Durham citizens and business leaders, the town government,
students, and organizations on campus toward a more cohesive and
supportive community,” she said.
Another community effort, “Durham: It’s Where U Live,”
recently was rolled out as a way to encourage mutual respect among
the Durham community, UNH students, faculty, and staff. “This
grassroots effort grew out of conversations with several Durham
merchants following the student disturbances last year,” Hart
The coming year also will see a greater emphasis on diversity. Wanda
Mitchell has been selected to serve as special assistant to the
provost for diversity initiatives, and will work to guide UNH toward
the finalization of a strategic plan for diversity.
Hart concluded her address by saying that although the future is
filled with challenges, both known and unknown, UNH is prepared.