UNH President Delivers 2005
State Of The University Address
Contact: Lori Wright
UNH Media Relations
Sept. 6, 2005
DURHAM, N.H. – University of New Hampshire faculty and researchers
brought in more than $108 million in sponsored grants and contracts
last year, an increase of more than 15 percent over the previous
year and an amount that doesn’t even include UNH’s recent
$38 million NASA grant – the largest, single research award
in the history of the institution – to build instrumentation
for the space agency’s Magnetospheric MultiScale (MMS) mission.
The jump in research funding was one of several accomplishments
cited by UNH President Ann Weaver Hart in her 2005 State of the
University Address, which she delivered Tuesday, Sept. 6. An annual
tradition, the address outlined the university’s achievements
in the last academic year and its challenges for the future.
“This growth in extramural funding holds enormous promise
for the university and it supports faculty as they work to answer
burning questions and seek solutions to major issues facing our
world. Art, scholarship, and research represent a Discovery way
of knowing central to our core mission—the creation of new
knowledge and new manifestations of the human spirit,” Hart
In order to create a more cohesive student life experience, the
university expanded its first-year orientation across the entire
year. “Young adulthood is a period of explosive personal change
and discovery. Recognizing the critical link between personal and
academic discovery, we will continue to emphasize improvement in
the integration between student life and academic learning,”
As part of its effort to create a more inclusive community, last
year UNH developed a Diversity Strategic Plan, with the current
focus on faculty recruitment and retention of people of color and
women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Hart
also re-established the Violence Against Women Committee and created
a new position in the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program
office that addresses the issue of domestic or intimate partner
Referring to the previous year’s debates around sexual violence,
freedom of speech, and civility, Hart said, “Our community
is not of one mind on the critical questions that arose, and the
dialogue will continue. Leaders in Student and Academic Services
have met with The New Hampshire and Main Street magazine staffs
to work toward a higher level of professionalism and civic dialogue.
The Student and Academic Services division has taken action through
the established judicial system. Many across campus, including the
journalism faculty, the theatre department faculty and students,
and others, are sharing ideas about ways to nurture respect while
advancing freedom of speech and protecting the safety of all members
of our community,” Hart said.
Hart said UNH continues to seek ways to enhance funding and cut
expenses. In the five-year period between fiscal years 2002 and
2007, revenue to UNH’s Education and General Budget, which
comes from multiple sources, is increasing by an average annual
rate of 4.8 percent. In contrast, expenses are growing by 5.5 percent.
“If unaddressed, this difference would produce an annual $1.7
million budget gap. Continued attention and resourcefulness is required,”
she said. To address the gap, the president said UNH is aggressively
seeking cost savings through initiatives such as the power cogeneration
plant, as well as an ongoing search for alternative fuels. UNH also
is seeking additional revenue, and is planning its next capital
“We will continue to advocate for a level of state funding
that recognizes the tremendous contribution of higher education
to the well being of the state, and its real costs, including those
shouldered by our students and their families,” Hart said.
Over the last year, Hart said UNH has made great progress in creating
a signature educational experience, and in the next year, the university
will continue that work. In addition to welcoming an entering class
of 650 graduate students with the highest undergraduate grade point
average on record, UNH saw one of its largest and strongest first-year
classes in university history this fall. The estimated 2,800 entering
students are high achieving, with a sharp increase in the number
of top New Hampshire high school students enrolling.
The cornerstone of UNH’s effort to create a signature educational
experience is the Discovery Program. The program aims to instill
a sense of academic exploration and includes a number of components,
including a universitywide dialogue (focusing this year on globalization),
honors classes, international study abroad, challenging research
projects, and a focus on intensive “inquiry seminars”
for first-year students that are characterized by inter-disciplinary
thought, discussion, and debate.
“We have taken a significant step in our evolution that will
move students from the requirement ‘check-off’ mentality
of the ‘shopping mall’ of general education, to pro-active
course selections more closely aligned with individual academic
aspirations,” Hart said.
The president also reviewed some of the more challenging tasks UNH
will face in the upcoming year. They include entering contract negotiations
with the UNH chapter of the American Association of University Professors,
and continuing to confront the university’s structural deficit
in its budget.
“The future of UNH continues to be imbedded in the life and
culture of New Hampshire, the nation, and the world. Good relationships
across the state are critical to that future, and I will continue
to work to represent you and all you do to our broad community through
extended County Conversations plus ongoing work with state government
and community leaders. The world is our home as well, so we must
do everything we can to keep that world front and center in the
lives of our students. International research and study grounded
in the home we love—this should be an aspiration for all of
our students,” Hart said.
EDITORS: UNH President Ann Weaver Hart’s 2005 State of
the University Address is available for download at http://www.unh.edu/news/news_releases/2005/september/lw_050906address.html.
The video that preceded the address can be viewed at:
NHPTV will provide Hart’s address in its entirety via
the Web at http://www.nhptv.org/.
An updated high-resolution photo of Ann Weaver Hart is available
for download at http://www.unh.edu/news/img/hart/annweaverhart.jpg.