Dear Students, Staff and Faculty –
Since my talk last month on The Future of UNH, we have been working to identify the dimensions on which we aspire to be among the top 25 public universities in the nation. While this is a work in progress, we are considering important metrics like: overall graduation rates, graduation rates for students with serious financial needs, the number of students who undertake high-impact educational experiences such as internships, and our operational efficiency. We are at or near the top 25 on a few of these already. For others, it will take some time and effort to get there. I am encouraged by the response this aspiration has received, including a great deal of enthusiasm and offers of help. I will continue to update you on this effort. Please visit the website and share your thoughts by emailing Presidents.Office@unh.edu.
One of the strategic priorities in the Future of UNH is Embrace New Hampshire, deepening our engagement with the state. Last week, I was pleased to join Chancellor Leach and the other system presidents before the House Finance Committee. We discussed Governor Sununu’s proposed budget for the university system which includes: a one-time investment for the university system, including $9 million for UNH to expand our nursing program to meet workforce needs in the state; funding to help us renovate and expand Spaulding Hall so we can increase the number of graduates in biosciences; and funding that would help UNH renovate the Child Study Development Center and develop a national center of excellence for youth development. We also discussed the importance of state funding to improve access and affordability. It was a productive hearing and I look forward to continuing to work with elected officials to improve our relationships.
I had the opportunity to visit with several alumni groups in Florida earlier this month. I was impressed by the dedication and affection that these alums feel for UNH, whether they graduated five or 50 years ago! I will be with alumni in Manchester next week and look forward to meeting them.
Finally, I wanted to mention a book I recently read, Walter Isaacson’s biography of Leonardo da Vinci. The scope of da Vinci’s life (and of the book) is amazing: art, science, design, engineering, architecture and beyond. It’s a long read, but worthwhile.
Warmest wishes to all,
James W. Dean Jr.