Stroll Around one of our campuses—from New York to Nanjing—and you'll see evidence of promises kept. First you'll notice the bricks-and-mortar evidence: the 10,000 square feet we are adding at NYIT-Old Westbury's Student Activities Center, or the 42,000 square feet of additional space at NYIT-Manhattan in the heart of Columbus Circle.
Wander through our buildings and you will find even more: smart boards; distributed learning centers that can connect students and faculty to their counterparts thousands of miles away; or the digital signs announcing student events, internships, and more. Everything is clean and well maintained.
“One must have a good memory,” Friedrich Nietzsche said, “to be able to keep the promises that one makes.” Well, we will all need capacious memories because NYIT is bent on fulfilling the promises it has made.
We are listening to students and professors, of course. We harnessed their enthusiasm and devised a solarpowered station to charge NYIT’s vehicles in Old Westbury. We are also seeking the advice of companies that are hiring our graduates, and we vow to listen carefully and follow that advice when possible. For example, architectural firms wanted us to build a space that would mirror an architect’s office, so we did. For visiting lecturers speaking to students, we wanted a stellar facility for dynamic presentations. We exceeded all expectations; just take a look at the NYIT Auditorium on Broadway.
The promises go far beyond what you can see in classrooms and parking lots. In our visionary plan, NYIT 2030, we pledged to do better on all fronts. And so we are: Our endowment is up and enrollment is strong. Believe it or not, budgets are up, too.
We told everybody that we would increase the quality of our students. In the fall 2010 semester, NYIT’s incoming classes had the highest academic credentials we’ve ever seen. Students enrolling in our architecture program, for example, earned an average of 30 points higher on their SATs than those entering last year, while the GMAT scores of our new M.B.A. students have risen nearly 70 points.
We are emphasizing these advances for reasons that are far more important than bragging rights. At a time when those paying college tuition are asking for excellence and prominence in return, we are delivering.
As the number of high school graduates declines in America’s Northeast, we have promised to redouble our efforts to attract students from other regions. We are doing that, too. This fall, the campuses in our New York hub benefitted from a 14 percent increase in students enrolling from areas such as Florida, Georgia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. We also are welcoming more students from places such as Turkey, South Korea, and China … in all, 106 nations—a record high for us.
Outside observers are already noticing our improvements. Over the summer, the Chronicle of Higher Education named us a great college to work for.
As a U.S.-based institution, NYIT also has an obligation to help America retain its competitive edge, especially at a time when six countries considered emerging economies are achieving increases in college completion at twice the U.S. rate. The nation that democratized higher education after World War II with the G.I. bill is now lagging, and it is up to higher education to help graduate the next generation of professionals.
In response to this, I have challenged all of our instructors to forge learning experiences that push students to the next level and make better use of technology in the classroom.
Even in these difficult times, NYIT remains committed to expanding our efforts to improve the education and career prospects of our students as they lead us into the 21st century.
Edward Guiliano, Ph.D.