Pictured: New York Tech President Hank Foley, Ph.D., addresses the community at the annual faculty and staff convocation in Riland Auditorium.
On September 1, members of the New York Tech community gathered in Riland Auditorium and virtually for the university’s annual faculty and staff convocation—and the presentation of the Presidential Excellence Awards—to welcome the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.
President Hank Foley, Ph.D., offered welcoming remarks and began his state-of-the-institution address by re-emphasizing statistics from the 2022 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings, including New York Tech moving up 11 places to No. 253. He also called out New York Tech’s impressive rankings in a report by Georgetown University’s Center for Education and the Workforce, placing the university in the top 2 percent of U.S. colleges on return on investment (ROI).
Turning the focus to internal achievements, he spoke about the opening of the IDC Foundation Digital Fabrication and Robotic Matter Design Labs (Fab Lab) and the Grizzly Cupboard on the Long Island and New York City campuses, as well as the partnership between the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) and NASA, where students are building prototypes for the agency. He also gave an update on the progress of the planned 20,000-square-foot facility that will support microscopy research that will enable New York Tech to expand its research footprint and intra- and inter-institutional collaborations. The building will also house an X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology for visualizing rapid skeletal movement (for example, a bird in flight).
In addition, President Foley said a focus for the university will be to enhance scholarly research activities and will expand the number of subscriptions to archival journals as well as add Scopus, an online database of abstracts and citations.
In his address, he shared information about the New York City dormitories, including a new location. While less than 5 percent of undergraduates live in dorms, he said, “with the right facilities, we think this number will grow and especially further enhance enrollments in Manhattan.”
Enrollment numbers are steady, with domestic enrollments remaining strong. While the total number of newly enrolled undergraduate, graduate, and transfer students (1,942) is just below last year’s number, he attributed that to a large graduating class in May 2022, saying they are “working both now and also for the second semester and, of course, the semester out in fall of 2023 to try and make those numbers even higher.”
Foley closed his remarks by stressing that providing an outstanding student experience continues to be the main focus for New York Tech. “As we seem to be getting closer to being back to business as usual, let’s all stay focused. Let’s stay focused on moving this school forward and making this school better. Let’s continue to make the school sustainable in every sense of the word.”
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Interim Provost Jerry Balentine, D.O., spoke about the strategic priorities for the libraries, research, and the future of the university.
In his remarks, Balentine said when he took on the role as interim provost, one of his goals was to re-envision and position the libraries as a campus leader. “No longer do we need a space to store books and other printed materials,” he said, adding that New York Tech continues to support research by actively working on labs and purchasing equipment, revamping all aspects of campus operations to help with the shift to research support, and the addition of scholarly journals in the libraries.
“We are continuing to grow and improve every single year,” he said. “With that improvement comes growing pains, and that is why we are working on streamlining processes and adding resources to help our faculty be even more productive and more efficient.” He acknowledged progress already made, including faculty submitting 119 proposals, requesting approximately $60 million in funding, and the addition of three Ph.D. programs, with another in the process.
Balentine also provided updates on the Strategic Action Plan, including the appointment of N. Sertac Artan, Ph.D., and Francesca Fiore, Ed.D., as Implementation Committee co-chairs, the progress on the preparatory work, and the target goals for year-one actions. He also acknowledged Planning Support Specialist Erikka Vaughan, Ph.D., for keeping the plan moving forward.
He also recognized the successes of Student Life. “We continue to expand our services for students and efforts and events for our students on campus. We need to continue this,” he said, adding that he wants students to come to campus not only because they have to go to class but because they want to be here.
In her address, Pennie Turgeon, vice president for information technology, chief information officer, and chief information security officer, spoke about information technology and security initiatives: enterprise data management, the university’s web site redesign, and improving security.
“Solid data management is intrinsic to the change and success that digital transformation symbolizes. And to be successful in digital transformation, we must reposition New York Tech’s data as an institutional asset and then use it consistently to advance our mission,” she said. To achieve this, the university partnered with HelioCampus, a data analytics company that that helps colleges and universities measure and evaluate their effectiveness through the lens of both revenue and expenses.
Turgeon then shared information about the university’s web site redesign. “When finished, we will have a mobile-friendly, highly functional, and beautifully designed web site that digitally amplifies the diverse and academically rich student experience available at New York Tech,” she said, adding that the project will be used to reinforce the New York Tech brand.
She also spoke about cybersecurity threats in higher education and what measures the university is taking to thwart these attacks by creating a pervasive, security-aware culture and strengthening and improving technical safeguards, including improved authentication procedures, improved endpoint management, and 24/7/365 monitoring services.
Following the remarks, the annual Presidential Excellence Awards were presented to the following faculty and staff by President Foley and Executive Vice President Balentine:
- Excellence in Teaching by Full-time Faculty: Melissa Huey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences
- Excellence in Teaching by Part-time Faculty: Eleanor Schwartz, Senior Specialist, Graduate Programs, Management and Marketing Studies and Humanities
- Student Engagement in Research, Scholarship, or Creative Activities: Reza Khalaj Amineh, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, of Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Innovator Award: Patricia Duran, Senior Director, Student Accounts, Enrollment Management
- Staff Excellence Award: David Fanning, Laboratory Engineer
- Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Award: Tiffani Hinds, M.Ed., Assistant Provost of Student Engagement and Development
- Team Award: Bear Bytes Committee (Student Life Coordinator Hannah Berling, Assistant Provost Tiffani Hinds, Senior Director Amy Bravo, Senior Director Patricia Duran, Student Support Specialist Kelli-Ann Francis, Senior Major Gift Officer Victoria Greco, Anoushka Guha (B.S./D.O. ’26), Clinical Associate Professor Mindy Haar, Ph.D., Dean of Students Felipe Henao, Ed.D., Larabe Imran (B.S. ’22), Michael Lane, Andrea Massop-Ramos, Associate Professor Lorraine Mongiello, DRPH, Student Support Specialist Clarissa Schenocker, and Director Joanne West)
Watch the 2022 faculty and staff convocation.