So just what has changed around here the last few years? And just what will change in the next few? Take a look below.
We created 94 new faculty positions and dropped our student/faculty ratio from 15:1 to 12.5:1.
A new school for BU’s most rigorously intellectual and curious students. Almost 95 percent of the inaugural class graduated with Latin Honors.
We built a $31M high-tech engineering and manufacturing space open 24/7 to the entire community.
A contribution system that doubles our donors’ gifts and goes directly to supporting students with financial aid.
We’ve brought together all things global in CAS at BU, establishing one of the country’s largest schools of global and regional studies.
A new 120,000-square-foot building that provides career planning and academic support, and caters to taste buds, thanks to a multi-floor dining space.
The University now provides full tuition remission and funding packages to PhD students.
We expanded the student community by adding a modern, 26-story dormitory tower with spacious rooms for 960 students.
Thanks to some generous alums and friends, as well as a budgetary commitment from BU, we added significant student and classroom space to the existing Law Tower.
We boosted the number of music studios to 120, the largest installation of Wenger modular practice rooms in the country.
A $30M dormitory project that makes attending BU’s medical program more affordable and comfortable.
Founded in 2012 to bring together scholars in research and education through the use of computational and data-driven approaches.
A 7-floor, cutting-edge NIH-affiliated laboratory that will tackle the world’s most deadly infectious diseases.
A new center melding social work and public health science to improve care at home and abroad.
Boston University is committed to a top-quality undergraduate education that combines the liberal arts and sciences with professional programs. But we’re aiming for much more. We’re working to establish a common and compelling vision for the general education of the upcoming generation of students, and to articulate how our liberal arts component helps develop better leaders and contributors in a rapidly changing world.
Boston University is committed to giving access to all talented students and supporting them to achieve their academic goals. A key ingredient is undergraduate financial aid given on the basis of need. In the academic year 2015/2016, we will award more than $210 million in aid. We want to do more and that’s why we have developed a unique program called the Century Challenge. It works like this: if a donor contributes $100,000 or more to establish an endowed undergraduate scholarship fund, the University will match the payout for 100 years. In effect, this doubles the impact of the donor’s gift.
It really is simple: diversity and excellence go hand in hand. The tradition of Boston University puts this mission at the core of the institution, but successfully creating this community requires everyone to be involved. Today nearly 16% of our freshman class are from underrepresented groups and 14% are Pell Grant recipients, students who need significant financial assistance to attend BU. We are committed to increasing both numbers and to creating an inclusive and diverse faculty to educate and mentor the next generation.
MAs, MSs, MFAs, MBAs. Professional graduate education is the stepping-stone to advancing in today’s fast-paced professional world. We are committed to offering leading programs that help our students compete effectively using both traditional classroom instruction and game-changing digital offerings. Our new online master’s degree in social work, training the next generation of leaders who will advocate for social and economic justice, and our MA/JD in International Relations and Law, preparing students for careers in national governments or international agencies, are two examples of our vibrant start in this changing arena.
The revolution in communications makes the programs of the College of Communication more central than ever to the mission of Boston University. By investing in both faculty and facilities, we plan to make sure that our College of Communication is at the forefront of high-quality undergraduate and graduate programs, preparing our graduates for the rapidly changing world of new media. We’ve started by first adding some outstanding new junior faculty members and then two big names: James E. Katz, Feld Professor of Emerging Media and director of the new Division of Emerging Media Studies, and former New York Times digital media guru Martin Nisenholtz.
The answers to many of the most exciting problems facing mankind won’t be found in the traditional disciplines alone, but will require new interdisciplinary approaches. We have considerable strength and substantial commitment in several important areas including photonics research (the science and application of light), synthetic and systems biology (understanding and modifying biological systems), systems neuroscience, information and data sciences, infectious diseases research, and global health.
And we’re making investments to further strengthen these efforts. Construction of the Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering on the Charles River Campus is starting this spring. This nine-story, 170,000-square-foot facility will host University-wide cross-disciplinary research groups and contain lab space for faculty, graduate and postdoctoral students, and staff, as well as space for new faculty hires.
Our interdisciplinary initiatives will focus on key programs as well. These areas include urban health and social work, materials science, and global and regional studies at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences.
Educational delivery is changing to include digital learning environments, not only to reach new cohorts of students but to improve delivery and flexibility to traditional residential students. We must be leaders in this digital revolution and plan to leverage our investment in edX and our long experience with Metropolitan College’s distance education programs, as well as our other schools and colleges. Already our MOOCs (massive open online courses) are reaching tens of thousands of learners who are completing our courses at record rates. We are impacting high school students through a MOOC for AP Physics. Residential learning is changing too, with our foreign language classes that blend digital and classroom learning. We’ve also developed online tools to enhance our study abroad experience. We are committed to innovating at the digital frontier, impacting education across BU and beyond.
Since its inception, Boston University has been engaged in the world by welcoming international students to our campus from over 140 countries, and through programs, service, and research around the globe. Each year we send thousands of students and faculty abroad to study and conduct research. We recommit ourselves to being a truly globally connected university and continue to innovate in our programs in Boston and around the world, both for student learning experiences and faculty projects. The newly established Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, which is bringing the majority of the University’s international offerings in the College of Arts & Sciences under one roof, is just the beginning.
We are an urban and global community of scholars, students, and alumni committed to innovative engagement in the intellectual, civic, and entrepreneurial activities that make the world a better place to live.
Robert A. Brown, President