Dynamic and forward-looking, urban and global, Boston University is one of the world’s leading private research universities. In the midst of a global pandemic, we hold fast to our pursuit of excellence while deploying one of the best university health systems to control this novel coronavirus. I welcome you to a vibrant and diverse academic community, a great city, and a university that works for the common good.
Broad, Deep, and Interconnected.
Our 17 schools and colleges and Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences offer students more than 300 programs of study in the liberal arts, science, engineering, health, education, the arts, and other professional disciplines. These programs encourage students to engage deeply with their chosen field, drawing on the deep knowledge, wide experience, and diverse viewpoints of our outstanding faculty. At the same time, we offer many opportunities for students to explore connections between traditional disciplines, to stretch their thinking and discover new ways of doing things. From our BU Hub undergraduate program, which guides students as they develop six multidisciplinary skills and habits of mind, to our new Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, which is exploring the potential of artificial intelligence and data science across all fields, Boston University is pursuing new ways to prepare the next generation of leaders and creative thinkers.
In a Changing World, Changes Start Here
Boston University’s faculty are committed to excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship. With over $570 million in annual research funding, 1,600+ laboratories, and more than 130 centers and institutes, we are expanding the boundaries of knowledge across a vast array of fields. We place a great emphasis on preparing experts to address the world’s great challenges, from climate change to racism to COVID-19, the current focus of many researchers at BU’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories.
Diversity in Action
Boston University prides itself on a history of inclusion, having admitted students regardless of race, creed, or gender since our founding in 1839. That legacy includes awarding the first PhD to a woman at a US university, bestowing a doctoral degree in theology on Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59), and graduating the youngest woman to serve in the US Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (CAS‘11).
BU’s most recent strategic plan makes “becoming an even more diverse and inclusive institution that provides fair access and opportunities to all faculty, staff, and students” one of its five strategic priorities for the next ten years. Already that commitment has borne fruit. We have hired our first associate provost for community and inclusion, and our first senior diversity officer; their efforts will help put that diversity priority into action. In January 2020, we reopened the historic Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground, a venue for community building, in a welcoming new space at the heart of campus. Most recently, BU welcomed to its faculty Ibram X. Kendi, one of the nation’s leading scholars of Black history and racism. Professor Kendi is director of the University’s new Center for Antiracist Research, which brings together faculty and students from across the University to study systemic racism and propose policy solutions.
This is a University of doers, seekers, and influencers, committed to the idea of learning and leading from anywhere. The University’s global reach is evident in a student body recruited from more than 130 countries, alumni living and working in more than 180 countries, and faculty from more than 90 countries conducting research on six continents. We have a long-standing commitment to the global engagement of our students through study abroad programming and have, until recently, offered more than 90 programs in 25 countries, many based on our own campuses in Geneva, London, Shanghai, and Sydney. We look forward to reopening those programs when COVID-19 subsides.
As the threat of COVID-19 continues, Boston University remains focused on academic excellence and fostering discovery in the safest environment that we can provide. We have a very robust testing and quarantine protocol in place, and life in our dorms and classrooms is shaped by a long list of precautions recommended by our own health experts as well as local and state authorities. For the time being, our teaching formats have been modified and many of our research efforts have been adapted to new protocols, but our dedication to world-class teaching and research is as keen as it ever was.
Boston University is a dynamic and forward-looking institution full of curiosity, aspiration, and optimism. I welcome you and invite you to browse the BU homepage to learn more about our exciting University, and to visit BU Today to learn what is happening on campus right now and every day.