SEPTEMBER 4, 2007
We have just completed a terrific year at the University of Rochester, and another great year is beginning.
For the fifth year in a row, admissions applications to the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering are up to a new record, with 11,678 applicants for the Class of 2011 (SLIDE 1). The new record follows a year in which our University was listed as one of the 25 "New Ivies" in the Kaplan/Newsweek 2007 How to Get into College Guide and the Times of London ranked the University as 21st best in the United States. The Arts, Sciences, and Engineering graduate programs recently also achieved a signal success with its Political Science department being ranked number four nationally by two separate studies of graduate students — one that measured academic job placements and one that measured research citations.
The Eastman School of Music has embarked on a dramatic renovation of Eastman Theatre and expansion of its facilities. This summer the Eastman School of Music was recognized by Kaplan/Newsweek as the "hottest" school of music in the country in part because of its relationship to Arts, Sciences and Engineering (SLIDE 2). Our University was one of only three universities and colleges to be listed both on Newsweek's 25 New Ivies List and as a category leader in its "hottest" schools in the nation.
Momentum at the Medical Center is building. Last year the School of Medicine and Dentistry received one of the 12 inaugural Clinical and Translational Science Awards ($40 million over five years) from the NIH to establish a new Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Richard Reichman, William Bonnez, and Robert Rose were recognized for their pathbreaking work in helping create the first vaccine to prevent any form of cancer (SLIDE 3). The NIH awarded the Medical Center a $26 million grant to establish the New York Influenza Center of Excellence to study how to make future influenza pandemics less deadly.
The number of matriculants remains high at the School of Nursing, due in large part to the great success of the accelerated bachelor's and master's programs (SLIDE 4). The Simon Graduate School of Business similarly is enjoying increased enrollment in its full-time MBA program this year, up by 7 percent after a 26 percent increase last year (SLIDE 5). At the Warner School of Education in 2006-07, there was a record 19 percent increase in applications and, for the sixth straight year, an increase in enrollment, resulting in a total increase of 81 percent over the past six years (SLIDE 6).
At the Eastman School, selectivity rates remains favorable, with a rate of 25.9 percent in the undergraduate program and 22.2 percent for graduate students (SLIDE 7). The number of applications to the Medical School's MD program also continues to grow to record levels, with 4,353 applicants for the current first year class, up 13 percent since 2002 (SLIDE 8).
At the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, the achievement of an important milestone for the National Ignition campaign was reached when LLE achieved a record measurement that included the compression of thermonuclear fuel to more than 500 times liquid density.
In January of this year, I stated to the Faculty Senate that one measure of the health of the university is the net change in faculty size. During the 2005-06 academic year, we enjoyed a net addition of 27 faculty members to our total instructional faculty university-wide. In 2006-07, we did better, with a net addition of 53 faculty members (SLIDE 9).
On the investment front, based on unaudited financial results, our investment return last fiscal year was 19.4 percent, outperforming our benchmark, which last year was 18.8 percent. The investment pool (consisting of our endowment and similar funds) increased by $246 million for the year, to approximately $1.77 billion, the highest in our history (SLIDE 10). There obviously has been some subsequent volatility in the securities markets, but I am confident that our investment strategy is a sound one that will perform well in rising markets and is appropriately hedged when markets decline.
This year, we added two extraordinary leaders to the administrative team — Provost Ralph Kuncl and Dean of the Eastman School of Music Douglas Lowry (SLIDE 11).
After a thorough national search, Ralph comes to Rochester from Bryn Mawr College, where he spent five years as Provost. Ralph is a neuroscientist; while at Johns Hopkins, his lab discovered the glutamate transporter defect in Lou Gehrig's Disease. This discovery led to the first effective treatment for that disease.
At Rochester, Ralph will provide leadership on academic issues, including faculty appointments and tenure, strategic planning, academic budgets, and master facilities planning. He will serve in essence as the University's chief research officer, oversee the faculty diversity initiatives, chair the technology transfer and economic development policy committee, and facilitate interschool interdisciplinary activities.
Doug Lowry joins us from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati where he was dean and Thomas James Kelly Professor. Doug already has begun to make a difference here. Soon, Doug will make a major announcement concerning the Eastman Theatre Project.
I am very proud of the senior leadership team that has been assembled at this University — both the new arrivals such as Ralph, Doug, Peter Lennie, Jim Thompson, and Bill Murphy and those who have continued including Sue Stewart, Paul Burgett, and Ron Paprocki in the central University, Brad Berk who assumed leadership of the Medical Center, and great Deans such as Raffaella Borasi, Pat Chiverton, David Guzick, and Mark Zupan. Let me particularly recognize Pat Chiverton who a few days ago announced that she is stepping down after eight fabulous years as dean of the School of Nursing. She has had a remarkable career as dean and will continue here on the faculty.
Last year we made substantial progress in building a state of the art Advancement program at the University of Rochester.
The Board of Trustees, at its March 2007 meeting, adopted the Operation Advance Business Plan. While it remains premature to characterize when we will go "public" with our capital campaign and what will be our ultimate target, I can state with confidence that the time draws nearer.
Last year we experienced burgeoning support from our alumni and friends (SLIDE 12). Before the last academic year, the University had never raised $70 million in annual support from its alumni and friends. Last year we raised $83.9 million, 21.4 percent growth over 2006 (SLIDE 13). Together with $22.5 million in new future commitments, the University raised a total of $106.4 million. Cumulatively, this represents a 51 percent increase over the previous year, and exceeds projections by 31 percent.
Separately, the George Eastman Circle, our new leadership annual giving society for donors of $1,500 to $50,000, has 185 charter members, including all members of our Board of Trustees (SLIDE 14). Each George Eastman Circle member has committed to a five year pledge.
I am pleased to report several notable gifts in recent months (SLIDE 15).
The University Communications Office has moved quickly to upgrade our internal and external communications (SLIDE 17). The staff launched@Rochester as a university-wide daily newsletter in September 2006. It now is distributed to all faculty and staff. Sunday morning, undergraduate students received their first e-newsletter, Weekly Buzz. Similar newsletters are in the works for graduate students and for parents of undergraduates. At the same time, Currents has expanded from four to eight pages, with an increased emphasis on the scholarly work of faculty and students. In January, the enhanced online events calendar debuted (SLIDE 18). All of these efforts at increased information flow facilitate our growing together as a community.
The Communication staff produced five issues of Rochester Review in 2006-07, and the frequency will increase to six in 2007-08 (SLIDE 19). The staff is also developing an e-newsletter for alumni.
Tomorrow will be a Dandelion Yellow and Rochester Blue day as we officially introduce our new graphic identity at noon on the steps of Wilson Commons (SLIDES 20, 21, 22). Behind the festive launch of the new logo is the reality that for us successful communications requires constant articulation of key themes: We are one university. We are a world class research university. We aim high. And our perpetual objective is Meliora or Ever Better.
In January 2007, the University began implementation of the 31 recommendations of the Task Force on Faculty Diversity and Inclusiveness (SLIDE 23, www.rochester.edu/president/memos/2006/diversity.html). The accomplishments of greatest significance to date include the selection of school-based faculty diversity officers, the distribution of the first issue of Faculty Development News, improvement of applicant data collection techniques, the establishment of spousal hire support for dual career couples, and faculty search training for the deans and faculty diversity officers. (See the June 2007 First Annual Report on Diversity, www.rochester.edu/president/memos/2007/diversity_report.html).
A primary goal of the faculty diversity initiative is to build a more diverse faculty applicant pool and to increase our success rate for hiring those diverse candidates whom we have identified.
The expanded Special Opportunities Fund is to assist deans and department chairs in the recruitment or retention of specific faculty candidates who will contribute to the diversity of the faculty and who might otherwise not be recruited successfully because of intense competition (SLIDE 24). There are $400,000 available this academic year in that fund. So far this year, we know that the Fund will support 14 faculty members in five schools, compared to seven faculty members in three schools the prior academic year. Of the 14, ten are new commitments for the coming year.
As of May 14, 2007, "Diversity" is on the University of Rochester home Web page (SLIDE 25, www.rochester.edu). This helps convey the message to the University community, and to prospective members of our community, that diversity is a fundamental value of our University.
For the first time this year, the University held an orientation program for our newest faculty. The program introduced the faculty to an overview of the University and the greater Rochester community and its history and, through a year-long series of programs, will continue to provide the new faculty with critical information and support through the first year on campus.
The family friendly policies that the Task Force recommended went through the approval process during the winter. These policies address tenure clock and family leave issues that are especially relevant to faculty who are starting families.
As I wrote in the First Annual Report on Diversity, issued last June, our performance to date with respect to diversity "is not a cause for celebration. In comparison to our peers… and our aspirations to be a diverse and inclusive community, we have far to go." But a new set of initiatives to make progress with respect to diversity and inclusiveness has begun.
On June 5, in my annual report to the Rochester community, I highlighted the University's economic impact on the community. (www.rochester.edu/president/memos/2007/community.html). The Center for Governmental Research, in a July 2007 final report, estimates that the University is responsible, directly and indirectly, for nearly 31,000 area jobs that would not exist without the University (SLIDE 26). These 31,000 jobs account for a total annual payroll of approximately $1.4 billion. The University and Strong Partners Health System directly employ the full-time equivalent of approximately 19,500 people, in addition to 5,000 students in part-time positions.
The University directly spent $423 million on goods and services in 2006. Between 2002 and 2006, the University separately spent $727 million in capital related expenses.
Patients are drawn to the Medical Center from an area reaching Buffalo, Syracuse, and the Southern tier, also contributing to the local economy. Patients from outside Monroe County represent as much as 60 percent of total clinical services in some specialized areas.
University-based research further boosts the Rochester economy. In the 2005-2006 fiscal year, the University received $351 million in funding for sponsored research, a 39 percent increase since 2002.
As of June 30, 2006, there were 2,591 active research projects at the University. During fiscal year 2006, 31 patents (24 U.S. and 7 foreign) were issued for various research projects across the University.
The University of Rochester is among the top ten United States universities in licensing revenue, earning approximately $40 million in 2006. The cervical cancer vaccine is the most recent significant addition to our licensed technologies.
The Center for Electronic Imaging Systems generated a record $114 million in economic development for New York State in 2006.
A major aspect of the University's contribution to the local economy involves construction. Following the May 17th dedication of the Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics (SLIDE 27), the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute was dedicated on August 21 (SLIDE 28). The facility now houses more than 50 research projects that will bring greater understanding to cardiovascular disease, as well as 15 researchers in functional genomics. The new James P. Wilmot Cancer Center—a 163,000-square-foot facility to be opened in 2008—will substantially increase patient capacity and improve the quality of care (SLIDE 29).
We also recently have begun design work on a Clinical Translational Sciences Building, a 150,000 square foot facility proposed to be located on Crittenden near the School of Nursing (SLIDE 30).
Taking a walk along the Genesee River soon will be a quite different experience (SLIDE 31). Brooks Landing—the privately-funded waterfront development between Brooks Avenue and Genesee Street—will provide the beginnings of a type of college town, with an 80-room hotel as well as a retail and office building occupied in part by the University. This development should be completed by the spring of 2008.
Nearby, the University is working with private developers to bring a five-building, 120-unit apartment complex to South Plymouth Avenue that will provide housing to about 400 University students (SLIDE 32). These Riverview Apartments are scheduled to open by the fall of 2008.
In 2006 the Medical Center reinvigorated its commitment to making Rochester the healthiest community in the nation, as George Eastman long ago sought, through the creation of the Center for Community Health. Last year alone, the University of Rochester Medical Center participated in more than 120 community health programs; served more than 90,000 people through these community health programs; provided more than $33 million in uncompensated and charity care, and contributed $12 million more toward the cost of treatment for Medicaid patients; and worked with more than 70 community partners (SLIDE 33).
Let me particularly highlight the significance of care for the uninsured and underinsured. The University's hospitals, Strong and Highland, have become a vital part of the safety net that provides health care to all Rochesterians. It is well known that our emergency departments are often busy. I want to stress a larger point: This is because our hospitals attempt to be there for all in our community.
These initiatives, as well as programs in the arts and education that benefit the greater Rochester community, are among our most important activities as a leading urban university. We have a symbiotic relationship to Rochester. As either one of us thrives, the other is strengthened. In the years to come, I look forward to great progress both by our University and our community.
This will be a pivotal year of strategic planning for our academic divisions. To date, each academic division and the Medical Center has presented plans or materials to the Board of Trustees Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. In December 2006, the Committee reviewed first draft strategic plan presentations from the Simon School and the Warner School, as well as preliminary working documents from Arts, Sciences, and Engineering and the Eastman School. In March 2007, the Committee reviewed a first draft of the Medical Center Strategic Plan and a first draft of the Master Facilities Plan.
On August 1, the Medical Center presented a well-developed strategic plan to the Committee. This plan addressed the hospitals and clinical dimension of the Medical Center, research, education at the School of Medicine and Dentistry and the School of Nursing, the Eastman Dental Center, and Community Health. On a subsequent occasion, I know you will enjoy hearing Brad Berk present this plan. The Committee enthusiastically supported the Medical Center Strategic Plan and the Plan will be presented to the full Board of Trustees at its March 2008 meeting.
Arts, Sciences, and Engineering also presented an inspiring provisional strategic plan. This Plan will receive further review from the College faculty and will incorporate refined operational projections before the next iteration is presented to the Committee in late November. In November, the Eastman School of Music, Simon Graduate School of Business and the Warner School of Education and Human Development also will make additional presentations to the Committee.
The Medical Center and Arts, Sciences, and Engineering draft plans propose bold programs and ideas that are exciting to the Committee. Here, at the University of Rochester, we have remarkably strong faculty and programs on which to build. All of the academic division plans presented to date have been particularly effective in building on these existing strengths and articulating a rationale for new programs and ideas.
Strategic planning will involve several additional steps. Separately Advancement, Communications, Information Technology, and Facilities have been working on critical infrastructure plans. The Memorial Art Gallery and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics also have or will develop strategic plans. We are a complex university but by the end of this academic year, I anticipate that we will be well positioned for the Board of Trustees during the 2008-2009 academic year to adopt an articulation of a shared vision for the University and be prepared to enter into the Nucleus Fund or Leadership Phase of a comprehensive capital campaign.
The University vision for the future is likely to include several themes:
Achieving all that we seek in our strategic planning will not be simple or fast. I have asked Ron Paprocki to lead a combined central administration-Board of Trustees effort to identify every source of financial savings that we can to optimize resources for this pivotal period of quality growth.
Separately Brad Berk and Ron Paprocki recently completed co-chairing a University wide effort to address employee health care costs (http://www.rochester.edu/news/benefits/president.html). This was an effort to balance escalating University costs with fairness for all employees, and to encourage the healthiest possible behavior. I want to highlight the sensitivity of the process that led to this plan. Not all decisions here were easy ones. But we are an institution that attempts to reach the fairest results by disclosing all material facts, offering the opportunity to all affected parties to participate in analyzing and commenting on a proposal, and taking seriously each relevant argument.
Let me conclude on a personal note. Within the past month I learned that I have a form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I reported this to the University community on August 21 (www.rochester.edu/president/memos/2007/lymphoma.html). I am very lucky. This is a treatable form of cancer, detected early. I have now begun treatment at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, here at Strong Memorial Hospital. I am grateful to the physicians, nurses, and technicians who have been so kind and supportive during the past weeks. I also want to express my gratitude to those who have written me. I have been particularly moved by those who have experienced cancer or described relatives or friends who have experienced a form of cancer. I am also deeply touched by the willingness of our faculty who have volunteered their time to assist me. If I have learned one thing in the past month, it is how wonderful our community truly is. We care for each other. We support each other.
I will be delighted to answer any questions.