President Schatzel welcomes the campus community to the start of the 2016-2017 academic year.
There is something almost magical about the start of a new academic year on a college campus. This is my favorite time of year with commencement season as a close second. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my first Maryland summer, I am eager to see our students and faculty back in classrooms and at events, and I’m excited to experience my first full autumn in this great state.
Last week I participated in another Towson University first for me: move-in day for freshmen and transfers! It was incredible to see the smiling faces of so many new students as they unloaded cars and pushed their belongings into residence halls. It was great to exchange hugs and handshakes with many proud – and perhaps a little sad – friends and family members.
TU’s reputation as a first-choice institution is stronger than ever. This year, we received more than 12,000 applications for freshman admission and approximately 2,760 have enrolled. This strong incoming class has an average high school GPA is 3.59 and an average SAT score of 1602.
Approximately 2,350 of new freshmen will live on campus during the fall term. In all, about 6,000 students will call Towson University their “home away from home,” including the hundreds living within a short walking distance.
We’re also welcoming more than 2,170 new students transferring to TU this term. Overall, we anticipate an undergraduate enrollment of 19,096 this term, along with an additional 3,245 graduate students, for a total projected fall enrollment of 22,341.
As classes begin this week, I want to acknowledge Provost Timothy Chandler, who has expertly guided the Division of Academic Affairs with his oversight of more than 100 degree programs and the numerous faculty and staff members within the division who help us achieve our academic mission. Provost Chandler’s leadership is an integral part of moving the university forward and is truly second in command of Towson University. To recognize the importance of the role of Provost, I am promoting Dr. Chandler to Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. This new title not only reflects Provost Chandler’s extraordinary record as a gifted leader at Towson University, but also reflects the importance of our academic mission.
I am also naming Dr. Daraius Irani as the Vice President of the Division of Innovation and Applied Research. Dr. Irani has been with the university for nearly 20 years serving in several senior leadership roles and most recently as associate vice president for DIAR. Dr. Irani has been an excellent addition to my leadership team and facilitated a smooth transition in his interim role. Over the past five months, he has led the division’s goals to integrate DIAR into the University, make Towson University a leader in Ed Tech, provide world class continuing educational opportunities, and work collaboratively with the divisions of academic affairs and student affairs to launch and advance BTU as a framework for university partnerships. I look forward to our continued work together.
We have a great deal to accomplish this term. At the top of the list are national searches for a Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity, who will advance our priority to be a more diverse and inclusive campus, and for a Vice President of University Advancement. Your participation in these searches is important, so please be ready to contribute when we seek your input.
We continue to move forward on the eight presidential priorities. A new page on the President’s website will allow us to provide ongoing communication to the campus and the community about our progress. Along those lines, we will launch subpages to provide updates on our efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive campus related to the students’ requests last fall and the status of the identity audit underway that will enable us to better tell the contemporary story of why TU Matters to Maryland.
The energy and enthusiasm we feel this week will continue during Presidential Inauguration next month, as we celebrate Towson University’s proud history and promising future. I am honored to follow the visionary leaders who have skillfully guided TU’s evolution over the past 150 years. If you’re not able to attend all of the Inauguration Week festivities, you’ll be able to follow them on social media with the special hashtag #TUprezschatzel.
Towson University is the state’s fastest-growing university and, as the Baltimore Business Journal recently affirmed, the largest university in the greater Baltimore region. As we embark on a new fall term, I’m driven by all of the opportunities that lie before us this year and in the years to come.
There’s much to be proud of at Towson University, and there are great things ahead!
Kim Schatzel, Ph.D.