President announces new academic investments, armory name

By Becca Seitz on November 12, 2019

President Schatzel's address unveils undergraduate research and competitive scholarship offices, plus innovative StarTUp project.

Towson University President Kim Schatzel’s fourth annual fall address on November 12 celebrated major institutional achievements and notable accomplishments of faculty and staff.

In an inspired address to the campus community, Schatzel shared achievements and recognition that are fueling TU’s forward momentum and winning national recognition.

She said the class of 2023 numbers more than 2,700 and is the most diverse and most academically prepared in TU history, with 25% identifying as African American and 9% as Latinx.

TU also welcomed more than 2,100 students transferring in and 775 new graduate students. Together, these new students—from 33 states and 26 countries—bring TU’s projected enrollment to nearly 23,000.

“This community of diverse and talented students makes our campus vibrant and vital—and positions Towson University as the largest university, public or private, in Greater Baltimore, and the second largest and the fastest growing in Maryland,” said Schatzel.

Schatzel talked proudly about how TU has moved from being a top regional university to being ranked for the very first time as a Top National University and one of the Top 100 Public Universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

“This new category and this new top 100 ranking truly reflects a university on the rise and points to the excellence of our academic programs, our faculty, our facilities, as well as TU’s commitment to advance world-class research, scholarship and creative work," Schatzel said.

Relentless Work on Inclusion

Today on the TU campus, 42% percent of all students identify as a racial or ethnic minority, an increase of 20% since 2016.

"These enrollments mean that the university in fact reflects the diversity in the state of Maryland and in our nation," Schatzel said. "Our students look a lot like high school students across our state and nation."

Towson University is one of only several U.S. universities where the graduation rate of the minority student population exceeds that of the entire student body, she continued.

"Simply put, Towson University is delivering on its promise to educate the workforce and citizens needed for our state’s bright future," Schatzel said. "Towson University truly is Maryland’s university."

Investment in Academic Excellence
President Schatzel announced two new initiatives that will support undergraduate and graduate research experiences—a faculty-led Office of Undergraduate Research and a faculty-led Office of Competitive Scholarships. Both will be significant resources for students—and the faculty who create transformational opportunities students.

“It is through teaching, scholarship, research and creative activity that our world-class faculty make important contributions to their disciplines and to the academy,” Schatzel said.

New StarTUp in Towson
Towson University took another step connecting the campus and the Greater Baltimore business community with the development of Towson's historic Armory building. Schatzel said it will re-open in the fall of 2020 as "The StarTUp" and be known as, "TU’s front door for start-ups, small businesses, as well as our region’s largest corporations."

“The StarTUp will catalyze entrepreneurs and executives—and connect them—to each other and to TU's outstanding programs and people," Schatzel continued.

"When you consider the development on Towson University’s campus as well as near campus—Towson Row with Whole Foods, 101 York, Circle East and Towson Mews—there is more than $1.7 billion in public and private investment being made in Towson right now. It is a truly historic revitalization that is arguably the most investment per square foot happening right now in all of Maryland. And it is driven by Towson University. "

Faculty and Staff Achievements 
President Schatzel recognized the impact of prestigious grants and the opportunities they create for student-faculty research and mentorship, citing the nearly $2 million in grants to three department of nursing faculty members to create new nursing educational initiatives to support the state’s growing workforce needs; and a $500,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Commerce for the creation of a center for Cybersecurity Education and Research Center.

Great Things Ahead
To close the address, the president shared her belief on the most powerful elements of Towson University in 2019.

 “Our institutional momentum and the historic investment being made on our campus can be seen in the work we are doing together each and every day," Schatzel said. "There is much fueling our forward momentum and we are indeed a university on the rise.”

Read the President's Address (PDF).

This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University:

TU Matters to Maryland.
BTU-Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore.
Lifelong Career Center.
Diverse and Inclusive Campus.
Culture of Philanthropy.
World-Class Faculty Development Center.
Strategic Plan Alignment.