From Our President
By the time you receive this issue of the UD Messenger, 2012 will be nearly over. It’s been a busy year for the University, and for the people who make it such a special place to be.
We welcomed new leaders with the expertise to build on our accomplishments and the vision to move us forward: Vice President and University Secretary Jeff Garland; College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean Mark Rieger; Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Eric Ziady; and Admissions Director José Aviles.
Meanwhile, two colleagues well known at UD have assumed new responsibilities. Charlie Riordan is now vice provost for research, and Nancy Guerra is associate provost for international programs. Getting strong leaders into these positions—positions tightly aligned with our institutional priorities—is essential to our growth.
Of course, the talent at UD isn’t confined to the University’s leadership. We welcomed 44 new faculty members in 2012, who join the ranks of those whose scholarship and service were recognized this year with some of the world’s most elite academic honors.
I’m confident it’s this incredibly accomplished faculty that attracts so many terrific students to the University. This year, we logged a record number of applications for admission; 26,798 UD hopefuls vied for 3,844 seats in the freshman class. The number of incoming students scoring in the top tier on the SAT is record-setting as well, up 21 percent over four years ago. I can’t wait to see what this competitive (and interesting!) group of students achieves.
Especially gratifying is the fact that the diversity of our student body is rising alongside academic performance: The Class of 2016 includes 56 percent more African-American students and 26 percent more Hispanic students than the Class of 2012. And resident student enrollment is climbing as well. A four-year, 34 percent rise in in-state students is attributable to our Commitment to Delawareans, our pledge to make a UD education academically and financially accessible to the state’s students.
This Commitment is fundamental to our land-grant mission. We’re beholden to that charter (whose sesquicentennial we celebrated in July) because we know that by securing Delawareans’ access to excellent, affordable education, we ultimately help build families, communities and economies that can weather tough times like these—that can endure and innovate and prosper.
Our land-grant mission obliges us to apply our resources to benefit our neighbors; to use our knowledge, time, talent and money in a way that brings this state and this nation into the riches of the UD community; to make new knowledge and new technologies that secure our collective health, safety and prosperity. I invite you back to UD—any time you want—to meet the people who’ve made this their mission and who advance it every day.
Patrick T. Harker
President, University of Delaware