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President Delivers State of the University Address


The State of the University

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, praised faculty accomplishments but urged continued diligence.

Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, delivered an upbeat assessment of the past year’s accomplishments during his annual State of the University address on Sept. 20. His remarks came during the Fifth Annual Faculty Convocation, a celebration that marks the beginning of the new academic year.

Speaking in front of more than 200 faculty members and administrators in the McGinley Center Ballroom, Father McShane welcomed new deans Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill; Anthony J. Ciorra, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education; Dominic J. Balestra, Ph.D., dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and James J. Hennessy, Ph.D., interim dean of the Graduate School of Education.

Father McShane praised faculty for their accomplishments and stressed the importance of faculty development in achieving the University’s goal of becoming the premier Catholic university in the country. He also emphasized the significance of university rankings in U.S. News and World Report and said he was pleased with the University’s 14-point climb—from 84th to 70th among National Research Universities—on the list. But that is just the beginning, he said, as he expects Fordham to pass Notre Dame and Georgetown in the rankings.

In support of that effort, Father McShane highlighted a trustee-supported decision to invest in faculty development, which has helped generate four new endowed chairs and six distinguished-service professorships, and raised the number of fully funded professorships in the law school to five. An endowment was also created to support the Magis Faculty Fellows Program, which encourages the work of younger, recently tenured faculty members.

Other notable accomplishments of the past year that were highlighted during convocation included:

  • Faculty publications: 116 books, 506 articles, dozens of book chapters, hundreds of reviews and scholarly papers

  • Faculty awards: 25 fellowships and scholarships, and $12 million in grants

  • U.S. News and World Report Rankings: Overall, 70th; Graduate School of Social Service, 14th; Graduate School of Education, 51st; School of Law, 34th

  • Financial health of the University: Fundraising for the year was up 42 percent to $25.7 million, and the capital campaign reached the $121 million mark

  • Endowment: $305 million, an increase of 21 percent

  • Enrollment: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, accepted 573 of 1,367 applicants, enrolled 235; Graduate School of Education, accepted 871 of 1,409 applicants, enrolled 750; Graduate School of Social Service, accepted 804 of 1,375 applicants, enrolled 561; Graduate School of Business Administration, accepted 565 of 1,005 applicants, enrolled 443; School of Law, accepted 1,408 of 7,602 applicants, enrolled 483; Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education, accepted 54 of 60 applicants, enrolled 40

  • Applications: Up 10 percent over last year to 14,034, with an acceptance rate of 50 percent

  • Marymount applications: Up from 1,700 a year ago to 1,720 this year, with an acceptance rate of 79 percent

— Suzanne Stevens

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