From a “20 by 2020” enrollment initiative to a new venue for the State of the University address, growth served as the theme of President Harvey Stenger’s annual talk.
“A public university has to meet the demands of the population and has to help society,” Stenger said during the Jan. 31 address. “We’ve proven to ourselves over the past two years that we can get bigger and better at the same time.”
To help Binghamton University grow to 20,000 students — 14,000 undergraduates and 6,000 graduate students — by 2020, Stenger unveiled a 4-1-1 program to attract and retain graduate students. The program would combine career-based, credit-bearing internships with advanced coursework as students pursue master’s degrees.
“What if we were to think about that time period when an undergraduate finishes his or her degree as a time when we can blend advanced academic work with experiential opportunities?” he said. “This will allow students to build their résumés and build their experiences, while at the same time adding a credential – a master’s degree – that will be added to the value of those experiential opportunities.”
Stenger’s talk marked a change in the State of the University, formerly known as the University Forum. The presentation took place in the Anderson Center’s Osterhout Concert Theater instead of the smaller Lecture Hall 1. Most of the 1,170-seat Osterhout theater was filled with faculty members, staff, students, administrators and community leaders. Stenger, eschewing the traditional podium and wearing a microphone headset, walked across the stage and spoke for almost an hour after being introduced by Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Rose and Student Association President Eric Larson.
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