In his opening day address to the Kean community, President Dawood Farahi examined the state of the university and introduced Vision 2020, a blueprint for the future of Kean. The plan encompasses several components, including investments in programs, resources and faculty designed to maintain Kean’s steady progress while setting goals for the years ahead.
The following are excerpts from Dr. Farahi’s address:
Attracting world-class teacher-scholars to Kean is the first strategic goal of Vision 2020. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we will hire between 20 to 30 new full-time faculty every year for the next five years.
We also will create five new centers of academic excellence by 2015, in addition to the five we already have. We will invest heavily in creating programs for careers of the future, in the knowledge-based economy of the 21st century.
At Kean, we need to embrace technology and communicate our information faster. We need to take our expertise and accomplishments, and provide a better platform to tell our story.
To this end we created Kean Xchange. This is the place where people go to find out what you’re doing in the classroom, what research you are pursuing, and the insights you can provide on breaking news stories.
This is the place where people go to find out what’s happening on campus today, tomorrow and next month.
This is where our students get a chance to tell the world what they love about Kean.
This is what Kean Xchange does. It allows us to tell the story of Kean University in real time - across multiple platforms and on the devices that you all use all day long. Whether on campus or off, using your PC or smartphone, Kean Xchange will connect you to what is going on at Kean.
Another strategic objective of Vision 2020 is to focus on applied research. Kean already does well in this area, particularly in occupational and speech therapy. But we have an opportunity to be a national leader. We will do this by leveraging our experience, and by investing significant support for applied research to faculty and students alike.
The next ten years at Kean University also will be characterized by successful, strategic partnerships. Kean University is ahead of the competition in this area. Our Drexel partnership gives Kean students a place in Drexel Medical School. Our Vo-Tech partnership brings 40 to 50 students to our Theatre program each year. Our nursing agreements with five county colleges channel hundreds of nursing students into our undergraduate and graduate programs, and our new initiative with the New Jersey Institute of Technology gives Kean students a brand new opportunity to pursue engineering degree programs at NJIT.
We pursue these partnerships for two reasons: first, to ensure that Kean University secures its future in a competitive, changing environment. Second, because it is part of our mission. These partnerships will redefine the future of Kean University—and secure our leadership moving forward.
Raising our academic standards is our fifth strategic area of focus. We have already started this work with general education. In fall 2012, we will require all students in our College of Education to have a GPA of 3.0 for graduation. We want to ensure that Kean is not only the largest producer of teachers in the state, but also the best. We will continue the process in all of our colleges during the next decade.
By 2020, Kean University will be an international university. Diversity is one of our greatest strengths. In the next decade, the University will be a destination of choice for students, executives and government leaders around the world. Already, we have established exchange programs in places such as France, India, China and Spain. In the future, we will welcome students from other nations around the globe and we will send our students to their native countries. Ten percent of our students within the next ten years will study abroad for a semester. The School of Global Education and Innovation will lead this effort, and the University will invest significant resources in supporting this international effort.
Vision 2020 – A Collaborative Effort
I want every one of you to commit yourselves to being a part of Vision 2020—do it with enthusiasm and pride. At Kean 2020, if you can imagine it, you can achieve it. So start imaging now!