A Message from the President - January 2013
Happy New Year to the Bowie State University community!
For many of us, the New Year is a time for fresh beginnings in some aspects of our personal lives. At the same time, it can be an occasion to build on the momentum of the past year for our professional lives - and that is certainly the case in many respects at Bowie State University.
When I look back at 2012, I am thankful for the many successes of our students, faculty, and staff. Especially, I am proud of the following accomplishments:
- We received reaffirmation of our accreditation with the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, a distinction we have maintained continuously at Bowie State since 1954.
- We celebrated the grand opening of the Bowie Business Innovation Center, which was established in partnership with the city of Bowie, and it is the first Maryland incubator to be established at an HBCU.
- We graduated our first doctoral student in Computer Science.
- We received significant external funding to enhance our academic programs and support services, including:
- a non-USM Regional Higher Education Incentive Grant of $276,000 to initiate the BSU Master of Science in Nursing degree program at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center;
- a grant for cyber security training from the National Nuclear Security Administration in the amount of $453,000; and
- a grant from the Verizon Foundation in the amount of $25,000 for BSU's sustainability initiatives.
- Through the Maryland Center at BSU, we partnered with several companies and organizations to form the National Emergency Preparedness & Response Research Center, known as NEPR. Through NEPR we will apply the latest technologies to help move critical medical and public health information to respond to domestic threats.
- We celebrated the opening of the new Fine and Performing Arts Center with a spectacular gala that brought a diverse group of people from around the region to our campus.
- We began construction on a new Student Center, which will transform the student life experience at the university.
- We began planning for our new state-of-the-art Natural Sciences Building.
- Most importantly, during calendar year 2012, we graduated 984 students thanks to your commitment and hard work!
As we move forward, our vision to become one of the best public comprehensive universities in America will continue to guide our efforts. And we can make this vision a reality by focusing on three big goals for the next few years:
a. Achieve a 60% 6-year graduation rate;
b. Successfully complete the $15 million "BIG Campaign" by November 15, 2013; and
c. Become a nationally prominent university by July 1, 2016.
Just as the progress made during the past year resulted from our collective efforts, it will take the efforts of us all to reach these lofty goals.
In the next few weeks, you will be asked to give your input through online surveys on several initiatives and proposals that will help us progress to the next level of excellence. The first survey provides you an opportunity to give additional feedback on our plans to move the Bowie State commencement ceremony to an off-site location before I make the final decision. The second survey is part of our campus-wide effort to refine our communications and marketing materials to more effectively tell the Bowie State University story to prospective students and the broader community. The latter survey will probe your thoughts about the qualities that define the academic experience at Bowie State, areas of current academic strength, and areas of opportunity where we should focus attention to enhance our competitiveness. I encourage you to take the time to respond to both online surveys that will come to your email in early February.
Again, thank you and best wishes for a productive spring semester and a great New Year!
Mickey L. Burnim