WORDS OF WISDOM
I’m a dreamer. I dream big. The ability to imagine a better reality helped transform my own life and, later, an entire institution. Yet, it requires a willingness to do something different, perhaps even radical.
From my own experience, I can say that everything starts with education, whether it’s through a trade school, a community college or a traditional four-year institution.
Yet, student debt and rising costs have put education higher and higher out of reach for many. So, I began building stronger partnerships between our public research university and nearby community colleges, sharing brands and aligning degree programs in a first-of-its-kind fashion.
Today, those partnerships are boosting the community college system and offering students more than two dozen affordable “3+1” degree pathways to jobs that are in high demand. By working closely with large employers, we’re also creating workforce development programs and stackable credentials that build skills and boost careers.
Through collaborations with other institutions, we’re not only matching students and employers, we’re also working to improve the lives of people through science, innovation and research.
For example, Rowan University and Virtua Health, the largest health system in southern New Jersey, recently partnered to create a new medical and biomedical research college that promises to train more personnel and recruit researchers, including biomedical engineers who will develop the next innovations in medicine. The partnership will be fueled, in part, with an $85 million gift by Virtua.
At the same time, we’re developing New Jersey’s first veterinary school. The school is designed to meet the increasing need for veterinarians.
Such bold steps propelled Rowan’s transformation from a once well regarded state school into a top 100 public research university, doubling research university in the nation.
Change is a good thing, if it’s done in the right way. It’s how we enrollment in a decade. Today, it’s the third fastest-growing public move forward.
A lifelong believer in the power of education, President Ali A. Houshmand holds master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial and operations engineering. His entrepreneurial approach to growing the University has focused on four goals: increasing access, improving quality, ensuring affordability and promoting economic development.