The university announced its plans for the 2021-2022 academic year in an email update sent to the community on Aug. 26 by President Ron Liebowitz. The university plans to tackle issues including looking into the construction of new buildings and addressing different initiatives on campus, according to the email.
“Looking to the year ahead, the agenda is filled with a number of important and exciting initiatives,” wrote Liebowitz.
One of the top initiatives named by Liebowitz in his email regarded creating a more “equitable and inclusive” community for all individuals. It is a top priority of the university to continue and progress in its Anti-Racism Plan with the help of David Fryson, Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The university plans to devote time and resources towards recommendations made in the Framework for the Future—a document synthesizing the recommendations from community members on how to better the university in the coming decades—in addition to formalizing the anti-racism plans to implement on campus, according to the email update.
During this academic year, Liebowitz wrote that the university plans to look into the building project of Science Phase 2A—a project whose construction was stopped during the 2008-09 recession. The Science Phase 1 project was completed in 2009, this project consisted of the Shapiro Science Center (SSC), according to a Building Design and Construction article.
The university also plans to create a center for civic and community engagement, a new facility to integrate the arts into the community and a “unifying structure” that can combine the university’s academic and research programs connected to Jewish studies.
Other plans set to be reviewed are for a potential additional dining hall and residence hall, according to Liebowitz, the university intends to hold a study to see the feasibility of undergoing such construction projects.
Liebowitz included other initiatives set to be reviewed, which he deemed to be “critical” to the university’s future. The university will initiate a plan for greater faculty and staff support as well as renewal. Liebowitz wrote the university would also pursue external support for a data science program that could be accessed university-wide. In addition, the university will be following up on the recently approved program in engineering science.
“The prospect of a new year spent together living and learning is exciting, all the more so following the relative isolation of the past 17 months. In addition to all else, the past year teaches us we cannot take anything for granted, least of all, the value of this community,” wrote Liebowitz in his update.
Liebowitz welcomed the class of 2025 to campus in his email update and encouraged the community to get involved in on-campus life after having to adapt to online learning for the past year and a half, though the university will be maintaining certain health and safety measures as a precaution to not spread COVID-19 in the community.