The Binghamton University Road Map is taking form and a pharmacy school seems likely, after BU President Harvey Stenger announced Monday that more than $13 million will be allocated to Road Map proposals over the next 28 months.
The Road Map, Stenger’s plan to make Binghamton the “premier public university of the 21st century,” began last semester as a collaborative effort by hundreds of students, staff, faculty and administrators to brainstorm ideas to improve BU, which culminated in 46 specific proposals adopted in January for implementation.
Stenger announced that the 11 proposals directed at improving graduate studies — including the addition of a graduate school of pharmacy — received a cumulative total of $5.9 million.
The pharmacy school is not official yet, and the money the proposal received is to explore the possibility further, but Stenger said the former dean of a Midwest pharmacy school responded positively to the proposal, and BU could have a final proposal ready for review by SUNY within a year.
“It’s going to go quickly,” Stenger said.
Other proposals in the pharmacy school’s cluster included raising the majority of doctoral programs above the 50th percentile and gaining recognition by the Association of American Universities, which is composed of top research institutions.
Graduate studies are a priority for the school moving forward, Stenger said, though the investments will benefit undergrads as well by bolstering BU’s reputation and improving faculty.
Top-tier faculty, he said, are drawn to the research possibilities of a graduate school, but they would teach undergraduate classes as well.
“Faculty who are research active are the ones who create brand new classes — I think that’s going to be one of the greatest benefits to undergraduates,” Stenger said. “A faculty member who is not active in research will tend to teach what they were taught.”
Several of the proposals allocate funds to gaining titles associated with research universities, but the increase in reputation will be one of the draws for top faculty and students, Stenger said.
“People want to be at a university that’s recognized for the faculty scholarship,” he said. “They want to know that we’re in the The Wall Street Journal, or The Science Times, or Scientific America.”
The Road Map reveal included dollar amounts for proposals by category as a whole, but did not include the specific amount for each proposal. However, Stenger said the specific allocations per proposal will be available soon.
An initiative to expand the Center for Learning and Teaching will receive a portion of the $1.5 million allocated to proposals exploring classroom structure.
According to the written proposal, the Center for Learning and Teaching will be responsible for developing curriculum and teaching style with professors.
Four proposals to increase diversity will also receive $1.4 million, and the remaining proposals are splitting $4.3 million.
Clarification: April 10, 2013
An earlier version of this article failed to mention that students also participated in the Road Map process.