President Brogan delivered the 2005 State of the University Address to an audience of hundreds of faculty, staff, students and members of the FAU community at the University Theater on the Boca Raton campus Sept. 7. Kicking off the event, the FAU Marching Band (see below), in full-dress uniforms, played the Alma Mater and a rousing version of the FAU Fight Song. A new five-minute video profile of the University was shown before the President was introduced by Dr. Roy Levow, Board of Trustees member and associate chair of the Computer Science and Engineering Department. The annual address offers a look back at the accomplishments of the 2004-05 academic year and a few glimpses of the road ahead for FAU. A rebroadcast of the address will soon be available at www.fau.edu/webcast.
Here are some highlights from the President's remarks:
The University continues to grow dramatically and substantially under the banner of the four overarching goals set by the Board of Trustees that are guiding our strategic planning: Educate, research, serve, prepare. These goals are being translated into human terms in a multitude of ways at FAU.
This year's fall enrollment is 26,124, up about 700 over last year. Credit hours are up about one percent. At least 18,000 students are taking classes through a variety of distance learning technologies, including both fully online classes and traditional classes that are supplemented by web assistance services. Our incoming freshman class of 2,102 FTIC students has an average SAT score of 1057, up a full 20 points over last year. Their average ACT score is 21, which is the same as last year and stands one point higher than the national average. Their average GPA is 3.35, up from 3.34 last year.
To serve our growing student body, we've added 66 new faculty members this year to bring our total full-time faculty to 1,040.
In 2004-05, our research funding from all sources totaled $61.4 million, a substantial increase over the previous year. Research carried out at FAU is becoming more and more sophisticated, especially in the biomedical area. Our partners include the Scripps Research Institute, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Boca Raton Community Hospital, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution, and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa.
This has been an excellent year for the FAU Foundation, with donations and pledges totaling nearly $28.5 million, an increase of 45 percent over last year.
From the Treasure Coast to Broward County, FAU's campuses are adding new facilities. Major new construction includes the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Building in Boca Raton and the FAU-Scripps Joint-Use Building in Jupiter. Other projects are in the pipeline, such as the long-awaited Student Union in Davie and the Marine Science Partnership Building at the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce.
This year will clearly be a year of continued growth at FAU, and that growth will be guided by our Strategic Plan, which is approaching completion under the leadership of the Board of Trustees and the hands-on direction of Dr. Kristen Murtaugh and Trustee Nancy Blosser. The strategic planning process has been taking place not only at the University level but also at the level of the individual Colleges, and all of the plans are coordinated. Why are we going through this process? Our Strategic Plan will serve as a road map to the best of all futures, allow us to set budget priorities, facilitate transparency with all data readily available online for public inspection, and keep everyone on track in terms of goals and accountability. This will help make us a student-centered and -focused institution, and ensure that we spend our $500 million budget effectively as we prepare our graduates for the changing world. That's why we will revisit the plan and change it over time. We expect our Strategic Plan to become operative in December.
Our athletics program and other extra curricular activities, such as dorm life and Greek life, continue to play larger roles in the lives of our students. FAU now has 450 student athletes taking part in 17 NCAA sports plus cheerleading and dance. This year's football season marks the official Division I-A debut of the Fighting Owls. Our team faces a very challenging schedule of tough opponents, and we need to show our support by filling the stands at home games.
Looking Backward, Looking Ahead
Today we mark both an ending and a beginning: FAU's 40th anniversary year is just coming to its conclusion, and the University's next 40 years are just getting under way. We can take tremendous pride in the distance our University has traveled over the course of its first four decades. Today's Florida Atlantic University is a true leader in teaching, research and public service -- and much more lies ahead. Our challenge is to get on with the job of writing the next chapter in the story of our University, and we intend to do just that. I firmly believe that the best days of Florida Atlantic University are yet to come.