2016 State of the University Address Delivered on August 24
By Saamia Aslam
The State of the University Address was delivered by President John R. Broderick on August 24 in the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Attendees were encouraged to bring canned food items to support the Foodbank of Southern Virginia and Eastern Shore.
Approximately 1,200 attendees showed up, including business and community leaders, as well as many old and new faculty members and students. Newly elected Norfolk mayor, Kenneth Alexander, also attended, along with other important political figures from the General Assembly.
The event began with the ODU Community Engagement Liaison, Cathy Lewis, welcoming everyone and introducing August Agho, Provost and Vice President of academic affairs. He welcomed the 70 new faculty members that will be working at ODU this school year.
President Broderick then delivered the University Address, which consisted of the president speaking about ODU’s recent accomplishments and future plans. He then spoke about five recent landmark achievements, the first being the $35 million-dollar donation made by Richard and Carolyn Barry, which will be used to construct an art museum on 43rd street, and the second being the new research Professor Sviatoslav Timashev, who along with Eileen Hofmann, is a 2007 prize winner.
The third achievement was the partnership with Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences and the College of William and Mary, along with the formation of the ODU resilience collaborative, which will expand research in cybersecurity and health care. The fourth accomplishment was the physical transformation of the campus with the addition of the new education building and the Broderick Dining Commons.
Lastly was the awarding of approximately 3,600 degrees at the recent graduation commencements. He gave special thanks to First Lady Kate Broderick for all her involvement with community service and student mentorship. Following that, he formally welcomed the new mayor of Norfolk, ODU Graduate Kenneth Alexander.
Afterwards, he took the time to acknowledge the new Board of Visitor members, as well as the outgoing Board of Visitor members. He pointed out significant academic transitions such as Chandra De Silva retiring as Provost and other retiring Deans. Austin Agho was recognized as the new Provost, as well as Stephanie Adams as the new Engineering Dean, Dana Heller as the new dean for the College of Arts and Letters, Giovanna Genard as the new Assistant Vice President of strategic communications and Robert Wojtowics as the new dean of Graduate School.
The president then spoke of notable events, such as the ODU community successfully contributing about 534,000 service hours. He also pointed out that ODU has the second largest percentage of degrees in the STEM-H fields, as well as including that one fourth of the May graduates at ODU were affiliated with the military.
Following the acknowledgement of the university’s recent accomplishments and successes, the president informed the audience about upcoming events and changes for the university. This encompassed the College of Health and Sciences’ launching of a new Ph.D. program in Kinesiology and rehabilitation science. In the College of Engineering and technology, Khan Iftek Haruddin won a $1.6 million grant to expand research regarding diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors. In the Strome College of Business, Ling Li and Wayne Talley developed a master’s degree in maritime trade in supply chain management.
Towards the end of the speech, the president commented on tragedies that took place this year in the African American, international, law enforcement, and LGBTQ communities and emphasized that the university supports the increase of diversity and inclusion. The president ended the speech by welcoming the 6000 new students to ODU including freshmen, transfer, and graduate students.