I've peppered you with e-mails this week, so my report will be relatively brief-something I expect everyone will appreciate, given the end-of-the-semester crunch.
Enrollment: We reached an all-time record this year. We exceeded 15,000 undergraduate applications. Our transfer applications are also the highest since 1993.
But as you've heard me say ad nauseam, it's not the number of applications but the number and quality of enrolled students that is the acid test of our admissions efforts. Here, too, the news is good. We've received 1,000 freshmen deposits for a class target of 1,000. With about 60 more EOP deposits expected and a similar number of freshman withdrawals due to summer "melt," we expect to be right on our desired goal. This year, 97.7% of the general admit freshmen are from SUNY selectivity groups 1 and 2, compared to 94.4% last year and 67% in 2001.
We have received 680 full-time transfer student deposits relative to a target of 600. After "melt" (which in the past has been driven largely by a tight housing market both on and off campus), we should be close to our target. Even with our new focus this year on accepting the strongest transfer applicants (those with a GPA of 3.0 or greater), our transfer yield rate remained solid.
State Budget: As you've undoubtedly all heard, both the Senate and the Assembly overrode the Governor's veto of SUNY funding, including:
We all know the refrain that it "ain't over 'til it's over." It's still possible that the Governor's Budget Office may impound some or all of this money, refusing to release it to campuses. But if this does not happen, we will be enjoying the best SUNY operating budget in years, and we intend to use any incremental funds to enhance the strength of this campus.
We will hold our Seventh Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament on Monday, June 19, at Wiltwyck Golf Club in Kingston. As you may already know, the tournament funds scholarships for outstanding students. I hope that any golfers among you will consider participating. As long as the sun is warm and the beer is cold, even complete duffers like me have a great time!
Chancellor's Award: Congratulations are in order for Professor Rimer Cardillo of the Art Department, who has been named a recipient of a Chancellor's Award for Excellence for Scholarship and Creative Activity. Rimer has a justifiably renowned international reputation as a printmaker and sculptor. Closer to home, his mural adorns the east side of the Humanities Building. Rimer will receive his Chancellor's Award Medal during Undergraduate Commencement.
Commencement: This year we will have a record 90 percent participation in our Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 21, at 10 a.m. Among those graduating will be our first cohort of six Turkish students in the Istanbul Technical University-SUNY New Paltz dual degree program in business and economics. The Rector of ITU will be present to celebrate the conferring of these degrees. As you know, we will also be awarding Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of The New York Times, an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Consistent with our custom, we will be hooding all graduate degree recipients at the Graduate Commencement on Friday, May 19, at 6 p.m. I hope as many faculty as possible will participate in these events. For me, at least, seeing the smiles on the faces of the graduates and their families makes the entire year worthwhile.
As another academic year comes to its close, let me extend my thanks to each of you for the hard and successful work that is making New Paltz succeed. We're attracting great students, our latest round of faculty hires will bring us gifted new colleagues this fall, and we're slowly but surely garnering the funds and external recognition that are commensurate with our quality.
In keeping with one of our newest traditions, we'll put a coda on this academic year with our all-faculty and staff appreciation barbecue on Tuesday, May 23, starting at 11:30 a.m. on the Old Main Quad. See you there!Steve Poskanzer