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Stability and Progress

It has been four months since I received the extraordinary opportunity to serve Seton Hall as interim president. I realize how fortunate I am to lead one of the most consequential higher education institutions in the nation.

Bishop Bayley had a vision when he established Seton Hall. Relying on faith, he built a great university. Most students during the early decades were immigrants and children of immigrants. And nearly all were first-generation students.

Seton Hall is still drawing people from all over the world. I grew up in Rome, the Eternal City. But even in Rome, America was always the dream. I came to this country to achieve my dream. That is why I feel at home at Seton Hall. That is why I came here in 2020 to serve as provost and executive vice president. That is why I am honored to lead the University today.

Seton Hall is a place where people come to achieve their dreams. When they leave, they make a better world for everyone. Our singularity stems from a dynamic set of characteristics that can only be found here.

Most importantly, we put students first. Our care and concern for students infuses our teaching, research and service. It stems from our identity as a Catholic university that is committed to intellectual, spiritual and moral growth.

We emphasize social mobility. Seton Hall was founded to educate people who were not afforded full opportunities in society, and we have never strayed from that mission. We have increased awards to Pell-eligible students by more than 25 percent in the last five years. And we are among the top performers for career outcomes.

We are devoted to teaching and learning. As provost, I witnessed an unparalleled commitment from the Seton Hall faculty to delivering instruction of the highest quality. Our professors are devoted to sharing knowledge with students and welcoming them into their labs and scholarly projects.

We are dedicated to increasing affordability. This year, we allocated more than $170 million in University-funded scholarships. This anchors the total cost of attendance among the lowest in our peer group. And we will continue to analyze and optimize our pricing to increase access whenever and wherever possible.

We value living in a community where everyone is included and respected. We don’t shirk from addressing difficult issues. We engage in a spirit of mutual understanding and respect, which provides a powerful opportunity to examine humanity from all sides.

All of these qualities have enabled our success since the beginning and remain foundational to our success today. They are why I am committed to making us even more vital as one of the world’s leading Catholic universities.

Our academics are vibrant and respected. The College of Human Development, Culture, and Media — which was inaugurated this fall — offers students learning opportunities at the edges of new disciplines. The college’s founding dean, Bryan Crable, Ph.D., is a leading communications scholar with an impressive reputation among students as a first-rate instructor and mentor.

Our faculty is robust and growing stronger. With over 60 new faculty members, more professors are arriving at Seton Hall than at any time in the last decade. And our campus vision continues to take shape. Our students are thriving, learning and socializing in state-of-the-art, digitally rich facilities, with the University Center now fully in use and the new basketball practice facility moving ahead.

The global Setonian community has endorsed our progress by helping achieve another outstanding fundraising year, with over 8,500 donors giving more than $28.4 million. Naturally, the rest of the year will include a search for Seton Hall’s 22nd president. Also, we look forward to implementing the final aspects of our strategic plan, Harvest Our Treasures, advancing a successful Middle States reaccreditation and moving forward with additional campus improvements.

For these and many more reasons, there is a palpable sense of excitement that pervades our campuses and community. Because here, we never rest on our accomplishments. We know today’s achievements are the foundation for building an even brighter future.

I have seen firsthand the many ways your engagement has elevated the University across all three campuses. Because you advance Seton Hall’s flourishing, our students take advantage of every opportunity to create successful, fulfilling lives.

You are the shoulders on which we stand — together — as one united community moving on an upward trajectory. It is my privilege to be with you on this exhilarating journey.

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