President Travis Highlights Successes and Outlines Plan for the Future
New York, NY, December 1, 2010 — Speaking to an assembly of faculty, staff, students and guests in his annual State of the College address, John Jay President Jeremy Travis said that despite the current fiscal climate and “uncertain financial future,” by virtually any other measure, John Jay has never been stronger.
“We have been working hard over the past six years to transform the core of this College,” Travis said. “We have remained true to the mission of ‘educating for justice,’ but we have brought that mission up to date with new standards, expanded faculty and revitalized academic programs. We have been working hard, and the results are very gratifying.”
The strength of the College, the President said, as seen in “the quality of our core academic programs, the caliber of our faculty, the vitality of student life, the integrity of our governance procedures and the capabilities of our professional staff,” will see John Jay through what he anticipates will be another tough year.
“Yet even in these tight budget times, we have many reasons to be optimistic about our future,” Travis said, pointing to numerous indicators of extraordinary progress over the past six years, including increased admissions standards, the College’s first-ever all-baccalaureate class, the creation of the CUNY Justice Academy, and new liberal arts majors in place or on the drawing board.
A significant “re-imagination” of the College’s General Education curriculum is also underway, Travis noted. The curriculum will be reorganized around key learning outcomes, built on a Justice Core and include course-clusters in Reasoning and Communication; The Creative Dimension; Learning from the Past; The Natural and Physical World, and Self, Culture and Society. The new majors and the redesigned General Education curriculum will “take their place among the most innovative academic offerings in the nation,” Travis predicted.
The President said the immediate future holds five challenges that the College must embrace to ensure that when current financial crisis eases, “John Jay is poised for greatness”:
- Recruit, retain and graduate the very best students, with an emphasis on enhanced academic advisement;
- Continue to build on the strength of the College’s faculty, supporting their development as classroom teachers and as scholars;
- Educate the whole student by providing an enriched educational experience that bridges the gap between activities inside and outside the classroom;
- Strengthen the academic core, to ensure that “a John Jay degree is synonymous with excellence”;
- Expand the College’s revenue base through various fundraising efforts.
The 2011 State of the College address, Travis pointed out, will be presented amid the celebration of the opening of John Jay’s new expanded campus, with new classrooms, new offices and labs, a new black box theater and Moot Court, and the Jay Walk outdoor commons.
“Yes, we are facing difficult budget challenges ahead,” Travis concluded, “but the work we have done — the work YOU have done — and the work we have yet to do, will prepare John Jay College for a fabulous 50th birthday in four more years.”