The Board of Trustees of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) yesterday voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Joel Bloom as President of the University, effective immediately.An experienced NJIT leader, Dr. Bloom is a highly regarded statewide and national educational professional who is most qualified to serve as its president and has provided exceptional service as interim president following the September 28 resignation announcement of former president Robert A. Altenkirch.
“It is the best interest of the university to appoint a president at the earliest possible date to provide stability and continuity to the important work of the university; that is, educating New Jersey’s future science and technology leaders, responding to opportunities presented by the governor for workforce and economic development, building NJIT’s national academic and research reputation, and proceeding with our ongoing significant fund raising initiatives, specifically, the $150 million “NJIT NEXT” campaign,” stated Kathy Wielkopolski of the NJIT Board of Trustees.
Bloom is appointed for an initial term ending June 30, 2014 with compensation to be determined by the Board of Trustees.
Wielkopolski thanked the Presidential Search Committee for its efforts and service.
Bloom, who is NJIT vice president for academic and student services as well as founding dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College, is ideally-suited to take on this leadership role. With a career spanning 20 years at NJIT, he is passionate about the university and its students as their education in the sciences, engineering, technology, design and management transforms their future and that of their families.
Bloom’s impact on the university has been significant. Under his watch, student enrollment increased from 7600 to over 9500 students, including increases in female and minority students. The average SAT math score is now in the top quarter nationally; Dorman Honors College enrollment increased 70%, totaling 685 with combined average SAT scores over 1335 for fall 2011; articulation agreements are currently signed with the state's high-tech high schools and 19 county colleges; and accelerated joint admission agreements exist with UMDNJ Medical and Dental Schools, St. George’s Medical School, SUNY College of Optometry and Seton Hall Law School.
In his role as dean of the Dorman Honors College and vice president for student and academic services, Bloom has been integral in helping to shape the academic plan for the university. Further, Bloom is leading the development of a Dorman Residential Honors College and the planning for a residential Greek Village in collaboration with Greek alumni and currently enrolled students. Previously, Bloom led the successful effort to raise $23 M for Dorman Honors College scholarships.
Bloom expanded the Center for PreCollege Programs to help prepare students for the rigors of science, mathematics, engineering and technology education; with the college deans and faculty, he expanded honors courses and undergraduate research, established the university's medical and health committee of faculty to advise and assist undergraduate students entry into graduate and professional schools and to coordinate the health-related NJIT disciplines; he increased retention and graduation rates, and planned residence halls that transformed a commuter campus to one with more than 50% of the freshmen living on campus.
As the university proceeds to implement a major comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Dr. Bloom brings an understanding of the university, its history and contacts, and will provide the necessary continuity needed at this time,” said Trustee Wielkopolski.
Bloom has served the Newark Community through his participation in the development of Science Park High School. He has also initiated multiple programs with the Newark Public Schools, most recently with the new Central High School—yielding the largest number of enrolled NJIT freshmen from the school. For over a decade, he has served as vice chair of the board for Community and Schools, a national dropout prevention program serving Newark and other urban school districts. He is active in many education organizations including the board of trustees for NJEDge.Net, the New Jersey Research & Education Network and the executive board of the NSF-funded Philadelphia Alliance for Minority Participation.
Prior to Joining NJIT, Bloom served as an assistant commissioner for education during Governor Thomas Kean's administration and was responsible for statewide assessment, curriculum standards, math/science/technology education, and the improvement of urban education through piloting the Effective Schools research and Alternative Education programs.
Bloom holds baccalaureate and master’s degrees from Hunter College, City University of New York, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University.