Welcome to a new academic year, resonating with Isenberg’s growing academic reputation and expanding national footprint. One sure barometer for these gains is our success in attracting high-level students and faculty. In the undergraduate domain, we’re proud of the notable credentials of our 565 entering freshmen, who join us with the highest grade point averages and SAT scores in our history. That includes first-year BBA candidates, with average high school GPAs of 4.0 (up from 3.9 last year) and SAT scores averaging 1342 (up from 1309 last year), as well as our B.S. programs in Sport Management and Hospitality & Tourism Management who have also joined us with “driven” credentials.
Our first-year, full-time MBA class is no less impressive. They (53% are women) touched down at Isenberg with GMAT scores 13 points higher than their predecessors (648 versus 635). One indicator of our improving MBA market position is that we admit only 26.4% of our candidates and that 81% of those who are admitted choose us. At the same time, I cannot fail to mention our 1300 online MBA students, who the Financial Times observes belong to the #1 online MBA program in the United States and the #3 program in the world.
Our commitment to leadership in business education is equally evident in the vitality of our PhD program. Last year, we graduated 18 PhDs, the most in our 70-year history. This fall we welcome 19 new doctoral candidates across all nine of our disciplinary tracks. Students include nine males and nine females.
I am also delighted to welcome six new faculty members with outstanding credentials. They are Rudolph Bedeley (Operations and Information Management), Kerri Bohonowicz (Accounting), Su-Han “Joanna” Lin (Management), Tim Mitchell (Accounting), Huan Yang (Finance), and Yi “Zoe” Zou (Operations and Information Management). We will soon give them in-depth introductions on our website and in a special booklet.
As returning students and faculty have noted, we’ve made dramatic progress over the summer with the superstructure of our $62 million Business Innovation Hub. We continue to be on schedule for its January 2019 opening. In a year from now, we will be finalizing the building’s interior in preparation for the spring 2019 semester. The new facility will substantially improve Isenberg’s classroom, laboratory, and professional resources. It will expand student workspaces and social spaces for the entire Isenberg community. And its striking visual identity will reinforce our pride as a community and fuel our aspirations to join the ranks of the nation’s top five public business schools.
With that said, our students should note that members of our extended community, i.e., scores of Isenberg alumni, will visit us this semester as practitioners in the classroom and participants in Isenberg events—over 2000 last year alone. The latter include alumni networking events, listed here. Isenberg students, be a part of our extensive school-wide and club offerings, listed here. They just may prove vital to your Isenberg education!