Yesterday was census day, so we can report on our Fall 2023 student numbers (which still need final verification by SUNY):
We have a total of 6934 students, which is 8% higher than this time last year (6426). As you may recall, we had expected to stay somewhat flat in our student numbers this year, while hoping for better news. Over the summer, taking into account the solid recruiting at graduate and undergraduate levels, we revised our predictions upwards, and this higher number is even better than we had hoped. This is due both to new first year students and new graduate students, and better retention and persistence rates across the board. Our first year full time retention rate is 73.3%, up from 67.1% a year ago. Our transfer persistence rate—which tracks the percentage of students within a cohort who register for the fall term or graduate by then, has also gone up, from 79% to 81.4%. I am so grateful for everyone’s hard work in achieving these fantastic results, and I look forward to sharing budget updates with you later in the semester.
US News and World Report Rankings
In addition, I can report that the US News and World Report Rankings are out, and the news is good for Brockport. We have jumped 11 places this year, and we are 19 places higher than we were in the 2021 rankings. We are now ranked 64th among regional universities in the north and 21st among top public schools. Other notable results include 28th in Top Performers in Social Mobility and in Top Colleges for Veterans. Our programs in computer sciences, nursing, psychology and business were all ranked this year as well.
Chancellor’s Visit and the Opening of The Pantry
This past spring a Presidential Taskforce on Food Insecurity and Basic Needs brought together people from all over campus who were committed to helping. We hosted an event to raise awareness about food insecurity in April called Stomp Out Hunger. Our partners at Foodlink brought their Curbside Market to campus, which provided our students with affordable access to fresh, healthy foods. We raised funds to provide on-campus meals for students in need. We worked with our Brockport Auxiliary Services Corporation and other local and county organizations, including the local food shelf, which has long been our partner in this work. And now, due to investment by SUNY, we’re taking an even bigger step in opening The Pantry at SUNY Brockport.
The Pantry will offer food, paper products, diapers, baby food, menstrual products and more to those in need. It is opening in partnership with Brockport Student Government and Foodlink and will serve both the SUNY Brockport and Village of Brockport communities. I am so grateful for the support of both BSG and Foodlink in this endeavor. I’d also like to thank our Division for Student Affairs, our Hazen Center for Integrated Care, our committed Taskforce members, including faculty and staff, our facilities team – and so many other members of our campus community who had an important role in this process. Thank you.
We were fortunate to have SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. visit campus on September 6th to hold a press conference on food insecurity and basic needs for students. He toured The Pantry, which will have its grand opening on October 2. Please check out the Daily Eagle for more information as this event draws closer. Chancellor King expressed his deep commitment to our students’ needs, and we could not have planned this opening without the significant funding that SUNY provided.
I am pleased to report that SUNY approved our one-time Transformation Fund request for $840,000 on September 14th, subject to some minor modifications. That means we will have funding to support a lab manager for the Cybersecurity lab for two years, and funding support for the development of our engineering technology labs. In addition, we will be further developing our Talon Academy program, an initiative that was created to support and guide students in their pursuit of personal and academic success, and offering enhanced transfer student and veteran support.
We are awaiting final approval for our plan to focus on initiatives around food insecurity, mental health support, supports for students with disabilities, research, and internship opportunities, and when that comes, I will be sure to share the news with campus.
It is wonderful to see the campus buzzing and vibrant again. This is due to all of your hard work and attention to our students’ needs, and I am grateful to you.
Please note that our next First Friday will actually be held on Monday October 2nd because of Homecoming Activities on Friday, so mark your calendar now. It will be held at Alumni House starting at 4:30. We will be encouraging all participants to bring canned or dry goods for The Pantry.
Thank you for all that you do to build a better Brockport.