Rowan University is investing $33 million to hire faculty members and support research.
University Vice President Joe Cardona said Rowan plans to invest $30 million to add 100 tenure-track faculty jobs during the next 10 years to address changes in enrollment, job trends and research.
It will spend another $3 million to develop a three-year program delving into emerging areas of business opportunity and jobs training. The Glassboro university is providing grants to faculty members to explore needs in burgeoning fields.
“Industries say do not send us the people who after we hire them need to spend a few months or year to train them to be functional,” Rowan President Ali Houshmand said. “The idea, therefore, is to have this conversation early on, rather than after the fact. Then you solve a lot of problems and prevent a lot of waste in terms of time of the students as well as the industries which have to invest money on training these people.”
Faculty will submit grant proposals. They can then spend the money to visit a company to inquire about technological innovations, invite experts to come to Rowan for consultations or conduct their own research.
A Rowan committee will work with industry partners to evaluate the proposals, Houshmand said.
“I do not want this to become giving people their share,” the school president said. “I want it to become competitive and creative.”
Cybersecurity is considered one area of emerging opportunity, and others will be identified.
“The greatest thing we need at the university is that strong relationship with industry so we can add to opportunities,” Houshmand said. “The role of higher education is to train and prepare the future leaders of the country.”
Rowan is also pledging to spend an additional sum to buy laboratory equipment for faculty to conduct advanced research that eventually will generate new income for the university.