University President Dr. Joseph Nyre said that he got “a little emotional” while touring the new University Center during his State of the University address on Friday.
“I could stay here all day,” he said.
Nyre also added that he was “very pleased” with the renovation of the Boland Hall lobby, Fahy Hall renovations, and the new Welcome Center in Newark.
The University also submitted a grant application to the state government to renovate the ground floor of Walsh Library. “Imagine what this campus will look like in five years,” Nyre said.
He also spoke about this year’s freshman class, which is the “most qualified” and “diverse” in University history. The freshmen are attending the University from 41 states and 21 countries, and 40% are first-generation students.
Overall freshman retention has remained at pre-COVID pandemic levels, a little over 83%, but retention rates have reached “remarkable” numbers for the Resilience, Integrity, Scholarship, and Excellence (RISE) students, at 96%, and for students receiving Pell Grants, at over 84%, the highest rate in 10 years.
“Throughout the pandemic, we didn’t grow,” Nyre said, “But we’re the largest independent university in New Jersey.” He also added that Seton Hall is the largest in enrollment for private N.J. institutions.
He also announced that the University had allocated $158 million in scholarships, a “record level.”
“Everyone at Seton Hall is here for students, and I believe that,” he said.
The University also hired more than 40 full-time and tenure-track faculty in 2022, Nyre said. He also addressed the concerns with salaries this year, and said that the University “didn’t keep pace with inflation.”
“It’s not enough. We know that,” he said. “We don’t have all the answers.”
Not everyone is thrilled with the state of Seton Hall, however. Seton Hall’s advocacy chapter of the American Association of University Professors released a statement last week calling out University’s priorities.
On Twitter, Seton Hall’s AAUP called out administrators for “controlling the narrative” at the event.
Emma Thumann can be reached out at email@example.com.