Classic Signals: College called public Ivy

Every week, Features Editor Jessica Ganga hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

President Gitenstein praises the College for its excellence in academics. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)
President Gitenstein praises the College for its excellence in academics. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)

As students of the College, we all know how hard we worked to get into the school and how hard we must continue to work here. The College has consistently been named to top college lists throughout the years, recently being named the top public college in the north by U.S. News & World Report. The College was also just named a national exemplar in undergraduate research. In 1999, President R. Barbara Gitenstein addressed students, faculty and administration about the College being considered a public Ivy League school. In an excerpt of Kimberly Garnick’s article, Gitenstein praised the College for its “special intellectual membership between faculty and students,” citing it as one of the reasons the College has successful programs and students.

President R. Barbara Gitenstein addressed the College’s need for internal and external collaboration in order to transform the College, into what she called, a public Ivy League school.

Her address, given at the Third Annual Leadership Convocation in the Music Building on March 3, followed the presentation of two awards to alumni.

Gitenstein, addressing students, faculty and administrators, told the audience that the transformation to a public Ivy League school involves intensive, broadly based planning, academic affairs and outreach. As part of that plan, she said collaboration is also a “productive vehicle for change.”

She said she had met with the presidents of area schools including Princeton, Rider, Thomas Edison and Mercer County College in hopes to “develop productive partnerships for the good of the city and the state.”

Gitenstein said the presidents will continue to meet every six weeks to two months in order to discuss these collaborations.

There are two issues that Gitenstein said the College has to work on.

“We have to productively use technology in the classroom as a pedagogical tool and to further collaborate with K-12 institutions to ensure students are well-prepared,” she said.

Gitenstein also emphasized that the college has to maintain the public’s trust in promoting higher education and should be held accountable by the public.

“We said (to the public), ‘Trust us, we’re higher education,’” she said. “But they are turning around and saying, prove to us what you can do.”

According to Gitenstein, students, faculty and administrators must become more involved in the institution.

She elaborated on her definition of a teacher/scholar, meaning someone who is both and excellent teacher and excellent scholar that mentors the student.

Gitenstein lauded the college for its strong support of faculty research by naming numerous professors who had received prestigious awards.

“We are known at TCNJ as an institution that prides itself on its special intellectual membership between faculty and students and prove special relationships by successful programs,” Gitenstein said.

In her speech, Gitenstein also gave an academic preview of the incoming freshman class.

“Although I cannot tell you what the class is going to look like, the 2,315 students accepted as of March 1, have an average SAT score of 1274,” she said.

According to Gitenstein, the College has the highest enrollment of student scholars and an 85 percent acceptance rate.

Gitenstein, in praising the College’s athletic program, congratulated the women’s basketball team for its undefeated regular season, and lauded the College for being the number two school behind Washington University, in Division III.