Presidential Transition - Letter Feb. 20, 2018
Message from Wentworth President Zorica Pantić
February 20, 2018
Dear Members of the Wentworth Community,
I am writing to share that, effective May 31, 2019, I will retire as president of Wentworth. It has been my privilege and honor to serve as Wentworth Institute of Technology’s president over the last thirteen years and to continue to serve through May 31, 2019. Since 2005, when I joined Wentworth, we have achieved substantial progress and transformed the university into a leader in engineering, design, management, and sciences education.
I am announcing my decision today to allow ample time for a smooth transition. The university’s Board of Trustees has appointed an ad hoc board committee to manage the transition process, leading to a national search for a new president.
Our work together has resulted in tremendous transformation and significant accomplishments. We have stayed true to students as a first priority, delivering an excellent and relevant educational experience exemplified by our focus on access and success, and by our continued ability to attract and retain outstanding students.
I am proud of our ability to remain agile and responsive to market needs through the transformation of our educational offerings. Through the good work of the faculty and academic leadership, we have attained university status with the introduction of seven strong master’s degree programs. This university designation strengthens our mission to educate and prepare our students for career success and engaged citizenship through both undergraduate and graduate programs.
We also continue to adapt to the challenges of the 21st century knowledge-based economy by branching out into life sciences through the introduction of a suite of majors that includes biomedical engineering, biological engineering, and the recently approved applied sciences program. Our experiential educational model serves as a blueprint for the future.
Over the past decade, Wentworth has added nine additional undergraduate programs, including seven in engineering. These programs build on our strengths and align with industry needs and student interests.
To support our students and foster their career success, we have invested over $300 million in facility renovations and expansion including: the Center for Sciences and Biomedical Engineering; the William H. Flanagan Campus Center; the High-Tech Highway laboratory renovations, beginning with our Manufacturing Center, the Altschuler Computer Center, and the Gelfand Strength of Materials Lab; two new state-of-the art residence halls; and the Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons. And we just celebrated the topping off of our new engineering, innovation, and sciences building, Wentworth’s first new academic building in 45 years.
Our commitment to robust fiscal oversight has led to enhanced financial stability and strength, which has been supported by a significant elevation of philanthropic support and endowment growth that, together, have raised $78 million. And it is through this oversight that we can reinvest in ourselves as an institution.
All of these dedicated efforts by our community have resulted in Wentworth’s continued ascent and recognition in national and regional rankings by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review, and The Wall Street Journal, to mention a few. Our university has been ranked highly by the Brookings Institution, Fortune, and PayScale for return on investment and alumni occupational earnings power.
Reflecting on my presidency, I have been focused on and committed to our mission to empower, inspire, and innovate through experiential learning. What attracted me to Wentworth, and what I still appreciate today, is this community of exceptional students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Our students distinguish themselves through their passion for hands-on learning and their can-do attitude and focus. Our alumni stand out in their professions and are our strongest advocates for the quality of a Wentworth education. Our faculty go above and beyond—both in and out of the classroom and labs—as well as through their scholarly endeavors to ensure that our students are successful at Wentworth and after graduation. Our devoted staff is the backbone of the Institute and ensures its smooth operation and care every day.
Our continued work together is now more important than ever. I look forward to planning for the future of this great university with all of you in the year ahead. Thank you for everything you have done to support me in this important work.
Zorica Pantić, E.E., Ph.D.