Letter from the President

The ball sailed over the net to land untouched on the opponents’ court, cheers erupting all around as my faculty and staff volleyball team clinched a rousing victory over the students. Despite the fact that it was my “spike” that scored the winning point (I have to brag because it was a lifetime first), it was a bittersweet victory, since earlier in the day my victorious 2004 horseshoe pitching team suffered defeat against a student team that was clearly better prepared to calculate angles and speeds. Those were only some of the highlights from our annual Sophomore Leadership Retreat last month, which brought together more than 125 students, faculty, staff, and trustees for a weekend of team-building activities.

However, what will stay with me much longer is the excitement of being with our incredibly smart and highly motivated students. They were attending leadership camp because they have the ambition to hone their leadership skills in order to make the most of their considerable talents. In just a few years, they will be entering a world in which those skills are in high demand, especially in the fields of science and engineering. Our students will join other members of our IIT community, some highlighted in this issue, who are already putting their own leader-ship skills to the test every day— from seeking a cure for cancer and improving the efficiency of wireless technology to exploring the behavior of neutrinos and the possibility of past life on Mars.

Elsewhere in this issue, I answer questions about the exciting university planning process that is now underway. The ideas that guide us in this process will come from every part of the university, resulting in a “2010 Plan” anchored in our vision of becoming the world leader in interprofessional education. This self-evaluation will also aid our preparation for the upcoming periodic accreditation visit from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

I look forward to sharing more about our plans in the coming months and to hearing your thoughts about how we can build on our successes and continue to create leaders who transform lives and invent the future. Please let me hear from you at collens@iit.edu.

Lew Collens