Letter from the Past President Jerry M. Hultin

In this issue of Cable, I have the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Katepalli R. Sreenivasan as the 11th President of Polytechnic. Having completed my tour of duty as President, I will become a Senior Presidential Fellow of NYU and also continue to serve as a Professor of Management at Polytechnic. I hope you join with me in extending our warmest congratulations to Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, who has served so capably as provost and acting president. Sreeni, as we all know him, will not only be the President of NYU-Poly but also the Dean of Engineering at NYU, and I look forward to continued growth and excellence in the coming years with Sreeni at the helm.

In my new role, as Senior Presidential Fellow of New York University, I will focus, first, on innovation and economic growth and, second, on education using technology.

As to the latter, I am certain that as faculty members around the world increase the use of innovative new technology (and breakthroughs in learning science) to improve education, we will see not only gains in the quality of education, but a more affordable means of delivering education to a broader cross-section of the world’s young people. Without such change, education will become unaffordable to most young people, and that would end education’s role as the source of opportunity and advancement for future generations.

As to innovation, not only has it been the core quality upon which we have transformed Polytechnic, but without a new burst of scientific and technological innovation in the next 30 years, it is hard to see how we can sustain, let alone improve the quality of life for the eight to nine billion humans who will live on the globe in 2050.

The good news is that invention, innovation and entrepreneurship are now evident in everything we do at Polytechnic. From our annual Inno/Vention competition to our highly successful business incubators in Manhattan and Brooklyn to the newly launched Greenhouse space at 6 MetroTech Center—the spirit of i2e is palpable here. You may have heard about a competition run by Stanford University to find the 100 finest young entrepreneurs in the country. This year, not one, but six of those who made the cut are affiliated with NYU-Poly. When we talked to those young people, they all attributed their success to the fact that Poly had imbued them with the belief that their ideas could change the world—and provided them with the practical know-how to bring those ideas to fruition.

So, I am sure you can see why our faculty, students, administrators, staff and Board of Trustees are so proud of what Polytechnic has accomplished over the past eight years and why we are so excited by our future as the Polytechnic School of Engineering of New York University. I hope that you are all equally proud to call this incredibly dynamic enterprise your alma mater.

As thrilled as we are about the accomplishments of our faculty and students, we are equally excited to hear about the marvelous things you, our alumni, are doing across America and around the world. You are an important part—indeed numbering more than 33,000, you are the largest part—of the NYU-Poly family, so please keep in touch, support our students, and stay involved. Although I have handed the keys of the Institute to someone new, I plan to continue reading Cable, and I know I’ll be hearing terrific things about all that you are doing to make this a better world.