ROI Influencers: Higher Education 2021 — Valedictorian

Joel Bloom
New Jersey Institute of Technology

It would be easy to call this a lifetime achievement award for Bloom, who has done so much in his 10 years as president of NJIT to elevate the school to one of the best in the state, the country and the world.

Doing so, however, wouldn’t do justice to all NJIT has accomplished in the past year, including:

  • A partnership with Ben-Gurion University of Negev, Israel, to create a world-class Institute for Future Technologies in New Jersey, where the two universities that are leaders in cybertechnologies and environmental engineering will come together to offer dual degrees and do research.
  • The launch of the NJIT Forensic Science Initiative, a $1.4 million program aimed at introducing Newark high school students to forensic science as a pathway to college and a STEM education.
  • The announcement of two new programs: the Real Estate Technology, Design and Innovation Center and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, both spurred by a donation from Paul Profeta, the largest gift in school history.
  • A back-to-school plan that helped NJIT be one of six universities globally to be awarded a 2021 Ellucian Impact Award for its successful digital transformation initiatives.

Of course, to tell the complete story of Bloom’s impact on the school, you have to go back to his arrival in 1990. Since then, he was the founding dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College in 1998 and spurred the creation of the New Jersey Innovation Institute, an NJIT corporation that partners with industry and government and has increased the school’s economic impact on the state by nearly $3 billion.

Bloom also has led the transformation of campus, adding incredible buildings such as the Wellness and Events Center and redeveloping countless others as part of an initiative that has added more than 1 million square feet of research and teaching facilities.

All of this should not overshadow the school’s biggest accomplishment: It continually is judged to be one of the top schools in the country for student upward mobility, student salaries (both starting and midcareer) and affordability.

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