20 ways Yale was transformed during Levin’s 20 years

The saying goes that hindsight is always 20/20. Taking that maxim to heart, here is a look at 20 ways that Yale has grown since Richard C. Levin became president 20 years ago.

These are not the only changes that occurred during those two decades, but a look at some major transformations since 1993. The examples offered within each category often represent only a sampling of the many initiatives in these areas.

 

1. The campus' geographical footprint has grown.

• More than 40 new buildings were constructed. One major project still underway: Edward P. Evans Hall, future home of the Yale School of Management, expected to open in early 2014.

• At least 70% of the campus (as it was in 1993) has been renovated, including a $761 million renovation of the 12 residential colleges, and a $1 billion investment in refurbishing and building science, engineering, and medical facilities.

• Yale’s geographic footprint grew substantially with the 2007 purchase of West Campus — 136 acres with more than 500,000 square feet of laboratories — located in West Haven and Orange. (By comparison, the central and medical campuses combined cover 225 acres.) Today it boasts six multidisciplinary research institutes, three research core facilities, and a unified program for cultural heritage collections studies and preservation, and will soon welcome the School of Nursing.

 

2. The University is more international.

• Yale played a leadership role in co-founding the International Alliance of Research Universities and the Global Network for Advanced Management.

• New international Yale initiatives launched included (among many others):

* Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, promoting international education University-wide;
* Global Health Initiative, uniting and expanding global health efforts across campus;
* Yale India Initiative, expanding the study of and engagement with India;
* Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, bridging the gap between academia and the world of public policy; and
* Yale China Law Center, promoting the rule of law in China.

• New global research and educational partnerships included (among many others):

* Yale-Universidad de Chile International Program in Astronomy Education and Research;
* Peking-Yale Joint Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agrobiology;
* Todai–Yale Initiative for the Study of Japan;
* Fudan-Yale Biomedical Research Center in Shanghai;
* Yale-University College London Collaboration; and
* UNSAAC-Yale Center for the Study of Machu Picchu and Inca Culture in Peru.

• The most ambitious international partnership to date is Yale-NUS College in Singapore, a joint effort with the National University of Singapore to create a new liberal arts college in Asia featuring an innovative curriculum that weaves Western and Asian traditions; it will open in September 2013.

 

3. Yale is greener.


• Yale became the first Ivy with a greenhouse gas reduction target in 2005 when Levin called for a 43% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020. As of fiscal year 2012, emissions were reduced 16% despite a 12% increase in campus size and 9% increase in population.

• Yale Sustainable Food Project, founded by students, now operates the Yale Farm, hosts a speakers series, and promotes the study of sustainability in Yale classrooms.

• Thanks to the efforts of Yale’s Office of Sustainability, established in 2005, recycling has increased by 25%, and 95% of food waste is composted.

• Eleven buildings on central campus and nine laboratories on the medical campus received LEED certification.

• Car- and bike-sharing programs are reducing the need for vehicles on campus.

• Yale was number eight on Sierra Magazine’s 2012 list of the country’s greenest colleges (the only Ivy in the top 10), and named a “bike-friendly” university by the League of American Bicyclists.

 

4. Yale College is affordable to all.

• Thanks to a sweeping change to the financial aid program for Yale College in 2008, families earning under $65,000 annually are not required to contribute to tuition.

• The financial aid budget for Yale College has almost quintupled since 1993, to $120 million.

• Fewer Yale College students are borrowing: 16.5% of graduates in 2012 compared to 43% in 2002. Those who do borrow now graduate, on average, with $12,626 in debt — under half the national average.

 

5. The curriculum campus-wide has grown and evolved.

• In the wake of a major review of the undergraduate curriculum, the foreign language requirement was revised (making it the most demanding in the Ivy League); there is a new emphasis on writing and quantitative reasoning; there is a stronger focus on science and new science courses were developed for non-science majors; and there is a renewed emphasis on the arts.

• Important developments at Yale’s professional schools include (among others):

* the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies becoming one of the first schools in the nation to emphasize the study of ecology;
* the School of Management introducing an integrated M.B.A. curriculum, the first of its kind in the country;
* the School of Nursing launching a Ph.D. program; and
* the Law School, in partnership with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, establishing the first Ph.D. in Law program in the country.

• An increased focus on interdisciplinary learning prompted schools across campus to establish joint degree programs. The Divinity School alone has joint degree programs with the Schools of Nursing, Forestry & Environmental Studies, Law, Management, Medicine, and Public Health. In addition, undergraduates can earn a M.P.H. through a five-year Select Program in Public Health.

 

6. The arts and humanities are even stronger.

• Yale invested $370 million in expanding and refurbishing  to expand and refurbish Yale’s arts area complex; this includes more than 500,000 square feet of renovated and the addition of 275,000 square feet of space devoted to the visual and performing arts.

• New facilities included (among others): Holcombe T. Green Hall and the 32 and 36 Edgewood Ave. buildings; Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library and Jeffrey H. Loria Center for the History of Art; Irving S. Gilmore Music Library; and the Digital Media Center for the Arts.

• The renovated Paul Rudolph Hall (formerly the A&A Building) and the renovated and expanded Yale University Art Gallery both reopened to widespread critical acclaim.

• A transformational gift to School of Music allowed it to admit students for free.

• A comprehensive plan for integrating new approaches to humanities education at Yale, funded by the Mellon Foundation, is now underway.

 

7. Medical researchers have expanded understanding of human diseases.

• Investigators now have state-of-the-art research spaces, as 90% of the medical campus was renovated as part of Yale’s $500 million campaign to renew and expand Yale’s facilities.

• Research funding from the National Institutes of Health has more than doubled in the past two decades, increasing from $138 million to $354 million.

• As a result, Yale researchers made big strides in biomedical research, including (among others)

* developing one of the first effective AIDS drugs, Zerit;
* leading the first genome-wide association study linking a gene to a human disease (macular degeneration), and discovering genes responsible for common and rare disorders, from hypertension and other forms of cardiovascular disease to autism, osteoporosis, dyslexia, and life-threatening malformations of the blood vessels;
* expanding the understanding of and treatments for cancer and other disorders; and
* pioneering the potential of stem cells to improve human health.

• To bring these discoveries from “bench to bedside,” Yale has established research partnerships with pharmaceutical companies such as Gilead Sciences Inc. and AbbeVie Inc.

 

8. Yale’s science facilities and programs have multiplied.

• Yale invested $500 million in five new science and engineering buildings, including the Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center, the Class of 1954 Chemistry Research Building, and Kroon Hall, now home of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

• More than 900 Yale students have participated in the Science, Technology, and Research Scholars (STARS) program, which supports groups historically underrepresented in the sciences and engineering.

• New science programs and departments include (among others): the Combined Graduate Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences; the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; an environmental studies major; and the Climate and Energy Institute.

• Yale scientists developed the first rudimentary solid-state quantum processor, among numerous other advances.

• A Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Professor Thomas A. Steitz for his study of ribosomes.

 

9. Faculty and student entrepreneurship is booming.

• The Office of Cooperative Research provided increased services to faculty entrepreneurs. Annual income from licensing of technology grew from $2 million in 1993 to almost $20 million in 2012.

• More than 65 companies based on Yale innovations were created in the greater New Haven area, attracting more than $5 billion in capital and adding hundreds of jobs.

• The Yale Entrepreneurial Institute has fostered more than 52 student-founded ventures, which have raised more than $45 million of outside investment capital.

 

10. Yale’s hometown is in the midst of a renaissance.

• One thousand-plus staff and faculty members — 80% of them first-time homebuyers — have purchased homes in the city through the Yale Homebuyers Program, part of Yale’s New Haven Initiative.

• More than 650 Yale graduate and undergraduate students have spent 250,000-plus hours in service at municipal and non-profit agencies in the city through the President’s Public Service Fellowships program, also part of the initiative.

• Yale, now the city’s fifth-largest taxpayer, has attracted scores of new businesses to University-owned properties, including Apple, Barnes & Noble, J. Crew, and the Shake Shack.

• There are 50 biotech firms in greater New Haven, most related to Yale. They employ more than 1,300 people and have attracted more than $4 billion in investments to the region.

• Yale makes a voluntary payment of $8.1 million to New Haven each year, up from $4.2 million in 2005.

• The University partnered with New Haven organizations to rejuvenate the Dwight, Dixwell, and Newhallville neighborhoods, as well as the Ninth Square district.

• Yale is a major sponsor of the annual Arts & Ideas Festival and the New Haven Open tennis tournament.

 

11. University-union relations have improved.

• One of Levin’s earliest priorities was to transform Yale’s historically difficult relationship with its labor unions.

• After nine strikes in four decades, there have been no work stoppages since 2003.

• The university-union relationship is now collaborative, with a mutual commitment to job creation and workplace best practices.

 

12. Engineering is making a comeback.

• The dean of engineering post was reestablished in 1994, and the Faculty of Engineering was recognized as the School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS) in 2008.

• An integrated Ph.D. program in physical and engineering biology was established that same year. Biomedical engineering and environmental engineering had already been introduced as undergraduate majors in 1997.

• The Daniel L. Malone Engineering Building — Yale’s second new engineering building in 93 years — was completed in 2005.

• The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences was established in 2008.

• A $50 million gift from John Malone in 2011 funded 10 new SEAS professorships.

• The Center for Engineering Innovation and Design, which opened on the first floor of Becton Center this year, is a place where students collaborate in designing across materials (from metal to biomedical) and across schools (from the sciences to the arts).

 

13. The Bulldogs compete at improved facilities & won 21 national championships

• The 17 major projects at Yale’s athletic facilities included a top-to-bottom renovation of the Yale Bowl and Ingalls Rink, as well as construction of the Lanman Center, Gilder Boathouse, Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, Kenney Family Field Center/Jensen Plaza, and Reese Stadium.

• In addition to the men’s hockey team’s 2013 NCAA championship, Bulldogs have won 20 national championships, 59 Ivy League titles, and 20 Ivy/ECAC Championship Tournament Titles.

• There have been 34 Ivy League Players of the Year, 273 All-Americans, 885 Scholar-Athlete Award recipients, and 1,516 All-Ivy League Selections (First and Second Team).

 

14. Yale has opened its classrooms and collections to the world via the Internet.

• Millions of visitors from 228 countries have taken Open Yale Courses, launched in 2007. The program now includes 42 introductory courses taught by distinguished Yale faculty and scholars.

• Yale faculty endorsed a proposal to expand online learning programs this spring. Subsequently, the post of academic director of online education was created, and Yale is partnering with Coursera to explore new opportunities for massive, open, online courses.

• The Yale Library has partnered with Microsoft and with libraries worldwide to digitize and provide access to thousands of rare books, manuscripts, maps, periodicals, and other archival material in its collections.

• Yale provided free access to online images of millions housed in its museums, archives, and libraries in 2011 through its “Open Access” initiative.

 

15. Outreach and educational programs for local youths have expanded.

• To encourage local youngsters to pursue careers in science and engineering, Yale brings them to its world-class laboratories and courses, where they interact with faculty, students, and staff. One such program is S.C.H.O.L.A.R., in which high school students live on campus and study at the School of Medicine for two weeks in the summer. Other Yale Science Outreach programs include (among many others):

* CRISPEY (Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena ‘Experiences for Youth’)
* EVOLUTIONS (EVOking Learning and Understanding Through Investigations of the Natural Sciences)
* Girls’ Science Investigations
* Minorities in Medicine
* Pathways to Science
* SMArT: Science and Math Achiever Teams

• Well over 500 students in 30 schools have taken part in the Music in Schools Initiative, established in 2007 by a gift from the Yale College Class of 1957. In addition, the Morse Summer Music Academy offers city public school students a unique opportunity to focus on their music through study and performance.

• Middle-school students work with School of Drama students to learn about theater and writing for the stage while creating original productions through the Dwight/Edgewood Project.

• More than 60 Yale faculty, students and staff work with 300-plus students in after-school programs at the Cooperative Arts and Humanities Magnet High School.

• Yale helped launch the New Haven Promise program, which provides funds to qualified New Haven high school students to attend college.

 

16. More Yale students are traveling the world to work and learn.

• The University now offers all Yale College students the opportunity to study, work, or conduct independent research abroad. The Center for International and Professional Experience supports undergraduates in these activities.

• Last year, Yale presented more than $3.9 million in International Summer Awards, which provide support for travel abroad to Yale College students on financial aid.

• The number of International Bulldog summer internship programs has grown to 14 cities in 12 countries.

• The Divinity School has international exchange programs with Westcott House in Cambridge; the universities of Heidelberg, Freiburg, and Tübingen; and Trinity College in Singapore.

• More than 130 School of Nursing students have worked and studied at sites in China, Nicaragua, New Zealand, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Guam, Haiti, Rwanda, Uganda, Australia, Botswana, and Jordan through the Yale Center for International Nursing Scholarship and Education.

• In 2007 the School of Management became one of the first business schools to require all first-year students to travel abroad on a faculty-led trip.

• That same year, the School of Architecture introduced an overseas trip as part of every student’s final-year studio course.

 

17. Yale is educating leaders from around the world.

• The World Fellows Program, which brings 14–18 emerging leaders to Yale for a semester of intensive study each fall, now has more than 200 alumni from 79 different countries.

• Through the University Leadership Program, presidents of China’s top universities examine the goals and operations of key administrative functions and review best practices that Chinese universities might adapt as they pursue their own innovations.

• The Yale-China Senior Government Leadership program focuses on the rule of law and is attended by the most senior cohort of Chinese government officials ever to participate in executive advancement programs outside of China. Of the 75 officials in the program’s first three years, 27 have since been promoted to positions of even greater responsibility.

• The annual India-Yale Parliamentary Leadership Program has brought more than 75 members of India’s Parliament to campus for sessions with Yale faculty focusing on India’s most pressing issues. More than a dozen current and former cabinet ministers have participated.

 

18. ROTC has returned to campus.

• An agreement to establish a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) unit at Yale — the only ROTC unit in Connecticut — was signed in May 2011.

• In September of that year, Yale signed an agreement to establish an Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC) at Yale.

• Both ROTC programs began this year. The NRTOC unit has 12 Yale midshipmen enrolled in the program. The AFROTC unit has eight Yale cadets, as well as 30 from other Connecticut institutions. A ceremony marking the opening of the ROTC offices on campus was held in September.

 

19. Yale’s fundraising efforts have flourished.

• During his tenure, Levin  led the effort to secure over $7 billion in gifts to Yale.

• The Yale Tomorrow capital campaign exceeded its goal of $3.5 billion, despite the nation’s economic crisis, raising $3.89 billion.

• The performance of Yale's endowment has been the best of its peers, thanks to the investment management of David Swensen and his team. The endowment stood at $3.2 billion when Levin took office and was $19.3 billion in 2012.

 

20. Alumni/ae relations have grown substantially, and in new directions.

• Yale College reunions now span two weekends after Commencement, and the 2013 gatherings set new records for overall attendance. A new tradition of residential college reunions is taking root, with successful gatherings at Ezra Stiles and Pierson thus far. Graduate and professional school reunions also are heavily attended.

• The Association of Yale Alumni, guided by its first-ever strategic plan in 2008, has reimagined ways to engage alumni as ambassadors for Yale through shared interest groups, service projects, and global alumni leadership programs, among other initiatives. The annual Yale Day of Service, started in 2009, this year spurred more than 3,500 graduates, family, and friends to serve in over 200 projects in 40 states and 20 countries, while the Yale Alumni Service Corps has worked in Ghana, China, Nicaragua, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

• Increasingly, alumni/ae connect across classes, disciplines, and geography through a burgeoning set of shared interest groups – including YaleWomen, the Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association; organizations of Black, Latino, Asian-American, and Native American alumni/ae; the Yale Veterans Association; as well as alumni organizations that unite generations of a cappella singers, athletic teams, and other student groups.