President Steinberg’s final address to the university

Duncan Macnab, Writer

“We learn from you as you will learn from us,” opened University President Salme Steinberg in her final address to Northeastern’s community. In her speech, she summarized what she has accomplished in her 12-year stay as president.

Her speech focused on the accomplishments of the Jewel Box series and the Presidential Lecture series, as well as the growing relationship between the students, faculty and administration. She spoke to growing trends in this school and others across the country: the first-generation student and the part-time student providing for his or her family.

Steinberg also spoke about the end of NCAA sports at NEIU 10 years ago, explaining that the absence of funds from outside sources and the change in student demographics as reasons for the change.

She continued that students were taking longer to graduate because of a growing percentage of students who are the first in their family to attend college as well as students that have other responsibilities, like providing for their families.

She emphasized the importance of focusing on these two demographics and working with the accountability of their quality of education. She also explained the trend is not just in our school, and that percentage of students who graduate in four to six years is shrinking, mainly due to these demographics.

One of the programs to help with these issues is the First Year Experience (FYE) program. “FYE is essential because this will help the first-generation student get the information they need to see the possibilities,” said Steinberg. This will increase, “the need for the university and student to work together,” she continued.

Steinberg also stated that she helped increase the state and private grants from $3 million (10 years ago) to $22 million for programs that assist students in decreasing their “time to degree” and help ensure success through graduation.

Although Steinberg is tenured to teach in the history department, she will not take the position as professor. But she said she still will come around now and then to conferences and lectures.

“[Steinberg’s] legacy still has yet to be written, but her contribution to the development of globalism in the curriculum, the Jewel Box and Presidential Lecture series will be remembered,” said Provost Lawrence Frank.