Dr. Farvardin became the seventh president of Stevens Institute of Technology in 2011, after a national search led by Shelly Weiss Storbeck.
The Carnegie Corporation award recognizes educators who, in addition to fulfilling their administrative and managerial roles with dedication and creativity, demonstrate vision and an outstanding commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, the liberal arts, equal opportunity, the development of major interdisciplinary programs, international engagement, and the promotion of strong ties between their institutions and their local communities. The honor consists of $500,000 in support for each winner’s academic initiatives.
“There are more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, which play a fundamental role in educating the next generation of our workforce, leaders, and citizens. Our higher education institutions are central to the future of our nation,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “Andrew Carnegie believed in the importance of strong, dedicated, and effective higher education leaders.”
The American Council on Education (ACE)/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation recognizes institutions that have responded to higher education challenges in innovative and creative ways and achieved dramatic changes in a relatively brief period. Stevens won in the category of large institutions serving student populations of 5,001 or more.
Accepting the ACE award on behalf of his institution, President Farvardin noted, "The demand for a Stevens education has never been higher."
Dr. Farvardin came to Stevens after a 27-year career as a faculty member and academic administrator culminating as Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Maryland. Since joining Stevens, President Farvardin has led a university-wide transformation that has resulted in a dramatic ascent in rankings and stature, enrollment growth, improved student success, alumni engagement, philanthropic support, modernized and expanded IT and campus infrastructure, and strengthened financial profile.
Under President Farvardin's leadership, Stevens undertook a highly inclusive process to develop a 10-year strategic plan, launched in 2012, that set a goal for Stevens to become “a premier, student-centric, technological research university.”
The results have been remarkable: since 2011, undergraduate and graduate applications are up 156 and 128 percent, respectively. Undergraduate enrollment has increased 29% coincident with a 130-80 point increase in SAT scores (25th and 75th percentile) of enrolled freshmen. The retention and graduation rates have increased three and four points, respectively (to 95% and 83%), and the percentage of graduates who secure employment or enter graduate school within six months of graduation increased by four percentage points to 96%. Graduate enrollment has grown 24%, including a transition from a majority of part-time graduate students to a majority of full-time students. The full-time faculty complement has also grown by 22%.
Financial metrics have also improved significantly, including a 42% increase in operating revenue; an upgraded S&P credit rating; a 41% increase in alumni donor participation and a nearly 400% increase in annual philanthropic support, along with a 38% increase in the size of the endowment.
For these and other achievements, President Farvardin and Stevens have received wide recognition. Dr. Farvardin also serves in leadership positions in a number of technology, higher education, and business-oriented organizations. He is an accomplished researcher in the areas of information theory and coding, multimedia signal compression and transmission, high-speed networks, and wireless networks.
A native of Tehran, Iran, Dr. Farvardin earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, in 1979, 1980, and 1983, respectively.