Tilghman sees Princeton moving 'briskly into the future'

March 13, 2007 4 p.m.
Town Hall meeting

Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman offered her perspectives on a variety of campus issues in an open forum at the Council of the Princeton University Community meeting Monday, March 12, in McCosh 10.

Rob Biederman

Junior Rob Biederman, president of the Undergraduate Student Government, posed a question to Tilghman about the University's academic calendar, one of several topics she discussed during the forum.  

At left: After the meeting, Tilghman engaged in a conversation about Princeton's recruitment of international students with junior Lawrence Darby (center) and senior Antonio Lacayo.  

Photos: John Jameson

Princeton President Shirley M. Tilghman offered a view of the University's priorities and her perspectives on a wide range of issues in an open dialogue with campus community members Monday, March 12.

"We absolutely must move briskly into the future," Tilghman said. "Universities that stand still fall behind."

Tilghman outlined several major initiatives in academic and residential life during the open forum at the Council of the Princeton University Community meeting in McCosh 10. Among many significant areas of focus for her administration, she cited the introduction of the four-year residential college system next fall; investments in key academic disciplines such as engineering, creative and performing arts, neuroscience and African American studies; and efforts to enhance Princeton's international presence.

In charting a course for Princeton's future, Tilghman said she is committed to Princeton's traditional strengths in teaching, research and service, which "we as a university must continue to protect, to cherish, to ensure do not get lost."

At the same time, she said, "We need to identify the new things it would never have occurred to us to do in the past but now -- because the world is changing and we're changing with it -- are things that we need to do."

After her opening remarks, Tilghman addressed questions from students and other campus community members on topics such as campus planning, residential and social life, trends in higher education, labor issues and international student recruiting.

President Tilghman addressing questions

Junior Lawrence Darby, who raised the question about the University's efforts to attract more students from other countries, commended Tilghman's focus on raising Princeton's international profile and other forward-looking initiatives. "The University's objectives and goals over the next few years are very large and incredibly important," he said after the discussion.