Stevens President To Step Down In June

On the day of my brother’s birthday, I got a present as well. Hal is stepping down effective June 30, 2010 and in the settlement, the two parties compromised to a number of changes to Stevens’ governance procedures:

• Bylaws amendments to document the specific duties of the Board of Trustees
• A general requirement that the entire board approve important compensation and investment
decisions and review important financial information
• Rotational appointments for committee members and chairs
• Reorganization of the Executive Committee to function as an advisory group to the Board
• Improvements to the operations of Board committees in general, and specific improvements to
the operations of the Audit, Human Resources and Compensation, Nomination and Governance,
and Investment Committees
• Appointment of a non-trustee financial expert to the Audit Committee

Also a copy of the email they sent out to the Stevens Community is available below. A couple of other important links are a copy of the settlement agreement is available here and a statement from Justice Zazzali is available here.

January 15, 2010

To: The Stevens Community
From:  Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr. and Harold J. Raveche

In 2010, the Institute begins its 140th anniversary. It is well positioned to achieve ever-higher levels of greatness among the nation’s and world’s research universities. Undergraduate and graduate enrollments are at record heights, as is sponsored research. The Institute’s faculty is a dynamic group of scholars whose teaching and research have great impact on our students and on the diverse domains of expertise of each scholar.  Stevens has established two national centers of research excellence, each of which will contribute greatly to the continued ascent of the Institute through the impact of their educational and research programs, technologies that they will develop, the uses these advances will find for society, business and government and the growing collaborations with other universities and research organizations. Clusters of faculty research and thrust areas provide additional platforms for critical mass and impact.

The Institute has an exceptionally talented and dynamic undergraduate student body whose individual and collective achievements in the classroom, laboratory, extracurricular activities and service are enabling these outstanding men and women to pursue rewarding career opportunities and gain admission to leading graduate and professional schools. The 2008 Jostens Award for excellence in academics and athletics was outstanding recognition of our programs.

The excellence, relevancy and quality of implementation of the on- and off-campus graduate programs are positioning the Institute to be the technological university of choice for advanced education with business, industry and government across the nation and around the world.

The 140-year legacy of innovation, inspired by the founding Stevens family – known as “America’s First Family of Inventors” – is enhanced through the innovative educational, research and entrepreneurial programs of Technogenesis.  Through these initiatives, the Institute was recognized by national media for innovation in harvesting the benefits of research.

The Trustees, academic and administrative leadership, faculty and students have much to be proud of. Organizations with such strong momentum need time and freedom for succession planning. This is a comprehensive process involving broad discussion, input, deliberation, review and consideration of many different paths in order to identify the optimal way forward.

The Board of Trustees and the President have as their highest priority a smooth transition of leadership to ensure the continued enhancement of the Institute as one of the preeminent technological research universities.

To provide the Stevens community with the freedom and open environment to embark on this most important process, the president has decided that, after 22 years of service as the sixth president, he will not continue beyond June 30, 2010.

Lawrence Babbio, Chairman of the Board of Trustees wishes to express that: “On behalf of the Board and the entire Stevens family we would like to thank Dr. Raveche for his tireless efforts in support of the advancement of the Institute. Under his leadership, all enrollments and sponsored research have reached record levels, transformational improvements to campus life and facilities have been achieved, international programs of impact are in place, and Technogenesis has attracted national and global recognition. We look forward to working with Dr. Raveche as he completes his outstanding service, and then serves as a consultant, to prepare the Institute for the transition.”

Dr. Raveche expresses to all that: “I am privileged to have served the Institute for 22 years as the Sixth President. The Board and I look forward to working with the greater Stevens community of faculty, staff, student, alumni and external partners to ensure a smooth transition.”

Lawrence T. Babbio, Jr.                  Harold J. Raveche

Why Are 911 Calls Made Public?

I have never understood why 911 calls and transcripts are made public? What public necessity resides in an emergency phone call usually made during the course of events which are often quite traumatic or life and death matters being made available to everyone?

The only thing I found was an opinion piece by the Attorney General of Florida Bill McCollum cited the “Florida Emergency Telephone Act” which states:

“Any record or information obtained by a public agency or a public safety agency for the purpose of providing services in an emergency and which reveals the name, address, or telephone number of any person requesting emergency service or reporting an emergency by accessing an emergency telephone number ‘911’ system is exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1), except that such record or information may be disclosed to a public safety agency. The exemption applies only to the name, address, or telephone number of any person reporting an emergency while such information is in the custody of the public agency or public safety agency which receives the initial ‘911’ telephone call. . . .”

That basically states that information gotten from the call except for name, address and telephone number can be made public but still does not answer why such is necessary.

Anyone with any idea or if you want to point me in the right direction, feel free to let me know and I’ll put up an update and give proper credit of course.

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Action Filed by the Stevens’ Board of Trustees

[Edit] If you are interested in seeing the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General click here – [download id=”6″]. Thanks to Professor Wharton again for the primary source. [/Edit]

I have a feeling Stevens doesn’t want this to be a prolonged, dragged out process as they have already highlighted in their briefing earlier for a private, confidential arbitration — which would be a huge win for the Institution but makes you wonder what they have to hide? It could just be a case of hiding bad PR for a private school that has developed international reaches over the past decade and the longer this is out in the media, the more it hurts their standing.

Anyways, here is an email that was just sent out the entire Stevens’ community regarding the legal action that was filed by the Stevens Institute of Technology Board of Trustees. Stevens definitely tries to make a very legitimate case that the Attorney General has overstepped her boundaries but is that enough justification to try and cover up their financial misappropriation of endowment funds and excessive compensation to people like President Hal Raveche.

TO: Students, Faculty, Alumni and Staff
Stevens Institute of Technology

FROM: The Board of Trustees

RE: Action Filed by the Board of Trustees
Against the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey

DATE: September 17, 2009

The Board of Trustees of Stevens Institute of Technology yesterday filed legal action in the Superior Court of New Jersey to enjoin New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram from imposing unreasonable and unwarranted demands on the Board with respect to the independence and governance of the Institute.

The Board did not take this action lightly. After lengthy discussions with the Institute’s attorneys, the Board came to the unanimous conclusion that the Attorney General had substantially overstepped her authority demanding that her judgment be substituted for that of the men and women of the Board.

The Board concluded that the Attorney General’s demands had to be vigorously contested to protect the best interests of the Institute.

It was the Board’s unanimous belief that to allow the Attorney General to unilaterally impose herself on matters concerning the future of the Institute, and to allow her to substitute her judgment for that of the members of the Board, would be a clear violation of the fiduciary, moral, ethical and legal obligations that the trustees have to the Institute, its students, faculty, staff and alumni.

We have posted our legal filing and the announcement of our actions on the web at Of course, we will keep you abreast of all important developments as they occur.

The Board asks that you keep an open mind in the debate in the public arena that is inevitable and to check back from time to time at our web site for updates on information we can release about the progress of the proceedings.

The Board has resolved not to let this matter become a distraction from the remarkable success that Stevens has enjoyed in its 140-year history. We hope that it will not detract from continued progress at one of America’s leading research and technological universities.

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Stevens Makes Senior Year Interesting

[Edit] – Here are the lawsuit filing papers by Stevens and the Administration. [download id=”5″]. I love how the following line appears in the first few pages describing Stevens. “It has forged relationships with foreign educational institutes which span the world, and it has become recognized as a significant partner to the United States government in the war on terrorism.” Nothing like implying a little fear of terrorism in lawsuits to try win a case. [/Edit]

It has forged relationships with
foreign educational institutes which span the world, and it has
become recognized as a significant partner to the United States
government in the war on terrorism.

I really wonder how much this is political gamesmanship but you have to think this was a long time coming but the financial problems Stevens Institute of Technology has had in the past. It’s a little ironic this gets announced on the day that Stevens held a humanities forum on the corruption of Jersey politicians and politics.

Plenty of angry sentiments amongst the students from what I have gathered so far but I can’t say it’s all one sided. Some people definitely don’t like the timing of this announcement with an election coming up in about a month or so but we’ll see what kind of impact this really ends up having when all is said and done.

I wouldn’t expect this to be a speedy process but this certainly livens up Senior year as if Hoboken didn’t already have enough going on. Credit to Professor Wharton for linking the article – I’ve attached the entire piece but only partially available on the main page. Click the headline to read the entire article.

Stevens Institute of Technology makes pre-emptive move as attorney general prepares to sue the school

Attorney General Anne Milgram plans to file a lawsuit Thursday against Stevens Institute of Technology, charging the school with fiscal impropriety and seeking to remove its top two leaders, a spokesman for her office said tonight.

Spokesman David Wald said the state’s two-year investigation also discovered misappropriation of endowment funds and excessive compensation.

Seeking to pre-empt any damage to the Hoboken school’s reputation, Stevens filed its own lawsuit against Milgram today, according to court papers. The school’s suit asks for any case to be pursued through confidential arbitration.

The lawsuit also accuses the attorney general of overstepping her authority by threatening legal action against the private school if it did not alter its business practices.

Milgram met with Stevens’ board of trustees on Sept. 2 to outline her case. According to the school’s lawsuit, she said she was planning “devastating” legal action that would raise “accreditation and other issues,” as well as seek leadership changes and independent oversight.

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