Friday, September 16, 2022

NJIT Gets Some Recognition as a Wrong Question on Final Jeopardy


Yesterday’s final Jeopardy answer was “Founded as a technical institute in 1900, its sports teams are the Tartans & its official mascot is a Scottish terrier”.  Luigi de Guzman (seen above) responded What is NJIT? Host Ken Jennings responded, “I assume that is the New Jersey Institute of Technology.”  The correct response which none of the contestants got was “What is Carnegie-Mellon University.” Luigi is now a five-time winner and could become a super champion as he has won his games decisively.

When I worked at NJIT for 25 years the university struggled to get recognition as an excellent technical university with a wide range of programs with an excellent faculty with research accomplishments. I was pleased to find out that NJIT was ranked as a top 100 National University by the U.S. News and World Report.  In New Jersey Rutgers and Princeton are household names but NJIT is not.  Its mention on Jeopardy by a lawyer from Arlington, Virginia is a small indication that it is known outside of the NY/NJ metropolitan area.

I would like to interject my frustration as a retiree in staying connected with my former colleagues at this fine university.  It consistently has been a one-way street as I have phoned and emailed people, but nobody ever took the initiative to contact me.  For example, when a long-time colleague retired, nobody even thought of inviting me to her retirement luncheon. I conclude that “out of sight and out of mind” supersedes keeping in touch. I thought that in this era of email and social media it would be easier to keep in touch with former colleagues, but I was wrong.

I determined that many universities including Rutgers have an association of retirees, but NJIT does not.  Establishing such an organization would a win-win situation as the retirees can stay connected with the university and with each other.  The university could target retirees for fundraising.  There is an active Alumni Association, but nothing for the retirees.  I feel uncomfortable suggesting to the upper administration of NJIT to form such a beneficial organization.

Please understand that I am not bashing NJIT or any individuals. I am just discussing a situation that disturbs me.  Perhaps someone from NJIT will read this and respond to me.

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