2020 Annual ReportView PDF
The Year in Review
July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020
A Year in Photos
UToledo alumni, students, faculty and staff shared memorable moments on social media in 2019-20.
View the University’s full 2019-20 Annual Report at utfoundation.org/2019.
Thanks to a concerted, community-wide focus on student success among students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters, The University of Toledo surpassed a critical milestone during academic year 2019-20.
Following spring 2020 commencement, UToledo’s six-year graduation rate improved to a record high of 53.3% — up more than 10% since 2015 and meeting the University’s strategic plan goal three years early.
The entering class of fall 2019 also had a record high academic profile, with an average ACT score of 23.03 and average GPA of 3.48. Meanwhile, the latest first-to-second-year retention rate stands at 78.5%, the eighth consecutive year with an increase in students returning to campus for their second year.
“Thanks to the commitment of our faculty and staff in supporting student success, we are experiencing our highest retention and graduation rates in decades,” according to Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Karen Bjorkman. “We will continue those efforts moving forward while also continuing to develop signature programs and new opportunities to attract additional students to our campuses.”
UToledo continues to expand programs in the health professions to meet student and community demand. The University is building its expertise and strength in interprofessional education across the range of health professions, as evidenced by strategic growth in the College of Nursing and the College of Medicine and Life Sciences. Notably, the College of Law experienced the most overall growth in fall 2020, with a 6.5% increase in students.
UToledo’s Student Food Pantry expanded to the Health Science Campus in fall 2019. Learn more or make a gift at utfoundation.org/pantry.
Thanks to nearly 800 members of The University of Toledo community, students facing unexpected financial hardships during the coronavirus pandemic were assisted with housing, utilities, medical bills, food and other critical expenses.
The COVID-19 Student Emergency Support Crowdfunding Campaign began with an initial goal of $30,000, which then grew to $75,000. In a little more than three months, the campaign ultimately raised more than $131,000.
In addition, nearly 60 student organizations mobilized to donate $187,000 to the Rocket to Rocket Fund. The contributions came from University-allocated funds that student organizations had budgeted for activities, events and campaigns during spring semester that could not be used.
“When we got word that funding was frozen, we asked if we could put it toward students who had lost their jobs and couldn’t pay their rent or buy groceries,” notes Becca Sturges ’20, former Student Government president. “Whether we can be together on the campus we love or not, we support each other, especially those of us facing tremendous financial stress and anxiety right now.”
Through September 2020, the University had awarded more than $190,000 in aid to 282 students. Meanwhile, the Student Food Pantry has distributed more than 24,000 meals to 2,800 students.
“I’m so grateful to benefit from this program,” says Trudy-Gaye King, currently an early childhood education major at UToledo. “I had been affected by COVID-19, became unemployed, and this fund helped me to pay rent and buy food for my family.”
Hear Dr. Michael Weintraub talk about partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy to protect Lake Erie at utfoundation.org/erie.
Research is a critical focus of The University of Toledo’s mission to discover solutions to global challenges and drive economic development in northwest Ohio.
The University’s national profile continues to thrive as research dollars to date are more than $54.2 million, an increase of 18% over all of fiscal 2019 and more than 43% higher than its research awards four years ago.
Thanks to its researchers and supporters, UToledo has been able to secure significantly more competitive national funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Aeronautics Space Administration.
Research grants from the NIH alone jumped 53% over the last five years, going from more than $9 million in 2016 to more than $14 million so far in 2020 awarded to the colleges of Medicine and Life Sciences; Engineering; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
UToledo’s discoveries span a wide range of areas: its astrophysics faculty continue to explore, answering questions about the universe’s origins; its humanities scholars examine writings that offer insight into the human spirit; and its artists produce works that inspire the soul.
Rockets conduct research across the full range of disciplines found at the nation’s largest universities. And your support allows UToledo faculty to build cross-functional teams that attack the world’s biggest challenges.
Watch Naba tell her story in her own words at utfoundation.org/naba.
Sheltering in place in sunny California in spring 2020, Naba Rizvi ’20 missed the bells.
The University of Toledo first-generation college graduate was in San Diego, taking her final classes online before starting remote work for Microsoft Research and also beginning Ph.D. studies in computer science and engineering at the University of California at San Diego — her top choice.
“My favorite memory will always be hearing the bells from University Hall first thing in the morning when I lived in MacKinnon Hall,” said Rizvi, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in information technology. “I hope I will someday get to return to Toledo, walk across Main Campus again, visit my former professors and colleagues at Engineering College Computing and say goodbye in a proper way to the University that played a big role in shaping the person I am today.”
Rizvi, who has published research on human-computer interaction, interned with tech giant Adobe in Silicon Valley. She also was one of nine students to win the Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship and one of 20 students to win the Google Women Techmakers Scholarship.
Rizvi credits the Jesup Scott Honors College for providing access to additional scholarships and opportunities.
“Naba exemplifies what we hope all UToledo students experience — a passion for a subject and for helping others,” Dr. Heidi Appel, dean of the Honors College, said. “What makes her extraordinary is that she’s using her experience and volunteer activities to shatter glass ceilings in her profession. We couldn’t be more proud.”
You inspire students like Emir with your support. Learn more about scholarships and programs in need at utfoundation.org/give.
Emir Moore ’20 was the first student at The University of Toledo selected by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation to participate in its internship program on Capitol Hill – and is now back on campus, pursuing his master of business administration.
Moore, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management and marketing from the College of Business and Innovation, was one of 25 African-American students across the country who spent fall 2018 in Washington, D.C., immersed in firsthand experience learning the intricacies of the federal legislative process.
Moore chose to attend UToledo because of the Multicultural Emerging Scholars program, which was co-founded by one of his mentors: Dr. Willie McKether, vice president for diversity and inclusion.
“The Multicultural Emerging Scholars program gave me the head start, network and support to be successful,” Moore said. “I also was awarded the Kinsey Determination Scholarship, which is a full scholarship for undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Business and Innovation. With the honor and privilege to be afforded to take advantage of these two great opportunities, I knew that UToledo was the place for me.”
“Emir has been an amazing, driven and determined student since he came to the University as part of the Summer Bridge Program,” McKether said. “Almost from the very first time we met, he and I established a great relationship. He is certainly destined for greatness, and I am very proud of him.”
Watch UToledo’s celebration of Class of ’20 student-athletes in competition, academics and in the community at utfoundation.org/classof20.
The cancellation of spring sports by the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in response to the spread of COVID-19 didn’t stop University of Toledo student-athletes from performing academically.
Rockets earned a combined grade point average of 3.527 during spring semester 2020. It was the highest semester GPA ever for UToledo Athletics, shattering the previous record of 3.306 set in spring 2019 – and also the third consecutive semester in which Rocket student-athletes earned a semester GPA of 3.3 or higher.
“Under unprecedented circumstances, our student-athletes rose to the occasion to have another outstanding semester in the classroom. They have set a very high standard of excellence in the past, but to eclipse the previous GPA record by more than two points is simply amazing,” notes Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien.
“This achievement says so much about the priorities of our student-athletes, coaches and staff.”
In fall 2019, The University of Toledo was also named recipient of the 2018-19 MAC Institutional Academic Achievement Award, honoring Rocket student-athletes for posting a school-record grade point average of 3.277 during academic 2018-19.
The award is presented annually to the conference institution that achieves the highest overall GPA for student-athletes competing in school-sponsored sports for the academic year. It was the second consecutive year the Rockets won the award, and the sixth time in the past eight years.
Your support helps bring talented faculty like Dr. Pattin to our campuses. Learn what inspires our friends to give at utfoundation.org/whygive.
The University of Toledo was the only accredited pharmacy program in the country whose 2019 graduates achieved a 100% passage rate on their in-state pharmacy law exam.
“We are extremely proud of our graduates,” says Dr. Laurie Mauro, associate dean of academic affairs for UToledo’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. “Our students’ success speaks to their preparedness to practice pharmacy and the excellent instruction they’re getting at UToledo.”
Mauro credits Dr. Anthony Pattin ’07,’09, assistant professor of pharmacy practice, for preparing students for the law exam. Though it’s only a small part of their curriculum, students need to effectively know the entire Ohio pharmacy law book.
“It’s a one-credit-hour course,” Pattin notes of the Pharmacy Jurisprudence and Ethics class. “There’s no way I can teach them all the laws, so what’s really important for me is that they get used to reading the law. We cover the really important things, but some of the small nuances they may have to learn on their own. I structure the class in a way to give them practice in doing that.”
Further evidence of the strength of the UToledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ programs recently came from U.S. News & World Report, which ranked the college’s pharmacy graduate program at No. 57 in the country in the 2021 Best Graduate Schools list, up three spots from the prior year.
Above: Dr. Anthony Pattin answers questions in a Pharmacy Jurisprudence and Ethics class. Photo by The Blade / Amy E. Voigt.