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Strategic Plan - Vision 2014


Vision Statement

Anderson University seeks to be a premier teaching university where liberal arts, professional studies, and graduate programs thrive within a distinctively Christian community of faculty, staff and students dedicated to learning and service.

To achieve our vision, Anderson University will:

  1. Increase enrollment to a total headcount of 2000+ students
  2. Initiate carefully selected graduate programs and additional undergraduate majors
  3. Enrich the undergraduate learning experience
  4. Continuously create value throughout the organization
  5. Emphasize the integration of faith and learning, and uphold the teachings of Jesus Christ
  6. Be viewed as a leading Christian comprehensive university with top tier ranking among Southern colleges and universities

Vision 2014 is an aggressive agenda for accomplishment to be pursued over the next ten years. It consists of 14 broad strategies that will lead to unprecedented progress at Anderson University, placing the institution in the front ranks of Christian higher education and allowing AU to enlarge its service to and impact on individuals, the local region, society, and the church.

Strategy One: Create an exceptional, future-driven Christian learning environment that emphasizes values, high standards of scholarship, mutual respect, and nurturing support for all members of the Anderson University community

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Priorities

  1. Make student learning - the education of the whole student - our top priority
  2. Attract and retain outstanding Christian scholars and staff
  3. Support staff in continuously expanding their professional knowledge and skills; establish a new employee orientation and ongoing professional training program
  4. Create a climate that encourages AU undergraduates to pursue graduate study, distinguished fellowships, and careers of life-impacting significance
  5. Keeping excellent teaching our primary focus, embrace a broad view of scholarship that includes teaching, discovery, application, and integration; develop discipline-specific standards for quality scholarly and creative faculty contributions
  6. Maintain an overall student to faculty ratio between 13:1 and 17:1
  7. Increase percentage of full-time faculty with terminal degrees from 65% to 80-85%
  8. Restructure academic units (currently divisions) to reflect the maturity and quality of the academic programs
  9. Establish a center for teaching and learning to encourage, assist, and support faculty in their efforts to continuously improve as learner-focused teachers
  10. Increase faculty salaries to median levels for comparative aspirant institutions
  11. Increase faculty development funding to competitive levels
  12. Implement a compensation management program for staff designed to keep staff salaries competitive
  13. Establish exceptional co-curricular learning opportunities designed to set AU undergraduates apart
    – such as extraordinary internships, original research projects, international educational travel, and Christian missions
  14. Develop high quality, self-supporting masters, specialist, and doctoral degree programs that make sense for AU; develop a timeline for graduate program development
  15. Design new facilities to support and foster learning, research and teaching including a new library
  16. Enhance student-centered services to enable academic success such as exceptional advising and user-friendly administrative and academic processes
  17. Make curricular enhancements to foster the development of students’ communication (oral, written, and technological) and reasoning skills
  18. Explore and consider membership in the Associated New American Colleges (ANAC) consortium and the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU)
  19. Explore and consider restructuring the academic calendar to facilitate a January term

 

Strategy Two: Create robust, engaging student development and residence life programs that support retention goals, foster relationship-building, create community, emphasize Christian growth and character development, and create extraordinary student satisfaction

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Priorities

  1. Seek to continuously improve student development programs to enhance Christian life and develop leadership and character development among students

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Provide campus housing for at least 75% of the traditional student population
  2. Incrementally refurbish residence halls with new furnishings and décor
  3. Fully embrace the “residence life” philosophy wherein residence halls are nurturing living and learning environments
  4. Embrace a view of student life that values and programs for various student sub cultures such as athletes, commuters, adult ACCEL learners, minorities, etc.
  5. Enhance “community building” activities within residence halls
  6. Enhance weekend student activities
  7. Renovate/enhance and expand the student center
  8. Add full-time residence life staff qualified at the masters degree level
  9. Expand the role and responsibilities of residence hall supervisors and resident assistants for enhanced supervision, community building and greater residence life effectiveness
  10. Enhance food service facilities and food variety
  11. Create a senior year experience program that ensures that the end of the student’s undergraduate career is as promising as the beginning
  12. Create services and a total campus atmosphere that is affirming and supportive of ACCEL students

 

Strategy Three: Create within the context of our distinct Christian mission, an environment that welcomes and extends Christian hospitality to people from diverse backgrounds, recognizes the dignity and worth of each individual, and seeks to foster greater understanding.

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Make a budgetary commitment to hire minority faculty
  2. Seek a representation of minorities on the faculty and professional staff that equals the racial diversity of the campus; an initial goal of 12%
  3. Increase minority representation in the student body; an initial goal of 17%
  4. Initiate a “minority fellows” program designed to recruit promising minority faculty members early in their academic career
  5. Develop community partnerships to support minority programming
  6. Develop an ambassador program for minority recruitment
  7. Increase the campus presence of visiting Christian scholars from other countries and cultures who understand and appreciate our Christian mission and Baptist tradition
  8. Consider the creation of a cultural affairs function within the Student Development division to enhance attention given to the needs of minority and international students
  9. Add curricular and co-curricular emphases of interest to minority students
  10. Increase the presence of artwork, speakers, and performances that reflect the racial diversity of our campus and society
  11. With the Christian faith (see Romans 12:2) and our Baptist tradition as our compass, foster student understanding and discussion of racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity issues in the context of learning settings

 

Strategy Four: Build on our present commitment to the integration of faith and learning, cultivate and nurture an institution-wide passion for integration.

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Priorities

  1. Affirm the teachings of Jesus Christ, with special emphasis on the Great Commandment, the Great Commission, Christian civility and the Golden Rule
  2. Integrate ‘Great Commission’ emphasis into selected service/study programs

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Develop learning opportunities (speakers, conferences, peer-to-peer learning, etc.) for faculty to develop greater understanding of and practice in the integration of faith and learning - that is, to help students explore and discuss the natural intersections of the Christian faith and the disciplines
  2. Recruit faculty and staff who are committed to the integration of faith and learning
  3. Create and organize out of class opportunities for faculty and students to discuss the implications of the Christian faith in the disciplines and professions
  4. Create opportunities for juniors and seniors to reflect on their AU learning experience to facilitate synthesis of faith and learning and its implications for life after college
  5. Consider the facilitation of more faculty and student faith discussions specific to the academic disciplines

 

Strategy Five: Educate students for global citizenry

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Require a foreign language in all traditional undergraduate programs
  2. Create additional study abroad opportunities and international university partnerships for faculty and students
  3. Develop a viable model for financial accessibility to study abroad for full-time traditional students
  4. Seek to increase the enrollment of international students

 

Strategy Six: Attract, support, and retain a student body that is academically talented, motivated to succeed, and desirous of membership in an academically challenging Christian learning environment

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Achieve a headcount enrollment of 2,000-2,200 students; 1,400 traditional, 600 adult students, 200 graduate students
  2. Achieve a freshman retention rate of 80%
  3. Achieve a six-year graduation rate of 55%
  4. Apply selective admissions standards with the goal of increasing minimum entrance scores, grade point averages, and the percentage of students in the top 25% of their high school class
  5. Develop a strong, focused retention plan
  6. Target for recruitment the top 10 to 25% of Hispanic students
  7. Enhance recruitment efforts of minority students
  8. Develop admissions marketing plans for each academic division; link marketing plan for academics to web site
  9. Enhance career services to all majors, with special emphasis on business
  10. Reduce the traditional student discount rate from 40% to 30%
  11. Design into Freshman Programs a presentation that will help students and parents understand and appreciate their sources of financial assistance (SC Baptists, the State of South Carolina, the Federal government, individual donors, and Anderson University)
  12. Create exceptional academic services to support and maximize the academic success of our students (registration, financial aid, business office, etc.)
  13. Develop within The Cultural Experience Program a social skills series that will ensure that students develop the social skills (etiquette/protocol, dress, etc.) they will need to positive reflections of Anderson University, upwardly mobile in their careers, and successful in life

 

Strategy Seven: Pursue additional programmatic distinctions that will set Anderson University further apart from other Southern comprehensive colleges and universities

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Conduct an audit of current “distinctives”
  2. Create an enhanced focus on study abroad and mission work that will allow each AU student that persists past 90 semester hours with a 2.5 GPA to engage in one of the two options
  3. Develop quality indicators
  4. Be known in the region as “the quality provider of adult education”
  5. Seek additional affordable specialized accreditation for appropriate academic programs
  6. Pursue a goal of AU graduates scoring in the 75th percentile on all disciplinary competency and knowledge assessments
  7. Cultivate and nurture true excellence in academic programs
  8. Investigate non-traditional day scheduling

 

Strategy Eight: Guide all AU students in academic and student life programs to understand the Christian perspective of life, embody the attitudes of leadership and stewardship, and view work as vocation

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Priorities

  1. Affirm the teachings of Jesus Christ with special emphasis on the Great Commandment, the Great Commission, Christian civility and the Golden Rule
  2. In both academic and student life programs, help students understand life as a gift over which they are to be stewards of their talents, abilities, and all God has given them and understand they have a responsibility to serve others as an expression of gratitude
  3. Encourage and support student leadership of campus spiritual life through a wide variety of religious activities

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Enhance institutional focus on service to others and Kingdom growth
  2. Enhance chapel with an increased budget to attract more speakers that emphasize the Christian foundations of life, work, and intellectual activity
  3. Provide enhanced generation-specific Christian growth and evangelism activities
  4. Place a new, stronger emphasis on the creation and facilitation of extraordinary mission opportunities for students, faculty and staff
  5. Explore extending a form of The Journey(chapel) to ACCEL students that makes sense for evening students

 

Strategy Nine:View the campus as a precious resource and continuously enhance its beauty

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Priorities

  1. Establish a community value of viewing the campus as a precious resource that enhances campus living, student recruitment and retention, and regional pride
  2. Faculty and staff will model stewardship and campus pride
  3. Maintain high standards for safety across campus and high standards for health inspections in the residence halls

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Remove concrete and asphalt from the inner campus to create additional green space
  2. Develop a long-term plan to remove the tower from the campus
  3. Expand parking
  4. Install new aesthetically pleasing signage to enhance campus beauty and facilitate better visitor navigation
  5. Create more gathering spaces, both inside facilities and on the grounds
  6. Designate smoking areas away from public traffic and develop a proposal for a smoke-free campus
  7. Restore the prayer garden at the Sullivan Building
  8. Enhance the beauty of the campus with additional plantings, outdoor art, gazebos, water features, flower gardens, etc.
  9. Professionally design all new and replacement landscaping
  10. Where cost economies can be gained, add environmentally conscious features to facilities

 

Strategy Ten: Further build an athletics program that is characterized by a winning tradition, academic achievement, sportsmanship, and character development

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Priorities

  1. Promote and value a winning tradition in all sports

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Increase the six-year student-athlete graduation rate to 55 percent
  2. Consider adding sports that attract out-of-state students
  3. Consistently lead the Carolinas Virginia Athletic Conference Honor Roll
  4. AU athletes will be the conference model for sportsmanship in all sports
  5. AU athletics will emphasize character development among all student-athletes
  6. AU student-athletes will promote character development to children and youth in schools, churches, and youth organizations
  7. Develop a master plan for athletic facilities

 

Strategy Eleven: Establish an integrated marketing program that will communicate Anderson University’s identity as a leading Christian comprehensive university

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Be perceived by the local community and the region as a premier private college
  2. Be perceived by prospective students as an academically serious, intentionally
    Christian, caring university that produces successful graduates
  3. Ascend to the top tier of US News and World Report's Southern Comprehensive Colleges and Universities
  4. Establish and adequately fund an office of marketing and communications
  5. Establish within each academic division a marketing and outreach plan for student recruitment and the development of stronger ties with disciplinary peers in the schools; tie marketing plan for academics to web site
  6. Increase coverage of AU in local and regional media outlets
  7. Increase the presence of Anderson University faculty presentations at scholarly/professional conferences, symposia, and colloquia, and increase the hosting of such meetings on the AU campus
  8. Increase the participation and presence of AU faculty and staff in local and regional decision making, non-profit organizations, etc.

 

Strategy Twelve: Further enhance service, service learning, and community engagement of the entire campus community

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Priorities

  1. Continue to build our community service programs to involve more students, faculty, and staff

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Establish Anderson University as the single largest higher education contributor of community service hours in the area
  2. Establish a formal process to identify and track community service and service learning participation
  3. Increase publicity about the University’s community service

 

Strategy Thirteen: Ensure a sound financial future

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Seek annual revenue growth of 10 percent
  2. Increase the endowment to exceed the annual operating budget
  3. Achieve a financial viability ratio of 1:1
  4. Establish/fund a development effort that can realistically achieve our fund raising goals

 

Strategy Fourteen: Significantly strengthen the collection of data, the technological infrastructure of the campus and the use of technology in all areas of the University.

Initiatives and Priorities

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Provide ongoing instruction to faculty in the use of technology as a powerful tool that enhances access to learning, ignites the discovery of new knowledge, and inspires collaborative thinking.
  2. Become data-driven in institutional decision-making at all levels
  3. Strengthen the collection of alumni information with special emphasis on additional education and career path that provide indicators of AU’s impact
  4. Complete infrastructure additions to become a totally wireless campus
  5. Seek to be a leader in technology among small campuses
  6. Consolidate widely used individual software into site licenses for greater efficiency and broader campus accessibility
  7. Eliminate unnecessary IT staff responsibilities by better equipping faculty, staff, and students to be more self-sufficient
  8. Purchase and migrate to a new administrative software system for greater functionality and efficiencies
  9. Fully develop distance learning software capabilities and ongoing training
  10. Institute a technology replacement budget for the systematic replacement of instructional technology, software for computer labs, and computers for faculty and staff offices
  11. Establish three multi-media lecture halls
  12. Increase technology in all classrooms
  • Adopted by the Board of Trustees on October 22, 2004
  • Revised/updated by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees on May 18, 2006

 



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