Let’s compare Elon today with Elon in 1998 and 1980…
National accreditationsPhi Beta KappaAACSB for the Martha and Spencer Love School of BusinessACEJMC for the School of CommunicationsABA for the School of LawNCATE for the School of EducationCAPTE for our Doctor of Physical Therapy program
Low tuition discount has enabled investments in faculty, programs, and the campus
Growth has enabled investments in faculty, technology, library collections and more3000 is the minimum size for a modestly endowed private college
Elon has given increased priority to endowment fund raising, lowered endowment payout rate, and established a quasi-endowment for scholarships
A judicious use of debt—particularly “self-liquidating debt” for residence and dining halls—jumpstarted campus development
We know our student market
Located in North Carolina amidst other great higher education institutions on I-40
Board of Trustees has become much more sophisticated and involved, takes calculated risks, avoids micromanagement, and supports the presidentPlanning retreats with execs28% of campaign goal came from boardSuccession planning for leadership
Parents have been surrogate alumni body for Elon60% of Elon alums are in their 20’s and 30’sLindner Hall, Rhodes Stadium, McMichael Science CenterCurrent and past trustee chair are parentsActive parents council
Faculty and staff have the creation of a premier student learning environment as their common goal
A talented, collaborative and long-serving leadership team
A sustained and collaborative culture of strategic planningElon Commitment planning processRoaring GapInstitutional annual goal setting
Unified campus culture that is civil and not change resistantIntentional effort to communicateTrust has been built up due to institutional successStaff are not treated like second-class citizens
We have a culture of innovation and are not afraid to be countertrendInvesting in a permanent facultyInvesting in the residential campus when some predict on-line learning will prevailCATL
We have a vision and execute it well
TheElon Commitment strategic plan – now 2.5 years in progressThe role of a strategic plan – a guiding light – a NORTH STARStrategic plans play a key role in expressing…Institutional identityOur valuesOur vision for the future
Recall the goals of Elon’s previous strategic plansThe Elon Vision: To be and be recognized as one of the premier undergraduate institutions on the Eastern Seaboard.
NewCentury@Elon: To be a national model of engaged learning founded upon our traditions of innovation and community.We achieved those goals!
Now we have a new strategic plan and a goal statement that we hope effectively communicates what our plan is about:To be the nation’s preeminent community for engaged learningWe want Elon to be the first college to come to mind when you think of active, experiential, engaged teaching and learningElon is moving to a place of prominence in higher education through engaged learningEngaged learning is our distinction … our identityThrough engaged learning Elon is leading a critical re-examination of the nature and value of a college education in our modern world
We are well on the way to achieving this goalBut there is a great deal of competition – Furman, American, Macalester, for example“Florida Southern College is a national leader in engaged learning, which means you will be actively involved in your classes through group projects, internships, study abroad, research with professors, performances and service learning.” Other schools are realizing the advantages – vying for recognition in engaged learningWe cannot stay static and maintain our leadership position
That is why the Elon Commitment contains aggressive goalsWe know we must take bold steps To be the nation’s preeminent community for engaged learningAnd if we want to ensure that Elon is the first university that comes to mind when you say Engaged Learning…We must communicate effectively about the plan and be clear about the ways that Elon will be very different from other universitiesElon’s defining qualities come down to four key distinctions
Think of them as the four pillars at the front of Alamance building at the center of our historic campusThese four distinctions are the engine that will position Elon as the nation’s preeminent community for engaged learning
We are defining the gold-standard for enriching educational experiencesWe are doing so in a vibrantcommunity on a premier campusThe results of our work are evident in the young men and women who are prepared to be globally-ready leadersAnd undergirding the success of our university is a crucial best-value financial modelLet’s look at these four distinctions in depth…
The first distinction: Elon is defining the gold standard for enriching educational experiencesElon has spent more than 20 years refining and enhancing engaged learningWe have attracted talented faculty and staff who understand the power of this approach to higher educationWe have set standards and best practicesAnd we have solid, long-term data to support this claim from the National Survey of Student Engagement(Refer to this chart – showing Elon well above the top 10% benchmark scores)
What does this mean at Elon?Elon is one of few universities with four-hour academic systemThat allows for creative and engaging teaching strategiesCourses go deeper, students are challenged to be more involvedMore presentationsGroup projectsProblem solving and simulationsMore lab and studio experiencesThe classroom learning is integrated deeply with experiences outside the classroom71% study abroad79% do service projects79% do internshipsNearly half hold leadership positions in student organizationsAnd nearly 1 in 5 do intense research projects with faculty mentorsThese are numbers far above the national averages
Here’s a personal story demonstrating the power of this first sustaining value:David Munoz of Raleigh, NCMember of the Class of 2012 and a KenanScholarA classroom star: graduated magna cum laude with a major in environmental and ecological science Integrated his classroom work with hands-on research in the field and many other activitiesHe’s had two papers publishedHe presented his thesis research at an academic conference in HawaiiOne of his big research areas: how animals are affected by human scents using motion-sensing camerasHe also tracked the range of box turtles using GPS equipmentHe also co-founded the Tivelo Project with students at other universities. Their goal: design and build an alternative energy vehicleHelped raise $2,000 to provide science lab materials for a school in Sri LankaPart of several service projects during his study abroad course in Costa RicaMember of Elon’s student sustainability council – reusable water bottle campaign and the university sustainability pledgeTeaching assistant for the Elon AcademyStudied Arabic and was coordinator for a service trip to MoroccoWOW – David Munoz exemplifies what our first pillar is all about
To advance Elon as the gold standard, we are investing and innovating…We are making major investments in students, faculty and staff, and academic programsEnsuring excellence everywhereStrengtheningarts & sciencesPsychology New facilitiesCommitment to undergraduate research70% go to graduate schoolTop-50 business schoolEmerging distinction – business and entrepreneurshipTop-tier law schoolPremier facility for the School of CommunicationsNew programs in the School of EducationThe Elon AcademyNew School of Heath Sciences, and graduate programs such as Physician Assistant programWorld-class faculty and staff – the fabric of an Elon educationPresidential task force on scholarshipOffice of Professional Development and Leadership
Another way we are setting the gold standard: we are transforming the residential campusCreating campus neighborhoods that integrate academics and the residential experience. This is counter-trend, with all the talk of online, non-residential higher education. Many are predicting the demise of the traditional college experience. We strongly disagree. We believe in the power of moments…Those unplanned interactions, spontaneous conversations, inspirational & life changing taps on the shoulder that happen during a 24/7 college experienceIt’s the difference between training and educationNew Colonnades neighborhood… home of many living-learning communities:better together multifaithcommunityLanguage villages for Italian, French, SpanishSustainable LivingBusiness Fellows, Honors Fellows, Math/Science/Engineering FellowsAlcohol/Substance Free students and the Health and Wellness community.The Station at Mill Point, townhouse-style housing for juniors and seniorstailored to their special needs as they begin internships and job searches and seek out a more independent style of livingGlobal Neighborhood, an international-themed village surrounding a spectacular Commons Building.Isabella Cannon Centremedia rooms with international television feeds and foreign news publicationsfaculty-in-residenceClassrooms, seminar rooms, study rooms Lakeside dining hall next door
Another major innovation – the newStudent Professional Development Center in Moseley CenterCareer services had been aweakness in Elon’sprograms, now being turned into a strengthPreparing for careers and graduate school must begin early in a college experienceBusiness partners, parents and alumni are keys to successInternships are the gateway to jobs, and students need guidance and assistance to prepare for and find great internships. Job searches can’t begin in the spring semester of your senior yearThe same is true for students preparing for graduate schoolFamilies expect an excellent professional development program and students deserve it
The second pillar of the Elon Commitment has to do with the nature of our people and this placeElon is a vibrant academic community on a premier campusI don’t have to say much to convince you about the premier campus part of this pillarElon consistently receives the “most beautiful campus” ranking from lots of college guidesAnd students and families always tell us the beauty of our campus createsan intense sense of place, belonging and identityBut here’s a fun one to consider – Elon was recently featured in an eight page spread in the Bund Pictorial… a high-end lifestyle magazine in China that reaches almost 800,000 readers weeklyOur reputation is growing around the world!
But the more important part of this second pillar has to do with our vibrant, inclusive communityStudents, faculty, staff and alumni embrace the many backgrounds, talents and perspectives of allEvery day on this campus is filled with opportunity to learn from people who bring a rich set of experiencesA story that illustrates this involves two students who are roommates in the Better Together multi-faith community in the Colonnades NeighborhoodToorialeyFazlyis a Muslim from AfghanistanMason Sklutis an American Jewish student from Charlotte They have both had an impact on our campus in sharing their life stories … their faiths and cultural traditionsTheir special friendship started last fall in an unexpected wayFazly came home to their suite and found an object at Mason’s bedroom doorIt was a Mazuzah… a Jewish symbol to bless and protect those in the home…Let’s have Fazly explain what happened when he asked Mason about it…
The second pillar of the Elon Commitment is all about our close-knit and inclusive communityWe want to give every student the opportunity for moments of personal growth like you’ve just heard aboutDoubling need-based financial aid to ensure that Elon is not a gated community only open to the privileged. We need more people of many backgrounds Young people who are the first in their families to attend collegePeople from many different ethnic and cultural traditionsPeople who speak different languages and value different things We are building a multi-faith center to promote dialogue and the sharing of spiritual traditions in a world that desperately seeks understanding We also embrace those beyond the campusEspecially our alumnibody – give them a sense of ownership and stewardship of their alma mater. They are living Elon’s values throughout the world and we must ensure that their ties to the university remain strong Build connections with current students and fellow alumni, and providing ongoing financial support. And a college community also has what we call a “front porch” –athletics Where many people gather to celebrate Elon’s spirit, pride and energy Developing a successful Phoenix athletics program with the highest standards for integrity and academic success Introduce Elon to a wider audience, important to the recognition of the university
Our third pillar of the Elon Commitment relates to our #1 ranking in study abroadElon is relentlessly focused on preparing globally-ready leaders We understand the urgency of preparing graduates who are inter-culturally competent - a deep personal understanding of other cultures and value systemsThat also includes understanding our own nation’s many rich cultures and perspectivesA great example: 8 communications students who traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, this spring for the 20th anniversary meeting of the world’s Internet SocietyMore than 700 technology experts, government and business leadersfrom around the worldOur students had spent months studying the complex issues - At the conference, they produced a website with stories and hundreds of video clipsConfident and operated as professional journalists - a good understanding of the multinational environment of the InternetThe closing conference session kicked off with a video produced by the Elon studentsThese students are globally-ready…light years ahead of those of a generation ago
In support of this pillar, The Elon Commitment includes major new investments in support of our global perspectiveA bold position: We want to ensure 100% of our students have access to global study… around the world and across our nationFinances cannot be a roadblock to experiencing the world. We are already building scholarship programs to overcome those limitations.There are equally powerful cultural experiences in our own country, so we are creating a domestic study away programThe Elon in LA program is flourishing as well as the Elon in New York programAnd we can easily image other domestic study away programs in places across the country in the sciences, human services, social sciences and moreThe global perspective must also be obvious and compelling on campus, so we are working hard to triple international student enrollmentMake the campus feel more international by…Incorporating food from other nations in dining hallsGlobal news sources, art and signageWhen you want to experience a sense of the world, you should be able to see and feel that sense here in Elon
The fourth pillar of The Elon Commitment is important to every student… every family that is connected with ElonThis university models a best-value approach to the challenge of college costsColleges are faced with a financial model that tests the limits of family resourcesMany institutions are reaching a financial crisis pointElon has taken a different path through excellent planning, outstanding stewardship and an affordable and sustainable pricing model.To help you always remember the importance of this pillar…Remember Maggie MialA member of the Class of 2012Star performer in our music theatre programIn love with Elon…. But could not have attended this university if the price had been higher, or if she had not received financial aid. Let’s let her tell the story about her Elon experience….
To support students like Maggie Mial, The Elon Commitment includes aggressive goals to undergird our financial modelTripling the university’s endowmentThrough the Ever Elon campaign, we have already doubled the endowmentLaser focus on spending to support Elon’sstudent-focused values…That means financial aidPrograms that support the academic work of students and faculty working together… to ensure excellence at every levelAs Gerald Whittington advocates, using every dollar in smart ways to maximize the benefit… spending it at least twice… or three timesOnly modest tuition increases annually… to maintain Elon’s affordable price advantage of $10,000 or more below that of other private universities with which we competeA tremendous asset for a tuition-dependent school in a competitive higher education marketplaceThe best-value pillar is a key factor in the success of the Elon Commitment.
So to summarize, the goal of the Elon Commitment is:To be the nation’s preeminent community for engaged learningAnd in communicating about our strategic plan, we are focusing four sustaining Elon values:Elon is defining the gold-standard for enriching educational experiencesWe are doing so in a vibrantcommunity on a premier campusThe results of our work are evident in the young men and women who are prepared to be globally-ready leadersAnd undergirding the success of our university is a crucial best-value financial model
The Elon Commitment … Our university’s guiding light toward 2020…QUESTIONS/COMMENTS?
To be the nation’s preeminentcommunity for engaged learning• Gold standard for enriching educational experiences• Vibrant community on a premier campus• Globally ready leaders• Best-value financial model