Magazine On-line [summer 2009]
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Around the Campus

Board of Trustees approves 2009-2012 Strategic Plan

  Transylvania library
  J. Douglas Gay Jr./Frances Carrick Thomas Library

A proposal for expanding library resources, a summer workshop for faculty members to explore sustainability learning, and renovation and development of campus facilities are among the many highlights of Transylvania’s 2009-2012 Strategic Plan.

The plan was approved by the Board of Trustees at its May 22 meeting. It provides the University with a renewed unity of vision for the immediate future while laying the foundation for longer-term goals. In addition to its new initiatives, it carries forward eight partially completed goals (out of 70 goals) from the 2003-2008 Long-Range Plan.

The plan will be a primary resource as the University gears up for its next reaffirmation of accreditation process in 2012 with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a procedure that members of SACS go through every 10 years.

“Some of the goals require new funding, and with the current economic uncertainties, there are initiatives that will be contingent upon financial resources,” said President Charles L. Shearer. “Nevertheless, the commitment to be forward looking in our planning is vital to the ongoing success of the University.

“Our co-chairs, trustees Byron Young ’61 and Rose Mary Stamler Dow ’88; vice-chairs, professors John Svarlien and Nancy Wolsk; along with all the other trustees, faculty members, staff members, alumni, and students who chaired and served on the various committees have done a marvelous job of giving us an exciting and insightful guide to advancing the quality of Transylvania over the next few years. The University owes them all a great debt of gratitude.”

The plan focuses on four general areas: academic and intellectual community; diversity, globalization, and sustainability; support of campus culture; and financial resources.

The first area recognizes the fact that the academic program and the creation of an intellectual community is the central purpose of any strong liberal arts college or university. One of the specific goals involves increasing the resources of the library to include expanding its contemporary collections while also creating a program to take better advantage of the University’s premiere historical holdings in 19th-century documents, scientific artifacts, portraiture, and early books and art.

In the section on diversity, globalization, and sustainability, the plan proposes enhancements to the University’s ongoing commitment to sustainable management of its energy resources and waste products while also envisioning a stronger role for sustainability learning in the classroom. Recruiting more minority and international students and faculty members is among the diversity and globalization initiatives, along with creating a more diverse overall campus culture.

In the sections on campus culture and financial resources, several proposals have to do with new and renovated facilities that would serve academic and student life purposes. Completion of the renovation of the remaining four Brown Science Center laboratories is a priority of the plan. Six labs have already been completely renovated.

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