Thursday, June 12, 2014

June Board Report

By Melodie Roschman

Enrollment challenges and progress on the new Health & Wellness Center were highlighted at President Niels-Erik Andreasen’s board briefing held on Monday, June 2, 2014.

In the President’s Report, Andreasen reviewed notable news incidents on campus during the year and reaffirmed the University’s commitment to the fundamentals of good quality Adventist education before turning his attention to progress on the planned Health & Wellness Center. Fundraising is going well, he noted, stating that they now have raised about two-thirds of their $18 million goal in cash and pledges.

In the Provost’s Report, Andrea Luxton outlined progress on six strategic initiatives, asking “What Have We Done?” for each and then setting future goals. Each initiative focuses on a major theme: nurturing excellence in pedagogy and research, creating a strong and better-planned community, extending the reach of Andrews at all levels, maintaining spiritual foundations and growth on campus, ensuring financial resilience, and building a campus infrastructure that will support expectations for ten years in the future. She mentioned several practical accomplishments, including increased student and faculty publication, integration of Griggs University into Andrews University, and the development of several departmental service projects and social consciousness initiatives.

Vice President for Enrollment Randy Graves presented the board with the Undergraduate Enrollment Report, which addressed declining enrollment across the United States and at Andrews University. He began his presentation by noting that nationwide enrollment was down 2.3 percent across all sectors, and that Andrews is located in a region of the United States that is experiencing a decline in high school graduates. North American Division high school enrollment is at its lowest in ten years, with less than 3,500 students per grade, and a recent study indicates that only 7.8 percent of Adventists have children in the Seventh-day Adventist school system. All of these factors have contributed to Andrews experiencing lower than expected enrollment this year—a factor that led to $1.3 million less tuition than was originally budgeted.

In his briefing to the faculty and staff, Andreasen reviewed Graves’s recommendations for increasing enrollment in light of these statistics: offering new scholarships, making contact with Andrews easier and more congenial, and working harder to communicate with all interested applicants. He noted that, in a market where the average Adventist family income is decreasing and parents are focused on receiving maximum value for their money, the personal touch is vital. Andreasen encouraged faculty members to call prospective students offering information and assistance, and noted that he was spending the next few days hand-signing a thousand letters to accepted students. 

Andreasen also explained in his briefing how the enrollment decrease and an increase in fringe benefits, including medical expenses, affected the budget. Andrews did not go into debt this year, he explained, solely because “we are good bankers.” The return on University investments compensated for the deficit in operations.

Andreasen concluded his address by making reference to Andrews’s impact outside of the campus gates. He announced University participation in a 40-year partnership with Berrien County to improve local sewer and water lines with the ultimate goal of increasing the standard of living in the community. While this project represents a significant financial investment, he explained that the cost will not be problematic due to its spread-out nature, and emphasized the importance of Andrews University being “a good neighbor” to the community. Andreasen also made reference to what he called a flood of recent attention paid to LGBT issues prompted by the campus newspaper and two forums. While maintaining agreement with the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s official stance on the issue, Chair of the Board Ben Schoun reiterated Andrews’s commitment to creating an atmosphere of “care and compassion towards all students.”

The board also voted the following new appointments and changes in rank/position:

Staff Appointments

Renato Mejia, Graduate Marketing and Recruiting Coordinator; Darla Smothers-Morant, Student Success Advisor

Faculty Appointments

College of Arts & Sciences
Paul Matychuk, associate professor of English/interim director of Center for Intensive English Program, Department of English

Department of Agriculture
Jerry D. Harris, assistant professor, agronomic sciences

School of Business Administration
Quentin Sahly, assistant professor, Department of Accounting, Economics & Finance

School of Health Professions
Ryan T. Orrison, assistant professor/Foundation Science coordinator, Department of Physical Therapy; Tasha Simpson, assistant professor/blood banking, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences

Change in Position
Andriy Kharkovyy, associate director, Alumni Services; Eric Paddock, Gymnics coach, School of Health Professions; Cindy Swanson, interim manager, Bookstore

Promotion in Rank
School of Health Professions
Ruth Abbott, professor emerita, Department of Nursing; Nancy Carter, professor emerita, Department of Nursing; Winston Craig, professor emeritus , Department of Public Health, Nutrition & Wellness; Marcia Kilsby, professor emerita, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences; Albert McMullen, professor emeritus, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences; Richard Show, professor emeritus, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences

School of Education
Shirley Freed, professor emerita, Department of Leadership

Richard Show, 28.5 years of service, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences; Shirley Freed, 23 years of service, Department of Leadership; Winston Craig, 27 years of service, Department of Public Health, Nutrition & Wellness; Eileen Lesher, 30 years of service, Office of Graduate Enrollment; Delyse Steyn, 13.6 years of service, Department of Communication



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