I wanted to provide you with an update on my three goals for the semester, which are:
- Develop a Priority and Implementation Strategy for Campus Master Plan
- Develop a Fundraising Campaign to be Approved by the Trustees
- Review Our Messaging: Synthesizing, Simplifying, and Clarifying Our Communication Where Possible
We have continued to work on the priority and implementation strategy for the Campus Master Plan. Looking at how full chapel has been, we are considering moving up the conversion of the two classrooms in the back to provide for 320 more seats next summer. We have also been looking at some solutions, such as grab-and-go lunches, to help alleviate some of the congestion in our dining hall. Finally, we have had a lot of discussion around the size and cost of the new residence hall.
I request your prayer for wisdom concerning the new residence hall. We need to be wise to build it the right size so that we don’t overbuild, but also so that we have enough space to take Faith Hall offline. We also have to balance how much cash we put toward the building of it, which reduces the size of the loan we would need to take out. We have been discussing delaying a few of the projects originally listed in year 1 and 2 so that we can allocate those resources toward the residence hall and reduce the size of any loan. I think this is wise and biblical, but at the same time, I don’t want to give the impression that we aren’t making progress on the ten-year master plan. We want to accomplish all of our goals, but we want to do so wisely to prevent over extending the University. These are real and difficult questions.
On goal number two, we have received proposals from five consultants and plan to meet on campus with the top three. By January we hope to have our consultant chosen, and then an initial plan developed by the May trustee meeting. We are on schedule to complete this goal.
For goal number three, we have held one town hall and we have accumulated the vision and mission statements from more than 75 schools across the country. I have also looked back historically on our mission statement during some of our greatest years of strength. Our previous mission statement was “to provide education consistent with biblical truth.” The simplicity of this makes it memorable. The addition of specificity increases the difficulty of memorization, so we must wisely choose where to land.
I will be talking with our trustees at the fall meeting about this particular goal and gaining insight from them as to what they would like to see. After all, the trustees own the vision statement, mission statement, and core values as the directional statements of the institution. We may provide input, insight, and research, but they ultimately direct the course of the institution. More to come on this one throughout the year.
We are making progress and having fun doing it. Thank you for all you do for Cedarville and God’s Kingdom. It is truly an honor to serve alongside all of you.
In Christ Alone,
Cedarville University President