Section 5: Resource Enhancement

Centenary College can look back with pride on its remarkable success over the years in achieving excellence at very reasonable cost to students. It is for good reason that it has been cited in national publications as one of the country's "best buys," setting tuition and fees at a level half that charged at many institutions of comparable quality, including a number in our own consortium, the Associated Colleges of the South. However, even the most cost-effective of institutions have felt the need for additional funds to meet the rising cost of delivering quality education over recent years. Dealing with deferred maintenance, increasing the overall quality of the college, and responding to the diverse challenges cited elsewhere in this document will require significant new investment in programs, faculty and staff, and the infrastructure. The development of an invigorated college poised to play a major role in the new millennium can be achieved only by sending a positive and powerful message to all the College's constituencies together with a continued commitment to prudence in financial affairs and generation of much-needed additional revenues.

Primary Goals

Goal 1. Assure a Balance Between Income and Expenses at Year's End.

The unfavorable demographics among college-age cohorts over the past decade or more have resulted in a decreasing number of students seeking admission to college. While the decade of the '90s will see a rise in the college-age cohort in most of the country, Louisiana is one of a small number of states that is expected to experience an actual decline. This, in addition to rising costs and intense competition among institutions for new students, as well as for grants, private donations, and other resources, makes it especially incumbent upon Centenary to manage its fiscal affairs carefully and increase net revenue. In addition to economies it has already instituted over the past four years and the commitment it has made to maintain and enhance the endowment, the College will:

Objective A. Develop financial models using enrollment history, tuition, room and board charges, operating budget increases, and salary increases in order to assure a balanced budget.

Resources: N.A.
Responsibility: V.P. for Finance and Administration
Status: Completed in 1995-96 with continuing updates. This model will be revised to incorporate Banner as the base of data. Eventually all modeling will be done on Banner.

Objective B. Enhance Continuing and Senior Adult Education programs to increase revenue.

Resources: Operating budget
Responsibility: Director of Senior Adult Education
Status: New director appointed summer, 1998. Continuing education program of the office has been discontinued as not cost effective but the senior adult education program retained, administered by a half-time director. In addition, the director will coordinate non-academic travel programs for the College.

Objective C. Develop adult degree-completion program to be implemented in the 1997-98 academic year.

Resources: To be determined.
Responsibility: Provost; Academic Policy Committee
Status: Concept reviewed by Academic Affairs and Economic Policy Committee and recommended for implementation. Academic Policy Committee voted in 1997-98 not to initiate the program.

Goal 2. Develop Optimal Budgetary Processes and Financial Systems.

Over the past few years the institution has reviewed its investment policy and food services and physical facilities functions, together with auxiliary enterprises, as only a few components of a concerted effort to increase efficiencies and maximize the positive impact of resources available to the College. To further enhance these efficiencies, it will:

Objective A. Upgrade administrative hardware and software by 11/1999.

Resources: $1,250,000
Responsibility: Provost, V.P. for College Relations
Status: Banner administrative system adopted and purchased in 1997-98; staff in training. Development Office will be online fall, 1998 and other administrative offices by 2000. Banner administrative computer system installed by 1 January 2000. All offices still training for full use. Additional components will be installed and training completed in 2000/2001.

Goal 3. Focus Development on Long-Term Funding Sources for College Needs.

The efficient operation of the institution and its enhancement are hampered by the difficulty of addressing expensive, unforeseen problems that arise in the course of the year or to seize unanticipated opportunities that require expenditures of resources. They are hampered even more when rising costs make provision of basic needs problematical. All these are greatly facilitated when the institution can plan with the assurance that funds will be in place to meet both current needs and the unanticipated ones. Toward that end, the College will:

Objective A. Develop and complete a comprehensive campaign by 12/2003 with a minimum target of $70 million in cash and $20 million in planned gifts.

Resources: $50 million, which will include many of the sums itemized in this plan. Also included are $20.8 million in gifts for current operations.
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Silent phase of the comprehensive campaign begun June 1, 1995; public announcement in October, 1999; development campaign on target. Board of Trustees raised cash goal to $70 million in February, 1998.

Objective B. Create a $5 million endowment to support student financial aid by 8/2003.

Resources: $5 million
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Campaign goal

Objective C. Create a $4 million endowment to support faculty chairs and professorships by 8/2003.

Resources: $4 million
Responsibility: V. P. for Development, Provost
Status: Campaign goal; Whited Chair funded in 1997 @ $600,000. Biedenharn Chair in Communications funded in 2000 ($800,000). From 1996 to 2000, the Louisiana Board of Regents Endowed Professorship Program has funded 30 professorships. These include the Humanities, Social Science and Natural Science Professorships, the Entrikin Chemistry Professorship, the Fox Creative Activities Professorship, five Magale professorships, five Leadership professorships and 15 student/faculty summer research professorships. Sklar Chair of Chemistry and James Chair of Psychology proposals go to Board of Regents in December of 2000.

Goal 4. Increase Enrollment to a Base of 1,000 Undergraduates by the Year 2000.

In a period of steadily rising costs and intense competition in the private sector of higher education, Centenary College has been successful in keeping its financial house in relatively good order and steadily improving its reputation and national visibility. It has done so, however, with periodic withdrawals from its quasi-endowment, the reserve upon which the College might otherwise call for much-needed funds with which to maintain the physical plant, support programs, and provide for innovation. A significant increase in the size of the student body will generate the substantial revenues needed to accomplish those purposes. To make this possible, the institution will:

Objective A. Increase enrollment of the entering freshman class in 1997 to 235-250 students while improving quality and reducing the tuition discount rate.

Resources: Budgeted for 1996-97.
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Achieved a class of 293 for 1998-99; target of 300 in subsequent years. The quality of the class has improved, and the discount rate is less than the previous year. During 1999-2000, however, target of 300 substantially missed, with 230 plus for fall, 2000. Goals for 2000-2001, 250; 2001-2002, 275; 2003-2004 and thereafter, 300.

Objective B. Communicate clear recruitment objectives to the Athletic Department and increase communication and cooperation between it and the Office of Enrollment Management.

Resources: As above.
Responsibility: Athletic Director, Admissions Office
Status: Ongoing as new staff are appointed. Director of Admissions and Athletic Director have met with each coach to clarify objectives.

Objective C. Better market financial incentives for student scholars to enroll at Centenary College and create more non-financial ones.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: In Progress. Seek assistance of Enrollment Management Committee to identify/develop non-financial incentives. State TOPS program will facilitate entry of students into Centenary by making cost more affordable.

Objective D. Target areas which show the greatest potential for yielding full-paying students.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Using the EPS system to identify areas. The College is increasing numbers of visits to private schools, examining the feasibility of bringing private school counselors to the Centenary campus. During the summer of 2000, the V.P. for College Relations will place Development/Admissions Coordinators in New Orleans and Houston — Dallas in 2001-2002.

Objective E. Optimize the CAPPA program to utilize the resources of Centenary alumni on behalf of recruiting students.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Enrollment Management appointed a staff liaison person to enhance communication with alumni volunteers and is increasing the number of college fairs and prospective student interviews that are covered by alumni.

Objective F. Increase the extent and intensity of geographical coverage and racial diversity of the off-campus recruitment program.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: EPS being used to identify areas of greatest potential. Target for visits increased to 1,000+. Hire a minority admissions counsellor, fall 2000.

Objective G. Expand markets to the national level, increasing travel outside the immediate region, focusing on visits to private schools, and developing "hotel programs" at major application sites.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Travel has been expanded outside the immediate region, and more than a dozen hotel programs have been completed.

Objective H. Include faculty, staff, students, and alumni for particular recruiting events in each recruiting effort.

Resources: As Above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Faculty, staff, and alumni were employed in recruiting efforts in 1997-98.

Objective I. Create "bus-trip weekends."

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Feasibility study

Objective J. Enhance campus visits through use of student tour guides and student ambassadors during open house coinciding with Parents' Weekend and other events.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Campus visit program has been improved through use of student tour guides and ambassadors.

Objective K. Enhance letters sent to prospective students.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: All letters mailed to prospective students have been modified, each tailored according to the quality of the student.

Objective L. Strengthen relationships with high school counselors by creating a private-school counselor program and encouraging local counselors to visit campus.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Local counselors were invited to campus in 1997-98 and 1998-99.

Objective M. Seek to bring local college night to campus.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: While the College was unable to bring the local college fair to campus for the time being, the 1998 Articulation Workshop was held at Centenary on 9/10/98.

Objective N. Enhance admissions publications and assure efficient timing of mailings.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Each of the five admissions publications were redesigned and printed in 8/98; three of five were redesigned for use in fall, 1998. Further changes will be completed by fall 1999.

Objective O. Develop and distribute a new Centenary College video.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Pending.

Objective P. Enhance the level and efficiency of focused faculty involvement in the admissions process through training, specific appointments with prospective students, faculty phone-a-thon, and targeted travel.

Resources: As above
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Completed.

See other objectives under Student Life above.

Other GoalS

Goal 5. Improve Retention.

Although Centenary is supported by an endowment approaching $120 million and receives yearly contributions to the Annual Fund disproportionately large to the institution's size, it is still chiefly dependent on tuition and fees to sustain the enterprise. Strong competition among all institutions in the private sector of higher education for new students (and growing competition with the public sector) requires substantial investment for the enrollment of each student FTE with the result that each student who withdraws also represents a significant loss of investment for the College. To stem this loss of investment and maximize the use of available resources, the College will: Note that the objective of developing a retention plan was achieved, but not successful.

Objective A. Develop a plan focused specifically on retention by 6/1/97.

Resources: N.A.
Responsibility: Provost, V.P. for College Relations, Dean of Student Life
Status: Mandate Enrollment Management Committee to develop a plan with consideration of: improving quality of entering class, developing measures to reduce attrition, better analyzing retention data, enhancing the advising process, and addressing student life needs. Appointed Retention Director, summer 1998. Dean of Students and VP for College Relations and Provost are coordinating a retention network under the Retention Director, appointed fall, 1998.

Goal 6. Achieve Greater Flexibility in Management of Endowed Funds Consistent with Sound Management Principles.

Centenary College enjoys an endowment significantly larger than many other institutions of its size, and it has used well the income it generates to create a national reputation. In order to accomplish more and develop a competitive college for a new millennium, it should follow the lead of other institutions of comparable quality to maximize the return on its endowment and thereby make new resources available for needed improvements and promising initiatives.

Objective A. Seek and implement the means to achieve greater flexibility by the 1997-98 year.

Resources: N.A.
Responsibility: V.P. for Finance and Administration
Status: Endowment and Investment Committee developed new investment policies and diversified asset allocation in the endowment 4/98.

Goal 7. Increase Efforts to Publicize the Quality of the College.

It is frequently said by distinguished visitors in a position to assess the quality of academic institutions that Centenary College is "one of the best-kept secrets" in higher education, and to a certain extent this is true. The College has historically been too modest in making the accomplishments of its faculty, students, and staff known to the world at large, and it needs to find ways to make the name of Centenary a household term in all parts of the country and in select areas abroad. All objectives enjoy ongoing status.

Objective A. Objective: Enhance support of Centenary home page development on WWW.

Resources: $10,000
Responsibility: Provost
Status: Five faculty/staff sent to WWW workshop summer, 1996; additional faculty in summers of 1997 and 1998. Centenary Webmaster appointed in Magale Library and a technical consultant provided to support the Webmaster and other members of the campus community in development of home pages. Open HTML workshop held 9/96; additional basic and advanced courses offered in 1996-97 and thereafter. College home page in place and being updated; all but two academic units have home pages. All academic support services have home pages. One third of all faculty have personal home pages.

Objective B. Increase numbers of radio and TV public service announcements, including KSCL.

Resources: No additional required
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Ongoing

Objective C. Complete campus expertise database and pursue listing on Global Experts Database on WWW.

Resources: No additional required
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Ongoing

Objective D. Seek media placement opportunities via ProfNet.

Resources: Operating budget
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Ongoing

Objective E. Host annual media luncheon, beginning fall, 1996.

Resources: Operating budget
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Ongoing

Objective F. Undertake efforts to increase awareness of Centenary College in other countries.

Resources: To be determined
Responsibility: Provost, Director of Intercultural Affairs
Status: Exchanges in France, Germany and Denmark have been supplemented with new programs in Oxford; student and faculty programs continue. Fall, 1996 and 1997 brought visit of Danish teachers to campus. Added programs in Mexico and Ireland in 1998-99. Centenary College Choir continues to perform overseas each year.

Goal 8. Increase Contact with Alumni and Other Friends of the College.

Recent years have witnessed the return of many alumni to the Centenary campus, a number for the first time since graduation. Among such persons, testimonials are commonplace to the significance of their education for their success as members of society and in the work place. The College needs to increase recent efforts to stimulate interest of alumni in the College and particularly to showcase the successes of graduates with students on campus.

Objective A. Objective: Survey Centenary alumni on a recurring basis.

Resources: Ongoing budget support
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Latest comprehensive survey distributed fall, 1995; will survey reuniting classes each year.

Objective B. Enhance involvement of alumni in on- and off-campus activities.

Resources: Ongoing budget support
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: 16 cities targeted in 1995-96; additional cities in subsequent years. New national alumni board developed 1997-98.

Objective C. Team Career Center and Development Office in an alumni-focused effort to secure internships and employment for Centenary students.

Resources: Ongoing budget support
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations, Director of the Career Center
Status: Under development

Objective D. Develop and recruit a geographically broad-based national Alumni Board of Directors.

Resources: Ongoing budget support
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations
Status: Completed 1998.

Objective E. Gain admission to the Southland Conference to increase level of student and alumni interest in athletic events.

Resources: $250,000
Responsibility: Director of Athletics
Status: Ongoing. During the 1998-99 academic year, Centenary applied for admission to the Southland Conference. During the Spring semester 1999, Centenary received notice that it had been rejected for membership in the Southland. The rejection was due primarily to Centenary's lack of a football team. At the January 2000 NCAA National Convention, Centenary met with six other independent colleges for the purpose of forming a new NCAA Division 1 athletic conference. The schools represented were Birmingham-Southern College, Centenary, UT Pan American University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Belmont University, Lipscomb University, and Gardner Webb University. In March 2000 the Presidents and Athletic Directors of each of these schools met and discussed the formation of the new conference. The name of the conference will be the America South Athletic Conference, and athletic competition will begin during the 2001-2002 academic year.

Objective F. Increase and coordinate efforts to identify alumni by academic major and to maintain contact between individuals and their former departments.

Resources: To be determined
Responsibility: Academic Departments, V.P. for College Relations
Status: Some departments such as Physics have developed newsletters with which to maintain a relationship with alumni, while Geology actually schedules events such as dinners with local graduates of the geology program. The majority of contacts with alumni, however, are College- and not department-based. The affinity of alumni to their disciplines is not being sufficiently exploited as a vehicle for maintaining and solidifying bonds with the College. The Director of Alumni Affairs and academic departments should work together to develop discipline-focused data bases and strategies for taking better advantage of the affection graduates have for their former teachers and departments.

Goal 9. Acquire Land on the Campus Periphery to Support Future Growth, Increase Security, and Enhance the Attractiveness of the Neighborhood.

It has been a long-standing goal of Centenary College to grow, but its growth will be constrained by the limitations of the small size of its campus, which will not provide opportunity for future construction to support growth. In addition, esthetic and security considerations provide compelling reasons to develop a buffer area surrounding the campus that can assure that its beauty will not be compromised by incompatible developments within eye view of the institution, and that access to the campus will remain under control of the institution.

Objective A. Negotiate with owners of specific parcels of property of interest to the College.

Resources: To be determined
Responsibility: V.P. for College Relations, V.P. for Finance and Administration
Status: Centenary Square and other parcels of real estate in the vicinity of the campus have been acquired. Land in the vicinity of Barksdale AFB obtained on government grant to be used for environmental research. Second parcel near Wallace Lake Dam obtained from U.S. government. Parcels on South Woodlawn, Rutherford and Wilkinson obtained in 1999/2000.

Last revised 19 October 2000

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