The President's Report, 1997-98
Since its founding in 1825, Centenary College has been committed to the preservation of academic rigor, high standards of personal conduct, and the integrated development of the mind, body, and spirit of its students. The College encourages a lifelong dedication to learning and to serving others.
We will continue to enhance our reputation as one of the premier student-centered liberal arts colleges in the nation -- one that leaves a positive and permanent mark on the life of every graduate and focuses on the development of cultured, well-rounded individuals who will be responsible, skilled and capable of exercising leadership.
Our student body will be diverse, comprised of persons from different cultures, geographical areas, and age groups. Guided and mentored by gifted faculty and staff, students will excel in high-quality programs. They will develop on a campus characterized by rich opportunities for interaction with outstanding scholars, artists, and leaders. Increasing numbers of students will enroll in graduate and professional programs after completion of their undergraduate studies and develop as leaders in their chosen fields.
Building on current strengths, the College will increase its standing as one of the nation's finest small colleges, elevate its position within the ranks of the top 200 math/science programs in the U.S., and enhance its status as a regional center for the performing and visual arts. Although our primary program focus will be on undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, we will continue to offer a limited number of graduate programs that reflect the special needs of the region's population and the economy.
All programs will be taught by faculty who are not only recruited for their strong academic credentials but also for their demonstrated skills as teachers, their commitment to scholarship, and their recognition of the centrality of the involvement of students in their own learning.
In addition to the importance of the College as a place that nurtures and sustains high-quality teaching and learning, together with the development of character, we recognize the significance of Centenary College as a good place to be. As such, the college will continue to develop both activities that are educational in nature and those that are simply fun. Already known for the beauty of its setting, the institution will also continue to develop and enhance the physical plant and campus grounds, both in support of the high quality of life to which we are committed and as a visual statement -- one that reflects the excellence that takes place every day at Centenary College.
To realize this vision, Centenary will focus its efforts over the next three to five years in four areas:
To enhance the excellence of the College, Centenary has developed the goals and objectives outlined on the following pages.
Among prospective students and the public, the esteem in which colleges and universities are held is determined by numerous factors, but no considerations are more central than two: the excellence and variety of programs delivered by the faculty, and the quality and responsiveness of staff that support the institution in achieving academic excellence. As a selective college approaching its third century of service to students, Centenary will not abandon the tradition that has identified this institution -- the oldest higher education institution west of the Mississippi -- as one of the nation's finest small colleges. It will maintain its high standards, continue to refine the curriculum consistent with a changing society and the needs of students and, as always, recruit and nurture the highest quality faculty and staff to support the education and development of students.
OBTAIN NECESSARY EQUIPMENT, FACILITIES AND INFORMATION RESOURCES TO SUPPORT ACADEMIC PROGRAMS AND RESEARCH.
Those who write about our era describe it as the "Age of Technology" or, alternatively, the "Age of Information," in which knowledge is said to double every four years. Both terms reflect profound changes we have experienced as a result of advancements in science and technology in recent decades. Unthinkable goals only a generation ago were the mapping of the human genome and creation of a computer network providing instant links with data bases that support faculty and students in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities as well as with tens of millions of persons of every kind and in every sector of the world. Sophisticated scientific instrumentation and increasingly powerful and affordable computers, however, have made these goals a reality today. The challenge for all high-quality academic institutions is to provide their programs with equipment and information resources adequate to prepare their students not only for competence in this knowledge-intensive world, but leadership in that sector as well. Toward that end, we will:
Status: Request was submitted in 1997-98 to Board of Regents for 15 endowed professorships, supported by a $1.5 million endowment, with which to create a faculty support fund that can be used for equipment purchases. Three professorships approved for 1998-99, with the additional 12 remaining for future funding.
Status: Funded by Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Renovation under way.
Status: Ongoing, $355,829 proposal submitted for equipment funding in 1998-99.
Status: Proposal submitted to foundation. Schematic developed.
Status: Funding obtained; system installed summer, 1998.
Status: Funds obtained for one renovation. Installation in Mickle Hall auditorium scheduled for summer, 1999.
Status: Funds obtained; completed August 1996. PCs augmented and upgraded to Pentiums in summer, 1998.
Status: Funds obtained; lab installed.
Status: Funds obtained; renovation completed and equipment installed. Lab space for new neuroscience chair will be renovated upon appointment of incumbent.
Status: Concept integrated into planned arts complex. Schematic rendered by architect, spring, 1998.
Status: Campaign goal.
Status: Campaign goal. Funds obtained for window replacement and project completed summer, 1997. Brickwork partially completed.
Status: Discussions undertaken in spring, 1998, with faculty in the arts about space needs for a projected arts complex; preliminary design completed by architect. Video equipment for communication component of arts complex obtained spring, 1998. New Dean of the Hurley School of Music and Director of Meadows Museum appointed summer, 1998.
Status: Campaign goal. Proposal for matching funds submitted to Board of Regents in spring, 1998 for matching funds to create 15 endowed professorships, endowment earnings from which will help support this objective. Three approved, summer 1998; additional 12 remain for future Board of Regents funding.
INCREASE STUDENT INVOLVEMENT IN RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACTIVITIES.
Extensive research on both student learning and retention indicates that hands-on activities, as a central focus of instruction, together with collaborative learning, constitute major motivators of those we teach and can result in significant increases in both subject interest and overall retention. Involvement of science students in research has become a major emphasis at trend-setting institutions as a result of recommendations on reform of mathematics and science teaching proposed by the National Research Council and reaffirmed by the National Science Foundation with its Systemic Initiative Program. The Louisiana Board of Regents has adopted its own Systemic Initiative Program (LASIP) to support the reformed mode of teaching. Centenary has responded by initiating substantial reform of its curriculum and teaching methodologies, a fact that has been recognized by the recent award of a $600,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. To further enhance our students' involvement in research and creative activities, we will:
Status: Student Research Forum successfully completed April 1998. Jennifer Phifer, winner of the top prize, was also the recipient of a $1,000 prize for the highest honor at the regional meeting of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society for her research.
Status: Stipends provided to students in Geology, Chemistry, and Physics for summer, 1996, 1997, and 1998. Funding for four Centenary and four high school students provided in Hughes grant for summer, 1997 and 1998.
Status: $84,000 available from Hughes grant; other funds from restricted accounts.
Status: Funds available from Hughes grant/restricted accounts. Ten chemistry students attended (with several of them presenting research at) the annual meeting of the Southwest Association of Biology in New Mexico.
Status: Two attended, summer, 1996; two additional, fall, 1997. Additional faculty will attend 1998-99 with the goal of achieving 100 percent participation in that year.
Status: Ongoing; four faculty members have already attended.
Status: Ongoing; as programs and funding available. Two have attended last two years.
Status: In place.
Status: Implemented, fall semester, 1996. five colloquia in 1996-97; equal number in 1997-98.
Status: Funds offered to students presenting at the NCUR conference in 1996-97. Fund established to support student travel in 1995-96.
PROVIDE A SCIENCE FACILITY EQUIPPED TO SUPPORT RESEARCH AND TEACHING IN THE REFORMED, LABORATORY-INTENSIVE MODE.
The tradition of excellence in science at Centenary College is a venerable one, documented by the fact that a member of its inaugural faculty was a founder of Louisiana's first medical school and later recognized by election to the predecessor of the National Academy of Sciences. This firm foundation in science was reinforced in our century with the Warters-Entrikin tradition that shaped contemporary Centenary science -- recently ranked as one of the top 200 math/science programs in the U.S. This excellence has been recognized by acceptance of Centenary students at prestigious graduate and professional schools and the increasing number of grants made to faculty in recent years from government agencies and foundations, such as the recent award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to support teaching in the hands-on, laboratory-rich mode recommended by the Systemic Initiative of the National Science Foundation. The present science building erected during a period when the lecture format prevailed and undergraduate research was negligible, when safety and HVAC requirements were significantly lower than now, is inadequate to sustain modern science. To support the new mode of teaching and to release space in Mickle Hall required for other programs, we will:
Status: Also considering the renovation of Mickle Hall for science. Pending such decision, the Department of Education vacated Mickle Hall, summer, 1988, to create additional space for science.
Status: Objective may be revised should Mickle Hall be renovated for science.
ACHIEVE COMPENSATION PARITY FOR FACULTY.
Higher education is beginning to feel the effects of restructuring that is taking place in industry, government, and the health professions, which has had an impact on thousands of persons from the top to the bottom of countless organizations in every part of the country. The force of various cost-cutting measures undertaken in the name of "downsizing" and "re-engineering" has been felt most strongly in public institutions of higher education: those subject to the political agendas of office holders. Private institutions are now examining their own budgets with greater stringency. Because of the effects of rising costs and increasing competition, the cost of any decision -- however small -- can no longer be considered irrelevant. Adequate compensation, including benefits, for those responsible for the education, development, and support of our students is highly relevant if we are highly relevant if we are committed to attracting an to attract and retain the best available talents. Such compensation should be focused on equity and merit. Consistent with its means, the institution will undertake to bring salaries in line with institutions similar to Centenary College in size and character:
Identify and pursue appropriate means with which to achieve parity.
Status: The college has used and will continue to use endowed positions as one vehicle to increase compensation of selected faculty. Overall, the ability to increase compensation will depend on the institution's success in increasing net revenue, and this will require a significant increase in the size of the student body. Faculty awarded 7% increase for 1998-99 with a one-percent increase in retirement contribution. The institution will provide a similar salary pool and increase in retirement contribution for the subsequent four years (student enrollment and revenues permitting) to raise salaries to peer institution levels. In 1998-99 faculty salaries for 1999-2000 will be determined with a merit component.
ACHIEVE COMPENSATION PARITY FOR STAFF WITH THE JOB MARKET.
Staff constitutes the mortar that holds the bricks of the institution together. To recruit the best available talent, salary and benefits, determined on the basis of equity and merit, are principal incentives to choose Centenary over another opportunity. Staff members enjoy a degree of mobility that is not available to many others in the academic community, so it is important that the college particularly focus on retention of valuable staff so that the institution is able to continue enjoying the benefits of their talents and experience. To assist us in being more effective in these efforts, we will:
Status: The college provided a 6 percent salary pool for staff in 1998-99, an additional one percent for equity adjustments, and an additional one percent retirement contribution. If revenues permit, the institution will further adjust salaries under a merit system in subsequent years.
IMPROVE FACILITIES FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENCES.
The Social Sciences Division is dispersed among three buildings on campus. The faculty of the majority of the core disciplines of the social sciences -- history, political science, psychology, and sociology -- are housed in the basement of Magale Library, a space that will be needed for eventual expansion of the book/serials collection and other uses in the projected campus information center. Economics is integrated with the Frost School of Business and has limited contact, therefore, with the other core disciplines. Until the faculty in the library can move to a facility that can meet its current space needs and provide for programs that are likely to grow, steps should be taken to improve the livability and safety of their spaces and the functionality of their classrooms.
Status: Completed, fall 1996. Basement painted, spring 1997.
Status: Carpet assisted in addressing sound problems.
PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR FACULTY AND STAFF DEVELOPMENT.
The higher education environment is a dynamic one. To advance knowledge and to prepare its students to play a responsible role as citizens and to serve with skill and competence in the workplace, the faculty and staff must possess the proficiencies that will allow them to perform their important roles consistent with new developments in society and their areas of specialty.
Status: Ongoing need. Obtained ACS funds for faculty to attend advanced computer workshops in summers, 1996-98, through Andrew Mellon Foundation grant; anticipate additional funding for 1998-99. Funds provided to develop the teaching of new and existing faculty through microteaching workshops, 1996-97. Four faculty have participated in ACS teaching workshop at Rollins College; one additional person will attend summer of 1998. Hughes grant provides funding for training faculty in the biosciences through 2000. ACS grant provides funds for a faculty environmental fellow in 1998-99 and two interns; two environmental research projects for 1997-98 and 1998-99.
Status: Ongoing need. Computer Services offering workshops on an ongoing basis. Additional computer workshops in Senior Adult Education are being offered. One staff member provided with advanced computer training through ACS grant, summer, 1996. Library staff received training under Mellon Foundation grant, 1996-97 and training in 1998-99 from vendor for integrated library system. Key staff members are receiving training from vendor as well as in-house staff training as needed for the Banner administrative computing system.
DEVELOP A MODEL GENERAL EDUCATION PROGRAM.
The success of liberal arts college graduates is documented by the large proportion of faculty at higher education institutions and chief executives of large corporations who prepared at liberal arts colleges. In addition to substantial academic standards, the bulk of these institutions are characterized by a well-developed and coherent core curriculum that provides their students with intellectual and other skills that will serve as a firm foundation for meeting the challenges presented to them in society and their careers, and for exercising leadership. While Centenary does provide its student body with a rich palette of courses in the core curriculum, its focus is less on development of skills and competencies articulated in the new mission statement of the college than on exposure to virtually all the broad academic areas represented in the catalogue. To better fulfill the mission it has adopted, and to create a coherent curriculum that will better prepare students for what they will encounter in the 21st century, the College will review the assumptions stated in the college purpose statement and make the requisite revisions:
Status: Freshman-Year experience course developed by Academic Policy Committee, 1997-98; being implemented, fall, 1998.
Status: Mandated in SACS review 1997-98. Proposed guidelines and schedule submitted by Provost to Academic Policy fall, 1998. Implementation target: spring, 1999.
INCREASE STUDENT PLACEMENT IN THE BEST GRADUATE AND PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS.
The reputation of Centenary continues to increase year by year as a result of the accomplishments of the faculty, students, and staff become better known outside of our immediate area. Since the best advertisement the College has for its quality is its students, it is imperative that they carry the name of Centenary to the premier institutions across the entire country to better acquaint those at pace-setting universities everywhere with what we produce and what we have to offer to the world of professional and post-graduate education.
Status: Ongoing priority. Increased publicity has resulted in greater numbers of participants. Larger prizes for the best presentations have provided more incentive to participate. Campus will redouble efforts to increase faculty and student awareness of the desirability to participate by any student focused on graduate and professional programs.
Status: Hughes grant provides funding for presentation at national science forums; Women's Endowment Quorum is developing an endowment to support student travel. First student presented research at NCUR, spring, 1997.
Status: Recent years have seen a number of placements outside the region, however the majority of applicants maintain their regional focus. Institution should seek to provide funds for needy students to attend interviews and possibilities for virtual interviews via the Internet.
Status: The main impetus for motivating students to study overseas must come from their advisors and other faculty who should discuss opportunities with students early in the year in which they are eligible to apply, if not sooner. The Centenary Plan Committee should lead in encouraging faculty outside the Foreign Language Department to encourage students to consider overseas study as an important part of their education. Faculty advocacy for such programs would increase if faculty were to take more advantage of opportunities presented by the Fulbright and other programs that provide for research and teaching abroad.
Status: Centenary successfully obtained a small number of national fellowships in recent years, together with a Rhodes regional finalist, but the number of awards is not commensurate with its potential for winning such awards. Faculty should make students aware of such opportunities early in their careers, and encourage and assist them in making application. The English Department has made strong efforts to groom its best students for pursuit of important fellowships. The program in French has been very successful in preparing students to win important awards.
Status: Over the past three years the College has made it a priority in recruiting faculty to give preference to those who are members of Phi Beta Kappa. This is necessary to develop a critical mass of faculty with which to qualify for a chapter. Under funding from the Mellon Foundation, the college has increased library resources, and the Provost is working with the new Chief Information Officer to develop Magale Library into a campus Information Center -- with the library as its nucleus -- which will significantly increase campus information resources. The Provost has discussed strategies for acceptance into Phi Beta Kappa with institutions that have recently been successful in their applications, and these will become the basis of a plan of action when Centenary is ready to apply. A committee has been formed to oversee the process that could lead to a chapter in 2003.
Status: Committee will pursue both opportunities.
The Centenary College catalogue articulates the institution's purpose in the following manner: "Academic and co-curricular programs...support students in their development and encourage them to become leaders in the work place, the community, the nation, and the world at large." This confirms the long-held notion at Centenary that the responsibility of the college is not only to educate students but also to develop them as citizens and contributors to the world of work. The institution recognizes, as well, that in the lives of students it is desirable to achieve a healthy balance between study and recreation, hard work and leisure, and the mind and the body.
IMPROVE/EXPAND FACILITIES TO MEET WELLNESS, RECREATION, AND SOCIAL NEEDS OF STUDENTS.
Recent decades have recorded a quantum increase in health consciousness, particularly among young, educated Americans. During the same period, higher education has experienced a growing competitiveness, most notably in the private sector, which has led institutions to increase their focus on quality of life. Several studies at Centenary College have concluded that the wider campus community perceives development of a wellness facility as its highest priority. In addition, students agree that the college is in need of facilities where organizations can consolidate, and individuals and groups can gather to better address their recreational and social needs. In response to these urgent needs, we will:
Status: Feasibility study, land acquisition almost complete. Discussion with potential financial partners, 1996-98. Discussions with Highland Hospital, LSUMC, and Shreveport Swim Club on preliminary design of facility, summer 1998. Preliminary plans to be completed fall, 1998.
Status: Campaign goal; discussions undertaken with possible donors. Discussions with architects on plans for renovation summer, 1998. Plans to be completed during 1998-99.
Status: Haynes renovation planned as part of wellness center; seek funds for other renovations. Hardin Field sprinkler system completed summer, 1997. Renewal of Hardin tennis courts completed summer, 1998.
Status: Seeking funds. First section of seating at soccer field completed spring, 1998.
Status: Seeking funds for soccer and baseball lights. Baseball field improvements completed spring, 1997. Softball field lights installed summer, 1998.
Status: Seeking funds.
Status: Seeking funds. New fence and entrance completed.
Status: Proposal under development; seeking funds.
Status: Proposal under development; seeking funds
Status: Seeking funds. First phase complete: Academic center and offices for soccer coach in place. Phase two will include expansion of academic center and reallocation of space to provide offices for volleyball, women’s basketball, and sports information.
Status: Seeking funds.
UPGRADE STUDENT LIVING QUARTERS.
In concert with the rest of American society, higher education has experienced significant social changes as it has moved away from the concept of a relatively structured institutional social organization, functioning in loco parentis, toward one where the campus community has become a microcosm of an increasingly less-structured, informal American society. To provide for much-needed repair, replacement, and modernization of facilities so that the college can project a more contemporary image to prospective students, we will:
Status: Completed, summer, 1997.
Status: Completed, summer, 1998.
Status: Campaign goal; provided for Rotary renovation; discussion with donor, summer, 1998.
Status: Under study.
ASSURE A SAFE CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT.
Visitors to Centenary College are struck by the exceptionally beautiful setting of our campus, which is significantly enhanced by its openness. While we have made it a priority to maintain safe campus conditions and have succeeded in achieving them, the lessons of other institutions suggest that we must increase vigilance so that students, faculty, and staff can continue with the work of teaching and learning in the comfort of our historically secure environment. To assist us in doing so, we will:
Status: Determine feasibility. Proposal made in 1997-98 to restrict access to Magale Library to main entrance, closing other doors on the north and south of the building. Other possibilities under study.
Status: Ongoing. President has initiated and Public Safety Department maintains a dialogue with Shreveport Police Department. As a result, Centenary campus now included in community police patrols.
Status: Ongoing priority. Lighting has been upgraded; barrier erected to prevent campus drive-through; Woodlawn Avenue temporarily closed to non-college traffic. Public Safety staff has been increased. Lighting upgrade for parking areas needed. Permanent closure of Woodlawn to be effected fall, 1998 together with connecting streets. Lot at corner of Oak St. and Kings Hwy. to be cleared and become the site of a Centenary College entrance marker.
DEVELOP A MODEL FRESHMAN-YEAR PROGRAM.
Extensive research into and experience with the freshman year by Dr. John Gardner of the University of South Carolina has confirmed that an integrated program creatively addressing all aspects of the first year of college, from academics to providing adequate laundry facilities, is essential to a feeling of student well being and, thus, a high rate of retention. In pursuit of this, we will:
Status: Dean of Enrollment Management, Dean of Student Life, and Enrollment Management Committee have reviewed program and initiated changes for 1998-99. Summer advising program begun summer, 1998.
Status: Regular staff meetings established 1997. Developed clearer channels of communication. Personnel consultant with whom to raise human resource issues designated, new staff handbook developed.
DEVELOP A WIDE VARIETY OF ACTIVITIES TO ENRICH STUDENT LIFE.
Centenary recognizes that the best college experience combines a high quality academic program with opportunities for students to mature as individuals, citizens, contributors to the work place, and leaders. In support of this multi-faceted mission, we will:
Status: Policy adopted to integrate Convocations Committee with others entities developing events; additional funds budgeted. Speakers being selected in 1998-99 to coordinate with the theme of the first-year experience.
Status: Being implemented.
Status: Campus vending machine income dedicated to funding of student activities; additional funds have been allocated.
Status: Donors solicited, fund-raising events held in 1997-98 to create initial pool of funds. First awards made for summer, 1998 and 1998-99 academic year.
Status: 1997-98 SGA budget completed according to this schedule.
Status: Coach hired April 1998. Recruitment of athletes under way for 1999-2000 season opening.
Status: On hold until conference status is determined.
Status: On hold until conference status is determined.
DEVELOP A COMPREHENSIVE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM TO ASSIST STUDENTS IN FUNDING THEIR EDUCATION AND GAINING PRACTICAL WORK EXPERIENCE.
It is well known among both employers and those who study the transition from college to the work place that students who have gained practical job experience during their college years are significantly more employable than those who lack such experience, further that they are likely to be more successful in their employment once hired. A group of Centenary business students polled the student body in 1995-96, asking to what extent they would be interested in a comprehensive internship program, and the response was strongly in favor.
Status: Referred to the Academic Affairs Committee in 1995-96. ACE/Kellogg team developed a leadership program in 1997-98, endorsed by the Academic Policy Committee in the same year, which provides for internships. Will be implemented with funding from a donor.
DEVELOP PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT A SENSE OF COMMUNITY.
It is well known that there is a direct correlation between individual's integration into a supportive group and a sense of well being. Consistent with this, research in higher education reveals a direct correlation between institutions with a strong sense of community, and a high degree of faculty and staff well being and student retention.
Status: Activities director has been provided with additional funds with which to support activities; activities mix has been enhanced to increase attractiveness to students; holders of endowed chairs and professorships are required to present lectures on their research each semester. Student members have been added to the Student Life Committee of the Board.
Status: The institution has been invited to continue in Phase II of the project, beginning in fall, 1998. Two of the five endowed professorships requested from the Board of Regents with which to support the program have been funded. Three additional ones are pending.
Status: First Pew Roundtable completed 1995-96. Follow-up completed October 1996. Team attended national meeting of Pew institutions (Knight Collaborative) in St. Louis, November 1996. Provost attended additional Knight Collaborative discussions spring, 1998.
Technology & Information Services
The profound effects of the development of powerful and affordable computers over the last two decades are not limited to business and industry. They are felt among countless millions of persons throughout the world, and it is no exaggeration to say that they surface in virtually every element of American life. The giddy pace of the revolution taking place in what many call the Age of Information -- and the implied challenges to be met by those who will play a meaningful role in it -- is revealed in the fact that the complex computer programming required to land human beings on the moon and return them to earth no longer requires a behemoth of a mainframe computer; they can now be accommodated in a relatively modest, hand-held calculator. More than half of Centenary's entering students are computer owners, and a substantial percentage of these have already achieved a level of computer sophistication beyond that of some faculty. As a competitive institution, we must
COMPLETE THE CAMPUS-WIDE INFORMATION SYSTEM USING ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES.
The investment by Centenary College of close to $2 million over the last 3-4 years in computer technology reflects our recognition that we are in the midst of an information explosion that is profoundly changing the way faculty teach and students learn. Since 1993-94, the College has installed a fiber-optic backbone capable of transmitting data, voice, and video. It has networked the campus and connected the Local Area Network to the Internet, providing the campus community with direct access to the entire world. By 1998-99, students will have six PC labs available to them for general use and four additional ones in academic departments. A multimedia lab, foreseen as a technology-based learning center, is being planned. Online access to the Magale Library catalogue has recently been made available through the state-of-the-art integrated library system. Administrative information resources, while still capable of supporting basic needs with a software package more than a decade old, are undergoing a major upgrade with transition to the state-of-the-art Banner system. To seize opportunities, address needs, and solve identified problems, the College will:
Status: Funds obtained from donor; work completed August 1997. Network extended to Centenary Square to support needs of Education Department summer, 1998.
Status: Center for Extended Learning and Turner Art Center hardwired 1997-98; seeking funds to network Gold Dome.
Status: Discussion with foundation completed; proposal submitted; additional funds being sought from donor.
Status: More than 700 additional full-text serials made available in 1996-97; through 8/98 Magale has added ca. 60,000 electronically based titles in full-text, selected full-text or abstract of text format.
Status: Technology resources have increased since 1997 to include four PC labs, the Internet Café, and the first steps toward creation of a media center. Computer-based Integrated library system will be online in 1998-99. Proposal before a foundation for a major grant with which to fund additional resources and renovation, to include creating new space in Magale attic and relocation of archives from Sam Peters Building to Magale.
Status: Chief Information Officer search completed, incumbent appointed as of January 2, 1997.
Status: Funds obtained; installed for 1998-99.
Status: Recommendation of Academic Affairs, Economic Policy and Learning Resources Committee.
Full-time staff increased from four to five 10/96. Additional staff member appointed 1997-98.
Centenary College can look back with pride on its remarkable success over the years in achieving excellence at very reasonable cost to students. 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. 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 only be achieved by sending a positive and powerful message to all our constituencies together with a continued commitment to prudence in financial affairs and generation of much-needed additional revenues.
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, grants, private donations, and other resources, make it especially important that the institution 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:
Status: Completed in 1995-96.
Status: New director appointed summer, 1998. Continuing education mission 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.
DEVELOP OPTIMAL BUDGETARY PROCESSES AND FINANCIAL SYSTEMS
Over the past few years the institution has reviewed its investment policy, food services and physical facilities functions, together with auxiliary enterprises, in a concerted effort to increase efficiencies and to maximize the positive impact of resources available to the college. To further enhance our efficiencies we will:
Status: Banner administrative system purchased in 1997-98; staff in training. Development Office will be online summer, 1998 and other administrative offices in the following year.
FOCUS DEVELOPMENT ON LONG-TERM FUNDING SOURCES FOR COLLEGE NEEDS.
The efficient operation of the institution and its enhancement is 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. It is 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 and unanticipated needs. Toward that end, the College will:
Status: Silent phase of the comprehensive campaign begun June 1, 1995; development campaign on target. Board of Trustees raised the working goal from $50 million to $70 million in February, 1998.
Status: Campaign goal
Status: Campaign goal; Whited Chair funded in 1997 at $600,000; request made in spring of 1998 to Board of Regents for $1.6 million match for $2.4 million raised for three endowed chairs (Communication, Psychology, Geophysics), including one superchair endowed at $2 million. Magale and Entrikin Professorships funded. Additional request to Board of Regents for $800,000 match for $1.2 million raised to fund 20 endowed professorships.
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 steadily improved 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. An increase in the size of the student body will generate the revenues needed. To make this possible, we will:
Status: Project freshman class of 300 for 1998-99. The quality of the class has improved, and the discount rate is less than the previous year.
Status: Ongoing as new staff members are appointed. Dean of Enrollment Management and Athletic Director have met with each coach to clarify objectives.
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.
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.
Status: Enrollment Management is appointing a staff liaison person to assure good communication with alumni volunteers and is increasing the number of college fairs and prospective student interviews that are covered by alumni.
Status: EPS being used to identify areas of greatest potential. Target for visits increased to 1,000+.
Status: Travel has been expanded outside the immediate region, and more than a dozen hotel programs have been completed.
Status: Faculty, staff, and alumni were employed in recruiting efforts in 1997-98.
Status: Feasibility study.
Status: Campus visit program has been improved through use of student tour guides and ambassadors. Calendar does not permit hosting of open house with Parents’ Weekend until fall, 1999.
Status: All letters mailed to prospective students are tailored according to the characteristics of the student.
Status: Local counselors were invited to campus in 1997-98 and 1998-99.
Status: While the college was unable to bring the local college fair to campus for now, the 1998 Articulation Workshop was held at Centenary in September 1998.
Status: Each of the five admissions publications were redesigned and printed in August 1998; three of five were redesigned for use in fall 1998.
Status: Completed, fall, 1996.
Although Centenary is supported by an endowment approaching $100 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:
Status: Enrollment Management Committee will develop a plan to improve quality of entering class, develop measures to reduce attrition, better analyze retention data, enhance the advising process, and address student life needs. Appointed Retention Director, summer 1998. Dean of Students and Dean of Enrollment Management are coordinating a retention network under the Retention Director.
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.
Status: Endowment and Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees developed new investment policies and diversified asset allocation in the endowment in April 1998.
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.
Status: Five faculty/staff sent to WWW workshop summer, 1996; additional faculty in summers of 1997 and 1998. Centenary Webmaster appointed 1996 and a student assistant provided to support the Webmaster and other members of the campus community in development of home pages. Open HTML workshop held September 1996; additional basic and advanced courses to be offered in 1996-97 and thereafter. College home page in place; unit home pages under development.
Status: Exchanges in France, Germany and Denmark have been supplemented with new programs in Mexico and Ireland in 1998-99. Oxford student and faculty programs continue. Fall, 1996 and 1997 brought a visit of Danish teachers to campus.
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.
Status: Latest survey distributed fall 1995; will survey reuniting classes each year.
Enhance involvement of alumni in on- and off-campus activities.
Status: 16 cities targeted in 1995-96; additional cities in subsequent years. New national alumni board developed 1997-98.
Status: Being developed.
Status: Completed 1998.
Status: Ongoing. Contingency plan being developed.
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 Relations 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.
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 remains under control of the institution.
Status: Centenary Square and other parcels of real estate in the vicinity of the campus have been acquired. Land in the vicinity of Barksdale Air Force Base obtained on government grant to be used for environmental research. Second parcel near Wallace Lake Dam obtained from U.S. government.
The President's Annual Report, 1997-98, Selected Accomplishments
Email: Centenary News Service firstname.lastname@example.org
318-869-5120 or 869-5709