Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, created two leadership teams that he said will work together to determine the university’s identity and vision for the future.
He divided those tasks between two groups, the Senior Leadership Team and the new University Operating Cabinet.
“We have a tremendous team of very talented, committed folks who I believe are the right people to take us where we need to go, and that’s a real blessing,” Schubert said.
The Senior Leadership Team will address significant issues involving the university’s identity, purpose, focus and vision Â moving forward, Schubert said. His team includes Suzanne Allmon, senior advisor to the president, Phil Boone, vice president for advancement, Dr. Gary McCaleb, vice president of the university, Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, vice president for Student Life and dean of students and Dr. Jeanine Varner, provost.
“The way I describe that group’s role is to really focus on answering questions on identity, purpose and direction regarding what kind of institution does ACU aspire to be,” Schubert said. “I felt like those types of questions and those types of discussions would be best had with a small, close-knit group of key executive leaders.”
The University Operating Cabinet will turn the Leadership Team’s visions into reality.
“This the group who is going to take the direction and vision from where ACU is to head in the future, and it’s going to turn that into specific strategies and operational activities and help us to achieve those goals and allow us to become that institution that we have envisioned and stated that we want to be,” Schubert said.
The Â University Operating Cabinet will consist of Â Dr. MaLesa Breeding, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, Jason Groves, chief marketing officer, Buck James, chief enrollment officer, Dr. Rick Lytle, dean of the College of Business Administration, Dr. Charles Mattis, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Jared Mosley, director of athletics, Dr. Jack Reese, dean of the College of Biblical Studies, Kevin Roberts, chief planning officer, Dr. Greg Straughn, dean of the Honors College, Slade Sullivan, general counsel and secretary to the Board of Trustees and Kelly Young, chief financial officer.
Schubert said the University Operating Cabinet Â assessed the progress of the strategic plan in its most recent meeting and looked at how it needs to be revised or adjusted moving forward. The five-year plan was written five years ago, and Schubert said the plan represented the first five years of Â the university’s 21st Century Vision.
Schubert said the plan is made up of four main pillars: to build a student demand, create a distinctive and compelling student experience, enhance the academic reputation and overall image of the university and strengthen ACU financially. Under each pillar, he said they have specific, measurable outcomes of what they want to achieve over the five-year period.
“I’m convinced that our 21st century vision is the right vision for ACU’s future. It says we aspire to become the premiere university for the education of Christ-centered, global leaders,” Schubert said. “I believe that ACU can and should be the best in the world at combining an exceptional academic experience and a Christ-centered environment.”
Kevin Roberts, chief planning officer, said the measureable outcomes are not meant to be punitive, but to help them see if they are staying on track and heading in the right direction.
“It is the equivalent to a compass,” Roberts said. “We kind of glance down on it every now again and make sure the arrow is pointing in the direction we want and it doesn’t mean we can’t weave around and do other stuff.”
Roberts said his new role as chief planning officer is different from his previous role as assistant vice president of operations. He said his new responsibilities are more important, but not as urgent as his previous responsibilities. He will, however, continue working with technological aspects of the strategic plans.
He said he has confidence in Schubert and his team and also in the ACU student body.
“I dearly love ACU, and I’m wholeheartedly committed. I believe in the mission, I believe in the vision and I believe in the plan we have,” Roberts said. “If I can help the other folks on campus accomplish the goals that they set out, I’ll go to bed and sleep well at night.”