The Board of Trustees will meet this weekend while a document that will reevaluate the university’s mission and identity is still under review.
The board usually meets every Sing Song weekend to discuss the university’s budget and other key business. However, this meeting will be different as it will review the Document Committee’s articulation of the university’s heritage and future and whatever changes may be necessary.
Dr. Barry Packer, ACU Board of Trustees chair, said in an email the changing culture and the Church of Christ prompted the board to actively see what kind of impact this will have on the university.
“The board believed it was to wise to proactively review our identity and mission in light of these changes and our past commitments,” Packer said. “We have spent significant time studying and understanding ACU’s history as it relates to our heritage in Churches of Christ.”
Packer said throughout the year-long discussion over the document, the board remains committed to the university’s roots in the Church of Christ.
“We have sought to understand the impact secularization has had historically among faith-based colleges and universities,” he said. “We have also sought to understand the current times in which we live and the current status of our religious heritage. In the conversations the board has had over the past year, we have overwhelmingly reaffirmed our commitment to the best values of our heritage in Churches of Christ.”
Packer appointed the Document Committee during the summer to prepare this document that would reflect the board’s view. He said the committee’s purpose is to create an accurate document that reflects the board’s perspective of ACU’s mission and identity. He said the document’s written purpose is: “To articulate what it means for ACU to be an institution of higher education in the Stone-Campbell heritage, particularly as expressed in Churches of Christ, and to provide from the finest values of that heritage the guiding principles, substantiated by the Gospel, that will shape ACU and its constituencies.
Packer said Document Committee decisions won’t directly affect the university’s direction, but the board’s perspective.
“The committee will have little impact on the university as its task is simply to reflect the perspectives of the board in writing a document, not in shaping the future direction of the university,” Packer said. “The document is designed to give broad perspective and direction, not to prescribe details regarding operational decision of the university.”
Packer said that once the first draft of the document is completely reviewed by the board and receives sufficient feedback, the board will make the findings known to the university.
“When the board feels satisfied that it reflects the collective perspective of the board as a body, it will be made public,” he said. “It’s premature to estimate when that will be, nor is there a set deadline by which it must be accomplished.”
Dr. Jack Reese, dean of the College of Biblical Studies
Dr. Barry Packer, board of trustees chair
Dr. Eddie Sharp, board of trustees member
Dr. Royce Money, chancellor of the university
Dr. Doug Foster, professor of church history
Dr. Dwayne VanRheenen, provost emeritus