The university released its newest five year strategic plan, outlining initiatives in six separate categories overall focused on student experiences, financial foundations and elevating the university’s academic brand.
The plan was presented in the annual faculty pre-session meeting Aug. 24 by Dr. Phil Schubert, president of the university, and Provost Dr. Robert Rhodes.
The six categories that make up the strategic plan are as follows:
- Elevate ACU’s academic brand to that of a world-class, faith-based national university
- Provide a vibrant student experience that strengthens ACU’s commitment to spiritual formation and leverages ACU’s nation leadership in student success
- Promote an internal culture that celebrates every individual as created uniquely in God’s image
- Provide a nationally competitive, Christ-centered athletics program that extends the university’s brand and propels ACU’s mission.
- Strengthen ACU’s financial foundation to aggressively pursue the strategic opportunities
- Develop ACU’s campuses through enhancements that will support our strategic objectives, facilitates growth and provide long-term stewardship of physical assets
Of these six categories there are multiple metrics being tracked for improvement as well as goals in all areas of the university.
A few of the more notable goals include increasing ACU Online enrollment by 150%, improving graduate degree offerings by introducing more Ph.D. programs and exploring options of offering advanced medical degrees.
Schubert said in conjunction with the goal of improving the graduate programs, the overall academic brand will be improved by doing so.
“The logic is that an institution’s academic profile is most effectively strengthened at the graduate level,” Schubert said.
As far as advanced medical degrees are concerned, the university is working to “complete an exhaustive feasibility study for a new Health Sciences Center” according to the strategic plan.
Schubert said there may be progress on this front.
“I expect there will be a recommendation for us to move forward with a medical school,” Schubert said.
However, the recommendation is the first step in a long process of deciding whether or not a Health Sciences Center is feasible for the university.
Another goal in the strategic plan states a hope to “compound recent enrollment gains to allow ACU to enroll an entering freshman class of 950 students each fall.”
As of this semester, the estimated freshmen enrollment is 944 freshmen, a significant increase from the previous year.
“We’re up 70 freshmen, I feel great about the rebound,” Schubert said. “That’s where we need to be.”
Despite the detailed metrics laid out in the plan, Schubert wants people to understand the focus on improving the academic profile of the university.
“What I want people to know is that the overarching focus is to improve an academic file,” Schubert said. “We are pushing the envelope to elevate your academic brand.”