TRUSTEES REVIEW NEW STRATEGIC PLAN; APPROVE TENURE AND PROMOTIONS, NEW ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP
Bluffton University’s next five-year strategic plan was a primary topic at the spring meeting of the university Board of Trustees April 8 and 9.
"In today’s rapidly changing higher education environment, timely strategic planning is more crucial than ever," Bluffton President Dr. James M. Harder observed. "Bluffton needs to anticipate future opportunities for growth that align with our institutional mission. At the same time, we must ensure that a Bluffton education continues to meet the changing needs and expectations of our students and of society."
The 2011-15 strategic plan identifies institutional goals in three categories, designed to enhance quality, strengthen capacity and foster innovation. During the coming months, faculty and staff will continue to provide input and make final edits to the draft. Upon receiving final board approval, the plan will go into effect in July.
The trustees also discussed significant progress with Extending Our Reach - The Campaign for Bluffton, a $30 million comprehensive campaign which has raised $29.2 million to date.
During their meeting, the trustees heard campus updates from the vice presidents of academic affairs, advancement, fiscal affairs, and enrollment management and student life. The remainder of the board’s agenda was spent on reports from board committees, including a number of actions.
- The Henry J. and Elizabeth R. Toews Scholarship was established through a bequest gift from the donor couple, who valued Bluffton’s mission and connection to their family and Mennonite heritage.
- The 2011-12 capital improvement budget of $1,540,570 was approved.
- Dr. Trevor Bechtel was granted promotion to associate professor of religion.
- Dr. Susan Streeter Carpenter was granted promotion to associate professor of English and granted tenure.
- Dr. Hamid Rafizadeh was granted promotion to professor of business and granted tenure.
- Dr. Randall Keeler, associate professor of religion, was granted tenure.
- Tom Reichenbach, class of 1958, from Bethesda, Md., was reappointed for his second three-year term.
- The trustees approved the 2011-12 slate of board officers: Morris Stutzman, class of 1972, from Wooster, Ohio, as chairperson; Mark Weidner, Bluffton, Ohio, as vice chairperson; LaVonne Hartman, Elida, Ohio, as secretary; and John Liechty, class of 1976, from Goshen, Ind., as treasurer.
Two longtime trustees concluded nearly 50 years of combined service to the board.
- Dr. Ron Lora, class of 1960, from Bluffton, Ohio, served on the board from 1987-2011. A distinguished professor of history at Bluffton and the University of Toledo, Lora served as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and was a representative to the alumni board.
- James H. Bassett, from Lima, Ohio, served on the board from 1987-2011. Bassett served as a member of the Strategic Planning and Board Development Committee. He shared generously from his professional expertise in shaping the character and beauty of Bluffton’s campus through master planning activities and by offering invaluable assistance with multiple building project designs.
Bluffton public relations, 4/13/11