By Tim Ellsworth
Union University News Office
JACKSON – Union University trustees on Friday approved a long-range strategic plan for the university, got a clean audit report and passed the second smallest tuition increase in the last 20 years. “United in Spirit. Grounded in Truth.” is the title of the plan that emphasizes seven strategic themes that will guide the work of the university over the next five years: bearing witness to the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ, expanding enrollment across the university, enhancing operational effectiveness and efficiency to advance the mission, revising the liberal arts core curriculum, supporting meaningful research among faculty and students, developing leaders for the future and bolstering student life and building community. “The point of our planning process was to get us to strategically and intentionally think about how we can both unify and coordinate our efforts to accomplish the mission of the institution,” Union President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver said.
“We have really talented and thoughtful people who have good ideas. This is a way for us to identify the things that we’ll be pursuing together over the next five years.”
The strategic plan came from broad-based input across the university, with all departments and academic units thinking together about how to advance the work of Union University.
Oliver said it builds on Union’s strengths and on the university’s core values of “Excellence-driven, Christ-centered, People-focused, and Future-directed.” The entire plan consists of 140 pages of goals and activities that departments and schools have committed to pursue for the next five years.
In other business, trustees learned that total assets grew by about $3 million from the previous year.
Trustees also approved a tuition increase from $14,100 to $14,660 for 2016-17, a 3.97 percent increase.