President Connie Book addressed faculty, students and their families Saturday morning to talk about Elon’s accomplishments and goals for the university in the next decade. The president gave updates on the current strategic plan, recent accomplishments and the plan going forward.
Book recapped goals of the Elon Commitment 2010-2020 strategic plan, which is set to come to a close on Dec. 31 of this year. Projected to reach 97% of the university’s goals, the president talked about seeing the plan’s vision coming to life every day on campus.
“Elon is one of the places where you can see the plan in action every day,” Book said. According to the progress tracker, run by Dr. Steven House, the Elon Commitment plan has completed numerous initiatives including broadening study abroad access, expanding diversity and multicultural resources and establishing sustainability initiatives.
The president also touched on Elon’s new national rankings, Elon LEADS and new building projects.
Elon, which moved into the national rankings this fall, has put the university in a competitive position. president Book pointed out a distinct difference between Elon and other universities in regards to this: where other schools are known for research and sports, Elon is focused on setting a reputation of student success.
“What we’re focused on is the four year graduation rate and employment,” Book said. “The story we bring to the nation is our story about student success.”
On Elon LEADS, the president said that the university has raised $175 million of a $250 million scholarship fundraising goal. Book has been on the road all summer raising money for scholarships.
The president also announced plans for two new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) buildings to support the new engineering programs at Elon. “I just looked at the designs for two new buildings that will advance our efforts in STEM,” Book said. “We launched a new engineering program, so we need new facilities to help support that.”
The president also touched base on the recent opening of the new LaRose Commons in the Historic Neighborhood, as well as the plans for The Inn at Elon, which is set to open to the public on Jan. 6, 2020.
Book closed with the new 2020-2030 strategic plan, announcing four new themes that will drive the focus of the plan. Rise, Learn, Thrive and Connect will guide the plan, which the university hopes to fully launch on Jan. 1 2020. Included in the new strategy are plans for athletics, health sciences and alumni connections.
“In the next decade we will be advancing athletics,” Book said. “We also are working on our lifelong commitment to learning with our alumni.” The president also announced that Elon will be starting a nursing program within the next decade as part of the 2020-2030 plan.