University Sets Course for Strategic Growth

The Pacific University Board of Trustees approved several proposals at its spring meeting May 16-17 to continue to position the university for strategic growth.

The board approved a strategic plan that includes a goal to increase both its undergraduate and graduate enrollments to 2,000 students each by the year 2020. Enrollment currently consists of 1,700 undergraduate and 1,700 graduate students.

To support that goal, the board also approved a request by university administrators to seek refinancing of existing bond debt to reduce interest payments and enable the institution to make capital improvements on its Forest Grove Campus.

As part of the refinancing request, the board approved a preliminary plan to construct a 400-bed residence hall on the university's north side to replace 47 year-old Clark Hall. The new hall will be located on land adjacent to Clark and will nearly double that hall's capacity.

In addition to the new residence hall, the board approved proposals to redesign the university's north side entrance where Clark Hall currently resides, and renovate the 50-year old University Center to expand dining capacity and food production services.

In addition to the expansion plans on the Forest Grove Campus, the Board of Trustees also approved five new academic degree offerings.  These programs are in response to student demand and projected market need and will also support enrollment growth.   

The College of Health Professions will administer the university's first completely online degree, a bachelor of health sciences, to begin in the fall of 2014.

The university's new College of Business, which officially begins operation in July, will offer three graduate-level degrees: a master of business administration, executive MBA and a master of science in finance.  The college will begin administering bachelor degree programs this fall, with the master of finance program is expected to begin in January. Start dates for the two MBA programs are to be determined.

The College of Education will offer a bachelor of elementary education in English language. The degree offers a route to teacher certification particularly designed for students at our new Woodburn site. 

Additionally, the Board of Trustees also approved the development of a curriculum for a master of social work degree to be administered by the College of Arts & Sciences. The program will be the second graduate degree offering by the college, joining the master of fine arts in writing program, and will be offered first at the Pacific University Eugene Campus.

The board also welcomed three new members, re-elected four existing members, and bestowed emeritus/a status on two outgoing members, whose terms expire June 30.

New trustees are Dori Carlson '88, OD '89, an optometrist based in Park River, N.D.; Catherine Kim, PhD, associate professor of education at Pacific; and Kailea Saplan, an undergraduate student at Pacific majoring in theatre.

Re-elected to the Board of Trustees are chair Mindy Cameron '65 of Sandpoint, Idaho; Julie Berglund Baker of Carlsbad, Calif.; Richard Hanson of Longbranch, Wash.; and Tommy Thayer, lead guitarist of rock band KISS.

Longtime board members Tige Harris and Yvonne Katz received Trustee Emeritus/a status. Harris is senior managing director at First Republic Investment Management in Portland, and Katz is a retired Beaverton school superintendent who resides in San Antonio, Texas.  Harris will remain involved with Pacific by continuing to serve on both the Investment Committee and as a member of the Oak Tree Foundation Board.

Monday, June 3, 2013