Mount Union College President Jack Ewing Delivers State of the College Address
April 10, 2003
At a time when many colleges and universities are struggling, Mount Union College President Jack Ewing said that he believes few other college presidents could deliver as positive a report as he was able to give at the annual State of the College Address, held Thursday, April 10.
"What is the state of Mount Union College? It is very good indeed," said Ewing, who followed by offering evidence to support this statement. Enrollment goals being met; a renewed emphasis on service learning; the newest facility, Bracy Hall, nearing completion and an increase in the number of donors contributing to the College's Annual Fund were a few of the positive statements Ewing made about the College's present and future state.
Ewing announced that for the 49th straight year, Mount Union College will report balanced financial operations.
"I cannot really appropriately describe how significant this is," said Ewing. "For an institution, in these economic times, to be able to continue to balance the budget, and at the same time, increase compensation -- it is really quite amazing.
"We have learned to live within our means and have done that extremely well. We have done well to keep tuition and fees under control." Ewing cited the fact that Mount Union is regularly listed in U.S. News and World Report's Best Values section of colleges in the Midwest.
Ewing also pointed to the strength of Mount Union's endowment, as another basis for the success of the institution. Mount Union ranks 290th in the country in endowment.
"This ranking is in comparison to all institutions -- of all sizes, private and public," said Ewing. "We have done extremely well."
Ewing presented charts, outlining the dramatic growth of the College since the early 1990s. Since that time, the College has chosen to maintain enrollment numbers at a desired level of nearly 2,100 students.
Ewing selected some of the accomplishments of the strategic plan that have been attained over the past year, including the implementation of a staff incentive program, progress on the development of a "First Year Experience" program for incoming freshmen, progress on a new technology plan for the campus and a completed integrated marketing plan that is being implemented.
"We are pleased to report a renewed emphasis on service learning and service to the Alliance community has been enhanced," said Ewing. The College's relationship with the Alliance City Schools has been strengthened through the receipt of a $200,000 federal grant for faculty and early childhood education. These funds will be used to implement the "Master Teacher" program, whereby a teacher from the Alliance City Schools will spend a year as a faculty member at Mount Union College, while a recent Mount Union graduate will replace that teacher in the classroom. Plans are also underway to implement a community building program in Alliance this summer for American students of color.
Academically, various strides have been made as outlined through the strategic plan, such as work on rejuvenating the honors program and dialogue on enhancing the intellectual atmosphere.
Future goals were outlined by Ewing, which included complete planning for fine arts facilities on campus, plans to develop additional on-campus, residential housing, and development of comprehensive plans to address various diversity goals. The College also plans to secure additional funding to for faculty positions and student scholarships.
"The future of Mount Union College is very bright," said Ewing. "There is much affirmation that Mount Union has done its job very cost effectively, while not charging students as much as most of our competition. It really is a wonderful place to be."