In Troy University’s strategic plan, “Troy University: Vision 2010,” Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., said the University was at a crossroads. “We must be bold, build on our strengths, values and skills and take the path that can lead to higher achievement for our University and the State of Alabama,” Dr. Hawkins said.
Today, Troy University is prepared to do just that using a new initiative known as “Building Beyond Boundaries” as its road map for the journey. “The ‘Building Beyond Boundaries’ initiative is a vital element in the future vision of Troy University,” said Dr. Jean Laliberte, associate vice chancellor for development. “Four goals of the University have been established and we have identified projects that we believe are critical over the next several years to ensure that those goals are achieved.”
The four goals identified under the initiative are:
- Attract and retain the best and brightest;
- Excel in athletics;
- Provide infrastructure to propel growth;
- Lead the way in global education.
Attracting the best and brightest Troy University’s ability to recruit and support the best and brightest students and faculty is at the heart of the University’s continued growth and success, said Dr. John Schmidt, senior vice chancellor for advancement and external relations.
“We are building for the future and that means learning beyond boundaries,” Dr. Schmidt said. “With the addition of new programs such as our Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and a new major in economic development coming online in the fall, we must provide new faculty positions, as well as provide scholarships for our deserving students and professional development for our existing faculty. ‘Building Beyond Boundaries’ will help us as we seek to continue to provide vital programs and attract strong and committed students and faculty.” Among the projects identified as critical to the University’s ability to attract the best and brightest students and faculty are endowed scholarship funds, an international student center, new faculty positions, faculty and student recruitment incentives and programs, two new doctoral programs and continuous improvement in the area of support for teaching.
“Troy University is setting the pace in higher education by combining service to the traditional and non-traditional student and through our distance learning programs,” Dr. Schmidt said. “It is that kind of momentum that must continue as we build for the future.”
Excelling in athletics The ongoing success of the University’s athletic programs contributes directly to TROY’s institutional identity, according to Dr. Schmidt.
“It is amazing to think of the growth and success our athletic programs have enjoyed over the past several years,” Dr. Schmidt said. “Think about it, we had two former Trojans – Lawrence Tynes and Osi Umenyiora – to play for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl. They have represented Troy University well. Then we have DeMarcus Ware with the Dallas Cowboys, who played in the Pro Bowl. Leodis McKelvin, who just finished up his playing career at TROY, was chosen for the Senior Bowl in Mobile and is expected to go as an early pick in the upcoming NFL draft in late April. The success stories carry throughout all of our athletic programs, and as a University, we are proud of the accomplishments of our student-athletes. Success breeds success and that spreads through all areas of the University.”
In order to ensure the continued growth and success of the University’s athletic programs, the “Building Beyond Boundaries” initiative includes essential facilities, programs and community outreach funds that student-athletes need and deserve, while providing vital fitness and recreation services for the Troy Campus. Among the target projects are a new football facility, a multipurpose arena and support for TROY’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ chapter.
Providing infrastructure to propel growth To continue its growth, Troy University must continue to ensure that the quality of its facilities, along with its technological capabilities match the talent and potential of its student body and faculty.
“The University of today and tomorrow is not the University of the past,” said Dr. Schmidt. “We must continue to provide quality facilities for our students and faculty. Through our ‘Building Beyond Boundaries’ initiative, we have targeted areas within our University’s infrastructure that we believe we must address.” Among the priorities identified through the initiative are additional classrooms and academic and performance space; a fraternity village and an alumni center for the Troy Campus; and upgrades in educational technology.
Continued on next page Leading the way in global education
Central to TROY’s strategic focus is its commitment to becoming Alabama’s higher education link to the world. This connection is fueled by diverse campus environments, global learning opportunities for students and a worldwide institutional presence. “As a part of our mission as a global university, we are bringing the world to Alabama and opening opportunities for Alabama in the world,” Dr. Schmidt said. “We have established a global village on our Troy Campus with more than 700 international students. But, we must also get our Alabama students out to the world. As a part of his vision for the University, Dr. Hawkins has challenged each of the University’s five colleges to develop a minimum of five study abroad opportunities for our students by 2010. We have seen significant progress toward meeting that goal. In addition, we must take advantage of the global nature of our University to bring the state of Alabama to the forefront of the global marketplace. Strides have already been made in this regard as well, but the ‘Building Beyond Boundaries’ initiative will enable us to see that goal become a reality.”
Two key components to realizing those goals have been identified – the Center for International Business and Economic Development and a management training facility.
Hitting the mark As Troy University seeks to reinforce its position as the model university for the 21st century, it faces increased competition for students, faculty and resources; the challenges of new modes of program delivery; sweeping technological advances; the impact of external partnerships; and the increased need for globalization.
The “Building Beyond Boundaries” initiative is a vital part of TROY’s future, Dr. Schmidt said. “The difference in the University we have today and the Troy University we knew 10 years ago is unbelievable,” Dr. Schmidt said. “Achieving these goals and keeping the vision and mission of the University in place is going to require continued stewardship and resources. The ‘Building Beyond Boundaries’ initiative is our means for garnering the necessary resources to ensure that Troy University will continue to be the model university for the 21st century.”
Ellis is a university relations coordinator and editor of the Troy University Magazine.