Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Ron Burbick, Addresses Recent Events in Statement
PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Alderson Broaddus University Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Ron Burbick is addressing recent campus events on behalf of the Board with the following statement.
“In 2011, ABU envisioned a transformation as it embarked on an ambitious program of enrollment growth. We put this plan into action with the development of the Alderson Broaddus Strategic Plan. The initial phase was a period of very rapid growth in enrollment (doubling enrollment in four years) accompanied by construction of new residential halls, a multi-sport performance stadium, renovations to several existing buildings and creating a vibrant campus. These are outlined in the Strategic Plan as Priorities One and Two. Given the health of our enrollment which has contributed to financial stability over the past four years, thanks to the affinity bonding model, we have set the foundation to create a sustainable future.
We have also begun Priority Three which is “Growing the Academic Experience” by adding several new academic initiatives. This phase of the Strategic Plan was expertly led by Dr. Creehan. The focus now, however, is on moderate enrollment growth; more of which will come from graduate level programs (several of which we hope will receive final accreditation soon and others to come in future years), online programs, and cooperative arrangements such as our Petroleum Management completion degree, continuing Priority Three of the Strategic Plan.
With the rapid growth, the ABU Board of Trustees and President Creehan came to the realization and understanding that ABU is entering a different phase of its Strategic Plan. We have been examining and working on restructuring some of our finances to ensure ABU continues on a viable and financially stable path. It will also be a period of closer monitoring of expenditures than is typical in a rapid growth phase.
Consistent with our goal to operate more efficiently, and in accordance with the ongoing academic audit of all programs started in 2012, the Board of Trustees also voted on October 24, 2015, to discontinue two music majors: musical arts and music performance. While we have stellar faculty who have truly provided a conservatory level of experience for our students in these two majors, they are not viable going forward given program enrollment levels. Students currently enrolled in these programs will be able to finish their degrees. We will still offer a Music Education major along with music ensembles, including our popular, long-standing “The West Virginians” made up of the most talented students in the region. These ensembles are currently populated by not only music majors, but students from across many of our curriculums.
Given the progress of the past four years under the leadership of President Creehan, we are poised to continue progress according to our strategic plan and continue to provide a high quality education in a liberal arts institution based in Christian values, as has always been the case.”