Addressing the community in his official capacity, Dr. Barry spoke to the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce on November 13 about the University’s challenges and opportunities, AB’s economic impact on the community, and his permanent appointment as the 10th president of Alderson Broaddus.
Dr. Barry explained that despite the challenges facing West Virginia and higher education in general, AB continues to move forward to provide the highest quality education and deliver innovative programs to meet students where they are in a contemporary society. In return, AB students work with our communities to solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems, providing faith for solutions to the toughest issues and challenges ahead.
“We’re a $48 million impact on the Barbour County economy and surrounding areas,” Dr. Barry said. “It’s integral that we work with the city and county as we’re not distinct from the City of Philippi and county; we’re a product of this community.”
AB has increased the number of jobs in the community from 193-301 in recent years. Also, AB employees volunteer over 16,000 hours per year to local, state, and national organizations.
The value of higher education was addressed during President Barry’s speech.
“A degree is needed now more than ever, yet the skepticism of the value of a higher education degree is going up as well,” Dr. Barry said. “Our recent accolades show that we are creating and delivering that value for our students.”
Dr. Barry spoke of recent accolades, including AB being ranked 30th nationally and first among West Virginia colleges in the 2019 Best Regional Colleges in the South category while also being ranked 10th nationally and first among West Virginia colleges in the Best Value Schools 2019 category in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings. In addition, AB earned the Best College in West Virginia for 2018, with a first-place ranking by College Consensus and Best Online College in West Virginia by SR Education group.
Since Dr. Barry’s interim appointment in 2015, AB has undergone an innovative and creative planning process for the future of the University. Working alongside faculty, staff, and the AB Board of Trustees, Dr. Barry and his cabinet members drafted a strategic decision-making model to focus on three main areas to ensure AB’s excellence for the future, including expanding academic programs.
“We’re expanding our academic offerings and adding majors such as a Bachelor of Science in cyber-security, an online Master of Education in teacher leader, and a Master of Science in anatomy,” Dr. Barry explained. “These programs are built with the student in mind and to be delivered using methods that best accommodate each distinct type of student enrolled.”
Dr. Barry closed the State of the University by thanking the City of Philippi, Barbour County, and his Alderson Broaddus family.
“I don’t feel that I was invited, but I was picked up and planted at AB for a purpose. We do good work at AB. I’m blessed to work with great people and blessed to be here as the official 10th president,” Dr. Barry said. “The line continues. The legacy, the history, the town and gown partnership, and contribution continues. This is an opportunity for me to say thank you to the City of Philippi and Barbour County for what they have done and will do for us in the future.”
For the complete recording, please visit our YouTube page here