Anderson University Strategic Plan

Launch 2040

On the day that Jesus called Peter as a disciple, He was preaching to a multitude from Peter’s boat. When Jesus finished speaking, He commanded Peter to “Launch out into the deep.” Peter answered with some initial reluctance due to being tired, but replied to Jesus, “Nevertheless, due to your word I will let down my net.” What resulted was a miraculous catch of fish. (Luke 5:1-11)

In a similar way, Anderson University has intentionally thought of how we can act in faith in obedience to the words of Jesus. Beginning in 2022, the University began planning for Launch 2040, a multiphase strategic plan. This plan gets its name from the fact that in the year 2040, children who were born in 2022 will first set foot on AU’s campus as freshmen. Planning was motivated by the question, “What do we need to do today in order to be ready for these students 18 years from now, along with all of the others who will come into contact with the University until then?”

Student at Anderson University Indiana

Launch 2040 VISION

On our path to 2040, Anderson University will welcome more students to our Christ-centered community, where they will learn and grow in regionally and nationally known programs of excellence.

Our students will engage in transformational experiences during their time with us and build meaningful relationships, leading to fulfilling careers and lives of purpose.

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Strategic Plan Wheel

Overview

We believe that education is a transformative experience that has the power to shape our students holistically. As a Christ-centered university, we are called to nurture and develop our students’ intellectual abilities, while also fostering their spiritual growth and commitment to serving others. Launch 2040 is a plan that elevates what is best about Anderson University. It launches us further into our mission “to educate for a life of faith and service in the church and society.”

Key Themes of Launch 2040

  • Christ-centered: First and foremost, Jesus means everything to us. We seek to place Him as the foundation and center of all that we do as an institution. 
  • Intentional Community: We are a people committed to being relationally driven. This is a key strength of our University, and we seek to emphasize, expand, deepen, and strengthen community.
  • Experiential Learning: Our students come to us in search of many opportunities. We seek to support them as whole persons, and engage them in multiple impactful experiences. 
  • Responsible Stewardship and Continuous Improvement: We must be faithful stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with. Our success is linked not only to finances, but also the well-being of our employees, students, alumni, and our community. 
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LAUNCH 2040 GOALS

 

Spiritual Life
    • Clearly communicate the Christ-centered identity of the University
      • Articulate Christian foundations for majors through academic departmental statements of purpose
      • Articulate Christ-centered identity through non-academic departmental statements of purpose
    • Elevate and support the spiritual life of the University
      • Dedicate resources to support a vibrant Chapel program
      • Promote the integration of faith and learning across academic, co-curricular, and athletic offerings
      • Increase the number of students involved in campus ministry, ministry at local congregations, and service opportunities
      • Nurture the faith development of students during their undergraduate career
      • Nurture the faith development of faculty and staff

 

Academic Life
  • Focus the liberal arts curriculum and enhance experiential learning opportunities
    • Provide a coherence for the liberal arts curriculum by alignment with the University mission and LAUnch themes
    • Establish a new liberal arts curriculum by fall of 2024
    • Identify, improve, and promote experiential learning components of each major
  • Build several pipelines of students by offering new degree and non-degree credentials
    • Offer degree programs for adult and traditional learners from Associate to graduate levels that are in demand, align with university mission, and utilize existing institutional capacities
    • Identify up to four existing degree programs that are in demand and convert them into new modalities
    • Offer non-degree credentials that are in high demand and align with the University’s mission and expertise
    • Identify academic programs to help church and parachurch ministries achieve their missions
  • Establish clear guidelines for instruction
    • Obtain a wider distribution of courses across the time blocks in the master schedule
    • Develop general metrics and standards for class sizes
    • Develop department-specific guidelines for average class sizes that lead to an institutional average of 20 students per course
    • Create reporting structures and utilize data to manage course enrollments
    • Develop standards of instruction for online courses that are consistent with the University’s mission and vision
  • Improve academic advising
    • Implement a review and assessment of the current process.
    • Provide on-going training for faculty and selected staff regarding academic advising
    • Establish standards of excellence in advising
    • Explore and evaluate academic advising satisfaction with the goal to develop benchmarks for academic advising satisfaction
  • Promote mentorship for students and connections to academic departments
    • Dedicate resources so that each academic department can demonstrate student appreciation each semester
    • Enhance current mentorship programs that connect students with faculty, staff, alumni, and local community members
    • Dedicate resources for mentorship training

 

Student Life
  • Identify and develop three new club-based activities and enhance existing club-based programs such as Esports
    • Develop each with a plan to attract and retain new students
    • Develop curricular components alongside these club-based activities
  • Promote greater understanding of all student services offered by the University
  • Improve accessibility across the University
    • Ensure that both in-person and online instruction meets accessibility standards
    • Evaluate accessibility to facilities within the University
  • Improve the TriS experience
    • Increase the number of Tri-S experiences for students
    • Increase the number of students who participate in Tri-S
    • Make the trips more affordable for students
  • Develop and implement a plan for creating a culture of care for an ethnically and culturally diverse campus community
    • Increase the number of ethnically/culturally diverse faculty and staff through intentional recruitment and retention programs so that there is parity with diverse student population
    • Develop the intercultural competency of all students, faculty, and staff through orientation and professional development programs
    • Fully integrate the diverse heritage of the University and church into major points of internal and external corporate communication
    • Develop and implement an intentional activity plan specifically focused on cultivating and/or improving relationships with CHOG representative groups, key congregations, and leadership

 

Relationships
  • Develop and implement a plan to improve relationships internally
    • Continue to offer and expand events such as coffee and donut hours and $2 lunch on Fridays
    • Build relationships within academic departments through social activities
  • Develop and implement a plan to improve relationships with Madison County
    • Develop a comprehensive communication plan for on-campus and off-campus events hosted by the University that are available to the community
    • Increase engagement with the City of Anderson and Madison County through faculty/staff and students attending off-campus events
    • Increase engagement with the City of Anderson and Madison Country through faculty/staff and students participating in community service activities
  • Develop and implement a plan to improve relationships with the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson MSA
    • Increase engagement with the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson MSA through faculty/staff and students attending off-campus events
    • Increase engagement with the Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson MSA through faculty/staff and students participating in community service activities
  • Develop and implement an intentional plan to cultivate and/or improve relationships with the Church
    • Solidify alignment and relationship with the Church/Church of God
    • Specifically focus on cultivating and/or improving relationships with CHOG congregations
    • Build relationships with the congregations in Madison County
    • Build relationships with an additional ten congregations in central Indiana, with an emphasis on ethnically diverse churches
  • Maintain and strengthen relationships between the University and alumni, retirees, and friends
    • Establish a series of free virtual courses for this group
    • Develop more volunteer opportunities on campus or through AU to engage this group
    • Expand or create a position designated as point person for volunteer coordination and recognition
    • Develop a comprehensive plan for lifetime involvement with future students and their families through on-campus experiences
  • Elevate the faculty and staff as resources for the City of Anderson and surrounding communities
    • Maintain a pulpit supply list
    • Maintain a list of faculty and staff expertise for media inquiries and for public speaking, creative, and performance experiences
    • Maintain a list of departmental and institutional expertise

 

Excellence
  • Develop and implement standards of excellence in academic and co-curricular programs
    • Develop standards and metrics for excellence that align with the LAUnch themes
    • Implement program review for academics and co-curriculars
    • Implement reviews of academic and non-academic departments
    • Implement a performance review process for all faculty and staff that is linked to annual compensation increases
  • Elevate the reputation and academic profile of the University
    • Develop metrics for prioritizing funding for faculty scholarship based on including students and engagement with the community
    • Further distinguish the Honors Program with a refereed student research journal and Honors cohort travel 
    • Develop a communication plan for how news that enhances the reputation of the University is shared with the community
  • Develop and implement standards of excellence for each athletic team
    • Set specific targets for recruitment, roster size, competitive performance and retention
    • Evaluate all athletic facilities and equipment in order to determine priorities for future projects
    • Develop an annual leadership development opportunity for coaching staff with an emphasis on training athletes in character formation and spiritual growth
    • Develop and implement a process for establishing optimal resources for each athletic team; budget, staffing, etc
    • Develop and implement a comprehensive approach to professional development of the coaching staff; benchmarks for continuous improvement and compensation
  • Refresh the verbal and visual brand of the University
    • Provide training to employees
    • Replace visual branding elements on a rolling basis
    • Implement all elements of the rebrand by May 31, 2026
  • Communicate the unique identity of the University to students, faculty, and staff
    • Elevate the use of the Institutional Saga throughout the University
    • Provide information and educational sessions related to institutional identity for faculty, staff, and alumni

 

Continual Improvement
  • Improve processes and procedures across the University
    • Provide training as part of an intentional onboarding process for 100% of employees
    • Create a data dictionary
    • Document processes and procedures 
    • Create written manuals of operating procedures for each department
  • Develop a process for budgeting and spending in alignment with LAUnch themes
    • Provide budget directors with a LAUnch framework to establish spending priorities of discretionary funds
    • Reinstitute the Planning Stewardship Team

 

Stewardship
  • Develop a campus facilities master plan
    • Identify and prioritize deferred maintenance
    • Move the location of some business operations in order to be more effective and efficient
    • Identify and prioritize new opportunities
    • Develop a maintenance improvement schedule
    • Utilize campus spaces to generate additional revenue
  • Reduce technology redundancy, resource waste, time waste, and increase university technology prioritization
    • Review all software currently owned by the University and create an inventory of realized and unrealized capabilities.
    • Prioritize software utilized by the University
  • Continually invest in faculty and staff
  • Expand opportunities for faculty and staff development
    • Provide monthly faculty and staff professional development sessions
    • Provide an annual leadership development opportunity for faculty/staff in department chair/director positions or higher
    • Establish reading groups for faculty and staff
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Our STRATEGIC PLANNING Process

From November 2022 to March 2023, the Launch 2040 Strategic Planning Team engaged the entire campus community, alumni, and friends of the University in order to discern what components the University’s next strategic plan should include. Hundreds responded to a series of surveys and offered feedback during campus-wide listening sessions.

Through these surveys and conversations, the Planning Team learned more about what were perceived as the University’s greatest strengths and weaknesses. Given the unique place that Anderson University occupies, both geographically as well as within the landscape of Christian higher education, the planning team developed a comprehensive, three-year plan to best position the University for the years ahead.

Resourcing Anderson University’s Vision for 2040.

The Launch AU Campaign PROGRESS IN Raising $25M Over 3 Years.

  • 42% 42%
$10.6M raised toward the university goal of $25M.