ETSU to relaunch Committee for 125
JOHNSON CITY – (March 18, 2021) A new strategic visioning process for East Tennessee State University – the Committee for 125 Chapter II – is being launched this month by President Dr. Brian Noland.
The initiative will build upon the foundation of the Committee for 125 effort that began in 2012 outlining strategic goals the institution hoped to achieve upon its 125th anniversary in 2036. The goal of the new initiative is to develop a future-focused vision for ETSU that maximizes the power of the collective talent of the university and surrounding community to improve the lives of the people in the Appalachian Highlands.
ETSU is presently at the midway point of its current strategic plan, and 10 years have passed since the last visioning process, Dr. Noland said. “Since those two processes have occurred, significant changes have taken place at the university.
“For example, ETSU now has its own governing board that has matured and must be included in this process to ensure solid alignment between the board’s expectations and the university strategic direction. Externally, the public is questioning the necessity of a college education while the university is approaching a demographic cliff in the college-aged population. The new pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic have forced ETSU to evaluate practices and policies in ways that were never imagined – and some that were never given due attention in preference for tradition.
“The university has developed a strong sense of connectedness, perhaps to a larger extent than at any time in recent history, despite the distance we are currently forced to endure. If the university is to achieve prominence at the levels required for continued stewardship of the Appalachian Highlands, the university must focus now on its strengths and opportunities that can be leveraged to grow the impact of our mission,” he added.
Noland will chair the Committee for 125 Chapter II and will joined by:
- Scott Niswonger, ETSU Board Trustee
- Linda Latimer, ETSU Board Trustee
- Ron Ramsey, ETSU Board Trustee
- Melissa Steagall-Jones, ETSU Board Trustee
- Louis H. Gump, Committee for 125 Chapter I Representative
- Lester D. Lattany, Pastor, Friendship Baptist Church
- Alan Levine, President, Ballad Health
- Scott Jenkins, Strategy Director State Policy, Lumina Foundation
- James Votruba, President Emeritus, Northern Kentucky University
- Rob Anderson, President, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
- Mildred Garcia, President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
- Alisa White, President, Sam Houston State University
- Mike Hoff, ETSU Staff Lead
Six task forces in the areas of Academics; Equity and Inclusion; ETSU Health; Student Success and Experience; Research and Scholarship; and Fiscal Sustainability have also been appointed and will begin meeting in April to draft its visioning statements.
The Committee for 125 Chapter II will conduct its work throughout the spring and summer and will hold meetings and forums with students, faculty and staff, and multiple community groups to ask “what if” questions about ETSU. The committee will aim to have a draft report to Dr. Noland in the fall and to hold town hall events to gather further input from the campus and community. The president will present a draft report in the State of the University address slated for October.
“The visioning process is one designed to allow the university and community to dream together about the future of higher education and how ETSU can best position itself as a regional and national leader,” Noland said. “ETSU will identify new ways to collaborate more and to use our collective power to ensure we are operating as One ETSU. Through this collaborative visioning process, the university can maximize its impact and achieve even greater accomplishments in the next decade. A university achieves best that which its community needs.”
To learn more, visit www.etsu.edu/125.