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University President Unveils Vision for the Future

Vision 2020 1Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher unveiled the University’s Vision 2020 to a room full of students, faculty, staff and alumni Monday morning. The Vision, comprised of seven strategic priorities that will guide Belmont through the next five years, integrates the University’s values of integrity, inquiry, collaboration, service and humility to build what Vision 2020 calls, “Nashville’s University.”

With Vision 2015 coming to a conclusion, the University is looking toward the future with a strong emphasis on student-centeredness, Christian character and a people-first culture, among other things.

“Vision is a picture of a future that is so much more desirable that the present, that it creates a sense of urgency. It compels people to act – to ambitious action,” Fisher said. Video interviews from Belmont community members were included to highlight each Vision 2020 strategy, illustrating the ambitious action that Vision 2020 calls for.

“As we continue to define ourselves and our dreams for this University, it is my hope that Belmont will place a greater focus on including students in the development and execution of our long-term goals and capitalize on the creativity, passion and commitment of its students to make Belmont a place we’re all proud to call home,” Student Government Association President Jeanette Morelan said.

Although the Vision has been crafted and created, a successful implementation of any vision will require the support and collaborative work of all community members, Fisher said. “Consider the power of aligning our efforts and pulling in the same direction…Consider the power behind that.”

Fisher ended his presentation with a story describing his experience climbing Mt. Rainier, a Seattle mountain with the greatest rise in elevation of all ranges within the continental U.S. During his climb, Fisher developed altitude sickness and was forced to descend at the mountain’s “High Break,” the final break before the Summit. Although he wasn’t able to accomplish what he set out to do, Fisher said the experience taught him many lessons. “If you aspire to do something really hard and really tough, it does get harder and harder as you approach the goal,” he said.

“We’re at the High Break point, but if we’re going to the top, it’s going to take the best efforts of everybody. I hear there’s nothing like the view from the top. I haven’t been there, but I want to go…Let’s get there together and become one of America’s great universities. Let’s go to the top,” Fisher said.

For a description of Vision 2020’s seven strategies and a video of Fisher’s presentation, please click here. 

Belmont Reaches New High of 7,301 Students for Fall 2014 Enrollment

First day of classes welcomes more than 1,400 new freshmen to campus

First Day of Classes 2014Don’t call it a “small, liberal arts college” anymore. Today Belmont University announced a Fall 2014 enrollment of 7,301 students, putting the thriving University at more than double its enrollment from 2000 (2,976 students) and up 5.5 percent from last fall’s total of 6,915. Applications for undergraduate and graduate admissions for Fall 2014 also saw an increase of 12.5 percent and resulted in the University’s largest freshman class to date with 1,420 students.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “It’s both humbling and gratifying to see the number of students who want to come to Belmont to learn and discover their life purpose. These are individuals from all walks of life and many corners of the globe who aren’t thinking only of future careers but are embracing this University’s mission to engage and transform the world with their passions, skills and talents. I’m proud to welcome them to their new home and thankful they’ve chosen to be Belmont Bruins.”

In addition to incoming freshmen, Belmont also welcomed 508 new transfer students to campus this week, marking a total number of nearly 2,000 new undergraduates. The student body currently consists of 5,898 undergraduate students and 1,403 pursuing graduate/professional paths.

Associate Provost and Dean of Enrollment David Mee added, “We are very pleased with the fall 2014 admissions cycle. The entire University is involved in helping Belmont maintain the kind of momentum that has resulted in growing national recognition, enhanced experiences for our students and phenomenal growth during a period of stagnant enrollment across much of higher education nationally. Belmont is a unique story – one highlighted by a daily commitment to living out our mission and values. And by doing so, students continue to be attracted to Belmont and Nashville from all 50 states and many countries, and in record numbers. Nearly 2,000 new undergraduates alone just arrived at Belmont, and that is wonderful news for both the University and Nashville.”

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Dr. Perry Moulds Appointed Vice President of Development, External Relations at Belmont

Perry MouldsVanderbilt-Ingram senior development director to lead Belmont’s fundraising initiatives

Following a four-month nationwide search, Belmont University announced today that Dr. Perry Moulds, senior director of development for the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, has been named vice president for development and external relations. He will begin his new role at Belmont on Aug. 5.

In his new position, Moulds will oversee all philanthropic initiatives for the University, including major gifts, corporate and foundation giving, grants and alumni giving. He also will provide leadership for marketing and public relations to ensure that all Belmont development and marketing operations are fully integrated with the University’s priorities and are aligned with its strategic objectives.

Belmont University President Bob Fisher said, “Dr. Moulds is a master at cultivating relationships, creating brand presence and leading higher education fundraising efforts. We are extremely excited to welcome such a successful leader to the Belmont community.”

Moulds will replace Dr. Bethel (Bo) Thomas, vice president of university advancement, who will retire from Belmont in October. Thomas’ contributions to Belmont over the past 10 years are reflected in the University’s fundraising achievements and alumni engagement, and his success is evident in the relationships he has cultivated with donors, alumni, faculty, staff and students. (more…)

Newly Released AAUP Data Survey Reflects Belmont’s Strong Commitment to Faculty Salaries

facultyThis week the Chronicle of Higher Education released the results of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) 2013-14 Faculty Salary Survey, and Belmont again performed exceptionally well in comparison with its peer institutions in terms of category (Master’s level) and region of the country.

Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher, said, “Belmont has long been committed to attracting and retaining the highest quality faculty to serve our students, and that translates in part to offering competitive compensation. I’m pleased to see how far we’ve come and how our faculty salaries now rank in the 80th percentile or better among all of our peer institutions nationally.”

Provost Dr. Thomas Burns added, “As the AAUP salary survey data shows, Belmont’s faculty salaries have grown to among the best in Tennessee and in the southeast region.”

Of the 22 Tennessee institutions in the survey, Belmont ranked fourth in the average full professor salary ranking, behind three doctoral level institutions: Vanderbilt, University of Tennessee Knoxville and University of Memphis. In addition, Belmont offered the second highest average raise for continuing full professors. Associate professors at Belmont ranked third in the state for average salary, as did assistant professors. Belmont instructors are the highest paid in terms of average state salaries. In the East South Central region—which includes Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi institutions—Belmont also came out well above the average salary in each category.

Looking nationally at peer Master’s level institutions, Belmont remains incredibly competitive in salary ranges for faculty. In fact, Belmont full professors rank in the 80th percentile in salary in comparison with peer institutions across the country. Associate professors, assistant professors and instructors are doing even better, ranked in the 86th, 93rd and 89th percentiles respectively.

These results reflect Belmont’s ongoing commitment, as reflected in Vision 2015, to provide for its employees: “Belmont people are fully engaged in challenging and demanding work and will share in the financial success of the university as salaries meet and exceed peers. Compensation will increasingly be tied to performance excellence.”

Each spring, the AAUP publishes its report on faculty compensation and the economics of higher education. AAUP members receive a print copy of the report (with complete data listings) as part of their membership. Data from the survey are also available for purchase in several formats, including institutional peer comparison reports, complete datasets and pre-publication report tables. Salary data are collected annually by the American Association of University Professors. Participation in the AAUP survey is optional; 1,157 institutions submitted data for the 2013-14 academic year.

Former Gov. Phil Bredesen Leads Conversation on Higher Education Governing Boards at Belmont

Numerous Tennessee education leaders speak during morning forum

agb-103The Association of Governing Boards’ (AGB) National Commission on College and University Board Governance hosted a public forum on Tuesday, March 25 in the Inman Center’s Frist Lecture Hall. Commission Chair and former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and  AGB President Rick Legon joined members of the commission and invited Tennessee-based education leaders in a roundtable discussion on the issues and challenges facing higher education in the U.S. today.

Belmont President Bob Fisher and former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen participated on Tuesday's panel.

Belmont President Bob Fisher and former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen participated on Tuesday’s panel.

Belmont President Bob Fisher, Fisk President H. James Williams, University of Tennessee Trustee Vicky Gregg, Vanderbilt Trustee Denny Bottorff, Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor John Morgan and Vanderbilt Associate Professor of Higher Education and Public Policy Coordinator Will Doyle participated in the three-hour conversation. Topics discussed included:

* The future of shared governance (among boards, faculty, and presidents) and how it might be reformed to better address the challenges facing institutions
* Private, nonprofit and public institutions’ responsibility in demonstrating value
* Board roles in accommodating Federal and state governments’ involvement in institutional policy
* Ways  college and university boards can meet expectations for increased oversight and accountability without crossing the line into institutional administration and day-to-day operations

The 28-member commission was formed in 2013 to develop recommendations to strengthen college and university board governance and meet future needs for higher education. The commission will release recommendations in September, 2014.

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