Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher announced today that longtime employee Dr. Paula Gill has been promoted to Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness. In this role, Gill is responsible for evaluating the university’s progress toward its performance objectives and for seeking ways to improve services and processes that provide value for students. In addition, she will serve as a member of the President’s senior leadership cabinet, providing feedback and consultation on University decisions and strategic planning.
“As Belmont University continues its phenomenal growth trend, the need for assistance at the highest level of leadership has become apparent,” Fisher said. “We want to provide guidance to help our campus be more effective and manage resources for the good of our students. There’s simply no better person for this role than Dr. Gill. Her expertise and perspective are matched only by her great love for, and dedication to, the Belmont community.”
Gill added, “I am incredibly honored by this appointment, not only for what it represents to me personally and professionally but also for what it proves about this University’s commitment to guiding students to their full potential in order to lead lives of meaning and purpose. My professional success is the result of Belmont administrators, faculty and staff who shared their wisdom and invested their time in me during my academic and professional journey. My gratitude for this promotion is exceeded only by my excitement to serve this dynamic institution and its students in new ways in the future.”
The Teagle Foundation has awarded The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U), of which Belmont University is a member, a $150,000 grant for a project that will identify new approaches to build on the core values of a liberal education in a residential setting and prepare students for productive and successful careers. When the project–“Preparing 21st Century Students through New Visions for Faculty Evaluation, Campus Governance and Curriculum”–is completed, NAC&U hopes to have, among other outcomes, a curriculum development map that shows the integration of liberal and professional studies and emphasizes general education and disciplinary learning outcomes.
Sixteen members of the national consortium will participate in this project. In addition to Belmont, they are Arcadia University, Hamline University, Hampton University, John Carroll University, Nazareth College, Pacific Lutheran University, Samford University, The Sage Colleges, The University of Scranton, University of Evansville, University of Redlands, Valparaiso University, Wagner College, Westminster College and Widener University. This current project will implement goals outlined in NAC&U’s previous Teagle-funded project, “Preparing and Evaluating 21st Century Faculty: Aligning Expectations, Competencies, and Rewards.”
The Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville announces a partnership with Belmont University beginning January 2013. The partnership will advance the educational and charitable purposes of both organizations by leveraging and uniting their unique resources along with the arts and business communities to create a thriving, sustainable creative culture in Nashville.
“The partnership with Belmont University will be a springboard for organizational growth and innovation in our work to make Nashville a place where the creative culture thrives,” said Casey Summar, executive director of the Arts & Business Council. “We are thrilled to find alignment with Belmont’s priorities and become a nonprofit in residence on campus.”
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “Partnering with the Arts & Business Council makes perfect sense in light of Belmont’s vision for increased engagement with and service to the Nashville community. In addition, this partnership allows our students more opportunities for experiential education in a number of areas that represent popular fields of study, including music business, the performing arts, business and law.”
Belmont’s current BIC/MyBelmont system is receiving a major overhaul, one that is expected to provide a safer, more user-friendly interface. The new system, called simply MyBelmont, is scheduled to officially launch in late December.
“Our goal for this project from the beginning was to make this a much more user-friendly, efficient and effective portal for doing the business of being a Belmont community member,” said April Hefner, assistant director of communications and chair of the MyBelmont Steering Team. “We began the process in summer 2011 interviewing students, faculty and staff as well as looking at Google analytics to make sure we were providing quick and easy access to the content our community needs and uses the most.”
For Phase 1 of the transition to the new MyBelmont, users will find all of the same applications, resources and software that currently exist on BIC, but many of those systems will now operate as part of a single sign-on, allowing individuals to have one user name and password for multiple products including Blackboard, BannerWeb and BruinLink. Future phases of the project intend to add additional apps as single sign on while also expanding content in numerous areas.
While navigating the new MyBelmont, a Launchpad area will remain in the top left-hand corner of the user’s screen. The Launchpad contains commonly-used apps and a list of popular links for more efficient access to frequently requested information. This includes a Faculty Dashboard space as well as links to registration, student convocation credits and employee vacation leave.
Another exciting aspect of the new MyBelmont is the mobile optimization of the site. Students, faculty and staff will now be able to more effectively access the site through their smartphones and tablet devices.
Currently, beta testing for the new MyBelmont is underway with approximately 100 students, faculty and staff from across campus–individuals interested in being beta testers should contact April Hefner for information on registration. The transition to the new MyBelmont is expected to be complete by Dec. 21, and after that time, all campus members will need to register for the new system before starting the spring semester.
With classes beginning this week for the Fall 2012 semester, Belmont University reached another record-breaking enrollment number, this time with a total of 6,647 students. This is the twelfth consecutive year the University has topped its previous enrollment.
Belmont President Dr. Bob Fisher said, “In the year 2000, the University enrolled 2,970 students. To see this level of growth in a dozen years—while we have attracted more qualified students and improved our retention and graduation rates—is very rewarding. I’m honored that so many accomplished young adults are embracing this university’s mission to empower students to use their talents and passions to transform the world.”
The new students heard that message loud and clear this week as one of their first activities as a member of the Belmont campus was to engage in community service. Together, 1,800 new Belmont students—consisting of freshmen, transfers and some graduate students—spent Monday morning volunteering their time to more than 30 community partners during an annual event called SERVE.
The impact from that event continues to grow as more and more students are attracted to attend Belmont and stay in the Nashville community after graduation, often continuing to serve the programs and organizations they’re introduced to while in college. This year’s enrollment marks an increase of four percent from last year and a doubling of the size of the student body in the past decade. The Belmont student body currently consists of 5,298 undergraduates and 1,349 graduate and professional students, representing a record for total enrollment.
This year’s incoming freshman class represents 48 states and 14 foreign countries, with 73 percent of the class originating from outside of Tennessee. The University received more than 7,700 applications for graduate and undergraduate programs. The average ACT score for the 2012-13 freshman class is 26.43. In addition, 35 percent of new freshmen at Belmont were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, and 62 percent were in the top quarter. This year’s record freshman class of 1,273 students—up 100 students from 2011—held an average un-weighted cumulative high school GPA of 3.54 including 33 valedictorians and 19 salutatorians from schools reporting rankings.