Elon leadership updates staff on 2013-14 plans

An annual meeting in Whitley Auditorium allowed university staff to talk with administrators about institutional goals for the upcoming year.

Elon University President Leo M. Lambert
Elon University President Leo M. Lambert and top administrators answered questions Tuesday morning from staff members who learned more from leaders about institutional priorities for the upcoming academic year. 

Lambert and his senior staff met with university employees during two sessions at Whitley Auditorium. Details about the upcoming academic year were emailed to all faculty and staff earlier in August, and questions on Tuesday ranged from changes to General Studies requirements to the impact of recently passed legislation by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Excerpts from the emailed update include:


The university received 9,950 applications for the 2013-14 academic year and will welcome about 1,460 first-year students and 100 new transfer students to campus on Aug. 23. An additional 15 first-year students will participate in Elon’s Gap Semester experience during the fall and arrive on campus in January for Winter Term.

The following is a snapshot of the Class of 2017:

• Average GPA for incoming first-year students: 4.0 (includes weighted grades for Advanced Placement and IB courses)

• Average SAT: 1830; average ACT: 27

• Ethnic diversity: 17%

• First-generation students: 102 (7% of the class)

• Top five states represented: North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland

• Top 10 majors: Business Administration, Biology, Psychology, Journalism, Communication Science, Exercise Science, Elementary Education, Finance, Marketing, and Media Arts and Entertainment

The School of Health Sciences experienced significant growth in applications for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, which are up 30%. Applications for the master of Physician Assistant Studies program increased 353% thanks to a growing national interest in this field and the university’s participation in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants.

Elon’s MBA, Interactive Media, and newly enhanced M.Ed. programs are also fully enrolled. While applications to law schools are down nationally, including at Elon, deposits are up 16% over last year at the School of Law.

Academic Affairs

General Studies

Faculty have approved a proposal to increase the Experiential Learning Requirement from one to two units, obtained either through a sustained and deeper individual experience or two different experiences. Research shows that tudents who participate in at least two ELRs are three times more likely to secure employment by graduation than students who complete only one experience.

Students’ General Studies experience has been reaffirmed by enhancing the first-year core, which is composed of GST 110 The Global Experience, ENG 110 Writing: Argument and Inquiry, and MTH 110 General Statistics. In addition, the General Studies Interdisciplinary Seminar is more clearly recognized in its title as a capstone to the General Studies experience.

Elon University Provost Steven House
Writing Excellence Initiative & First Flight Program

Elon this year will begin implementing the Writing Excellence Initiative, the focus of its Quality Enhancement Plan and a critical part of the university’s recent Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation. The most substantive aspect of the first-year implementation is the First Flight Program designed to guide a pioneering group of academic departments through the first two phases of the Writing Excellence Initiative’s four-phase process. During phase one, department faculty will define their writing goals for graduates of their programs. During phase two, they will plan ways to coordinate the writing instruction, activities, and assignments in their courses to progressively develop their students’ writing abilities as students advance from introductory courses through capstone courses. In the final two phases, departments will pilot and then implement their plans.

The following departments were selected to participate in the First Flight pilot program: Accounting, Chemistry, Education, History and Geography, Political Science and Policy Studies, Religious Studies, and World Languages and Cultures, as well as the School of Law.

Launch of the Center for Engaged Learning

Elon’s Center for Engaged Learning, led by Executive Director Peter Felten and Associate Director Jessie Moore, will be formally launched this fall. An international center for research on engaged learning, CEL brings together preeminent leaders in higher education to develop and synthesize rigorous research on central questions surrounding the quality of undergraduate learning and to develop best practices that will be shared nationally and internationally. In support of this work, CEL will host international conferences related to engaged learning and host and sponsor multi-institutional research through the Elon Research Seminars.

This fall CEL will host the 2013 International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference at the Raleigh Convention Center. It will attract leading educators from around the world and include four plenary sessions led by 11 global leaders in higher education.

School of Law Dean Search

Elon this fall will conduct a national search for the next dean of the School of Law following the announcement last spring that George Johnson is stepping down as dean to return to the faculty following the 2013-2014 academic year.


Faculty and staff in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business will spend the academic year preparing a self-evaluation report for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International to be submitted in fall 2014 for a site visit in February 2015. Colleagues in the School of Education will spend the year preparing their institutional report for the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education to be submitted next summer for a site visit in April 2015. The School of Law is preparing a self-study and questionnaire for the American Bar Association to be submitted next fall for a site visit in March 2015.

New Facilities

Greg Zaiser, vice president of admissions and financial planning
The Inman Admissions Welcome Center

The center will be a vital part of recruiting efforts and provide a facility to greet tens of thousands of visitors to campus each year. Nearly 40% of incoming students came to the university’s attention through the campus visit, demonstrating the critical importance of offering prospective students and their families a welcoming place to begin exploring Elon.

Elon leaders anticipate construction beginning this fall and to take about 14 months with a tentative opening date in January 2015. The 32,000-square-foot Inman Admissions Welcome Center will consolidate all campus visit, admissions, and financial planning staff into one central location. The center, to be located on the north end of the Moseley Center parking lot near Loy Center, will anchor a new quadrangle directly north of Belk Library and create more green space on campus. Trustee Bill Inman and his wife, Pat, are Elon parents who made the lead gift to fund the facility.

School of Communications Expansion

An expanded School of Communications will form the second major new quadrangle on campus. The expansion will nearly double the amount of space in McEwen Building, the school’s current facility, and create a dynamic Communications quad and additional attractive entryway to campus. This expansion is an important step forward for our School of Communications, one of the top-20 programs in the nation.

The expansion plans include the following components:

• A new two-story, 45,000-square-foot facility that will connect to a renovated McEwen Building through a two-story glass lobby, which will create an inviting entrance to the Communications commons; the strategic use of glass exteriors throughout the project will enable visitors to see student media in action

• A new 3,000-square-foot facility on Lebanon Avenue adjacent to Long Building that will serve as a classroom building as well as an attractive space for campus receptions and events, particularly those held in Whitley Auditorium

• Renovation of Long Building to house the Interactive Media graduate program

• Renovation of McEwen Dining Hall to create a communications-themed eatery

• An overall expansion from 38,330 square feet in McEwen Building to 96,000 square feet

Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2015 and take about two years to complete.

Martin Alumni Center

The Alumni Engagement staff has moved into the Martin Alumni Center, an attractive new gathering space for alumni made possible following a generous gift from trustee Chris Martin, a member of Elon’s Class of 1978, and his wife, Nicolette, parents of Nick Martin ’13. Located at the corner of Haggard and O’Kelly avenues near Belk Library, Martin Alumni Center will serve as an important home base for alumni visiting campus. The center, which formerly housed Financial Planning, features outdoor spaces lined with bricks inscribed with the names of alumni who participated in the university’s successful “Pave the Way” annual giving campaign as a precursor to its 125th anniversary celebration. The building will be dedicated during Elon’s 125th Anniversary Homecoming celebration from Nov. 8-10.

Renovated Facilities & Additional Projects

Health and Wellness Center

The R.N. Ellington Center for Health and Wellness, located at 301 S. O’Kelly Avenue, is the new home for Student Health Services, Counseling Services, Faculty/Staff Wellness, and the Office of Student Health and Wellness. At 14,000 square feet, the facility is more than twice the size of the previous health center and faculty/staff wellness centers. This year also marks the beginning of a new partnership with Alamance Regional Medical Center, which is part of Cone Health, one of the region’s largest networks of health-care providers. Beginning this fall, ARMC staff, including a full-time physician and three advanced care clinicians, will provide improved staffing and expanded medical resources for students, faculty and staff.

South Campus will also be the location for future expansion of arts and sciences programs, including the departments of Psychology and Human Service Studies and the Music Production and Recording Arts program.

Gerald Whittington, senior vice president for business, finance and technology
Moseley Center first floor

Renovations are underway on the former Octagon and Hearth Lounge areas on the first floor of Moseley Center as part of the university’s commitment to provide more space for student activities. The renovated space will include study areas, student organization meeting spaces, an enclosed kitchen, and a large gathering area that will open to patios overlooking Young Commons and the West Lawn.

On the second floor of Moseley, administrative offices have been relocated to create additional student identity spaces in the heart of campus. A new Gender & LGBTQIA Resource Room and Latin@/Hispanic Resource Room have been created in addition to the current African American/Black Resource Room.

Hunt Softball Park

The second phase of construction at Hunt Softball Park is underway thanks to lead gifts of more than $1.25 million from Trustee Vicky Hunt and her husband, Sam Hunt, and a generous gift of $500,000 from BB&T Corp. The second and final phase of this project, to be completed in December, includes a field house with a locker room, team lounge, coaches’ offices and athletic training facilities.

Koury Field House

The summer renovation of Koury Field House in the North Athletics Complex is complete and includes new locker rooms for the baseball, women’s lacrosse, soccer, track and cross-country teams, as well as new coaches’ offices, an equipment room and improvements to the athletic training facility. Gifts from Maurice and Ann Koury made the renovation possible.

Scott Studios

Located at Arts West on Haggard Avenue, the 14,000-square-foot Scott Studios will include a black box theatre with seating for 160, six practice rooms, a workshop, dressing rooms, box office, and a 3,200-square-foot rehearsal/dance studio equivalent in size to the main stage in McCrary Theatre. Don and Ellen Scott, parents of Teddy Scott ’10, an alumnus of our music theatre program, made the venue possible. Construction begins Sept. 1 and is expected to be complete in February 2014.

Solar Farm

As part of our Elon Commitment objective to protect the environment, work will begin this fall on a 10-acre Solar Farm at Loy Farm. The Solar Farm will consist of 5,615 solar photovoltaic panels and have a 1.66 megawatt capacity—approximately the amount of energy it takes to power 550 homes for one year. The Solar Farm is expected to provide about 2,500 megawatts of electricity to the grid each year, which is the equivalent of removing more than 1,100 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere or 350 cars from the road. Duke Energy has agreed to purchase the electricity generated at the site. The addition of the Solar Farm will expand and enhance the educational opportunities for students by enabling them to study the environmental, business, social and political implications of renewable energy. Construction will begin in September and be completed in November.

Expanded Dining Options

Biscuitville and Qdoba Mexican Grill will be added this fall to a lineup of campus dining choices. The Winter Garden Café, which opened in Lakeside Dining Hall last winter, will be complete with the additions of Biscuitville and Topio’s, which join the previously opened Freshii. Biscuitville is scheduled to open Aug. 27, while Qdoba is scheduled to open in mid-September in Daniel Commons in the Danieley Center residential neighborhood. Chick-fil-A will relocate to McEwen Dining Hall late in the fall semester.


Ongoing and future construction projects, including the Inman Admissions Welcome Center, expanded School of Communications, and future academic and student life facilities on South Campus, will require changes to our campus parking plan. Parking updates for 2013-2014 include the following:

• The parking lot at Hunt Softball Park has 266 spaces, which will supplement parking in the Harper Center lot adjacent to the Global Neighborhood, currently under construction.

• A new parking lot with 197 spaces is under construction on the former softball field on Lebanon Avenue, south of East Gym. Rain has delayed completion of this project, which staff hopes will be finished by Sept. 6.

• An additional 182 parking spaces will be added on South Campus. Forty-two of those spaces will be ready for opening of school and the remaining 140 will be completed by Oct. 15.

• Expansion of the Francis Center lot is complete with 200 additional spaces.

• The Moseley Center lot will be reduced from 287 to about 50 spaces beginning this fall once construction begins on the Inman Admissions Welcome Center.

• To compensate for lost parking in Moseley, additional spaces will be available for faculty and staff in the McMichael Science Center lot by relocating most student cars from the Moseley and McMichael lots.

Smith Jackson, vice president of student life and dean of students
Additional Initiatives

Anti-Defamation League Training

Twenty-one faculty and staff members from across campus became certified facilitators of the Anti-Defamation League Campus of Difference program. Leigh-Anne Royster, director of inclusive community well-being, serves as coordinator of the ADL trainings and can help schedule a session for individuals or departments and divisions.

Doing Business with Elon

The university is responding to the recommendations of the Vendor Policy Study Committee and has made several improvements to purchasing processes and documents. The university’s Purchasing website has been updated to include Elon’s non-discrimination policy and our expectation that this policy is in force whenever businesses operate on campus. The vendor registration forms have been updated to better document and promote Elon’s desire to do business with organizations owned and operated by underrepresented groups. Purchasing Card holders will be encouraged to use their power to do business with organizations that reflect the university’s values. The Purchasing Department is prepared to assist P-Card holders with questions about any vendor or business.

Philanthropy at Elon

During 2012-2013, generous faculty and staff, alumni, parents, friends, and corporations and foundations contributed $17.5 million in gifts to the university. A record 67 percent of employees contributed $420,000 to support key priorities, including scholarships, academic programs and schools, engaged learning programs, and Phoenix athletics.

In addition, alumni giving rose from 19% to 21% thanks, in part, to the “Pave the Way” brick campaign, which attracted more than 2,400 alumni donors.

Elon hired three additional staff members in the Office of Alumni Engagement who will be on the road visiting with thousands of alumni and encouraging them to stay connected to Elon. The university this fall will celebrate the release of a new alumni video produced by Max Cantor ’10 and Tim Johnson ’09, the creative forces behind the university’s admissions video. The video will premiere Sept. 12 at an Evening for Elon in New York City.

New Leadership

School of Education

Deborah Long, professor of education and director of the Elon Academy, will serve this year as interim dean of the School of Education. As director of the Elon Academy, Long has led a life-changing college access and success program at the university that serves high school students in Alamance County with high financial need or no family history of attending college.

Center for Access and Success

President Lambert has appointed Jean Rattigan-Rohr, associate professor of education, to a two-year term as Faculty Administrative Fellow and Assistant to the President. In her new role, Rattigan-Rohr will serve as a member of the senior staff and focus her efforts on leading Elon’s major college access and success initiatives. She also serves as the inaugural director of Elon’s Center for Access and Success, which brings together the following important initiatives:

• It Takes A Village project, an outstanding literacy and tutoring program founded by Rattigan-Rohr that assists struggling young readers in the community

• The Elon Academy

• The Watson and Odyssey scholar programs, which provide need-based financial aid and academic support for talented first-generation college students and those who have overcome hardship to attend college

• Collegiate Start, a partnership with Alamance-Burlington Schools that allows high school students to take Elon classes for college credit

School of Law

Andrew Haile, associate professor of law and formerly the Jennings Professor and Emerging Scholar, will serve as associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Law to help advance Elon’s innovative program of legal education.

Gender and LGBTQIA Center

Matthew Antonio Bosch has joined the university as the first full-time director of Elon’s new Gender and LGBTQIA Center. Bosch comes to Elon from the University of Minnesota, where he served as director of the GLBTA Programs Office within the Office for Equity and Diversity. He will work to advance education and dialogue about sexual orientation, gender identity and the intersections of identities both in and out of the classroom.

This fall searches should be concluded for the following key leadership positions:

Assistant Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Campus Life

This individual will provide a new level of coordination and campus visibility to help create a premier residential experience for students and oversee Residence Life, the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, and the Multicultural Center. Finalists will be on campus during the first two weeks of September.

Multicultural Center

A national search has been launched to fill three positions in the Multicultural Center: the director, associate director for diversity education, and a new position, the assistant or associate director for race and ethnicity, focusing on the black student experience. Candidates for each position have been identified and will be on campus early in the fall. Melissa Jordan, who has served as associate director of the center for the past four years, serves as interim director through the fall semester.