Elon leadership updates staff on 2014-15 plans

An annual meeting in Whitley Auditorium allowed university administrators to talk with staff about 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 senior staff members met with university employees during two sessions at Whitley Auditorium. Details about the upcoming academic year were shared with all faculty and staff earlier in August, and Tuesday’s session allowed staff members to ask questions and provide feedback.

Excerpts from the campus update shared with staff include the following:


The university received a record 10,428 applications for the Class of 2018 and will welcome about 1,490 first-year students and 100 new transfer students to campus on Aug. 22. 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 2018:

• Average GPA for incoming first-year students: 4.0

• Average SAT: 1834; average ACT: 27

• Ethnic diversity: 17 percent

• First-generation students: 91 (6 percent of the class)

• Top five states represented: North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut

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

Interest in Elon’s School of Health Sciences graduate programs continues to grow. Following last year’s increases, applications for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program were up 11 percent, while applications for the master of Physician Assistant Studies increased 101 percent. Both the DPT and PA programs are fully enrolled.

Expanded opportunities for graduate study in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, including the new Master of Science in Management beginning in fall 2015, look to increase overall graduate enrollment in the Love School. Elon’s iMedia program, having experienced unprecedented yield from admitted applicants last year, enrolled 32 students this year.

While applications to law schools continue their downward trend nationally, including at Elon, enrollment deposits are up 10 percent this year over last year at the School of Law, and a fully enrolled first-year class is expected. This year marks the first time that the entering class includes more out-of-state students than students from North Carolina.

Academic Affairs

Elon Core Curriculum 

The university’s general education program has been substantially revised and reframed over the last three years. The incoming class of students will participate in the Elon Core Curriculum (formerly called General Studies), the First-Year Foundations (not the First-Year Core), COR 110 (not GST 110), Core Forums (not GST pods), a two-unit ELR (not one), and a COR capstone seminar (not a GST seminar) that includes an integrative capstone project.

The Elon Core Curriculum office is also undergoing a substantial change, moving to the second floor of the new Global Commons building. The new space will house 11 faculty from across the university who teach COR courses, particularly in the first year (Dr. Evan Gatti, Dr. Steve Braye, Dr. Matt Buckmaster, Dr. Mat Gendle, Dr. Mina Garcia-Soormally, Dr. Amy Johnson, Dr. Tom Arcaro, Dr. Ahemd Abdullah Fadaam, Dr. Hella Cohen, Dr. Jennifer Hart, and Dr. Jeffrey Coker). The second floor of the Global Commons building will serve as an incubator for interdisciplinary, global thinking, and integration across the curriculum.

Elon University Provost Steven House

Are You Ready?

The television studio in the School of Communications was busy this summer with live programming for incoming first-year students. Academic Affairs, Student Life, and Teaching Learning Technologies joined together to pilot a new series for incoming first-year students to raise academic expectations. Called “Are You Ready?,” the series was offered online and allowed students to interact with staff from key offices on campus, ask questions, and most importantly hear from other students about life at Elon. A dozen sections of Elon 101 have already commenced online as another element of this work.

Second-Language Proficiency 

The study of a second language and understanding the cultural contexts of language are critical to preparing students to be engaged, contributing citizens in our increasingly interconnected global environment. The white paper on Creating a Climate of Second-Language Proficiency at Elon, shared last spring, makes clear that more can, and should, be done to prepare graduates who are proficient in a second language, encourage students to study another language, and provide opportunities for students to employ their second-language skills. To continue this important work, a committee has been formed to study and make recommendations regarding ways to strengthen and enhance second-language acquisition at Elon. The co-chairs of the committee are Dr. Cassie Kircher, Professor of English, and Dr. Maurice Levesque, Associate Provost for Assessment and Academic Operations and Professor of Psychology.

Writing Excellence Initiative and Belk Library 

This summer the first floor of Belk Library was renovated to more appropriately reflect the full integration of writing excellence across the Elon community. As outlined in the Quality Enhancement Plan of 2012-13, the renovation includes the visual and functional integration of the services of the Writing Center, Writing Across the University program, Belk Library, Academic Tutoring, and Teaching & Learning Technologies. Look for these inviting, highly functional spaces to encourage consultation with the consolidated experts, as well as spaces to foster collaborative and individual writing, research, and academic work.

Residential Campus Initiative

This fall marks several significant milestones for the Residential Campus Initiative, which is designed to integrate academic and residential experiences in order to further students’ intellectual, personal, and community development. More than 700 incoming students will be in 42 courses linked to the students’ residential neighborhoods, and 438 students will reside in 18 living-learning communities (students living together with a common intellectual theme or interest).

All four residential neighborhoods with large numbers of first-year students will now have a live-in faculty director working alongside a Student Life staff member to guide the programming efforts in the neighborhood, with Amy Allocco returning to the Global Neighborhood and three new faculty directors—Dr. Cara McFadden in Danieley Center, Dr. Nancy Midgette in the Historic Neighborhood, and Dr. Alan Russell in the Colonnades Neighborhood. All seven of Elon’s neighborhoods will be led by a neighborhood association co-chaired by a faculty member and student life staff member.


Physician Assistant Studies

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) will visit campus on November 6-7 as part of the multi-step accreditation process. The visiting team will review the program’s compliance in delivering the curriculum and assessment.

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) 

The School of Education NCATE reaccreditation report will be submitted on August 22, 2014, followed by a visit this fall from the NCATE Board of Examiners team chair. The full team will visit campus April 19-21, 2015. In preparation for the visit, the School of Education website has been redesigned.

New Facilities 

Global Neighborhood

Opening in August are the three final residential buildings in the Global Neighborhood (total number of students is now 595), with three classrooms and the Global Commons building, which will feature Argo Tea and the Great Hall. The Great Hall is a beautiful large space for students to study and gather in small groups. It will also host a handful of large events during the year. The Global Commons will house the Global Neighborhood office, a computer lab, a 75-seat media room on the first floor, the Core Curriculum office with 12 faculty offices on the second floor, and the Isabella Cannon Global Education Center on the third floor. Global House C is the new home for the Residence Life Office and provides three apartments for full-time and visiting faculty.

The Inman Admissions Welcome Center

With the successful completion of fundraising last fall, including the lead gift by Trustee Bill Inman and his wife, Pat, a groundbreaking ceremony was held last October for the Inman Admissions Welcome Center. The two-story, 32,000-square-foot building is scheduled to open in January 2015 and will consolidate all campus visit, admissions and financial planning staff into one central location. The Inman Admissions Welcome Center will serve as the university’s front door for our many prospective students and their families.

The new center anchors a quadrangle directly north of Belk Library with the creation of new green space in what was the former Moseley Center parking lot. This new quad will allow visitors and members of our community to walk from Under the Oaks to the Colonnades through uninterrupted open space. Parking for Admissions visitors will be located on the north side of the building.

Scott Studios 

Located at Arts West on Haggard Avenue, construction of the new performing arts venue will be completed in late August, and a dedication ceremony is planned for late September. This 14,000-square-foot building houses a 160-seat studio theater, six music practice rooms, a workshop and dressing rooms. The facility also provides a 3,200-square-foot dance and rehearsal space, which enables students to practice for a show in a space similar to McCrary Theatre, where they will perform. Elon is grateful to Don and Ellen Scott, parents of Teddy Scott ’10, an alumnus of our music theatre program, for their lead gift that made this venue possible.

Renovated Facilities and Additional Projects

Psychology and Human Services Studies

South Campus expansion continues with the relocation of Psychology and Human Services Studies now located in the building adjacent to the R.N. Ellington Center for Health and Wellness. Renovations include new offices, classrooms, and research facilities for these two departments.

Solar Farm 

As part of the Elon Commitment sustainability objectives, plans are complete for a 10-acre Solar Farm at the Elon Environmental Center at Loy Farm. The Solar Farm is scheduled to be in operation by December 2014. It will consist of approximately 5,800 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 our students by enabling them to study the environmental, business, social and political implications of renewable energy.

Botanical Gardens

In 2004, Elon’s Board of Trustees designated the campus as a botanical garden as an educational, environmental and aesthetic resource to benefit Elon. Since then, the university has developed a large plant collection, constructed numerous display gardens, conserved significant natural areas through the Elon Forest and established the Environmental Center (Loy Farm) as a significant educational resource facility. This year, efforts have continued to increase the botanical collections with renovations and/or additions to gardens, an information guide and labeling of collections, comprehensive tree inventory, and new species of plantings. A new interactive web page/map is complete and will go live in the fall.

South Campus Gym 

This fall, McFarland Gym on South Campus will open as a recreation and activity space for students. The gym will serve as the practice facility for varsity cheerleading and dance, as well as club volleyball, and may be reserved via SPACES for student organization meetings (up to 200 people). The gym will also be available for retreats and trainings for student-led university programs (e.g., Orientation leaders, RAs), and student activities such as dance practices (e.g., Greek Week, Step Show rehearsals). One room will be available for student meetings and group exercise programs. These improvements represent the first phase of converting this facility to a student meeting/activity space.

Moseley Center 2nd floor

The Multicultural Center was expanded to include the space previously occupied by the Student Government Association and renovated this summer. The SGA and a new African-American Resource Room are now located in the space previously occupied by the Residence Life Office, which has moved to the Global Neighborhood, Building C. This fall, there will be four identity resource rooms on the second floor of Moseley. The Gender & LGBTQ and the Latino/Hispanic resource rooms opened last year. This fall, the new African-American Resource Room and the Asian Resource Room will open.

Parking on South Campus 

As part of the continued development of South Campus, a new 180-space parking lot has opened south of the Ellington Wellness Center. This lot is accessible from either South O’Kelly or South Antioch avenues.

Additional Projects in Design

Music Production and Recording Arts

Design is underway for a new expanded facility for Music and Music Production and Recording Arts at Arts West. Print Services will relocate across Haggard Avenue to the Manning Avenue building in September. Library Archives will move to a new storage location on Haggard Avenue in October. These vacated spaces, along with a 3,500-square-foot addition, will provide faculty offices, music practice rooms, and enhanced teaching space for the Music Department. Occupancy for the space is planned for the summer of 2015.

Danieley Center

Plans are underway to enhance residential facilities at Danieley Center. The Daniel Commons renovation will include an additional food venue, offices, a large gathering space and a demonstration kitchen. A new 15,000-square-foot recreation center will include a gym with two basketball courts, a 1,200-square-foot fitness center, offices and a catering kitchen. Construction of both facilities will be complete in the summer of 2015.

Co-op Space in Downtown Greensboro 

As part of Elon’s continued expansion in downtown Greensboro, the university will work with Action Greensboro to develop co-op space on property the university purchased last year on N. Greene Street near Elon Law. This space will be used by individuals interested in developing entrepreneurial businesses. Action Greensboro is part of the non-profit Greensboro Partnership. Funding for this project comes from the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation.

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 our campus. The expansion includes the following components: 1) a new two-story, 45,000-square-foot facility that will connect to a renovated McEwen Building through a spacious, two-story glass atrium; 2) a new one-story, 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; 3) renovation of Long Building to house the iMedia graduate program; and 4) renovation of McEwen Dining Hall.

Additional Initiatives 

Philanthropy at Elon

The Building a Vibrant Alumni Network (BVAN) plan was designed to greatly strengthen ties between alumni and the university. Since the BVAN plan was launched four years ago, we have nearly doubled the number of alumni chapters and clubs around the nation (now at 23), tripled the number of alumni volunteer engagement roles with the university, opened the Martin Alumni Center (more than 1,000 visitors last year), created National Networking Week events in 35 cities across the country, welcomed a record 3,500 alumni at Homecoming 2014, and increased alumni participation in annual giving from 16% to 22%. This year, our ongoing regional expansion will focus on markets surrounding institutions in the Colonial Athletic Association. We expect great alumni support when Elon plays on the road. This year we will also launch new lifelong learning and professional development opportunities for alumni along with strategies to continue increasing alumni participation in annual giving.

The second-annual #ElonDay will be held in conjunction with Founders Day next March following last year’s successful launch of the initiative, in which alumni and students wore Elon gear to show their support for the university. Alumni from around the world wore their Elon gear to show their support for their alma mater.

New Elon Website

University Communications is launching a new Elon University homepage as part of a major transition of the university’s website. Over the next year, pages on the site will be transitioned to a new look known as “responsive design.” The new pages will adapt to work well on regular computer screens as well as on all varieties of tablets and mobile phones. The new site design, which is based on a study of the best university and business website designs, also features improved site navigation, quick shortcuts to Elon’s most frequently used web resources, and updated graphic elements and page templates.

New Leadership

Gabie Smith, interim dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences

Gabie Smith, interim dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences[/caption]Dean of Elon College

Planning will begin this year to recruit the next dean of Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and to develop a shared vision for excellence in Elon College. In this context, Dr. Gabie Smith will continue to serve as interim dean of Elon College and Professor of Psychology. Dr. Michael Fels, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Art and Art History will serve as interim associate dean during the 2014-15 academic year.

Dean of the School of Education

As noted above, the School of Education is in the middle of NCATE reaccreditation review. In addition, this year the school will work to develop a new strategic plan, including possible ways to re-envision the school. Because Interim Dean Dr. Deborah Long has provided such strong and creative leadership during the past year, the search for the permanent dean will be delayed until fall 2016. Dean Long will continue in her role as interim dean for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Luke Bierman, dean of Elon University School of Law

Dean of Elon University School of Law

Dr. Luke Bierman began his duties as dean of the Elon University School of Law on June 1. Bierman joined us from Northeastern University School of Law where he was associate dean for experiential education and distinguished professor of practice of law. Luke previously served as general counsel for the Office of the New York State Comptroller, executive director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University, founded the Justice Center and directed the Judicial Division at the American Bar Association, and served as chief attorney for the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court in Albany.

Dr. Faith River James, Professor of Law, will serve as the founding Associate Dean of Experiential Learning and Leadership. James will provide guidance and coordination to the experiential and leadership programs and will help Elon enhance its national reputation as a leader in engaged learning in law.

on Dooley, assistant vice president for student life and dean of campus life

Student Life 

Dr. Jon Dooley has been named assistant vice president for Student Life and dean of campus life. Dooley joins the Elon community after spending 15 years in student affairs and assessment at Marquette University in Wisconsin. He will sit on the Student Life Vice President’s Council and provide senior-level leadership for the Office of Residence Life, the Residential Campus Initiative, the Multicultural Center, the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, and, as a joint report with Interim Associate Provost Dr. Brooke Barnett, the Gender and LGBTQIA Center.

Multicultural Affairs 

Dr. Randy Williams will serve as presidential fellow and special assistant to the president/dean of Multicultural Affairs. Randy will provide overall leadership for the Multicultural Center while working closely with President Lambert and members of the senior staff to advance institutional diversity initiatives. Randy comes to Elon from North Carolina Wesleyan College, where he served as vice president for student affairs and dean of students. He worked previously as assistant dean of students at the College of William & Mary and associate dean of students at Hampden-Sydney College.

Randy Williams, presidential fellow and special assistant to the president, dean of multicultural affairs

Multicultural Center 

Sylvia Munoz and Diana Prieto Viñas of El Centro have joined the Multicultural Center staff in a merger that creates greater synergy around providing support services to an emerging Latino/a population. Munoz, the associate director of the Multicultural Center and director of El Centro, will serve as a visible campus leader for enhancing the Hispanic/Latino/a student experience. She serves on a working group that has partnered with a research firm to develop an environment of support responsive to Hispanic/Latino students’ needs. Diana, assistant director of El Centro, will remain in Carlton Building, where she will manage the daily operations of El Centro while being a member of the Multicultural Center staff.

Director of Alumni Engagement Brian Feeley

Alumni Engagement 

Brian Feeley, a 2003 Elon graduate, has returned to his alma mater as the new director of alumni engagement. Brian will lead efforts to engage alumni of all ages, build the university’s alumni network, and help increase the alumni participation rate in annual giving. Previously, Brian worked for 10 years at The Washington Center, where he most recently served as vice president for admissions, institutional relations, and site relations.

International Admissions 

Hebe Fuller was named associate dean and director of international admissions.

Hebe Fuller, associate dean and director of international admissions

Hebe comes to Elon having spent most of her professional life in secondary and higher education focused on international recruitment and is a highly regarded member of the Council of International Schools. She has served as director of admission and director of multicultural affairs at Lynn University in Florida, and assistant vice president/enrollment management at Hawaii Pacific University.


The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) 

On July 1, Elon joined the Colonial Athletic Association, marking a major step forward for Elon athletics and the university as a whole. Being in the CAA is a great fit for Elon since many of our alumni and families live in the CAA region. The Colonial spans four of the nation’s eight largest media markets, including Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Baltimore—great exposure for the university. The move to the CAA will allow Elon student-athletes to compete with peers at many excellent universities.

Track and Field Complex 

Renovations to the Track and Field Complex are currently underway thanks to a major gift from Trustee Jeanne Robertson and her husband Jerry. In addition to the renovation of Belk Track, the gift will add lights to White Field, where several Elon teams practice throughout the year. The project will be completed in October.

Rudd Field Upgrade 

The renovation of Rudd Field, home to both Elon men’s and women’s soccer, includes a new press box, dugouts and new brick fencing surrounding the pitch. The project will be completed in August. This project is supported by Trustee Vickie and Sam Hunt.