Fresno Pacific University Board sets goal of 5,000 students

0 Comment Wayne.Steffen
June 26, 2014

Between now and 2018, the university is to grow to 5,000 students studying on the main campus in Southeast Fresno and at the regional centers in Merced, North Fresno, Visalia and Bakersfield. 

The new targets are 2,000 students in bachelor’s degree completion programs, designed for working adults with some previous college or university credits, and 1,500 students each in traditional undergraduate and graduate programs including Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. Enrollment for 2013-2014 is 3,461, with 1,254 traditional undergraduates, 1,136 in degree completion and 1,071 graduate students.

“Growth is important first to further the mission of FPU and to make a real difference in the Valley,” said Jon Endicott, vice president for enrollment management and student services. “Five thousand students will give us the financial stability to support all our programs and make strategic additions, such as new areas of study, student services and facilities.”

Another part of the enrollment plan is to increase the number of students living on campus to 51 percent of traditional undergraduates. “Having additional residential students creates a stronger and more vibrant community on campus, which enhances students’ overall experience,” Endicott added.

The enrollment blueprint comes out of the priorities of the university strategic plan. The three-five year strategic plan will map goals in academics, community involvement, diversity, facilities, infrastructure and other areas. The process has involved faculty, staff and administrators and has been led by President Pete C. Menjares. “The decisions made by the board affirmed the strategic direction of Fresno Pacific over the next several years. There is a clear commitment to planned growth, identifying new streams of revenue, strong fiscal management, improving our facilities and infrastructure, advancing our seminary and elevating the quality and diversity of our academic programs,” he said. The next regular meeting in October was set as the delivery date for the final version of the strategic plan.

The FPU Board of Directors also made progress on the fine arts center project during the meetings, which took place June 6-7 on the main campus. The design of the center will focus on providing facilities needed for accreditation of the university by the National Association of Schools of Music, as well as enhanced facilities for the theater and visual arts departments. Plans are to locate the center off Butler Avenue on the north edge of the main campus. The board-appointed building committee has selected the Fresno firms of Paul Halajian Architects and Quiring General LLC.

The board approved a balanced budget of $54 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year, an increase from $51 million in fiscal year 2013-14. The budget priorities include supporting the enrollment plan and furthering the strategic direction of the university.

In other action, board members approved:

·        Creating a Seminary Committee. This group, made up of university and community representatives, will serve as a way for board members and the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary to communicate and collaborate. This committee supersedes the Seminary Advisory Committee that began as part of the merger agreement between the seminary’s Fresno operations and FPU.

·        Promoting Rebecca McMillen, Ph.D. candidate, to assistant professor of art; Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, Ph.D., to associate professor of biology; Quentin Kinnison, Ph.D., to associate professor of Christian ministry and leadership; Elizabeth Lake, Ph.D., to associate professor of psychology; and Jim Bryan, Ed.D., to professor of business administration/management.

·        Granting continuing status to Terry Brensinger, Ph.D., dean and vice president of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary; Darin Lenz, Ph.D., associate professor of history; and Dieter Wulfhorst, D.M.A., associate professor of music, as well as to Bryan, Dahlquist-Willard, Kinnison and Lake.

·        Sabbaticals for several faculty: Steve Pauls, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, for the 2014-2015 academic year; Rod Janzen, Ed.D., interim dean of the School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences; Peng Wen, Ph.D., professor of business administration: economics; Brian Schultz, Ph.D., assistant professor of biblical and religious studies; Billie Jean Wiebe, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and English; and David Bruce Rose, Ph.D., associate professor marriage and family therapy; all for the fall semester of 2014; and Greg Camp, Ph.D., professor of biblical and religious studies and Greek, for the spring semester of 2015.

About the author

Wayne Steffen is university editor at Fresno Pacific University, where he edits Pacific magazine. Before joining FPU in 1996, he was a writer and editor at several community newspapers and a college in the Midwest.

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