Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shorter College Announces Plan To Transition To University Status

Shorter College President Harold E. Newman today announced the college’s intent to change its legal designation to Shorter University. The change will become effective June 1, 2010, and marks an important development for the 135-year-old institution that is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.

The status change was approved by the Shorter College Board of Trustees at its October meeting and today (Tuesday, Nov. 11) was approved by messengers attending the annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention. The convention’s approval was necessary because the status change requires an amendment to Shorter’s charter.

“Since its founding in 1873, Shorter has had a reputation for providing excellent academics within a caring environment,” Dr. Newman said. “Our aim is to create a Christian university where students will receive a top quality education in an environment that fosters spiritual growth. University status reflects what Shorter has already become through the extraordinary growth and progress of recent years.” Today, the college enrolls approximately 3,000 students who study on four campuses in Rome, North Atlanta, Lawrenceville, and Riverdale.

Dr. Newman added, “Several years ago, the college’s leadership team and I identified university status as a centerpiece of Shorter’s strategic plan, and we believe that Shorter fits nicely into the definition of a regional teaching university. Achieving recognition as a regional teaching university, as a Christ-centered community, and as a community committed to globalization are the central pillars of our strategic plans for the future growth and development of Shorter.”

Dr. Nelson Price, chairman of the Shorter College Board of Trustees, echoed Dr. Newman’s enthusiasm for the transition. “From the inception of my working with Shorter, we have had the bold ambition to see it excel, and we feel the title of university will enhance the understanding of the level of academic excellence offered at Shorter. We also desire to see the academic success enhanced by the infusion of the Christian faith.”

The status change will enable Shorter to better respond to market forces within the state of Georgia and within the higher education community at large, Dr. Newman said. “Becoming Shorter University positions us for future growth. It does not, however, change the nature of Shorter. We remain committed to providing a high quality educational experience that features personal interactions with faculty, a strong focus on students, and excellence in all areas.”

Dr. Newman added that the change will require little internal restructuring since the college already follows a university-style structure. “For much of the past decade, we have operated under a university model in that we have had separate schools headed by deans and have offered graduate programs,” he said. “This change in designation solidifies that reputation.”

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