Message from Dr. Carter
Four years ago when we embarked on our strategic planning and scanned the future landscape in higher education, it became quite clear that if Johnson C. Smith University were to fulfill its promise, we had to commit to engaging in a radical transformation. We are well into the midst of that change and our Mission-in-Vision has become woven into the fabric of the University. I am happy that our faculty, staff and students not only understand it but also live it daily.
A critical step in achieving our Mission-in-Vision as a new urban university involves changing our business model. In order for this process to occur, we need strong leaders who can make tough decisions, create solutions, rethink business processes and test prototypes.
What I find most exciting is what the Board of Trustees identified five years ago as the Seven Expectations for Radical Transformation. These expectations mandated that we change our “business as usual” approach in order to survive and thrive in a rapidly changing and highly competitive market in which students have many options for earning bachelor’s and advanced degrees. Research shows that students in the year 2020 will demand an education on their terms and will seek a technology-based customized approach to learning. The bottom line is they will want it all: a plethora of learning options that they can mix and match to play to their individual strengths. I am excited that we’re on target in examining our business model for attracting and retaining students, while engaging experts who can help put us at the front of the higher education curve. I must say that our Board of Trustees was correct in their assessment, and I commend them for their courage and foresight.
On May 14, Mr. Greg Petzke began his role as interim Chief Financial Officer. I am very pleased to welcome Mr. Petzke, of the Monaghan Group, whose 30 years of experience will help us accelerate our move to a new business model. He has built accounting organizations from the ground up and has hands-on experience as well as strong leadership ability. Mr. Petzke has hit the ground running, and his reports to me thus far about our financial future have been very encouraging. He has developed a solid 90-day plan, and I am optimistic that this plan will make us even stronger.
The Board of Trustees, faculty and staff have played a major role in making the Mission-in-Vision a part of the University’s DNA. Because of their hard work, JCSU achieved several milestones this academic year. Here is what a few of them say about their accomplishments, challenges and triumphs in problem-solving to overcome expected and unforeseen obstacles on the difficult road of radical transformation.
Dr. Ronald L. Carter