Board meets, evaluates priorities for Council

August 01, 2001

FRISCO, Colo. - The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities' board of directors met for their annual retreat July 28-31 in the mountains of Frisco, Colo. Fourteen of the 17 directors were present.

Major outcomes of the meeting included a restatement of the association's mission, a comprehensive review and evaluation of the Council's strategic priorities, adoption of a record-$8.2 million budget and the approval of four new affiliate institutions.

Mission Statement
After discussion, the board unanimously voted to revise the association's mission statement to read: "To advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth."

"The restated mission more clearly represents who we are in today's culture," said Loren Gresham, board chair and president of Southern Nazarene University (OK).

CCCU President Bob Andringa emphasized, "This revision does not change the mission of the Council, but reiterates our purpose in serving the intentionally Christ-centered colleges and universities around the world."

David Dockery, board member and president of Union University (TN), commended the association's mission in the Monday morning devotional. "The Council is made up of such a diverse group of Christian colleges and universities," he said. "It is the overarching commitment to 'advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education' that holds us all together."

Strategic Priorities
The board conducted an extensive evaluation of the Council's priorities by critically reviewing all of its programs and services. After two days of work, the board agreed on the strategic direction of the association.

Professional Development and Student Programs.
The board emphasized the value of professional development programs for faculty and key administrators on CCCU campuses. They indicated that a priority should be placed on projects that will impact the largest number of individuals. Further, the board commended the Council's student programs which now serve more than 400 students each year.

Marketing and Communications.
In response to a recommendation from the Commission for Chief Enrollment Officers and the board's advancement committee, the board identified marketing to prospective students as a continuing priority for the Council. This priority should raise the visibility of Christian higher education even more.

Racial Harmony and Internationalization.
The board affirmed the importance of making racial harmony and internationalization overlays on all of the Council's work. "In spite of our sinfulness, checkered history and lack of clarity in many areas I think the time is ripe," said Sam Barkat, board member and provost at Nyack College (NY). "If we do not bring the issues of racial-ethnic reconciliation and multi ethnicity into the mainstream of Christian higher education, our campuses will always stay on the outside fringes."

United Christian College Fund (UCCF).
The board reiterated the UCCF as a Council priority. UCCF Chairman Jay Kesler, chancellor of Taylor University (IN), explained that the purpose of the initiative is to raise funds to stabilize the association to serve its members better. The board approved three new trustees, subject to their formal acceptance: Ted Engstrom, president emeritus of World Vision; Russell Mawby, president emeritus of the Kellogg Foundation; and William Pollard, chairman of Service Master. Andringa, who is serving as the chief executive officer of the Fund, and Kesler will continue building the trustees. Kesler reported that work is underway on a prospect feasibility study, case statement and supporting materials. An update on the fund will be presented at the winter board meeting and during the 2002 Annual Presidents' Conference.

New Affiliate Campuses
The number of affiliate institutions grew to 53 with the board's approval of the following campuses: Toccoa Falls College,Toccoa Falls, Ga.; Walla Walla College, College Place, Wash.; Bishop Appasamy College for Arts and Sciences, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India; and Canadian Nazarene University College, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

With the addition of these new affiliate campuses, the CCCU now includes 101 member and 53 affiliate institutions located in 18 countries.

Other Business
The board welcomed three new directors to their first meeting: David Dockery, Union University (TN); Shirley Showalter, Goshen College (IN); and Deborah Wilds, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The board also heard reports from CCCU staff and board committees, approved minor revisions to the board's Standing Policies document, conducted Andringa's annual evaluation and participated in a discussion with the board of directors of Christian University GlobalNet (CUGN).

The board will meet again just prior to the CCCU Annual Presidents' Conference in February 2002. The decision was made to hold next summer's retreat in Costa Rica, the location of one of the Council's student programs.

The following board members were present: Loren Gresham, chair, Southern Nazarene University (OK); Phil Eaton, vice chair, Seattle Pacific University (WA); Bill Crothers, secretary/treasurer, Roberts Wesleyan College (NY); Bob Agee, Association of Southern Baptist Colleges & Schools; Sam Barkat, Nyack College (NY); Paul Corts, Palm Beach Atlantic College (FL); David Dockery, Union University (TN); Blair Dowden, Huntington College (IN); Jay Kesler, UCCF chair, Taylor University (IN); Shirley Showalter, Goshen College (IN); Jack White, Geneva College (PA); Deborah Wilds, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Herma Williams, Gordon College (MA) and Bob Andringa, CCCU president (ex officio).

The following directors were absent: Mort Crim, Mort Crim Communications; Duane Litfin, Wheaton College (IL); and Royce Money, Abilene Christian University (TX). Litfin and Money are currently on sabbatical.

CCCU staff present for the board retreat included Rich Gathro, senior vice president; Ron Mahurin, vice president for professional development and research; Kyle Royer, vice president for finance and administration; and Kevin Trowbridge, director of communications.

"The level of discussion was profound," said Gathro. "In my 23 years with the Council, I found this meeting to be particularly substantive, candid and reflective of a deep commitment to a vision for Christian higher education."

Related Links:
CCCU Adds Four Affiliates