My first six months as Antioch University New England’s president have been an exciting and enjoyable learning experience. I have met, and learned from, many faculty and staff members, students, alumni, and friends of AUNE. One question I am often asked is, “What are your priorities as AUNE’s new president.” As I have learned more about the institution over these months, my answer to that question has evolved. I now use two complementary approaches for discussing my priorities.
First of all, the priorities that will guide my work as president will be defined to a significant degree by the campus strategic plan. The strategic plan, which is nearing completion as this issue of AUNE Notes goes to press, has been developed over the past eighteen months using a broadly inclusive and comprehensive approach. Numerous internal and external constituencies and
stakeholders have participated in its development. I believe it points the institution in the right direction for the future.
The strategic plan delineates five key priorities for the next five-year period: strengthen
and diversify revenue streams; clarify organizational governance and structure; increase
faculty/staff compensation; re-examine AUNE’s mission and core values; and determine key
business strategy. Each priority has several specific strategic goals and action steps for their
The plan’s richness and complexity, however, make it difficult to summarize briefly.
Therefore, I often characterize my priorities in terms of three general themes that are
congruent with the strategic plan’s priorities: building institutional capacity, broadening and
strengthening support, and extending our reach.
Building Institutional Capacity Significant strides were made under the leadership of
my predecessor, interim president Neal King, to increase our capacity in the vital areas of
communications, marketing, and the web and we will continue those efforts. Another key
focus of capacity building over the next five years will be in the areas of institutional
advancement and fund raising.
Broadening and Strengthening Support We have already begun to make measurable
progress on the goal of strengthening existing tuition-based revenue streams. Broadening
the financial support for the institution, however, will also involve diversifying revenue
streams. A major component will of course be a strong focus on improving our fund raising
and development results. We will also strive to acquire significant new revenue through increased continuing education programming and alternative program delivery models.
Extending Our Reach By offering new program delivery models, we can extend our reach beyond our usual bounds of time and space. This will be a continuation of AUNE’s growth over four decades from a local Vermont institution, to a strong regional presence, and now to programs with national profiles. We are now seriously evaluating new ways to leverage the power of technology to offer an Antioch University New England education to people around the world for whom it would otherwise be out of reach.
These priorities chart a course with significant challenges but exciting rewards for AUNE and its students. However, perhaps my most profound learning experience has been to discover that Antioch University New England is such a vital and powerful institution. I am very confident that, with the support of our many alumni and friends, AUNE’s faculty and staff will address these challenges with the intelligence and enthusiasm needed to accomplish these goals and then some.