HANNIBAL – Anthony Allen said he is pleased with the progress Hannibal-LaGrange University has made during his five years as president, but he told trustees at their March 16-17 board meeting he is much more focused on the future of the institution.
“I can’t say that I was the magic bullet, but I can say that we have made a great deal of progress and are moving in the right direction,” he said.
Allen offered trustees seven strategic points he has identified to help keep HLGU a “viable, growing, thriving institution well into the future.”
• Continue to strengthen the finanical health of HLGU, including increasing the endowment and pursuing private donations and grants.
One way Allen said he hopes to increase enrollment – tuition makes up 74 percent of the university’s income – is to found a business school on campus.
• Continue to integrate a “robust Christian perspective, both across the curriculum and within each major.”
“In the past and I believe in the future, we will only be successful by distinguishing ourself as a Christian institution, deeply committed to integrating faith and learning. Why? Because nobody else is. If we try to be all things to all men, we won’t be successful,” Allen said.
• Review all programs at the University, ensuring all fit the school’s mission.
“Liberal arts are not going to carry us into the future,”Allen said. “We’re not going to walk away from theater, art, history or English – they are critically important to us, to the academy, and to all students – but these aren’t the majors that we are going to be able to build on. More of our students are looking for professional degrees such as business, nursing, or criminal justice for specific careers.”
• Examine everything the university does to operate strategically and better weather temporary finanical hardship.
• Identify future degrees and non-traditional programs (online, graduate and adult education) to bring in more students across the board.
• Continue to market the university in an increasingly competitive field.
“On the street I hear, ‘Hannibal-LaGrange Who?’ ‘Hannibal-LaGrange Where?’ and ‘Hannibal-LaGrange What?’” Allen said. “We’ve got to tell our story so people can know about us and about this great Christian university.”
• Vigilant and visionary leadership.
“I’m not just talking about the president, the board or the executive cabinet,” Allen said. “I’m talking about all of us together cooperating with the faculty and staff to make sure we’re doing every single thing possible to be fullfill our mission.”
During the meeting, trustees heard reports from various university officials. They also approved a $22.28 million budget for the 2017-2018 year, the same as last year. Tuition rates will remain the same as well.