Lenoir-Rhyne launches five-year plan

Lenoir-Rhyne University has released a new five-year strategic plan, effective through the year 2024. The plan, titled "Pivoting to a New Level of Excellence," is the culmination of a yearlong campus-wide effort that outlines a set of key challenges and actions to ensure the University's success.

"As the faculty and staff implement this plan, we will fortify Lenoir-Rhyne's distinctive position in liberal arts and will garner the resources needed to achieve our educational goals," said University President Dr. Fred Whitt. "We are well equipped to implement the plan and leverage positive change and rewarding experiences that generate ongoing advancement for our institution."

The plan outlines four strategic themes upon which LR will direct its energy and resources over the next five years. The themes are:

1. Exceptional Experience – Provide a transformational experience for students by cultivating a culture of engagement and student success.

2. Academic Excellence – Enhance its commitment to academic excellence and enrich its academic profile to increase the value of a Lenoir-Rhyne degree.

3. Distinctive Identity – Create a compelling and research-informed value proposition that distinguishes Lenoir-Rhyne.

4. Transformative Future – Establish new revenue streams and strong financial modeling to ensure sustainability.

Faculty, staff and students were instrumental in creating the plan and its goals. More than 250 stakeholders, including the LR board of trustees, participated in planning sessions held on LR's three campuses (Hickory and Asheville, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina), and more than 700 ideas were suggested and reviewed by the steering committee. The board of trustees endorsed the plan at its March 2019 meeting.

Each of the four themes has specific goals and initiatives. Some of the key deliverables include:

  • Create a campus master plan for developing modernized living and learning spaces that attract and engage
  • Implement a strategic plan for institutional technology to improve campus operations and efficiency
  • Revise the Freshmen Year Experience (FYE) course consistent with national best practices and enhance experiential student learning to improve retention
  • Partner with a national firm to develop and implement the LR brand identity to better tell LR's story and improve market awareness
  • Develop a robust Student Success Center, including an Early Intervention Program to significantly improve student success and retention
  • Develop and implement a data-informed annual program review process to drive existing and new academic programs
  • Increase alumni and donor engagement through expanded communication and alumni activities that will improve alumni giving to national average

LR aims to provide regular updates on the plan and will assess progress periodically to ensure that it reflects the current environment. The plan is available at lr.edu/strategicplan.

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