Three colleges merge; changes come to personnel
Declining enrollment is a current problem for many colleges in the Midwest, and North Central has not been an exception. Over the past five years, enrollment has been steadily dropping, and now it is taking its effect on the budget, which will see cuts of 10 to 15 percent according to Mike Nosser, vice president of student development.
In order to compensate for the budget cuts but still maintain the quality of the education that North Central students receive, personnel changes will be made. The current number of faculty North Central retains is too high for the number of enrolled students. These changes will result in a balanced ratio of professors to students.
On Feb. 8, Donald Tucker, the vice president of academic affairs, addressed the faculty and made some announcements relating to the future of some members.
The most visible change will happen in the merge of three colleges: the College of Missions, the College of Ministry, and the Institute for Biblical and Theological Studies. Doug Graham, the vice president of spiritual life, will take on the role of the new dean of this new college. This adjustment is due to the decline in ministry majors by 50 percent in the past ten years. This decline is why many of the cuts to personnel are being made in this area. A name for this college has yet to be decided on.
At North Central, the liberal arts have increased enrollment over the past five years, which is in contrast to the trend seen in schools nationwide according to President Gordon Anderson.
Anderson addressed the student body on Feb. 12. The board wanted to make changes with students as the top priority according to Anderson.
“Institutions often fall in love with what they are doing, instead of what they are doing it for,” Anderson said.
Gary Denbow, the current dean of the college of missions, will be retiring and moving to Missouri. Thomas Burkman, the dean of graduate studies, will be retiring and his position will be dissolved. The following faculty and staff members will be released from their positions following spring 2016: Tracy Paino, Glen Menzies, David Watson, Allan Hawkins, John Davenport, David Guntlisbergen and Larry Ligocki
“We will make it if we are willing to make the changes, if we are willing to be creative, if we are willing to change wine skins to accomodate new wine,” Anderson said during chapel.