The Way Forward – Strategic Financial Plan
Letter from President Eric Bruntmyer
Feb. 14, 2020
At its February 2020 meeting, Hardin-Simmons University’s Board of Trustees took a number of significant steps to better position the institution financially to continue its mission to provide excellence in education enlightened by Christian faith and values. At the meeting, Board members challenged each other to support Hardin-Simmons University financially as well as through their countless hours of hard work. On the day they finalized their decisions, they showed their love of Hardin-Simmons and their commitment to its vision by giving more than $100,000 to the university. As you have occasion to, please join me in thanking them for their sacrificial leadership.
During this week, we have been working hard to communicate the specific actions that must be taken to implement the Board’s decisions, making sure that we are complying with all applicable legal and accreditation standards, and to provide individual notification to those on campus most directly affected.
We are now able to release additional information about the Board’s decisions, information that puts the closing of Logsdon Seminary into the context of The Way Forward, a larger financial plan to close our operating deficit by more than $4 million.
The Board also approved a few carefully vetted new programs, awarded emeritus status in honor of recently retired faculty, approved the promotion in academic rank of the excellent faculty recommended for promotion by their peers, and set up a process to review the requirements of our general education curriculum to make sure that it will continue to train our students as effective Christian leaders in an ever-changing environment.
Hardin-Simmons University will be organized in five colleges and schools:
- the Cynthia Ann Parker College of Liberal Arts, which will now also include:
- School of Music
- Department of Fine Arts
- Logsdon School of Theology
- Department of Counseling and Human Development
- the Holland School of Science and Mathematics
- a renamed Kelley College of Business and Professional Studies, which will now also include:
- Irvin School of Education
- Ed.D. in Leadership Studies
- the College of Health Professions, which will now also include:
- School of Kinesiology, Health, and Recreation
- the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing
The Deans Council will consist of the deans of those five colleges and schools.
There will be changes to the university’s offerings of academic programs:
- Closing Programs
- Graduate Programs
- Doctor of Ministry
- Master of Arts in Family Ministry
- Master of Arts in Religion
- Master of Divinity
- Master of Education in Gifted and Talented Education
- Master of Education in Reading Specialist Education
- Master of Music in Church Music
- Master of Music in Music Education
- Master of Music in Music Theory and Composition
- Master of Music in Performance
- Minor in Music on the M.Ed. degree
- Undergraduate Majors
- Bachelor of Business Administration in Banking & Financial Services
- Bachelor of Business Administration in Nonprofit Management
- Bachelor of Business Administration in Public Administration
- Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition
- Bachelor of Science in Human Sciences in Physical Education
- Undergraduate Minors
- Minor in Biblical Languages
- Minor in Leadership
- Minor in Sociology
- Minor in Spanish
- Certificate Programs
- Express Teacher Certification
- Master Reading Teacher Certificate
- Graduate Programs
There will be seventeen faculty reductions associated with the program closings, as well as some additional reductions in faculty to reduce costs in several remaining programs. Fourteen positions have been eliminated in administration and staff through attrition, and additional reductions will be communicated as soon as we are able.
None of these closures will affect current students. The university is committed to ensure that all its students will be able to finish the programs in which they are currently enrolled.
- New Programs
- Logsdon School of Theology in the College of Liberal Arts: Bachelor of Arts & Bachelor of Behavioral Sciences degrees in Christian Studies, to be developed by the faculty of the Logsdon School of Theology, which will replace existing majors in Biblical Studies, Ministry, Theological Studies, and Worship Ministry
- School of Music in the College of Liberal Arts: Bachelor of Science in Music with a Concentration in Worship Leadership
- College of Health Professions: Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
- Irvin School of Education in College of Business and Professional Studies: Master of Special Education with Emphasis in Applied Behavior
Faculty emeritus status has been granted to:
- Ms. Linda Fawcett, Art
- Dr. Richard Garner, Chemistry
- Mrs. Charlene Strickland, Communications
- Dr. Robert Fink, English
- Dr. Mark Puckett, Piano
The following promotions were approved:
- Promotion to Assistant Professor
- Ms. Jessica Rieger
- Promotion to Associate Professor
- Dr. Sherry Rosenblad
- Promotion to Professor
- Dr. Jacob Brewer
- Dr. Emily Dean
- Dr. Lindsay Edwards
- Dr. Andrea Jensen
- Dr. Steve Rosscoe
The President will be appointing a Task Force composed of members of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, the staff, and the administration of Hardin-Simmons University to propose by the May 2020 meeting of the Board of Trustees student learning outcomes for the Foundational Curriculum and a curriculum to deliver those outcomes.
Pending the work of the Task Force, the requirements of Hardin-Simmons University’s Foundational Curriculum are amended to equalize the treatment of college credit for all incoming students.
Before its February 2020 meeting, the Board of Trustees held a called meeting to discuss resolutions recently passed by the university faculty. That discussion continued at the February meeting. Though aware of the faculty’s concerns, ultimately the Board’s primary discussion focused on the Way Forward financial plan. The Board’s decisions were difficult, all of them made in continuous awareness of their direct impact on personnel and students. The Board recognizes, as do we in administration, the heavy burden that many are carrying. All of us are dedicated to walk alongside and to assist anyone affected by these campus changes. As we continue to position the university for long-term success, please join me in constant prayer for the entire HSU community.