Paine College unveils 2014-19 strategic plan

Paine College President George C. Bradley unveiled the 2014-19 strategic plan Monday, which calls for raising the admissions bar and recruiting high caliber faculty to make Paine the region’s “premier liberal arts institution.”

The plan centers around five goals: expanding the academic programs, student recruitment and engagement, technology innovation, facility enhancement, and “friend-raising.”

In moving into the next five years, the vision, mission and core values remain the same, which involve improving Paine while keeping fiscally responsible, respecting the heritage and reaching for excellence.

The academic expansion piece involves implementing more professional development and research opportunities.

Bradley said he hopes to develop a graduate program, beginning with an MBA and teacher education track, but the timeline for that is not yet finalized. He also plans to align faculty salaries with those in the southeast region.

“We have to continue bringing some of the best and brightest minds, and if we don’t have the financial resources to have them here and compete with some of our peer institutions, we’ll leave some very, very valuable talent,” he said.

After recently eliminating remedial courses, Paine will also adjust admissions requirements to draw higher achieving students. Bradley did not provide specifics on minimum SAT or GPA requirements.

Students will also be pushed to engage in more leadership and international opportunities at universities abroad.

The strategic plan also calls for boosting technology by increasing the amount of smart-classes and online courses.

The campus has $40 million of maintenance needs, but Bradley said the strategic plan calls for prioritizing to make Paine safe and aesthetically beautiful. The facility improvements will follow the 25-year Master Plan published in 2009, with green-friendly construction being a priority.

But Bradley recognized all these goals require money. Fundraising, or friend-raising as Paine labels it, must be at the forefront.

Bradley hopes to boost Paine’s endowment, revenue and external grants through relationships with local businesses and other state and federal resources. He said Paine must attract more non-institutional scholarships to balance the $2 million the school offers in honors and athletic discounts a year.

Above all, Bradley said he wants the public’s opinion on where Paine should be headed.

“The most important thing here is we want folks to have input, because it’s not my strategic plan, it’s the Paine College community’s strategic plan,” Bradley said.

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