Prez@Catawba - Update from President Brien Lewis
June 30, 2014
 
Dear Catawba Community,
I am pleased to provide you with this report on recent activities and progress at Catawba College. As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me to obtain additional information.
 
The Word of the Year: Enrollment
 
The forecast for next year remains optimistic at this stage compared to the same date last year: our applications are up (3946 vs. 3513) and the number of new student deposits received has also increased (373 vs. 366). We are also experiencing a significant increase in demand for residential space on campus: as of this writing 750 students plan to live on campus compared to 672 last fall. This is a nice "problem" to have as we will be straining our capacities and needing to make some short-term adjustments and accommodations. Does this mean it is time to build a new dorm? Not quite yet - such a significant investment requires more developed "trendlines".

Many thanks for the good work reflected in these numbers and let's continue to devote our best efforts and energies throughout the crucial coming weeks as the last prospective students make their decisions and student affairs works to accommodate the complexities associated with an increased demand for housing.
Williams

We will be wishing a sad but fond farewell next month to Lois Williams, who has served so ably as our Enrollment Vice President. There has been significant progress thanks to Lois and her tireless efforts - please join me in wishing her all the best in her future adventures.
 
Budget and Financial Updates
 
Overall, the College's financial picture has improved substantially in the past couple of years thanks to enrollment growth, sound fiscal management, and budgetary restraint. Here are some key aspects of this:
Debt
Debt: Reduced from $24.7 million to $22.2 million.

Endowment: Grew from $48.3 million as of May 31, 2013 to $54.9 million as of May 31, 2014 thanks to gifts and outstanding portfolio management by the Investment Committee of our Board of Trustees.

Unrestricted Gifts: Reduced reliance on the "unrestricted gifts" line in the budget from $3.65 million in 2011-12 to $1.5 million both last year and this year. Our ultimate goal needs to be to reduce this line to zero both because of anticipated changes in accounting rules and so we can be asking for gifts to move us forward, not just to balance the budget!
I will continue to keep the College community apprised as financial plans for next year take clearer shape in the weeks and months ahead.
 
Strategic Plan and Annual Plan
 
Each year's Annual Plan sets forth specific action items which are intended to be accomplished within an academic year in furtherance of longer term goals and objectives. The end-of-year progress report for 2013-14 will soon be shared with the campus and posted on our website. The Annual Plan for the 2014-15 academic year will also be shared in the near future and posted on our website. Please take the time to review these documents as they are central to the allocation of our time and resources. As always, feedback and suggestions are encouraged and welcomed.
 
Campus Master Plan
 
Signage
The team from Ayers Saint Gross has prepared the final reports including details such as projected costs for individual facility and landscape projects. The final reports will be available on our website soon. Depending on if we can secure donor support, the first projects we will seek to undertake include new signage and "wayfinding" kiosks, improved landscaping and outdoor furnishings, creating a plaza/porch area immediately behind the Admin building, and undertaking badly needed repairs and refurbishment of the ballpark.
 
Thank you, Paul Fisher!
 
Fisher
The Board of Trustees is losing one of its most esteemed members. Paul Fisher has decided to retire from the Board after many years of dedicated service including several years as Chair. A true community leader and a great friend of the College, Mr. Fisher has made it clear he will continue to support and encourage us in many ways. Thank you, Paul!

Both Mr. Fisher and Dr. Shirley Ritchie have been accorded Trustee Emeritus status by action of the Board - a fitting tribute to their leadership and generosity.
 
Congratulations to Dr. Lou Ann Kasias, Prof. Julia Hayes and the late Dr. Bill Russell
 
Kasias, Hayes, Russell
The Board of Trustees approved conferral of Faculty Emeritus status on Dr. Kasias, Prof. Hayes and the late Dr. Russell. Please join me in saluting them on these most appropriate recognitions of their distinguished academic careers!
 
Athletic Department Leadership
 
Leckonby
This week we welcome to campus our new Athletic Director, Larry Leckonby. I know you will enjoy getting to know Larry and he has already invested significant time during this transitional period in learning more about the department and the campus. Please join me in extending a hand of welcome and support to Larry and his family.

I also want to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to Jeff Childress for his outstanding work during the past several months as Interim AD. Jeff responded to the call on short notice and did far more than I could have asked him to do. His diligence, attention to detail, and commitment to the College have been exemplary.
 
Just Over The Horizon...
 

Quick notes on things you will hear and see more about soon:

Downtown Catawba
Downtown Catawba: We have opened our innovative new "storefront" space downtown in the Plaza building at the corner of Main Street and West Innes Street. The space provides admissions information as well as the latest on athletic, theatre and music events (and the opportunity to buy tickets for them). We are also selling Catawba clothing and related items. There have already been student musical performances during downtown "nights out" and we are lining up special programming for the fall including poetry readings, and other presentations. Keep an eye out for more details soon and stop in when you are downtown!

Comprehensive Campaign: With our Strategic Plan and Campus Master Plan endorsed by the Board of Trustees and giving us a "roadmap to the future", we have started the process of undertaking a major fundraising drive to help fulfill those plans. We have already received several significant gifts and pledges in support of the campaign. Some of these have already been publicized and there are more that we will be announcing in detail in the near future. To date the campaign has received over $26 million in gifts and commitments - a wonderful demonstration of support for Catawba! The public launch of the campaign will be in conjunction with Homecoming Festivities from October 22-26.

Stanback Residence Hall refurbishment: A major project this summer is a significant "renewal" of this venerable residence hall. This will include fresh paint, flooring work, infrastructure improvements and furniture. This project is generously enabled by a grant from the Cannon Trust.

Sheriff's Department
Pilot program with Rowan Sheriff's Department: As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance campus safety security, we will be contracting with the Rowan Sheriff's Department to provide officers on campus during certain time periods and events when it may be helpful to have sworn officers available to assist our Public Safety team. This is a pilot program and we will evaluate it throughout the 2014-15 academic year.

Catawba Foundation: The newly established "Catawba Foundation, Inc." was created to operate exclusively for the benefit and purposes of Catawba College. The Foundation is a charitable organization under the North Carolina Non-Profit Corporation Act and the Internal Revenue Code. The first project of the Foundation has been procuring Salisbury radio station WSAT-AM to become the platform for Catawba College students majoring in Business or Communication Arts hoping to pursue careers in radio broadcasting. Profits from the operation of WSAT will be donated by the Foundation to Catawba College. The Foundation will be able to receive gifts of property that may ultimately be sold with the proceeds going to the College. In this way, the College does not have any liability for properties gifted for its benefit until they are sold. The Foundation may also be in a position to purchase properties adjacent to the campus or other assets for the benefit of the College without them being liabilities on the College's books until their costs are fully paid. The Catawba Foundation will be a very helpful vehicle for us and our supporters. It will enable individuals and companies to provide gifts that can move the College forward without placing an unwanted or unintended burden on the College and its resources.

RN to BSN Program
RN to BSN Program - Robertson Foundation Grant and Other Support: A key aspect of the Strategic Plan involves developing new programs and opportunities in health sciences. The first step in that direction is the creation of an RN to BSN program. We are honored to be supported in this endeavor by a grant from the Blanche and Julian Robertson Foundation for $1 million over four years. A more detailed announcement about this grant award will be released soon. We have also received a gift in support of this project for an additional $565,000 - thereby ensuring we have the resources needed to undertake the program until it begins to generate revenue from tuition-paying students. We appreciate these generous expressions of support as well as the assistance being provided by Novant Rowan Regional Medical Center and the Heffner Veterans Affairs Hospital. We have commenced the search for a Director who will design the curriculum and other program components.

Solar Project: The Board of Trustees has also endorsed undertaking a substantial solar project that will include installations of Photovoltaic panels, Solar Water Heating, Geo Well Harvesting, Daylighting, and re-roofing on several building on campus. This is a major undertaking with significant outcomes. It will be a giant step forward for our efforts on sustainability in general and to the energy reductions reflected in the national Presidents' Climate Commitment. It may also be the single largest project of its type undertaken by an institution of higher education in North Carolina. More details will be provided as the final elements of the project take shape but preliminary projections indicate that we would save 11% on energy and 26% on water costs.
Solar Panels
The cost of the project is approximately $3 million to $5.2 million - a significant portion of which we would need to undertake anyway as there are needs to replace roofs on several of our older buildings. The financial savings (in addition to the energy reductions) are projected at approximately $10 million to $11.9 million. We are very grateful to announce that significant portions of the entire project are being funded by generous donations. Other portions may be funded by investors who are able to realize significant tax credits for solar energy and who would, once the tax credits expire in a few years, donate the systems to the College. This initiative could be a huge milestone for the College in many ways. If we were able to do the entire scope of the project we believe it would be the largest such undertaking by any higher education institution in the State of North Carolina. I look forward to sharing more information on it in the near future.
 
In Conclusion
 
I know once again that there are many, many more items that are worthy of reporting to you that I am likely overlooking in the interest of keeping this report as concise as possible. Please check the website regularly to keep up with the latest news and opportunities available on campus.

As always, thank you for all you do for the College.

Yours at Catawba,
Brien Lewis
Brien Lewis

Twitter
@CatawbaPrez



CATAWBA COLLEGE
2300 West Innes Street
Salisbury, NC 28144
1-800-CATAWBA



-----------------------------------------------------
PREZ@CATAWBA
Updates from Catawba College President Brien Lewis
-----------------------------------------------------

June 30, 2014
  
Dear Catawba Community,
I am pleased to provide you with this report on recent activities and progress at Catawba College. As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me to obtain additional information. 
  

THE WORD OF THE YEAR: ENROLLMENT
The forecast for next year remains optimistic at this stage compared to the same date last year: our applications are up (3946 vs. 3513) and the number of new student deposits received has also increased (373 vs. 366). We are also experiencing a significant increase in demand for residential space on campus: as of this writing 750 students plan to live on campus compared to 672 last fall. This is a nice "problem" to have as we will be straining our capacities and needing to make some short-term adjustments and accommodations. Does this mean it is time to build a new dorm? Not quite yet - such a significant investment requires more developed "trendlines". 

Many thanks for the good work reflected in these numbers and let's continue to devote our best efforts and energies throughout the crucial coming weeks as the last prospective students make their decisions and student affairs works to accommodate the complexities associated with an increased demand for housing.

We will be wishing a sad but fond farewell next month to Lois Williams, who has served so ably as our Enrollment Vice President. There has been significant progress thanks to Lois and her tireless efforts - please join me in wishing her all the best in her future adventures. 
  

BUDGET AND FINANCIAL UPDATES
Overall, the College's financial picture has improved substantially in the past couple of years thanks to enrollment growth, sound fiscal management, and budgetary restraint. Here are some key aspects of this: 

- Debt: Reduced from $24.7 million to $22.2 million. 

- Endowment: Grew from $48.3 million as of May 31, 2013 to $54.9 million as of May 31, 2014 thanks to gifts and outstanding portfolio management by the Investment Committee of our Board of Trustees.

- Unrestricted Gifts: Reduced reliance on the "unrestricted gifts" line in the budget from $3.65 million in 2011-12 to $1.5 million both last year and this year. Our ultimate goal needs to be to reduce this line to zero both because of anticipated changes in accounting rules and so we can be asking for gifts to move us forward, not just to balance the budget! 

I will continue to keep the College community apprised as financial plans for next year take clearer shape in the weeks and months ahead. 
  

STRATEGIC PLAN AND ANNUAL PLAN
Each year's Annual Plan sets forth specific action items which are intended to be accomplished within an academic year in furtherance of longer term goals and objectives. The end-of-year progress report for 2013-14 will soon be shared with the campus and posted on our website. The Annual Plan for the 2014-15 academic year will also be shared in the near future and posted on our website. Please take the time to review these documents as they are central to the allocation of our time and resources. As always, feedback and suggestions are encouraged and welcomed. 
  

CAMPUS MASTER PLAN
The team from Ayers Saint Gross has prepared the final reports including details such as projected costs for individual facility and landscape projects. The final reports will be available on our website soon. Depending on if we can secure donor support, the first projects we will seek to undertake include new signage and "wayfinding" kiosks, improved landscaping and outdoor furnishings, creating a plaza/porch area immediately behind the Admin building, and undertaking badly needed repairs and refurbishment of the ballpark.  
  

THANK YOU, PAUL FISHER!
The Board of Trustees is losing one of its most esteemed members. Paul Fisher has decided to retire from the Board after many years of dedicated service including several years as Chair. A true community leader and a great friend of the College, Mr. Fisher has made it clear he will continue to support and encourage us in many ways. Thank you, Paul!

Both Mr. Fisher and Dr. Shirley Ritchie have been accorded Trustee Emeritus status by action of the Board - a fitting tribute to their leadership and generosity. 
  

CONGRATULATIONS TO DR. LOU ANN KASIAS, PROF. JULIA HAYES AND THE LATE DR. BILL RUSSELL
The Board of Trustees approved conferral of Faculty Emeritus status on Dr. Kasias, Prof. Hayes and the late Dr. Russell. Please join me in saluting them on these most appropriate recognitions of their distinguished academic careers! 
  

ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP
This week we welcome to campus our new Athletic Director, Larry Leckonby. I know you will enjoy getting to know Larry and he has already invested significant time during this transitional period in learning more about the department and the campus. Please join me in extending a hand of welcome and support to Larry and his family.

I also want to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to Jeff Childress for his outstanding work during the past several months as Interim AD. Jeff responded to the call on short notice and did far more than I could have asked him to do. His diligence, attention to detail, and commitment to the College have been exemplary.  
  
JUST OVER THE HORIZON...
Quick notes on things you will hear and see more about soon:

- Downtown Catawba: We have opened our innovative new "storefront" space downtown in the Plaza building at the corner of Main Street and West Innes Street. The space provides admissions information as well as the latest on athletic, theatre and music events (and the opportunity to buy tickets for them). We are also selling Catawba clothing and related items. There have already been student musical performances during downtown "nights out" and we are lining up special programming for the fall including poetry readings, and other presentations. Keep an eye out for more details soon and stop in when you are downtown!

- Comprehensive Campaign: With our Strategic Plan and Campus Master Plan endorsed by the Board of Trustees and giving us a "roadmap to the future", we have started the process of undertaking a major fundraising drive to help fulfill those plans. We have already received several significant gifts and pledges in support of the campaign. Some of these have already been publicized and there are more that we will be announcing in detail in the near future. To date the campaign has received over $26 million in gifts and commitments - a wonderful demonstration of support for Catawba! The public launch of the campaign will be in conjunction with Homecoming Festivities from October 22-26.

- Stanback Residence Hall refurbishment: A major project this summer is a significant "renewal" of this venerable residence hall. This will include fresh paint, flooring work, infrastructure improvements and furniture. This project is generously enabled by a grant from the Cannon Trust.


- Pilot program with Rowan Sheriff's Department: As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance campus safety security, we will be contracting with the Rowan Sheriff's Department to provide officers on campus during certain time periods and events when it may be helpful to have sworn officers available to assist our Public Safety team. This is a pilot program and we will evaluate it throughout the 2014-15 academic year.

- Catawba Foundation: The newly established "Catawba Foundation, Inc." was created to operate exclusively for the benefit and purposes of Catawba College. The Foundation is a charitable organization under the North Carolina Non-Profit Corporation Act and the Internal Revenue Code. The first project of the Foundation has been procuring Salisbury radio station WSAT-AM to become the platform for Catawba College students majoring in Business or Communication Arts hoping to pursue careers in radio broadcasting. Profits from the operation of WSAT will be donated by the Foundation to Catawba College. The Foundation will be able to receive gifts of property that may ultimately be sold with the proceeds going to the College. In this way, the College does not have any liability for properties gifted for its benefit until they are sold. The Foundation may also be in a position to purchase properties adjacent to the campus or other assets for the benefit of the College without them being liabilities on the College's books until their costs are fully paid. The Catawba Foundation will be a very helpful vehicle for us and our supporters. It will enable individuals and companies to provide gifts that can move the College forward without placing an unwanted or unintended burden on the College and its resources.

- RN to BSN Program - Robertson Foundation Grant and Other Support: A key aspect of the Strategic Plan involves developing new programs and opportunities in health sciences. The first step in that direction is the creation of an RN to BSN program. We are honored to be supported in this endeavor by a grant from the Blanche and Julian Robertson Foundation for $1 million over four years. A more detailed announcement about this grant award will be released soon. We have also received a gift in support of this project for an additional $565,000 - thereby ensuring we have the resources needed to undertake the program until it begins to generate revenue from tuition-paying students. We appreciate these generous expressions of support as well as the assistance being provided by Novant Rowan Regional Medical Center and the Heffner Veterans Affairs Hospital. We have commenced the search for a Director who will design the curriculum and other program components.

- Solar Project: The Board of Trustees has also endorsed undertaking a substantial solar project that will include installations of Photovoltaic panels, Solar Water Heating, Geo Well Harvesting, Daylighting, and re-roofing on several building on campus. This is a major undertaking with significant outcomes. It will be a giant step forward for our efforts on sustainability in general and to the energy reductions reflected in the national Presidents' Climate Commitment. It may also be the single largest project of its type undertaken by an institution of higher education in North Carolina. More details will be provided as the final elements of the project take shape but preliminary projections indicate that we would save 11% on energy and 26% on water costs. 

The cost of the project is approximately $3 million to $5.2 million - a significant portion of which we would need to undertake anyway as there are needs to replace roofs on several of our older buildings. The financial savings (in addition to the energy reductions) are projected at approximately $10 million to $11.9 million. We are very grateful to announce that significant portions of the entire project are being funded by generous donations. Other portions may be funded by investors who are able to realize significant tax credits for solar energy and who would, once the tax credits expire in a few years, donate the systems to the College. This initiative could be a huge milestone for the College in many ways. If we were able to do the entire scope of the project we believe it would be the largest such undertaking by any higher education institution in the State of North Carolina. I look forward to sharing more information on it in the near future.  
  

IN CONCLUSION
I know once again that there are many, many more items that are worthy of reporting to you that I am likely overlooking in the interest of keeping this report as concise as possible. Please check the website regularly to keep up with the latest news and opportunities available on campus. 

As always, thank you for all you do for the College. 

Yours at Catawba,
Brien Lewis
Twitter: @CatawbaPrez
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

 CATAWBA COLLEGE
 2300 West Innes Street
 Salisbury, NC 28144
 1-800-CATAWBA