the experience:academic and student life
the potential:admissions and enrollment
the opportunities:career development
Strategically Planning for Challenging TimesIn higher education, financial need is skyrocketing, tuition is rising, and the mandate for more accessible and affordable education is up. What’s down? “Access to funds, our students’ and their families 401(k)s, savings and house values — the list goes on,” says Tom Dwyer, executive vice president of Johnson & Wales University. “Yet, it’s never been more important for students to pursue a higher education degree, and for JWU to do all it can to meet student needs.”Many counterparts in academia have undertaken layoffs, canceled faculty and administrative searches and announced flat or reduced salaries. So, how is JWU handling these trying times? “We’re doing our best to weather the storm,” says Dwyer. The annual cost of debt service and liquidity protection has risen and as credit tightens, JWU, like others, has put new facilities projects on hold. “This recession has severely impacted our students and families, and we must invest in scholarships to help meet that need.”JWU’s history of strategic planning, and the demands of the current five-year plan, FOCUS 2011, launched in fall 2006, have helped faculty and staff make near-term adjustments for long-term growth. “We’re scrutinizing new and replacement positions and reallocating resources to carry out our academic mission and strategic plan,” Dwyer adds. “These priorities will always guide our work.”Yet, amid volatile conditions, the need to cautiously innovate remains imperative. University and campus leaders are vigilantly monitoring, readjusting and developing mechanisms to ensure JWU emerges even stronger from these challenging circumstances. “An example — we’re committed to investing in online education,” says Dwyer. “It reinforces accessibility and affordability and will benefit current students and graduates.”JWU takes seriously its charge to increase the value of its graduates’ degrees. “We’re being intentional in this, and that’s why it’s important for our alumni to contribute,” Dwyer continues. Senior vice president of institutional advancement, Patricia McLaughlin, J.D., echoes, “This is the perfect time for our alumni and friends to make a difference.” In support of FOCUS 2011, the advancement office has focused its efforts on identifying donors to support scholarship and student program funding. “Many JWU alumni have benefited from some kind of financial support. Today they can help by doing the same for others, and giving to what they’re passionate about.”“Paying it forward, giving it back, whatever level alums choose to participate, their investment is not just helping a current student, it’s ensuring a stronger JWU, which reinforces the strength of their own credentials,” Dwyer concludes.Visit > www.jwu.edu/givingTop: Financial planning counselor Shaun Crank ’02 educates student Ireldy DaSilva ’11 one-on-one. Counselors educate students on topics like financial aid, loan entrance agreements, private loan options, flexible payment plans, and credit awareness, as well as loan exit counseling and repayment expectation and options.