As we close out the fall semester, we once again have nothing but praise and thanks to God for his goodness to us this academic year. Wow, what a year to celebrate! The accomplishments of our students in classrooms, athletics, the arts, and leadership. The accomplishments of colleagues who also are collecting recognitions and accolades from many different sources. Our growing success and strength as an institution. All these blessings and more are reasons to give thanks!
Yesterday local media outlets began reporting that Concordia University is assisting Globe University students complete their education. A for-profit university, which has been in business for well over 100 years, Globe and its partner Minnesota School of Business is ceasing operations in Minnesota effective December 31st. This development has left hundreds of students with deep uncertainty about their future. The principal owners of Globe contacted Concordia about eight weeks ago asking if we could help with the transition for their existing students and possibly continue some of the academic programs Globe currently offers, but we do not. Several teams of faculty and staff, coordinated by Provost Dr. Eric LaMott, have been working extremely hard to see what we can do. The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (MOHE) and other state and private accrediting bodies have come along side this process with invaluable assistance. There are many accreditation details to work out, but at this juncture Concordia is doing what it can to help students transfer into our existing academic programs, which match what Globe is currently offering.
I mention this for two reasons. First, if you encounter Globe students in your offices and classrooms during spring semester, please give them an extra-special welcome. The uncertainties they have faced this fall as the Globe closure has played out has been disconcerting to them to say the least. But excitement is building among them for Concordia, and they are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. KSTP reporter Joe Mazan filed this fine report yesterday: http://kstp.com/news/globe-university-minnesota-school-of-business-shutting-down-some-campuses/4350285/ . Second, this is a new experience for Concordia. We have acquired academic programs before, but it is a new experience for us to take on something with this extraordinary time pressure to complete the process. Please keep the process in your prayers. Our Board of Regents Executive Committee and particularly Chairman Mark Moksnes have been very helpful and encouraging, and the full Board was apprised of this potential opportunity early on. Later on I will personally and publicly thank all those who have helped move this along. For now, just know that they are still very busy.
God has blessed us to the extent that we will once again be implementing a 3% pay raise at the beginning of 2017, our sixth such annual increase in a row. I am pleased that we are able to make this happen again.
The university was blessed this year with the largest matching gift in its history . . . $150,000 to match dollar-for-dollar every gift to our Opportunity Fund through the end of the year. If you are considering making a gift to the University this year, there is no better time!
Lastly, may your heart and home be filled with the joy of Christmas and the excitement of another year of grace ahead of us! Grace and peace to you!