A Compendium of Recent News from CIC Member Institutions

Photos of three people standing in front of a sign for the opening of the Center for American Culture ad Race at Guangdong Baiyun University and a group of students standing in front of a statue.
Johnson C. Smith University (NC) recently opened the Center for American Culture and Race at Guangdong Baiyun University in Guangzhou, China. The center is one of 16 active American Culture Centers (ACC) in China supported by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing with the purpose of introducing Chinese people to American culture and is the only ACC to focus on race. The center features African American art and literature, a lecture hall where speakers discuss topics on culture and race in English, as well as quarterly podcasts and videos. U.S. students and faculty from Charlotte who are taking Chinese-language courses also will participate in exchange programs to intern and cross-pollinate ideas. (Photos courtesy of Johnson C. Smith University)



CIC member institutions were again well represented in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ninth annual “Great Colleges to Work For” survey. The survey included responses from more than 46,000 employees at 281 colleges, providing data about employee engagement at colleges and universities across the United States. Only 42 institutions achieved Honor Roll status by being recognized in multiple categories. Of four-year institutions on the Honor Roll, CIC members include Baylor University (TX), College of the Ozarks (MO), Endicott College (MA), Gettysburg College (PA), John Brown University (AR), McKendree University (IL), McPherson College (KS), Roberts Wesleyan College (NY); Rollins College (FL), Southern New Hampshire University, Texas Christian University, and University of the Incarnate Word (TX).

In recognition of their excellence in higher education business and financial management, five higher education leaders and six institutions received awards from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) in July. Jairy C. Hunter Jr., president of Charleston Southern University (SC), was one of two leaders to receive the 2016 Distinguished Business Officer Award, NACUBO’s most prestigious honor. Kimberly L. Kvaal, vice president for financial affairs at St. Edward’s University (TX), received the 2016 Daniel D. Robinson Accounting Award. And Lasell College (MA) received a 2016 Innovation Award for its collaborations with other colleges that have cut costs, improved services, and enhanced community relations, including a combined police department with Mount Ida College (MA) and a shared information technology department with Pine Manor College (MA).

Several CIC member institutions won Interfaith Youth Core’s 2015–2016 Better Together awards. Better Together is a national network for student interfaith groups, councils, and committees that work to create change for interfaith cooperation on campus. Of campus awards, Oklahoma City University was the Best Better Together Day winner, recognized for its successful programming. Aquinas College (MI) won the Rookie of the Year award for its strong focus on recruiting and educating first-year students about interfaith cooperation and engagement. Of individual winners, the Mike Hammer Interfaith Leadership Award went to Loras College (IA) student Samantha Eckrich for demonstrating exceptional leadership in making interfaith cooperation a social norm on campus. The winner of the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Ally Award, someone with endless support for student leadership, was Josh Ritter, assistant director for formation in spiritual life, at Baylor University (TX).

This summer, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 9,354,181 to researchers at Saint Mary’s College (IN) and the University of Notre Dame, who together developed user-friendly devices that detect low-quality pharmaceuticals. It is Saint Mary’s first patent and the first for two of the three professors. The unique paper analytical devices (PADs) can detect multiple chemical components in a pill or capsule, including substitute drugs or “fillers” that may be added in place of an active ingredient. PADs are an inexpensive technology that could especially benefit countries that lack technological and regulatory infrastructure.


In a continuation of an educational partnership between the United States and India, the U.S. Department of State and the University Grants Commission recently announced eight institutional partnership projects for the final round of U.S.-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative awards; the initiative aims to strengthen collaboration and build partnerships between U.S. and Indian institutions of higher education. Gannon University (PA) received an award for Partnership GO TEACH Education, a cooperative effort of Gannon University’s Villa Maria School of Nursing and Sacred Heart Nursing College, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India. GO TEACH will design a nursing education curriculum to be jointly implemented at both institutions.

St. Norbert College (WI) and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh have teamed up to offer special education certification to students enrolled in the teacher education program at St. Norbert. Beginning their junior year, students can register for special education courses at St. Norbert but take online courses from UW Oshkosh.

Dominican University(IL) has joined the Chicago Star Partnership, a group of 15 four-year colleges and universities that have committed to providing scholarships to Chicago Star Scholars pursuing four-year degrees following their graduation from City Colleges of Chicago. Star Scholars are high-achieving Chicago Public Schools graduates who complete an associate’s degree at City Colleges.

Westminster College (PA) recently signed agreements with two regional institutions, Butler County Community College (BC3) and the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC). The first agreement will allow BC3 students to transfer credits toward earning a bachelor’s degree at Westminster College. The programs include early childhood education (associate of arts) to early childhood/special education (bachelor of arts); and child development education (associate of arts and sciences) to child and family studies (bachelor of arts). The second agreement will provide CCAC students who earn an associate degree an academic pathway to transfer into a parallel bachelor’s degree program at Westminster. The agreement includes seven baccalaureate programs at Westminster: accounting, business, biology, criminal justice studies, psychology, theatre, and early childhood/special education.

Coker College’s (SC) Adult Degree Program recently announced two bridge partnership agreements with regional institutions: Midlands Technical College and Northeastern Technical College. The programs began this fall and enable Midland Technical and Northeastern Technical graduates to transfer all of their coursework to Coker College. In addition, Coker will offer one business course per week at one of each partner’s campuses.

A partnership agreement between Delaware Valley University (PA) and Lansdale Catholic High School will enable students to earn college credits while still enrolled in high school. Under the dual-enrollment/dual-credit program, DelVal will offer university-level courses at the high school beginning this fall, with students receiving academic credit from both schools.

North Central College (IL) became a participating institution in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge in August. The challenge encourages colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of $1 billion in self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency and other sustainability project improvements. To date, 62 institutions have joined the Challenge, and North Central is one of only two in Illinois.

Photos of college athletes interacting with young fans and speaking with alumni at a fundraising event
More than 100 alumni and friends of Newberry College (SC) gathered in June to kick off fundraising efforts for the college’s new athletic stadium project. The event, “A Night with Our Pros,” outlined plans for a new $9.3 million stadium complex and recognized more than 25 Wolves football alumni who went on to have opportunities in professional leagues. The athletics construction project will feature a stadium for football, lacrosse, and field hockey, a new press box and scoreboard, and fan seating. The project also includes a stadium village that features a field house and four adjacent buildings. (Photos courtesy of Newberry College)


Barton College (NC) in August announced the single-largest gift in its history: $7.8 million from the estate of Emerson Clarence “E.C.” Winstead, who supported Barton College during the last two decades. The gift, earmarked for student financial aid with first preference to students from North Carolina, will support educational opportunities for Barton students in perpetuity.

With a recent $1.5 million donation by Betty Kabara, a trustee and longtime supporter of the university, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will advance the university’s science and business initiatives. The gift will be used to establish a Dr. Jon ’48 and Betty Kabara Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation; build the Dr. Jon ’48 and Betty Kabara Chemistry Lab in the university’s new Science and Learning Center; and create the new Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Office Suite in the Adducci Science Center’s Hoffman Hall.

Jim Frey and Mary White Frey of Edina, Minnesota, committed a $1.5 million gift to the College of Saint Benedict (MN) to create scholarships at the university for students from underrepresented communities. Mary White Frey is a 1980 graduate of the College of Saint Benedict, and her husband, Jim, is a 1978 graduate of Saint John’s University (MN).

Loras College (IA) announced in June that David Holmberg, a 1972 graduate, will add $800,000 to his namesake scholarship, which he created with an original gift of $200,000. The new donation brings his total commitment to the science scholarship and the Inspiring Lives and Leadership campaign to $1 million. Holmberg established the David J. Holmberg Science Scholarship to assist female students in the pursuit of a STEM-based education in 2014.

Webster University (MO) recently received two grants totaling more than $1 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NIH grant will help fund faculty research, while the NSF grant will fund scholarships for students transferring from a community college to Webster University to study biology.

The Henry Luce Foundation’s Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE) awarded four-year grants of $400,000 to three CIC member institutions: Centre College (KY), Furman University (SC), and Oberlin College (OH). LIASE aspires to encourage innovative approaches to Asian studies teaching and research at the undergraduate level through the lens of the environment and sustainable development.

In August, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission announced the recipients of the 2016 Veteran Reconnect grants to support campus services to student veterans. Three of the six Tennessee colleges receiving the grants are CIC member institutions: Lipscomb University ($185,563), Maryville College ($122,922), and Tusculum College ($185,470).

Three students in lab coats and safety goggles measure and record an experiment
Manchester University (IN) launched the nation’s only dedicated master’s degree in pharmacogenomics—the study of the role of genetics in drug response—this summer. The intensive one-year program is designed for those with a degree in science or a professional degree in health care or health sciences. Manchester also opened a new state-of-the-art pharmacogenomics lab, pictured above. (Photo courtesy of Manchester University)


Trine University (IN) in July merged its Graduate School and School of Professional Studies into the new College of Graduate and Professional Studies. The new structure will enable stronger academic and administrative coordination between the university’s main and branch campuses and its graduate programs. In June, Anderson University (SC) established a new College of Health Professions, comprised of four distinct schools: the existing School of Nursing, and new Schools of Human Performance, Allied Health, and Physical Therapy.

Blackburn College (IL) has initiated a new general education curriculum that (in addition to disciplinary content) will focus on key life skills selected to maximize students’ success in their academics and throughout their lives. The skills include qualitative and quantitative analytical thinking, critical expression, media and information literacy, problem solving, emotional intelligence, diversity and multiculturalism, vocation, and physical education. Within each gen-ed course, students will be asked to apply one of these skills through focused study of the discipline. Ripon College (WI) debuted its new core curriculum, Catalyst, this fall. In their first four semesters at Ripon, students will complete four Catalyst courses, building skills in written communication, quantitative reasoning, intercultural competence, and interdisciplinary integration; their fifth semester will culminate with an applied innovation seminar in which students collaborate to develop and present solutions to complex socially relevant problems using liberal arts skills.

Centenary University(NJ) began offering its first terminal degree this fall—a doctorate degree in educational leadership. The program, which fills a void in the region, focuses on K–12 leadership. Benedictine University (IL) now offers an online doctor of education in higher education and organizational change. The program focuses on material that can be applied to work immediately and emphasizes leadership and organizational change.

Assumption College (MA) launched master of arts and certificate of advanced graduate study programs in applied behavior analysis (ABA) this fall. Upon completion of the degree program, graduates can apply for ABA licensure in Massachusetts and sit for the board certified behavior analyst exam.

Dominican University (IL) now offers a master of science degree in information management, which will prepare students for careers in digital asset management. Designed for working professionals, the curriculum is offered in a flexible, hybrid format. Dominican also has launched an undergraduate program in informatics that offers specialties in cybersecurity as well as nursing, community, and educational informatics. Students will learn to design and build information systems that solve problems and will gain an understanding of the ethical and policy implications related to the world of big data.

The University of St. Thomas (TX) now offers a bachelor of science degree in cell and molecular biology. The major is designed to produce a more focused preparation for students interested in cellular, molecular, or genetics-based graduate studies. Graduates of this major will be prepared to begin graduate school in biomedical research, enter a health-related professional school, or work in careers related to the biotechnology industry.

Broadening its health care offerings, Alverno College (WI) began two new degree programs in the fall: health education and kinesiology. Health educators work to promote and maintain health and wellness in individuals, communities, and systems; graduates of this program will be eligible to take the certified health education specialist examination. The new kinesiology program will offer two majors: kinesiology/pre-physical therapy and kinesiology/sport management.

Loras College (IA) unveiled its new biomedical track as part of its undergraduate engineering program this fall. The new focus will prepare students to work in a diverse range of areas from prosthetics and assistive devices to ergonomic workstation design and improved interfaces.

Claflin University (SC) launched its registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing program this fall semester. The RN to BSN degree is a hybrid program that offers rigorous online and on-campus courses and is open only to registered nurses who have earned an associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution.

Mount St. Joseph University (OH) now offers an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. The degree combines the disciplines of English, history, religious studies, and philosophy to promote research practices, writing, and critical thinking; it replaces individual English, history, religious/pastoral studies, and philosophy majors.

Westminster College (PA) began a new digital journalism major this fall. The curriculum offers a blend of courses in digital journalism, broadcast communications, public relations, and communications.

Indiana Wesleyan University is offering a new academic certificate for those interested in professional coaching education. The 18-credit hour graduate certificate in professional coaching is designed to give students the opportunity to learn life-coaching skills to apply to their chosen career fields.

Photos of two new buildings at Mars Hill University
In September, Mars Hill University (NC) dedicated two new buildings. The 39,000-square-foot Troy and Pauline Day Hall—home of the Mars Hill University business program—has classrooms, laboratories, and faculty office space as well as the MHU Bookstore, a café, and a “black box” theatre. The 28,000-square-foot Ferguson Health Sciences Center is home of the Judge-McRae School of Nursing. (Photos courtesy of Mars Hill University)


The University of St. Francis (IL) celebrated the grand opening of the renovated Guardian Angel Hall at the university’s St. Clare campus in August. The renovation of the four-floor, 60,000-square-foot building has created a skill-centered, “real-world” learning environment for the university’s nursing students. The hall includes four simulation labs, six new technology-enabled classrooms, two state-of-the-art skills labs, student research and learning spaces, and more.


Mary Baldwin College (VA) officially changed its name to Mary Baldwin University on August 31.

Effective July 1, Cabrini College (PA) changed its name to Cabrini University, and Tennessee Wesleyan College changed its name to Tennessee Wesleyan University.


Please email news items for review to cic@cic.nche.edu. CIC also is interested in receiving “action” photos for possible inclusion.

Photos of a new building at Carroll University
Carroll University‘s (WI) new $24 million, 44,000-square-foot science center—the Michael and Mary Jaharis Science Laboratories—opened to students for fall semester. The building houses interactive teaching and research laboratories and student and faculty gathering spaces, and will serve the university’s anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, and biochemistry programs. The science center is the first new academic building to be constructed on campus in more than 50 years and the university’s only all gift- and grant-funded structure. (Photo courtesy of Carroll University)