Looking ahead to Vision 2020

posted in: Opinion | 0

In spring of 2010, six months into her term as President of Pacific, Lesley Hallick released the initial draft of Vision 2020, which was to be Pacific’s framework for the next decade.

After her nationwide “Listening Tour” to determine what the university’s hopes and needs were, she cited several Pacific values that were to guide the vision. These were discovery in education, economically and environmentally sustainable education, diversity, support of faculty and students and able-bodied, successful graduates.

From these, priorities emerged: expansion of science programs on the Forest Grove campus, a third building for the Hillsboro Professional Campus, renovation of the University Center, enhancements to part of the studio/performing arts departments on the FG campus, expansion of the College of Education’s program in Eugene and greater presence in Portland.

In order to fund the goals of the vision, the university launched a capital campaign, which has been in its silent phase for more than a year while the first 50 percent of the money was to be raised. The depressed economy slowed giving from vital sources and, in turn, slowed the vision.

Which of these goals has been accomplished? The recent remodeling of Scott and Price halls shuffled the science programs on the FG campus, giving them a little more room to function. Though the land has been purchased for it, HPC3 isn’t complete and doesn’t seem to have an ETA. The U.C. received dining booths over the summer. The list dwindles, but we’re only a year into the decade.

Hallick plans for “round two” of her Listening Tour this academic year to revise Vision 2020. She described its mission statement as “pretty vague” and needing “sharpening.” Round two of the tour is supposed to help each college develop a strategic plan to help accomplish the goals of the vision over the next nine years.

She stressed that she wanted to speak with as many Pacific groups as possible, from staff, faculty and student senates and each colleges’ board members. With money tight and enrollment fluctuating, will someone will recommend focusing on established programs rather than expanding.

While HPC develops, optometry looks forward to moving to Hillsboro and audiology gets off the ground. The studio arts remain in buildings that have serviced the university for more years than most professors have been alive. Media arts remain in the basement of Walter Hall.

In one of her speeches in the 2010-2011 academic year, Hallick said that 50 percent of incoming students were interested in the sciences, implying this was the reason for the focus on those programs. If we’re the College of Arts & Sciences, and half of incoming students are interested in sciences, what is the other half interested in? Pacific graduated more bachelors of arts than sciences last year.

Potential arts students won’t be drawn in by the facilities currently available. To keep enrollment up and continue competing with rival schools, more focus needs to be placed on the neglected programs and buildings on the main Forest Grove campus, not extended to locations that have barely been established.

Listen to the source of your money – you need a stronger foundation before you need to expand.


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