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Monticello, Canada and the Global Presence of George Wythe University
As we begin this new school year, we remember and celebrate the vision of freedoms fostered by the great statesmen of the past, and a vision of current and future leaders who will respond to the challenges and opportunities of our present generation with virtue, wisdom, diplomacy and courage.
But we are not without challenges. As with many private liberal arts colleges, the economic downturn caused enrollment for the Fall 2008 and Winter 2009 school year to dip significantly. We are meeting these challenges with a number of measures that will strengthen the institution as we adapt to the changing economy.
In order to continue to deliver the excellent education that GWU offers, and to become more accessible to both traditional and non-traditional students, our programs and processes have been streamlined by reducing tuition, rolling out a robust online program, and restructuring administration in order to continue to deliver statesmanship education at a lower cost to students. Many of these adjustments will also help expedite accreditation.
GWU has further adapted to the times by creating a new development strategy for future campus sites with an emphasis on measuring market demand. Objective feasibility studies and actual student demand will determine the pace of growth for any new location. Key determining factors will be the ability to sustain operations and provide qualified mentors without incurring debt. With this strategy, any local student body will grow by holding extension classes in rented facilities until student numbers increase enough to sustain the operations of a staffed facility. Online courses will provide an effective stepping stone for accelerating localized student growth to the point of holding extension courses. Marketing to achieve this will be jointly facilitated by direct GWU marketing efforts and the efforts of supporters in various geographic areas. Facilities will be purchased or built with donated funds in order to avoid debt. Once extension locations are established, students will work closely with the GWU marketing team to accelerate local program growth toward this goal. To save costs, administration will continue to operate from one central location, currently in Cedar City, Utah.
Even with current challenges, a good number of students and their families are excited and interested in the Monticello campus development. This site provides a beautiful, peaceful mountain setting for focused study, recreation and renewal. GWU will continue to actively develop the Monticello site as a possible future campus location and will follow the strategic growth plan as outlined above. Provided that student demand continues to increase, we look toward erecting the first building by the end of 2012. It is our intention to hold extension courses in Monticello in a rented facility in 2010 and 2011. If market demand and funding are strong enough, we will hold our first semester in a staffed facility by 2012. As previously mentioned, funds will be sought for building a facility without incurring debt, and qualified mentors will continue to be trained in order to meet future needs.
We are also pleased to report that a legal entity has been formed to promote and develop support for a campus in Alberta, Canada. This non-profit organization, George Wythe Institute Canada, will support events and activities designed to develop interest in leadership education and to obtain funds for a future campus. This tremendously exciting development is being spearheaded by two Canadians: Allan Burton, a current GWU board member, and Kirk Harline. And it represents a significant step toward the expansion of statesmanship education internationally.
Further, there is strong local interest for GWU in California, Northern Utah and Idaho, as well as areas of developing interest in other states and countries including Colorado, Texas and Mexico. It is inspiring to consider the future possibilities for multiple campuses in many parts of the United States and across the globe. Our new development strategy will allow groups of students anywhere to significantly help bring this about.
While all of these developments are exciting, the Board and Executive Team of GWU are spending most of their time developing Canada, Cedar City and Monticello. In the past, Dr. Shanon Brooks chaired the Resource Development Committee and oversaw these projects. In June he resigned from the Board of Trustees. Dr. Brooks has contributed substantially to GWU over the years. With his commitment to educating for liberty, we know he will continue to serve that cause in current and future projects he pursues.
We wish to thank the many people that have contributed to GWU in time, money and land. We will do all we can to manage these donations efficiently so we can provide a campus for all those desiring a statesman education in Cedar City, Canada, Monticello and elsewhere.
The world needs statesmen: leaders and citizens who are empowered with the principled foundation provided by a classical liberal arts education. We need people who, in addition to seeking the training that will lead to excellence in all fields of endeavor, will also become citizens in the truest sense—better human beings who know how to think, how to understand the events happening worldwide, and how to find and fulfill their life's mission.
The men and women of the Board of Trustees are dedicated to building the next generation of leaders and are pleased to forge networks and lasting friendships with others who support this essential work.
The George Wythe University Board of Trustees
Diann Jeppson (Board Chair)
Vicki Jo Anderson
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