Go Viking: Fall 2014

a message from president rob oliver

At Augustana, we’ve spent the last year building a strategic plan to lead our institution forward. As part of our strategic planning process, we surveyed current and prospective students, alumni, parents and faculty/staff to gauge what our constituents believe we’re doing right, and to learn where and how we can improve.

As a result of this year-long period of detailed research, careful analysis and thoughtful planning, we’re proud to announce that we are, first and foremost, committed to serve more students and foster their success.

Here’s how:

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  • We’re increasing our graduate program offerings, beginning with new programs in cutting-edge areas such as genetic counseling and genomic nursing. Recently, we announced a new Master of Arts Degree in Professional Accountancy.
  • We’re enhancing and adding to our undergraduate programs to match the demands of today’s society. Earlier this fall we announced a new major, American Studies – bringing our number of majors to 52. And soon, we’ll announce details of another new and exciting major: Media Studies.
  • We’re growing physically. Over the last seven years, we completely renovated our library, opened new athletics facilities and renovated two residence halls. Work is currently underway on the $35 million Froiland Science Complex, phase one of which will open in December 2015.
  • We’re growing in enrollment – total headcount this fall was up 3.3 percent. Our goal is to serve even more students in the years ahead.
  • Our endowment is growing. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of donors who believe in us, our endowment today stands at more than $70 million. As our endowment has grown, we’ve been able to provide even more support to students in the form of scholarships and financial aid. This year, we awarded more than $26 million in scholarships – that’s an increase of 24 percent over the last five years.
  • We’re developing key partnerships with local and national employers that will pave the way for additional student internships and hands-on, experiential learning opportunities while also creating new and innovative academic programming.
  • We’re seeking new and meaningful ways for students to explore religious faith and participate in service to others.
  • We’re helping to create even better outcomes for our graduates. In the classroom, our students are learning 21st-century skills – what many have traditionally called the liberal arts – from our renowned professors, 80 percent of whom hold terminal degrees in their fields. Outside the classroom, our students are engaged in hands-on learning via internships, research, clinicals, student-teaching and service work that provides them with real-world experience, connects them to skilled mentors and helps build professional relationships. What they learn as students translates into what they will do after graduation. We believe it's why the job placement rate for recent grads has remained at 98 percent for the last two years.
  • We’re breaking down barriers. At Augustana, it pleases us to say the world is our classroom. Our bold and adventurous students choose to pursue study abroad opportunities all over the globe while the number of international students who choose to study at Augustana has grown significantly.

We see growth on our horizon, and we’re investing strategically in the human capital and infrastructure we need to get there. And we know with complete certainty that our returns will be great.

Because you see, at Augustana, we understand return on investment.

It’s why we invest in students every day – young men and women from around the world who, even in high school, already exhibit leadership, academic aptitude, social responsibility and a commitment to service.

We invest in them because we believe in their potential. We believe they have what it takes to make our world a better place.

It makes us proud to say that today, 100 percent of full-time Augustana students receive scholarships and financial aid.

From the introduction of new academic programs to new facilities and innovative new partnerships for experiential learning, these are exciting times at Augustana. We invite you to learn more and determine if you are called to Go Viking.

I hope to see you on campus for a visit sometime soon.

Yours, for Augustana,
Rob Oliver