December 20, 2016
End of Year Reflections & New Year Commitments…
Dear Unity College Community,
As the year winds down it seems like an appropriate time to reflect a little on the year that was, and anticipate a bit of what the next will likely bring. Before I get to more institutional matters, allow me a moment of reflection on my first year as Unity College President.
First, I remain humbled by the faith and confidence placed in me by the Unity College Board of Trustees and by this wonderful community. I continue to consider the presidency of this special college to be one of the great honors and responsibilities of my professional life. I promise that I will not give up until we can say with confidence that we have achieved America’s Environmental College. And I ask the same of all of you.
As we look forward, though, we cannot take our eye off the ball. We continue to carefully manage increased enrollments, steward building projects, improve programs, develop our human resources, and attend to the success of our students through improved HR processes, better business practices, clearer job descriptions, improved (and increased) policies, a streamlined and better managed committee structure, and other infrastructure build out. As we continue to institutionalize Unity’s considerable gains over the last several years the team and I have all the while been listening hard to you, consulting the experts, doing the math, researching the alternatives, and building for the future. Although we’re not there yet, we are laying the groundwork necessary with the current strategic plan for what comes next. If not “future-proof,” Unity College is getting close to being ready for to make adjustments in the near future.
Now that we’ve completed a full year of listening and processing, of planning and researching, of building and prepping, we are ready to begin to move forward in earnest. And as the Deep Dive strategic branding initiative begins to turn the corner from theory to practice, it also will begin to reveal the Vision toward which Unity College will be bound. Friends, we are rapidly approaching the moment where we decisively engage the infrastructure we have been building. This is about to get fun.
I know some members of our community have been impatient with what may seem like a year of anticipating the change we most want to see. Let me reassure you: when we get the results from the Deep Dive, we will be ready to move more quickly than we have been able to so far. And as we frame out the structure of future Strategic Education Business Units (SEBUs) we will have the policies in place to move more efficiently and effectively.
I am hoping that January’s State of the College and Professional Development events will include updates on strategic initiatives, including Deep Dive and SEBUs. We expect to outline progress on SEBUs in spring and be ready to move forward in earnest as the Deep Dive results are finalized.
On a personal note, I started this journey trying to better understand how to answer the question How can we continue to ensure our relevancy within the Small Private Higher Education landscape [only 2 min video]; I described my hypotheses though a radio interview in which I tried to explain my background and how it influences my passion for higher education, and why I believe that Unity College is the right institution to reimagine Small Private Higher Education. [caution 1hr long J].
In closing, as I complete my first year as President of Unity College, I cannot help but feel a mixture of heartfelt gratitude and real enthusiasm: gratitude for my past four years as a part of this community and excitement over the expansive times ahead. Please continue to support each other and our students as we finish one year and begin another. Friends, we are entering our time, a time of Unity.
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
Our Mission Through the framework of sustainability science, Unity College provides a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Through experiential and collaborative learning, our graduates emerge as responsible citizens, environmental stewards, and visionary leaders.
Increase in annual giving (2014 - 2016)
Increase in sq. footage of campus buildings (2014 - 2016)
Increase in annual operating budget (2014 - 2016)