NLU held its fall 2013 Connection, which brought together faculty and staff, at Chicago campus and the Harold Washington Library Center, with the University's strategic plan as the central theme. NLU leadership expressed their belief that through this plan, the University is well positioned to leverage its blend of innovation and rich tradition and ride the next wave in higher education to new success.
As recent polls have shown, many Americans are questioning the overall price and return on investment of a college degree. Both NLU President Nivine Megahed, Ph.D., and Board of Trustees Chairman Scott Smith made it clear in their addresses that it is imperative for institutions to continue to innovate their offerings, both in content and delivery, and make them relevant to the post-graduation goals of students.
"We can, we must and we will continue to demonstrate the courage and take the necessary steps to adapt to these new demands," said Dr. Megahed. "And in fact we have been responding to these challenges by being nimble and engaging in constant planning and readjustment, bringing good minds together in on-going conversations about National Louis and how best to serve our students."
NLU colleges and departments highlighted their work on the strategic plan in a charrette at Chicago campus and later at the HWLC took part in a spirited game of "Strategic Plan Jeopardy," which pitted the College of Arts and Sciences/Management and Business against the National College of Education on their NLU knowledge. (CAS/CMB won this round.)
In addition, select faculty and staff members were awarded for their work over the past academic year. Faculty receiving the Excellence in Service Award included Tim Collins, NCE; Gale Stam, CAS; and Catherine Honig, CMB. Joanne Koch, CAS, relieved the Excellence in Teaching Award, and Jan Perney, NCE, was awarded for Excellence in Research. For staff, Jose Reyes, Maria Taylor, Barb Azzolin received the Staff Recognition Award.
Dr. Megahed and Provost Christine Quinn, Ph.D., thanked all faculty and staff for their hard work over the past year and said that while NLU has seen significant changes recently, a turnaround is under way across the University — from redesigned academic offerings and more personalized student services to new positions focused on innovation and analytics. There's also a growing feeling, both in house and in the larger community NLU serves, that the University is poised to begin a new, exciting chapter.
"This is the turnaround you want to join," said Dr. Megahed. "This is the institution that will be making progress. The word is out. People see that National Louis is on the move."