President: ODU Guided by ‘Entrepreneurial Spirit’

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John R BroderickBy Rosaland Tyler
Associate Editor
New Journal and Guide

Old Dominion University continues to take bold steps into the future a few weeks after President John R. Broderick delivered his annual address.
    For example, a new art building will open on campus in early 2014. Meanwhile, a team of graduate accounting students recently won the Government Finance Case Challenge for the second year in a row. And the CIVIC Leadership Institute has partnered with the university to work to keep more talented people in the area.
    “Community engagement is one of the key initiatives in Old Dominion’s strategic plan,” said President John Broderick. “Partnering with an organization with the stature and strength of CIVIC opens new opportunities for the university to accomplish that goal.”
    Clearly, there is a lot of activity on campus since the president delivered his annual address on Aug. 21 in the Ted Constant Convocation Center to about 1200 community leaders and members of the university.
    Broderick said for the long-term health of Old Dominion, it’s vital that the university examine several critically important issues that connect to its goals.

    With more than 25 percent of its student body connected to the military, ODU will continue to be military friendly. ODU has been recognized nationally as military-friendly. But the landscape is ever changing, Broderick said in his recent address. “Our review will determine the university’s next generation of support and services for our men and women in uniform.”
    The port and maritime industry are another priority. The port is a critical component of the economic vitality of the commonwealth, Broderick said. ODU is examining ways to extend its research and academic programs to help grow this resource.
    Going forward, Broderick said the university also has plans to conduct a review of its regional higher education centers.
    “Established with the purpose of better serving the Hampton Roads community, these centers in Virginia Beach, Hampton and Portsmouth continue to have extended importance in Old Dominion’s commitment to accessible and affordable education,” Broderick said, in his recent address. “After several decades of operation, however, a strategic review is necessary to chart a course for future successes.”
    In the area of distance learning, Broderick said ODU’s charge remains to be an innovator and pioneer in the use of technology, but he noted that the university’s strategic challenge will be to adapt to the changing marketplace.
    Moving forward, the university also aims to increase its six-year graduation rates, raise the student retention rate to 83 percent, continue enhancing ODU’s academic profile, and maximize student engagement and satisfaction, the president said. Fall enrollment will be approximately 25,000 students.
    Broderick also singled out nationally recognized students like Devon Taylor, who graduated from ODU in May and was accepted into Harvard Medical School with a full scholarship.
    Matthew Portner and Rebecca Michel of the Darden College of Education, who won the top national awards in the American Counseling Association’s international honor society competition.  
    “Make no mistake, Old Dominion University students can – and do – stand with the best students in the nation,” Broderick said.
    The university’s commitment to excellence permeates the campus, he explained, pointing to a number of the school’s accomplishments, including fostering an award-winning work environment.
    “Let me boast of Old Dominion University’s selection, for the second consecutive year, as a Chronicle of Higher Education Great Place to Work,” Broderick said. “In a survey conducted with more than 40,000 employees at over 300 colleges and universities, you rated Old Dominion as an institution that excels in 8 recognition categories, including collaborative governance; teaching environment; respect and appreciation; and diversity.”
    The President concluded,  “Our tradition at Old Dominion University is one of change and adaptation.  Because of that, we are uniquely situated to handle these challenges. But we cannot – and will not – cease in our efforts to remain at the leading edge, our entrepreneurial spirit guiding our way.”

Last modified on Thursday, 06 September 2012 02:27

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