Office of the President
A Message from the President
December 29, 2023
Education is the single most valuable asset any society can develop. It is the underlying contributor to driving the change we need to see in many aspects of our world – economic and social justice, wealth disparity, and most importantly for Unity, climate change and environmental justice.
Yet, we live in a time when access to higher education is declining at alarming rates. Many in the middle class, the underrepresented, and the underprivileged simply cannot afford a degree. This is leaving education and career paths to the elite, and a lucky few, while denying it to many more who are hungry to learn and contribute to the 21st century global economy.
Creating accessibility to education through an operational model that lowers the cost to learning and equalizes opportunities for all individuals which in turn enables societies worldwide to thrive, not just survive, is what drives all of us at Unity Environmental University. For me personally, furthering affordable access to education for students in all phases of life means Education Where You Are through online programs supported by experiential learning modules. We are making great progress. We have maintained our net tuition per student over the last four years; adopted a one course at a time approach; and provided students with multiple terms to choose from
As President of Unity, I have stepped out of the traditional boundaries for managing academic anomalies and have applied an enterprise or business model. This model is comprised of diverse revenue streams, integrated current methodologies and practices, and streamlined operations and it is creating academic paths for students passionate about contributing to sustainability and climate change. I have taken unimaginable criticism and pushback from those who do not understand the challenges higher education institutions of all sizes face and the external dynamics necessary for survival, let alone growth in these unprecedented times.
Yet, I would do it again. And again. Accessible, affordable and flexible education is more than just the foundation of Unity’s success. It is imperative to our society at large. Universities, like any other industry, have to manage financial viability, or end up among the hundreds of institutions closing their doors. Our new model has helped us secure scalable enrollment growth, more than double our past numbers, and created the resources needed to sustain Unity’s impact for years to come. Yet our work is not done.
I am committed to continuing Unity Environmental University’s growth, scalability, and quest to achieve our ultimate goal: to become America’s predominant and most accomplished source for preparing the 21st century workforce who can make needed change, and a green workforce that can sustain our world in a safer more responsible future.
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
President, Unity Environmental University
An Online Pivot Pays Off
“In fall 2012, Unity College had fewer than 600 students. Now, a decade and a name change later, Unity Environmental University counts more than 7,500 students. Administrators attribute the explosive enrollment growth to a hard online pivot centered on high-demand environmental programs.”
“What we realized is our mission as an environmental institution and our curriculum was very relevant for the 21st century, but we really only served one audience well, which was residential, coming-of-age high school graduates in a very traditional approach.”
–Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
Hear Dr. Khoury discuss the current state of higher education and its future: