FROM: Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
DATE: June 21, 2017
SUBJECT: Unity College Board of Trustees Endorses Enterprise Education
Unity College Colleagues,
Early summer is a beautiful time in Maine, but you can rest assured that our board and leadership team are still hard at work to keep Unity College strong and mission-focused. Even in the beautiful summer time.
As I shared at the May professional development sessions, the Unity College Board of Trustees recently considered changes to the college bylaws to be voted on this month in order to realize the enterprise approach. Last week, the board voted to adjust our college bylaws in the ways discussed and the changes are now effective.
The specific adjustments recently adopted (click here for adjusted bylaws; see below for summary) come after a full year of careful deliberation, legal review, communication to the college community, and the required waiting period for a vote for any bylaw changes.
And although the particulars of what would be needed in these bylaw changes began coming into focus at the May 2016 meeting of the board (Distance Education: A New Approach) and were further clarified by the board in August of the same year (Enterprise Conceptualization Outline), the vision that ultimately led to this restructuring was first articulated in 2014, when the Board of Trustees adopted Building a Beacon, the current Unity College Strategic Plan. You will recognize the enterprise source material from 2016-17 professional development and Unity Works sessions.
Among other things, the Building a Beacon Strategic Plan tasked Unity College leadership with engaging a strategic branding initiative that we call the “Deep Dive,” (Goal 5) restructuring the college organizational model (Goal 3), and developing new sources of revenue in order to reduce dependence on traditional tuition (Goals 1 and 6). As you know, the Deep Dive was a multi-year, four-firm, process significantly underwritten by a generous gift (see the Deep Dive project timeline with research and products).
As shared at professional development in May, the results of the Deep Dive are now in and so are structural recommendations for an enterprise-model (Enterprise Model Presentation to the Board of Trustees – May 2017) that will facilitate new revenue streams and require changes to our board of trustee committee structure (Board of Trustees Committee Structure Presentation – May 2017) and other bylaw changes. All of these changes prepare America’s Environmental College for the next decades of service to our sustainability and educational mission, society, and our students.
The bylaw changes just passed by the board of trustees prepare us to execute the Enterprise Education strategic direction identified by the Deep Dive and provide for the creation of individual strategic education business units while preserving the uniqueness of the flagship Unity College residential experience by providing for separate faculties, staffs, and policies appropriate for distinct SEBUs.
In order to accomplish those outcomes, the bylaw adjustments include
- Changes to the board committees to allow the board to function at the enterprise level on institutional strategy to ensure long term, mission-driven, financial viability
- Creation of specific board SEBU committees (including Flagship and Distance Education) to allow SEBU stakeholders to focus on areas of interest and expertise and avoid the fiscal responsibility and potential conflict of interest involved in stake
- holder voting at the full board level
- Reaffirmation of the role of the president as the board’s sole employee exercising independent judgment to ensure successful implementation and stewardship of our strategic direction
- Establishment of the legal structures necessary for strategic education business units
Many Unity College employees will likely see very little change in their day-to-day work, but the board, the leadership team, and I feel that it is important for all employees to have access to all the information about what is happening.
As always, if you need clarification please don’t hesitate to ask your Chief Officer and we will make sure your questions are answered.
Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
“Skill can be taught; loyalty can be garnered, confidence can be instilled; but attitude & integrity are inherent! So teach skill, garner loyalty; instill confidence; but never compromise on attitude & integrity.”
“Integrity, by its very existence, rekindles the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; as a cynical community is a corrupt community.” John Gardner
CLICK HERE to see Unity College Board of Trustees Chair John Newlin’s message to the college community and supporting FAQs document.