KNOXVILLE – Rumors finally were laid to rest during Tuesday’s chapel by a campus forum led by President Gary Weedman, Cliff McCartney, and Dr. Tommy Smith. The discussion included Johnson’s strategic growth plan, enrollment, and the change of the physical appearance and facilities.
President Weedman began the forum with an a discussion of “Strategic Planning for Accreditation.” This strategic plan will include 8 different areas that have been set in place by months of planning and many committee meetings. These areas include marketing strategy, institutional process alignment, academic and enrollment growth, institutional currency, physical and facilities growth plan, management of regulation, donor focus and cultural competency.
Dr. Smith addressed Johnson’s projection of enrollment for future years. By the year 2020, the Tennessee campus’s enrollment goal is approximately 1,105 students, and Florida’s goal is 385 students.
Another part of this plan is the ExtendEd portion of Johnson University. This would include residencies in Phoenix, Indianapolis, Louisville, and Knoxville. For example, a satellite campus in Indianapolis at Indian Creek Christian Church would allow a commuter-based student body for adult students.
More academic programs will be coming to Johnson University with new possible programs including business administration, journalism (already launched), music education, a cooperative law program where a student can take three years at Johnson followed by three years in law school, R.N. to B.S.M., education specialist, and BS in social work. Programs put into place in the last 5 years represent 25% of current graduates.
Finally, President Weedman showed students tentative plans for new buildings on campus. This process will start with “revitalizing the hill, chapel and auditorium, housing, [and] student life center.”
Revitalizing the hill would likely include demolition of Alumni Memorial Chapel, Bell Hall and the old gymnasium. To replace the buildings being demolished would be more classroom space and and a performance hall. The new building on the current sports area will include a student life center with a gym, pool, fitness rooms and student leisure areas. T
A third building project includes a 1,080 seat remodel of the current gym in the PW Building. This would be the new meeting place for chapel and other events on campus. There is some ongoing discussion as to if Johnson should abandon this plan in need for a stand-alone traditional chapel.
All of the plans are still pending, yet being pursued by Johnson administration.