KNOXVILLE —Johnson University President, Gary Weedman presented his annual financial report last Wednesday, including updated information on JU’s achievements and future plans.
Weedman began the session by mentioning the recent SACSCOC 10 year reaffirmation.
“It represents an enormous amount of work that goes on throughout the ten year period,” he said. “There are a lot of hands involved in the extensive report.”
In addition to institutional accreditation, Weedman mentioned the programatic accreditation Johnson has and hopes to continually attain in years to come.
This past year the university has received accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation, formally known as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.The School of Congregational Leadership and Bible Theology now have programatic accreditation.
“This past year we receieved CAEP accreditation,” he said. “We are happy to have accreditation by a nationally recognized agency.”
Weedman said Johnson has two building projects that are already underway.
“One is a landscaping project in the memorial gardens area,” he said. “We are going to build a columbarium, a repository for the remains of cremated bodies.”
Weedman believes that this new columbarium will be a “popular phenomenon” among people that inquire about being buried on campus.
Another building that has been approved will be located behind Richardson Hall. This new building will house the music department on a temporary basis.
The major project that was approved is a recreation and athletic center. It will be a 92,ooo square foot building that will house two gymnasium floors, a food service venue, a pool, social space and fitness rooms.
Additional landscaping plans include adding a softball field and a few other recreation facilities including more tennis courts and an enlarged baseball field.
The total cost for this project is approximately $19 million.
“We think that this athletic center will make us competitive again,” Weedman said.”It’s going to be located on the sports campus on Hodges Ferry Road.”
The financial report for Johnson University Florida included preliminary plans for a cafeteria.
“We are absolutely convinced that we cannot grow the campus without a cafeteria,” he said.”That is about a 4 million dollar project and that will be a part of this major campaign.”
In addition to the capital campaign, Johnson has now finished the first year of the Future of Hope initiative.
“Not only have we started, but we have been successful in the first year,” Weedman said.
Weedman also announced recent advances in JU’s online degree program.
“Our online degree program has increased to about 300 and we have 25 academic programs that can be done online,” he said.”I think Ashley Johnson would be ecstatic to see us use 21st century technology in accomplishing what he did in the late 19th century.”
Weedman briefly touched on the Chinese program, which highlighted partnerships with four Chinese universities.
Weedman said he was happy to announce that Johnson was ranked No. 3 on the 2017 20 Best Value Small Colleges for a Christian Studies Degree list.
After opening the floor to questions, the session concluded with progress in the Indianapolis and Louisville residency programs and Johnson’s involvement with the Tennessee Promise.