Category: Master Plan (page 1 of 2)

Exciting Progress on Master Plan Buildings

We can hardly wait for the opening of the three buildings featured in this month’s construction update video. Work on the residence hall is mostly happening inside as electrical wiring, drywall, and other interior projects are underway. The civil engineering building has all of its walls up, and students are looking forward to taking classes there next fall. And our mouths are watering for that first Chick-fil-A lunch overlooking Cedar Lake.


construction video

Trustees Approve New Academic Programs and 2020-21 Budget

Founders Hall in winter

During its January meetings, the Board of Trustees authorized two new academic programs, affirmed the 2020-21 budget, and approved faculty tenure and promotions. During their meeting, Trustees also reviewed progress on the University’s 10-year campus master plan and celebrated how the Lord has blessed our recent giving campaign. Read a full report of the trustee meeting.

Buildings Making Progress Toward Fall Completion

Walls and windows are going up in the Chick-fil-A dining commons and the Civil Engineering Center, and the 280-bed residence hall on the north side of campus is getting closer to completion. We pray you are uplifted by the progress happening on these buildings, which are the beginning of our 10-Year Campus Master Plan. Watch the video to follow along with the progress.

videos screen shot of Chick-fil-A construction

The Great Enrollment Crash

So reads the headline of an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Another reads, “Where Did All the Students Go? Five Views on the Great Enrollment Crash.”

The Lord has been kind to us.

While nationwide enrollment is down 1.7%, we experienced another record in freshman and overall enrollment. These are very good days, and we hope to keep it that way. Higher education in general has some problems that we will have to overcome in order to do so. Please allow me to make you aware of some of the coming challenges.

  1. Smaller Net Tuition Revenue Increases
    As we look at the sector of higher education, Moody’s has issued a negative credit outlook and has recently stated that net tuition revenue (NTR) would drop to an increase of 1.1% for small private colleges.
  2. Increasing Discount Rates
    chart showing discount rate for private collegesAs discount rates increase, it means serving the same or more students with the same or less money. As the resources become tighter, faculty and staff are asked to do more. Schools that are desperate to survive drive up their discount rate to unsustainable levels. That competition forces other schools to increase their discount rates to remain competitive. There is a bubble that will eventually burst. We want to position ourselves at the bottom of that bubble so that we can survive and even thrive after it happens. Our overall discount rate is in the low 40s. Here is a chart on 2019 freshmen that gives some perspective to that.
  3. Declining High School Graduates
    Chart showing high school graduates projection declining for OhioThe number of high school graduates is expected to decrease significantly beginning in 2025 and continuing through 2030. Some estimate this number as high as 15% nationwide. Combine lower NTR with higher discount rates and fewer students to recruit and you will see our sector become more and more competitive with more schools closing. Here is a chart that provides two different projected models for high school students in Ohio.



Our Response
We must prepare well for 2025-2030. If at all possible, we don’t want to be in a position of reducing our faculty and staff during that time frame. This means we should at least consider the following steps to prepare for what we see coming.

  1. Remain Fiscally Conservative
    We are trying to eliminate all debt. We do not need to take on new debt unless we have to do so for revenue-generating construction, such as residence halls. We will raise the money for all new buildings in the Campus Master Plan and pay cash for them. This also means that we have to be careful not to expand too quickly in times of prosperity. We must continue to budget conservatively and not take growth for granted. Finally, we must be good stewards of what we have and reinvest wisely to ensure future stability and growth, both in academic programs and in maintaining existing facilities.
  2. Create Reserves
    We will be working to create reserves that can help cushion any enrollment decline. In our budgeting processes, we will develop fiscally conservative budgets that give us room to absorb an enrollment miss. We will also use some portion of any surplus generated by this conservative budgeting over the next five years to ensure we pay cash for buildings and to create financial reserves through quasi-endowments. My goal over the next five years is to work hard to set aside dollars with the anticipation of using that pool of funds, if needed, to keep our institution stable through the projected enrollment crash. This stewardship of our resources would provide stability, Lord willing.
  3. Efficient and Student-Friendly Transfer Policies
    A rule change from NACAC this year now allows schools to more aggressively recruit transfer students. This has not happened in the past, and it will put pressure on schools to make sure they are as student friendly as possible. This means we must be student friendly when it comes to transfers: generous in our acceptance of credit, efficient in our response times, and aggressive in the retention of our own students and the recruiting of other transfer students.
  4. Maintain Our Mission and Purpose
    If we continue to stay true to our mission and purpose, then we may not experience the decline as significantly as other schools. I believe that God has blessed us because we have faculty and staff who genuinely love the Lord and teach in accordance with a biblical worldview in every course. We must resist all challenges to a biblical worldview in every discipline and in every classroom as well as across every co-curricular campus activity. By staying true to our vision of standing for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ, not only are we faithful to our Savior, but we also create a unique purpose driven education that attracts Christ-followers.

Right now God has blessed us with a season of prosperity. We need to double down in dependence upon Him through prayer and give Him the praise that He alone deserves. Attempting to be faithful stewards, our goal is to make wise decisions that honor Christ and serve you well. Toward that end, we will continue to be fiscally conservative even in the midst of an aggressive Campus Master Plan, and while we will celebrate our enrollment success, we know that we must keep working hard as the education sector anticipates difficult days ahead. By God’s grace and diligent preparation, we will continue to transform lives through excellent education and intentional discipleship

Residence Hall Exterior Nears Completion and Other Updates

The walls are going up on the Chick-fil-A building, there’s a roof on the Civil Engineering Center, and the exterior of the new residence hall is nearly complete. Inside the residence hall, you can see the doorways for dorm rooms, and it’s easy to imagine those hallways filled with students pursuing the Lord together in community. Enjoy our latest construction video.

Video screen shot of new chick-fil-a

New Buildings, a Bright Future, and God’s Faithfulness

The exterior of the civil engineering building is fully framed, the brick facade and roof are going on the new residence hall, and two floors of the Chick-fil-A restaurant are visible. Progress on our 10-year campus master plan continues to move along. We hope you enjoy this construction update and please join us in thanking the Lord for all that He is doing at Cedarville.

Construction site video shot

New Buildings Taking Shape All Over Campus

Metal beams for all of our new construction were recently delivered, and you can begin to see the form of the new buildings on campus. The metal frame for the new Chick-fil-A went up, and the third floor of the 282-bed residence hall is nearly complete. The framing for the new civil engineering building has also been raised. Enjoy this October 30 video update on our current 10-year master plan building projects.

video screen shot of construction

Trustees Name Future Business Center, Approve New Faculty, and Increase Scholarships for New Students

Students walking on sidewalk

At its October 3 meeting, the Cedarville University Board of Trustees approved the naming of the new Lorne C. Scharnberg Business Center, reviewed and updated new student scholarships, and added three new members to the Board. They also approved 10 faculty hires and authorized construction of a storage warehouse. We are grateful for the service of our Trustees and their commitment and investment in the future of the University. Read the full report…

Cedarville University Receives Record Gift

Dr. Thomas White and Lorne and Mark Scharnberg in front of sign announing new business buildingCedarville University received the largest financial commitment in its 132-year history on Friday, October 4, when Mark Scharnberg, a 1997 graduate, on behalf of his family and Katecho and Surmasis Pharmaceuticals of Des Moines, Iowa, pledged $10 million in honor of his father, Lorne C. Scharnberg, a faithful dad, beloved grandparent, innovative business owner, and tireless advocate for Cedarville.

I was privileged to announce the gift as a surprise to Lorne Scharnberg during my annual State of the University chapel address in the Dixon Ministry Center on October 4. Lorne was in attendance to receive Cedarville’s prestigious Medal of Honor, celebrating his significant contributions to the institution and his 25 years of service on the Cedarville Board of Trustees. Lorne is just the 14th recipient of the medal, the last recipient being Rev. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the late Billy Graham, in 2012.

Following the awarding of the Medal of Honor, I was able to reveal the $10 million gift and announce that the new business building — one of six major building projects in the University’s 10-year campus master plan — would be named in honor of Lorne Scharnberg.

Our new School of Business Administration building will be named the Lorne C. Scharnberg Business Center. For years to come, there will be a stone of remembrance on this campus to celebrate all that Lorne and his family have done to further the mission and vision of Cedarville University. For years to come, future generations of business leaders will be trained to use their gifts for God’s glory, the good of mankind and for their joy.

“My father is passionate about Cedarville’s vision to transform lives for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ,” said Mark. “What an honor to be a part of providing a facility that will equip future business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals to use their career as a platform for ministry. This is how my father has lived his life, and we are thrilled to continue his legacy through this gift to Cedarville.”

Lorne served three terms as Chair of the Board and one year as Vice-Chair. He joined the board in 1994 and served until moving to emeritus status in 2018. In 2007, Lorne was recognized as the Honorary Alumnus of the Year for his faithful service to Cedarville. He has also served on the Business Advisory Council for the School of Business Administration (SBA) and was named the 2005-06 executive-in-residence of the SBA.

Lorne and his late wife, Kathi, founded Katecho, Inc., a medical manufacturing business and a world leader in the manufacturing of hydrogel, in 1984. They also started Surmasis Pharmaceuticals, a contract pharmaceutical manufacturer. Kathi served the company as its Chief Financial Officer until her passing in February 2018. Lorne remains the Chief Executive Officer for Katecho.

Chick-fil-A, Residence Hall, and Civil Engineering Construction

The first three buildings in the 10-year campus master plan have been making great progress this summer and fall. Workers have finished the outside walls of the 282-bed residence hall up to the second floor, the footprint for the new Civil Engineering Center is clearly visible, and heavy equipment has been excavating and grading the future location of the Chick-fil-A restaurant next to Centennial Library. It’s an encouragement to see these buildings take shape in fulfillment of all the Lord is doing here at Cedarville. Enjoy this latest video update!

phot of construction on the library

Older posts

© 2020 Thomas White

Based on a theme by Anders NorenUp ↑