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Fisher announces planning for Vision 2020 under way

Belmont’s growth and expansion is set to continue with the beginning of discussions for  Vision 2020.

University President Dr. Robert Fisher made the announcement about the next six-year plan this morning during his ‘State of the University’ address at opening convocation.

The announcement begins the timeline of discussions between campus leaders and the Board of Trustees that will start this fall and continue until May 2014 when a draft will be presented to the Board.

Students were encouraged during the convocation to think and dream about what it is they want Belmont to be.

“What kind of world do you want to live in? Be careful though what you wish  for,” said Fisher. “The future starts now.”

This stage of discussion  “in the broadest sense”  involves the questions the administration is trying to answer at this point of the process, he said.

The current plan, Vision 2015, is on track to be reached a year ahead of schedule,  according to Fisher.

“We are going to finish out most of our goals this year,” he said.

Part of Vision 2015’s plan was to increase leadership opportunities, expand Belmont’s community outreach, increase spiritual growth on campus, build new facilities, add additional graduate programs and meet certain statistical goals for enrollment, campus diversity and incoming student profiles.

Numbers revealed during the convocation show that Belmont has either met or will likely meet the goals set for enrollment (goal: 7,000, fall 2013: 6,918), retention rate (goal 88 percent, fall 2013: 84.4 percent) and average ACT score for incoming students (goal: 27, fall 2013: 26.4) ahead of schedule.

Overall campus diversity has seen an increase as well. Student diversity has increased from 11 percent of the student body in 2009 to 13.9 percent in 2013. Faculty diversity saw a similar increase from 4.8 percent in 2009 to 8.7 percent in 2013, while overall staff diversity is slated at 19.8 percent for 2013. This up from 17.5 percent in 2009.

Throughout this semester, student and community leaders will be reached out to as part of gathering ideas. Those ideas will then be discussed in a Board of Trustees meeting in January 2014.

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