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Trustees give thumbs-up to honors institute

Approval of a proposed honors institute highlighted the Erskine Board of Trustees meeting August 25-26. Discussion centered around the four pillars of Erskine’s Strategic Plan: Missional Fidelity, Financial Stewardship, Educational Excellence, and Expanding Reach.

Led by Board of Trustees Chair Mike Whitehurst, the trustees received a review of Erskine’s strategic plan; learned about long-term financial reviews and audits which have resulted in significant improvements; heard a report on a hybrid model of educational delivery; and opened the way for the Honors Institute at Erskine, which is designed to serve highly motivated students while enhancing both Missional Fidelity and Educational Excellence.

Erskine President Dr. Steve Adamson gave an overview of the Strategic Plan and spoke about ways in which it is being implemented. In the area of Financial Stewardship, for example, extensive auditing conducted over the past year has brought the Financial Division (formerly the Business Office) into conformity with best practices in higher education budgeting and financial reporting.

In the area of Expanding Reach, the president presented a hybrid model of higher education delivery which combines online classes, consortium activities with other institutions, and on-campus instruction. The appointment of former Information Technology Director Bobby Clarke ’87 as Vice President of Operations and Planning will add expertise to Erskine’s search for ways to boost the institution’s visibility and impact.

The Honors Institute at Erskine, set to launch in Fall 2023, is a four-year program in which students prepare to offer Christian leadership in the fields they enter after college. The honors curriculum will encourage students to explore authors and traditions from antiquity through the contemporary era, informed by a biblical worldview. The institute will also offer experiences in advanced research, internships, and cultural enrichment.

Two students spoke to the trustees. Daelyn Ashley, a senior from Belton, S.C., cited opportunities in chemistry research, sports, and social involvement provided to her and said Erskine “has strengthened my faith greatly.” She was glad “to give a part of my testimony as a Christian” and described the trustees as “welcoming and attentive.” Neal Blank, a senior from Camden, S.C., said he spoke about “aspects of Erskine life that have made a huge impact during my time here” and were related to “the outstanding faculty and staff that Erskine is blessed to have.”

The Board of Trustees acknowledged the faithful service of two seminary faculty members, Professor of Church History Dr. Dale Johnson and James Ragsdale Professor of Missions and Evangelism Dr. Michael Milton, who are retiring Sept. 1. They also welcomed Associate Professor of Pastoral and Historical Theology and Director of the Master of Theology Degree Program Dr. Matthew Miller, a 2015 Th.M. graduate of Erskine Theological Seminary.

A devotional was offered by the Rev. Joshua Chiles ’17, a graduate of Erskine Theological Seminary who serves as college chaplain. He provided an update on campus spiritual life and its focus for the new academic year.

The trustees announced that they have given Erskine President Dr. Steve Adamson an excellent performance rating. “We are extremely pleased with Dr. Adamson’s work to date and look forward to what the Lord will continue to do through his leadership,” Whitehurst said.

Dr. Steve Adamson, who began his work as Erskine’s 18th president in January, will be installed in a ceremony at the Due West ARP Church Friday, Sept. 23. Celebratory events are scheduled beginning Sept. 19 in honor of the inauguration. A full schedule of events and activities is available at: erskine.edu/inauguration/

 

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