Harding Magazine

Around Campus

Shultz takes on national leadership role
University tightens budget, continues to grow
Neill named Concert Choir director
Interior design achieves accreditation
Diverse lineup includes Bush
From commodore 64 to modern-day Macintosh
Outstanding in community service
Dixon, Elrod Distinguished Sponsors
Five questions for Bryan Clifton
New major builds on existing foundation
Go Figure
Point of view

Shultz takes on national leadership role

ShultzDr. Cathleen Shultz, dean of the College of Nursing, was installed as president of the National League for Nursing at the organization’s Education Summit on Sept. 26 in Philadelphia. She then began her two-year term after serving the past two years as  president-elect.

Established in 1893, the NLN is the oldest professional association for nursing education. According to its Web site, the organization works to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce by promoting excellence in nursing education, boasting 28,000 individual members and 1,200 institutional members.

Shultz, who joined the organization in 1976, made history in 2005 when she became the first Arkansan to be elected to the NLN Board of Governors, serving as treasurer. She has worked on numerous NLN committees including the Task Force on New Teaching, Learning and Evaluation Metaparadigms, which she chaired. As a result of the position, she edited a book titled Building a Science of Nursing Education: Foundation for Evidence-Based Teaching-Learning and also authored a chapter in the book.

As president, she oversees membership and coordinates major initiatives. She also works with officers from the Constituent Leagues, which are state-led affiliates that support the NLN at the local level. In addition, she represents the organization at various events, oversees board meetings, and works as a trustee of the NLN Foundation to raise funds for future endowment projects such as scholarships and research grants.

Shultz began teaching at Harding in 1976 and went on to become the first and only dean of the College of Nursing in 1980. When asked how her tenure at the University has prepared her for presidency of the NLN, she doesn’t take long to answer.

“The years of working with people who truly know education have certainly helped. One person who comes to mind is Dr. Joe Pryor who was, at one time, the academic vice president and my first supervisor. I also think the strategic planning that Dr. [David] Burks initiated has been tremendously helpful,” says Shultz.

The NLN is not the only organization moving toward the future. The College of Nursing has many exciting changes on the horizon, and Shultz’s presidency is just the beginning.

“We’ve already gotten a lot of attention nationally. We were known as a very good private school, but it’s really put us on the map, so to speak. It’s been a very uplifting thing to know that this college is at that point.”


University tightens budget, continues to grow

As a result of the econom­­ic recession, many families are cutting back their spending, looking for ways to save money while not sacrificing their greatest needs. For the University, it is no different.

Tuition for the 2009-10 school year has risen three percent, the lowest increase in 22 years.

The University’s endowment, which is invested in stocks and bonds, took a hit, declining 23 percent during the fiscal year. “The endowment distribution makes up less than five percent of the overall operating budget, so effect on the budget is minimal,” says Vice President of Finance Mel Sansom.

In order to reduce spending, President David B. Burks requested that the heads of the departments cut back on their budget for the year or, at least, not have an increase. Additionally, the University has affected a hiring freeze, only filling a position made available by retirement or termination or that is within a new program, such as the College of Pharmacy. The remodeling of Sears Hall, scheduled for summer 2009, was postponed in an effort to reduce spending.

According to Executive Vice President Jim Carr, the University has seen a very modest decline in fundraising. “People continue to see Harding as a good investment,” Carr says. “Now, with so many students struggling financially, the donor dollar is critical.”

However, despite the economic climate, enrollment  increased for the 23rd consecutive year with 6,613 students, a 1.6 percent increase over last year’s enrollment. Although undergraduate numbers were slightly down, the number of graduate students increased by more than eight percent, and the retention rate remained strong at 82 percent.

Says Carr, “Students are still looking for a world-class education and a great value. Harding remains a Christ-centered institution and that has helped students look this direction.”


Neill named Concert Choir director

Kelly NeillAt the end of the spring semester, Concert Choir director Arthur Shearin passed the baton, both literally and figuratively, to newly appointed conductor Kelly Neill.

Although not retiring, Shearin felt that the timing was right to entrust the group to a new leader. “The students deserve the freshest and best there is,” says Shearin. “I am pleased that Kelly will be taking over Concert Choir. I’m leaving the group in great hands.”

Neill taught private voice for three years before leaving the University in pursuit of his doctorate. He eagerly anticipates his new role, noting the pressure that comes with filling Shearin’s shoes. “He’s been here for so long and done it so well that I think anyone would feel pressure replacing someone like that,” says Neill. “On the flip side, he has been so good to me. He was a very good mentor and has also been a great friend. He’s made this transition very easy on me.”

Recently earning his doctorate from the University of Missouri at Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, Neill has conducted several vocal groups and bands and participated in numerous vocal ensembles. “I love choral music,” he says. “I had always dreamed of conducting it at the college level.”

Neill will also direct the Chamber Singers.

Shearin ends his 21-year tenure as conductor. He remains in the music department, teaching vocal music classes and researching.


Interior design achieves accreditation

The interior design program, within the department of art and design, has received accreditation from the Council for Interior Design Ac­creditation for six years, the maximum allowed.

CIDA conducted a site visit in April. The process included a vigorous evaluation of each project, course and curriculum structure in relation to CIDA standards for interior design programs, which includes design process, technical drawing skills, building codes, environmental sustainability, construction knowledge, aesthetics and business practices.

Other considerations included faculty qualifications, physical space, technology and administration support. Site visitors reviewed course contents including projects, written assignments, tests and other related work, and interviewed administration, faculty, support staff and students during the four-day assessment.

"This is what America is all about — each  generation moving forward, making a better life for their children and grandchildren."
— U.S. Rep. John Boozman of Arkansas speaking to more than 6,000 people, including nearly 600 graduates, at Commencement May 9


Nonie DarwishDiverse lineup includes Bush

Nonie Darwish, founder of Arabs for Israel and author of Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror, kicked off the American Studies Institute Distinguished Lecture Series Sept. 17. Also speaking this year are:

Cynthia Cooper, Nov. 12
Cynthia CooperFormer MCI vice president and chief audit executive Cynthia Cooper led the team that uncovered the WorldCom fraud in 2002 — the largest corporate fraud case in history to date. The accomplishment earned her recognition as one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2002. After helping MCI move forward and successfully emerge from bankruptcy, she left the company in July 2004 to launch her own consulting firm, The CooperGroup.

Her book, Extraordinary Circumstances, was published in February 2008 and outlines her experience as a corporate executive and lessons learned at WorldCom. Profits from the book have been donated to further ethics education for high school and college students.

Cooper has appeared on numerous programs including “America’s Nightly Scoreboard” on Fox Business, “The Today Show,” and “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” She was the first woman inducted into the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Hall of Fame in 2004 and was featured as one of 25 influential women in Working Mother.

Laura Ingraham, Feb. 16
Laura IngrahamNationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham can be heard on her self-titled show on more than 325 stations coast to coast. Her latest book, Power to the People, debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List and discusses traditional family values, education and American patriotism. She is a regular Fox News contributor and has filled in as guest host for Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

Ingraham worked as a speechwriter during the final two years of the Reagan Administration at the White House, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Education. In addition, she served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Ralph K. Winter on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit before becoming a defense attorney. “The Laura Ingraham Show” launched in 2001.

George W. Bush, April 22
George W. BushGeorge W. Bush was elected 43rd president of the United States in November 2000 and was re-elected in 2004. Before his presidency, he served six years as governor of Texas and was the first governor in the state’s history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms.

The son of Barbara and former President George H.W. Bush, he served as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard.

The most significant event during his presidency occurred on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people on U.S. soil. In response, Bush worked to protect the American people and led a dramatic reorganization of the federal government, reformed the intelligence community, and established the Department of Homeland Security.

During eight years as president, Bush instituted federal tax cuts, added a prescription drug benefit to Medicare, implemented free trade agreements with more than a dozen nations, and launched a global HIV/AIDS initiative. He also appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court.


From Commodore 64 to Modern-day Macintosh

Scott PritchettIn a matter of seconds, the personal computer can go from technological wonder tool to enormous headache. Scott Pritchett, client support specialist on campus, deals with that daily.

Working in Client Support and Consulting, Pritchett spends his day winding through a constant stream of e-mail, voice mail, work orders and questions. He handles everything from configuring e-mail addresses to setting up printers to troubleshooting problems with Macintosh, Microsoft Office and Windows. In addition to his everyday duties, he and a team of two other employees tackle the daunting task of upgrading campus computers.

“Each summer we swap out about 400 computers,” says Pritchett. “This involves unpacking and imaging the new computers and picking up the old ones, which can be tricky because people don’t like to be without their computers, even in the summer.” The team then transfers each user’s data and finishes by setting up the new machines.

Pritchett’s fascination with computers began at an early age. Born in San Francisco, his family packed up when he was 5 years old and moved to Alice Springs, Australia, where his father was offered a job with E-Systems. They lived there for six years before returning to the U.S., settling in Virginia.

“My dad was a computer technician but couldn’t talk much about his job for security reasons. I remember playing games on his Commodore 64 and destroying him in Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat on our LCII and LCIII Macintosh computers. Although I wanted to be a ‘time scientist’ and invent a time machine when I was kid, I always knew I would have a career in computers.”

Pritchett first caught glimpse of Harding in 2001. Although he wasn’t familiar with the University, from the moment he arrived, he knew he wanted to join the campus community.

“My wife, Heather, and I visited her brother Josh (a Harding student) in Searcy. We fell in love with the town and decided to move here. I wasn’t sure why, but it just seemed like Harding was the place I was supposed to be.” Pritchett began his career as a support specialist at the University in 2002.

“There isn’t a lot of turnover in this department, so it really was a blessing that this opening came so soon after I moved to Searcy.”

Four years ago, Pritchett decided to finish his education at the University. He graduated in July with a bachelor’s degree in leadership and management.

“Being a student has helped me get to know many of the faculty on a deeper level and understand their needs better than I could have through client support. We really have a great faculty at Harding.”

Pritchett says his favorite part of the job is the group of people he works with every day.

“In every job I’ve had outside of Harding, there has been at least one person that is extraordinarily difficult to work with. At Harding, however, everyone understands that we all have a job to do, and sometimes it’s hard, but we try to help and lift each other up.”

— Heather Williams


Outstanding in community service

For the third consecutive year, the Corporation for National and Community Service named the University to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll due to the exemplary service contributions of students, faculty and staff in meeting critical community and national needs.

 “Part of our mission at Harding University is a commitment to a servant-leadership lifestyle,” said President David B. Burks. “That commitment encourages students to seek out opportunities to serve others and lays the foundation for a lifetime of service.”

During the 2008-09 academic year more than 6,500 students contributed 77,203 hours of service to numerous projects.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.


Dixon, Elrod Distinguished Sponsors

The Office of Student Life presented the first Distinguished Sponsor awards in April to Phil Dixon and Tish Elrod in recognition of dedicated service and contribution to the work and purposes of social clubs at the University. The office will present the awards annually to one men’s and one women’s club sponsor during club week.

Dixon is sponsor for Chi Sigma Alpha, and Elrod sponsors the ladies of Ko Jo Kai. Each was chosen because of their outstanding commitment to developing lasting relationships with club members while exemplifying Christian servant-leadership by supporting and challenging members to realize their full potential.

This year’s award recipients were chosen by Corey McEntyre, director of campus life, along with student life deans. In the future, honorees will be nominated by each club, and McEntyre and the student life deans will review recommendations for the final selection.


Five questions for Bryan Clifton

Following a six-week election period, the longest in the University’s history, junior accounting and finance double major Bryan Clifton of Snyder, Texas, was elected Student Association president for 2009-10. Clifton discusses his plans for the year as well as a little S.A. trivia.

Bryan CliftonWhat one thing do you hope to accomplish this year?
This year the S.A. is striving to create an atmosphere of openness, transparency and action by empowering students to reach their full potential. We want to bring the student body closer together because there is no limit to what we all can achieve if we put our resources together.

What was your campaign motto/slogan?
“Empower” was the motto, and it carries over as the theme for this year.

Did past S.A. president Michael Crouch give you any advice as you took over this role?
I had the privilege of working alongside Michael as S.A. treasurer. Michael and I had many long discussions on how we could use our influence to modify Harding in areas to make it the best that it could be for all students. Most of the things I learned from Michael came from being present through all of the planning and implementation of events and projects.

How will you get students involved this year?
A focused effort is being made to get students participating in an area of the S.A. in which they have a sincere interest. People are more likely to take the position seriously and will do a better job with it when they have a vested interest.

Several former S.A. presidents are still roaming around campus. Can you name any?
[Instructor of Engineering and Physics] Jimmy Huff, [University President] David B. Burks, [Professor of Bible] Ross Cochran, and [Assistant Professor of Education] Kenny Stamatis. I know that there is at least one other that I am forgetting. Editor’s note: Others include Professor of English Rod Brewer and recently retired Professor of Bible Jimmy Allen.


New major builds on existing foundation

Beginning this school year, students are able to design their own interdisciplinary programs of study through the Honors College.

May graduate Chris Cochran was an accounting and finance major who began his senior year lacking six hours to graduate. He decided to use his final semester as a period of academic exploration and creativity, enrolling in courses outside his major.

He found that his classes in Spanish, calculus, science and literary criticism overlapped and created a unique opportunity for academic discovery and holistic development.

“I have been shaped more this year than the other three years of school combined,” says Cochran. “Each of my classes has challenged me to think differently, and, as a result, I feel like I have developed exponentially as a person.”

Students have long been able to design their own program through the special majors option in the catalog. However, Cochran noticed that these students lack advisers and the academic community that comes with being connected to a single department. He developed the idea for an interdisciplinary studies major as part of his honors capstone project.

Cochran consulted faculty and staff across campus while researching and developing his plan. Drs. Bryan Burks, Monte Cox and Mark Elrod, along with Karen Kelley and Janice Bingham, served as the faculty committee for the interdisciplinary major.

Larry Long, vice president of Academic Affairs, sees the interdisciplinary studies major as being a directed and applied version of the special majors option available to students who choose a vocation for which there is no catalogued major and wish to design their own program of study.

“Chris packaged it in a way that would be more attractive to honors-type students and created a mechanism for advising and orchestrating information about the option that would make it more available,” says Long.

The Honors College will directly supervise the program under the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Students must be in the Honors College and maintain the required 3.25 grade point average to complete the program.

“The purpose is to give strong students who don’t find their academic home a  challenging major that will allow them to develop their chosen areas of study,” says Jeff Hopper, dean of the Honors College.

Students interested in pursuing the interdisciplinary studies major must form an advisory faculty committee, design a unique course of study, and seek approval from the dean of the Honors College and the vice president of Academic Affairs. For more information, consult the 2009-10 academic catalog or visit www.harding.edu/honors.


Go Figure

Number of consecutive years the University has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the America’s Best Colleges issue as one of the best schools in the South

2010 rank for best master’s universities in the South

Rank on Great Schools, Great Prices list for master’s universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report


Point of view

Carol DouglassAssociate Professor of Education Carol Douglass gives her view on sharing Christ in the classroom and looks at the future of education.

What led you to focus on special education?
It seems that all of my life I’ve been a teacher, even while growing up. I have a nephew who has cerebral palsy; that’s where I found my interest in children with disabilities. When he was born, I wanted to do something that would help him, perhaps study physical therapy. I then realized I didn’t want to do that; I was more of a people person. I prayed about that because it was so important to me. Then, I came upon the realization that as long as I am serving God and obeying his word, it doesn’t matter what I do.

I really do enjoy teaching, and it’s a nurturing feeling to me. It’s a ministry — a vehicle that I use to show the love of Christ.

How do you minister to students in a public school setting?
When Christ is in you, you don’t have to talk about it. It’s obvious in the way we treat our fellow man. John says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” To me, that means how we treat other people. I am here as a resource to help when I can. I’m not just a resource for the children but for the parents, too. Young children can’t make choices for themselves; their parents do. Having the appropriate resources can help them make those decisions.

Many times when you have children with disabilities, parents feel like it’s their fault. I strive to love them in a way to show they are a good parent; they are seeking information to better serve their child.

Do you see a difference between your undergraduate and graduate classes?
In my graduate classes, they’re more attentive, and I think that one reason is because they have taught students themselves. They’re now teaching and are searching for information to solve the challenges they are experiencing. They’re also willing to share classroom experiences of challenges being solved. Teachers want to share. They want to help somebody else. Many of the grad students take the classes seriously because teaching is their job, and they want to get better.
The importance of patience …
Not everybody can teach special education. It takes a true heart; it takes true patience, all of those fruits of the spirit. When we talk about the characteristics of a good teacher, we look at the characteristics based on the student. Often we don’t turn those characteristics back on ourselves. We have to be patient and fair with ourselves. We have to be confident and competent in what we’re doing — that we do have the information, and, if we don’t, that we can very quickly get that information. I think special educators and general education teachers can often be a bit hard on themselves in terms of the information they know and how they’re getting it out there. All of those characteristics go both ways, in terms of how I view myself and how I view my students.

Education’s future …
I see a lot of cyber schools, but sometimes I wonder how that is going to affect special education. When you have students with disabilities, where are those classes leaving them? We find that the best way for a student to learn is the tutorial method, one on one. I wonder what child is going to be left behind.
I hope there will always be a time and a place for face-to-face classes because I really like that type of interaction. So much is said by nonverbal communication, and, by looking at people, you can tell if you’re communicating or not. You can’t see that in an online setting. I guess I’m old fashioned. A lot of software programs are coming out to help students who have disabilities to remediate reading and writing, but I still think they need to have that human touch.

Dr. Carol Douglass received her doctorate in education from the University of Memphis. The mother of five joined the University in 2000. In 2008 she received the Teacher Achievement Award from the Cannon-Clary College of Education.


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