Eastern Nazarene College’s Board of Trustees voted last month to endorse new initiatives in place of a merger with Trevecca Nazarene University.
Immediate implementation includes plans to enact a strategic vision, complete a budget reset, expand an enrollment strategy focused on Nazarene youth, establish an aggressive adult education program with increased online offerings, and extend progressive and transparent reporting to faculty, staff, students, alumni, and key stakeholders.
“This plan will preserve the best of ENC’s historic past, refine current practices, and imagine a future that will excite the Church of the Nazarene and alumni alike,” said Russ Long, board chair. “We are stepping into the future with a refocused vision that centers on ENC’s Christian identity, our commitment to liberal arts and job preparation, and a more vibrant relationship with the Church of the Nazarene and the greater Boston area.”
The new plan came after more than a year of exploration and careful consideration of a potential merger with Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee.
“We express our appreciation to Trevecca for its belief in ENC and its partnership for the past year,” Long said. “We regret that a merger could not occur within the parameters of Massachusetts educational policy in a way that would serve the best interests of both institutions. Our sister university has made us better by her deep investment, and we are a much stronger school today than a year ago.”
Long stressed that the partnership between the two institutions would continue in several areas, providing cost-savings and enhanced student experiences for students of both schools.
The board emphasized that the plan is more than an attempt to operate efficiently.
“It is not enough that ENC presents itself as preserving the best of its past or operating more efficiently,” Long said. “ENC is being revitalized. The future of the college was affirmed in the hearts and minds of its trustees in the March meeting and will be supported by each upcoming decision.”
ENC has begun the process of selecting its next president. In the interim, Timothy Wooster, has been asked to serve as chief executive officer until the election of a new president.
“It has been a delight to work with Dr. Wooster and other ENC leaders. I anticipate the continuation of their strong leadership into the future,” said Dan Boone, Trevecca president. Boone also served ENC as president-elect this year.
Boone will step away from his ENC role as a requirement of Trevecca’s accrediting association. Permission to serve both institutions was conditioned on the likelihood of a merger.
“I am very thankful to Dr. Boone for his leadership and guidance throughout this last year,” Wooster said. “In addition to the input and support of Trevecca’s cabinet members and staff, we are blessed by the devoted investment of ENC faculty and staff. They have embraced the opportunity to innovate and collaborate toward revitalized methods of educating students for careers, character, and Christian service."
Boone expressed confidence in the board’s endorsement while calling for prayer and a renewed passion for ENC’s mission among its constituents.
“We humbly ask all who love ENC to join your leaders as they envision and lead toward a future that will glorify God, serve students, and enable the entire ENC family to be proud of their college,” Boone said.