Editorial: AU, community must renew relationship

Fri, 2012-09-07 08:54 -- univcomm
September 7, 2012

A university adds so much to a community. It introduces new people. It brings new ideas. It helps boost the economy.

Anderson University does these things and so much more for Madison County, and we’re reminded of that annually when the school year starts.

Classes began Tuesday, and the campus was buzzing with activity. Students, some looking anxious and others looking eager, were out and about finding their way to class. About 550 of them are new to AU, and each will bring a unique personality and perspective to campus and to the community at large.

[Photo: A student rides his bike across the valley as classes for the fall semester at Anderson University started on Tuesday. Credit: Don Knight/The Herald Bulletin]

This is a year of change for the university. New majors have been added, including sports marketing, event planning, forensic accounting and musical theater, and the much-anticipated opening of the York Performance Hall is set for Sept. 23.

While the school’s general mission of providing a top-quality education in a Christian environment hasn’t changed, school officials recognize that a university that doesn’t remake itself year after year will get left behind.

The hope is that students, the community and the world at large view AU in much the way that senior communications major Collin Rudkin does.

“It’s a dynamic school that’s seen change and growth,” he told The Herald Bulletin.

Like other universities, AU must continue to look for ways to bring student costs down even as it adds new curriculum and services.

University leaders also must renew their effort annually to engage the community by sharing resources. Such collaboration to address poverty, educational attainment, crime and other concerns should be a part of every university’s local mission.

To its credit, AU has stepped forward often in the past. How will students and staff reach out to Madison County this school year?

Yes, it’s an exciting and important time for the university and for the community each year when classes start. Now, AU and the people of Anderson must capitalize on a renewed relationship.

The Herald Bulletin. Story reposted with permission.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.