As we've prepared Thrive and shared it with our campus community, we've gotten several questions. No doubt you have a few yourself. Rather than force you to ask the questions again, I thought I ought give you the answers. Thrive is all about good, immediate information, after all.
Read up and let us know if you have more questions!
Why are we calling this the “complete” campaign?
“Complete” plays on the typical “comprehensive” campaign language. We will regularly and publicly move efforts from “in progress” to “complete.” Our tagline has a dual meaning: (1) Thrive is campus-wide and comprehensive in its strategic focus, and (2) Thrive is all about getting things done.
There will be other campaigns, right?
There will certainly be other campaigns. However, we expect the open, get-things-done approach (the “complete” approach) to remain the standard mode of operation for the foreseeable future.
Was there a pre-campaign study? What did we learn?
Absolutely. Using a common survey tool, the Advancement Team and Team One met one-on-one with more than 70 OC community members, including the Board of Trustees, National Alumni Council, top donors ($25,000+ lifetime), area ministers, past administrators, employee opinion-leaders, and others. The survey showed a very high opinion of OC leadership and the OC academic experience. Respondents were also favorable toward the living/learning opportunities on campus and appreciated the spiritual nurturing students receive at OC. We found that our OC community desires more public awareness of the OC story and wants clear, regular communication and accountability. We also found that our donors desire tangible, short-term, immediate-impact efforts to engage.
How did we select the Year One projects?
The Thrive: Year One project menu is based on feedback from the pre-campaign study, annual program review and analysis conducted by the OC employee family, early results from OC's Strategic Enrollment Planning process, market research, and Team One discussions. Projects selected for this first year are intended to lay the groundwork – in terms of facilities, program resources, and personnel – for initiatives certain to be rolled out after the Strategic Enrollment Plan (SEP) is complete.
(PS - The Strategic Enrollment Plan is a campus-wide, holistic study of OC's programs, practices, policies, and planning processes related to achieving optimal recruitment, retention, and graduation rates. In short, it aims to answer the question: "What can we do campus-wide to maximize the number of students having a full, rich OC experience and maximize the number of students excelling in that experience?")
What is the strategic relevance of the Year One projects?
Studies show that engineering, business, and the health sciences are all strength areas for the University. Moreover, they represent market-driven fields primed for growth, which should result in more significant return on investment for OC and our students.
Our spiritual life on campus, and its expression off campus, is a major part of what sets us apart as an institution. Investment in Ethos showcases a tangible recommitment to our spiritual core. Meanwhile, the campus café reboot and OKC marketing initiative are admissions and community imperatives for the University.
Why isn’t endowment fundraising more prominent in Thrive?
Endowment is an incredible blessing, but endowment is also slow. To be proactive with our spiritual, academic, and community strategies in a time of rapid cultural change, the University has elected to invest in startup capital first and endowment second. Programmatic efforts will begin almost immediately and at a level impossible in the early years of traditional endowments.
How will programs be sustained without launch endowment?
All academic programs within Thrive are expected to become student-generating, graduate-building, revenue-producing spheres on campus. If target projects produce, revenues will be reinvested in their efforts and we will pursue permanent endowed funds in these areas. If, during a 3-5 year launch phase, any programs fail to achieve sustainable, productive academic models, then the program will be revisited. We will use this guiding philosophy to evaluate and invest in all programmatic Thrive efforts.