Recent University Events Impacting the Position
Beginning in 2003, Millikin began an effective and deliberate process to reduce costs and further strengthen its academic programs. With the leadership of its current President, Douglas Zemke ’66, Millkin embarked on a disciplined journey to organize and upgrade its financial, auditing and accounting systems. The University’s Board of Trustees changed endowment managers and auditors just before the downturn in the economy; both decisions have benefited the University’s financial position. The University’s endowment increased during the market downturn, and the Board diligently and systematically retired some of its debt to position the university to explore bond rating opportunities. The rating process is underway, and results should be available shortly.
Millikin’s endowment has a current value exceeding $93 million. The University observes an endowment-spending rate of 4.25% with the proceeds augmenting scholarships and/or providing budget relief. The University has retired over $20 million of long term debt over the last five years, bringing the debt to endowment ratio below .3. The annual operating budget for the University is approximately $40 million. The campus physical plant is comprised of more than 30 buildings and one million square feet of space.
Millikin has benefited from a very successful Capital Campaign - Advancing the Vision, launched in 1996 and concluded in 2006. Its original goal of $75 million was exceeded and the Campaign expanded to $120 million during the fall of 2001. The campaign garnered over $125 million in support for the university. Millikin immediately began a new campaign plan. Currently, the University is in the silent phase of this initiative, to be announced in May 2010.
The University reaped the benefits of Advancing the Vision Campaign, including a $10 million expansion to the school of music; a $20 million Leighty-Tabor Science Center – home to natural and physical sciences, physics and nursing; a $6 million renovation of Scovill Science hall to create ADM-Scovill Hall, home of the Tabor School of Business and the Campus Technology Center; and the creation of the Dr. and Mrs. J. Roger Miller centennial quad as well as Pilling Chapel and new track and field facilities at Frank M. Lindsay Field. In addition, the campaign added two endowed professorships, $10.5 million in endowed support for buildings and programs, and $22 million in support of scholarships. The current campaign includes capital, endowment, faculty development, student scholarships and operating initiatives.
During the 2006-07 academic year, the University had a successful continuing accreditation site visit by the Higher Learning Commission of NCA. The commission granted a 10-year continuing accreditation, with a focus visit in the winter of 2010 to review progress on academic assessment.
In 2007, Millikin began the process of researching, positioning, articulating and creatively expressing its brand. As a result, the University has identified and tested with its key internal and external audiences its brand position and brand values. Millikin is ripe to position itself as a relevant and differentiated brand in private higher education because of its unique “performance learning” approach that builds students’ confidence to succeed before and after graduation. A formal launch of the brand is expected in Fall 2010.