Once known as Russell Creek Academy, Campbellsville University has grown from a small junior college to one of the 16th fastest growing institutions in the United States over the past decade, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.
“Since I began at CU in 1998, the school has more than tripled in size and I just think that’s phenomenal,” said John Chowning, the university’s vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president.
In 10 years, the growth of Campbellsville University has increased 114.1 percent, putting CU 16th in the category of private nonprofit master’s institutions. Student enrollment has grown from 1,600 in the fall of 1998, to a near 3,600 in the fall of 2012, resulting in record enrollment at CU, according to a news release from the university in September.
“Over the past decade, in addition to student growth, the university has seen the school’s facilities expand from400,000 to over 600,000 square feet and land acreage has expanded from 45 acres to more than 90, not including university owned apartments, rental properties or regional campuses,” said Julie Caldwell from CU's Office of Special Projects.
“CU’s growth is evident in almost every single category,” said Paul Dameron, director of institutional research. “We currently have over 1,600 students studying on campus and when online students and regional centers students are counted we have an enrollment of over 3,600.”
According to Dameron, the biggest growth CU has experienced in regard to student population is the amount of those who study on campus.
“From 2002 to 2011, students living on campus has increased from less than 670 to over 1,000 students. In addition, the growth of the English as a Second Language program has grown from 30 to over 90 students in the same time period,” Dameron said.
To compensate with the increase of students, the university has built a new residence facility every other year. Along with the student population, CU’s annual revenue has increased over the past 10 years by 58.9 percent and its operating budget by 150 percent.
CU’s growth can be attributed to many facts according to Dave Walters, vice president for admissions and student services.
“The university offers a quality Christian higher education package that is affordable, which is important in today’s economy,” Walters said. “Over 90 percent of our students receive funding from the school in some way, shape or form including the church matching, minority, transfer, academic and performance scholarships.”
The growth has also been attributed to the environment it creates for students.
“Campbellsville has such a beautiful campus and it made me feel at home,” said Amber Watercutter, a freshman at CU.
Walters also believes the beauty of the campus draws potential students and their family in, along with the friendly spirit of the faculty and staff.
“Our groundskeepers work hard to keep the campus beautiful, and I feel that it is one of the nicest campuses in the state of Kentucky and everyone from the president, Dr. Michael Carter, to our maintenance staff are inviting and welcoming, which makes parents feel better about sending their children to our university,” Walters said.
As a part of CU’s Vision 2025 plan, which can be found on the school’s website, the university plans to grow to over 4,000 students.
“Dr. Carter’s leadership over the past decade has helped CU in such a mighty way, and we want to grow to over 4,000 students, but not get so big like many of the state schools,” said Otto Tennant, vice president for finance and administration. “CU offers a community feel and atmosphere where you can feel at home. We knew that about us and want to continue to offer that same quality for many years to come.”
Over the past 10 years, CU has seen numerous improvements from residences halls, restaurants and the next ten years promises more according to Dr. Carter”
“It’s just an exciting time for CU and I look forward to being a part of it,” Carter said.
Wed, October 10, 2012
by Gerry James