Chamber of Commerce luncheon features Dr. Michael V. Carter discussing university growth

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Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, speaks to the guests at the November chamber luncheon, held at Campbellsville University. (CU Photos by Alexandria Swanger)

By Ariel C. Emberton, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “Campbellsville University continues to be Christ centered in her approach. When we think about the mission of higher education we hope and pray that lives are changed. We are about sharing Christian higher education with as many students as possible,” Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said at the Nov. 12 Campbellsville/Taylor County Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the university’s Banquet Hall.

Carter gave an update about the progress made by the university over the past year. Enrollment for Campbellsville University, including her regional centers, online students and out-of-state locations, was 14,271 during the fall semester.

This growth has been attributed to the diversity and programs Campbellsville offers her students regardless of where they are.

The Louisville Education Center has expanded to include three buildings, already at capacity. The Harrodsburg Conover Education Center has new classroom buildings, a multipurpose facility, a bookstore and the most affordable room and board in the Commonwealth of Kentucky at just under $1,800 for the year Carter said.

A new center opened in Liberty, Ky. in 2019 and two new sites have been added in California, one near San Francisco Bay Area and one in Los Angeles. Plans are being made to add sites in Canada and India.

Carter updated those in attendance on the new programs now available. A master’s in divinity, computer science and applied engineering are all in the plans. Technical programs such as HVAC and plumbing have been added and two new doctoral programs, business administration and chiropractic, are ready for accreditation.

Campbellsville University features 200 full-time professors with as many adjuncts.

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The Campbellsville University Faculty Chamber Ensemble provided music for the chamber luncheon. From left are Dr. Bill Budai, associate dean of music and associate professor of piano; Saelim Henderson; Saulo DeAlmeida, instructor in music, cello and jazz; and Dr. Denis Santos, assistant professor of music. Montel Richardson, at right, pastor of First Baptist Church in Campbellsville, talks to the group.

Along with growth in programs and students, Campbellsville University’s main campus has opened new buildings within the last year. The new fieldhouse houses football and soccer programs along with a new Athletic Hall of Fame room and an H&W Spirit Shop.

The Betty Dobbins Heilman Student Wellness Center opened its doors to students after the beginning of the fall semester. It features a walking track, cardio machines, basketball court and smoothie bar. During the summer, the university broke ground for the third building of the E. Bruce Heilman complex, the welcome center.

In the realm of athletics, Campbellsville University added an Esports team as well as a competitive dance team. The university is home to over 800 student-athletes.

The university is also a leader in the South in terms of how little debt students are carrying at graduation.

The $61 million capital campaign goal was reached in record time and was extended to $100 million, according to Carter. The Campbellsville University endowment grew to over $29 million. The economic impact on Taylor County from the university is $137 million and $199 million from all university locations in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Plans for the next year include the chiropractic school beginning at the Harrodsburg Conover Education Center. The third building of the Heilman complex will begin and the main campus is looking to add new residence halls. “If you build your calendar the exact same way you [the faculty and staff] built it this past year, then you’re behind. It needs to be different because the world is changing, and we need to change with it,” Carter said.

Carter obtained his bachelor and master of arts degrees from Marshall University in 1976 and 1979, respectively.

He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1984. His dissertation was on “Extent and Direction of Rural Community Change: A Social Impact Assessment of Reservoir Development.”

Carter has authored several book chapters and journal articles. He has taught some sociology classes at Campbellsville University.

He is married to Debbie Carter, who also taught at CU as a social work professor. They have three children: Dr. Eric Carter, dean of regional instruction and services and associate professor of sociology; Dr. Wes Carter, associate vice president for university outreach; and Alicia Shea.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 14,000 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region.  The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.

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