CU President Celebrates 10 Years of Service

Aug. 20, 2009

For Immediate Release



Dr. Michael V. Carter (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)
Dr. Michael V. Carter (Campbellsville University Photo by Linda Waggener)

Campbellsville University President Celebrates Milestone of Ten Years of Service

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator


CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “These ten years have been the best of our lives,” Dr. Michael V. Carter, the tenth president of Campbellsville University, said Aug. 11 at a meeting of the CU Board of Trustees.


Carter, and his wife, Debbie, who teaches in the Carver School of Social Work, were presented with accolades, proclamations and roses for Mrs. Carter, but the most significant gift was the establishment of the Dr. Michael and Debra Carter Endowed Scholarship Fund in the amount of $20,000 to endow the scholarship.


The Church Relations Council, in a meeting Aug. 6, had also proposed the fund, and $3,000 had been raised going into the trustee meeting. However, the $20,000 goal had been met by the end of the trustee meeting. The scholarship fund goal has been increased, and additional donations are being sought.

Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, applauds Debbie and Mike Carter, first lady and president of Campbellsville University, who were honored for their 10-year tenure at CU at the Board of Trustees meeting Aug. 11. The "Dr. Michael and Debra Carter Endowed Scholarship Fund" was established in their honor. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)
Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, applauds Debbie and Mike Carter, first lady and president of Campbellsville University, who were honored for their 10-year tenure at CU at the Board of Trustees meeting Aug. 11. The “Dr. Michael and Debra Carter Endowed Scholarship Fund” was established in their honor. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)


Carter completed his first decade of presidential leadership Aug. 1. That leadership has produced significant growth in student enrollment and number and quality of academic programs, fundraising success and enhanced campus facilities and aesthetics.


“The past ten years have been a very significant era in the rich and amazing history of this institution,” said Dr. Jay Conner, chair of the CU Board of Trustees.


Dr. Dave Morris, immediate past chair of the board, said, “Campbellsville University continues to grow and excel. That is a tribute to the leadership of Mike Carter. Institutions grow because they are good and well managed.


“President Carter has succeeded in building upon the solid foundation that has served the university well over the past 100 plus years.


“Some may say that Campbellsville can’t keep growing forever. But Mike Carter isn’t talking about forever. He’s only talking about the next 100 years.”


Dr. Larry Noe, a member of the trustees who served as chair when Carter was chosen president and as chair of the presidential search committee that recommended Carter, said Carter’s “vision and leadership for Campbellsville University has far exceeded the expectations of any of us who were involved as a member of the search committee.”


Noe said Carter came to CU with a wealth of experience after being provost at Carson-Newman College and the question was “could he raise money?”


The answer was yes.


Noe said, “Dr. Carter has led CU in more than one of her most successful financial campaigns, with reaching the goal of the most recent campaign well ahead of schedule.”


He said Carter’s leadership has “transformed” the CU campus.


“Dr. Carter’s leadership style is what I call a consensus builder,” he said. “He tries to bring everyone along with him while decisions are being made. He keeps people informed and is willing to listen to different sides of an issue.”


Noe said that, not only has Carter led in the managing of the business of the school, transformed the campus with new and renovated facilities, but maybe the most important items he has done are the new academic programs and sports teams that he brought to CU.


“I believe that God led Campbellsville University to Dr. Carter and Dr. Carter to Campbellsville University. I believe Dr. Michael Carter is leading Campbellsville University to becoming a great university.”


During Carter’s leadership, characterized by a “students are always first” mantra, enrollment has grown from 1,600 in the fall of 1998 to an expected over 2,800 in the fall of 2009.


Square footage added to the campus from 1999 to 2009 is 274,956 – making the campus 63 percent larger. Total square footage to date is 707,378. A total of 154,651 square footage has been remodeled since 1999.


The area of the main campus has increased from 40 to 80 acres.


A $50 million Centennial Capital Campaign was completed almost a year in advance of the June 30, 2009 deadline. Forty-one new endowed scholarship funds have been established to help students better afford the college experience.


A string of new facilities on campus have alumni and friends “wishing that had been here when I was a student there.” The new buildings include the Ransdell Chapel, which has become the focal point of the campus’ transformation and spiritual life; the Technology Training Center, which has trained over 9,719 individuals in ten years;


The E. Bruce Heilman Student Complex (including the Winters Dining Hall and Davenport Student Commons); Hawkins Athletic Center, Gosser Gymnasium, Bennett-Smith School of Nursing Building, Carter Hall addition, School of Education building, Indoor Practice Center, Joan White Howell Education Center and Pavilion – both at Clay Hill Memorial Forest, Art Building and additional phases of the Village residential units.


Major renovations and improvements have been completed on the following: Student Union Building (now an academic support commons area), Banquet Hall, University Theater, Montgomery Library, J.K. Powell Athletic Center and the natatorium, baseball field, Ron Finley Football Stadium and HIG Football Field. A number of residence halls and offices have been upgraded.


Several new academic programs have been added with CU now offering 44 options at the baccalaureate level, 15 master’s degrees and four post-graduate specializations.


New regional sites have been opened in Louisville, Elizabethtown and Somerset with plans to open sites in Hodgenville and Fort Knox in process.


National program accreditation has been secured for the School of Business and Economics, School of Education and Carver School of Social Work. The School of Music has continued its national accreditation.


Campus aesthetics have been improved with fountains, benches and swings, landscaping and new trees. The university recently received the first Campbellsville-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Beautification Award.


A strategic planning model was implemented in 2001, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff. The plan includes a five-year budget model. A campus master planning process has been established and undergoes annual review.


Also, during Carter’s leadership, he has emphasized servant leadership as exemplified with the founding of the Kentucky Heartland Outreach ministry that provides housing improvements for deserving families and establishment of the FIRST CLASS freshman year program with emphasis on character, servant leadership and stewardship.


Campbellsville University’s commitment to diversity in a global economy is evidenced by the growth of CU’s international student population to 250 plus from 34 countries in 2008-09, and the increase of the percentage of African-Americans among the full-time undergraduate population to more than 10 percent.  CU has developed a number of partnerships with higher education institutions in several other nations.  During the past year, 14 CU students traveled and studied abroad.


Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South and as an “up-and-coming” institution in a new category. CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and designated as a Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.