Interim president Spears talks about ‘becoming great’ in address to local Chamber of Commerce

By Matthew Taylor, news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.  – “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great,” Dr. Keith Spears, interim president of Campbellsville University, quoted from the book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins.

Spears spoke to the Campbellsville/Taylor County Chamber of Commerce Aug. 12.

A native of Fort Gay, W.Va., Spears served 28 years at Marshall University as a mass communications professor and general manager for their radio and TV stations for extended education. He was the director, consultant and co-director of the award-winning “We Are Marshall” brand capital campaign and was the chief consultant for the “We Are Marshall” film.

He advanced to the West Virginia governor’s office before coming to Campbellsville University.

Spears came to Campbellsville University as the vice president of regional and graduate education in 2009. He was given the task to enlarge the university’s footprint by growing the off campus, online, international and graduate program development. During the process of the task, Spears has also been involved with increasing the communications effort and the impact of the university moving Campbellsville University forward toward digital transmission and communication.

“When I came here, we had 2,600 students, and Mike Carter, the president, said, ‘Help me expand this thing. Work with us,’” Spears said, “and over the past several years we have now raised it to 12,500 for this fall.”

“The sad part is that it is down from last year. We were 13,500 last year,” Spears said.

While it may be difficult to meet the 13,500 student population from a year ago, the indicators are showing that Campbellsville University is on a trajectory for continued growth.

Campbellsville University continues to improve the facilities and education she has to offer with the completion of the Finley Stadium renovation, the new athletic plaza, the mass communication center and Harrodsburg’s chiropractic school with many more projects to come.

An open house for the chiropractic school is scheduled in October. Campbellsville University has the first and the only chiropractic school in Kentucky.

The new Heilman Welcome Center has begun construction. It will be a signature building for the university, Spears said, and will house elements of the Offices of Student Services, Career Services and Enrollment Services.

The marriage and therapy program in Los Angeles was awarded the MFT Stipend Contract for Santa Barbara expanding Campbellsville University’s footprint across the west coast in California.

Campbellsville University had an economic impact of $199,868,340 of the 2018 and 2019 school year, paid $87,225,534 in wages, paid $7,659,682 in state and local taxes and has support a total of 1,997 jobs throughout Kentucky.

“That’s pretty good. We’re a good school, but that’s not great. What we want to do is be great,” Spears said. “It’s up to all the people of Campbellsville University to make this a great university.”

“I was asked, ‘You’re doing a lot of changes over there. Are you still going to be the same Campbellsville?’ by someone recently,”  and Spears said, “We work hard to change to remain the same. We will still carry the calls of Christ wherever we go.”

“The name Campbellsville goes up on the building in Los Angeles this week. The name Campbellsville is on the building in Hyderabad, India. The name Campbellsville is on the building in Lathrop, Calif. And, once we get approved to go across the border, the name Campbellsville will also be on a five-story building in Windsor, Canada,” Spears said. “The name Campbellsville is being taken with us wherever we go. That’s an important concept because we’re proud to be in this town. And we want you to be proud of what we do.”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 12,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.

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