Anne A. Skleder

Transforming lives at the forefront of all we do

For 143 years, Brenau University has provided transformative educational experiences for its students, and that effort has continued this fall. I am so proud of our faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication to ensure students were able to safely return to campus and enjoy the benefits of in-person learning. The cyclical nature of the academic year has provided structure to our endeavors during a semester with its fair share of unique challenges, while still offering the traditional opportunities for our students.

Even while classes continue to occur across all of our programs and campuses, all educational institutions have to be mindful of the core values and the pedagogical vision that allows for our students to receive the education that will ensure their success. To that end, Brenau has been diligently working over the past year on two major initiatives: our reaccreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and our new strategic plan for the university.

After working for over a year on the documentation, with pages equaling the thousands, Provost Dr. Jim Eck and a dedicated team of faculty and staff were recently able to send off our written report of our answers to the various standards we are held to by SACSCOC. While this is an immense undertaking that is necessary to keep our accreditation, it also allows for us to see where we are as an institution and all the positive ways we have fostered an institution focused on the needs of our students. Meeting these needs and transforming lives is our higher calling and one that must always be at the forefront of everything we do at Brenau. We look forward to the on-site visit with members of the review committee in spring 2022.

The other major undertaking that has made great progress over the past year, and will be completed this fall, is the creation of our new strategic plan. This process has been informed through interaction with hundreds of members of the Brenau community over the past year. From intensive discussions with trustees during their annual board meetings, to Zoom calls with our alumni, faculty, staff and students, and many days of targeted retreats with the Leadership Team, all of these thoughts and ideas have synthesized into a plan that will transform our endeavors moving forward.

While the entire plan will be showcased in our next issue of Brenau Window, I want you to know now that the work we have done to this point has allowed for a refining of our current vision into the proposed statement that follows. I hope this will provide you with a taste of what is to come and how our collective efforts will continue to push Brenau to be a leader in education.

Brenau University will become a nationally recognized leader by empowering individuals from diverse backgrounds and equipping them for success through transformative experiences. With an enduring commitment to serve each student, Brenau will continue to pursue excellence while meeting the changing needs of our community and the world.

This vision, which was endorsed by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees on Thursday, Aug. 19 of this year, will be a guiding statement allowing for its charge to be in the minds of all in the Brenau community. This aspirational vision describes where we are heading and what we will become over the next decade. Your support and participation in our efforts also will allow for this vision to become reality. 

I am humbled to be part of this long history of providing life-changing education at Brenau, and I look forward to continuing to write its current chapter with you over the remainder of this academic year.

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