Article by Debbie Eddy. Media by Charley Phillips.
President Filby gave his homecoming address to Greenville college alumni, current students, the public, and faculty on October 24. 2014. In his address, President Filby talked about Greenville College’s potential name change. He introduced the idea by talking about extending our heritage and focusing on the future. President Filby says that, “In Greenville College we fling wide the door of grace. But where do we want to go.” He talks about how he is going to submit a strategic plan for the board’s consideration. In part of the plan he talks about strategic priorities, extending our heritage, and expanding our reach.</b
President Filby also collected a survey from the Greenville College students asking “why university?” and presented it to the board. In his PowerPoint he discussed that 60% of our students believe the university name will help them gain admission to a graduate school and 64% think studying at a university will help them get their first job. This PowerPoint also highlights that our understanding of college is not understood internationally. President Filby talked about linguistic differences between countries in the world when it came to the concept of the word college. For example, President Filby talked with a Latino student who felt the name change would be a great idea because college in Spanish means high school. Furthermore, Asian students expressed that they did not want to come to Greenville College because it is called a college. In the PowerPoint, President Filby talks about how quite a number of Chinese students enroll and then transfer after their second year because it is called a college. The Chinese students talk about how in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and other cities, it would be difficult to explain to the people that college is the equivalence of a university. Therefore, it would be difficult to use the Greenville College degree to gain a job in the workforce for which they obtained their degree.
Not only has Greenville College reached out to international students, they also have professors that come from countries such as Kiribati, Korea, England, Ukraine, Ireland, the Dominican Republic, Canada, and Paraguay. President Filby states that “we are becoming increasingly internationalized. We send students out on mission trips.” Some of the trips that have been listed as missionary stops include: Guatemala, Bolivia, Thailand, Uganda, Niagara, Fiji, Ireland (Choir), etc. President Filby gives the reasons for the Greenville College name change because of the international change and outreach. He also shows in the PowerPoint “What happens to a Greenville College?”. In this PowerPoint, President Filby talks about how the Greenville College name is retained for the Greenville College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, and the School of Professional Studies.
President Filby also talks about “cultivating innovation and agility”. Filby states that we already have programs that bring light, rather than darkness, with our video gamers. He also states that we have new online services with criminal justice and business. In the end, President Filby explains “we are in a constantly changing world. That is what makes education fun.”