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President Michael G. Scales

Becoming a University

The “Why?” behind the “What?”
By Mike Scales

Anyone familiar with the core values of Nyack College understands that Nyack seeks to be Academically Excellent, Globally Engaged, Intentionally Diverse, Socially Relevant, and Personally Transforming.  While we have only articulated these core values in recent years, I think it is plain that these values have accompanied our vision since the beginning.  The burning question then, is how do we best live out these values?

In 1904, the founder of this school stood before a great assembly and concluded, “A university alone can fill the demand”.  Today, I repeat Dr. Simpson’s compelling statement.  A university alone can fill the demand.

If Nyack is to be as Academically Excellent, Globally Engaged, Intentionally Diverse, Socially Relevant, and as Personally Transforming as our mission demands that we be in this generation, Nyack must do so as a university.

If we are to meet the demand of our mission, we must provide the breadth and depth of degree programming of a university.  We are blessed with a high quality faculty.  To function as a university, we must extend that quality to staff the breadth and depth that we envision.  As we function more like a university, this will prompt us to make strides in curricular innovation. These innovations, particularly in the area of experiential learning, are very important for us. And, as we continue to grow in this direction, we must tirelessly build upon one of our current strengths and develop an even more effective and far-reaching academic support system.

The catalyst for all of this, as I see it, is a commitment to function like a university.  I therefore propose that Nyack seek to be recognized by New York State as a university by the year 2015.  This is, I recognize, an enormous undertaking.  So why do it? 

Our founder answered this question over one hundred years ago, “Because a university alone can fill the demand.”

Nyack College is demonstrating academic excellence in the most important measure of excellence, that of adding academic quality to the lives of its students.  Together, we must bring this excellence into the future as a university.

Nyack College is authentically and meaningfully engaged with the needs of people around this globe. Together, we must bring this global engagement into the future as a university.

Nyack College is the most ethnically diverse Christian College in the history of American higher education.  Together, we must bring this priceless diversity into the future as a university.

Nyack College is socially relevant as its graduates take not only the words, but also the love and the deeds of Christ to broken people.  Together, we must bring this social relevance into the future as a university.

Nyack College is personally transforming because people encounter Jesus here.  I believe Christ Himself will lead our transformation into the future where together, as a university that exalts His name, we will endeavor to do His work until the end of the age.