Office of the President Aurora University 347 S. Gladstone Ave. Aurora, IL 60506-4892
Aurora University | Presidentâ€™s Report
A Message from the President
ow shall we remember the year described in this newly fashioned President’s Report? Should we recall it as the year we introduced a nursing major at GWC? Maybe we should focus on the amazing achievement of opening the new Spartan Athletic Park. We could reflect upon all of the external changes and forces that swirled around Aurora University and perhaps tell a story of unity and resilience. Or we could simply note that AU once again fulfilled its promises to students. As “an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning,” we understand the university’s success in the
light of our students’ accomplishments. It is our unwavering commitment to mission that causes us to undertake bold projects. And it is this selfsame belief that motivates our faculty and staff, our friends, alumni and trustees to invest so heavily in the welfare of others. Some do this face to face and others share from afar. And our students are the beneficiaries.
Rebecca L. Sherrick President
West Suburban Fall 2017 Enrollment 2,900
Aurora University Benedictine University
1,192 5,101 3,727
North Central College
Saint Xavier University
Trinity Christian College
University of St. Francis
AU R O R A U N I V E R S I TY | P R E S I DEN T ’S R EPOR T
2017 | Fast Facts
Student/ faculty ratio
GPA of 46% of studentathletes
Number of majors
Number of full-time faculty
5.19 Percent increase in freshman retention rate over last year
1,004 Bachelor’s degrees
Men and Women’s Cross Country
Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field
2017 Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Champions
Student Success The Junior Mentoring program began its second year. After the first full year of implementation, nearly every student had talked with a faculty member about life after college and reported growth in skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, and self-advocacy.
Year in Review
Strong Fiscal Health Each year, the U.S. Department of Education classifies every institution of higher education in the United States using a score reflecting its degree of financial responsibility. The score — ranging from -1.0, indicating a school with detrimental financial health, to +3.0 — is a composite of three reported ratios. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, Aurora University’s composite score was 3.0, a determination that places the institution in the highest echelon of financial stability.
Michael J. Birck Collaboration Center for Innovation To pursue an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), Aurora University students and grade school children have institutional resources available to them. Now high school students can benefit from instruction in this area thanks to the Michael J. Birck Engineering Program, located in the new Michael J. Birck Collaboration Center for Innovation on the main campus. The Tellabs Foundation provided $1 million for construction of the facility, which offers high school students 3,200 square feet of classroom and lab space, state-of-the-art technology and access to professionals in the field. Over the summer, students could take two courses: Leading Design and The Invention Process.
Student Success The Applied Behavior Analysis graduate program has continued to increase its visibility and standing in the field. In the past year, the students’ first-attempt pass rate on the Behavior Analysts Certification Exam was the second highest in Illinois.
Spartan Athletic Park For years, Aurora University student-athletes have been a powerhouse in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference, but those who engage in particular sports have had to rely on offsite facilities to play — until September 2017. The 80-acre Spartan Athletic Park, located less than a mile from campus, officially opened on September 19 to become home to the softball, soccer and lacrosse teams. (In the first game played there, the women’s soccer team beat Wisconsin Lutheran College 4-0.) Next up is a new baseball stadium, followed by facilities for the tennis and track and field teams.
Monetary Award Program Funding After the State of Illinois promised more than $6 million in need-based Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants to Aurora University students — averaging more than $4,000 per student — fiscal deadlock in the downstate legislature threw that funding into question. Yet the administration of Aurora University decided that the students’ educational needs are more important than all other concerns and vowed to make up the difference. The institution “tightened its belt” and found ways to make up the shortfall. The roughly 40% of students who had been promised a MAP award received funding.
Student Success Athletic Training students were recognized at the National Athletic Trainers Association convention in Houston for raising enough money from a 5K fundraiser to win the National Athletic Training Student Challenge.
Student Success The Aurora University chapter of the American Marketing Association beat more than 300 other chapters nationwide to earn the title of the International Collegiate Chapter of the Year. They also finished in the top five nationally in the 2017 Effie Collegiate Marketing Challenge.
Student Success The first five Applied Psychology majors — Sarah Daniello, Ly’Shawna Jenkins, Quanesha Scales, Pawanvir Singh and Miranda Skukan — graduated from George Williams College in May. Based on their internship opportunities, two students secured positions in the business world, one in human resources and the other as a district manager.
A Winning Year Junior Ryan Njegovan earned Aurora University its first-ever NCAA Division III National Championship, winning in the indoor shot put and the outdoor discus. He was named the university’s Male Athlete of the Year. Senior Lisa Rodriguez was named Aurora University’s Female Athlete of the Year for her successes in indoor and outdoor track and field competitions. She set numerous university and Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference records.
Discover What Matters “Discover What Matters” is not just Aurora University’s wish for each student, it’s also the name of a course offered to every freshman starting in the fall 2017 term. The Discover What Matters course is designed to foster students’ success by helping them envision and discover what is important to them — through discussion and critical-thinking exercises — as they become responsible citizens of the world. Each of the 36 faculty members teaching the course has designed a singular theme to give new students a choice of offerings of interest to them. Common among each section are one-on-one sessions between faculty and students, along with an online survey that students take to help administrators understand their study habits and any concerns they may have.
AU R O R A U N I V E R S I TY | P R E S I D EN T ’S R EPOR T