University College – Statement from President Pamela Fox

November 28, 2016

Dear Mary Baldwin Community:

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We now enter the home stretch of our fall 2016 semester. It has been a busy fall indeed, and I want to take this opportunity to share with you something of what we’ve been working on.

[one_half]As you know, on August 31, we launched our 175th year, celebrated the once-in-a-lifetime milestone of becoming Mary Baldwin University, and announced several exciting new initiatives. Next fall, our new, distinctively “Baldwin” MBA will begin enrolling students online and on-site. Our new online master’s degree in health sciences will offer two very much in demand options — Health Systems Management, and Leadership in Quality and Patient Safety.[/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]

Also starting in fall 2017, there will be a new unit within our constellation of communities: University College. Like the Mary Baldwin College for Women, it will be a point of entry for residential undergraduates on MBU’s historic main campus. Like all of the current student points of entry except the Mary Baldwin College for Women, University College will be coeducational.

With the support and approval of the Board of Trustees, University College is being created as the home of MBU’s three coeducational fast-track living-learning programs, which we announced in August — Murphy Deming Scholars in Health Professions, Shakespeare and Performing Arts, and Education Leaders. A fourth, Women Entrepreneurs, will operate within Mary Baldwin College for Women, as VWIL does currently.

These exciting new offerings provide three-year pathways to the bachelor’s degree, career-enhancing activities, and additional credentials.  For example, through Women Entrepreneurs, students will graduate in four years with a certificate in entrepreneurship, an undergraduate degree, and an MBA.  Through the Murphy Deming Scholars in the Health Professions, students can be physician assistants in five and a half years.  Education Leaders will graduate in four years with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. And Shakespeare and Performing Arts combines the BA with the Master of Letters, MAT, or MBA in four or five years.

The benefits to students will be profound. These are the opportunities that students and families value: shorter time to degree, reduced cost of college, and value-added advantages to launch your career and life.

Introducing a new coeducational unit on our main campus may feel like a departure, but of course we have had men on campus and in our classrooms through the Adult Degree Program and other special opportunities since 1972. Their presence has not compromised the experience of our residential women. And remember that our main campus is the campus of Mary Baldwin University, already home to coeducational graduate programs.

Where does this leave our historic residential women’s college?  The Board of Trustees formalized its commitment by giving it the name of Mary Baldwin College for Women when it voted to become Mary Baldwin University. MBCW will still admit only women and continue to provide the amazing, empowering education that has proven so valuable to generations of women. University College actually helps to protect MBCW by strengthening the overall university.

If you are interested in learning more about how this will work, I encourage you to visit https://go.marybaldwin.edu/university-college. I’ve also recorded a video statement, which you can watch at https://vimeo.com/193372685.

Over 175 remarkable years, Mary Baldwin has never stood still. We have deep roots that shape our values, foresight to understand how we can best meet the future, the courage to innovate, and deep commitment to our ideals. Once again, Mary Baldwin is on the forward edge of higher education.

President Fox