2006.04.05: April 5, 2006: Headlines: COS - Malawi: University Administration: The Post and Courier: Malawi RPCV Leo Higdon reflects on progress at College of Charleston

Peace Corps Online: State: South Carolina: February 8, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: South Carolina : 2006.04.05: April 5, 2006: Headlines: COS - Malawi: University Administration: The Post and Courier: Malawi RPCV Leo Higdon reflects on progress at College of Charleston

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Malawi RPCV Leo Higdon reflects on progress at College of Charleston

Malawi RPCV Leo Higdon reflects on progress at College of Charleston

Under his leadership it has hired 67 new faculty members, opened a new school within the college, expanded academic and advising programs for students, completed at least eight major building and grounds projects, and raised $61 million in private funds during a time when the state slashed higher education budgets. Higdon, who launched the four-year program called the Fourth Century Initiative during his first year as president, said the school now needs to catch its breath, finish eight building projects that are planned or under way and prepare for its next steps.

Malawi RPCV Leo Higdon reflects on progress at College of Charleston

President Higdon, College of Charleston reflect on progress, look ahead

Apr 5, 2006

The Post and Courier, Charleston, S.C.
Apr. 5--The College of Charleston has been thinking and moving ahead at breakneck speed for the past four years, says President Lee Higdon.

Under his leadership it has hired 67 new faculty members, opened a new school within the college, expanded academic and advising programs for students, completed at least eight major building and grounds projects, and raised $61 million in private funds during a time when the state slashed higher education budgets.

Higdon, who launched the four-year program called the Fourth Century Initiative during his first year as president, said the school now needs to catch its breath, finish eight building projects that are planned or under way and prepare for its next steps.

"We've got a strong foundation," he said. Tonight, the public is invited to celebrate the culmination of the initiative at a lecture called "Doing the Impossible" by author James Bradley at the Sottile Theatre.

Bradley wrote the best-selling nonfiction book, "Flags of Our Fathers," the story of the six boys who raised the American flag on Iwo Jima. His father, John Bradley, was one of the flag-raisers.

Then, for the next 12 to 18 months, faculty, staff, students and community members can take some time to reflect and plan for the school's future. During the past four years, everybody has invested energy in moving ahead and there hasn't been time to reflect, Higdon said.

He plans to first talk with faculty members to get ideas about the best ways to pull people together to discuss what's next.

"It's a community conversation that we need to have around our collective future," he said.

But no matter what steps the school takes from here, it will continue to keep its focus on improving the entire college experience for undergraduates, he said.

What students need from college today is different than what they needed in the past. They'll likely move through several careers, so it's essential that they develop analytical and critical thinking skills, that they learn how to learn.

In that way, Higdon can serve as a role model. He has an atypical background for a college president. He and his wife completed a stint in the U.S. Peace Corps teaching children in Malawi, Africa. Then, he worked on Wall Street.

Before moving into academia, he was vice chairman and a member of the executive committee at Salomon Brothers, where he managed the global investment banking division. Four of the deals Higdon managed were recognized as "Deals of the Year" by Institutional Investor.

Before moving to the college, Higdon was dean of the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and president of Babson College in Wellesley, Mass.

He said his business experience taught him a lot about forming relationships that promote growth. But he attributes the school's fundraising success to the work of his staff, and individuals and corporations committed to supporting the school.

The $61 million brought in during the past four years includes 13 gifts of $1 million or more.

"In the past four years, we've seen levels of giving we've never seen before," Higdon said. "More and more people want to invest in our future."

The projects Completed building projects:

--Addlestone Library

--Beatty Center, School of Economics and Business

--Multi-cultural Center

--Patriots Point athletic complex

--Rivers Green

--St. Philip Street Garage

--Stern Center renovation

--Two new residence halls

Projects planned or in the works:

--Biology, chemistry and biochemistry building

--Carolina First Center, construction begins spring 2006

--Cato Center for the Arts, construction begins spring 2006

--Dixie Plantation expansion, completion summer 2007

--George Street project, including a residence hall, garage and retail space, completion summer 2007

--School of Education building, completion Aug. 2006

--Science Center renovation --Simons Center renovation

IF YOU GO

When: Fourth Century Initiative Celebration lecture on "Doing the Impossible" by James Bradley, best-selling author of "Flags of Our Fathers."

When: 5:30 p.m. today Where: Sottile Theatre, 44 George St.





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Story Source: The Post and Courier

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Malawi; University Administration

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