Tag Archives: LMU-DSOL

Restrating the recruitment cycle

15 Aug

The new students at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) will be moving into their dorm rooms tomorrow. We’ve already welcomed the new classes at LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine and LMU-Duncan School of Law and the Inaugural Class of the LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine will conclude orientation activities today with the White Coat Ceremony. While these are all signs that summer is over and the fall semester is upon us, it also means it’s time to restart our recruiting engines.

For undergraduate students in the Class of 2018 the first lecture hasn’t been delivered, yet there is a group of staff on campus that is already looking to recruit the Class of 2019. That is not to say they aren’t worried about the experience of our current students, it’s just that their jobs require a great deal of looking ahead and planning for the future. And I am a member of that group. Actually, I kind of straddle all groups on campus because I have to look forward, look back, look around and do all I can to get the LMU name and brand out.

So, as our new students are moving into the residence halls this weekend, I will be pushing out the newest marketing campaign for LMU. It’s actually not an entirely new campaign, as we are continuing with the “Career Path” message and theme, but it is a brand new treatment starting with a new TV commercial. This time around we enlisted the support of a creative agency in conceiving a concept and producing the spot. I have been meeting with JAO Productions since early spring, discussing what makes LMU special and how to tell its story in 30 seconds.

For the past three years our commercial spots have been a series of “I am …” spots that highlighted the many career paths at LMU. It all started with “I am a nurse,” and included “I am a teacher,” “I am a business leader,” “I am a veterinary technician,” “I am a lawyer,” “I am an osteopathic physician” and “I am a physician assistant.” Once all the different spots were created and airing, we mashed them up for an “I am LMU” spot. It has been two years since we shot a new commercial and three since we had introduced a new campaign. Something new was overdue.

During our discussions, we focused on what makes LMU stand out from other colleges – its connection to Abraham Lincoln. This was a point the LMU administration really wanted to see emphasized. There were a couple challenges with the execution of this. The first was how to make a historical figure exciting to our primary demographic group of potential undergraduate students (16-18 year olds). The other side to that problem was treating Mr. Lincoln, his image, likeness and legacy, with respect.

No longer simply the 16th president of the United States, Lincoln has become a pop icon being featured in movies, tv shows and books from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and in commercials for everything from Geico Insurance to Mountain Dew. He is synonymous with the traits his legacy has touted including honesty, perseverance and loyalty. We wanted to find a way with making the connection without making Lincoln a joke or too serious. It was a fine line to walk.

It took a visit to campus and the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum for all the pieces to click into the concept we ultimately went with. LMU was founded on the principals Abraham Lincoln lived by. Our graduates become a part of his legacy. This is a point of pride for us. However, we recognize that most high school students aren’t worried about their legacy, let alone a President long gone with no living director ancestors. Ultimately what clicked with the creative team was LMU is not for everyone and every student isn’t cut out for LMU. From there, JAO Pro developed a script and we went to work arranging a shoot.

One of challenges with the final script was that it would call for a large cast with lots of extras. Always looking to be a good steward of the budget, I wanted to keep costs as low as possible, so we reached out to area high school students, faculty and staff and incoming students to serve as “extras” for the shoot. We ended up with around 30 volunteers (Thank You!), a couple of folks drafted the day of the shoot (myself included) and two paid actors in the cast. The volunteers were bribed with t-shirts and home baked cookies. The end result is a beautiful spot that I feel hits just the tone we were looking for. Check it out and look for it on a TV near you soon!


 

 

 

 

Ready, Set, Pack!

5 Aug

Summer continues to slip through our fingers. Last week LMU welcomed the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) Class of 2018 for orientation and today is the first day of class for LMU-DCOM second-year students. The LMU-Duncan School of Law will welcome its newest class for orientation and bridge week on Wednesday and in just two short weeks all our students will be back on campus for fall. So it is time to run down the list of what is bring and what should stay home as you move into the LMU Residence Halls.

What to bring:

  • Pack your sheets, but make sure they are Extra-Long Twin size.

    Pack your sheets, but make sure they are Extra-Long Twin size.

    Linens – Sheets, towels and blankets are always a must. Don’t forget the mattresses are extra-long twins, so your sheets need to be extra-long too. It never hurts to have back-up either, so consider bringing two sets. Don’t forget the mattress cover!

  • Toiletries – Let’s file this under DUH! Who doesn’t want to be clean? I’m sure you wouldn’t be the first student to roll out of bed, into sweats (or not) and rush to that early class. But at some point a shower will be necessary so don’t forget the soap!
  • Shower shoes and robe- Our apartment-style residence halls have private bathrooms, but anyone living in West should be prepared to head down the hall for a shower. Streaking is never ok at LMU, not even on the quad.
  • Shower curtains – Anyone living in the apartment-style residence halls will need to furnish their own shower liner and curtain. If you are in the new Village Apartments don’t forget to check with your suitemate to see if he or she is bringing one.
  • Laundry Supplies – In all residence halls washers and dryers are provided, no quarters necessary. However, you’ll need to provide the hamper, detergent and dryer sheets. Don’t forget the iron, ironing board and hangers.
  • Curtains – All rooms are equipped with mini-blinds, but why not make your room more like home and infuse your sense of style? Embrace your inner interior designer.
  • Small Refrigerator (three cubic feet or less) – The apartment-style residence halls have full-size refrigerators, but if you want a private stash of snacks, a mini-fridge can fit nicely in bedrooms and in West Hall. LP rooms are furnished with refrigerators and microwaves.
  • Desk lamp
  • Personal Computer – Wireless or wired internet is available in all the residence halls.
  • Television, DVD/BluRay player and gaming console –Cable is FREE!, but you need to provide the cord.
  • Coffee Makers – No espresso machines, but you can always stop by Campus Grounds in the Student Center where they proudly serve Starbucks.
  • It's your space, make it personal with wall hangings and personal touches.

    It’s your space, make it personal with wall hangings and personal touches.

    Wall hangings – Back to your inner interior designer. Don’t forget your favorite posters, paintings and pictures of friends. Just be sure to check out the innovations from 3M and Scotch for hanging without putting holes in the walls. No nails please.

  • Stackable Crates
  • Kitchen essentials – If you are in the apartment style housing you’ll need to bring your own dishes, silverware, pots and pans.
  • Rug
  • Cleaning supplies including brooms and dustpans

 

What should stay home

  • George Foreman Grills – Leave the champ at home. Besides, our World of Wings café can cater to any craving.

    Leave the hotplates, electric grills and space heaters at home.

    Leave the hotplates, electric grills and space heaters at home.

  • Candles, incense, hot plate, toaster oven – We like our Railsplitter Athletic teams to be on fire, just not our dorms!
  • Microwave – they are available in common areas in West
  • Pets – Unless it is Fido the fish (non-carnivorous), Fido must stay home.
  • Weapons (guns, knives, archery) – we support your right to bear arms, just not on University grounds.
  • Décor with alcohol/drug images, slogans, phrases, brands or innuendo.
  • Fireworks — Again, fire is bad.
  • Drugs – Just say no!
  • Halogen Lamps

So now you know what should stay and what should go! Want more tips for navigating move-in, dorm life and the overall college experience? Our student bloggers provide first person accounts of their personal Journeys. Check out Mallory Tucker‘s tips on Moving 101. Or, Ashley Pritt‘s tips and tricks to surviving freshman year.

Move-in starts with New Student Survival Weekend on Saturday, August 16.

 

 

 

 

Here we GROW again!

9 Jul

LMU_WordmarkWhen I started work at Lincoln Memorial University on September 15, 2005, the University was a small, liberal arts institution with a main campus in Harrogate, Tenn., and a small handful of extended learning sites where primarily graduate education was delivered. Our student population was under 2,000. At the time that I interviewed for my position there was no mention of possible growth or impending plans to add professional programs. Shortly after I started Vice President for University Advancement Cynthia Whitt, my boss, handed me a brochure on osteopathic medicine and said “oh, learn more about this… we are looking at the possibility of adding a school of osteopathic medicine here.”

The LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine.

That was almost eight years ago. Today our enrollment is over 4,000 students, LMU operates 10 extended learning sites, and not only do we have the LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, it is now one of the largest medical school programs in the state. In addition to osteopathic medicine, LMU-DCOM is home to a top-notch Physician Assistant Program. And the University hasn’t limited its growth to the medical field. In 2009 the LMU-Duncan School of Law opened in Knoxville. As an institution, LMU-DSOL’s Inaugural Class graduation was a highlight of spring. Over my tenure there has also been tremendous physical growth on the main campus as five new residence halls and two new classroom facilities have been built.

One might think that with all that growth, the University would take a breather. However, today is another momentous day for LMU as we announce that the University has been granted a Letter of Reasonable Assurance by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education (COE) and can now recruit students to the emerging LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM).
As LMU Board of Trustees Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk said in the press release, “The approval from the COE to open a new school of veterinary medicine in Harrogate, Tenn., will propel this University to even greater heights and establish LMU as a leader in professional studies for the region.”

The University first announced its plans to pursue a college of veterinary medicine in 2011. Since then a dedicated pocket of LMU administrators and newly hired program directors have been working diligently toward the accreditation process. This group has worked tirelessly toward this day. However, there is no time to sit back and bask in the glow of today. It’s time to push forward and work harder than ever on program development. As the admissions team kicks into high-gear, recruiting the LMU-CVM inaugural class, faculty has to be hired and community partnerships lined up.

LMU is now recruiting for the emerging LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn.

LMU is now recruiting for the emerging LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn.

There is no time to rest because here we grow again!

A new start for a new year.

2 Jan

 

The official 2012 LMU Christmas Print.

The official 2012 LMU Christmas Print.

While many Lincoln Memorial University faculty and staff enjoyed an extended break to spend the holidays with their families and recharge from the fall semester, there was a small group of dedicated employees that worked throughout the break. With a December 31, 2012, deadline to get the University’s second application for accreditation prepared for the American Bar Association (ABA), the clock was ticking and the “war room” was a busy hub of activity throughout December.

Preparations for the second application commenced shortly after the announced changes to the administration on October 24. It was then that LMU hired seasoned legal consultant Leary Davis to guide the strategic planning process. In the weeks that followed LMU announced that it was dropping its lawsuit against the ABA and that it would reapply for accreditation with the waiting period waived by the ABA. Next, LMU welcomed a new director of admissions in Randy Mathews to help recruit new students. The final move in the overhaul was the appointment of Parham Williams as interim vice president, interim dean and professor of law.

LMU-Duncan School of Law Interim Dean Parham Williams. Photo by Patrick Murphy Racey

LMU-Duncan School of Law Interim Dean Parham Williams. Photo by Patrick Murphy Racey

 

All the while the pieces of LMU-DSOL’s new administration were coming into place, central figures since its founding — Associate Dean and Librarian Gordon Russell, Associate Academic Dean April Meldrum, key faculty members including Professor Bruce Beverly and librarians Katherine Marsh and Jordan Gilbertson — were working on LMU’s new self study, strategic plan and ABA application.

A base of operations was set up in what was became known as the “war room”, a conference room complete with round-the-clock snacks, reams of paper, files, documents and a white board. Steady preparations were made from October through November and the activity kicked into high gear once Dean Williams arrived. On one of the last official days that LMU was open before the holiday break the entire faculty of LMU-DSOL gathered to review the application. The day-long meeting wrapped up, yet there was still work to be done on the application. For the next three days the war room was abuzz with proofreading and revision after revision. Finally, the group took a brief three-day respite for Christmas before returning on Dec. 26 for one last push on the application.

It took a marathon session of round-the-clock work on Dec. 30, before the application was sent off right on deadline the next day. As 2012 came to the close, a new chapter for LMU-DSOL opened up. This next phase will span another year as the University moves through the ABA accreditation process. Later this month the chair of the site team will make its first visit to Knoxville to review the facilities and offer suggestions to the school in advance the full site visit which will happen later this spring.

Following the site visit, the team will make its recommendation to the Committee and Council on accreditation. The University won’t know the outcome of the application until possible December of 2013, which is why this is truly a new start in this New Year.

The elephant in the room

9 Jul

If you’ve have been following this blog, you may have noticed a big elephant in the room. AbeSquare is intended to be a place where you can drop in and check out all that is happening at LMU. It’s meant to be less formal than a press release, kind of a look behind the scenes on what is happing at the University.

So if this blog is going to live up to its intention, it is time to address the elephant in the blogsphere. That elephant is the John J. Duncan School of Law and its bid to gain provisional accreditation by the American Bar Association. It’s a topic that has been a hot button in certain circles on campus for much of the last year. For me personally, it has been a tightrope I’ve tried to inch across by doing what is best for the University. Aside from the storm damage in Harrogate, it was probably the biggest story for LMU last week.

To step back a little and provide a little background, LMU’s journey to ABA accreditation began in early 2008 when the University took over the lease of the Old City Hall building in downtown Knoxville. Shortly after the lease signing, LMU Trustees announced its plans to found a law school. Initial planning and a feasibility study were performed. In August of the same year, a founding Dean, Sydney A. Beckman, was hired and faculty began to come on board.

All the while, the administration of the new law school was working with the goal that the school would eventually be ABA accredited. However, there were more important steps in their path. First, the University had to gain Tennessee Board of Law Examiners and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges approval to start to recruit students. After both bodies gave the okay, LMU announced that it was naming its newest professional studies school after Tennessee Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr., a long time public servant and supporter of LMU. Recruiting the first class was already underway and the Lincoln Memorial University-Duncan School of Law (LMU-DSOL) was just months away from opening its doors.

In August of 2009, LMU-DSOL’s inaugural class was seated and sworn in as first year law students. The University could not even apply for ABA accreditation until their first year of study was complete. So the next year was spent recruiting a full-time cohort to join the part-time students in the second year of operation. All the while, LMU’s administration was preparing for applicant status with the ABA.

As soon as it was eligible, LMU-DSOL applied for and gained applicant status with the ABA. This step, set LMU on the nearly two years and counting odyssey that has resulted in Thursday’s announcement by the ABA that LMU-DSOL has been denied provisional accreditation. The news came after LMU appealed the ABA’s initial denial in December and after LMU filed a lawsuit against the ABA.

LMU administrators are actually in a meeting now as I type this, determining the next steps the University will take.

So here it is, the elephant in the room. LMU-DSOL has been denied provisional accreditation by the ABA. While there is not a lot of inside scoop or behind-the-scenes information I can share right now, I can assure you that LMU still intends to have an ABA accredited law school and we are going to keep fighting the good fight until we reach our goal.

 

 

 

 

Taking Homecoming on the Road: Duncan School of Law

1 Oct

LMU Homecoming 2011: Celebrating Our Creative Legacy

Homecoming officially kicks-off on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tenn., in 13 days. The annual event got underway ahead of schedule last evening with what is sure to become a new tradition – Homecoming events at extended learning sites. Director of Alumni Services Donnie Lipscomb teamed with LMU’s Women of Service to host a Homecoming gathering at the Duncan School of Law. Congressman Jimmy Duncan was also on hand and sponsored the food at the event.

After a week of mid-term exams, a celebration was in order.

Students at DSOL spent the week taking exams, including their final mid-term which took place immediately prior to the Friday night barbeque. Once the final exam was submitted, the students were greeted with hot dogs, beans, potato salad, chili and a sea of desserts.  Additionally, a corn hole tournament was held and door prizes given out.

Congressman Jimmy Duncan shared stories from his early law career.

DSOL Dean and Vice President Sydney A. Beckman kicked off the event and invited Congressman Duncan to speak. The Congressman chatted with students throughout the event and shared a few stories from his legal career before congress with the group. Students, faculty, staff and their families all joined in the fun.

As we continue to take Homecoming on the road, our next stop will be LMU-Cedar Bluff on Tuesday.

More photos from the event:

 

Congressman Duncan greets DSOL students at the Homecoming gathering. The gathering was a family event.

 

DSOL student leaders Kyle Vaughan and Matt Ooten.

 

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A day of days for the Duncan School of Law

6 Sep


And with that, the Tennessee Supreme Court was in session at the LMU-Duncan School of Law. What an exciting time for LMU’s young law school. For the roughly 200 students, it was an opportunity to see the state’s highest court in action; for Dean Sydney A. Beckman, his faculty and the administration of LMU, it was a watershed moment in the institution’s lifespan.

 

LMU Chairman Pete DeBusk and LMU-DSOL Dean Sydney A. Beckman take in the action just prior to the Supreme Court proceedings.

When Beckman and company set out to build a law school at LMU, chief among their goals was to harness technology to enhance a student’s experience. They wanted to employ faculty who had practice experience and could offer advice from the life lessons they had learned in their careers. They wanted to provide their students with mentors, as well as teachers, and make sure access was never an issue. They sought to build a facility that could and would host even the state’s highest court so students could observe the law in action.

Last Wednesday, as Justice Sharon G. Lee, Justice Gary R. Wade, Chief Justice Cornelia A. Clark, Justice Janice M. Holder and Justice William C. Koch entered DSOL’s courtroom to the sound of a gavel striking the bench, I could not help but feel a swell of pride for the school, its students, faculty and Dean Beckman.

 

James Alexander of the Old City Hall Partnership, Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) President Nancy B. Moody and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam sign lease agreements to allow LMU to occupy the Old City Hall Building in Knoxville while LMU Board Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk looks on.

Sitting in the very same room that had hosted the lease signing in February of 2008 it’s impossible to quantify just how much has changed in “Old City Hall.” Back then, LMU was still developing plans for the facility that “might” include a possible school of law. Soon after the lease signing, LMU notified the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners of its intent to pursue a jurisprudence degree. Dean Beckman, hadn’t made his first visit to Knoxville yet and was still a faculty member at the Charleston School of Law. He would join LMU in July of 2008. To think of all the man hours that have been spent to get that “possible law school” to the point where it would host the state’s highest court is staggering.

Beyond the pride in how far we’ve come, Wednesday was a celebration of the potential of what is yet to come. As the overflow crowd gathered to hear oral arguments presented in three cases, including a death penalty appeal, it isn’t hard to imagine that some students might one day present their own arguments before the Tennessee Supreme Court. Likewise, it isn’t a far stretch to envision other judges and area courts presiding over the bench in the LMU-DSOL courtroom.