Mullen delivers Houghton State of College address

HOUGHTON — Houghton College President Shirley Mullen issued the annual State of the College speech Wednesday to the college’s faculty and staff, in which she announced multiple new projects and initiatives in addition to celebrating current projects and goals.

“First of all, this is a season for celebration for remembering God’s faithfulness to us as an institution for the past 132 years and especially over the course of the past year,” she began her remarks. “We have much to celebrate today: the arrival of new faculty and staff, renewing the energy of our community and strengthening the diversity of gifts with which we are able to serve our students and the returning of students, both those who are returning and those who are new to Houghton. While there is a quiet beauty to campus in the summer, it is not a college campus without the students.”

Mullen further talked about progress on Houghton’s vision of making a Christian education accessible and affordable.

“Today, and for the past three years, we have purposed explicitly to translate that longtime mission into a vision more relevant to today’s educational needs and opportunities — to expand Houghton’s capacity to serve new and growing populations (international students, adults, online students, and non-residential undergraduates in New York’s urban settings) with the gifts of Christian higher education while also attending even more creatively to our traditional constituencies. You might call this a vision for a greater Houghton,” she said.

Throughout the speech, the president touched on topics including a reaccreditation from Middle States, a second year of an incoming residential undergraduate class of about 300 students, and 18 new students in the Houghton Buffalo program, which just recently received formal approval from the State Department of Education as an “extension center.”

The college also launched a new online program this past spring that offers both a bachelor of science and bachelor of business administration degrees along with a newly approved associate of arts degree.

She talked about the success of the advancement department as giving the college $800,000 to date, which is up 30 percent over last year at this time.

Mullen also talked about the on-campus approval of new programs including data science; music industry; and sport, recreation and wellness management, all of which are pending formal external approval. The college has also had continued progress in the initial stages of development for an engineering program.

When talking about this past year’s budget, Mullen said, “We ended the year over $200,000 better than our approved budget. This is, in large part, a result of everyone’s careful spending in the later spring months. Thank you for your extraordinary stewardship.”

Page 2 of 2 – Mullen then went on to talk about Houghton’s future in which new admission and advancement strategies and initiatives are being implemented.

The college is also establishing a Center for Data Science, which will help with the coordination of data science as an academic discipline, assist with internal use of data science to assist the college with decision making, create opportunities for student engagement in the burgeoning external field of data science, and engage with the business community and corporate world for financial support.

In conclusion, Mullen said, “We have characterized ourselves here at Houghton as a Christ-centered community with core values of creativity and courage. This year, may it be so as never before.”