Willamette University

Annual Report Highlights

The Look Back: Highlights from the 2009–10 Academic Year

  • Twelve of the nation’s most prestigious scholarships, fellowships and awards went to current CLA students and recent graduates. Jeff Weber ’10 received our firstever Hertz Foundation Fellowship, a $250,000 award for applied sciences and engineering.
  • In the 2009-10 academic year, the Office for Faculty Research and Resources (OFFRR) assisted 39 CLA faculty members in submitting 67 grant proposals whose yield, even in a year of financial volatility, approached $1 million (four proposals are still pending at press time). OFFRR reports that thus far in FY 2010-11, CLA faculty members have submitted proposals totaling over $2.2 million.
  • Willamette recently received three grants from the Mellon Foundation totaling $810,000:
    • Liberal Arts Research Collaborative — $460,000 in support of a three-year pilot program for interdisciplinary student-faculty research
    • Presidential Discretionary Grant — $250,000 over four years for faculty innovation, faculty reinvestment and teaching excellence
    • Consortium Grant — $100,000 planning grant administered by Willamette and shared among the Pacific Northwest Five Consortium (NW5C) for the purposes of faculty development, student enrichment and resource-sharing

The Look Ahead: A New Strategic Plan for the University

While affirming long-held commitments to outstanding teaching, academic excellence and rigor, liberal learning, and scholarship, Willamette’s new strategic plan provides a framework for the Board of Trustees, faculties and administrators to use in setting priorities, implementing strategies, and making decisions that advance the university’s mission. It takes into account external changes, most notably the significant demographic shifts already underway in the United States, an increasingly global economy, and a growing need to nurture our planet’s life-sustaining natural environment.

The university motto, Non Nobis Solum Nati Sumus (“Not Unto Ourselves Alone Are We Born”), historically an integral part of Willamette’s institutional identity, emerged naturally as the central principle around which the plan is organized. Core values inherent in our motto inform the plan’s five strategic goals, which seek to foster innovation and make Willamette even more distinctive:

Goal 1: Promote access and affordability.

Expand access to a Willamette education for students with the interest and ability to contribute meaningfully to and benefit from Willamette’s educational experience, including outreach to students who may be the first in their families to attend college.

Goal 2: Strengthen teaching, research, scholarship, and learning.

Expand research and invest in highimpact, research-rich learning opportunities that empower our students and faculty to contribute to and create knowledge in meaningful and personally fulfilling ways. Enhance opportunities across all disciplines, but particularly in the sciences, for interdisciplinary collaborative learning, internships, project-based and field-based experiential learning, and other innovative teaching and learning experiences. These investments will foster life-changing interactions between students and faculty, enhance faculty scholarship, improve student engagement and retention, and raise the university’s academic profile.

Goal 3: Prepare students to apply a global perspective to their aspirations and pursuits.

Instill in our students an understanding of the interdependence of the world’s cultures and peoples and our collective dependence on the well-being of our natural world, recognizing that our actions affect others on a global scale. Expand innovation and leadership in social and environmental sustainability through curricular and co-curricular programs.

Goal 4: Build a campus culture that complements Willamette’s academic experience.

Enhance student life with residential and co-curricular programs that create diverse opportunities for personal growth and engagement (e.g., athletics, service learning, leadership development and governance). Establish additional meaningful traditions, programs and events that bring students together through shared experiences, build community, and cultivate life-long connections to Willamette.

Goal 5: Promote the value of a Willamette degree. Strengthen Willamette’s visibility as a leading and distinctive university.

Communicate to the public the distinctive attributes and benefits of a campus community comprised of both graduate and undergraduate programs. In concert with carefully aligned strategic plans within each of the graduate schools, promote their individual and collective excellence through intra-university programs and collaboration. Heightened visibility of Willamette’s distinctive attributes and achievements will strengthen the university’s ability to attract resources and assure Willamette’s legacy.

The Economy, Our Budget and the University’s Endowment

The world economy seems to have survived the financial shock of late 2008 through early 2009. We are growing out of a recession, but by all accounts, recovery will be slow. During the 2009–10 academic year, Willamette’s endowment fell to $187 million, but it has been making a steady recovery and currently exceeds $210 million.

Like many other colleges and universities, our fundraising strategies were necessarily adjusted due to current economic conditions. As an essential means of support for university operations, the Willamette Fund remains a high priority.

Also, in May, the Board of Trustees approved a new integrated marketing plan for the College of Liberal Arts.


Applications for admission to the College of Liberal Arts for fall 2010 reached 8,000, a record high and a 34 percent increase over 2009. The CLA admitted just 40 percent of its applicants (compared to 59 percent in 2009) putting it among an elite group of colleges nationwide that admit under half of applicants.

Applications to the College of Law continue to be quite strong, resulting in an acceptance rate of less than 37 percent and a robust class of first-year students. Atkinson Graduate School of Management received a record number of applications this year, an increase of over 100 percent since 2006, and exceeded its enrollment goals. Applications to the Graduate School of Education are down slightly overall, though the school welcomed a strong cohort to its new Master of Education program.

At a Glance: Fiscal Year 2009–10


M. Lee Pelton

“Although global economic challenges persist, there is still plenty of good news to share.”