Building on a tradition that is more than a century old, PLU takes pride in a reputation that relies on qualities that set it apart from other institutions. PLU is committed to providing an education that enriches personal values, embraces critical skills essential to lifelong learning and it offers pragmatic training, enabling graduates to assume leadership roles.
As the institution focuses on the future there are vital signs that point to its success, signs that are the foundation upon which the successful Campaign for Pacific Lutheran University has been built.
A dynamic and effective academic program. The first and fundamental call of the university's long-range plan, PLU 2000, was to press a series of initiatives aimed at strengthening the PLU learning community. The track record on this mandate is clear: 1) there is a new, and much stronger, core curriculum, 2) there have been major changes in each professional school's curriculum, and adjustments and improvements in majors and minors and interdisciplinary programs across campus, 3) in the context of our New American University identity, the institution has a new, clear focus on liberal arts and professional program integration. Active learning, international education, information technology across the curriculum, and service learning are important and distinctive accomplishments.
Achievement of enrollment goals. In 1995, PLU 2000 committed the university to expand its enrollment by roughly 300 studentsfrom 3,300 to more than 3,600. It was a goal based on a judgment that 3,600 to 3,700 students would represent essentially full capacity, given our current faculty, programs, and facilities. The university achieved that objective in the fall of 1998 and has sustained it ever since.
Student satisfaction. PLU 2000 commited the university to be student-centered: 1) the tendency for students to continue with and complete their education at PLU is improvingwe refer to it as "retention." Of particular note is a rather dramatic increase in freshman to sophomore retention, 2) in a survey of graduates six months after commencement, our Office of Career Development has found 70 percent of the respondents fully employed, 12 percent employed part-time, 15 percent in graduate school, and 1 percent volunteering. Only 2 percent described themselves as seeking employment, 3) in a recent national student satisfaction survey, PLU students were compared to students at 253 other four-year private institutions. PLU students rated the university more favorably than the norm group on 7 of the 12 dimensions of the inventory: instructional effectiveness, concern for the individual, student-centeredness, campus life, campus climate, service excellence, and campus support services.
External endorsement and recognition. Program examinations by those outside the university family have had positive results: 1) The university has been consistently ranked in the "Top 10" among regional universities by U. S. News and World Report for quality and value, 2) the university has received very high ratings by students on a national Student Satisfaction Inventory for quality of academic experience, vibrant living/learning community, and concern for students, 3) in a recent survey, more than 350 of our constituents revealed their endorsement of the university's educational quality, religious foundation, and exceptional faculty, 4) the university received enthusiastic commendations by the accreditation team of the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges for focused mission, goals and careful planning.
New Long-Range Planning Initiative. Planning is underway to update PLU 2000 under the title of PLU 2010: The Next Level of Distinction. During 1999-2000, feedback is being gatheredthrough an extensive program of town meetingsfrom external constituents regarding current practices and future directions for the university. In addition, the university's Long-Range Planning Committee will finalize the procedure and structure for the campus dialogue to be conducted during 2000-2001. The new long-range plan is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Regents in May 2002. Revised action initiatives are anticipated that will guide the university's development for the remainder of the first decade of the 2000s.