Lipscomb University is one of the fastest-growing private doctoral universities in the nation according to a new report released by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
In a study of enrollment data from fall 2006 through fall 2016, Lipscomb University was the fastest-growing private doctoral university in Tennessee and the sixth-fastest growing in the nation with an enrollment growth of 80.6 percent during that time period. This record growth for the university is especially significant as it came during the nation’s most significant economic downturn since the Great Depression. Lipscomb’s enrollment growth ranked above that of Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University and the University of Southern California, which were also included on the Chronicle’s ranking.
“We have built a university that people want to come to because it offers relevant preparation for not only their careers but for their lives,” said Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry. “Lipscomb’s rapid growth over the last 12 years is a tribute largely to our faculty who have designed and created academic programs that meet today’s workforce and student needs and to our admissions and marketing teams for sharing the vision and excitement of this great institution with the world.”
Lowry said once Lipscomb students complete their education, they are in high demand in the job market, which is another key factor in a student’s college selection. For the 2016- 2017 graduating classes, 96 percent of bachelor’s degree graduates were employed or pursuing graduate school within six months according to Lipscomb’s Career Development Center.
“Lipscomb graduates are competent intellectually and cross-culturally. They are critical thinkers, have character and a good work ethic,” he said. “They have talent and values to contribute to any organization or institution.”
In addition to rapid enrollment growth from 2006-2016, Lipscomb added more than 150 graduate and undergraduate programs during that time period including Middle Tennessee’s first College of Pharmacy offering a Doctorate of Pharmacy, a Doctorate of Ministry program and a Doctorate of Education program. The largest area of academic program growth was in the number of new graduate programs, many of which were developed to meet workforce needs in the community and across the country. In addition, during that time more than 200 new faculty were hired for those and other programs.
During that time, the university grew from five colleges to 10. The newest colleges include the College of Computing & Technology, the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts, the College of Leadership & Public Service and the College of Professional Studies. Lipscomb also added innovative programs for first-generation students and a veterans services program that offers a free education to service members who qualify as part of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill Yellow Ribbon Program. In addition, the university’s minority enrollment increased more than 350 percent.
The Lipscomb campus has also experienced tremendous physical growth during the decade studied in the Chronicle’s report. More than $100 million was invested in new facilities and renovations during that time including the construction of a Nursing and Health Sciences Center, the James D. Hughes Center, a Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, a new parking facility that includes a tennis center, the MacCadams Athletic Center and The Village; the opening of Spark in Cool Springs; an expansion to McFarland Science Center; renovations of Swang Business Center and High Rise, Johnson and Fanning residence halls and an expanded food service area.
The campus growth continues today. In the two years since the Chronicle’s study, Lipscomb has opened other new facilities including the Fields Engineering Center, Bison Hall, Spark located in downtown Nashville and a study abroad facility in Florence, Italy. Earlier this year, construction began on an $11 million event center that will include a state-of-the art event hall.