Hodges University President’s Report

Donald Wortham

Donald Wortham

In fall 2016, Hodges University released its 2015-2016 President’s Report, complete with enrollment statistics, academic achievements and student and faculty stories. From celebrating the university’s 25th anniversary; to celebrating the accomplishments of its students, faculty and staff; to welcoming a new president, the President’s Report is one way to share the numerous achievements of the Hodges community.

From a student veteran battling physical disabilities to a faculty member embracing her past in order to help others, the stories of Hodges students and faculty are many. However, the consistent thread throughout each story is the opportunity provided to all who make the decision to “go for it.” The idea of balancing work, school and a family can be daunting; however, through Hodges’ flexible schedules and personalized approach, more and more students are deciding to take the next step.

With five schools on its campuses: Fisher School of Technology, Johnson School of Business, Nichols School of Professional Studies, School of Allied Health and School of Liberal Studies, 2,180 students enrolled at Hodges during the 2015-2016 academic year. Of the 2,180 students, 1,486 are undergraduates, 237 are enrolled in graduate programs and 457 consist of English as a Second Language (ESL) students. Hodges’ student base is comprised of a majority of females at 64 percent, while males make up 36 I percent. As a veteran-friendly institution, 11 percent of Hodges students are veterans.

In an effort to reach students who are looking for a self-paced format, 200 students enrolled in Hodges UPOWER program. With programs starting on the first of each month, UPOWER allows students access to six months of unlimited undergraduate or graduate courses for a fraction of the cost of a traditional college degree. With more than 9,600 degrees conferred since 1990, Hodges students are taking their education and transitioning into their desired fields. In 2015, the university’s career outcomes rate was 93 percent. Measured in accordance with the national standards provided by the National Association of College and Employers (NACE), the career outcomes rate is the percentage of graduates who are employed, volunteering, military or enrolled in a program of continuing education.

Staying focused on its mission of providing transformational, learner-driven educational opportunities in Southwest Florida, the accomplishments of Hodges students, faculty and staff continue to resonate within the community. Some of these accomplishments include:

  • Dr. Aysegul Timur, dean of the Johnson School of Business, received the Frank V. Mastrianna Education Leader of the Year award at the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE) 2016 Annual Conference. In addition, Dr. Al Ball, dean of the Fisher School of Technology, received the Partnership Award, and Professor Tracey Lanham, program chair of the computer information technology department, received the Woman in Technology Award at the Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (SWFRTP) Awards Dinner.
  • To assist students who are underprepared for college-level courses, a generous donor presented Hodges with a donation to launch its new bridge program. Thus far, 73 students have enrolled. • Charity Golf for Wounded Warriors donated $25,000 to Hodges University, which will go to benefit the university’s veteran scholarship program.
  • Hodges students collected more than 500 pounds of non-perishable food for Harry Chapin Food Bank, more than double the amount of the previous year.
  • To combat the growing issue of identity fraud in Southwest Florida, Hodges established the Identity Fraud Institute. Carrie Kerskie, who is an identity fraud expert and licensed private investigator, serves as the director, and the Collier County Identity Theft Task Force is the official advisory council.

In addition to the numerous achievements and accomplishments of Hodges’ students, faculty and staff, in February 2016, Dr. Donald W. Wortham was named president of Hodges University by the Board of Trustees, and he assumed his role on April 1. Prior to joining Hodges, Wortham served as the vice president of strategic initiatives at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.

Inspired by the transformation of Hodges students, Wortham is equally as inspired by the dedication of the university’s faculty, staff and supporters. In his President’s Message, he stated, “Nowhere is our institution’s commitment to students more obvious than at graduation. As the graduates walk across the stage and accept their diplomas, it is the smiles that tell the story. All are overjoyed by their own transformation.”

If you would like to play a role in building the future of Southwest Florida by helping Hodges students reach their ultimate potential, please consider supporting Hodges University. You may visit www.hodges.edu/ support/ to learn how you can make a difference.

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