Achievements, challenges grow at TC

Tabor College President Jules Glanzer takes his turn guiding the antique plow during the ceremonial groundbreaking May 2 for the $13 million Shari Flaming Center for the Arts. The event drew around 300 people.Tabor College President Jules Glanzer characterized 2015 as a year with numerous significant internal achievements, but also a growing number of external threats.

One of the most important achievements of the year was the way the college?s constituents provided unprecedented financial support, which is the lifeblood of this small Christian college.

?It?s really being amazing now, that for two years running, our constituents have given us more than $6 million a year,? Glanzer said, noting that the total in 2015 was about $11,000 less than $6.4 million.

?It?s always been said that we?re a poor school,? he said. ?I don?t think we?re as poor as we think we are. Our constituencies, when we have something they believe in, they open their pocketbooks and they sacrifice. Some are giving out of abundance, some are giving out of extreme sacrifice. But both of that is happening.?

One of the things constituencies seem to believe in is the long-awaited construction of a fine arts center on campus. The college celebrated the near culmination of fundraising efforts May 2 with a ceremonial groundbreaking in the former Tabor College Park.

?Over 300 people showed up,? Glanzer said with a smile and shake of his head. ?You just don?t have that turnout for groundbreaking. They sat in a beautiful day and everybody got to pull the (antique) plow. It was just a lot of fun, and people still talk about it.?

Glanzer said he regretted that actual construction didn?t begin in fall, as was initially targeted. But it appears now construction will be underway around May 1.

?The building committee has approved a basic plan,? he said. ?Now it?s minor details about how we can engineer it and save some money. We?re not quite there yet on the $13 million. We?re trying to bring the construction number down below $13 million, and at the same time we have a million dollars yet to raise.?

Glanzer said most people assume the fine arts center was the primary driver for constituent dollars this past year, but that isn?t necessarily the case.

?We?ve had a lot of money given for scholarships,? he said. ?We had a $600,000 gift for Ministry Quest to morph into Faith Front. We?re build?ing a new baseball facility. Those two projects have nothing to do with the center for the arts. The centerpiece has been the center for the arts, but it?s been a lot more than that.

?There are people who just like what we?re doing,? he added. ?They like our mission and they like what they see happening.?

With input from others, Glanzer developed a list of ?15 achievements for 2015? (see above). Several have to do with very public achievements, particularly unprecedented success in athletics. But Glanzer made special note of one highlight that has been almost ?silent? on campus.

?We have a professor who was been recognized on the international scene in Shin-hee Chin, particularly for her fabric art,? he said. ?She?s been on the cover of at least one international magazine, her work is proclaimed literally around the world?and most people don?t know it. She is so humble about it. I found out about a lot of it from her Christmas card.

?One of the first shows we?ll have in the center for the arts is a show of her work in the art gallery.?

On the academic front, Glanzer also highlighted the launching of a new master of science program in nursing, which has drawn 11 students for the pilot cohort, plus the start of a new criminology and restorative justice program at the undergraduate level.

External challenges

Glanzer said raising sufficient financial support and student enrollment growth will be internal challenges every year, but in the past year or so he?s seen the rise of ?external threats.?

Most of those threats are government related, whether on the federal or state level.

Tabor received some media attention when the college was one of about three dozen colleges and universities to receive waivers exempting them from some Title IX antidiscrimination laws.

When the law was passed in 1972, Congress added a provision that educational institutions ?controlled by a religious organization? do not have to comply if the law is not consistent with the organization?s religious tenets.

Glanzer said the issue created some tension with the U.S. Department of Education regarding gender identification issues?most of the challenges had to do with the pragmatics of housing, restrooms and locker rooms.

?We have a (denominational) confession of faith that we have to abide by, and we?re immediately thrown into the category of ?oh, you hate anybody who is gay or lesbian.? That?s not true. We welcome them.?

?At the employee end, we have to draw a line,? he added. ?According to our confession of faith, we require all our employees to support marriage between one man and woman, a traditional view.?

Another threat is the financial impact of a U.S. Department of Labor decision that schools who receive an exemption will need to pay the department $50,000 a year or pay overtime to employees that would cost Tabor around $800,000 a year.

?It?s not that we?re against paying our employees,? Glanzer said. ?But we have a group of people who lived here all their lives?they?re not working for the salary. They just want to contribute to Tabor?it?s their charitable life contribution.?

Another challenge is a decision by the Higher Learning Commission, pressured by the Department of Education, to require all faculty to have a degree one level higher than the level of students they are teaching.

?In the area you?re teaching, if it?s not your exact degree, you have to have 18 credit hours on the next level in order to teach it,? Glanzer said, adding that years of practical experience in the field do not qualify the instructor.

?So we have to work with them to help them qualify for that,? he said.

At the state level, the legislature considered, but did not pass, proposals that would require non-profits like Tabor and other private colleges to pay sales tax on commodity purchases.

?We did a quick ?what would that cost us? and it was over $400,000 just to pay sales tax?including the new building we?re building. We?d have to pay sales tax of 6 percent on about $9 million in supplies.

?All of this is going after the small college,? Glanzer said of the changes. ?There?s no understanding of the place of the small private college.

?We have to be really vigilant at this, and it takes up a lot of time,? he added. ?(These proposals) are supposed to make us better, but I?ve never figured how that is.?

President?s list of 15 accomplishments at Tabor College in 2015
1. The generosity of constituents giving nearly $6.4 million to Tabor College in 2015.

2. The ceremonial groundbreaking for the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts.

3. The approval by the Higher Learning Commission to launch the Master of Science in Nursing program.

4. Professor Shin-Hee Chin?s art work recognized and exhibited internationally. (Solo exhibition titled ?War and People? at the Uijeongbu Arts Center in Geonggido, South Korea; Recipient of an honorable mention award by Fiber Directions 15 at Wichita Center for the Arts; currently has artwork on display in group exhibitions in Auburn, N.Y., and St. Louis, Mo.).Tabor?s Tena Loewen, a Hillsboro native, shoots for two during the Bluejays? Elite 8 adventure at the NAIA national tournament in March. The Bluejays are again nationally ranked for the current season. Tabor baseball and football teams also have been ranked highly during 2015.

5. Combined athletic programs named NAIA Champion of Character 5-Star Gold Institution.

6. Athletic accomplishment of our major team sports. Four nationally ranked teams: women?s basketball KCAC champion and Elite 8 in NAIA National Tournament; men?s basketball KCAC champion and qualified for NAIA National Tournament; baseball KCAC champion (fourth consecutive year) and seventh at the NAIA College World Series; football KCAC champion and hosted first opening-round of the NAIA National Playoff and advanced to the quarterfinals

7. Athletic accomplishment of individual athletes: Garrett Daugherty runner-up in the NAIA National 800 meters; Jessica Emoto placed seventh at the ITA National Small College Tennis Championships.

8. Fifteen varsity athletic teams achieved NAIA Scholar Team Award.

9. Awarded $600,000 grant from the Lily Foundation to launch Faith Front program for high school students interested in vocational ministry.

10. External recognition by a variety of educational rankings: Top Tier College in the Midwest by U.S. News for 12th straight year; Top 100 in the nation by Washington Monthly; ranked 19th for low debt burden of graduates by Christian Universities Online Guide; Top 5 online program in Kansas by Affordable Colleges Online.

11. Concert Choir performed at Kansas Music Educators Conference.

12. Construction begins on the Lee and Leanna Penner Indoor Baseball Training Facility.

13. Planning/design work on Shari Flaming Center for the Arts progressed to point of final construction drawings being created.

14. Launched new website and mobile smart phone app.

15. Launching of Criminology and Restorative Justice program.

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