GREENSBORO, N.C. 6/22/2019 The Trustees convened the Bennett Re-engineering Committee (BRC), a committee of independent state and national experts to research, design, and recommend viable pathways for Bennett College to move forward as a thriving institution. We have been honored to do this work.
The BRC has assessed Bennett’s current standing in four key stages: First, the BRC reviewed April 18th presentations by Bennett’s Senior Leadership team. Second, the BRC separated into four subcommittees (1) Strategic Communications- to enhance Bennett’s communications, mission, vision and unique value proposition, (2) Leadership and Governance- to determine a board and leadership structure that delivers the skills and networks necessary for the campus to thrive, (3) Academic and Student Support Services- to determine competitive academic and student support services offerings, partnerships, and programs for Bennett, and (4) Administration and Finance- to develop a sustainable business model for Bennett College. Conveners were nominated for each subcommittee. The convener’s role is to help the BRC Facilitation team move the work forward in development of the assessments and recommendations. These subcommittees conducted documentary reviews of collateral requested and provided by Bennett College and relevant documents from other institutions.
The subcommittee members are as follows:
Strategic Communications- Brandy Osimokun- Convener, Dr. James Johnson, Chuck Wallington
Academics and Student Support Services- Michele Meyer-Shipp – Co-Convener, Dr. Bernadette Watts– Co-Convener, Dr. Sharrelle Barber, Dr. Thomas Conway, Dr. Marybeth Gasman, Dr. Joseph Silver Sr.
Administration and Finance– Martin Eakes – Convener, Dr. Joyce Johnson, Michele Ozumba, Abdul Rasheed, Tom Ross
Visionary Leadership and Governance- Gwynn Swinson – Convener, Yvonne Johnson, Esther Silver Parker, Kathy Manning
Following the creation of these subcommittees, the BRC considered the insights gleaned from over 500 stakeholder surveys. Finally, the BRC examined data from focus group interviews with employees, students, donors, alumnae and other stakeholders.
On June 7th, the BRC’s four subcommittees delivered to the full BRC reports for the core areas named in the charge from the Trustees. Although the final BRC report is not due until September, the BRC felt strongly that some of these recommendations needed to be implemented before September in order to preserve Bennett’s future. Those recommendations have been delivered to the Board of Trustees for review in a letter from co-chairs Thomas Ross and Yvonne Johnson.
Members of the BRC will join the Trustees’ discourse on the preliminary recommendations in-person and by phone on June 28, 2019. In addition, the BRC has reserved July 8, 2019 for a response (by phone) from the Trustees on the preliminary recommendations and an overall update on Bennett.
As the BRC continues to develop its longer-term recommendations, we are clear that student success must be the center of the plan. Based on the efforts of the subcommittees and the full BRC, we still anticipate the submission of final report by September 2019.