New Chemistry and Engineering Labs Strengthen Programs

by Mark Weinstein, Executive Director of Public Relations

Advancing Cedarville University’s strong academic programs and its Christ-centered mission were foundational to decisions made by the University’s Board of Trustees at its Jan. 24 meeting. Significant actions included the approval of a $5 million renovation and 25,000 square foot expansion of its science, engineering, and math facilities; approval of six new faculty members; tenure offers to six current professors; appointment of a new Board member; and approval of the 2014-15 operating budget.  

“I am very encouraged about the future of Cedarville University based on the unanimous decisions of the Board of Trustees at the most recent Board meeting,” said Thomas White, president. “The Board’s decision to upgrade our science and engineering facilities and to hire and promote faculty who are committed to biblical truth tells me we are on solid ground. Our future looks bright.”

Renovation and Expansion

Already known for having exceptional academic facilities, and an emphasis on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) degree programs, the Trustees recognized the University’s engineering, math, and science programs have outgrown their current facility. Even with the School of Nursing moving into the Health Sciences Center one year ago, the current facilities needed to be improved. The original science center was built in 1973 and underwent its last major expansion in 1991 when engineering programs were added. Cedarville has more than 700 students enrolled in these three disciplines.

To ease the crowding and to enhance the learning environment, the University will update its teaching facilities in these areas during two phases that will cost $5 million. According to Dr. White, $1.15 million of the cost has been secured. 

The first phase, which will begin in May, will focus on human biology labs that are currently in the Engineering and Science building.  When completed, students will learn in state-of-the-art Gross Anatomy, Human Structure and Function, and Anatomy and Physiology labs. Unlike in previous years, these new labs will be dedicated to their respective function. Also in this phase, one of the University’s large lecture halls will receive upgraded technology, new seats, and carpet. The total cost for the initial phase is $800,000—and will be paid for at the completion of the project.

Phase Two will be more comprehensive—and expensive—as it includes the relocation of the University’s physical plant from its current service center to Harriman and South Halls on the south edge of campus. The grounds, automotive, and inventory departments will relocate to a facility on Bridge Street, and campus safety will move to Davis House.

Transforming the vacated building, following a complete renovation, will be seven new chemistry labs. These labs will showcase organic chemistry and will also free up needed space for the engineering program in its current building. The new facility will also receive a facelift, transforming it from its current image to a facility that mirrors the University’s academic buildings. The completion of the new chemistry center will create a synergetic science and engineering quad on the southwest section of the 400-acre campus.

Finally, engineering students will benefit as four classrooms totaling 2,550 square feet, will be opened for engineering labs. These are for biomedical and mechanical engineering’s vibration and senior design computational labs. A barn, currently being used by the grounds department, will be transformed into engineering dirty labs for additional team space and manufacturing projects.

In all, the renovation project will provide seven new chemistry labs and three biology labs filling 46,361 total square feet of academic space. As a result, students in science, engineering, and math will have top-flight academic facilities that will meet the growing enrollment and research needs of the programs for at least a decade. 

“Throughout our history, we’ve always pursued excellence in our education programs and held to the conviction of a literal six day creation,” added White. “This renovation work will help us continue preparing students who not only will excel in the sciences, but who can articulately confront a secular culture with a biblical worldview to advance the Gospel.” 

Other Board actions included the hiring of six new faculty—four in the School of Biblical and Theological Studies; granting tenure to six current faculty; appointing an additional trustee member; and approving the 2014-15 budget.

Faculty Tenure

Six faculty members were granted tenure. They include:
• Douglas Anderson, Pharm.D., professor of pharmacy practice, and chair, department of pharmacy practice
• Mark Gathany, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology
• Rebecca Gryka, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, and chair, department of pharmaceutical sciences
• Carrie Keib, RN, Ph.D., associate professor of nursing, and director of the B.S.N. program
• Matthew Moore, M.F.A., associate professor of theatre, and associate chair of the department of theatre
• Helena (Nellie) Sullivan, M.F.A., assistant professor of English

New Faculty Appointments

Six individuals received new faculty appointments, including:
• Jeremy Kimble, Ph.D., assistant professor of theological studies, School of Biblical and Theological Studies
• Randall McKinion, Ph.D., associate professor of old testament, School of Biblical and Theological Studies
• Mark Pinkerton, M.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, School of Pharmacy
• Erin Shaw, M.Div., instructor of women’s ministry, School of Biblical and Theological Studies
• Ched Spellman, Ph.D., assistant professor of biblical and theological studies, School of Biblical and Theological Studies
• Joy White, M.Th., M.Div., assistant professor of women’s studies, School of Biblical and Theological Studies

New Board of Trustee 

The Board welcomed Corey Abney, Ph.D., as its newest member. Abney is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and currently serves as the senior pastor at Florence Baptist Church, Florence, KY. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Cedarville University and has been in his current position since 2012. Dr. Abney and his wife, Christina, have four children.


Finally, the Trustees approved the operating budget of $86.9 million budget for 2014-15, an increase of $1.6 million (or 1.9%) compared to this year’s budget. Significant components of the budget included an increase of $600/year (1.8%) to its room and board rates but no increase to the University’s undergraduate tuition ($26,220/year).