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Trustees Approve New Academic Programs and 2020-21 Budget

by Mark Weinstein, Executive Director of Public Relations

At its January 24 meeting, the Cedarville University Board of Trustees authorized two new academic programs, affirmed the 2020-21 budget, and approved faculty tenure and promotions. The meeting also provided the opportunity for trustees to review progress on the university’s 10-year campus master plan and celebrate record-breaking fundraising results.

New Cyber Operations Major

The trustees approved a new bachelor of science degree in cyber operations. Cedarville added a cyber operations specialization to its computer science major in 2016, and two years later, the specialization was named a National Security Agency Academic Center of Excellence in Cyber Operations. Cedarville’s program is one of twenty-one in the nation to receive this designation. In 2019, the cyber operations specialization received approval from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the standard endorsement for academic programs. Cedarville’s program is just one of seven to receive ABET accreditation in the United States.

These recognitions, along with a growing need for cyber operation professionals, make this new program highly attractive for prospective students.

Nursing Leadership Certificate

The school of nursing’s proposal for a nursing leadership graduate certificate was unanimously approved. The 12-hour certificate, with no clinical component, will be available to current Master of Science in Nursing students or nurses who have previously completed a graduate nursing degree. With this approval, Cedarville now offers certificate nursing programs in nursing leadership, nursing education and global public health.

For nurses seeking management and supervisory roles, the new graduate certificate in nursing leadership will give them training and knowledge in quality and safety, organizational behavior and strategic decision-making.

Approved Budget

Reflecting continuing enrollment growth and careful stewardship of resources, Cedarville’s operating budget for 2020-21 will rise to $104.1 million. The budget includes a 3.99% increase in undergraduate tuition, raising the block rate to $32,364. Budgeted undergraduate financial aid will increase by 15.5% to continue to address student affordability. Next year, students living on campus will see their room and board increase $304 to $7,922, which remains one of the lowest residential rates in the state of Ohio.

— Thomas White

Tuition for the university’s residential Doctor of Pharmacy program will increase 3.99%. No cost increases are planned for the university’s growing online and residential master’s programs in nursing, business, and ministry.

“In a time where college costs and debt are a national talking point, we’ve worked diligently to create a budget that balances student affordability with caring for our employees and advancing the quality of the Cedarville experience,” said Thomas White, president of Cedarville University. “With a 98.5% placement rate for our 2019 graduates and, more importantly, our commitment to life transformation through biblically faithful education and intentional discipleship, we believe Cedarville provides a tremendous return on investment to students and families.”

Cedarville has a strong track record of conservative, sound fiscal management and has operated with a balanced budget for at least the past three decades.

Master Plan Update

The Trustees were given an update on the university’s 10-year campus master plan. According to Chris Sohn, vice president for business and chief financial officer, the three buildings currently under construction are on schedule to open in summer 2020. Cedarville is building a facility for its civil engineering program, a 282-bed residence hall and a 300-seat restaurant that will serve Chick-fil-A and Tossed salads options for students and guests.

Cedarville University is not taking on debt for this new construction, as each building is funded through private gifts or university funds. A review of fundraising in the current fiscal year showed a record year of gifts and commitments, including the largest gift in the university’s history, a $10 million pledge from Mark Scharnberg of Des Moines, Iowa, to honor his father through the naming of the planned new Scharnberg Business Center.

Faculty Tenure and Promotions

With board approval, the following faculty members were granted tenure or promotion:


· Tracy Collins, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology

· John Gilhooly, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy and theology; director of honors program

· Frederick Harmon, Ph.D., assistant professor of electrical engineering

· Lindsey McCarty, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics

· Randall McKinion, Ph.D., associate professor of Old Testament; assistant vice president for academics

· Jeffrey Simon, M.F.A., assistant professor of communication; assistant chair of communication


· Joshua Bowman, Ph.D., to assistant professor of missions and theology

· Justin Cole, Pharm.D., to associate professor of pharmacy practice

· Tracy Collins, Ph.D., to associate professor of biology

· Clifford Fawcett III, RN, M.S.N., to associate professor of nursing

· John Gilhooly, Ph.D., to associate professor of philosophy and theology

· Andrew Harris, Ph.D., to associate professor of communication

· Aaron Huffman, M.F.A., to associate professor of graphic design

· David Leitch, Ph.D., to associate professor of special education

· Lindsey McCarthy, Ph.D., to associate professor of mathematics

· Jeffrey Simon, M.F.A., to associate professor of communication

· John Tarwater, Ph.D., to associate professor of business

· Vicky Fang, Ph.D., to professor of computer engineering

· Mark Gathany, Ph.D., to professor of biology

· Austin Jaquith, Ph.D., to professor of music theory and composition

· Randall McKinion, Ph.D., to professor of Old Testament

· Chuck Elliott, Ph.D., to senior professor of communication

· Steven Gollmer, Ph.D., to senior professor of physics

· Clinton Kohl, Ph.D., to senior professor of computer engineering

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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