LINCOLN – Backed with the unanimous and enthusiastic support of the Board of Trustees, Lincoln College President David Gerlach today outlined a multi-million dollar re-investment plan aimed at improving the College’s programs, services and facilities and doubling student enrollment as it transforms back to its roots as Lincoln University.

The $7.6 million re-investment campaign was announced to the Normal and Lincoln campuses in a historic address Thursday by Dr. Gerlach, who became Lincoln College president this summer. In the address, the president announced:

  • For fall 2016, the Lincoln campus will add bachelor degree programs in: Criminal Justice Studies, Sport Management, and Business Management among others. The Lincoln campus currently offers bachelors in Jazz Studies and Theatre.
  • Over the next 12 months, the Normal campus will expand its very successful ABE (Accelerated Bridge to Education) program, which now includes 5-week bachelor’s degree programs in Bloomington/Normal, Peoria and Oglesby and a “New Normal” accelerated 8-week bachelor’s degree program in Normal.
  • The Normal and Lincoln campuses need to better coordinate educational efforts. The Normal campus will eliminate its residence halls and end the four one-year certificate programs in cosmetology, esthetics, teacher training and massage therapy now provided there. The College will sell the campus and anticipates leasing back the main academic building and some residential housing. Staffing will be realigned at the two campuses to reflect the new direction.
  • Over the next 12 years, the re-investment plan will serve as the catalyst for a transformation into Lincoln University, adding at least 12 additional baccalaureate degrees and a few carefully selected master’s degree programs in line with the first 65 years of the school’s 150-year history. The College will explore a move from NJCAA to four-year college athletics and aim to double its student enrollment during that period.

The re-investment plan will provide improvements for all aspects of Lincoln College: academics, campus life, student services, marketing and facilities. It is driven first by campus enhancements that were the result of two student town hall meetings Dr. Gerlach conducted with more than 125 participants in his first few weeks on the job.

  • New Lincoln College shuttle to take students to shopping, dining and movies in Lincoln
  • Student-priced tickets to the Lincoln movie theater
  • New Coordinator of Activities
  • Expanded student government budget and club office
  • Extra open gym and pool hours and enhanced outdoor recreation area
  • New residence hall furniture
  • Enhanced intramurals and sports information
  • New theatre costumes
  • Expanded honors program including a student symposium of current research

Dr. Gerlach said the ambitious growth and investment plan is both a product of his vision for helping Lincoln College reach its full potential since his hiring, and the hard work of his partners – college administration, staff and faculty, and students and families – to provide the best educational experience possible at its two campuses.

“Today is a historic day for Lincoln College. We are changing our structure in Normal and Lincoln to position our people and priorities to best attract students and truly offer them the Experience Outstanding we talk about every day,” Dr. Gerlach said.  “We are sending a strong message to those who have been part of the Lincoln College family and those who will be. As we become Lincoln University, we celebrate and embrace our rich history and create many memories ahead with these new services, programs and facility upgrades to become stronger and more successful together.”