Following his inaugural ceremony, President Michael Lindsay hosted several events.
At the State of the University Address on Oct. 9 and “Meet the Prez” on Oct. 12, he laid out his agenda for the upcoming year. Three foremost priorities included refinancing the university’s long-term debt, raising the level of diversity across campus and making Taylor globally-minded.
Lindsay began his tenure by restructuring current finances.
“This summer we went through the process of refinancing our long-term debt, putting us into a very strong position,” Lindsay said. “As an incoming president who has also worked at another institution for 10 years, the underlying finances of Taylor are very solid, this gives me great confidence.”
Through his actions, Lindsay set a 2% operating margin. This will allow the university to end the fiscal year with space to reinvest in people and programs.
He also hopes to continue seeing endowment growth and alumni generosity.
“The annual alumni giving rate at Taylor is nearly double the national average,” Lindsay said. “These stats show the overall commitment to what we’re doing here.”
Roughly 16% of alumni give financially to the institution, according to taylor.edu.
A chief goal of Lindsay’s is to diversify Taylor’s campus ethnically, geographically and socioeconomically.
When he arrived at Gordon in 2011, the percent of non-white students was 12% and 32% when he ended his tenure, according to gordon.edu. Taylor currently sits at a 16% diversity rate.
“We are not as diverse a campus as we should be,” Lindsay said. “I do not believe in diversity for the sake of diversity, but because we are a Christ-centered community.”
To push this change, Lindsay plans to partner with the Rev. Greg Dyson, vice president for intercultural leadership and church relations. Their strategy consists of seeking global and domestic diversity in tandem.
“One of the interesting things we found is that as we created more global diversity, we had the benefit of enrolling more students of color,” Lindsay said. “When we focused on just one of those two, it did not work.”
Finally, Lindsay hopes to expand Taylor’s global reach.
“We too often put our light under a bushel, it is time for us to be a City on a Hill,” Lindsay said. “To do this, we are going to take some international strategies.”
The team has coined their strategy as, “taking Taylor on the road.”
Their plan involves creating cohorts of people interested in receiving a Taylor degree in places like Dallas, Denver and Chicago.
He recently traveled to Sao Paulo, Brazil and worked toward partnering with the largest evangelical institution in Latin America, Mackenzie Presbyterian University. Additionally, he will travel to South Korea to meet with several of the university's partners in April.
At both the State of the University Address and “Meet the Prez,” Lindsay answered questions from the audience regarding university finances, housing concerns and his family.