Brenau On a Worldwide Rampage! Starting April 11

four heads appear from behind a rock against bamboo

Screenshot from the movie trailer, one of the scenes of Rampage filmed on the Brenau campus.

Starting tomorrow, April 11, millions of people around the globe will have an opportunity to see the Brenau University campus when the major motion picture Rampage opens its worldwide distribution in the United Kingdom, followed by early screenings Thursday, April 12, in locations throughout the United States including Gainesville, before finally opening in theaters worldwide on Friday, April 13.

The film, starring Dwayne ‘“The Rock” Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, features several scenes that were shot in and around the bamboo forest on the Gainesville campus – converted by the magic of Hollywood set designers to double as an urban zoological research park’s sophisticated natural habitat for a silverback gorilla. The Brenau scenes are prominent early in the movie. Without spoiling anything beyond what the title does, the plot is not limited to the bonding that occurs between human and animal.

The film production unit picked Brenau because of the bamboo forest and other considerations after several scouting missions by various members of the crew. They started work last spring making some extensive modifications to the area, and started actual filing in the area shortly after graduation last May. Although it was a closed set, scores of personnel – including “The Rock” himself mingling with nearby residents and onlookers – dozens of trailers and trucks, signage and other highly visible temporary additions to the public streets and parking lots around campus sort of blew the cover. When they finished filming a couple weeks later, the production folks put everything back the way it was – with some nice improvements.

Brenau frequently gets requests from film and television companies that want to do all or part of their productions at Brenau. Most do not come to fruition because of scheduling or financial considerations. Some are very small operations with the entire crew working out of an SUV, but many can be quite impactful. The university has to make certain that any production does not open it for liability, cause irreparable damage to facilities, cost it money or frustrate the central mission of teaching students.

The Rampage project “was by far the most extensive – and the most professional – that we’ve worked with,” said events and facilities director Danielle Miller, who is usually the university’s point person for filming. “Everyone involved was very respectful and easy to work with. It was a great experience.”

Brenau’s Longest-serving Prof. Jim Southerland Previews Memoir

Dr. James E. “Jim” Southerland, who retired in 2013 as Brenau’s longest-serving professor and chief academic officer, will read excerpts from his soon-to-be-published book, Sharecropper’s Son: A Journey of Teaching and Learning, at the Northeast Georgia History Center Friday, Sept. 29, 5 p.m., during Brenau’s Homecoming Weekend activities. The reading and the book will be of particular interest to Brenau faculty and staff, many of whom are mentioned. There is a reception starting at about 6 p.m. for Southerland and other honorees during this weekend’s festivities.  Both events are free and open to the public. The book is expected to be off the presses by the end of 2017, but you can advance order your copy now at brenau.edu/sharecroppers-son. http://brenau.edu/sharecroppers-son

 

Did You Get a Great Colleges to Work For Survey? It’s Explained Here

Great Colleges to Work for logo
Survey deadline is April 7

For several years Brenau has participated in the Great Colleges to Work For Survey from The Chronicle of Higher Education. In addition to providing data to the publication for its annual report that shows how we compare  nationally with other institutions, the survey provides the university administration with great information that it can use to help us all do a better job and improve the university. All of the information that you provide remains confidential; the administration sees only the cumulative data.

To guarantee anonymity, the survey organization randomly selected participants in the 2017 survey  from a list that we provided. The list contained only the @brenau.edu email addresses that the IT department issued to all faculty and staff.  No other information associated with those email addresses was included.

If you received an email recently – or receive one in the next few days – asking you to participate, please do so. Your honest feedback is critical. Please take a few minutes to share your opinion. Again, the survey is easy, quick, anonymous and confidential.

Also, please do not forward the email you receive to others for their use. The login information in each email from the survey company is for one use to insure accurate recording of individuals’ unique responses.

To recognize colleges across the country that have demonstrated workplace excellence. The Chronicle will publish the survey findings and recognize institutions that are creating great workplaces in July. Afterwards, each institution will receive reports summarizing its results.

 

 

National TV Program – on Campus Monday – Wants to Hear From You

On Monday, March 13, between 12:30 and 2 p.m., a crew from the nationally syndicated television program Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson will be in Yonah lobby on the Gainesville campus to interview students, faculty and staff about what’s on their minds – particularly in regard to women’s issues.

Lisa Fletcher and her colleagues will collect student, faculty and staff views on women’s issues for the ‘Pulse’ section of the program
Lisa Fletcher and her colleagues will collect student, faculty and staff views on women’s issues for the ‘Pulse’ section of the program

The interviews will be used for the “Pulse” segment of the program, which airs on about 170 television stations around the United States every Sunday morning and online.

Correspondent Lisa Fletcher, who will interview Women’s College Dean Debra Dobkins, producer Lauren Selsky and videographer Bryan Barr will be looking for a broad cross section of people to talk to for the program. So, stop by for a chat and tell all your friends to stop by as well.

Provost Candidates to Visit Campus

On Jan. 11, 12, 18 and 19 the university will host separate day-long meetings for four potential candidates for the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs position, which has opened with Dr. Nancy Krippel’s scheduled retirement at the end of the fiscal year on June 30. Candidates will visit with faculty, staff and students in a series of meetings and open forums to provide members of the Brenau family opportunities to meet and hear from the candidates about their interests in providing leadership for the academic programs of Brenau.

Schedules of meetings and dialogue sessions along with their personal vitas are available for community members’ review via a shared Google drive labeled “Provost Candidates’ Schedules and Vitas.” All members of Brenau’s community are encouraged to attend the open forum sessions in Pearce Auditorium at the conclusion of each day. Starting times for the open forums are noted on the schedule and vary daily to sync with the university calendar of previously scheduled events.

To view candidates CVs and schedules visit https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwbN6xKCQ3GJMWxWUVlHUFZ4X2s?usp=sharing.

Brenau Trustee Walters Honored for Opening Bridge to U.S. Higher Education for Chinese and Taiwanese Students

James Walters, Brenau trustee, poses with his Cultural Ambassador Award, while standing next to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal presents Brenau Trustee Jim Walters with Cultural Ambassador Award on behalf of Taiwanese young business leaders organization.

President Ed Schrader shakes hands with James Walters during Taste of Taiwan 2016.
Brenau President Ed Schrader congratulates Walters on his award during a special dinner at Atlanta History Center Sept. 19. “Dr. Walters played a major role in helping us open the bridge to undergraduates and graduate programs for scores of Chinese and Taiwanese students,” said Schrader. The university several years ago conferred an honorary doctorate on Walters for his service to and support of Brenau.

The Taiwanese Junior Chamber of Commerce of Georgia presented Brenau University Trustee James A. (Jim) Walters with its 2016 Cultural Ambassador Award for his role in establishing the Universal Collegiate Alliance – a Norcross, Georgia-based company that promotes development of joint higher education programs with U.S.- and China-based colleges and universities. In presenting the award at a special black-tie dinner at the Atlanta History Center, Chamber President Kai Hsu said that because of the efforts of the alliance, Walters “will be instrumental in affecting the lives of thousands of Taiwanese and Chinese students” who want to take advantage of U.S. higher education.

Gov. Deal, Walters and Taiwanese Junior Chamber President Kai Hsu.
Gov. Deal, Walters and Taiwanese Junior Chamber President Kai Hsu.

The alliance facilitates the kinds of “2+2 programs” like those that Brenau has in partnership with Chinese universities that enables Chinese students to complete the last two years of their undergraduate studies in Georgia earning Brenau degrees. By the time those programs are fully implemented in 2017-18, there will be a steady rotation of more than 100 Chinese students a year completing the last two years of their undergraduate studies at Brenau majoring in early childhood education, English and nursing.

Entrepreneur Amanda Slavin Brings ‘Fresh Eyes’ as One of Brenau’s Youngest Trustees

Amanda Slavin, on the eve of her 2015 commencement address to Brenau graduates, meets on campus with former GE CEO Jack Welch, left, and Brenau President Ed Schrader. Slavin recently was appointed to the Brenau Board of Trustees.

Amanda Slavin, on the eve of her 2015 commencement address to Brenau graduates, meets on campus with former GE CEO Jack Welch, left, and Brenau President Ed Schrader. Slavin recently was appointed to the Brenau Board of Trustees.

The Brenau University Board of Trustees has appointed Amanda Slavin, CEO and founder of Las Vegas-based CatalystCreativ, as its newest member.

Slavin’s three-year term began immediately upon the board’s unanimous vote earlier this year. She will attend her first of the biannual board meetings in November. However, Brenau President Ed Schrader said, she has already been “fully engaged” in an advisory capacity, in learning the workings of the university and in participating in university programs and events.

Unlike many members of the board who are alumni or related through sometimes multi-generational family and community connections, Slavin has no long-standing ties to the university. Consequently, as one of the youngest members of the board, she brings the “fresh eyes” of a broader perspective that will be an enormous asset, said Board of Trustees Chairman Pete Miller.

Slavin gained national prominence in 2014 when Forbes magazine named her to its “30 under 30” list of top marketing and communications professionals in the world who had not reached their 30th birthdays.

“As I learned more about Brenau, I was so unbelievably impressed with the school’s integrity and values,” she said.

Slavin delivered commencement addresses to Brenau graduates in 2015 and last spring was keynote speaker for the Women’s Leadership Forum on the Gainesville campus.

See the full release at https://www.brenau.edu/news/entrepreneur-slavin-brings-fresh-eyes-trustees/.

Alecia Webb Becomes Jacksonville Campus Director

Alecia Webb, an 11-year Brenau veteran who was received the university's 2016 outstanding part-time faculty award, now heads all Jacksonville operations.

Alecia Webb, an 11-year Brenau veteran who was received the university's 2016 outstanding part-time faculty award, now heads all Jacksonville operations. (Andrew Stanfill for Brenau University)

When classes at Brenau University’s north Florida campus resume later this month, they will take place under the watchful eye of Brenau veteran administrator and alumna Alecia Webb. She started her new role as the campus director July 1, replacing the interim chief Donny Moore who has retired. For the past year, Webb has pulled double duty assisting with the ramp-up of the Jacksonville campus and the wind-down of the university’s on-base operations at the U.S. Navy Kings Bay Submarine Base.

Webb, a St. Marys, Georgia, native earned both a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in management from Brenau at the Kings Bay campus. She started work for Brenau while she was still a student and, in her 11 years at Kings Bay, she taught several classes and rose to the assistant director position. In May 2016 she received the university’s Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award at spring commencement exercises.

“Alecia demonstrates an understanding of best practices in leadership, works collaboratively and has excellent communication skills,” said Associate Provost Crystal Toombs. “I am confident that she will support the continued growth and success of the Jacksonville campus.”

Earlier in her career, Webb was an administrator for electronic records development company Prism Medical and a nuclear power plant simulation graphics technician and quality assurance specialist for Jacksonville-based Corys Thunder Inc.

Webb said the Jacksonville campus – located in a region where the population is more than half active duty and veterans, civilian employees of the military or organizations serving armed forces and veterans, and dependents of all of those groups – will clearly continue the university’s long and outstanding record as a military- and veteran-friendly school. Her time at the Kings Bay campus “was a very interesting experience as a student and director amid so many military and veteran students, both younger and older community members and a variety of adjuncts,” Webb said. “It just made for a great learning experience because of the diversity.”

Jacksonville, she said, is “a new horizon for Brenau, and I think we have a great opportunity here to expand our student body and spread the Brenau message throughout Florida. We definitely want to build the business programs and, once we have a solid student base, see if there are other programs that can be brought to the Jacksonville campus.”

The most exciting aspect of the new position, Webb said, is the potential to make an impact on students’ lives.

“I know how hard it can be to go back to college as an adult student,” she said. “That’s why I am looking forward to helping them fulfill their dream of earning a degree.”

We’re No. 1! Brenau Jumps to Top of Georgia MBA Programs List

Gabriel Lopez of Flowery Branch, Georgia, shown here at the spring commencement exercise in May, is one of 266 men and women who have received graduate MBA degrees from Brenau so far in 2016.

Gabriel Lopez of Flowery Branch, Georgia, shown here at the spring commencement exercise in May, is one of 266 men and women who have received graduate MBA degrees from Brenau so far in 2016.

Atlanta Business Chronicle ranked Brenau University as the top Master of Business Administration program in terms of enrollment in its 2016 listing of business schools in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The program jumped to the top of the list with 721 students for 2015-16, up from the 604 enrolled last year that put the Brenau program in second place behind Georgia State’s highly regarded program. However, GSU dropped to third this year behind Georgia Tech, which still showed 202 fewer students than Brenau. The July 27-published list showed GSU’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business with 450 students, Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer University with 429 and Emory University Goizueta Business School with 345. The University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business was not in the top five.

The Brenau program, at $652 per credit hour, also was the second-least expensive among the top five programs listed, tuitions for which ranged from $483 per credit hour at Georgia State, $727 per hour at Mercer, $1,107 per hour at Georgia Tech to $57,000 a year at Emory.

For more detail, see the full news release at https://www.brenau.edu/news/mba-ranks-no-1-in-enrollment-in-atlanta-area-business-schools/

Brenau Earns National Best Workplace Accolade

Brenau employees Dan Odom, Lorene Pharr and Lu Ann Williamson at a faculty-staff "Ice Cream Social" break on July 21, an event organized by the staff development committee. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau employees Dan Odom, Lorene Pharr and Lu Ann Williamson at a faculty-staff "Ice Cream Social" break on July 21, an event organized by the staff development committee. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

For the fourth time, Brenau University earned national recognition as one of the best workplaces in the United States. It was among 93 universities and colleges – and the only institution from Georgia – listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2016 “Great Colleges to Work For” rankings.

The publication noted that Brenau created and maintained for its employees an environment of respect and appreciation, smooth interactions between faculty, supervisors and department chairs, and professional and career development programs.

“Brenau University is small enough to treat each employee and student with personal attention and foster a culture of open-minded, progressive learning,” said Brenau President Ed Schrader. “Brenau is a fun place to work with good pay and benefits, all while carrying an indelible academic reputation.”

The publication makes its selections for its annual lists based on results of blind surveys of college and university employees. More than 40,000 administrators, professors, adjunct faculty members, staffers and nonexempt employees nationwide responded to the 2016 Chronicle survey earlier this year. ModernThink LLC, a human resources consulting firm based in Delaware, tailored the survey around an assessment that has guided more than 50 “best places to work” programs.

This year marks the fourth time Brenau has been included in the national rankings. Brenau not only received the “Great Colleges to Work For” designation in 2008 and 2009, but in 2011 we gained a spot on the Chronicle “honor roll” of 30 colleges and universities cited most frequently across a dozen recognition categories.

In spite of some “near misses” in the points tally that kept Brenau off of the Chronicle list in the past five years, the university has consistently appeared on the “top workplaces” rankings published annually by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. On the 2016 rankings published earlier this year, Brenau ranked 35th on the list of midsize organizations of up to 500 employees out of hundreds that size in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

“We work very hard to make this a great place to work,” said Kelley Maddox, the university’s executive director of human resources. “These recognitions demonstrate Brenau’s commitment to excellence.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education is the nation’s top publication for college and university news. The full 2016 rankings are online at http://chronicle.com/interactives/greatcolleges16?cid=cp47.