Core elements of $1B plan for growth at one university

The decade to come at High Point University will bring many changes, yet under steady leadership

“For the comfortable, change is frightening, but for the confident, change is opportunity,” proclaimed Nido Qubein, president of High Point University, in his keynote at UB Tech® 2019. Now, three months later, his North Carolina institution that has experienced significant expansion in the past 15 years is moving further forward—in a big way, a billion-dollar one.

Qubein’s talk reminded the audience of higher ed tech leaders and practitioners of the need to continually embrace a growth mindset. HPU’s growth over the next decade will be under Qubein’s watch, as the announcement included a 10-year commitment from him to continue his leadership there.

Expansion plans range from physical buildings to financial aid. A new library, academic building, admissions center and Division I ice hockey facility are among the $300 in new construction on the to-do list. Plans also include $700 million in new scholarships, focused on students from diverse backgrounds, students who are the first in their family to go to college, students who demonstrate academic merit, and veterans.

“I don’t want this school to be just for rich kids,” Qubein said in an interview for an article in the Greensboro-based News & Record.

On the academic front, HPU leaders intend to start a School of Nursing, a hospitality management program, an event planning program and half a dozen other new areas of study.

The idea, Qubein said in an interview with Fox8 News, is not to significantly increase enrollment, or grow quantitatively, but to grow qualitatively, focusing on academics and programs and on attracting stellar faculty.

From UB: Highlights from UB Tech® 2019, including Nido Qubein’s keynote and other memorable moments

The growth goals keep the surrounding community in mind. The new Town and Gown Think Tank will bring together local leaders who are committed to ensuring the city of High Point and High Point University continue to thrive together.

Qubein has been a driving force behind recent revitalization projects in the downtown area, which include a new baseball stadium, according to a report on public radio station 88.5WFDD.

The $1 billion expansion will be funded by donors, operating revenues and money generated from university investments in properties, Qubein added in that report.

Since 2005, when Qubein became president of HPU, traditional undergraduate enrollment has nearly tripled, from 1,450 then to 4,600 today. Total enrollment, including undergraduate and graduate students, has grown to 5,400 students, and HPS has achieved doctoral degree-granting status. Six new academic schools were launched under his leadership. And the campus has more than quadrupled in size, from 91 to 500 acres.

Melissa Ezarik is senior managing editor of UB. 

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