JMU Campaign — Strategic Plan 2014-2020
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But Not All Institutions Went So Far

After Madison College became James Madison University in 1977, the institution began a journey much like many of its peer institutions—but it did something unique. By adding a greater breadth of academic programs, including doctoral programs and innovative science, technology, engineering and health sciences curricula, JMU hired professors who pursued research and discovery—but who also were committed to teaching. So, rather than participating in a research and discovery arms race with other schools, Madison became a hybrid.

During the same period, Madison did something else that not many other institutions have accomplished. While rapidly expanding the curriculum and more than doubling the size of enrollment, JMU actually reduced its student-to-faculty ratio while maintaining a 93 percent satisfaction rate among students and alumni. It’s quite a feat to so rapidly expand a complex enterprise, while also improving its quality. Madison students can now take advantage of the many opportunities found at large research universities, yet also enjoy the close relationships with high-quality professors found at smaller liberal arts colleges. Such a combination is rare in America’s system of higher education.