As a global pandemic threatened lives and livelihoods, 2020 brought to light obstacles to social justice. The COVID-19 crisis forced a breakthrough to a greater understanding of the deeply engrained inequities in our society and it helped grow and strengthen a movement for racial justice.
Adler University was motivated by the breakthroughs and challenges of 2020 to deliver on our mission: educating our students to create a more just world.
Adler University is no stranger to challenges. We have been training our students to challenge the status quo for almost 70 years.
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, it upended everyday life and exposed inequities in our communities. It was clear that our work to prepare our students to create a more just society was more essential than ever.
Adler University responded by quickly transitioning to a virtual learning environment so we could continue to provide a world-class education to our students while keeping our community members safe.
We made early decisions to remain with virtual instruction as the pandemic progressed, and communicated proactively and frequently with our community. As a result, high numbers of new and returning students came to the University in fall 2020 to advance their careers.
As protest and advocacy for Black lives jumpstarted a global reckoning on racial injustice, Adler University took a hard look internally. We heard loud and clear from our Black community that we needed to do more to truly live up to our social justice mission. We began taking action to dismantle systemic racism within the institution, which you can read more about below.
Adler University was able to rise to the challenges presented by 2020 because our work is guided by our Adlerian ideals. We outlined those principles and values in A Movement for Justice, a report we published in 2020 that redefines socially responsible practice.
The world needs our students and alumni to break through obstacles to justice, community wellness, and democracy around the world.
We are training our students to become champions for social justice. Together, we’re creating the world that Alfred Adler envisioned, one where everyone can thrive.
Adler University has always valued diversity and social justice. In 2020, as the world focused on racial injustice and how institutions perpetuate racism, we realized we needed to do more to fully live up to our mission and values.
We launched the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, which had been in development since the summer of 2019. The Center provides programs, trainings, and resources that support the success of all students, staff, and faculty.
The Center is coordinating our long-term efforts to transform Adler University into an anti-racist institution. We are listening to and working closely with our Black community members. With their input, we are taking concrete steps throughout the University to create an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone can succeed.
Adler University created the Emergency Response Scholarship Fund to support our students experiencing economic hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Board of Trustees led a successful fundraising effort among our supporters in the United States and Canada.
We also surpassed our fundraising goal for the Campaign for Social Justice, raising more than $10 million to support student scholarships, our community work, and capital projects.
in emergency scholarships were given to 465 students in May and October 2020, thanks to generous donors and funding from the U.S. CARES Act.
raised for the Campaign for Social Justice.
Throughout the year, we implemented plans to raise standards for student success and continuously improve all University processes. Examples of achievements included rebuilding the design of all online courses, hosting the first annual Online Campus Adler Action Day, and developing a plan for international student services and retention.
We hosted voter registration drives and advocacy events, and offered new workshops and resources on academic writing for students. We also worked with our community partners to adjust students’ practica and internship experiences to accommodate new health and safety guidelines necessitated by the pandemic.
All campuses delivered instruction under a new, unified academic calendar, which allows the University to offer programs and courses with cross-campus enrollment.
Additionally, we launched a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program on the Online Campus. On the Chicago Campus, we offered dual-degree programs, which give our Sport and Human Performance and Forensic Mental Health Leadership students the opportunity to also earn a degree in Rehabilitation Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In fall 2020, we introduced our Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership program.
By carefully managing our resources during the pandemic’s early months, we ensured the University’s financial stability. We were able to hire additional faculty and staff in the fall of 2020 to strengthen our institution at a time when many in the higher education sector are struggling financially.
FY20 revenue was 11 percent higher than FY19 budgeted revenue.
Change in net assets remains positive, sufficient to fund initiatives for all three campuses.