Thoughts And Goals From Community Leaders
(Editor’s note: This is a weekly series interviewing community leaders to share their thoughts and goals for the community.)
Wesley Carter is associate vice president of university outreach and an instructor of business administration for Campbellsville University. Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, he grew up in Campbellsville and moved to Harrodsburg three years ago.
“There may be a slight misconception that I only provide leadership in Harrodsburg, of which I am beyond thankful, but I actually oversee all the southern off campus sites that include Somerset, Hodgenville, Liberty, Albany and the technical training center in Louisville,” said Carter. “When we started the outreach here in Harrodsburg the other areas were struggling. Now we have approximately 500 students here in Mercer County and the others have grown too. This is all really good for Harrodsburg because we anchor operations for all of these locations out of the Harrodsburg Conover Education Center”
Carter said he is a strong believer that everything is related and each situation, no matter the size, should be treated as the utmost importance.
“We believe the stronger the community the stronger we can be,” said Carter. “In our mission statement it says we should be servant driven and we want to serve Mercer County and help the community grow.”
Growing is something Campbellsville is familiar with. In the last three years they have grown a lot. Carter said the university has around 80,000 square feet under construction, opened a restaurant and has big plans for the next five years.
“My goal is to make this a regional campus,” said Carter. “I am seeking to provide the full girth of the traditional campus experience in Harrodsburg.”
Carter said in addition to the construction currently taking place he plans to add athletic fields, evolve programs to be more inclusive, build at least four more dorms and make the campus walkable for students.
“I believe in strategic growth but if you are not growing then you are shrinking,” said Carter. “I don’t believe we have a shortage of people seeking higher education. I do believe we have a shortage of people who can afford higher education.”
Carter said he is proud that Campbellsville is an economic choice for higher education and he plans to continue to build the scholarships for those who need them.
“We have to be diligent to make it affordable and to minimize student debt,” said Carter. “We are very bold with how we approach scholarships.”
Carter said right now a year tuition that includes housing and food plans is $16,700 which he called the lowest in the state.
“Our goal is to keep our young talent local,” said Carter. “Often in rural communities, talent leaves to attend school and rarely returns home.”
Carter said young people are the economic boost that keeps rural communities alive. Although Campbellsville offers a variety of courses for nontraditional students, Carter said broadening the scope is better for everyone.
“The best classes have a diverse set of students that include both traditional and non-traditional students,” said Carter. “I don’t believe in single shot goals.”
For more information visit www.campbellsville.edu.
To learn more, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.