Glover Says EWC Has Improved Its Stability; Financial Picture at School Is Better with a Jump in Enrollment, Renovations

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Byline: Khristopher J. Brooks

More buildings on campus, more people willing to donate money and more upgrades to existing facilities are all proof that Edward Waters College is gaining financial stability, the college's president Nat Glover said Thursday.

Glover recapped some of the college's notable steps in 2012, including a 20 percent jump in enrollment, that make him optimistic about its future. He also laid out some of his long-term plans for the college that years ago had problems with funding and accreditation.

In the immediate future, Glover wants an outside group to determine the direction for the health disparities prevention center, which will open next month. He expects the Community Resource Advisory Board, a panel that helps medical researchers tweak upcoming studies that involve minorities, to develop a plan for staffing and direction.

Glover also wants to make sure that the $3 million in campus renovations, a third of which came from the Michael and Kim Ward Foundation, have been completed for students.

Randolph Mitchell Jr., the college's vice president for business and finance, said it has spent $2 million of that money refreshing bathrooms and showers in the residence halls and reroofing buildings. Glover said the residence hall common areas also have been outfitted with flat-screen televisions.

All these efforts, Glover said, will create a cleaner-looking campus, which will attract more students.

By November, Glover wants the campus-based Jacksonville Sheriff's Office substation completed. He said criminal justice students will benefit from taking classes in that building because officers will be working there.

The $2.6 million substation was funded by $750,000 from the college, $900,000 from the Sheriff's Office and $975,000 in donations.

Glover, a former Jacksonville sheriff, said he plans to teach a criminal justice class in the substation.

"It would be a waste if I didn't go over and take time to be with those kids," he said.

Former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney, who now serves as president of the University of North Florida, said it's important that EWC thrives because historically black colleges and universities "still have a very critical role" in higher education. …