Taking Loma Linda University to the next level: an interview with the chancellor
An artist’s rendering showcases the new Centennial Complex that will anchor the north end of campus. Groundbreaking for the building begins January 2006.
Groundbreaking for the Centennial Complex begins January 2006. The building will be completed about two and a half years after that, anchoring the north end of the campus. It will house four amphitheaters, and one of the largest anatomy labs in the world, among other innovative features.
Editor’s note: The following article is an interview with Richard Hart, MD, DrPH, chancellor of LLU, regarding the Centennial Campaign.What are the themes for the Centennial Campaign?
Our three themes for the campaign are growth, innovation, and globalization, and out of that come multiple projects on campus.
The growth of the student body crossed 4,000 last year, and it’s expected to go up to 5,000 within the next five years. That means there is a need for many things on campus, including more dormitory space, a larger student center, expanded library capacity, and better access to the campus.
The Centennial Complex encompasses innovative issues such as smart classrooms and “anywhere, anytime learning.” And globalization is our ability to connect this to programs all over the world.So why don’t we expand on growth right now?
Loma Linda increased to 4,000 students last fall, added two new schools—Pharmacy and Science & Technology—and a number of new individual programs in different schools. We expect LLU will continue to grow at about 10 percent a year in student enrollment. So that’s putting pressure on all the services within the University.
Probably our biggest pressure point right now is dormitory space, where we only have occupancy for 400 students against 4,000 needs. Particularly for the students that don’t have a car, we need to house them on campus. We have tremendous pressure to try to expand our dormitory space. And what are the plans for dorm expansion?
Well, there are three initiatives taking place. We are in the process right now of remodeling Lindsay Hall to make it an up-to-date building with adequate heating and air conditioning so every room has its own controllable temperatures, and upgrading the bathrooms, among other improvements. That’s a $6.5 million project that is underway.
We are also proposing to build another module of Daniell’s Residence Complex on the south side of the hill that would extend from where the current ones are. That’s a $5.5 million project that will house another 55 students.
Our big project is to build a major new dormitory up near Lindsay Hall that will house 327 students. Will that be a similar style to Daniell’s Residence Complex?
No, it will be a totally new look. We are still discussing whether we can afford to build it on the hill, which is a little more expensive, or either put it down by Drayson Center or someplace else. Will it be an apartment style dorm?
Yes. Most of the units are four bedrooms, two bathrooms, one kitchen, and a living room. So you’d have two rooms sharing one bathroom and four rooms sharing a kitchen and living room.What will these additions bring the occupancy to?
It will double our capacity from 400 to 800, roughly. We still are short, but at least that will be a major step toward expanding our student housing. Then in addition to that, we want to develop the student center idea. Great. You mentioned other expansion projects.
We want to make a dedicated student center by renovating the campus cafeteria and credit union space. It would be the first time on our campus that we would have a place where all the students from various schools could all get together.
It would include boutique eating, a comfortable lounge, a fireplace, group study areas, a wireless environment, the student association office, and the student service learning programs would be housed there. So the whole thinking is that this would be the center for student activity on campus. What other ways is LLU expanding to benefit its students?
There is also major remodeling of the library planned to make more group study areas, provide eating options, wireless connections, a lounge, and so on. The way most students study today is not sitting in little cubicles. So those are projects that we are trying to get going to try to meet the student needs on campus. I noticed the Loma Linda Motel opened.
Yes, Loma Linda Motel is remodeled with 41 units for visitors to stay in a nice facility next to campus. Any expansion efforts primarily for faculty?
We also need to develop a faculty practice building, particularly for the School of Dentistry, like the Faculty Medical Offices for medicine. It is easier to recruit faculty when you have a ready-made practice setting that can employ them. We don’t have that for dentistry. We have a very small faculty dental office behind the School of Dentistry that can only house a few dentists. Other than that, they have to go out in the community to find a way to practice for themselves. So we have made a commitment to a major faculty practice building that would sit between Starr Street and Barton Road, east of Anderson Street.
It would enable expansion of various services in the hospital—both medical and dental—including a multispecialty dental faculty practice location. We are currently considering a four-story building. Dentistry would probably use two floors; we’d have the other two floors for expansion of medical services, such as outpatient programs.
That’s another expansion issue that’s not directly student related, but it’s very much practice related in order to enable the School of Dentistry to move forward. Now let’s talk about innovation.
Innovation is primarily what is going to be housed in the Centennial Complex. There will be a major anatomy lab with 108 cadaver tables, which will be one of the largest anatomy labs in the country.
There will be a number of smart classrooms with connectivity giving them what we call “anywhere, anytime learning.” What that means is basically everything that happens in that classroom is recorded and archived so that any student from anywhere in the world can retrieve that in the future.
If you missed a lecture or if you are a student in Africa or in Asia and wanted to take that class, you can have that retrievable. So there will be a nerve center that controls the archives.What else will the Centennial Complex house?
There will also be four amphitheaters. Two 100-seat amphitheaters, a 250-, and a 350-seat amphitheater. There will be places where both coursework for the University could be presented as well as continuing education for the community could be presented.
There’s going to be a skills and assessment lab with different kinds of video or one-way mirrors so faculty can monitor how students are examining, questioning, and interviewing patients, for example. There will be a number of faculty offices. So those are the features that will go into this new building.Is the Global Gateway related to the Centennial Complex?
Embedded in the complex is what we’re referring to as the Global Gateway—the connectivity to the world. I see that housing two major things. It’s going to house educational programs being pushed out to all of our off-campus master’s programs and other programs that are connected with other universities. It will give us the ability to deliver courses out there that may not be embedded in our degrees, but they just may want to use these courses elsewhere.
There will also be a hub for telemedicine, so you can do medical consultations. There’s a number of things happening like this where you can provide specialty support for primary care doctors in different parts of the world by sending out films, EKGs, reports, and so on. The specialists can gather data out there, sending them back here, giving a diagnosis, and consult back out to them. This, we think, will help us not only in the Inland Empire but also nationally and internationally.
We have U.S. Department of Defense funds that link this building with the rest of the campus. So there may be a surgery going on in the Medical Center or Faculty Medical Office that is transmitted all over the world. That’s already happening.
The telehealth service is on its way. They are delivering procedures and already showing techniques all over the world. But the Global Gateway will enable us to greatly expand that. Then this will enable LLU to more effectively assist institutions around the world that want to provide health education, right?
The 100 Adventist colleges and universities around the world are increasingly wanting to get into health science education. They are pushing us to help. There’s about five medical schools, five dental schools, and about 15 schools of nursing that are trying to start in different parts of the world now within the Church. They come to Loma Linda, asking for assistance in how to put this all together. We can’t send people to that many places, so this allows us to basically deliver coursework and consultation to the health science faculties that are developing in these international universities. That’s a pretty big endeavor, but I think it’s worthwhile. Any other ways the University plans to help educate the community?
We do well with academic education, we do fair at professional adult education, or continuing education. We need to expand that considerably.
We are weak at consumer education, and we need to be producing more of that. I think the world is waiting for Loma Linda to say something to the consumer—to the guy on the street—in books, on television, and through other outlets. I think we need to get into that more. So, we anticipate working through various media to try to produce more materials for consumers.
In our country, there is considerable research on health education. But you go to Africa, to the developing world, and there are very few materials out there that people get. Yet the Church is known for providing health education and has interest in that. So if we had materials that we would push out through that system, I think we could make quite an impact. Any other innovative plans?
I think that the final project under innovation is that there are new efforts in terms of how students learn, such as the virtual classroom and how they are presented things.
There are anatomy courses on the computer, where you can literally be doing dissection, you can be looking at bones, you can turn things around, you can look at different systems, you can peel the body apart layer by layer. All that can happen on the computer. There are a lot of new innovative formats that enable students to learn in new ways that we’ve never had before. We’ll have the production capacity for that in the Centennial Complex. Now for the third theme, globalization.
Globalization is involved with all this. With the Global Gateway and both the telemedicine and educational programs going out, I see Loma Linda becoming a hub for many educational initiatives within the Church and beyond the Church. What is the estimated cost of the Centennial Complex?
Basically, it’s a $75 million building for which we are seeking to raise $40 million through philanthropy. We’re down now to about $12 million left to raise. We’re making progress, but we still have a way to go. Where will the Centennial Complex be located?
It will sit where the Gentry Gym now sits. Gentry Gym has been donated to the Loma Linda Spanish Church. So they’re going to be taking it down and moving it to their land toward Redlands and reconstructing it as a new church building for themselves. They are eventually going to build a sanctuary and use this as a social hall.
The Centennial Complex will basically anchor the north end of the campus as a major academic building. It will be the bookend to the Coleman and Chan Shun Pavilions with the Centennial Pathway connecting.Before we move on to the Centennial Pathway, what schools will be housed in the Centennial Complex?
This is a University building that will not be home to any particular school. We’re trying to break the model that every school has a building. Anatomy will be shared by medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy and some of the surgical specialties. Everyone will use the skills and assessment lab.
The Faculty of Religion will be located here because they serve the entire campus. Beyond that, it’s going to be a shared building with multiple users of the different classrooms and laboratories.So the Centennial Pathway…
The Centennial Pathway will stretch from Magan Hall to the Centennial Complex, basically with the intent to recognize or memorialize the first 100 years of Loma Linda’s history.And Stewart Street will no longer be there?
Stewart Street will eventually be moved near the railroad. Describe the Centennial Pathway.
The Centennial Pathway will consist of 36,500 pavers—one paver for each day of LLU’s 100 years—in which individuals can purchase a paver for $100 and have it engraved. Pavers representing the Sabbath will be a lighter color and cost a bit more.
Each year will be marked off, so it will be running continuously down through the 100 years of Loma Linda’s history.
In the center of the campus quadrangle, there will be a stylized globe sculpture with a water display sculpture. The plan is to have an underwater mosaic of the world underneath with a bridge walking through the globe over the world.
Then there’s a rose garden. The current roses in the sidewalk will be rearranged in the color patterns of a rainbow in a spiral around this globe. What does this design represent?
This is all symbolic. The globe, of course, represents the world and whom we’re serving. The rainbow—God’s promise. It’s all designed to give a sense of service and ambiance in the center of our campus. There will be benches with naming opportunities as well.So the Centennial Complex and Centennial Pathway are two different projects, correct?
Yes, they are two parts of one campaign, which means that when someone donates, for example, to the Pathway, that donation is strictly for that and does not go toward the Centennial Complex. There are naming opportunities all the way from $100 pavers up to major funding opportunities with the amphitheaters.When will these projects be completed?
The groundbreaking for the Centennial Complex happens in January, and we plan to have it completed in about two and a half years. We’d like to have the Centennial Pathway completed by this April. So there are some pretty rigid deadlines we need to follow in order to keep up with the pace of our University’s growth.What do you envision Loma Linda University to be when all of this is completed?
I expect us to be a center of global excellence, a network of quality academic programs with our value-added components of spiritual life and acceptance of diversity and community to all people of the world.
We hope to take LLU up to the next level in terms of growth, innovation, and globalization and make it a hub for the world Church.