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Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024
The Observer

University announces creation of advisory committees, core goals as part of future planning process

University President Fr. John Jenkins announced the creation of seven new theme advisory committees and the University’s core goals for the next decade in an email Thursday. Each of the committees corresponds with a theme identified by faculty as a priority for the coming years through the Moment to See, Courage to Act initiative.

The committees, created as part of the strategic planning process the University takes part in each decade, will evaluate current University efforts around each theme and develop recommendations so the University can make a significant impact in that area over the next decade, Jenkins wrote.

According to the email, the seven themes for the committees are Opportunities for Excellence/Distinction in Key Research and Scholarship Areas; Sustainability and Integral Development; Poverty and Equity; Health/Well-being; Global/International; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and A Catholic University in Service to the Church and the World.

Jenkins wrote the University will soon extend invitations to faculty, staff and administrators to serve on the committees. The current goal is to complete the work of the theme advisory committees by the end of the calendar year.

As part of the planning process, Jenkins highlighted the four central goals that will guide the University for the next decade.

The first goal is to “Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors,” Jenkins wrote.

The second goal is to “Offer an unsurpassed undergraduate education that nurtures the formation of mind, body, and spirit,” and the third goal is to “Provide superb graduate and professional programs that exhibit disciplinary excellence, foster interdisciplinary connections, and engage the world’s most pressing problems, while attending to the holistic development of the student.”

The fourth and final goal is to “Advance human understanding through scholarship and research that seeks to heal, unify, and enlighten.”

Jenkins added that post-baccalaureate education will be a separate goal for the University, unlike the previous strategic planning process.

The theme advisory committees are intended to complement other plans in place throughout colleges, schools, divisions and units at the University.

“A University-wide perspective, we believe, will enable us to see opportunities that would not be apparent within a single college or division,” Jenkins wrote.

Jenkins wrote that the University is in a “strong position” because of the previous strategic plan, “A Legacy Expanded.”

He highlighted accomplishments from the plan, including a 54% increase in total research expenditures between fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2021 and an increase in the number of undergraduate students of color and international students at Notre Dame from 27% of the student body to 33.5% since 2012.

Jenkins said he hopes the advisory committees will help the University more fully realize its core goals over the next decade.

“While any plan completed at a particular time will not adequately account for the many unanticipated contingencies of a later time, the process of formulating goals, setting priorities, and preparing for opportunities and possible challenges will enable us to make sound decisions and act in the future,” Jenkins wrote.