Thinking Anew, Acting Anew
By Kelly Welsh ’05 (M.A.)
Saint Joseph’s recently completed and launched Thinking Anew, Acting Anew: The Strategic Plan for Saint Joseph’s University. The plan embodies SJU’s two-fold desire to underscore and expand on existing strengths while always seeking new opportunities. Initiatives include the expansion and development of new academic programs and professional schools, most immediately in the health and education fields, along with a revision of the campus master plan and the growth of resources and national recognition for signature academic, athletic and co-curricular programs.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeanne F. Brady, Ph.D., and Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer David R. Beaupré led an 11-member steering committee that included representatives from all areas of the University.
President Mark C. Reed, Ed.D., describes Thinking Anew, Acting Anew as “a guiding plan, not a micro-plan.”
“It is meant to steer our endeavors, while never narrowing our possibilities,” he says. “With full acknowledgement of the impact of our decisions today on our long-term future, we will advance some initiatives quickly. Others will evolve over time. To succeed in this increasingly competitive market, we cannot become comfortable. This plan challenges us to raise our collective expectations.”
Excerpted Introduction from Thinking Anew, Acting Anew
Thinking Anew, Acting Anew: The Strategic Plan for Saint Joseph’s University reflects the context of our times, the commitment of the SJU community and the reach of our aspirations. SJU is fortunate to be forwarding the initiatives outlined in the plan from a position of strength — with an impressive academic portfolio, financial health, desirable alumni outcomes and loyalty, and significant faculty and student achievement.
Technology, politics, business and social issues are very different today than they were just a few years ago and are testing new social norms, technological limits and ethical standards. The educational experience SJU provides must connect students to today’s world so they are not just prepared for lives and careers, but also equipped to be change-makers, problem-solvers and innovators.
Combining the strong Jesuit intellectual heritage and mission, and harnessing the passionate spirit for which SJU is known and admired, an ambitious path is set. This plan for the next decade is a collective vision, constructed by the able minds and willing hearts of members at every level of the institution who share a desire to always do and be better.
In simplest terms, Thinking Anew, Acting Anew will challenge the University community to reimagine the academic enterprise, all aspects of the total student experience, advance its national recognition through reputation-defining programs and an integrated and proactive communications strategy, and increase the endowment and resources needed to make an SJU education accessible to more students — always building on our quality, ensuring success for the very long horizon.
The University’s commitment to its Jesuit mission and striving toward greater inclusion and diversity were identified as core institutional values, and as such, are infused across all goals and initiatives within the strategic plan.
Saint Joseph’s has strong roots and our capacity for success is immense. So, too, is the commitment of the University’s stakeholders who will carry out this strategic plan: faculty, staff, students and alumni connected by an inexplicable yet palpable understanding of what it means to be Hawks.
“Maximizing the University’s momentum requires the right combination of planning and agility, so that we are always building toward something even better but never too preoccupied to act on opportunities. I see this combination in our strategic plan, along with the kind of big ideas that will cement SJU’s place among top-tier institutions well into the future.”
Edward W. Moneypenny ’64
Chair of the SJU Board of Trustees
Enrich Academic Quality and Distinction
“Our 2017 strategic plan joins together, in a dynamic way, both tradition and innovation: We honor our Jesuit traditions by continuing to provide students with excellent intellectual formation in the liberal arts and sciences, which is the hallmark and foundation of Ignatian education; and we encourage innovation, by inspiring our talented, diverse faculty to be academically entrepreneurial in developing new programs, pursuing cutting-edge research and advancing creative pedagogy.”
William Madges, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology and Religious Studies
- Engage the faculty in a robust examination and restructuring of the College of Arts and Sciences to enhance SJU’s liberal arts foundation.
- Recruit and retain outstanding faculty.
- Create a vibrant online campus, by strengthening the digital platform.
- Identify and construct quality programs for new student populations, with an emphasis on graduate students and adult learners.
- Match pedagogical spaces and cutting-edge facilities to the quality of academic product.
Expand Transformative Student Experiences
“Saint Joseph’s students are practical and determined leaders. We hope to take their leadership potential to the next level by offering an even more transformative experience that equips SJU graduates with a true development of their gifts and talents. The world needs our students to be who they are called to be and to let their personal success empower others to make a more just society.”
Daniel R.J. Joyce, S.J. ’88
Executive Director of Mission Programs
- Recruit and retain talented and diverse students and reimagine a comprehensive financial aid strategy with an emphasis on need-based aid and scholarships.
- Deliver enriching experiential, co-op, leadership, spiritual and service opportunities for all students, allowing them to chart their academic journeys in a more personalized way.
- Provide opportunities for students to develop a leadership identity, grounded in the Jesuit model.
- Create additional learning and gathering spaces that align with anticipated student and faculty needs.
Enhance and Promote Programs of National Prominence
“SJU has everything it takes to lead in higher education: world-class, forward-looking faculty performing relevant research; hubs of academic and professional expertise like the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support and the Maguire Academy for Insurance and Risk Management; and exciting Division I athletics such as our prominent men’s basketball program. The next step for SJU is to strengthen these distinguishing assets and aggressively promote them, garnering the recognition they so deserve.”
Joseph P. Kender
Vice President for University Relations
- Strengthen distinctive academic and co-curricular programs with additional resources and marketing and communications plans.
- Leverage SJU’s Division I status — with a focus on men’s basketball — and the quality and success of athletic programs for recruitment, media exposure and recognition.
- Host seminars and summits for national and international thought leaders.
- Pursue prestigious research grants bringing significant funding and national recognition.
Foster Greater Financial Strength and Stability
“Saint Joseph’s is focused on growing its financial capacity. Take, for instance, the new 12-month campus initiative, which endeavors to use campus resources and facilities throughout the year. Not only does it open new revenue options, but it also allows faculty to create and/or participate in summer programs that may enrich high school students, support current students and extend the education of industry professionals.”
Virginia M. Miori, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Decision and System Sciences
- Implemement a strategic financial model, efficiently utilizing resources and promoting a culture of innovation and accountability.
- Develop pricing and financial aid strategies that support desired student profile goals and year-over-year growth in net tuition revenue.
- Increase and expand donor support through a comprehensive campaign.
- Update campus master plan to provide competitive campus facilities.
- Jesuit Mission and Identity
- Diversity and Inclusion
“The threads of mission and inclusion tie together all of the goals and objectives in the strategic plan. This is a framework to build a campus community that honors diverse, inclusive and global worldviews directed toward deeper, more connected and meaningful learning, scholarship and engagement.”
Monica L. Nixon, Ed.D.
Assistant Provost for Inclusion and Diversity