Our plan, Grounded in Tradition, Educating for the Future
, includes a group of initiatives that while distinct in their specific requirements, complement each other and will help advance our university toward its fundamental goal of becoming the nation’s leading Catholic comprehensive university. Organized into five key areas critical to Loyola’s continuing achievement, these initiatives focus on:
At the undergraduate level, our educational philosophy is represented most clearly by our Core Curriculum, because we believe that the traditions of the liberal arts provide valuable skills of cogent thinking, careful analysis and clear communication. We will encourage renewed emphasis on the Core and its mission, objectives, and pedagogy, including being more intentional and direct in the teaching of it. We will pursue greater integration of the Core by encouraging awareness of cross-disciplinary ideas, discussions, and applications as well as team-taught courses and curricular activities that underscore the connections between different disciplines. We will also develop a plan to implement a new Honors Program. We will strive for increased intellectual engagement through enhanced academic rigor, providing our undergraduate students with an education that is inspiring, intentional, and experiential, thereby producing graduates that are prepared to lead and serve in a diverse and changing world.
- Establish Living and Learning Communities for all First-year Students. Building on our history of excellence in first-year programs, we will develop a comprehensive Living and Learning Program for first-year students that will support and enhance a vibrant intellectual campus community. Living and Learning Communities will have a transformative effect on the campus by instilling in new students an excitement about the life of the mind. The program will provide opportunities for students to discuss transformational issues and to engage in intellectual conversations outside of the classroom. The program will ensure that students understand and are able to engage in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Jesuit practice of discernment, as well as provide a strong academic and mission-centered foundation that will support a successful path towards graduation. The program will rely on collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Development and will afford opportunities for initiatives that encourage greater integration of the Core curriculum in the first year.
- Enhance and Enrich the Natural Sciences. The scientific method embodies a way in which we naturally and cyclically pose questions; observe, gather, and analyze data; and discern and discover features of the universe. Science helps us approach, think about, and solve everyday challenges. In the coming years, citizens will be increasingly called upon to make personal, social, ethical, and governmental decisions that involve science, mathematics, and technology at their core. In response to these needs, Loyola’s Natural Science Departments have committed to a renewed emphasis on core science learning. This commitment is linked with plans for increased enrollments in science majors and interdisciplinary programming. To accomplish our goals in science, we must have facilities and resources that will attract and support curious, successful students of science, engineering, and mathematics; will contribute to the recruitment and retention of research-active faculty members; and will allow innovative programs and the creativity of those involved with science to flourish.
Great Catholic universities transform their diverse external communities through graduate programs that inspire students to create a more just world. In addition, we recognize that in today’s world, a graduate degree is often required for entry into many professions. Inspired by many of the same principles that shape our undergraduate programs, including academic excellence, inquiry and diversity, our graduate programs will focus on providing already accomplished students with the means to apply their skills and experiences to greater intellectual and professional challenges. We seek to prepare our graduate students for lives of meaningful professional service and leadership. We will also capitalize on potential benefits to both undergraduate and graduate students in terms of research opportunities, mentoring, and networking that are unique to comprehensive institutions.
- Launch a School of Education, Achieve National Recognition for the Loyola Clinical Centers, and Strive for Greater Renown for the Sellinger School. We will develop and promote three distinct graduate areas as leaders in their professional fields in terms of teaching, scholarship, and community service. We will launch a distinctive School of Education geared to the development of urban teachers and other professionals to specifically prepare them for successful work, scholarship, and practice, given the unique and complex challenges of urban schools and communities. The School will be a leader regionally and nationally, generating the scholarship and new practices that leverage true urban public school improvement and renewal. We will strive for national recognition of the Loyola Clinical Centers as an interdisciplinary training facility for service providers who are leaders in their disciplines. The Clinical Centers will develop students who are experts in their respective applied disciplines using an innovative interdisciplinary curriculum while meeting the educational, communication, and behavioral health needs of the underserved in the greater Baltimore region. We will strive for renown for the Sellinger School, aiming for greater awareness of its achievements in developing ethical, discerning, socially responsible leaders. The Sellinger School will be preeminent in developing the next generation of strategic leaders for Baltimore and beyond.
- Augment Services that Enable Recruitment, Retention, and Development of Graduate Students. We will attract graduate students from diverse backgrounds with intellectual curiosity and social awareness. In the Jesuit tradition of educating the whole person, we will assist students in the development of their full range of personal and professional talents and create a sense of community for these students. We will be attentive to the distinctive and diverse needs of our graduate students as well as to the needs of the broader communities that these students will serve.
In recognition of the direct and central role of faculty in advancing and instilling academic excellence, we will develop and implement a comprehensive plan for faculty expansion, recruitment, development, support, and retention. This plan will provide support for teaching, scholarship, and service; will include an enhanced junior faculty sabbatical program; will reward achievements and encourage further accomplishments; will encourage diversity of thought and experience in our faculty; and will promote a healthy and appropriate balance within and outside of the faculty member’s professional life.
By increasing the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty members who are active scholars as well as teachers dedicated to our distinct mission and heritage, we will enhance our contribution to knowledge and the human condition, the learning experiences of our undergraduate and graduate students, and the reputation of Loyola as a comprehensive university. Additional tenured and tenure-track faculty will also allow time for all faculty members, including senior faculty who provide key leadership in service, to be more fully involved in the life of the university, within and outside of the classroom. Additional tenured and tenure-track faculty members also offer the opportunity for increased collaborative scholarship.
- Strengthen Loyola’s Intellectual Positioning through Tenure-track Faculty Positions and Enhanced Faculty Development Support. We will fund new tenure-track positions to meet the programmatic needs required by the Strategic Plan initiatives, as well as to ensure that current and future faculty members have the time necessary to carry out their primary duties of teaching, scholarship, and service. Tenured and tenure-track faculty members are committed to understanding and bringing Jesuit educational heritage to students’ learning experiences. These faculty members are also active and productive scholars, discovering, producing, and sharing new human knowledge and embodying habits that we seek to instill in our students. Collectively, additional numbers of tenured and tenure-track faculty members, combined with current faculty members, will be instrumental in achieving many of Loyola’s strategic initiatives.
While Loyola’s commitment to academic excellence may be its most defining quality, its Jesuit, Catholic identity does not allow for an intellectual community that exists in isolation. Rather, Loyola must, and does, play a critical and constructive role in the local, regional, national and global communities of which we are a part.
The Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, states that, “to be a ‘university’ requires dedication to research, teaching, and the various forms of service that respond to its cultural mission. To be ‘Jesuit’ requires that the university act in harmony with demands of the service of faith and promotion of justice.” We must fully utilize our campus resources to create academic courses and developmental programs to prepare our students to engage in the world around them and better understand the injustices and harsh realities it can present from a mission-centered approach. This engagement begins first in the communities closest to Loyola. Loyola recognizes its urban identity and location as a resource and an opportunity and strives to be an agent of positive change for the community.
That said, Loyola exists in an increasingly global society, and cannot limit its engagement to those communities in geographic proximity. An understanding of the dynamics of an international environment is a crucial part of a liberal education, and we will elevate our on-campus discussion of global issues. We will strengthen and increase undergraduate and graduate student opportunities for international experiences such as study abroad and internships, as well as service-learning in local communities and abroad. In so doing we will further Loyola’s mission of preparing students to learn, lead and serve in a diverse and changing world. We will seek to ensure that students are able to continue integrating and reflecting upon their global experiences, which transcend national and disciplinary boundaries. Through vehicles such as diversity, global studies, and service-learning courses; mission-centered programs and lectures; and engagement in direct service, our students will be equipped to perceive, think, judge, choose and act as positive agents for social change locally and globally.
- Partner in Developing a Plan for York Road Corridor Redevelopment. We will take a leadership role in the development of a multi-dimensional plan to improve the quality of life for those living, working, and learning in the York Road corridor. This initiative will involve community constituencies, including representatives from community-based agencies, neighborhood associations, faith-based community organizations, and other neighborhood groups, in developing a vision of how our collaboration will help improve the lives of children and families in the area. In developing the plan, we will partner and work collaboratively with a broad array of community entities as well as with internal constituencies at Loyola and civic and corporate leaders. Interested stakeholders will have the opportunity to participate in the development of the comprehensive plan as well as its implementation. The plan will also support adjoining communities by introducing resources and services that promote the development of human capital to enable community members to develop structures and initiative to address neighborhood issues and opportunities. The plan will focus on the educational development, health, and well-being of community residents, as well as upon the economic viability of the neighborhoods, including its residential and retail establishments. As part of our commitment to care for the environment, we will ensure that the redevelopment plan is environmentally sustainable and makes use of green technology, where possible.
- Enhance the Global Studies Program. We will enhance the interdisciplinary Global Studies Program, which provides undergraduate students with a social science-based framework to analyze globalizing processes that transcend national and disciplinary boundaries. In order to inform this discussion, Global Studies students learn about the great diversity of human life on the planet and study a wide range of cultures and world regions. As many global issues do not fit neatly within any single academic discipline, the Global Studies program presents students with economic, historical, political, and sociological perspectives. This approach develops in students a “‘a vision of knowledge which, well aware of its limitations, is not satisfied with fragments but tries to integrate them into a true and wise synthensis’ about the real world.”
Thriving athletics programs encourage the development of a healthy and wholesome campus climate, broaden institutional exposure in an increasingly competitive market, lead to heightened national recognition, and cultivate a sense of community and connection with the institution, which leads students to engage more fully in the university experience. We will leverage intercollegiate athletics to promote and enhance our reputation, building on the exposure resulting from athletic successes to raise awareness of our outstanding academic programs and opportunities. We will maintain our focus on recruiting, retaining, and supporting student athletes who succeed academically. We will review and explore athletic conference affiliations, and assess and analyze opportunities related to facilities, scholarships, and funding in order to develop and consider a business plan for increased investment in athletics.
- Enhance our Athletic Programs by Improving Athletic Facilities and Implementing a Comprehensive Marketing Plan for Loyola Athletics. We will provide facilities that increase engagement in Loyola athletics by students, faculty members, administrators, staff members, parents, alumni, and community. Enhanced facilities will allow the campus community to participate more fully in the life of the university, will enhance the fan experience, and will help our neighbors throughout the Baltimore area better connect with our university and the many opportunities we offer. In addition, we will promote our facilities to support our desire to field more competitive teams, participate in post-season event hosting opportunities, and strengthen our reputation as an institution that recognizes the role athletics plays in the development of a well-rounded university.