College of Arts and Sciences

Made For This Moment?


Last evening as I read Fr. Graham's message to our community, I was caught up short by our university president's suggestion that we--the members 0f Xavier University--might somehow have been "made for this moment."

It's an extraordinary thought: that we at Xavier--a Jesuit Catholic university grounded in the study of the liberal arts, a community shaped by our common campus spaces and proud of our longstanding traditions--were particularly well-prepared for rapid reinvention when a pandemic unexpectedly prevented us from coming together in person.

How exactly were we well-suited to navigate that disruption, and to chart the further uncertainties ahead? How are we prepared for the budget scenarios to which we must now respond?

And then I reflected further. 

I thought about you and our college community. As my fourth year as the college's dean comes to an end, I also looked back to consider what we have accomplished together during that time.

I am most gratified, I realized, by the hard work we've done together to clarify and strengthen the college's principles of shared governance. 

Those are embodied in our college's principles of Leadership and Decision-Making. As it happens, CASCA just completed minor revisions to the text, reflecting work that's been accomplished since the Summer 2018 task force first proposed it to the college. 

I encourage you to review the document now, including the communication flowchart and the decision matrix.

Now we have work to do. Reflecting. Planning. Prioritizing. It will not be easy.

And yet. We do know how to go forward. We will proceed to communicate and make decisions as we have already agreed.

In the days and weeks ahead I will work closely with CASCA, the Academic Leadership Group, and the rest of you in your various roles. We will follow our principles of communication and decision-making to inform my recommendations next month to the Provost for how we might adapt to whatever comes next. 

On reflection, I see it: all that we have built together has made us ready for this moment. 

And now we will walk through it together.