One of the most important powers of a university and a university center is to convene. The Center uses that power by positioning itself as what we think of as "connective tissue" - for the university and the wider community. By this we mean that we see our role as helping to bring the right partners to the table for a given project and working collaboratively with them to achieve a common goal.
Like dialogue, we often think collaboration is easily achieved when in fact it is the most challenging aspect of every project. This is particularly true when you are dealing with participants from diverse sectors who have different goals and different ideas about how to achieve them. Collaboration requires that each of the partners give up some of their "turf" and commit to a process through which a common project emerges. For collaboration to work, process is the key.
There are many ways to gauge the success of a project - the number of people who attend, the quality of the programming, the amount of publicity it generates, the amount of money it raises - but the most important dimension of every project is relationships that we develop with our partners and the social capital we build. It is this social capital which is the key to achieving common goods for our community.
Internally at Xavier, the Center has partnered with more than two dozen departments, programs and centers in all three colleges. Special long-term relationships such as Ethic/Religion and Society and the Sustainability Program have resulted a great many successful programs.
Externally the Center has partnered with over 100 organizations locally, nationally and globally. The best way to understand the programming of the Center is by connecting you to some of our partners and the work which we have helped develop and in which we are currently grateful to be involved.
For a more complete list of our programing through the years please see the year by year list of programs at the end of the flip book in the Mission section.