The Xavier Way

I. Strengthening Our Jesuit Mission, Vision, and Values

In the last decade, Xavier University has moved to the forefront of Jesuit higher education as a university where faculty, staff, and students are knowledgeable about and act in light of the fundamental animating spirit at the heart of the University. Now, Xavier University is poised to become even better recognized as a mission-driven organization acting upon and embodying its fundamental Jesuit identity - and enabling others to act upon Jesuit values as well.

We will:

  1. Successfully launch and develop the Institute for Spirituality and Social Justice through the Department of Theology
  2. Endow a Center for Ignatian Spirituality and Leadership through the Center for Mission and Identity.
  3. Devise fresh ways to integrate mission and identity into staff and faculty hiring, development, and evaluation.
  4. More intentionally connect such sectors of University work as diversity, sustainability, community engagement, interfaith dialogue, local and global solidarity, etc., to the core Jesuit mission of the University.
  5. Hire a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, constitute the President's Diversity Advisory and Action Council, and create a strategic plan for diversity and inclusion that proceeds from our Jesuit identity and supports the Xavier Way.

II. Adapting the Jesuit Educational Tradition and Strengthening the Cura Personalis of Our Students

Today, it is often observed that students now must be prepared to invent jobs, not simply land jobs. Xavier agrees - and more: that students today must be as prepared to invent lives of deep meaning and service as they are to invent jobs. And we believe that the best way to prepare students to invent their jobs and their lives is by adapting our Jesuit educational tradition in four ways: Strengthening our traditional liberal arts foundation, solidly connecting all our curricula for all our students to the essential goals of that foundation, expanding our traditional emphasis on ethics and integrity through deeper and more pervasive opportunities for engaged learning, and seasoning the whole with current best practices in innovation.

Further, we will hold ourselves accountable for the success of our students. We will invite our students to shape their own personalized "My Xavier Way." Students who participate fully in this process will maximize their opportunities for post-graduate success through employment, graduate school, volunteer service, etc. In the rare instance where a student completes a personalized "My Xavier Way" and is not successful, we will offer additional support towards that end.

We will:

  1. Design and implement a new core curriculum, including First-year seminars and a Xavier Co-curricular Passport Program.
  2. Align all our academic and student development programs, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, with the learning goals at the heart of the core curriculum and strengthen the quality of all programs.
  3. Expand and deepen opportunities for engaged learning for all our students at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
  4. Enhance the ability of our faculty and staff to deliver on our fundamental learning outcomes in an atmosphere of enhanced academic excellence.
  5. Embed innovation more deeply in academic programs through the colleges, beginning with the School of Arts and Innovation in the College of Arts and Sciences in fall of 2015.

III. Promoting Cura Apostolica: The University's Financial and Organization Health

In the last decade, the University has strengthened its organization and financial health in many ways: hiring the University's first general counsel, strengthening our human resources organization, launching an internal audit function, taking significant steps towards assessing and mitigating risk, strengthening policies to protect our students according to best practices, continuing to maintain healthy credit ratings, improving our plant depreciation funding, and more. In the coming years, we will continue to balance immediate and long-term needs to ensure that Xavier University navigates well the current pressures higher education faces to emerge as a still-stronger organization in the future - while generating incremental net revenues to fund our core enterprise: the transformation of our students.

We will:

  1. Focus academic program growth where external demand and University strengths converge, with special emphasis on health professions, STEM fields, and graduate business opportunities.
  2. Grow alternative revenues, chiefly through deepening our work in innovation.
  3. Achieve the following by 2020: a 3% operating margin; a full funding of the depreciation; and, full funding of operating reserves target.
  4. Implement a managerial accounting system and develop financial management expertise University-wide.
  5. Improve support for employee development, satisfaction, and performance aligned with University strategies and values.
  6. Execute a successful campaign by 2021 which raises $100 million or more for the endowment, at least 60% of which will be for endowed student financial aid.

IV. Advancing Xavier's Identity and Brand

It's not hard to find universities whose student athletes win big, and it's not hard to find universities where student athletes graduate. But it is hard to find universities where students do both. In a nutshell, what basketball has done for Xavier is give us national visibility as a school that does both. That visibility has swelled alumni pride, assisted student recruitment efforts, and driven fundraising success. It has also helped contribute to the University's enhanced reputation more broadly, a brand grounded in (as recent research has shown) personal attention, Jesuit values, experiential learning, and the community of X. Now, we will both better promote and strengthen these elements, even as we adjust them in ways to make them sill more compelling to a variety of target audiences.

We will:

  1. Hire a chief marketing officer to lead these efforts effectively.
  2. Advance the ability of intercollegiate athletics to promote the mission of Xavier University by implementing the Magis Athletic Strategic Plan.
  3. Leverage our robust community engagement efforts to enhance student learning and faculty teaching and scholarship.
  4. Commit to and promote the post-graduation success of our students. 
  5. Embed innovation ever more deeply in both academic programs and University processes.
  6. Foster valuable social and professional networks to support all members of the Xavier community over the arc of their careers.

Accepted by the Xavier Board of Trustees on December 5th, 2014.