Strive 2025: Pathways to Institutional Excellence, Accountability and Sustainability
Introductory Letter from President Joyner
I am pleased to share with you Strive 2025, the strategic plan for Saint Xavier University. This planning document is the culmination of thought from stakeholders across the SXU community, and I am immensely grateful for the ingenuity and dedication that informed its content.
We operate in a time of transition for higher education. Increased competition to attract students, new educational models and rising costs are forcing colleges and universities to make strategic decisions in order to continue their roles as changemakers and community assets. At the same time, industry demands are driving higher education to transform programs into pipelines for skill building and career attainment.
As a university on the rise, Saint Xavier is well-positioned to meet the intellectual, social and spiritual needs of the communities we serve. We are an educational anchor for Chicago's South Side and southwest suburbs, and take great pride in our charge to provide transformative, high-quality educational experiences to the underserved through our commitment to inclusive excellence. The time is now to fully leverage our Mercy mission to serve the needs of our students and our changing world.
Saint Xavier has educated its students for 175 years through the innovative efforts of its extraordinary faculty and staff. We have established a resilient, forward-thinking institution that will thrive for another 175 years.
Strive 2025, focusing on facilitating student success for institutional and community transformation, provides a roadmap for us to fulfill and expand upon our Mercy mission. I invite you to explore the five strategic pillars of Strive 2025 and to share your input on its strategic initiatives. Implementation teams are currently creating tangible action steps to make our shared vision a reality.
Laurie M. Joyner, Ph.D.
Saint Xavier University's Mission
Saint Xavier University, a Catholic institution inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, educates men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good.
Saint Xavier University, the affordable, Catholic Mercy institution, will become known for the strength of its relevant curricular and co-curricular offerings; accomplishments of its faculty, staff and students; robust community engagement; and the success of its graduates.
Building our strategic plan makes for an exciting time at Saint Xavier University. However, we must acknowledge some of the hardships that we face as an industry and an institution, the pivotal changes that drive the importance and urgency of our plan. Facing issues like demographic changes, stagnant family wages, the disruptive role of technology and increased competition, achieving marketplace relevance and financial stability has become more important than ever.
As the first Catholic university in the city of Chicago, Saint Xavier University has survived for nearly 175 years, and we're going to continue to directly face our realities so we can thrive for another 175 years and beyond. We strive for more.
Inspired by the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, we will educate men and women to search for truth, to think critically, to communicate effectively and to serve wisely and compassionately in support of human dignity and the common good. SXU is grounded in Catholic identity, mission and heritage, and our strategic plan will incorporate Catholic intellectual tradition and social teaching across the University. While steeped in Catholic identity, we are accepting of and committed to serving a diverse learning community inclusive of all creeds and religions, and we aim to foster opportunities for meaningful connections among diverse people and ideas. Through workshops, selection practices, lectures, seminars, faith opportunities, orientation and ongoing formation opportunities, students, staff, faculty, administration and trustees will increase familiarity with Catholic doctrines and the principles of Catholic social teaching. These programs will demonstrate ways the disciplines correlate to Catholic intellectual tradition and social teaching. While steeped in Catholic identity, we are accepting of and committed to serving a diverse learning community inclusive of all creeds and religions, and we aim to foster opportunities for meaningful connections among diverse people and ideas.
The SXU experience is designed to ensure student engagement, satisfaction and success across the academic lifecycle. Our strategic plan focuses on improving pedagogies, building strong partnerships across academic and student affairs and adopting best practices which include developmentally appropriate, equity-informed, culturally validating educational experiences. We will deliver student-centered, high-quality programs that advance the mission, address students' needs, leverage the University's strengths and meet market demands. With an increase in online learning offerings, diversifying of the honors program, development of minors, badges and other credentials and examination of models of developmental education, we will support an integrative General Education curriculum. The strength of our relevant and co-curricular offerings, accomplishments of our faculty and staff and robust community engagement will help our graduates succeed.
Our strategic plan will help us to manifest the Mercy Spirit in the internal SXU community and through meaningful local, regional, national and international experiences in service of the common good. We will create a Center of Inclusive Community Engagement (CICE) to support the professional development of faculty and staff; facilitate engaged teaching, scholarship, and service; develop meaningful University partnerships; and coordinate assessment of outcomes related to this strategic priority. With the development of a Community Engagement Team (CET), we will identify opportunities to expand and reimagine initiatives in the SXU community and articulate SXU's contributions to the local economy and greater Chicagoland Area.
As a university, SXU belongs to all in its community, and through our strategic plan, we will move to reflect the rich diversity of our community by increasing the diversity of faculty and staff by race, ethnicity, national origin, gender-identity and other appropriate categories. We will recognize and award performance excellence, high-impact practices and collaborative research. We will create an inclusive procedure for discussing and balancing the competing priorities for investment and create a representative group to increase participation and understanding of the budget process.
Through our strategic plan, we will develop and implement a University-wide retention and enrollment management plan focused on student satisfaction. Careful monitoring of key market performance indicators will guide us to develop and enhance high-demand academic programs for all student populations served by SXU. Our initiative will advance mission, improve student outcomes and increase revenue over time; and we will continue efficiency efforts across the University to contain costs and improve return on our investments, making us financially sustainable and setting us up to deliver our mission for another 175 years.