In September 2011, members of the Newman University Board of Trustees were asked to envision the future of Newman University.
Their response, a collection of goals, plans and dreams, set into motion
events and activities that over the next two and a half years involved research, meetings, imagination and more by representatives of every part of the Newman community.
The result was the Newman University Strategic Plan 2014-2019.
The Strategic Plan puts forward a clear direction to guide Newman toward achieving important goals. Among other things, it is designed to enhance the student experience, make wise use of resources, and strengthen the university’s Catholic Identity.
“The Strategic Plan charts our course for the next five years – it defines what our efforts will be focused upon,” said Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. “This plan shores up our commitment to the Core Value of Global Perspective, and continues our dedication to forming more partnerships and finding new ways to more fully realize our Catholic Mission and Identity.”
Carrocci said more than 150 people representing all constituent groups in the Newman community participated in the process through visioning exercises, task forces, planning groups and more.
“It’s the fruit of the labor of many people,” Carrocci said. “It’s essential that the plan be a collaborative effort.”
“A lot of people contributed different things at different stages of the plan.” added Newman Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Austin, Ph.D., who helped oversee the project. “That’s what strategic plans are– everyone participates in them.”
The new plan, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in May 2014, includes the Newman Mission Statement, the university’s four Core Values, the Newman Code, and a Vision Statement describing the Newman University of 2019:
Newman is a Catholic University known for academic excellence, distinctive service-learning experiences, and a commitment to nurturing faith in an environment of intellectual inquiry. Together with our community partners, we develop leaders who think critically, act compassionately, and work diligently to create a more just and peaceful world that honors the dignity of all people.
To make the Vision Statement a reality, the plan is driven by six Strategic Goals.
One goal, a major component of the plan, includes making the best use of the university’s human, technological, financial and physical resources. This will involve developing and maintaining physical resources and technological infrastructures that will allow Newman to meet its curricular and co-curricular goals. The university will also implement a BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) policy for students, which will replace university computer labs with fully supported, student-owned technology.
To help achieve these and other objectives, Newman will make a concentrated effort to grow freshman enrollment by 15 percent a year over the next five years, and grow the endowment by 5 percent the first year and 8 percent each succeeding year of the plan.
The plan also calls for Newman to provide more opportunities for students to experience transformational academic programs. Major objectives within this goal are to provide abundant opportunities for experiential learning, and to fully implement the Newman Studies Program (NSP) while also making it a nationally recognized and widely imitated program. The NSP is a unique approach to the core curriculum inspired by the teachings of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman.
Another major point in the plan is to stimulate students’ awareness of their place in the global community by creating more opportunities for international study and experiences. This will include creating an Office of International Studies to support student travel and study abroad programs. The university will also work to develop a national and international presence for the graduate-level programs in theology.
The Strategic Plan includes developing the first degree offering at the doctoral level: the Doctorate of Applied Nurse Anesthesia. Newman will also develop more integrated co-curricular programs for undergraduate students to strengthen campus culture and enhance out-of-classroom activities. This is aimed at enriching the Newman experience through programs that focus on student leadership.
Newman will also build on its tradition of service by incorporating service projects and service learning across the curriculum.
To increase student involvement and recreation, Newman has launched intramural sports programs. To increase student health and wellness, the university is exploring affordable memberships in Wichita health and fitness clubs, and the creation of a student health center.
Austin notes that achieving some of the goals and objectives will be challenging.
“One of the most important goals and probably the hardest goal to achieve is getting one-third of our students to have an international experience,” Austin said. “Another big one is the student health center. It’s do-able, but we will have
to put our resources there.”
To nourish the university’s Catholic Identity, Newman will strive to be the recognized leader in the region for Catholic scholarship, devotion and engagement. The university will increase awareness and commitment of students to its Catholic academic identity, and ensure that Catholic principles permeate all curricular, co-curricular and business operations. Newman will also provide more opportunities for visits and
service missions to ASC ministries around the world.
The plan also calls for Newman to expand partnerships with alumni, and with church, education and community organizations. To achieve this, Newman will form liaisons with local Catholic parishes and other churches, initiate dual-enrollment agreements with out-of-state community colleges, and expand the reach of the Gerber Institute for Catholic Studies into western and southeast Kansas.
One of the most important goals is to increase Newman’s capacity to use data to make effective decisions. This includes improving how we gather and analyze measurable outcomes, such as student learning and the success of academic and co-curricular programs.
Austin noted that the university has already taken steps to achieve many of the goals and objectives. Newman has made progress with some technological parts of the plan, he said, launched intramural sports, developed new processes for course management, as well as other activity that has an important impact on the university.
Still, he adds, the plan is not without its challenges.
“It’s a stretch plan – it really is something that’s going to stretch us,” Austin said. “We’ll have to work hard on it for a long time, but I feel confident we can reach the goals we’ve set.”
Newman University Strategic Goals 2014-2019
The Newman University Strategic Plan 2014-2019 is driven by six goals, which set the direction for the university over the next five years.
Newman University will nurture a positive, uplifting environment by supporting its human, financial and physical resources.
Newman University will provide opportunities for students to experience transformational academic programs.
Newman University will continue to develop comprehensive and integrated co-curricular programs to foster life-long learning and enhance the out of class experience.
Newman University will nourish its Catholic identity and engage those of all faiths in the common pursuit of the truth.
Newman University will expand partnerships with alumni and with church, higher education, and community organizations.
Newman University will increase its capacity to use data to make effective decisions.