ST. JEROMEâ€™S UNIVERSITY STRATEGIC PLAN 2016-2021
BUILDING ON TRADITION
TABLE OF CONTENTS St. Jerome’s University – a Brief History and Description.............................. 04
Historical Highlights............................................................................ 08
Our Objectives, Mission, and Vision............................................................... 09 Shared Commitments of Our Community...................................................... 10
Commitment 1 – Our Identity.............................................................. 12
Commitment 2 – Our Catholicity.......................................................... 12
Commitment 3 – Our Research............................................................ 13
Commitment 4 – Our Teaching and Learning........................................ 13
Commitment 5 – Our Culture............................................................... 14
Commitment 6 – Our Future................................................................ 14
A Liberal Arts Education at St. Jerome’s University........................................ 16 Appendix 1: Strategic Planning Committee.................................................... 20 Appendix 2: Strategic Planning Process........................................................ 21
ST. JEROME’S UNIVERSITY – A BRIEF HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION St. Jerome’s University, founded in January 1865 by Fr. Louis Funcken of the Congregation of the Resurrection, is a full member of Universities Canada (UC), formerly the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities of Canada (ACCUC), the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), and the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU). Since 1960, St. Jerome’s University has been federated with the University of Waterloo and was the founding college of the University of Waterloo. Initially known as Wilmot College, because it was located in the village of St.Agatha in Wilmot Township, Ontario, the fledgling institution’s name was formally changed shortly thereafter to the College of St. Jerome after the great scholar St. Jerome, and also to honour
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the Resurrectionist Superior General, Rev. Jerome Kajsiewicz, C.R., when he travelled to St. Agatha on his first visit to Canada. In 1866, the College of St. Jerome moved to Duke Street in Berlin (now Kitchener) and was granted an act of incorporation “for the education of youth in the usual branches of a Collegiate Education.” In 1901, the first Board of Governors (all Resurrectionists) was established when a new act of incorporation changed the name to St. Jerome’s College. In 1947, following changes after the Second World War, St. Jerome’s affiliated with the University of Ottawa. For the first time, students attending St. Jerome’s College were able to earn a university degree. Steps were initiated to clearly separate the academic activities of the high school from the College and, in keeping with the tradition of the University of Ottawa, the Head of St. Jerome’s College assumed the title of Rector. In 1953, St. Jerome’s College left its Kitchener site for a new college campus, known as Kingsdale, at the eastern boundary of Kitchener. Most students at the Kingsdale campus were in the College’s preseminary program, seeking admission to a seminary; they were not eligible for university admission nor
were they enrolled for a university degree. Beginning in this era, women were encouraged to enrol in St. Jerome’s College, and the College began an outreach program in the community known as Christopher Leadership courses. A number of changes to Ontario’s university system in the late 1950s spearheaded a major new university initiative in the City of Waterloo, which ultimately led to the establishment of the University of Waterloo in 1957. St. Jerome’s College Rector, Fr. Cornelius Siegfried, C. R., with the encouragement and support of Bishop Joseph Ryan of the Diocese of Hamilton, met regularly throughout the planning process of the new university with Dr. Gerald Hagey, who became the first President of the newly established University of Waterloo. From the outset St. Jerome’s College played an integral part in the formation of this new university proposed for the Waterloo area. In the 1959 Act, which created the University of Waterloo, St. Jerome’s College was proclaimed as an independent university, known as the University of St. Jerome’s College. The fledgling University of St. Jerome’s College entered into a Federation agreement with the newly formed University of Waterloo in 1960, ending the affiliation agreement with the University of Ottawa. The University of St. Jerome’s College relocated to a new proposed campus for the future University of Waterloo. The Kingsdale Campus was renamed Resurrection College and continued its vocational, pre-seminary focus. Federation with the University of Waterloo was completed in June 1960 with the University of St. Jerome’s College identified as the founding college of the University of Waterloo. As an integral part of this federation agreement the University of St. Jerome’s College agreed to hold its degree granting privileges in abeyance, with the exception of degrees in theology; graduates would receive a University of Waterloo degree. In 1962, a new administration and academic building, as well as a men’s residence, were opened at the current location “across the creek” from the University of Waterloo. The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) established a women’s residence (Notre Dame College) for female students attending the University of St. Jerome’s College. The SSND were an integral part
of the mission of the University of St. Jerome’s College until 1996, when they chose to seek a new apostolate for their work with women. The University of St. Jerome’s College purchased Notre Dame College and incorporated it into its building and residence program as Sweeney Hall. Notre Dame Chapel was retained as a tribute to the work of the SSND and to provide support for Campus Ministry programming. As a federated university within the University of Waterloo, however, the University of St. Jerome’s College also differed from stand-alone Catholic colleges and universities. The federation agreement enabled the University of St. Jerome’s College to offer general arts courses, which at the time included mathematics, that were part of the University of Waterloo curriculum. As a result, the University of St. Jerome’s College established its arts faculty to work with the University of Waterloo and its Dean of Arts to become an integral part of the Faculty of Arts on the broader Waterloo campus. In September 1960, the first students from the University of St. Jerome’s College were enrolled as undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo. In later years they would be called “pioneers”.1 In the 1960s and 1970s, the University of St. Jerome’s College focused on becoming a contemporary Catholic university. This focus led to the hiring of faculty who were excellent teachers and strong scholars. Many of these faculty members went on to hold academic leadership positions at St. Jerome’s University. As part of its new status as a university, the administration of the University of St. Jerome’s College began to introduce academic policies based on the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) practice to guide its internal operations. At the same time, the Board of Governors began a series of amendments to bring its governing structure into line with that of other Ontario universities. This included the creation of the position of Chancellor and the addition of lay members to the Board of Governors. In 1984, the Board of Governors elected the first lay person to chair the Board. In 1988, a new Act of Incorporation introduced two Strategic Plan |
noteworthy changes: (i) someone other than the diocesan bishop was eligible to serve as Chancellor and (ii) the elimination of the requirement that the president be a member of the Congregation of the Resurrection, hence opening the possibility of a lay person as president. As part of this transition, however, the Congregation of the Resurrection retained its 51% majority on the Board of Governors, which remained in place until 1995. In December 2000, the province granted the Consolidated Act of Incorporation for St. Jerome’s University, which established the current composition of the Board and officially changed the name to St. Jerome’s University, a change that clarified St. Jerome’s University’s status as a federated university and a founding university of the University of Waterloo, and formally recognizing the ability of St. Jerome’s University to grant graduate degrees. This change in name and the formal recognition of our ability to grant graduate degrees precipitated a renewed emphasis on research. Today, our faculty have national and international reputations as leading scholars in their fields. Since 2005, St. Jerome’s University faculty have received more than $1 million in funding through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Since 2010, our faculty complement has published, on average, about five books per year and authored numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals. Our faculty serve as book series editors, journal editors, and consultants to government bodies around the globe. A number of our faculty have served on the boards of national and international learned societies. In 2015 alone, one St. Jerome’s University faculty member received a prestigious award from the Cooperative Education and Internship Association for her research on experiential learning, two faculty members received SSHRC grants, and another faculty member received a highly prized Ontario Early Researcher Award. These research successes are especially noteworthy because St. Jerome’s University has a faculty complement of only slightly more than thirty members.
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St. Jerome’s University has always been attentive to student interest in the development of our interdisciplinary programs. In 1972, for example, St. Jerome’s University launched the Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Studies program to study the profound changes resulting from the sexual revolution of the 1960s. This popular program continues to be a home for students wanting to examine the complex issues shaping our perspectives on human sexuality and familial relationships. In 2001, with increased student interest in our legal studies and criminology courses, St. Jerome’s University spearheaded the formation of the highly regarded Legal Studies program, which is jointly delivered through St. Jerome’s University and the University of Waterloo. In 2005, the Master of Catholic Thought graduate program was launched in response to requests that St. Jerome’s University offer academic theology courses for leaders holding positions in Catholic institutions, including those in education, health care, and social services. In April 2009, the Ontario Labour Relations Board certified The St. Jerome’s University Academic Staff Association (SJU ASA) for full-time academic staff. On April 25th, 2013, the Ontario Labour Relations Board issued a certificate for the SJU ASA to act as sole representative to all Contract Academic Staff at the University. St. Jerome’s University recognizes the many contributions of faculty and contract academic staff and the important role they play in teaching and service to the St Jerome’s University community. St Jerome’s University fosters strong relationships with faculty and contract academic staff through its commitment to ongoing dialogue, recognition of service, and the provision of opportunities for professional development. In Spring 2014 an agreement between St. Jerome’s University and the University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics led to the consolidation of the teaching of mathematics at Waterloo. This agreement resulted in St. Jerome’s University’s three full-time mathematics faculty members and a half-time faculty member transferring to Waterloo on May 1st, 2014. The consolidation of mathematics at the University of Waterloo has provided an opportunity for St. Jerome’s
University to revisit the core liberal arts curriculum, while at the same time looking for potential growth areas rooted in the liberal arts. The thriving, student-centered culture at St. Jerome’s University has been carefully nurtured by the University’s faculty, contract academic staff, and staff. Their commitment to social justice, leadership development, and student service is reflected in the suite of co-curricular experiences that have become a hallmark of our holistic student-centered programming at St. Jerome’s University. Our faculty, contract academic staff, and staff are always seeking innovative and creative ways to improve the support we provide to meet the needs of our students.They are engaged in meaningful collaboration and cooperation, developing new and more effective delivery methods of integrated student supports and services. Through the close working relationship between our faculty, contract academic staff, and staff, we are well positioned and capable of responding to the needs of our diverse student population, while equipping our students with the education, skills, and personal and spiritual guidance required to action our institutional vision of building a more just society.
renamed Notre Dame Chapel in recognition of the contributions of the SSND to St. Jerome’s University. It will be dedicated worship space for Campus Ministry serving the needs of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the community that worships at St. Jerome’s University. We look forward to writing the next chapter in our ongoing story, building on the foundation of our 150-year-old heritage. This strategic plan was developed by our community after extensive consultation and collaboration with members from all areas of the University, and reflects the shared vision and commitment of our community. It positions us for the future, building on the strength of our Catholic Tradition.
St. Jerome’s University is looking to the future with the development of new infrastructure and redevelopment of existing infrastructure to support our mission. In Spring 2014, ground was broken on the $47 million Campus Renewal 2015 project that will provide new classroom, residential, and student wellness space. The new 28,000 square-foot academic building includes a 300-seat lecture hall, one classroom that seats 125, one classroom that seats 95, another that seats 75, and two smaller classrooms that each seat 60. The new Residence Halls will replace the residence in Sweeney Hall, which will be renovated in 2016-2017, to provide 23,000 square feet of office, research, and meeting spaces to support our full-time and contract academic staff. Renovations to existing classrooms and the library are to be completed by the 2017-2018 academic year. One of the key priorities of Campus Renewal 2015 was to give the chapel a place of prominence on the campus. Siegfried Hall, which marks the southeast entrance onto campus, will be renovated and Strategic Plan |
HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS 1865
- January, founded by Fr. Louis Funcken of the Congregation of the Resurrection - July, named College of St. Jerome
Act proclaims the University of St. Jerome’s College
A new Act of Incorporation introduced two noteworthy changes: someone other than the diocesan bishop was eligible to serve as Chancellor and the elimination of the requirement that the president be a member of the Congregation of the Resurrection
the College of St. Jerome was granted an act of incorporation “for the education of youth in the usual branches of a Collegiate Education”
June, Federation with the University of Waterloo was completed with the University of St. Jerome’s College being identified as the founding college of the University of Waterloo
December, the province granted the Consolidated Act of Incorporation for St. Jerome’s University, which established the current composition of the Board and officially changed the name to St. Jerome’s University
the first Board of Governors was established when a new act of incorporation changed the name to St. Jerome’s College
A new College administration and academic building as well as a men’s residence were opened; the School Sisters of Notre Dame established a women’s residence (Notre Dame College) which existed at the institution until 1996
launched the Master of Catholic Thought, the first graduate studies program
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- February, agreement was signed with the University of Waterloo to consolidate mathematics at the University of Waterloo - April, ground was broken on Campus Renewal 2015
affiliated with the University of Ottawa
Board of Governors elected the first lay person to chair the Board
Ontario Labour Relations Board certified The St. Jerome’s University Academic Staff Association (SJU ASA) for full-time academic staff
Ontario Labour Relations Board issued a certificate for the SJU ASA to act as sole representative to all Contract Academic Staff at St. Jerome’s University.
OUR OBJECTIVES The objectives of the University are: (a) to advance learning and disseminate knowledge in a manner consistent with Roman Catholic tradition and the honest pursuit of wisdom and understanding; and (b) to encourage the intellectual, spiritual, social, moral, and personal development of the members of the University community and the betterment of society consistent with the ideals of the contemporary Roman Catholic Church.
OUR MISSION St. Jerome’s University is a public Roman Catholic university federated with the University of Waterloo and historically associated with the educational vision of the Congregation of the Resurrection. We are committed to learning and academic excellence; the gospel values of love, truth, and justice; and the formation of leaders for the service of the community and the Church. In all of our activities and practices, St. Jerome’s University functions within the context of the Roman Catholic tradition and the principles of academic freedom.
OUR VISION At St. Jerome’s University we steward each student’s unique talents, nurture their ability to think critically, and inspire them to become life-long learners who seek knowledge and truth, act with compassion, and advocate for human dignity for all. We educate our students to become informed, courageous citizens who have the humility to work together for the common good and the courage to lead by example to build a more just society.
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SHARED COMMITMENTS OF OUR COMMUNITY This is an exciting time for St. Jerome’s University as we look to the future. We have matured since those early one-room beginnings; from a log cabin in St. Agatha in 1865, to the growing, vibrant Catholic university we are today. Recognized, both locally and abroad, for our academic excellence and community service, we are still grounded in the vision of our founding fathers of the Congregation of the Resurrection and the support given to us by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. These religious orders are an integral part of the legacy of St. Jerome’s University. We recognize and highly value the contributions of our founders, as they reflect the spirit and vision of Catholic education that we embrace and celebrate. We look to the future with optimism, as we grow our capacity through sustainable infrastructure renewal. Campus Renewal 2015 will allow us to continue to advance our mission and extend our reach within the Diocese of Hamilton and beyond. These are inspiring times for St. Jerome’s University as we celebrate new partnerships and governance structures. On September 20th, 2012, we celebrated the signing of a Partnership Agreement with the Diocese of Hamilton and the six English Catholic District School Boards to promote Catholic Education as a lifelong process. This agreement signifies the importance for the University to commit to broadening our view of education and to recognize that alone we are not capable of contributing fully. The whole system, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, must be healthy. It is important that we are committed to inviting and leading conversations across the Diocese of Hamilton about the entire educational experience and promoting lifelong learning. The 2012-2013 academic year saw the adoption of a new governance model for St. Jerome’s University. The dedication and collaboration between the Board and the University allowed the University to adopt
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the bicameral governance structure typical of most universities. The inaugural meeting of the SJU Senate Council took place on September 27th, 2012, and we continue to build on the momentum of the past few years. A conversation was initiated with all members of the St. Jerome’s University community to identify the values that form the basis of our strategic plan, reflecting our mission and our catholicity, as well as our commitment to academic excellence and freedom. At St. Jerome’s University, our pedagogical philosophy focuses on the intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual development of the whole student, grounded in the pedagogical vision of the Congregation of the Resurrection of holding up the gospel values of love, truth, and justice as exemplified by Jesus for people to admire. Father Funcken believed that people are formed by what they admire. Today, this 150-yearold vision of our founding fathers grows out of the research, teaching and service mission of the University. At St. Jerome’s University, students can expect a traditional university experience that combines rigorous academic programming with strong residential, co-curricular, and extra-curricular programming. 2 As John Henry Cardinal Newman pointed out in his book The Idea of the University (1852), university life must be more than just the accumulation of specialized knowledge; instead, university life must consist of broad educational experiences that foster social, spiritual, and intellectual development. At St. Jerome’s University, our aim is to inspire students to become enthusiastic, discerning learners who are developing a lifelong commitment to seek, integrate, and disseminate knowledge that promotes a more just society. St. Jerome’s University students graduate with more than just a University of Waterloo degree. They leave with a knowledge base and a skill set that enables them to think critically, communicate well, and respond creatively to life’s opportunities and challenges. Our graduates have an awareness of themselves and their surroundings. They know that they are persons with human dignity and agency. They understand that, as
individuals, they exist within an integrated human community. They also understand that we live together on a planet with finite resources and that we have a responsibility to be stewards of creation. We expect our graduates to be difference-makers in the workplace, in our communities, and around the globe.
not only cultivates the life of the mind and the heart, it encourages our students to act as agents of social transformation.
The liberal arts are at the heart of Catholic higher education, which invites us to read thoughtful authors, to be open to all questions, and to think through the big issues of life and ask what life is ultimately about. It encourages us to reflect on the cumulative wisdom of other people’s experience over the centuries, and to determine how the various aspects of life fit together. We regard the liberal arts as central to our mission and vision because it challenges us to broaden our horizons, and to acknowledge our differences, preparing us to make sound judgments. A Catholic liberal arts education opens our students’ imaginations, developing their ability to pay thoughtful attention to the world around them, to interpret it critically, and to imagine what might be. We aspire to foster future citizens who will be engaged in society to fashion new social, economic, and political structures rooted in the prophetic call for justice, and who have the courage and strength to advocate for the common good. The former President of the Association for Catholic Universities and Colleges, Monika Hellwig, speaks of our social responsibility this way: “[A] Catholic university is very concerned about our shared responsibility for those who are left out in the common affairs of the society. The university hopes to inspire you to live your life, to practice your profession, to act as a citizen in such ways that you never forget the people who are left out, that you never forget the people least privileged and most needy.” 3 St. Jerome’s University does this by being committed to the social teachings of the Catholic Church, which include the dignity of human persons, a preferential option for the poor, solidarity with the marginalized, the care of creation, the dignity of work, the right and responsibility to participate in society, and the pursuit of the common good. Our academic programming Strategic Plan | 11
COMMITMENT 1: OUR IDENTITY
COMMITMENT 2: OUR CATHOLICITY
We distinguish ourselves locally, nationally and internationally as a pre-eminent Roman Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts and the principles of academic freedom.
We embrace the gospel values of love, truth, and justice as exemplified by Jesus, to encourage the intellectual, spiritual, and social development of the whole person.
Priorities: • Provide a liberal arts education that inspires enthusiasm for truth, compassion, and justice • Ensure a commitment to educating the whole person: intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually • Promote opportunities for community engagement to explore and discuss a wide variety of issues
Priorities: • Our Catholic tradition is prominent on the campus • Live and teach the values of truth, love and compassion • The university reflects the diversity in society
To Realize Our Priorities We Will… • Implement the academic plan that is rooted in the liberal arts, the Catholic Intellectual and Social Traditions, and the principles of open academic inquiry • Nurture a culture of shared identity and collaboration • Continue to provide public lectures and events that engage the community in dialogue from broad perspectives • Create an institutional communication strategy that strengthens our visual identity and highlights our distinctive programming • Profile mission-centered programs and events in our communications and publications • Ensure our governance structures support our teaching and research, and are built on the principles of collegial governance and academic freedom Our Indicators of Success Will Include … • Programming and resource allocation that supports our identity and mission • Communication strategies that distinguish us as a leading Roman Catholic liberal arts university • Support for a diverse array of public lectures (e.g., Bridges Lecture Series, Medieval Lecture Series, the Reading Series at St. Jerome’s University,) and other public events that explore a variety of topics 12 | St. Jerome’s University
To Realize Our Priorities We Will… • Take a leading role in the promotion of the Catholic Intellectual and Social Traditions • Expand opportunities to engage our students and community with other intellectual and faith traditions • Challenge injustice and inequality • Extend Campus Ministry outreach and partnerships, internally and externally • Relocate our chapel to a place of priority and increased visibility on our campus • Continue to support and expand St. Jerome’s University’s public Lectures in Catholic Experience • Grow our programs and activities grounded in Catholic Social Teaching Our Indicators of Success Will Include … • Resources allocated to support Catholic identity programs (e.g., Lectures in Catholic Experience, and Theology on Tap) • Increased promotion of the Master in Catholic Thought program through enhanced outreach and recruitment efforts • Increased awareness of social justice education through co-curricular opportunities (e.g., enhance opportunities for students in Go Guatemala, SJU in Peru, alternative reading week, Beyond Borders, SMF practicum) • Increased visibility of Campus Ministry programs
COMMITMENT 3: OUR RESEARCH
COMMITMENT 4: OUR TEACHING AND LEARNING
We nurture an environment that values and supports open academic inquiry and discovery, excellence in scholarship, research, and creative activity, and the integration and dissemination of knowledge.
We inspire a lifelong commitment to independent and discerning learning by cultivating an environment of research-inspired teaching, creating opportunities to integrate theory and practice beyond the classroom.
Priorities: • Enhance our research-inspired academic culture of learning • Actively support and invest in faculty scholarship, research, and/or creative activity • Increase opportunities for our students to participate in faculty-directed, peer-reviewed projects that involve scholarship, research, and/ or creative activity
Priorities: • Support a culture of learning that inspires a commitment to the common good • Foster open academic inquiry that extends beyond the classroom and integrates action and reflection for the common good • Create opportunities to share experiential learning experiences
To Realize Our Priorities We Will… • Maximize opportunities for scholarship, research, and creative activity • Recruit faculty engaged in transformational scholarship, research, and/or creative activity • Encourage the recruitment of undergraduate and graduate students to support our research programs • Increase the profile of our scholarship, research and creative activity • Provide resources to support external grant applications in support of scholarship, research, and creative activity • Provide resources to support faculty scholarship, research, and creative activity Our Indicators of Success Will Include … • Students actively engaged in faculty directed scholarship, research, and creative activity • Provide opportunities for our students to share the results of their research (e. g., SMF symposium) • Internal resources dedicated in support of scholarship, research, and creative activity • High quality scholarly output • Increased visibility of the research programs at St. Jerome’s University • Increased success in external grant applications
To Realize Our Priorities We Will… • Build on our interdisciplinary strengths through program renewal and development • Offer programs that promote interaction between instructors and learners • Expand opportunities to broaden our students’ perspectives • Provide opportunities for co-curricular experiential learning opportunities that foster leadership development, community engagement, and solidarity with local, national, and international social justice organizations and movements • Create spaces that accommodate and support a diverse array of teaching and learning styles • Provide resources to all academic staff for professional development to support their teaching Our Indicators of Success Will Include … • Maintaining/ increasing enrolment and participation in St. Jerome’s University specific programs • Delivering on our teaching commitments in the Equity agreement • Dedicating resources to and tracking involvement in co-curricular activities • Internal and external resources dedicated to support the teaching activity of our academic staff • Provide opportunities for our students to share their integration of learning beyond the classroom (e.g., SMF 208, Social justice and anti-oppressive practices interactive exhibit; RS 151, Roman Catholicism) Strategic Plan | 13
COMMITMENT 5: OUR CULTURE
COMMITMENT 6: OUR FUTURE
We foster a respectful, inclusive community that is centered on the wellbeing of our students and the promotion of the common good.
We build collaborative partnerships, programs, and development initiatives that engage us locally and globally, ensure our long-term future, and demonstrate our care for the world.
Priorities: • Support a culture of encounter that focuses on integrative questioning from a variety of perspectives and traditions • Create a community of respect, honesty, empathy, and compassion that supports and embraces the whole person • Encourage spirited, respectful dialogue To Realize Our Priorities We Will… • Foster a welcoming, inclusive environment where all feel a sense of place • Acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of our community • Enhance initiatives and programs that promote wellness • Expand the service recognition program to include our contract academic staff • Develop conscientious, critically engaged citizens who act with courage and practical wisdom in the pursuit of justice • Build integrated communities through shared work and shared understanding • Create barrier-free physical spaces for our community • Enhance and build governance and management structures that support the activities and mission of the University Our Indicators of Success Will Include … • Active engagement of our students in our academic and service learning programs • Recognition programs for contract academic staff • Opportunities to build community engagement • Opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments of our community
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Priorities: • Foster shared, responsive leadership to achieve our common goals • Remain student-centered and committed to our mission and vision • Identify and build partnerships that support our mission To Realize Our Priorities We Will… • Continue to cultivate and nurture the relationships with our partners that align with our strategic commitments • Foster relationships within our community that build a base of support, including our alumni and donors • Build decision-making processes that are transparent and linked to our strategic commitments • Ensure that our resources support our strategic commitments • Build our fundraising and outreach initiatives to support our mission • Explore opportunities to engage new partners that support our mission Our Indicators of Success Will Include … • Successful management of all available resources • Increased community participation in fundraising and community outreach initiatives • Support for students including funding, academic counselling, and counselling services • Value added programming to support our existing partners, including the University of Waterloo and the Diocese of Hamilton • New partnerships that increase our ability to support our mission
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A LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION AT ST. JEROME’S UNIVERSITY At St. Jerome’s University, we embrace and celebrate the philosophy of educating the whole person – intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our students come from a variety of cultural and spiritual backgrounds, and are nurtured by a diverse community of faculty, staff, and administrators, who are committed to research, teaching, and service, competence in their disciplines, objectivity, and the common good. While there are many dimensions to the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, it is important to keep at the forefront that this dynamic tradition is grounded in the belief that there is a dialectical harmony between faith and reason. Our goal at St. Jerome’s University is to help students put their education and talents to use to work together to build a more just society. Part of being a conscientious, critically engaged citizen is a broad understanding of the many forces that affect our lives and the lives of others. At St. Jerome’s University, we view the current situation in Canadian post-secondary education as an opportunity to take a leading role in a nascent liberal arts renaissance. As a leader in this renaissance, we will support initiatives that promote the reaffirmation of the liberal arts as an integral part of flourishing societies.This commitment to connecting the liberal arts with social action stems from our Catholic Intellectual and Social Traditions, and is rooted in our mission: to pursue and promote learning and academic excellence; the gospel values of love, truth, and justice; and the formation of leaders for the service of the community and the Church. We must also recognize the demands placed on students and their families and, in turn, help equip students with knowledge and diverse skills that can be transferred to a variety of positions on the job market. We are not preparing students for any specific job today, since many of those jobs will be obsolete in just a few
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years; instead, we are preparing students for emerging job opportunities and careers that will require critical and creative thinking, strong communication skills, and an ability to lead effectively. We are proud of our ability to provide students with meaningful, hands-on opportunities that develop these skills. We are able to offer these opportunities because we are committed to connecting our rich liberal arts tradition in innovative ways to practical application through communitybased learning, international experiential learning, and leadership development initiatives. St. Jerome’s University delivers a high-quality liberal arts education both through traditional disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities as well as innovative interdisciplinary programs. As a Catholic liberal arts university, we focus on the big questions: the questions of goodness, truth, beauty, and transcendence. We dwell on the questions of ethics, responsibility, and justice. Our academic programming invites students into the discovery of their own humanity and their inter-connectedness. Our courses encourage our students to recognize the relationship between thinking and action, knowledge and wisdom, service and leadership, as well as justice and social transformation. John Haughey, SJ, in his book Where Is Knowing Going? characterizes the distinguishing feature of a Catholic liberal arts education in this way: Awareness of a greater whole, and the ability to see others’ work as pieces of a larger whole, can be consoling and sustaining. The image that occurs is that of a stained-glass window being crafted by the professoriate. Each piece is a part of a greater magnificent whole. It is the whole that has integrity, not the individual pieces. To appreciate a stained glass window not only does it have to be constructed, there also has to be light coming into it from beyond illuminating each of the panes. Each pane of the window is essential for the overall unity and beauty of the whole to be beheld and there must be a transparency in each of the pieces. 4
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The imagery of the stained glass window serves as a representation of a Catholic liberal arts university. A stained glass window is composed of many individual, coloured pieces of glass held together by an interconnected frame. At St. Jerome’s University the frame represents our vision, our mission, our history, and our traditions. Each piece of glass represents our shared commitments that grow out of our mission, history, and traditions, and links us to the work that we do. Each commitment is an integral part of the whole and it is the whole that has integrity. To understand and fully appreciate the whole created by a stained glass window, the parts must interact in a meaningful way: there must be transparency in each of
the pieces so that the light can shine through the glass, illuminating the beauty and unity of the window as a whole. The light shining through represents our faith. At St. Jerome’s University this whole is reflected by our overarching commitment to educate the whole person, in the Catholic liberal arts tradition, reflecting our identity. Grounded in our Catholic Tradition we look to develop informed and courageous citizens, who reflect our catholicity.We are committed to actively nurturing our research environment to develop externally funded, recognized research programs to provide opportunities to create seekers of knowledge and truth. St. Jerome’s University has a distinguished Strategic Plan | 17
teaching past, with many of our faculty recognized with teaching awards and as honorary professor emeritus. Our commitment to the integration of knowledge, research, and experiential learning in our teaching and learning allows us to inspire enthusiasm for learning and discovery not only in our students, but also in those with whom we interact. Centered on the wellbeing of our students through the promotion of the common good, we foster a vibrant and diverse community that is a hallmark of our culture. Our vision of our future is based on our ongoing commitment to build dynamic and collaborative partnerships. In all of our commitments we will demonstrate collegial and accountable leadership that is transparent so that each commitment illuminates the others to bring together the whole that is the mission of St. Jerome’s University.
Kenneth McLaughlin, Gerald Stortz, and James Wahl, Enthusiasm for the Truth: An Illustrated History of St. Jerome’s University (Waterloo, Ontario: St. Jerome’s University, 2002), 185. The term “co-curricular” refers to activities, programs, and learning experiences that complement the curriculum. At St. Jerome’s University, co-curricular programs include international service learning programs, student leadership programs, and the Peer Academic Leader (PAL) program. “Extra-curricular” refers to activities that are not typically connected to the curriculum, such as intermural sports, student government, and non-academic student clubs. 3 Monika Hellwig, “The Heart of Catholic Higher Education: The Liberal Arts,” Sacred Heart University Review 18:1 (1998): art. 5 (accessed May 4, 2015). 4 John Haughey, SJ, Where Is Knowing Going? The Horizons of the Knowing Subject (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2009), 29. 1 2
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APPENDIX 1: STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE I would like to recognize and thank all the members of our community, the Board of Governors, SJU Senate Council, the University Management Group, the Students’ Union, and our student leaders, alumni, faculty, staff, and students for their engaged participation and contribution to the various dialogues and workshops that informed this plan. This document is informed by and reflects the future that we envision for our community in the next five years. I would especially like to thank the members of the strategic planning committee for the numerous hours and revisions to the document through the consultation process.Your commitment and contributions to this project are very much appreciated. Members of the Strategic Planning Committee were: Alysia Kolentsis – Professor (English) Stephen Svenson – Contract Academic Staff Martha Fauteux – Director of Campus Ministry Meda Costea – Director of Finance Janet Berretta – Manager of Human Resources I would like to also acknowledge the willingness of the Board of Governors and SJU Senate Council, as the two governing bodies of the institution, to come together and attend a workshop to develop a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each other in the governing St. Jerome’s University. This initial cooperation and dialogue set the tone of collaboration throughout the rest of the process allowing for the creation of a document that all feel a sense of ownership about.
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APPENDIX 2: STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS In September of 2012 an all campus meeting including faculty, students, and staff was held to bring the community together to begin the strategic planning process. The community was asked to articulate what they valued about St. Jerome’s University. After receiving the input from the community the responses were distilled to several common themes. These were then presented at a second meeting held in December 2012 for further discussion. Agreement was reached at this meeting on the outcomes of a liberal arts education at St. Jerome’s University, along with the concept of presenting these outcomes as a stained glass window bounded by the frame. The frame will highlight the tension between: • Faith (Catholic Intellectual Tradition) and Reason (Open Academic Inquiry. • Church (C.R., SSND, and Diocese of Hamilton) and our secular partnership with the University of Waterloo Our outcomes are rooted in our mission and vision. The trunk of the tree reflects the 150-year old vision of the Congregation of the Resurrection of educating the whole person, which then give rise to the intersecting branches: • Create seekers of knowledge and truth • Inspire enthusiasm for learning and discovery • Develop informed and courageous citizens • Foster a vibrant and diverse community • Build dynamic and collaborative partnerships • Demonstrate collegial and accountable leadership Based on the agreed to values and second meeting was held in April 2013. The members of the community were asked to provide their feedback to the following two questions. 1. 2.
What do we want people to be saying about St. Jerome’s University in five years time? What are the top three things under each heading that we need to do to get there?
The results were compiled and this information was presented to the October 2013 meeting of the Mission Committee and presented to the Board of Governors with a recommendation to confirm the work of the University to date and to initiate a strategic planning process. The Board of Governors supported the recommendation of the Mission Committee at their December 2013 meeting. Over the winter of 2014, the Mission Committee met to develop a recommendation to the Board of Governors that the President be tasked with the development of a strategic plan that was based on a consultative and collegial process. The Mission Committee recommended that the Board of Governors instruct the President to work closely with the community so that the St. Jerome’s University Strategic Plan was a document that the members of the University community felt ownership of. At its meeting on June 5, 2014, the St. Jerome’s University Board of Governors tasked its Mission Committee with the step by step development of a strategic plan. The following process was used to develop the strategic plan. • The Mission Committee Chair and the President met with and contracted a strategic planning consultant to facilitate the development process in the summer of 2014 following the June Board of Governors meeting. • During the summer of 2014, Mission Committee members were provided with a number of examples of existing strategic plans at various institutions to review. • At its September 2014 meeting the Mission Committee developed a list of internal and external constituents for potential consultation at appropriate times during the plan development process. • Representatives of all the governing groups were invited to participate in a Board strategic planning session workshop on Strategic Plan | 21
September 20, 2014, which was facilitated by the consultant. • Workshop participants included representatives from the Board, alumni, students, staff, and faculty. • Discussions and input were shared at the workshop including an historical perspective, impressions of where St. Jerome’s University is today, and where members would like to see St. Jerome’s University in 2019. • Discussions included interpretations of vision for the University and the values of the St. Jerome’s University community, including the existing objects of the University, and the Mission statement. • The focus of these discussions resulted in the development of five draft strategic commitments. • The Mission Committee reviewed the draft strategic commitments providing further refinements at its November 4, 2014, meeting and presented this work to the December 4, 2014, Board of Governors meeting for their feedback. Following the November 4, 2014, meeting and the December 4, 2014, meeting of the Board of Governors, consultation with the St. Jerome’s University community on the draft strategic commitments began and included the following constituent groups: - the Congregation of the Resurrection - the Students’ Union - Student leaders - SJU Senate Council - Staff - the School Sisters of Notre Dame - Contract Academic Staff
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• The input received was reported to the Mission Committee at their January 8, 2015, meeting. This feedback was used to develop the strategic commitments. These commitments were then shared with the St. Jerome’s University community, including: - SJU Senate Council - Staff - Contract Academic Staff - Student leaders to receive their feedback and endorsement to move forward. • The strategic commitments and the feedback received were presented to the January 22, 2015, SJU Senate Council and to the Board of Governors for their February 5, 2015, meeting. The SJU Senate Council recommended endorsement of the commitments in principle to the Board of Governors. The strategic commitments were approved in principle by the Board of Governors and the University was instructed by the Board of Governors to establish a Strategic Planning Committee to develop a strategic plan that was supported by the St. Jerome’s University community, which was to be presented to the Board of Governors on September 30, 2015. • The Strategic Planning Committee representing the faculty, contract academic staff, and staff - was established in April, and began the work of developing the plan, drawing from the University planning and academic planning discussions held over previous months.
• The first draft strategic plan was circulated to the staff, the University Management Group and SJU Senate Council for their feedback during May and June 2015. • The committee met through April to September 2015 to refine the plan based on the feedback received. • The final draft was provided to the University Management Group for discussion with their staff. At their September 14, 2015, meeting, after receiving input from their staff, they recommended unanimously that the Board of Governors approve the strategic plan. • Academic Committee reviewed the plan at their September 2015 meeting and provided feedback to SJU Senate Council. The feedback was addressed at the September 18, 2015, meeting, and the SJU Senate Council voted in favour - with two abstentions - of recommending approval of the St. Jerome’s University Strategic Plan to the Board of Governors. • The strategic plan was also provided to the Students’ Union for their feedback. • The plan was discussed with the staff at their September 28, 2015, meeting. • All of the groups have recommended that the Board of Governors recommend the five year (2016-2021) St. Jerome’s University, Strategic Plan, “Building on Tradition – Celebrating 150 years of Catholic Education.” • The Board of Governors unanimously approved the plan at the September 30, 2015, meeting.
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