November 28, 2012
Dear Marquette family and friends,
During a semester full of bright moments ranging from the opening of the new clinical simulation center at the College of Nursing to the groundbreaking for a new addition to the School of Dentistry and the bestowing of an honorary degree on one of America’s most celebrated poets, Mary Oliver, the most exciting development of all has been the university community’s engagement in a rich and constructive dialogue about Marquette’s future.
Beginning with 17 listening sessions across campus and conversations with alumni across the country, and carried forward this semester by a highly collaborative Coordinating Committee, this planning process has achieved some remarkable progress. As I had hoped, this community has reaffirmed the great mission of this university, which in many ways describes what is timeless about Marquette — the transformative Catholic and Jesuit education that we have always been about, are about now and will be about in the future. More recently, our work has focused on questions of how best to move this mission forward at this point in Marquette’s history. What is Marquette’s reality now and how do we respond to that reality?
It is through our vision for the university that we answer these questions in their most fundamental form. Weighing all that we have heard through the collaborative planning process, I, Provost John Pauly and other university partners have worked to distill this vision into a concentrated form. Watch this video to hear about the key elements of this emerging vision, including the urgent way our community must collaborate and innovate to ensure that our students are ready to assume lives as agents for change and problem-solvers in a world of growing complexity.
Ultimately, this vision fits within a larger planning context and informs themes that describe priorities for the university in advancing this vision over the next 5 to 10 years. Throughout the fall semester, the strategic planning Coordinating Committee has considered feedback from nearly 200 emails from alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the university, conducted six office hours sessions, and led conversations with internal and external university stakeholders about five core themes that have been identified. Now we have begun incorporating this feedback and will share updated versions of the five themes later this semester.
In another key step, the Coordinating Committee is compiling a comprehensive report on the external and internal trends and factors that are predicted to have the most impact on Marquette in the coming years. That “environmental scan” will be shared with the university community via the strategic planning website in December. During the early part of the spring 2013 semester, the committee will turn its attention to developing university-wide goals that support the vision and five strategic planning themes.
I am grateful for the diligent work of the strategic planning Coordinating Committee and for the feedback we’ve heard from so many of you during the past months. As you take time this Advent season to reflect on the multitude of blessings God has provided, know that your Marquette family is thankful for your continued support of the university.
Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.