Graham outlines plans for Alter and new year

By: Andrew Koch~Campus News Editor~

President, Fr. Michael Graham, S.J, recently outlined his hopes for the university in an open letter to the Xavier community.

The letter, dated Jan. 16, outlines a number of key tenets of the university’s mission, purpose and identity, including a copy of Xavier’s newly-updated mission statement.

“The task of this moment, it seems to me, is this: together to define and then to shape the university (that) Xavier will be not only tomorrow, but in 10 and 20 and 30 years,” Graham said. Graham calls on members of the administration to assemble a plan that will help the university accomplish its goals and fulfill its mission, stressing the importance of thoughtful reflection in creating and executing a plan that will help Xavier stay competitive in the higher education market while staying true to its principles.

“We are…engaged not only in doing a great deal, but likewise in planning a good deal – indeed, engaged in what is, in my experience of Xavier University, an unprecedented amount of planning,” Graham said.

However, Graham also suggests the administration must form this plan in a timely manner to be effective in making necessary changes to the university.

“We need, as quickly as possible, to put this significant institutional planning behind us and begin executing against the agenda it will provide us,” he said.

Graham specifically mentions Alter Hall as showcasing these “perils of such deferral,” though Graham said the plans for the building’s future are solidifying.

“Planning for the overhaul of Alter Hall is virtually complete as we pursue a variety of initiatives begun several years ago to make it financially prudent to proceed with (the) project later this spring,” Graham said. Graham also said that he expects the committee reviewing Xavier’s Core curriculum to release its findings, including possible models for a new set of requirements, soon.

In addition, exploratory committees have been working to develop “Seeking Integration and Wisdom: The Xavier Way,” a document that is intended to more finely articulate the university’s mission and identity and develop a long-term strategic academic and financial plan. According to Graham, the Office of Mission and Identity will be hosting discussions about “The Xavier Way” for community members in the near future.

“The Xavier Way” establishes that Xavier as a Jesuit and Catholic university must “seek encounter with the world around us – not tolerate it or bemoan it,” Graham said. Graham said he will also discuss “The Xavier Way” with Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr.

Furthermore, the diversity cross-functional team, one of the 10 groups that Graham commissioned to evaluate various aspects of university operations and policy in July, will present a report of its findings to the community later this month.

“Together, we have the ability to strengthen the character of Xavier University that will guarantee its vibrancy far into the future,” Graham said.