Hancyz announces start of strategic plan

Adminstration focuses on four cura values, unveils controversial new role

By Pat Gainor, Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: The original version of this article stated that the university would be changing its navy blue brand color to a royal blue; Newswire has since learned that this statement was incorrect, and we apologize for any confusion it caused among readers. The original version of this article also contained a quote from Dr. Timothy Brownlee regarding the appointment of Justice-in-Residence Joe Deters which has since been retracted.

Dr. Colleen Hanycz, president, announced the commencement of a financial plan for the next ten years last Monday, regarding future financial spending, plans to expand the university and a brand retool for next year.

The plan has been in the works since Fall 2021, when Hanycz was inducted as president. The framework was revealed to students and donors in a public press conference last week. It spans until 2031 — the 200th anniversary of Xavier’s founding — and features expansion of Jesuit values held by the university, as well as potential places where the university hopes to improve.

According to Hanycz, every academic year will begin on July 1 with a list of initiatives set to be completed by June 30 of the following year. The plan is currently in “Year 0.” Some aspects are still under construction, while others are finalized. 

Notably, the administration aims to emphasize the “radical ethic of care” represented in the four Jesuit cura values — cura personalis, cura apostolica, cura propria and cura studiorum.

To celebrate the establishment of these values, English professor Dr. Stephen Yandell will again create a tapestry that represents these cura values as a “visual mnemonic” from donated pieces of cloth. Yandell previously completed a tapestry in the Spring 2010, which is currently located in the Center for Diversity and Inclusion in the Gallagher Student Center (GSC). Early drafts portray people caring for themselves or others, tending to a garden and sitting on a beach.

“I think it helps give people a way of thinking. We use different metaphors to get at this abstract concepts,” Yandell said. “I hope, in the banner, to give a way for people to see themselves in all of these different areas, so the expansiveness of the landscape has enough places for people to have different areas in this portrait of care.”

Yandell is currently accepting cloth donations for the tapestry; donation boxes will be set up in the Conaton Learning Commons (CLC) and GSC soon.

Hanycz also announced the creation of four “Cura Awards,” for which community members can nominate either themselves or fellow peers. Winners will be announced at various donor banquets and celebrations leading up to the 200th anniversary.

Finally, Hanycz announced the creation of a “Justice in Residence” position at Xavier, created to advise Philosophy, Politics and the Public (PPP) majors as well as those looking to pursue Pre-Law practices on campus. The inaugural Justice in Residence will be Joe Deters, who was appointed associate justice of the Ohio Supreme Court this year. 

The choice to place Deters in the new role has been controversial, and a petition calling for the suspension of the role altogether has accumulated approximately 500 signatures in the last week. 

When addressing possible plans that might be pursued in the coming years, Hanycz discussed what Xavier’s “next big swing” would be, referencing former president Father James E. Hoff’s decision to fund and build Cintas Center in 2000. Hanycz noted a series of possible options: a non-scholarship football team, a pursuit into Ignatian vocational discernment, a new science building and a new osteopathic medicine school.

If it is approved, Xavier would become the first ever Jesuit school to have a school of osteopathic medicine and the fourth Jesuit university to have a medical school alongside Georgetown University, Creighton University and Saint Louis University.

In December 2022, Xavier received a $20 million donation from John and Sarah Lechleiter, who graduated in 1975 and 1976 respectively, and dedicated it to the construction of a new science building. Hanycz acknowledged the donation in the meeting, and discussed how plans for construction were in the works. She also acknowledged the possibility of rebuilding the non-scholarship football program, noting that investment in the program was to be decided based off student interest.

Hanycz closed the meeting by announcing a university rebrand to come in the Fall 2023.

“After being looped in on many of the plans that the administration and marketing team had started on, it was interesting to see what they decided to move forward with after receiving student feedback,” SGA President Ashley Findley said regarding SGA’s involvement with the branding selection. “We hope to be included in these conversations and decisions as they move forward, and that all student feedback will be taken into account when progressing through any part of the strategic plan.”

Much of the material covered in this meeting has not been confirmed, and Hanycz emphasized the continuous use of discernment regarding every element that was covered, as well as new ones that come up in the coming years. 

“I’m not a Xavier alumnus, but I know that a strong Cincinnati requires a strong Xavier,” Hanycz said. “What you are all building ensures a stronger Xavier that will contribute to a stronger Norwood and a stronger Cincinnati.”