Throughout the process of self-study, the Steering Committee has looked carefully at what Fordham does well and what are areas of growth. Conversations on all seven characteristics have turned around three questions.
First, what have we done? This question was largely answered through data collection/inventories.
Second, what are we learning? This question invited thoughtful discernment on the part of members of the committee.
Third, what do we hope to do? This question led to consideration of achievable “mission priorities” proposed in this self-study.
Based on our work, we propose four priorities to be accomplished within the next five years. We expect to review our progress at the next Mission Priority Examen.
1. Outline a much more comprehensive and strategic plan for developing faculty, staff, and board members in their understanding of Fordham’s mission in a way that is both reflective of our identity as Jesuit and Catholic and appropriate to a diverse set of needs and backgrounds. As an outcome of this plan, all members of the community would be equipped with the competence and confidence to describe our common mission as a Jesuit, Catholic university, as well as how they fit into it. It would also find ways to cultivate leaders who will be crucial carriers of the tradition.
2. Design and advance strategies for linking issues of diversity to mission and identity. (That is, shifting the common framework from: “We prize diversity, even though we are a Jesuit, Catholic university” to “We prize diversity, because we are a Jesuit, Catholic university.”) This would include the implementation of methods for promoting hiring practices that demonstrate a commitment to mission.
3. Find ways both to support the Jesuit Community and to make a claim on them corporately to assume greater responsibility as animators of the mission of the University, as well as supporters of faculty, staff, and administrators in advancing it.
4. Significantly improve the program in Service Learning, so as to deepen engagement of students, faculty, staff, and administrators with the Bronx and areas around Lincoln Center, have a greater institutional impact on these communities, and in turn learn from our community partners in mutually beneficial ways.