Stritch Magazine

Initiatives bring early success through visioning and planning

Friday, January 24, 2014 4:35:00 PM

Cardinal Stritch University is continuing to implement the core goals of a comprehensive Visioning and Planning process under the leadership of President Dr. James Loftus.

These efforts, launched by Loftus in 2011 with the assistance of a group of about 35 faculty, staff, students and alumni, are geared to creatively and proactively position the institution to meet the changing needs of 21st century learners.

The initiatives already have reaped dividends. This fall’s first-year undergraduate student class is the second largest in the history of the University, marking a more than 7 percent increase over the size of last year’s class. In addition, 130 undergraduate transfer students enrolled this fall, which is a 26 percent increase from the previous fall.

Recent initiatives are yielding promising results and setting the foundation for the future. First, in an effort to enhance the overall student experience, the University restructured several areas into a new Student Success Center that began operation at the beginning of the fall semester. The former Office of Student Development has been dissolved and its core functions incorporated into the center, along with the functions of Mission and Identity.

The center, led by Senior Director Tracy Fischer, ’00, ’05, ’09, allows for increased efficiencies, synergy between and among student service units, and, ultimately, enhanced student service.

“This new center represents an important internal realignment of resources and talent,” Loftus said. “It is already having a highly positive impact on our ability to provide quality service to students, from the moment they enroll to the time they graduate and beyond.”

Stritch is building upon its history of success in its athletic program by introducing eight new intercollegiate sports. They include men’s and women’s teams in the following: track and field, bowling, tennis, and golf.

In addition, the University is committed to building its infrastructure to strengthen online program offerings. Currently, the University offers 16 online degree or certificate programs.

Each College has moved forward within the goals of Visioning and Planning:

- The College of Arts and Sciences has divided into three schools that focus on a deeper level of collaboration within each of the schools. In addition, a new academic core curriculum was developed, which more efficiently leads to a 120-credit bachelor’s degree. 

- The College of Business and Management continues to enhance its presence in Wisconsin and in Minnesota. The College began offering the Associate of Science in Business at Catholic Financial Life in Milwaukee. In addition, the College is building upon its new partnership with Riverland Community College to offer classes leading to a bachelor’s degree in business. Additional partnerships and enrichment opportunities for students and alumni in Minnesota are in development.

- The College of Education and Leadership is expanding its collaborations with school districts. The College has met with the superintendents of many local school districts. Project METRO, the only urban residency program in the state, is meeting a critical need within the Milwaukee Public Schools.

- The Ruth S. Coleman College of Nursing began offering a modified Master of Science in Nursing program, with both a leadership and educator track, at the Clement J. Zablocki V.A. Medical Center in Milwaukee.

“The higher education environment is ever-changing, and we as a University must be agile to proactively adapt to the times,” Loftus said. “The value of a Stritch degree is affirmed far and wide, and our recent work is continually strengthening this institution for the benefit of current and future students.”