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Strategic Plan 2020-2025


The strategic plan for 2020-2025 is being developed over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year through broad collaboration with JCU’s stakeholders. The plan will be comprehensive and envision everything from our academic program priorities and administrative structures, to our enrollment strategy and support, to enriching our student experience beyond the classroom, to broadening our student populations and ways of delivering our educational experiences.

    Message from President Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D.

    John Carroll University’s strategic plan for the next five years, 2020 through 2025, comes at a critically important time in the institution’s history. It follows Promise and Prominence, the plan for 2015 through 2020, which emerged from the need to focus on the currency of JCU’s academic programs and Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation. 

    The strategic plan for 2020-2025 will build on these efforts to develop a clearer vision for the future of the University. The plan will articulate where JCU will be distinctive in an increasingly competitive environment for higher education in the State of Ohio and beyond. The new plan is being developed over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year through broad collaboration with JCU’s stakeholders. The plan will be comprehensive and envision everything from our academic program priorities and administrative structures, to our enrollment strategy and support, to enriching our student experience beyond the classroom, to broadening our student populations and ways of delivering our educational experiences.

    The strategic planning process will be collaborative, inclusive, and transparent. I welcome input and participation from the entire campus community and look forward to creating a vision for John Carroll that is both exciting and enduring.

    Michael D. Johnson

    President, John Carroll University

    The Case for Change

    Our Recent Past

    John Carroll University’s strategic plan for the next five years, 2020 through 2025, comes at a critically important time in the institution’s history. It follows Promise and Prominence, the plan for 2015 through 2020, which emerged from the need to focus on the currency of JCU’s academic programs and Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation. That plan has assured that the University periodically reviews its programs, has a strong core curriculum, clearly defines its learning goals, and measures and shows progress toward those goals. In academic year 2018-2019 JCU received strong reaccreditations from HLC, AACSB, and CAEP, which is a testament to the strength of the overall plan and the hard work of the faculty, staff and administration.

    The strategic plan for 2020-2025 will build on these efforts to develop a clearer vision for the future of the University. The plan will articulate where JCU will be distinctive in an increasingly competitive environment for higher education in the State of Ohio and beyond. The new plan is being developed over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year through broad collaboration with JCU’s stakeholders. The plan will be comprehensive and envision everything from our academic program priorities and administrative structures, to our enrollment strategy and support, to enriching our student experience beyond the classroom, to broadening our student populations and ways of delivering our educational experiences.

    The plan also builds upon our ongoing efforts to improve the University’s finances and operational efficiencies. Beginning in 2017, JCU undertook a comprehensive restructuring that included staff reductions, expense reductions, and a faculty and staff retirement program, all of which have improved operating performance. We gained approximately $4 million in expense reductions from restructuring and another $0.5 million of operating efficiencies. We balanced our operating budget, eliminated draws from the endowment for annual operating expenses, and improved our bond rating. At the same time, the restructuring is not a solution to our need to generate additional revenues. Rather, it provides us with a needed window of opportunity to grow revenue streams.  

    As a result, JCU remains in a vulnerable financial position that will require significant change across the organization. The urgency for change is rooted in the changing environment for higher education in Northeast Ohio, revenues that remain flat, and costs that continue to grow. 

    The Changing Environment

    In economic terms, higher education in the US is a market with a relatively fixed supply of colleges and universities and declining demand. Predictable declines in college-age students are hitting Ohio particularly hard and creating significant downward pressure on the cost of education. Consider that:

    • Ohio enrollments in private non-profit institutions have declined every year since 2010, and 7% overall from 2010 through 2017 (Ohio Department of Education).
    • Total institutional aid for students in those same institutions has grown from $264 million to $372 million over the same period of time, a 41% increase (IPEDS, 2019).

    • Ohio high school graduates will continue to decline by 12% through 2031, with estimates as high as 20% for Northeast Ohio (kentwired.com).

    • Nationally, discount rates for private non-profits have surpassed 50% and are growing at a rate of 2% per year (NACUBO Tuition Discounting Study, 2007 to 2018).

    • JCU’s traditional Catholic feeder schools are graduating fewer students, and that trend is expected to continue.

    • Generation Z students are less willing to take on debt than their predecessors.

    • Our competitive set has shifted from private colleges and universities to lower-cost publics. Six of the top ten universities that our students chose over JCU in 2019 are public universities.

    Our first-year enrollment experiences in recent years have made one thing very clear. We can attract more first-year students with a higher discount rate, or target fewer students with a lower discount rate, while our net tuition revenue remains relatively constant. But neither scenario is sustainable. We have become too dependent on revenues from our traditional four-year undergraduate education and failed to develop revenues from students transferring from two-year colleges, graduate programs, summer programs for high school students, and programs for a growing population of non-traditional students. With regard to transfer students we expect more students to attend two-year community colleges, as through Cleveland’s Say Yes to Education Program, which will create additional transfer student recruitment opportunities. 

    These changes will require us to base financial projections on moderate enrollment expectations and associated revenues. We will need to increase investments in enrollment management, branding, and the marketing of academic programs to grow our market share in a declining market just to maintain current revenues. 

    Most of all, the situation requires us to develop a strategic plan that closely examines the strength of our academic programs, invests in new and existing programs that are distinctive and will grow enrollments, and evolves or sunsets programs that no longer draw significant student enrollment interest. In parallel, we must continue to find ways to operate more efficiently and continue to lower our cost structure.

    Next Steps

    Two important next steps in the evolution of the plan for 2020-2025 are the need to reaffirm or revisit our mission and vision early in the process, and the development of an overall process of engagement with the community and timeline for the process. 

    While our mission remains strong and enduring, we will engage our community to reaffirm the mission. The language of the mission should reflect the challenges that our world faces today and current work of the university, and resonate with prospective students. Our vision statement, however, needs revisiting as it does not capture what John Carroll University aspires to as an institution – it is largely a restatement of our mission statement:

    • Our current (short) mission statement: As a Jesuit Catholic University, John Carroll inspires individuals to excel in learning, leadership and service in the region and the world.
    • Our current vision statement: John Carroll University will graduate individuals of intellect and character who lead and serve by engaging the world around them and around the globe.

    As President, I will bring forth a draft vision statement for discussion and input early in the process. That vision should specify our particular focus and who we seek to become to fulfill our mission in service to the region and the world. 

    The refinement of our mission, and development of a true vision statement, will guide the development of criteria for evaluating recommendations that emerge from the planning process. For example, as we evaluate the strength of our academic programs and the recommendations that emerge, we will not simply grow strong programs and eliminate weak ones. In areas of study that are not in demand but are essential to our Jesuit Catholic education, we must find ways to improve. At the same time, as we adapt to the decline in a number of majors over time, not all of our academic programs and departments will contribute equally towards achieving our mission.  

    The other and more immediate next step is to lay out a timeline and process of engagement with the community. We are developing that timeline and process now and I will provide an update in the near future. The process will involve opportunities to engage individual faculty and staff in teams and/or existing committees and to obtain feedback from the community as a whole.

    With respect to the academic program review per se, we recently engaged Academic Strategy Partners (ASP) to evaluate our readiness for change and their ability to assist in that review. Their report will prove valuable as we continue our discussions in the fall around academic programs with Provost Steve Herbert. The report makes clear, for example, that a relatively small number of academic programs graduate a majority of our students and that we operate with too many academic departments for an institution our size. Based on my assessment and feedback from faculty, staff, students and the Board, we are not retaining ASP for the academic program review. Nor will we proceed with any single consultant or firm in support of the strategic planning process as a whole. Rather, we will use a combination of internal expertise and targeted consultants where appropriate to provide guidance on best practices and to support different parts of the plan.

    The Planning Process and Timeline

    I have been charged by the Board of Directors, working with my Senior Leadership Team, to develop a detailed timeline and process of engagement for the University community to develop the next strategic plan. We conducted process benchmarking on 12 Jesuit universities to identify best practices, leading us to develop seven major stages of the process to occur over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year as follows:

    July-August 2019: Setting the Stage, to include the Case for Change document and the planning process, themes, and key questions to be addressed in the strategic plan.

    August 2019: Teams, Charges and Schedules, where team leaders will focus on specific themes to develop team charges, calls for nominations of team members, and meeting schedules.

    September-October 2019: Due Diligence, Feedback and Development, to include white papers describing each team’s charge, goals, data and deliberations, and progress. Community forums and listening sessions will be scheduled to obtain feedback from the community as a whole, and updates will be provided to the Board of Directors at their September meeting.

    November-December 2019: Team Goals and Recommendations, to include the finalized team goals, preliminary recommendations relative to those goals, and revisions to the teams’ white papers to reflect progress. Community forums and listening sessions will again be scheduled to obtain feedback and updates provided to the Board at their December meeting.

    January-February 2020: Implementation Plans, where each team will move toward final written plans with their formal recommendations and related resource needs, with a continuation of the community forums and/or listening sessions.

    March 2020: Integration, where the recommendations from the teams will be reviewed by the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and integrated into a draft strategic plan for review and input by the University community and the Board of Directors at their March meeting.

    April-May 2020: Revise and Finalize, where the teams and SLT consider revisions to the plan based on community and Board input and submit a revised and final version of the plan for approval at the May Board of Directors meeting.

    Figure 1 captures the seven stages, timeline and deliverables in the process. A more detailed version is provided as an appendix.

    Figure 1: JCU Strategic Planning Process

    The timeline is a guide, recognizing that one or more teams may require more or less time to conduct due diligence, deliberate, engage stakeholders, and formulate recommendations. The evaluation of academic programs, for example, may require more time given the need to collect faculty input and program data. Nonetheless, the overall progression of the plan should be such that a final version is ready for approval by the Board of Directors in time for their May, 2020, board meeting. 

    As described in The Case for Change, we are not proceeding with any one consultant or outside vendor in support of the planning process as a whole. Rather, we will rely on a combination of internal expertise and targeted consultants where appropriate to provide guidance and best practices in support of different parts of the plan. Many of our vendor agreements have been funded by donor gifts for strategic investments around marketing, messaging, and branding. Our vendor engagements to date have included:

    • Academic Strategy Partners, which in April 2019 was engaged to evaluate our readiness for change with regard to the part of the plan relating to academic program review and evaluation. Although we are no longer moving forward with ASP, their report will inform Provost Herbert, the academic deans and the faculty as they evaluate academic programs.

    • Human Capital Research Corporation assists our enrollment management team to establish enrollment targets and financial aid strategies.

    • Eduvantis, a marketing strategy and execution firm, is working with enrollment management and marketing to evaluate the effectiveness of our enrollment-related marketing and communications.

    • Carnegie-Dartlet is helping us to understand how we are perceived in the market and how to better deliver our message. The workshops open to the campus community to participate in this process will be held on September 9 and 10. Stay tuned for email invites to participate. 

    • Falls Communication is developing targeted marketing, messaging and media buys to promote our academic programs in the Cleveland market.

    Themes and Key Questions

    Our deliberations in recent months identified a long list of questions that could be addressed in the process, not all of which we control or directly impact our performance. To better define our scope, senior leadership identified 14 elements to include in a comprehensive strategic plan for JCU. They are:

    • Academic program evaluation

    • Administrative structures review 

    • Advancement and the next capital campaign

    • Branding, Marketing and Communications

    • Diversity, equity and inclusion

    • Facilities plan

    • Financial plan

    • Enrollment plan

    • Human capital plan for faculty and staff

    • Mission and vision

    • New program development

    • Strategic community partnerships

    • Student experience

    • Technology plan

    We then integrated the elements to identify: (1) four key themes to guide our development of the teams that will be working on the strategy, (2) the overarching mission and vision that will guide the process as an additional theme, and (3) existing units and support structures or functions that will support the process. The themes are captured in Figure 2 (below) as the pillars of the strategy, guided by the mission and vision, and supported by units on campus. Our intention is to form five teams that will work to develop the plan. One will revisit the language of our mission and lead the feedback process for the proposed vision statement (see Case for Change). Four separate teams will then be tasked with one of the four themes.

    Figure 2: Overriding Mission and Vision, Themes, and Support Structures

     

    Theme 1: Overriding Mission & Vision

    As described in the Case for Change, while our mission is enduring, it is important to engage the university to reaffirm the mission to assure it reflects current language, the challenges the world faces today, and the current work of the university. Our vision statement needs revisiting to capture what John Carroll University aspires to as an institution. I will be bringing forth a draft vision statement for discussion and input. I have asked Ed Peck, as Vice President for Mission and Identity, to lead the team and engage the community in addressing the following key questions: 

    What should be our distinctive vision statement? 

    How do we translate our mission and vision, in concert with our portfolio of academic and co-curricular programs, into our academic and institutional brand?

    Theme 2: Academic Program Evaluation, Administrative Structures, and Community Partnerships

    In recent months I have communicated that Provost and Academic Vice President Steve Herbert will lead the academic program evaluation working with the deans and members of the faculty. As noted, this work may require more time given the need for data and faculty review. The working assumption is that the team is open to where the process leads and there are no predetermined outcomes for particular programs. Each program will be evaluated with respect to its strengths and opportunities with an eye toward developing strategies to improve the program’s appeal to students. This evaluative process will be designed to be quicker and less burdensome than full academic program reviews (e.g., as part of our HLC continuous improvement). As it relates to the identification of existing capacities and interests, we expect this team to work in tandem with the team charged with Theme 3 (see key questions below). 

    Theme 3: New Program Development, Evaluation, and Delivery

    Provost Herbert and I will co-lead the team focusing on the development of new programs, with Steve focused on program development while I focus on the external demand for those programs and potential funding. We anticipate a process wherein this team solicits short proposals from members of the community on their ideas for new program development and delivery. While it is important to keep the evaluation of current programs distinct from new program development, taken together the teams will address the following key questions:

    How many and what mix of academic programs can JCU support given its size and enrollment? 

    What current academic programs need to be improved or sunsetted? 

    How do we evaluate our academic staffing needs while continuing to develop our current faculty? 

    What programs should we create, and what new student populations should we target? 

    What are the best administrative structures to support our academic program goals? 

    This last question should include specific consideration of the future structure of the College of Arts and Sciences. While the Boler College of Business has a clear strategy that has driven program growth and philanthropy in recent years, CAS is in need of a comprehensive strategy and donor support. The question remains as to whether or not CAS should be restructured into two or more colleges toward the goal of creating better strategies and generating more resources. 

    Theme 4: Enrollment Strategy and Support

    Stephanie Levenson, our Vice President for Enrollment Management, will lead the team to develop both our near-term and longer-term enrollment strategies and identify the resources needed to support them. This team will include members of the senior leadership team, the Enrollment Task Force of the Board of Directors, and other members of the University community. The key questions to be addressed by the enrollment team are: 

    How effective and efficient are our current enrollment strategy and tactics? 

    What investments should we make in enrollment and supporting units to improve student yield, retention and outcomes? 

    Theme 5: The Student Experience

    Our ability to attract, retain, and graduate students of intellect, character, leadership, and service depends on both the academic programs we offer and our ability to facilitate the engagement and success of students at John Carroll. The student experience, taken as a whole, determines whether students feel at home on campus and in the community in which we are situated. I have asked Mark McCarthy,Vice President for Student Affairs, to lead the team that will evaluate the student experience and develop a strategy for continuous improvement. The strategy should demonstrate how we support, challenge, and prepare students for life, including the assessment of their experiences and outcomes related to career and graduate school preparation as well as overall student satisfaction. The key questions to address are: 

    What are the main drivers of student success, in addition to their academic programs, that support students’ engagement, develop their skills and talents, and prepare them for life beyond JCU? 

    Where should we invest in these drivers to improve student yield, success, retention, and outcomes?

    Finally, other units on campus led by members of the SLT will provide critical support through their existing office structures, including Dennis Hareza our EVP and CFO (until the new VP of Finance and Administration starts), Doreen Riley our Vice President for University Advancement and Corporate Secretary, Colleen Treml our General Counsel, and our new Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (search ongoing). These units will work with the teams to address the following key questions: 

    Are we successfully implementing our Plan for Inclusive Excellence?

    As our next capital campaign is in the planning stages, what are the goals, and when should it launch? 

    How can alumni and the community support our university priorities moving forward, as with respect to partnerships, career mentoring, paid internships, and support for philanthropic priorities? 

    Are there additional revenue sources and/or operational efficiencies to be gained going forward? 

    These support structures include but are not limited to marketing and communications, advancement, diversity and inclusion, facilities, finance, human resource management, purchasing, risk assessment, and information technology. Supporting units will also be actively engaged in the identification of alternative revenue streams, such as summer programs on campus, and operational efficiencies. 

    Please consider all of these key questions as draft questions that will naturally evolve and be refined as the teams progress. As we complete the first stage of the process and move on to stage two, Teams, Charge and Schedules, our team leaders will propose team structures, issue calls for nominations of team members, and propose team charges and schedules.

    Vision Statement

    In simple terms, our mission statement is our principle reason for being. As a Jesuit Catholic university, John Carroll inspires individuals to excel in learning, leadership and service in the region and in the world. As described in our Case for Change, our mission statement is, and should be, enduring. While we may update language to reflect how our world and what we do has changed, our core mission remains unchanged.

    Our vision statement, in contrast, should be a directional statement of where we are headed as an institution and how we aspire to achieve our mission. For an academic institution such as JCU, the vision should specify particular areas of investment and distinction while recognizing that any area of study we offer should continuously improve and provide an excellent student experience. The statement should also be general enough to leave room for individuals and groups to champion passions that are consistent with our mission and vision as they emerge from our strategic planning process. The draft that follows, for example, is aspirational with respect to our distinction in specific areas that include health sciences, analytics, business and service learning. These are areas, given our location, strengths, and track record, where we stand to have an outsized impact that will attract students for decades to come. At the same time, just what programs in these areas we invest in or develop should be guided by the expertise of our faculty and staff who ultimately champion and implement the curricular and co-curricular experiences of our students.

    As we consider our vision statement, we are reminded to incorporate key language to keep it connected to the achievement of our mission statement, foremost that we stay grounded in our Jesuit Catholic tradition to excel in learning, leadership and service. The draft vision statement follows, with more detailed explanations as to the importance of specific language in the statement.

    Draft Vision Statement

    Grounded in its Jesuit Catholic tradition, John Carroll University will build upon its strengths and innovate to educate a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and non-traditional students to become inspired and discerning learners and leaders in service to others through their areas of study, with particular distinction in areas that include health sciences, analytics, business and service learning. In doing this, JCU will be a top-ranked regional, private university delivering excellent academic programs by an excellent faculty in an environment where students feel at home. 

    Jesuit Catholic tradition: We remain firmly committed to our comprehensive core, grounded in the arts and sciences, in the tradition of Jesuit Catholic universities. In addition, we echo the words of former Superior General of the Society of Jesus Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. in his address on Jesuit higher education given at the University of Santa Clara in October of 2000:  “The real measure of our Jesuit universities lies in who our students become.” 

    Build upon strengths and innovate: Strategic planning in an academic institution rests on leveraging areas where we are strong and innovating in the spaces in-between our strengths to meet market needs. Being innovative and acting entrepreneurially has become a valuable skill for students and faculty alike across areas of study.

    A diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and non-traditional students: We are committed to the implementation of our Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence as well as growing programs for graduate and non-traditional students, as through on-line offerings.

    With particular distinction in health sciences, analytics, business and service learning: While we strive to provide all of our students with an excellent experience in whatever areas of study we offer with a solid grounding in arts, humanities and sciences, we aspire to be a recognized leader nationally in health sciences, analytics, business and service learning. Future investments should increase the excellence of our programs and faculty in these areas and develop new programs where market opportunities exist. 

    Top-ranked regional, private university: Our strategy with respect to rankings is clear. We will continue to do what we believe makes us a better institution and let the rankings follow, rather than lead, what we do. That said, we will continue to evaluate our progress reflectively through multiple rankings with a particular focus on how we are evaluated by our peers in the U.S. News & World Report rankings for private, regional universities in the Midwest.

    Excellent academic programs and faculty: We should always be striving for quality to build our affinity, both in our programs and the development of our faculty.

     Where students feel at home: Do I feel at home at John Carroll? The answer to this question is the single biggest reason why students stay at an institution. While our retention and graduation rates are strong, there is room for improvement on both and they have a significant impact on revenues.

    Goal Teams and Charges

    Under the leadership of a member of the Senior Leadership Team, five goal teams described in The Planning Process, Themes and Key Questions will examine an assigned theme and the key questions identified. Each team will propose possible goals, strategies to achieve those goals, and intended outcomes that have the potential to significantly move the University forward. 

    Teams will develop a white paper detailing these goals, strategies, and outcomes. White papers should clarify the importance of each goal and how it could advance John Carroll. Teams may conduct literature reviews, request additional data, or consult with individuals outside of the team. White papers will be presented to the University Board of Directors at the December 12, 2019 meeting. 

    Teams must also create a five-year implementation plan for each goal. An appropriate faculty or staff member or members should be assigned to steward each goal to completion. The committee should also, to their best estimations, include what new or reallocated resources are necessary to achieve the goals.

    The written plans detailing goals, reasoning behind each goal, and implementation plans should be drafted and ready for presentation at the March 12, 2020 Board of Directors meeting. Pending recommendations from the Board of Directors, teams will revise written plans for final approval at the May 14, 2020 board meeting.

    Each team will present at or lead one or more campus community forum during the Fall 2019 semester. Teams may use the forums to present goals, gather feedback, or conduct a goal development workshop. Goal teams will then present their final strategic goals and strategies to the campus community in Spring 2020 semester. 

    The teams and draft charges in brief are as follows: 

    Team 1: Mission & Vision: Under the leadership of Edward Peck, Vice President for Mission and Identity, the Mission and Vision Team will first review the longer version of the University Mission Statement and recommend any minor, contextual changes that are necessary to update this enduring statement.  The team will then review and help refine the draft vision statement provided by the President to ensure that the directional statement is expressed in a clear, compelling, and concise manner that reflects our Jesuit Catholic mission and the four pillars of the plan. As part of their work, the team will hold a series of community-wide conversations to seek input and promote a shared understanding of the mission and vision statements.

    Team 2: Academic Program Evaluation, Administrative Structures, and Community Partnerships: Under the leadership of Steve Herbert, Provost and Academic Vice President, the team will identify strengths, weaknesses, areas of growth, and the effective allocation of existing resources for each academic program. Using existing data and gathering qualitative and narrative information from chairs, faculty and academic staff, the team will lead a transparent evaluation process to identify thematic areas for inclusion in the strategic plan that will build on existing strengths, identify new areas of growth consistent with John Carroll’s mission and capacities, and identify the gaps in resources and academic structures necessary to support these efforts. Particular attention will be paid to areas consistent with the University’s emerging vision and to improving the overall quality and market appeal of John Carroll’s academic enterprise.

    Team 3: New Program Development, Evaluation, and Delivery: Though themes 2 and 3 are distinct, they are intimately intertwined: The process of evaluating our academic programs will naturally identify new program direction opportunities and the new program development effort will benefit from understanding the strengths, weaknesses and resource gaps discerned by program evaluation. Steve Herbert and Michael Johnson will co-lead this goal team which will manage the call for potential new academic programs within the strategic planning process. The team will design and communicate a proposal process for new programs that identifies the information required for the proposal submission, the criteria used to evaluate the strength of the proposal, and the methodology used to prioritize each proposal submitted.  Proposals may come from any sector of the university. Guided by the priorities identified in the vision statement, the team will develop a prioritized list of potential new programs, identifying the market strengths that each program addresses and the gaps that must be addressed to launch a high quality and successful program. All new programs recommended for development must be submitted to and approved by existing faculty-led shared governance structures before they can be launched.

    Team 4: Enrollment Strategy and Support: Stephanie Levenson, Vice President for Enrollment, and her team will look at both short term and long term enrollment strategies over the next 3-5 years.   In the short term, the team will focus on: (1) increasing demand at the top of the enrollment funnel; (2) improved messaging of the value proposition to support increased demand and yield; (3) improved Enrollment Manager relationships and performance; and (4) leveraging merit and need based aid to meet headcount and financial goals. Given the highly competitive market with shrinking demographics for first-year student enrollment, how can JCU position itself to maintain enrollment? Additionally, in the long term, the team will look at opportunities in a targeted and integrated way to affect enrollment for potential new audiences, recognizing the distinctiveness of student populations including transfer students, students of color and adult learners.

    Team 5: The Student Experience: Under the leadership of Mark McCarthy, Vice President for Student Affairs, the Student Experience Team will evaluate the student experience with the goal of making it remarkable in terms of its focus on student engagement and success.  The team will review existing qualitative and quantitative measures of student satisfaction and retention, conduct benchmarking on student success initiatives and processes, consider the needs and expectations of Gen Z students and emerging student populations, and determine gaps in programs and services needed to attract, retain and graduate students of intellect, character, leadership and service.  Based on this assessment, the team will develop a set of strategic goals aimed at improving the student experience in an effort to support, engage and prepare students for life after John Carroll. Specific tactics and resources needed to meet the strategic goals will be identified.

    Community Forums

    All faculty and staff are welcome to attend community forums throughout the academic year. These forums will be used to present ideas and gather ideas. All forums will be held at  2 p.m. in Donahue Auditorium.

    September 11 - Community Forum #1

    October 2 - Community Forum #2 Risk Management and Crisis Response

    October 16 - Community Forum #3 Finance Update

    October 30 - Community Forum #4

    November 6 - Community Forum #5

    November 13 - Community Forum #6

    December 18 - Community Forum #7

    January 22: Community Forum #8

    February 5: Community Forum #9

    February 19: Community Forum #10

    May 6: Faculty and Staff Year-End Celebration

    Submit Feedback

    Feedback from all stakeholders in the campus community is welcome through the strategic planning process. Please submit your comments here.

    Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Promise and Prominence

    Download a PDF version of the plan.

    Our Envisioned Future

    John Carroll University’s promise is to develop the intellect, character, leadership, and service potential of every one of our students so that they will become the thought leaders, change agents, community builders, and ethical thinkers needed in the 21st century. To keep this promise, we must enhance the prominence of our University.

    Our prominence will be achieved by aligning mission-driven initiatives with market-driven demands. John Carroll will increase its competitiveness to expand our geographic reach, enrollment, fiscal resources, partnerships, and philanthropic gifts.

    We commit to the primacy of academic program quality and to curricular innovation and relevance. We will not compete on prestige or price alone. Instead, we will focus on value— providing the most exciting, challenging, holistic education available—and on values— sustaining the timeless ideals upon which this University is built.

    John Carroll’s compact with its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends is grounded in its Jesuit Catholic vision, mission, and core values. Embracing these, we will work in the next five years to achieve three goals. Each goal, as it is realized, will broaden opportunities for our students and increase their capacity to become engaged world citizens within a distinctly Ignatian framework.

    • Academic Excellence for Student Learning and Success animates the Ignatian traditions of intellectual rigor, local and global citizenship, and support for student learning and well-being.
    • Faith That Does Justice charges the University to address social challenges facing our local and global communities through the Ignatian model of reflection and action.
    • Engaged Campus Community challenges us to sustain a dynamic and collaborative workplace by embracing the Ignatian ideal of Magis, the greater good.

    Our goals accomplished, we keep our promise to our students. And John Carroll students will realize their promise in the world.

    Goals and Objectives

    True to our heritage, reflective of our history and values, and high in aspiration, this strategic plan is also pragmatic and realistic, directed toward securing John Carroll’s future and meant to raise our reputation. It will make us stronger, not only because additional resources enrich student learning, but also because John Carroll University and its graduates are part of the Cleveland community and the national and global communities, and we are needed.

    Goal 1

    Academic Excellence For Student Learning And Success

    John Carroll University will achieve greater regional and national recognition as a leader in liberal education and be known for developing superior critical competencies through a challenging integrative core curriculum, innovative curricular programs, and cross-campus support for student learning. Informed by Ignatian traditions of welleducated solidarity, holistic care for the person, and openness to the challenges of the world, Goal One will be achieved through these objectives:

    1. Integrative Curriculum: Implement the integrative core curriculum as a foundation for personal and professional success.
    2. Distinctive Programs: Develop and enhance distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs that attract external recognition, increase enrollment, and produce graduates who will benefit our region and beyond.
    3. Investment in Faculty: Invest in teacher-scholars to strengthen programs that enhance John Carroll University’s academic reputation.
    4. Experiential Education: Increase opportunities to engage in experiential learning programs through campus-based initiatives and local and global partnerships that prepare students for 21st century careers.
    5. Student Thriving: Increase student engagement to improve student persistence, on- time degree completion, personal growth, and professional preparation and advancement.

    Goal 2

    Faith That Does Justice

    Rooted in the gospels and inspired by Catholic social teaching and the Jesuit tradition of being women and men for and with others, John Carroll University will be recognized for its work in faith development, interreligious dialogue, a commitment to solidarity with those who are poor and the marginalized, a curricular emphasis on social justice and global citizenship, and an operative principle of inclusive excellence. We will meet the following objectives:

    1. Jesuit Catholic Values: Deepen the University’s commitment to peace, justice, and sustainability
    2. Ignatian Pedagogy: Integrate an Ignatian Pedagogy of experience, reflection and action more fully into the student learning experience and across the broader campus community.
    3. Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue: Enable all members of the University community to explore, deepen, and share their faith or worldview in dialogue with people of all cultural and faith backgrounds.
    4. Inclusive Excellence: Improve the diversity of the faculty, staff, and student body and promote a culture of inclusive excellence.

    Goal 3

    Engaged Campus Community

    John Carroll will nurture a dynamic, collaborative and future-oriented institutional culture predicated on student, faculty, staff and alumni engagement to achieve operational excellence and competitiveness. Building on the Ignatian ideal of Magis, the greater good, we will achieve the following objectives:

    1. Individual Well-Being: Advance the well-being of all full-time and part-time faculty and staff through enhanced work-life policies, communitybuilding, and professional development.
    2. Integrated Planning: Create, support, and sustain an integrated planning and budgeting process that aligns institutional resources with strategic priorities.
    3. Continuous Improvement: Advance a culture of mission-centered and data-informed decision making for institutional improvement.
    4. Enhanced Technology: Improve strategic use of technology to ensure excellence in all academic and administrative processes.
    5. Improved Collaboration: Establish dynamic organizational and governance structures, collaborative leadership, enhanced communication, and decision-making across all stakeholders of the University.
    6. Strategic Alliances: Pursue strategic alliances with local and global partners to enhance the University’s reputation in the region and the world.