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April 28, 2008 • Special Strategic Plan Progress Report

When he assumed the presidency in 2003, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., began a process of strategic planning to chart Fordham’s future. Father McShane, Judith Mills, Ph.D., then the University’s strategic planning officer, and the vice presidents, led Fordham’s students, faculty and alumni in a discussion of themes and foci for strategic ideas and initiatives. The planners recognized that Fordham’s Jesuit identity and its New York City location would be central to the University’s efforts to reclaim its position of leadership in American higher education and preeminence among Catholic universities.

In March 2005, Fordham’s Board of Trustees approved a Mission Statement, which specified key elements of Fordham’s identity as a Catholic and Jesuit university located in the City of New York and its role in society as an institution committed to the “discovery of wisdom and the transmission of learning through research and through undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality.” Nine months later, the University’s strategic plan, Toward 2016, was approved by the Board of Trustees and put into action.

Toward 2016:

Progress Report

By Donald A. Gillespie, Ph.D.
With Jennifer A. Lee

April 15, 2008

In December 2005, the Fordham University Board of Trustees approved Toward 2016, a 10-year comprehensive strategic plan, which identified seven ambitious “Transforming Initiatives” that would build on Fordham’s strengths to “return to a position of recognized national prominence in the world of American higher education,” as outlined in the University’s 2004 Vision Statement. The University’s ultimate goal, for 2016 and beyond, is to reclaim its position as the premier Catholic university in the nation.

The University leadership recognized that the Transforming Initiatives would require substantial external funding, which was built into the strategic plan. Five Supporting Initiatives were also identified, to be funded incrementally from existing resources until overall progress on strategic goals would warrant giving them a higher priority.

This report outlines the University’s progress over the last two years, and identifies the next steps in executing the strategic plan, organized by initiative.

The seven Transforming Initiatives are listed below. Click on each to read about the Toward 2016 goals for the initiative and progress achieved to date.

I. Infusing Undergraduate Education with
New Energy, Focus, Rigor and Quality

II. Advancing the School of Law to Rank in the Top 15 Nationally

III. Developing a Distinguished Faculty

IV. Developing Campus Resources

V. Promoting Activities that Bear Our Mission’s Stamp, Increase Our Visibility Regionally and Nationally, and
Create New Partnerships

VI. Communications and University Image

VII. Growth and Wise Stewardship of Enabling Resources

A Message from President Joseph M. McShane

Dear Colleagues:

In my State of the University address in September 2007, I said that the success of the Strategic Plan is especially dependent upon the work that we all do every day, and I exhorted the members of the University community to do all they could to make the ambitious dreams that we have drawn up a reality.

The progress report you are reading, and the good news therein, is in large measure a reflection of the hard work and devotion of hundreds of faculty, administrators, students and staff. The best plans and the noblest intentions are naught without consistent and enthusiastic execution. As you will see, our work is not yet finished—not by far—but I am deeply proud of, and thankful for, the Fordham community’s daily effort and dedication thus far.

We have much to achieve, but I hope you will take pride in our accomplishments to date, and know that, whatever your duties at Fordham, you are contributing to a great and worthwhile effort.

Gratefully Yours,
Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

Inside Fordham

Albert Checcio
Vice President for Development
and University Relations

Executive Editor
Catherine S. Spencer
Assistant Vice President for Marketing
and Communications

Director of Communications
Bob Howe

Joseph McLaughlin

Assistant Editor
Patrick Verel

Staff Writers
Janet Sassi, Gina Vergel

Copyright © 2008, Fordham University.

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