The year 2024 might seem far away, but it will be here in the blink of an eye. The University of San Diego has already initiated and put into effect a plan to envision 2024.
President James T. Harris confirmed that the Board of Trustees has approved this bold new strategic plan that leads up to the celebration of USD’s 75th anniversary.
Goals of this new plan have already impacted current students with a change in the core curriculum. The last core curriculum change took place in 1986. Thirty-one years later, USD updated and implemented the curriculum for this year’s incoming first-year class and transfer students. Over time, other new changes will be visible to the USD community including the Renaissance Project, which consists of remodeling old infrastructure such as Founders Hall, Camino Hall, and Copley Library.
Upon questioning multiple students on campus for their thoughts on the plan, many could not identify what Envisioning 2024 was. This plan is still new to the campus community and consists of many parts which some students find overwhelming.
Junior Emily Patterson on the other hand has experienced USD for three years and has noticed the changes that Envisioning 2024 has brought.
“I think that even though it’s still several years away, you can start to see how Envisioning 2024 will take place on campus through what’s already started this year,” Patterson said. “This includes the new core and the emphasis placed on creating a campus of diversity and inclusion.”
On Sept. 15, an Envisioning 2024 presentation was held to give more information and detail on the plan, specifically the beginning steps in implementing it. The event was also an opportunity to introduce the Student Success Committee, which is responsible for giving the institution a better student perspective and will exist as an outlet to assist students with problems and is also interconnected with all the departments on campus.
At the plan’s presentation, it was mentioned how goal number one, enhancing student learning and success, is assigned to the Student Success Committee with the focus of implementing a student lifecycle plan.
According to Andrew Allen, the Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives, the student lifecycle plan is the entire wheel of a student’s college career beginning with before the student gets admitted all the way to graduation. This plan is made to improve students’ opinions of their time at USD and promote better answers to the questions of whether they would choose USD again at the end of their time and/or recommend USD to a friend.
Envisioning 2024 consists of five broad goals that USD aims to reach by the year 2024. These goals aim to affect students, bring forth access and inclusion, improve how the university runs, increase staff engagement, and solidify the reputation of the university in new and positive ways.
According to the Envisioning 2024 webpage, the various goals and pathways are to help achieve the vision statement: “The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges.”
Allen noted that people talk about the what and the how of plans, but not a lot of attention is given to the “why” a plan is being formed. According to Allen, the why of this plan circles back to changemaking.
“We are a changemaker campus, we believe the world needs changemakers, we are trying to attract faculty and students here that want to be changemakers, and it’s consistent with our Catholic heritage because we go through the history of the Catholic Church,” Allen said.
As of 2017-18, USD is creating teams and processes to implement Envisioning 2024.
The process for submitting and funding ideas will begin this fall and then will repeat in the spring of 2018. In the fall, the deadline for pre-proposal submissions for the plan is Oct. 1. At this point in time, ideas that align with the plan’s pathways and goals will move forward in the process.
Then on Oct. 15, the Strategic Goal Committee will review those pre-proposals and will make submissions of full proposals and budgets. During Dec. and Jan., an Executive Council will advise President Harris to help make the final decision of which proposals to fund.
This plan does have many components to it and the ideas of the plan are new as well as continually evolving.
For more information on Envisioning 2024, contact the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lilyana Espinoza | News Editor | The USD Vista