University takes on a new vision

The weekend of January 7-8th brought about DePaul’s Strategic Planning retreat which kicked off plans for the continuation of the university’s efforts for bettering DePaul’s community.Students may be familiar with VISION twenty12, the campaign that brought about a great deal of changes, both on the interior and exterior workings of the university. DePaul has been resolute in its efforts to create nationally recognized programs of study, and building both financial and operational foundations to support its mission.

The Strategic Planning retreat brought together about 90 faculty, staff and students to begin identifying the key issues that DePaul should address as it continues its mission for improvement.

Student Government Association President Ross Richmond says, “Last weekend’s retreat was informed by 18 briefing papers on topics ranging from instructional technologies to faculty roles. Other topics addressed [were] future student demographics, financial aid trends, diversity as a core institutional value, and the changing political landscape for higher education, among many more.”

In attendance was our university president, Fr. Holtschneider, who emphasized that people and ideas change universities, saying, “DePaul is the culmination of our predecessors’ ideas and efforts, and that now is the time for all of us to contribute our big ideas to shape DePaul’s future. strategic planning is a manifestation of DePaul’s model of shared governance.” Fr. Holtschneider also noted that our faculty plays a pivotal role in creating the vision for DePaul’s future.

Richmond stressed the importance of student involvement as the endeavor continues into the coming years saying, “The administration is letting us [as students] have a say, we need to push them, demand more. As president, I can’t possibly speak for 25,000 undergraduates.” He questioned, “Why aren’t there more students here?” in reference to the overall student participation. “Students are the life blood of this institution.”

He echoes Fr. Holtschneider’s hopes in inspiring students to voice their opinions. In an announcement for all faculty, staff and students, Fr. Holtschneider invited all to attend “one of four town hall-style meetings scheduled for January, specifically to solicit [their] input to the next plan that will guide the university’s work through 2018.”

“Although we weren’t here when they made it in 2005, it still affects us all,” Richmond said in regards to VISION twenty12’s influential additions to the University.

Jay Braatz, Senior Executive for Planning and Presidential Administration at DePaul, also hopes to gain the opinions of the university community as a whole. She says, “We’ve asked students, faculty and staff about their hopes and aspirations for DePaul in 2018, to collectively shape our vision for the university’s future.”

Fr. Holtschneider said, “In these community meetings I would like to hear [students’] thoughts on possible focal areas and strategic priorities we might attend to as we collectively plan DePaul’s future.”

The town hall meetings will be held at both of DePaul’s Lincoln Park and Loop campuses. Lincoln Park’s meetings will take place in the welcome center auditorium at 2004 N. Sheffield Ave. on Jan. 17 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. and on Jan. 28 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. The Loop’s meetings will occur in DePaul Center, room 8005, on Jan. 18 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. and on Jan. 26 from 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Attending these meetings is the first ste that students can take towards becoming a part of this influential movement at DePaul. They will be a great opportunity to see the direction that the university is heading, and how it will directly affect student life.