Four pillars that will direct Canisius’s future
By: Sydney Umstead
The long-awaited strategic plan was announced in a press release from the Office of the President on Sept. 13. The strategic plan is meant to expand upon various issues explained in each of the four established pillars and will grow with the institution throughout the next six years.
Within the last few years, Canisius has undergone many changes that differ from what previous generations of students and faculty might have seen on campus. The release stated that the strategic plan embodies this new era for the University, and one that is geared towards “justice and leadership, is distinctly Jesuit, and supports a bright and prosperous Canisius for future generations.”
As Canisius continues in this transitional period, the plan is meant to be a “RISE” to action, with the trademark being the slogan “Answer the Call.” Some of the focus will be geared towards developing an institution that properly serves the incoming generations of college students.
The Office of The President stated, “Answer the Call endeavors to create an unparalleled environment of inclusive excellence in everything we do, in order to prepare the leaders this world desperately needs.”
The pillars include “Academic Excellence and Innovation,” “Student Success and Engagement,” “Institutional Sustainability” and “Our Campus, Our Community.” “Academic Excellence and Innovation” was introduced during the planning committees that took place last year. It will be used to “expand into emerging academic fields that prepare students to be dynamic leaders in an evolving global marketplace.”
“Student Success and Engagement” touches on creating “a culture of engagement that supports student success, meaningful human connection, and belonging.” This includes six subset topics which include, but are not limited to, building upon “mission-based programs to infuse our Jesuit values across the enterprise and empower students to be agents of systemic change.”
The process of reaching “Institutional Sustainability” will include expanding upon ideas to “develop the institutional capacity necessary to support an innovative and distinctive Canisius for future generations.” This framework will allow for fundraising that will “launch a comprehensive fundraising campaign aligned with our vision and ambitions for Canisius.”
According to the release, the plan will also set out to “rebuild the reputation and expand the prominence of Canisius as a university dedicated to empowering leaders for lives of impact.” There will also be new recruitment geared towards implementing “a diverse workforce that will passionately serve all our constituents and deliver sustained operational excellence.”
“Our Campus, Our Community” strives to “champion an engaged and inclusive campus culture, grounded in our Jesuit values, and deeply committed to the greater good of our community.” As this develops, the plan hopes to help establish Canisius as a leader within Buffalo and Western New York as a whole.
The finalization of these pillars follow three strategic planning committee meetings that took place last year. The committee meetings were open to the public and showcased the process of defining the pillars that would impact the future of Canisius.
The plan originally prepared to address five pillars but has cut the one geared towards “Investing in Resources to Achieve Operational Excellence.” As The Griffin reported last year, this pillar was originally drafted to “ensure [that] employee compensation and total rewards program is to attract and retrain people.” However, it is possible that these elements have been tied into the pillar “Institutional Sustainability,” which is the initiative to “enhance the campus physical plant to attract students, faculty and staff, and enable an integrated living, learning, working experience.”