Final Report

A Strategic Plan Notre Dame 2010: Fulfilling the Promise
February 7, 2003

Notre Dame 2010: Fulfilling the Promise

August, 2003


We began our strategic planning process "Notre Dame 2010: Fulfilling the Promise" nearly two years ago with enthusiasm and great hope. After a decade of stunning growth and development, Notre Dame stands poised to make the next significant move forward in its development as a premier Catholic university. This latest planning effort, begun several months ago, builds on the hard work and dedication of those who helped shape the University through its previous planning processes-The Committee on University Priorities (COUP), Priorities and Commitments for Excellence (PACE) and The Colloquy for the Year 2000. Taken as a whole, these earlier efforts trace the development and maturation of Notre Dame from men's college to bona-fide university. We stand today indebted to the vision and commitment of our predecessors.

"Notre Dame 2010: Fulfilling the Promise" was by design different from these previous processes. Early on we created a Coordinating Committee comprised of seven faculty members and six administrators (five of whom are also members of the teaching and research faculty). The Coordinating Committee served two principal functions: to set the parameters within which units should plan and to review and further refine the material submitted by the major planning units. The members of this committee dedicated an enormous amount of time and effort to the initiative. For their insight, wisdom, perseverance and manifest dedication to Notre Dame, I am extremely grateful.

In creating a planning framework, we sought to engage departments and units early in the process and asked each to develop its own vision of where the department could and should be ten years hence. These reports formed the basis of larger plans developed by the individual colleges and other major functional areas. The process of winnowing a substantial amount of material into a coherent college- or unit-wide plan was daunting, but the end results were first-rate. These major plans were presented to the Coordinating Committee for comments and feedback last fall. The final documents from the units are complete and most are available to the Notre Dame community via the Internet.

Input and participation from a broad range of faculty and staff were key to the overall success of the effort. Many people put in countless hours studying, discussing and building consensus on future directions for departments and units. To everyone who participated in this planning process, I say thank you for the spirit of goodwill and cooperation that pervaded the endeavor. In a special way, let me acknowledge the leadership provided by the deans of our colleges and the heads of our other major units. I also want to offer a special word of gratitude to Nathan Hatch, Tim Scully and Mark Poorman, each of whom helped bring together reports from the major functional areas of the University.

Finally, I take responsibility for the final form of this document. It reflects my best effort to distill and to prioritize the specific documents that emerged from this broad-based process. The vision, I believe, is widely shared. The language and emphasis are my own.


It is Notre Dame's providential mission to be a great Catholic university. To achieve this vision of creating a premier Catholic institution that will also assume a leadership role among the great universities of the world requires our most determined and collaborative efforts. We must call forth the best in each of us-faculty member and student, staff and administrator, alumni and friends-and together build a distinguished university community worthy of our highest aspirations and connected inextricably to our history and tradition.

In the last two decades Notre Dame has been able to put into place the faculty, student body, support infrastructure, and financial resource base necessary to become one of the great American universities. Now, at this particular moment in our history, building on this already well-established foundation, we must take the next step-to move forward as a center of outstanding research and scholarship that measures its success and impact by the highest standards and in consonance with its distinct mission as a Catholic university.

This dramatic vision becomes manifest in multiple forms, whether by providing scholars with the tools and opportunities to advance knowledge and push the boundaries of their disciplines or by creating a compelling learning environment that forms young women and men intellectually, spiritually and socially for life, service and work after Notre Dame, including service to the Church, the nation and the world.

Such an endeavor begins with the application of the highest standards of excellence in every dimension of the University's life. As an academic institution Notre Dame must attract both scholars and students of demonstrated achievement and with even greater potential for the future. All attracted to this common work must find an atmosphere of lively inquiry and vigorous activity. They must have available to them state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. They must discover in this place the capacity for an ongoing conversation across disciplinary boundaries and opportunities for debate, disagreement and rearticulation.

While such a learning environment might be attractive in its own terms in a wide range of institutional settings, Notre Dame must foster such a conversation with due and fitting respect for the Catholic intellectual tradition. This tradition is best characterized by its inclusiveness, universality and continual evolution. It operates out of a specific religious heritage while being properly respectful of other religious traditions and of more secular presuppositions. In a Catholic context such as Notre Dame's, the University has an obligation to attend to all dimensions of the human person-intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical and social.

The Catholic tradition not only fosters the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake but also recognizes our responsibilities for human well-being in this world. In this holistic frame of reference, no path to knowledge and understanding is alien, and no path of inquiry should be abandoned prematurely. In the end, a Catholic university presupposes that God's creative act has predisposed the universe in such a way that patterns, processes and describable laws are discernible and that these must be taken into account in ascertaining human responsibility for the well-being of the social, economic and political orders as well as the integrity of the planet.

Notre Dame is a living and ever-changing community of learning and service. With the start of each academic year we welcome new faculty, staff, administrators and students into our midst and seek quickly to make them feel welcome. We have obligations to each other for mutual support, for comfort and strength in times of difficulty, for overcoming the obstacles of misunderstanding and prejudice, and for recognizing the unique contribution each person makes to our common life.

One of the most distinctive and cherished assets of Notre Dame is its residential tradition. In the life of our residence hall communities we provide an opportunity for integrated learning and for the formation of deep and lasting friendships. While some have specific areas of responsibility assigned to them for the quality of life in our various residences, the whole faculty, staff and administration share a derivative responsibility for the flourishing of these living and learning communities.

Staff and administrators throughout the University engage in service that, seen or unseen, is vital to our common good. All deserve fitting recognition for and celebration of their contributions to the overall excellence and advancement of the University. All members of the community are valued partners in our common enterprise.

In the governance structure of the University there must be a continuous commitment to the University's standards of excellence. The Board of Trustees, the Board of Fellows (with a special recognition of the role of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the life of the institution), the central administration, the various faculty, staff and student representative bodies and the Alumni Association all explicitly, by their defined roles in the life of the institution, accept a responsibility to promote the well-being and continued development of every dimension of Notre Dame's aspiration to greatness.

Because of the vision, generosity and life commitment of so many who have gone before us in this place, Notre Dame has never in its history been better situated to advance on its aspirations. Its financial base and capacity for growth, the size and demonstrated quality of its faculty and staff, the state and condition of its physical facilities, the beauty of its natural environment all suggest that the University has only begun to realize its faith-charged role in the history of higher education and of the Church.

This Strategic Plan attempts to lay out the component elements necessary in the next ten years for Notre Dame to sustain the progress it has already achieved and to build on the momentum that is experienced constantly by those who engage in its common life. While our comparative reputation has continued to improve among American universities, as well as in the network of Catholic institutions, there is no precise historical model that we have tried to emulate. We must let our future growth flow out of our rich history and tradition as well as the promising discernment of our present realities. We need to be collectively confident that a great, even glorious set of possibilities lies ahead of us.

Section I: Fundamental and Defining Premises


In the hiring of faculty, in the establishment of academic units and programs, and in the distribution of resources, the University should give priority to those that can best contribute to and foster Catholic intellectual life. In this regard, the role of the Congregation of Holy Cross in every aspect of the University's life is a special treasure to be fostered and enhanced. While the endeavors of scholars in a Catholic university draw upon a long tradition of intellectual and aesthetic engagement, the terms of contemporary reflection must take into account new methodologies, new forms of information, and new initiatives that bridge cultural, religious and other barriers. The conversation that flows from a stimulating Catholic intellectual life must, of necessity, include opportunities for worship and for service. It also must take into account with appropriate sensitivity and respect the formal teaching role of the magisterium in the life of the Church.


In the last decade of our development we have seen a rapid expansion in the size and quality of the faculty, and in the wherewithal to attract bright and talented students at all levels (with noteworthy improvement in the credentials of our professional and graduate students). There has been a concomitant investment in resource development in the libraries, computing, instrumentation and general academic space, and in the fostering of successful competition for federal, state and private dollars to support the research enterprise. We must sustain this momentum with higher standards of expectation, a greater sense of focus and the provision of increased resources for scholarly endeavors in every academic unit.


Much of Notre Dame's reputation as an academic institution was originally generated by its perceived commitment to outstanding undergraduate instruction. With the passage of time the quality of teaching in the professional and graduate programs has won comparable acclaim. The dramatic improvement in the quality of research and scholarship of our professorial corps offers an opportunity to spur deeper interest among students in the life of the mind and to continue and extend our historical commitment to teaching and instruction across all levels of degree work. The development of the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning, and the introduction of the Kaneb Teaching Awards, are major manifestations of a renewed commitment to teaching across all levels of instruction. In the hiring process and in promotion, only those faculty for whom superior teaching is a high priority should be welcomed into or sustained in this community of learning. The evaluation of teaching should employ the best and most reliable vehicles of analysis, including student and peer review, and take into account the different forms and shapes of teaching excellence.


In the last two decades the University has had the will and the resources to grow substantially in just about every area of our common life. We now enjoy the dedicated service of a much larger faculty and staff. Older buildings have been renovated and newer facilities constructed in response to academic, student life and other needs of the University community. New foreign studies programs have been established and we now have a discernible presence in Washington, D.C. We have achieved competitive salaries and have sought the best possible benefits packages for our faculty and staff. We have invigorated in a cooperative fashion the efforts to revive the neighborhoods that surround the campus and to be otherwise engaged in the economic and social development of our surrounding communities. We have experienced a huge increase in our internal funds dedicated to financial aid for undergraduate, professional and graduate students alike. Finally, all of this has been achieved within a tradition of balanced budgets and disciplined financial planning.

As we look forward to the next ten years of our development, we face a different set of challenges. The national and international economy is expected, at best, to experience modest growth. Federal priorities have shifted in the face of increased international tensions and concerns about national security. In the face of financial uncertainty, gifts to higher education have slowed and some previous commitments have become more uncertain. The families of students at private colleges and universities are more dependent on financial aid.

With all of these realities in mind, we remain confident that people make commitments to institutions they believe in. We will sustain their trust by (a) a greater emphasis on quality than on quantity, (b) a greater attention to people and programs than to facilities and other tangible resources, (c) a special emphasis on established centers of academic excellence and on academic units with demonstrated potential for rapid progress, (d) higher levels of support for efforts to enhance the coeducational, multicultural and international components of our academic and social lives, (e) proper attention to the human scale in our physical environment, in the size of our student body, and in the form and complexity of our governing structures, and (f) a constant reaffirmation that our community must be based on openness, inclusivity and hospitality.


Notre Dame is a living environment of human scale where lifelong friendships are forged and where the needs of the whole person can be addressed. Its residential tradition is one of its true hallmarks and the source of much of the vaunted loyalty toward the institution displayed by its graduates and supporters. The campus residential communities are places of study, prayer, service and relaxation. The challenge for the future is to integrate these dimensions such that there is a more clearly articulated vision of the connection between the residential experience and the academic life of the institution. This vision must take into account the role students play in communities surrounding the University and in cultural activities on and off campus. In its fullest manifestation this integrated living environment includes a programmatic concern for diversity, for healthy lifestyles and for reflective adult decision making.

Section II: Academic Priorities

This final stage of our strategic planning process is built upon three previous phases carried out over the past year. First, each of the academic units attempted to articulate with clarity and persuasion its own sense of its present strengths and its future possibilities. Then the deans and directors took the multiple plans from the various units that report to them and sought a greater degree of refinement and integration. Finally, Provost Nathan Hatch and his colleagues, with input from the members of the Coordinating Committee, carried the process of winnowing and refinement to the University level by setting academic goals that are both challenging and achievable.

To frame this articulation of the academic strategic plan we have created three discrete sections-Goals and Priorities, Plans for Larger Academic Units, and Specific Targets for Increased Financial Support.


A. Provide a premier undergraduate education experience, integrating teaching and research better than any other university.
Just as excellence in undergraduate teaching has been the foundation of Notre Dame's academic reputation for much of our history, so it will continue to be one of the hallmarks of our evolution as an institution. The mix of outstanding faculty and bright and eager students requires only the right spark to ignite a steady fire of inquiry, which can lead to the cultivation of lifelong habits of learning. In order to achieve this kind of stimulating and rewarding environment we must pay attention to various structural dimensions of our academic life. The following five factors will require particular heightened attention:

First, there must be a balanced access to programs and majors. The present division of the faculty into four colleges that offer undergraduate programs (plus the School of Architecture) takes for granted an optimal faculty size, number of departmental options and level of enrollment. In fact, for example, there are more undergraduate students enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business than the college itself thinks desirable, while the College of Engineering suffers to a degree from under-enrollment that is part of a national pattern. The School of Architecture has constraints that spring from the nature of its degree work as well as the requirement of a year of study in Rome. The College of Arts and Letters and the College of Science carry the vast majority of core curriculum requirements. For these and other reasons, too many undergraduate students have their options limited when it comes to majors and minors (and areas of concentration) as well as in enrolling in courses in colleges other than their own. For reasons of equity and good sense, a greater balance must be achieved in access to programs, majors and interdisciplinary experiences.

Second, there is a need to bring greater innovation to the curriculum and to the teaching and learning process. Notre Dame has benefitted tremendously in preserving its core curriculum through the years, but the specific content of that curriculum, as well as the concrete descriptions of the courses that satisfy its requirements, must continually be reviewed. The balance among large lecture settings, manageable classes for majors, and small seminars must be reviewed relative to the best pedagogical theories and the experience of students. The refined computing skills of incoming students must be taken into account in the incorporation of this and other mechanisms of instruction. This exploration of alternate modes of instruction is even more imperative in the teaching of foreign languages and in instruction in the fine and performing arts.

Third, there must be a strengthening of the academic engagement of first-year students. The First Year of Studies has been a great success in providing maximum flexibility for students new to college with great uncertainty about their specific academic interests and career goals. Through its advising structure it has eased the transition to college and provided maximum flexibility in course selection. The fruit of all of this has been one of the highest first- to second-year retention rates in the country and, ultimately, one of the highest graduation rates for undergraduate students. Now the time has come for a sustained fostering of the interaction between faculty and students and among students themselves. Our first-year students must be encouraged and stimulated to become responsible for their own learning experience. They must be exposed early on in their academic careers to their capacity for analysis, critique, synthesis and concrete application. They must develop the confidence to think boldly and to engage the great issues of the day.

Fourth, we must foster increased undergraduate participation in research and in departmental capstone experiences. Both research and anecdotal evidence suggest that the best way to foster excitement and enthusiasm for the intellectual life is to provide multiple opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research with their faculty and graduate student colleagues. This has become a common characteristic of many of our best undergraduate majors. Undergraduate research may take many shapes and forms, from in situ projects far from the campus to laboratory-based collaborative endeavors to computer-facilitated interaction with students and faculty on multiple campuses. Some of these projects will be highly theoretical in nature and others will be of practical effect in our local, regional and national communities. In the same way that undergraduate research can open up new ways of seeing reality and provide clarity about future professional goals, so capstone experiences can help synthesize what students have learned during the undergraduate experience and allow them to articulate for a broader audience the fruits of their labors.

Fifth and finally, there is a need to enhance departmental majors. This will require not only that introductory courses provide a broad foundation both in terms of content and methodology. but also that each course taken contribute in one way or another to the student's overall sense of competence and preparation. Determination about the sequence of courses, the essential nature of particular courses, the role and function of capstone experiences, and the role and function of the advising process must all be taken into account in the process of this enhancement.

B. Achieve an acknowledged position among leading American research universities.
In a sense, during its last fifty years of existence Notre Dame has been gradually putting into place all of the essential elements to become an excellent research university. The growth in the size and quality of the faculty, the enhancement of the component parts of the infrastructure necessary for research, and the steady improvement in the quality of the graduate students all are necessary features of this new reality. As a private university, we will never have the size and scale of the flagship public campuses, so we must achieve more with less or, better stated, focus in such a way that our available resources are put to maximum use. We are in the process of changing not only what the rest of the academy thinks about Notre Dame but also our internal sense of confidence about our capacity to reach the next level of research quality. At the same time, we must garner among all of our constituencies, including our benefactors, the same excitement for graduate education and research that we are able to elicit for the undergraduate experience. This high goal can never be achieved without a clear statement of our institutional aspirations and the standards by which success can be gauged.

The following are benchmarks by which we may assess our progress toward the goal of becoming a leading American research university:

First, we must increase the number of truly distinguished faculty. Every new faculty member we hire, whether at the senior or junior level, must display the capacity for significant scholarly engagement and bring an established record of achievement (while at the same time contributing to Notre Dame's distinctiveness as a Catholic university and as a center for teaching excellence). Some of our progress can be attributed to the growing number of endowed chairs at both the senior and junior levels. This will continue in the future to be a necessary component of our attractiveness to potential faculty. But we must also be creative in seeking to learn about high quality graduate students and faculty at other institutions who might be attracted to join us and in presenting Notre Dame in the most positive light to those candidates whom we seek out. Faculty must be willing to hire better than themselves and to be open to new approaches and perspectives in their disciplines.

Second, we must focus on those academic areas that give us the greatest opportunity for growth and funding in our research endeavors. This begins at the departmental level where we must invest in our best programs and in those that have the greatest potential for improvement. In the process of deciding this allocation of resources, it is a special responsibility of the provost and the deans to evaluate the present departments clearly and fairly by the most objective standards and then to develop strategies for building on that foundation. In a time of more limited resources, this decision-making process may require the reallocation of resources from less successful departments and programs to stronger ones. Some of our departments may choose to concentrate entirely on undergraduate instruction, while still encouraging faculty to engage in supported research from internal or external resources. A second component of the investment in best programs will be to give priority to centers and institutes that can be national leaders. Except in the start-up phase, all centers and institutes are expected to support their endeavors from endowment earnings, soft money from various funding agencies and annual fund-raising. In seeking additional resources from central University funds, some institutes and centers can lay claim to a more acknowledged leadership role in their areas of scholarship, a greater fit relative to our institutional mission, or a greater participation in policy formation in the external world.

Third, we should place at least one quarter of our doctoral programs in the top quartile among university programs and have no programs in the last quartile. While many of our doctoral programs have shown steady progress in the national rankings, few are considered among the very best in the nation. Furthermore, many other institutions have ratcheted-up their aspirations. In collaboration with the Graduate School, we must develop coherent strategies and concrete targets along the way to assure the kind of progress necessary to reach the top quartile and/or to move to the next level of ranking. In a similar way our goal is for the MBA and the Law School to reach the top twenty in their national peer evaluations. To achieve this next level of distinction, the Law School and the Mendoza College of Business will need to sustain and even increase their current emphasis on the scholarly activity of the faculty.

Fourth and finally, we need to continue to build the infrastructure for the sciences, engineering and the quantitative social sciences. Some of this development will be in long-established areas of strength in the appropriate colleges and departments. But in an era of greater cross-disciplinary activity and greater federal emphasis on interdisciplinary research projects, there must be a greater effort at conversation across disciplinary lines and a greater spirit of cooperation among faculty in discrete disciplines. The infrastructure envisaged will include improved library resources and collections, enhanced instrumentation and computer resources, new and renovated facilities and the provision of greater internal funding. As the infrastructure is improved, we should set ourselves a goal of $100 million annually in externally sponsored research funding. To reach this goal we will need maximum productivity from all faculty engaged in the research enterprise. This goal is daunting but not impossible and surely is a realizable projection from our present level of funding.

C. Establish Notre Dame unequivocally as the premier center of Catholic intellectual life.
In the tradition of the great Catholic universities of the Middle Ages, Notre Dame has the potential to have a profound influence for good on both society and the Church. At a time in human history when most of the great universities of the world are utterly secular in their missions, there seems to be a special need for an institution where religious faith seeking understanding can provide a common frame of reference for the diverse areas of learning and a sense of moral obligation in the relationship between theoretical reflection and practical application. The very traditions and structures of our common life (e.g., the way we begin the academic year and the way we send forth our graduates in the context of prayer) affirm to ourselves and to others that we live in a God-centered universe where no path to true knowledge is alien and where all seekers of the truth can feel welcome. We prize knowledge and understanding but even more so wisdom. We draw upon a common fund of tradition but we are always open to new modes of insight and comprehension. We think of learning as an inherently communal activity but provide the freedom for the individual to pursue his or her own path of reflection. We find our roots in the Church but best serve it by playing our distinctive role as a full-fledged institution of higher learning.

For Notre Dame to remain a premier center of Catholic intellectual life, we must pursue the following goals:

First, we must recruit aggressively and nurture the next generation of Catholic intellectuals, other scholars and artists to enhance Notre Dame's distinctive mission. At a minimum, this means that each person we hire must be cognizant and supportive of those fundamental commitments that make Notre Dame a Catholic university. But more than that we must be savvy and energetic in seeking out self-identified Catholic academics who embrace the Catholic intellectual heritage and who seek to enter into the broader conversation that a Catholic university fosters. It remains our goal that dedicated and committed Catholics predominate in number among the faculty, but the true spirit of this institutional priority requires more than a periodic numerical assessment. It is only fully achieved when all who join the ranks of our faculty, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, seek to foster the broad conversation that flows when all are both deeply engaged in their own intellectual labors and eager to learn from complementary perspectives on reality.

Second, we must enhance Notre Dame as a center of scholarship relating religious belief and tradition to modern learning. Catholic scholars here cannot ignore the currents and trends of modern learning; the world as we know it is ever more interactive and interdependent. For Notre Dame to have a role and influence in this network of eddying forces will require an international spirit and the welcoming of scholars from a variety of traditions. Our centers and institutes are, in a special way, places where Catholic perspectives on reality can be presented in their rich historical development while at the same time being tested, probed and refined in the face of contemporary problems.

Third, we must consolidate Notre Dame's strength as a center for normative, foundational and applied ethics. The political and civic communities and the learned professions have high expectations that Notre Dame can plumb its religious heritage and expertise in value judgments to assist American and world society in coming to grips with the complex and stubborn ethical issues that we face. In virtually all of our colleges or schools we have faculty who specialize in ethics; the challenge is to combine these separate activities into a more coherent and visible center of engagement. There is room here for both metaethics, with its concern for methodology and process, and applied versions of ethical analysis. We have an opportunity to teach the students entrusted to our care about professional integrity, about the demands of leadership, and about informed decision making, which requires consideration of equity, respect for persons and social justice. Underlining this approach is a conviction that the good life is also a life of self-awareness and disciplined reflection.

Fourth and finally, we must increase Notre Dame's presence as a center of reflection in two areas: with regard to the most pressing national and international issues and in response to challenges facing the Church and its members. At the national and international levels, the number of problems of great complexity and relevance is almost endless-immigration and the movement of large population groups; the preservation and proper distribution of water, food, fuels and other natural resources; the humane use of science and technology; with the growth of cities and depopulation of rural areas, particular attention to difficult social and economic conditions; the legal protection of children, the elderly, ethnic and religious minorities and other vulnerable groups; and the creation of reliable and equitable systems of government. In the same way, the Church faces the need to restore trust in the face of persistent scandal and a lack of confidence in its leadership. It must face the challenges of shifting demographics, increased demand for participation in decision making and the difficulty of passing on the faith across generations. We literally need to be the place where 'the Church does its thinking' and where this type of reflection is structured for maximum effectiveness and widespread distribution.

D. Renew Notre Dame as a diverse and international academic community.
There are many ways in which Notre Dame is more varied in its present composition than it may at first appear. We have students from every state of the union and from some seventy foreign countries. In the professional and graduate programs students come to us from many of the best undergraduate programs in this country and throughout the world. Our faculty are drawn from premier graduate programs and from our most prestigious peer institutions. After graduation our degree holders move on to live and work in just about every region of the globe. Despite all of this, we still have a long way to go to achieve the kind of broad diversity of which we are capable. In particular, there are four areas that we must concentrate on in our future development.

First, we must redouble and sustain our efforts to diversify both our faculty and our student body. In the faculty area we must substantially increase the percentage of women and members of underrepresented groups, especially in the senior ranks. When it comes to recruiting students at the undergraduate level, we must combine the sustained labor of the admissions office with the engagement of faculty, students and alumni, particularly those who themselves come from underrepresented groups. It is heartening that there are real signs of progress already manifest. Similar efforts are under way in the recruitment of professional degree and graduate students. The goals will vary from one degree program to another but now is the time for Notre Dame to more closely resemble the demographics of the country as well as the present and projected composition of the Catholic Church.

Second, we must build excellent academic programs in both Latino studies and African- American studies. We already have made substantial progress in the first of these through the Institute of Latino Studies. Now this initial structural advance needs to be supplemented by a more extensive development of the curricular and program possibilities. We have not been so fortunate in African-American studies, particularly when it comes to the number of faculty and the range of programmatic offerings. We must seek the infusion of new funding for this effort to bear quick fruit.

A third direction that needs to be taken is in the consolidation of centers of research excellence in international studies along with the selective building up of scholarship in those geographic areas that are not currently areas of strength. We have made noteworthy progress through the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, with its primary focus on Latin America; the Keough Institute for Irish Studies, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. In addition, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Center for Civil and Human Rights give us a cross-regional presence in matters of great international concern. Now we must pursue similar initiatives in Asian and African studies.

Fourth and finally, other dimensions of our international programs must be thoughtfully developed. These include an increased coherence and rigor in our international study programs. Current programs have grown substantially in recent years and there are further possible expansions being pursued. We must be present in China and India as well as in Africa. Present international tensions also suggest the need for opportunities in predominantly Islamic countries. Accompanying this expansion in international offerings, we must expand the number of students in our foreign language programs; a legitimate future goal would be for every undergraduate to become at least bilingual. Finally, we must develop more effective ways to fully internationalize the curriculum.


The nature of this Strategic Plan is to lay out in broad strokes the most important components of the University's academic priorities and plans for the next decade. What is captured below can only be a brief snapshot of the much longer and more detailed plans put forth by the major academic units. It cannot possibly convey fully all the richness, diversity of ideas, or effort put into those foundational plans. In concert with the Provost's Office, the deans, department chairs and faculty of each college and major unit will further refine priorities in the months ahead. Much of the effective implementation of this large plan will be dependent upon specific elements highlighted and emphasized at the collegiate level. These plans are available on the Web and also in print. But at this point it is helpful to lay out in broad terms some of the priorities of the individual colleges and schools as they have been synthesized by the deans and directors.

A. The College of Arts and Letters.
Many of the priorities articulated in the college's plan are concrete examples of the University-wide goals and priorities that already have been discussed. The college seeks to support outstanding competitive programs that enhance undergraduate and graduate studies. It wants to foster those academic units and initiatives that have the capacity to become national leaders, for example, philosophy and theology at the graduate level and anthropology at the undergraduate level. There is also significant attention paid to moving high-impact programs into the top quartile. This would include English, political science, psychology, history and sociology. There is also mission-related attention to programs that can foster and enhance Catholic intellectual life. Finally, there is a concern expressed for expanded space, for a remedying of the major gaps in the library collections, and for the expansion of the centers, programs and institutes based in the college.

B. The College of Science.
The goals and aspirations of the College of Science are to provide a world-class education for its students through excellence in teaching and leadership in research that will benefit humanity in the 21st century. This effort includes educating future leaders in the values and ethics appropriate to a Catholic university. In light of existing priorities as well as the possibilities offered by emerging fields, the College of Science wants to focus on three areas: biomedical research, material science, and the environment. The completion of the Science Learning Center is an essential component of this plan. So also will be the renovation of current teaching labs and the expansion of the animal facility. The college would like to expand the size of the faculty with special attention to senior hires. All of this supports the aim to put two or three departments in the top quartile.

C. Mendoza College of Business.
The Mendoza College of Business rightly aspires to become a top-twenty program in research, MBA education and executive education. At an even higher level of aspiration, it seeks to be a top-ten program in undergraduate business education, a top-five program in nonprofit management, top-three in graduate accounting education, and the premier program in the country in business ethics. In order to achieve these goals, four initiatives are identified as the most critical: increase faculty capacity by adding additional faculty positions, particularly at the senior level, reducing teaching loads, and instituting a more supportive sabbatical program; in consonance with University-wide effort to focus on ethics as a priority, the college wishes to be the top program in business ethics in the country-which can be achieved through additional senior faculty positions and support for fellowships and research; reduce the size of the undergraduate program both to enhance the quality of the undergraduate educational experience and to free up faculty who can contribute to the other degree programs; and improve the quality of the MBA program through student fellowships, which can have a quick and decisive impact on the quality of the students and the learning experience.

D. Law School.
The Notre Dame Law School seeks to enhance its academic stature as a premier Catholic law school. Currently ranked within the top twenty-five among the nation's law schools, the Law School endeavors to reach the top twenty. This is a realistic but ambitious goal. The new building, which is to be integrated into the present facility, is a critical component for reaching this goal. Other crucial priorities include improving the faculty/student ratio, additional financial aid resources, addressing current deficiencies in the law library, and creating endowments for a research sabbatical program and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Finally, the Law School seeks to improve the technological support structure, resources for a loan forgiveness program, additional personnel for the law clinic, and a better integration of the law program in London.

E. College of Engineering.
The College of Engineering seeks to gain recognition as a first-tier college of engineering. It also wants to contribute to the distinctive Catholic character of the University. In order to achieve these goals it wants to be a center of pedagogical innovation such that technology can be related to pressing societal needs, both in this country and throughout the globe. It also wants to conduct world-class research that addresses the critical needs of society. This will require greater research productivity, which will be based on increased graduate school enrollment, increased Ph.D. production for faculty, and higher-targeted annual research funding for faculty; the pursuit of strategic research priorities, with a special emphasis on information technology, the intersection of engineering with medicine and biology, environmental science and engineering, and material synthesis and processing; a renewed emphasis on research centers, both existing centers like those in nanotechnology, molecular engineering, materials, and flow physics, as well as new centers in biotechnology, bioinformatics, wireless technology and networks. Crucial to all of this activity is the plan for a new engineering building and other research bases as well as additional teaching and staff positions and greater discretionary funding.

F. School of Architecture.
The School of Architecture derives much of its reputation from its distinctive focus on classical and traditional architecture and urbanism as well as the one-year required program in Rome. There is some uncertainty in the field about whether the present five-year undergraduate degree program will remain viable as opposed to a four-year architecture undergraduate major followed by a two-year master of architecture professional degree. The school would like to expand its graduate program from ten to twenty students per year; this would have a positive effect on the ranking and reputation of the school and would better prepare it for what may be a new set of requirements by architecture accreditation agencies. In addition to increasing the size of the graduate program, the school seeks additional teaching and research positions, improvement in the Rome facilities and a relocation of the urban design center. It is also important to restrict the number of undergraduate entering students because of the nature of the course requirements and the limitations of the Rome facility.

G. The Graduate School.
The Graduate School performs a promotion, resource development, and oversight function for all of the graduate programs in research across the colleges. The principal goal of the Graduate School over the next ten years is to achieve an acknowledged position for Notre Dame among the leading research universities of the country.

This will be based upon three major efforts: First, increase externally sponsored research expenditures to approximately $100 million a year, which is approximately double the current levels. This effort will focus on increased cost recovery, additional administrative positions, development of multidisciplinary research facilities, establishment of an institute for environmental studies, promotion of research partnerships with regional institutions, greater emphasis on undergraduate research participation, and upgrading scholarly dissemination. Second, place one quarter of the graduate programs in the top quartile in the National Research Council rankings of Ph.D.-granting programs within the course of the next ten years. This will require new and competitive support for graduate students, provision of graduate student health insurance, an increase in the percentages of underrepresented groups in the Graduate School population, promotion of high quality degree-related placement, additional postdoctoral fellowships, and the selective development of professional master's degrees. Third, significantly increase the number of faculty with truly distinguished reputations. The top priority here is the creation of ten targeted endowed chairs at the "University chair" level.

H. University Libraries.
The University Libraries include the collection and services in the Hesburgh Library as well as those of the branch libraries located in a number of other academic buildings. The Library has made great progress over the last two decades in its national rankings, but it still must make every effort to accommodate the demands of the University's graduate programs and to overcome the absence of major research centers like a medical school. The most helpful standard of evaluation is our comparative ranking vis-a-vis the top private universities in the country. The Library has articulated three major goals for the next decade: First, develop distinguished research collections in focused areas like the humanities, Catholic studies, peace studies, Irish studies and Latino studies. This will need to be coordinated with the concomitant strengthening of the general collections and resource delivery to meet information needs. Second, enhance the service function of the Library. The completion of the present Hesburgh Library renovation project will need to be supplemented by the renovation of the branch libraries, and the development of an offsite storage facility, a digitization center and digital repository. Third, to facilitate learning and teaching with greater attention to undergraduate learning needs, as well as data and visual resource collections. Finally, the Library needs to bring in new ideas through exchange and internship programs, to enhance ethnic diversity through the Librarian-in-Residence program, and to leverage technology and assessment tools for better service.


Full realization of all goals projected in the various academic plans will, of course, necessitate a fund-raising campaign of major proportions-on a scale with those of our top peer institutions. In this campaign enthusiastic emphasis must be given to our academic priorities, which at this stage would include significant endowments for people and programs and substantial new resources for the construction and renovation of facilities. The academic targets alone, in all likelihood, would equal the full amount raised in the Generations Campaign.

A further breakdown of these academic financial goals is as follows:

A. People and programs

  • 1. Endowed faculty positions (80)
    (14 University chairs, 30 senior chairs, 36 collegiate chairs)
  • 2. New program monies
    • doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships
    • the Library
    • Latino and African-American studies
    • other centers and institutes
    • Notre Dame Press
B. New and renovated facilities
  • Law Building and Engineering Facility
  • Arts and Letters (music, psychology, social sciences)
  • Business (executive education)
  • Science (lab renovations, multidisciplinary research)
  • Library (renovation of Hesburgh Library; renovation of branch libraries)
  • Institute for Church Life
  • Snite Museum of Art
  • Institute for Educational Initiatives

Section III: Student Life Priorities

As has already been made apparent in this report, student life (along with academic affairs) is the second major component of what makes Notre Dame an exciting and stimulating Catholic learning community. The mission of Student Affairs is to offer students a learning environment in which they can integrate the intellectual, spiritual, moral and social dimensions of their educational experience; to provide students with the highest quality programs and services; and to build strong collaborative links with other units of the University, particularly academic departments, centers and institutes, as well as external constituencies. In order to achieve these essential goals, Student Affairs has identified the following aspirations for student life:

  • To be the leading Catholic university in all areas of student life, renowned for excellence in student programs and services and for offering students unique opportunities to experience Christian community within the residential system;
  • To be, within the context of the University's mission, the premier training ground for intellectual, moral and spiritual leaders, and;
  • To offer students unparalleled opportunities for integrated learning.
The concrete realization of these aspirations requires a focus on a number of specific areas related to student life.

It should be emphasized that graduate students at Notre Dame require programs and services that differ, in many instances, from those required by undergraduate students. Graduate students often view their academic departments as their primary communities. Student Affairs has a critical role to play in terms of providing services to graduate students, and it is imperative that the quantity and quality of such services be enhanced across the whole spectrum of areas of need.


The hallmark of student life at Notre Dame, particularly at the undergraduate level, has been the experience of living in residence halls where leaders exercise a special responsibility for the creation of hall communities and for maximizing the opportunities for growth of each individual student in the hall community. Rectors, assistant rectors and hall staffs have a special obligation to know each student by name, to recognize the roles families play in a student's development, to promote faith formation within residence hall life and to encourage residents in living up to the University's standards of behavior. The hall staffs are assisted in their endeavors by a wide variety of individuals with special skills under the umbrella of Student Affairs. Residential life requires constant examination and renewal. In this spirit the following areas of concern must be addressed:

A. Renewal of the commitment to build Christian community within the residence halls.
At its core, residential life flourishes at Notre Dame because students experience the halls as communities of faith. Students encounter within their residence halls an environment that encourages them to consider faith's role in daily living, providing a context for dealing with personal problems as well as world events. Through daily and weekly liturgies, participation in hall service projects and interaction with the staff and faculty who reside in the halls, students are encouraged to involve themselves in the vibrant communal life of Notre Dame and to strengthen their personal relationships with God. The future of this vital activity depends on our ability to attract the right mix of people to live and work in the halls. They must have both a deep commitment to build on established ways of forming Christian community and a willingness to explore news ways toward that goal.

B. Study the future of ministry in the residence halls.
Throughout the University's history, the capable ministry of the hall rectors has been at the center of residential life. Traditionally, rectors have been Holy Cross religious, joined by lay people, as well as priests, brothers and sisters of many other religious communities. Graduate students typically serve as assistant rectors and senior undergraduates as resident assistants.

In the past, the average tenure of a rector was ten to fifteen years, with some serving even longer. The welcome addition of greater numbers of dedicated and highly competent lay colleagues has raised important questions for the future. We must recognize the challenges in recruiting and retaining rectors, including candidates from underrepresented groups. This evolving hall leadership group will have different needs than their counterparts in religious life have had-for example, opportunities for advancement and professional development. It is important that Student Affairs periodically undertake reviews of hall staffing and the future of ministry through the residence halls.

C. Centralize responsibility in Student Affairs for the assignment and management of residence facilities during the summer months.
Currently, responsibility for deciding how campus residence facilities will be used during the summer months is divided among several University offices, including the Office of Residence and Housing, Business Operations and the Summer Session. The demand for summer housing grows each year as more and more programs are established on campus. Within the context of priorities established by the University's officers and working closely with other University units, the office of Residence Life and Housing should be charged with making decisions about the use and administration of campus residence facilities during the summer months.

D. Facilitate the integration of students' international study experiences with campus life.
With more students participating in international study programs than at any other research university in the nation, Notre Dame is uniquely equipped to offer a global learning environment. Working closely with International Studies, Student Affairs should be committed to providing structures and services that will facilitate students' transition to and from foreign study programs, enhance their time abroad, and enrich the campus community on their return.


At a Catholic university, committed to the integrated development of the whole person, special attention always must be paid to attracting people and developing and enhancing programs that can have a positive and long-lasting impact on the members of the student body. This will necessarily be the work of multiple individuals in a wide variety of units under the auspices of the office of Student Affairs or in direct collaboration with them. Below are several areas that warrant brief elaboration; more detailed findings are presented in the strategic planning document for Student Affairs.

Currently, more than 300 student organizations that run the gamut of student interests are registered on campus. To properly support these organizations and to foster and develop leadership skills among students will require an ongoing commitment of resources across several departments within Student Affairs.

In order to better integrate student life, Student Affairs must actively pursue closer ties with faculty and academic departments, centers and institutes. This integration should be in evidence at every level within the residence halls and among the Student Affairs departments, and should influence decision making about programming and the allocation of resources. Linking academics and student life should also be a primary consideration in the design and planning of campus buildings.

Notre Dame has a responsibility to prepare students to be future leaders in their parishes and in the greater Church. The liturgical programs of Campus Ministry are perhaps the most obvious link to this formation, with students serving in a multitude of roles. The retreats offered by Campus Ministry have been extraordinarily successful. Building on this success, Campus Ministry should design a retreat series tailored to students' spiritual progression during their careers at Notre Dame. The sacramental preparation programs, as well as catechetical and internship programs, also provide important formative experiences. Every effort must be made to continue to foster such leadership opportunities while our students are at Notre Dame and to challenge them to play active roles in the Church beyond Notre Dame.

With almost 80 percent of all undergraduates participating in some form of service during their Notre Dame careers, community service is very much a part of the student experience. With closer connections among the service programs in the residence halls, the Center Social Concerns and Campus Ministry, students will have a wide array of opportunities to explore the academic and theological aspects of service.

While Student Affairs has made a concerted effort to address alcohol abuse through education, therapeutic and behavioral initiatives, real change will not occur until campus and community constituencies support and participate in these efforts by forming a campus-community coalition of faculty, students, administrators and community leaders. Only then can this complex issue be addressed in a comprehensive fashion. In addressing alcohol and drug abuse issues, prevention efforts are critical: reactive measures alone will not change campus culture. Through innovative programs developed by the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education and the Counseling Center, Notre Dame should become a national leader in the area of alcohol and drug abuse prevention.


Student services contribute significantly to the overall quality of life in our community. This support addresses special parts of the student community, including services that draw upon technical expertise and training. This section highlights a few key areas representing services that touch a significant portion of our student body.

We must be cognizant of the unique circumstances of graduate students and make every effort to provide housing infrastructure, programming and support structures that meet their distinct needs. It is important as well to integrate these students more fully into all aspects of the life of the University.

In the context of our educational mission, we must consider not only how well we meet students' needs during their time at Notre Dame but also how well we prepare them for life beyond Notre Dame. For example, the Career Center's goal is to teach students lifelong skills that will enable them to accurately assess their interests, values and aptitudes. It encourages students to understand their educational pursuits in the context of potential careers.

In line with national trends, the University Counseling Center (UCC) feels increasing pressure from the growth of student demand for mental health related services. In order to meet both the quantity and changing nature of these demands, UCC will be compelled to expand its staff and hours of operation. In hiring new staff, consideration should be given to counselors experienced in working with international students and members of underrepresented groups. There also is a need to increase the availability of psychiatric services.

University counseling centers across the country also have expanded their roles to include prevention and outreach activities. Through the creation of specialized treatment programs to help students with issues such as stress management and depression, healthy eating and body image, performance enhancement and interpersonal relationships, the Center can provide prevention and consultation services that will both address students' immediate concerns and foster their educational and personal development.

While each member of this community must cooperate in making Notre Dame a secure place to live, study and work, Notre Dame Security/Police is charged with providing the essential services that foster a well-ordered and safe environment. At a time when safety and security issues are a great concern to students, their families and the nation, resources should be allocated to accommodate changing security needs and expectations.


Notre Dame is committed to increasing diversity in every facet of its life-among faculty, staff and student body. Only with targeted goals and adequate resources will we make the progress our aspirations demand.

Our commitment to diversity must be demonstrated in many ways, but most particularly in hiring decisions. We must make every effort to hire individuals from traditionally under-represented groups, including women, African Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans. As our campus grows more diverse in terms of race, culture, religion and socio-economic status, we also must provide meaningful opportunities for all students to explore issues of diversity as part of preparing them to enter a multicultural global environment. For the immediate future we have set a recruitment goal of twenty percent for underrepresented students and five percent for international students. To achieve these goals, we must provide appropriate support and allocate sufficient resources across many different departments and toward varied initiatives, including a much larger and far more visible Intercultural Center, which should be a gathering place for all students to explore issues of diversity.


Most students who come to Notre Dame today already have incorporated technology into their learning processes, as well as using it for communicating and recreation. Now we must extend these benefits to every area of student life. Students must have access to state-of-the-art technology both in the classroom and in residential facilities. As new technology is developed and resources are allocated, student needs for technology must be met. It is important as well that University departments that provide services to students be integrated into the RENOVARE Project so that they have sufficient information resources to meet identified needs.


As in other areas of University life, the need for additional facilities must be balanced against the prevailing economic climate and the need to pay primary attention to people and programs. Nevertheless, the creation of an ideal student living and learning environment will require the addition of new facilities. The list of building projects below, which appears in order of priority, will be integrated into our overall campus capital and fund-raising plans.

A. Renovate the University Health Center as an urgent priority.

B. Construct a student center complex.
The vitality of campus life depends to a great extent upon the attractiveness and availability of social, recreational, and cultural opportunities. Relative to our own campus residency rate, LaFortune Student Center should be at least twice its current size. Without adequate facilities, it is impossible to provide the kind of opportunities students have come to expect. A student center complex will greatly enhance the appeal of campus life by serving as a kind of 'village well,' bringing together undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff.

C. Alleviate overcrowding in the existing residence halls, accommodate undergraduate students in at least four new residence facilities, and create more housing options for senior undergraduate students.
While there has been some variation in the on-campus residency rate through the years, we seek to return to an on-campus residency rate between 81 percent and 83 percent. The reasons most commonly cited by upperclass students for moving off campus are a lack of space, a desire for greater independence, and the absence of certain amenities. We must continue our efforts to alleviate overcrowding in the residence halls in order to preserve and enhance the appeal of on-campus living. A reduction of ten percent of the capacity in existing halls would allow for elimination of the least desirable rooms, the creation of badly needed common social space within some of the halls, and the assignment of double-size rooms to resident assistants as meeting and gathering space for students.

When constructing new halls or renovating existing halls, serious consideration must be given to creating more housing options for senior students, possibly senior suites or apartments. Offering such options on campus is essential to retaining seniors and juniors, particularly in light of the increased availability of affordable housing close to campus with amenities not available in the residence halls. The construction of new residence facilities might also make possible other housing options, including coeducational housing and the creation of smaller "theme" residential communities within a larger facility.

D. Construct new apartments for married students to replace University Village.
University Village, which was constructed in 1963, is home to approximately 100 students and their families, including over 100 children. The construction in 1997 of a University Village Community Center was a positive development. But looking to the future, the apartments of University Village should be demolished and new apartment buildings constructed.

E. Construct additional housing for graduate students, preferably single-occupancy units.
Only 622 of our 2,900 graduate students reside in University housing. Each year there is a large waiting list. There is a clear need for more graduate housing. The construction of single-occupancy units would provide maximum flexibility in assigning these units.

F. Replace Stepan Center and continue efforts to make available more campus space for student programs.
While the renovation of the Alumni-Senior Club constitutes an important step forward, much more must be done to meet student needs for usable space on campus. Stepan Center is in poor condition and is woefully inadequate. The current building should be replaced with a conference center that can be configured to accommodate crowds up to 4,000, as well as smaller groups. Within other buildings on campus, a concerted effort should be made to identify space students can utilize.

G. Construct a retreat center.
As the number of Campus Ministry retreat programs has increased, there is a great need for a dedicated center for retreats. The construction of a retreat center would make possible a greater number and variety of retreats, essential for a more diverse community of believers.

Section IV: Athletics

Notre Dame occupies a unique position in the world of intercollegiate athletics. We are one of only two Catholic institutions competing in Division I-A football; we are the only NCAA institution with an exclusive television contract for its football games; and we are the only remaining football independent that is nationally competitive on an annual basis. With this great prominence comes great responsibility, and the Department of Athletics and Recreation aspires to be the premier program in intercollegiate athletics by emphasizing integrity, academics, spirituality, sportsmanship, fiscal responsibility, and the opportunity to experience both learning and athletic pursuits at the highest levels. The goal of Notre Dame athletics is to provide the optimum experience for every student and staff member, regardless of race or gender, in harmony with the mission of the University.

Certain fundamental principles inform our athletic endeavor-the expectation that student-athletes perform in the classroom; adherence to the highest institutional and NCAA standards of conduct; a commitment to diversity among coaches and staff; and a desire to recruit and retain the very best coaches and athletes. We seek as well to excel in a broad range of athletic activities. To achieve all of our goals for athletics we must focus on several key elements outlined below.


Historically, Notre Dame has occupied a premier position relative to academic success in Division I-A as measured by NCAA graduation rate data. Only Stanford and Notre Dame are annually rated among the top twenty universities, academically and athletically. The role of the Faculty Board on Athletics, chaired by the Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA, is crucial to maintaining the highest standards and expectations for our student-athletes, as is the work of the Office of Academic Services for Student-Athletes, which must continue to strive to be a national model.

Notre Dame's mission demands that all our activities be characterized by integrity and the pursuit of excellence. With this in mind, all coaches, staff, student-athletes and other representatives of the University's athletic interests must conduct themselves with the utmost personal integrity, operating fully within both the spirit and the letter of applicable institutional, conference and NCAA rules and regulations.

Paramount to the success of any athletic department is a highly trained, well-respected coaching and administrative staff. Of particular importance to athletic success is a coaching staff who are considered leaders in their respective sports, have excellent communication skills and are committed to the mission of the institution. In order to achieve great competitive success, Notre Dame must effectively recruit and retain at all levels coaches and administrators who possess those characteristics.

The key to successful intercollegiate programs at Notre Dame is the ability to recruit and enroll highly talented student-athletes who have the skills necessary to succeed in the classroom as well as in competition. The Athletic Department must continue to monitor and evaluate the quality and appropriateness of student development programming. The positive experience of present student-athletes relative to programming and support structures will have an influence in recruiting future student-athletes. All Notre Dame staff must learn how to present Notre Dame as the best opportunity for prospective student-athletes to fulfill their potential-athletically, academically, spiritually and socially.

The Athletic Department must place a high priority on assembling a staff that represents the appropriate skills as well as one that exhibits ethnic and gender diversity. Each search must result in a high quality, diverse pool of applicants and yield a final candidate who will be highly successful at Notre Dame. Furthermore, each staff member must be fully supported in seeking to achieve the highest levels of professional development and success.


Presently, Notre Dame ranks approximately 26th in total athletic department expenditures for I-A institutions. Notre Dame has traditionally performed well within its resource base. The challenge for the future will be to maintain and to improve our athletic success relative to our peer institutions while maintaining an overall athletic budget that is both competitive and proportionate to the overall University budget. There are two areas in particular that will continue to require priority and which already have been fully integrated into University-wide fund-raising and facility planning.

A. Scholarship allocations.
Notre Dame is in the process of moving to the NCAA maximum level of scholarships for all intercollegiate programs. The full implementation for this plan calls for the addition of sixteen full scholarships per year through 2004-2005. This will bring all intercollegiate programs to maximum levels. This scholarship plan represents Notre Dame's commitment to overall excellence in intercollegiate athletics generally.

B. Facilities.
On the basis of an extensive comparative facilities analysis and consultation with the central administration and Board of Trustees, the Athletic Department has developed a master plan for facilities that consists of several significant projects. Subject to the availability of funding support for specific projects, this plan will be implemented in three phases over the next ten years. When this plan is completed, facility upgrades will have been achieved for all 26 intercollegiate programs. The first phase of this projected facilities plan will be the construction of an integrated football operations facility adjacent to the current Loftus Center.

Section V: Financial, Facility, and Human Resource Support Structures

The administrative support structures of the University are all in service of its fundamental mission as an academic institution and as a residence community. We are, in a sense, a small city that employs almost 4,000 people in faculty, staff and administrative positions. This is an expensive operation to sustain and it requires the regular provision of financial resources. In addition, the smooth functioning of this complex institution depends on an attractive and safe physical plant, the full staffing of the offices and other administrative entities, the means of effective and reliable communication, the processing of large amounts of information and data and the attention to the fundamental necessities of life, like food, power, water, and temperature control.


A. Provide support for successful recruitment and retention of faculty and staff.
Nothing is more important to the wellbeing of Notre Dame's future than to attract bright, talented and hard-working individuals to our work force. To achieve this goal two priorities must be pursued simultaneously: First, we must build a Human Resources Department that facilitates the effective hiring, compensation, performance management, and retention of faculty and staff, as well as undertakes diversity initiatives and opportunities for staff educational development. Second, we must strategically analyze and effectively communicate salary and benefit programs.

B. Be good stewards of University resources.
Those of us who participate in the University's life today are the beneficiaries of thoughtful and well-planned utilization of the University's resources in the past. In the face of relatively challenging economic circumstances, we must be even more focused on fundamental things. There are three dimensions to this proper stewardship: First, we must focus on exercising wise and prudent stewardship of the University's core assets. Second, as part of our fiduciary responsibility, we must balance the needs of the present day with those opportunities projected for the future. Third, we must recognize our intergenerational responsibility for land, for endowment and for program development.

C. Provide resources for programs/services.
At Notre Dame we have a tradition of balanced budgets and successful fund-raising. As we look to the future these activities need to be sustained and brought to the next level of development. This will require attention to several dimensions of resource accumulation and oversight: First, we must practice prudent fiscal policies. Second, we must provide financial modeling to fully quantify costs of advancement, and in the process, help to identify realistic fiduciary goals. Third, we must balance the financial realities of institutional advancement with the development of optimum pricing and overall financial strategies. Fourth, we must explore additional avenues for revenue generation. Fifth, we must collaborate with the colleges and administrative areas to assist them in achieving our defined goals relative to factors like budget, financial planning, human resources and information technology.

D. Engage in capital planning.
The great danger in a University setting is that capital projects will emerge helter-skelter from isolated efforts at unit planning. This deters a proper distribution of University resources across all budget units. In order to pursue capital planning with maximum effectiveness we must pursue the following goals: First, we must fully cost new facilities in order to plan for comprehensive fund raising and for most efficient utilization of the plant fund. Second, we must implement a policy that requires up-front funding with gifts and pledges. Third, we must look at the planning of specific projects in the context of the overall campus plan. Fourth, we must consider strategic and continual review of essential resource areas like the power plant and other utilities. Fifth, we must maintain cordial relationships with the communities that surround us and with the appropriate governmental agencies. Sixth and finally, we must develop planning processes that allow for the most effective employment of design and construction talent and the exercise of the oversight function once campus projects are underway.

E. Attend to future campus infrastructure needs.
In this Strategic Plan a number of University priorities are laid out that will need to be implemented once resources are made available. A number of infrastructure needs have already been identified as part of the ongoing campus master plan process. For example, environmental dimensions will be important, including landscaping and the construction of walkways and roads. The construction of a new inn on campus will require expanded hospitality service. New facilities will require upgrading of campus utilities. The completion of the RENOVARE Project will require new software and hardware computer development. The projected construction projects will demand the integration and coordination of complicated construction services.

F. Facilitate research growth.
As the University increases its expectations for on-campus research, we must develop more sophisticated financial modeling so that the total costs of research projects are taken into account in budgeting. This is especially important when external grant resources do not provide full funding. It will also be important to join with the colleges to decentralize research accounting support and to develop the capacity to work with principal investigators.


The Office of Human Resources is committed to providing high quality services and programs to faculty and staff of the University in support of its mission, values and long-term objectives. Human Resources is changing from a largely transactional service-based organization to a strategic entity directly supporting in significant ways the goals and aspirations of the University. With this change and the need for increased professionalism and services, enhanced technical and professional skills are required. Human Resource services must continue to be improved and streamlined through methods like the innovative use of technology, strategic communication and partnerships.

The following represents a brief synopsis of the priorities articulated by the Office of Human Resources:

  • Maintain and enhance a work environment consistent with a great Catholic university (benefits, compensation, communication, policies, and practices) that serves to attract and engage a highly qualified and diverse workforce;
  • Provide staff, administrators and appropriate faculty with educational and development experiences that expand and improve the University's capabilities and capacity;
  • Improve selected administrative processes that achieve significant institutional impact, enabled in part through new or enhanced use of technology and improved business processes; and
  • Develop partnerships, alliances and entrepreneurs that produce new or improved support services and/or advance the mission of the University.
  • The Division of Business Operations seeks to deliver exceptional customer service and the efficient use of resources. It is dedicated to being a leader and providing goods and services to, and managing the physical infrastructure of, the University. It is comprised of a diverse group of seven business units, employing more than 1,200 full-time-equivalent employees. This includes administrative services of various sorts, asset management, auxiliary services, facilities operations, procurement services, the University architect and associated activities, and utilities.
  • The strategic plan for Business Operations includes three areas of focus: relationships, services and technology.
    • Build lasting relationships;
    • Provide outstanding client services; and
    • Utilize innovative technologies

    The Finance Division exercises concrete fiduciary responsibility with respect to assets provided by others-tuition and fees from students, gifts from donors, grants from government and private sources, as well as operational revenues. These resources must be properly overseen, managed, and fully utilized to serve the University's mission. It is the goal of the Finance Division to achieve even higher levels in all areas of performance-in the level of service provided to students, faculty, staff and others; in the efficiency of the overall operation; in the compliance and risk management roles; and in the ability to provide cutting edge financial services that allow the constituencies to focus on their core responsibilities, whether they be academic or administrative.

    In order to achieve such excellence it will be necessary to fully realize the potential of those who work within the division and allow them to operate efficiently and focus on value added-services by taking full advantage of technological resources. It will also be necessary to improve communication through enhanced outreach through the academy and other constituencies while also advancing the modes of internal communication. In response to those who work within the division there needs to be a continuous effort to encourage and reward innovation and to facilitate further employee education. Finally, it is necessary to incorporate the highest level of stewardship practices in its daily work.

    Section VI: Information Technology

    Information technology is a crucial component of the infrastructure for the University's academic, student life and administrative functions. In recent years, the Office of Information Technology has been restructured. It is clear to those responsible for such matters that the University's central administrative computing system is antiquated. In fact, within a few years services will no longer be available for the system currently in place. As a result, a massive effort has been initiated to take the University through its next stage of computing infrastructure development-Project RENOVARE. This plan, which has already been approved by the officers of the University, will cost $46 million over the course of the next five years, with an ongoing recurring component of $4.3 million after implementation. Project RENOVARE will lead the replacement of the University's administrative systems, including:

    • Core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems
      • Financials
      • Student Faculty Information Systems
      • HR/Payroll
    • Development
    • e Procurement
    • Health
    • Security Dispatch
    • Student and Exchange Visitor Information
    As part of Project RENOVARE, there are a variety of other systems that are currently under review.

    Section VII: Conclusion

    This report is my synthesis of an enormous body of work representing the very best strategic thinking of our faculty, staff and administration. I deeply appreciate the effort and time dedicated to this initiative over the past eighteen months. It is not a conclusion, but a beginning that will require continuing refinement and feedback. The critical dialogue among faculty leadership, administration and staff will go on as we prepare for our next fund-raising campaign. It is my sincere hope that the same spirit of cooperation and excitement that marked this process will animate our subsequent efforts. While the present economic climate may be daunting, we cannot hesitate to think big, to extend ourselves and to push Notre Dame to become an even finer institution and community. With God's good grace I hope that we can look back ten years hence and see how this planning effort provided the basis for achieving our overarching goal of becoming a premier university while remaining true to our Catholic ideals.

    Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee Members

    Reverend Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C.
    President and Professor of Theology

    John F. Affleck-Graves
    Vice President and Associate Provost
    and Notre Dame Professor of Finance

    R. Scott Appleby
    John M. Regan Jr. Director Joan B. Kroc Institute
    for International Peace Studies and Professor of History

    Joan F. Brennecke
    Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical Engineering

    Robert D. Bretz, Jr.
    Joe and Jane Giovanini Professor of Management
    and Department Chair of Management

    Frances Hagopian
    Director of the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies
    and Michael P. Grace Associate Professor of Latin American Studies

    Alexander J. Hahn
    Director of the John A. Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning
    and Professor of Mathematics

    Nathan O. Hatch
    Provost and Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History

    Scott C. Malpass
    Vice President and Chief Investment Officer

    Naomi M. Meara
    Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Psychology

    Reverend Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C.
    Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Theology

    Reverend Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C.
    Executive Vice President and Professor of Political Science

    Jay H. Tidmarsh
    Professor of Lawa


    Matthew S. Cullinan
    Executive Assistant to the President

    To download the Final Report click here.

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    Last Modified: Apr 18, 2007