Strategic Plan 2007-2012

Rockhurst University Vision

"Rockhurst University will be nationally recognized for transforming lives and forming leaders in the Jesuit tradition. Inspired by the example of St. Ignatius of Loyola, this Catholic university community seeks to make God’s good world better through learning, leadership, service, and the pursuit of justice."


Rockhurst University exists to transform lives by creating a learning community centered on excellence in undergraduate liberal education and graduate education. Rockhurst is Catholic and Jesuit, involved in the life and growth of the city and the region, and committed to the service of the contemporary world.

Core Values
  • Finding God in All Things
  • Magis (i.e., Excellence in All Endeavors)
  • Reflection and Discernment
  • Cura Personalis (i.e. Care for the Whole Person)
  • Contemplation in Action
  • Wisdom (as the product of the search for God in all things, the striving for more, and the care of the whole person) 
Pathways to the Vision: Eighteen Strategic Directions

In Fall 2006, over 500 university stakeholders during twelve Town Meetings helped discern eighteen Strategic Directions clustered under four Critical Issues. If our shared vision expresses where we want to be in five years, Strategic Directions express how we intend to get there. These "pathways to the vision," are broad directional statements of intent that provide a framework for more detailed planning. They are challenging but realistic, achievable within three to five years.

Critical Issue #1: Transforming Lives Consistent with Core Jesuit Values

Strategic Direction 1: Identify & celebrate how Rockhurst’s Jesuit identify influences what students learn, how students learn, and why students learn; promote use of Ignatian pedagogies that both enrich student learning and differentiate a Rockhurst education on the basis of our Jesuit identity.

Strategic Direction 2: Through our mission of learning, leadership, and service in the Jesuit tradition, Rockhurst University cultivates a learning and living environment that encourages cura personalis, care and development of the whole person, through reflection and discernment. Within that environment, Rockhurst creates an integrative experience for students to develop skills, competencies, and values in these seven areas:

  • LEADERSHIP: The commitment to develop the gifts and talents of self and others to make a positive difference in the world.
  • COMMUNICATION: The ability to communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and with awareness of purpose and audience.
  • INTERNATIONAL AND CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING: The appreciation of cultural differences and commonalities, and the ability to interact with sensitivity and alertness as citizens of the world.
  • CRITICAL AND CREATIVE THINKING: The ability to search for knowledge, investigate questions, and apply information in a systematic, discerning, and innovative manner.
  • ETHICS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: The commitment to create a more just world and to live with integrity, humility, tolerance, and empathy.
  • ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE: The capacity to assimilate and apply a broad range of skills, knowledge, and abilities to a chosen field of study.
  • SELF FORMATION: The discovery and cultivation of spiritual, physical, social, and emotional well-being.

Strategic Direction 3: Achieve national recognition as a learning-centered institution that is known for excellence and challenges all students to realize their full potential.

Strategic Direction 4: Achieve national recognition for leader formation through integrative learning experiences that prepare the student for life-long transformational service.

Strategic Direction 5: Organize, integrate, and implement ongoing and new educational programming for all constituents regarding issues of diversity, multiculturalism, global perspectives, economic inequality, and justice.

Strategic Direction 6: Sustain programs and practices that strengthen the Jesuit and Catholic identity of Rockhurst University; make Rockhurst a model among Jesuit universities for passing on the Ignatian charism and sustaining its mission focus.

Strategic Direction 7: Sustain Rockhurst’s commitment to assessment at the classroom, program, and university levels assuring that learning outcomes are achieved, student learning is improved, and satisfaction objectives are met or exceeded.

Critical Issue #2: Enriching & Building Community

Strategic Direction 8: Increase enrollments while sustaining the high quality of incoming students; set enrollment targets that enable sustainable growth without detracting from students’ current Rockhurst experience, or adversely influencing student retention.

Strategic Direction 9: Develop a comprehensive student retention plan with benchmarks and appropriate strategies; set annual goals for each stage of student retention as well as four and six year graduation rates; develop a corresponding graduate retention program for each graduate program; set appropriate annual goals and measure the progress towards these goals.

Strategic Direction 10: Identify resources and develop programs to celebrate and build up the gifts and talents of Rockhurst faculty and staff.

Strategic Direction 11: Recruit and support a more diverse university community.

Strategic Direction 12: Strengthen existing and build new strategic partnerships that both enhance a Rockhurst student experience and bring value to the community.

Critical Issue #3: Ensuring Financial & Infrastructure Strength

Strategic Direction 13: Balance the university budget by AY 08-09 without use of Seminar Corporation revenues or endowment resources in excess of the amount designated for operations. By AY 2011-2012, accrue surplus revenues of $2 million each year, and develop an effective debt management strategy.

Strategic Direction 14: Enlarge and sustain a “culture of philanthropy and stewardship” in order to: [1] secure the necessary philanthropic resources to advance the Rockhurst University mission and achieve our shared vision; and [2] provide all stakeholders of the Rockhurst community, the opportunity to fulfill their own philanthropic interests and to see their endeavors benefit our university.

Strategic Direction 15: Develop and fully implement a Technology Plan that supports both 2007-2012 Strategic Directions and the responsible stewardship of university assets.

Strategic Direction 16: Eliminate $19.6 million in deferred maintenance by Spring 2013. By AY 2013- 2014, accommodate deferred maintenance with budget allocations of approximately $4 million a year.

Strategic Direction 17: Provide direction for the on-going creation of both five-year and 20-year campus master plans based on emerging directions from the overall planning process.

Critical Issue #4: Establishing Rockhurst’s Identity / Increasing Public Awareness

Strategic Direction 18: Increase the institution’s capacity for sustainable strategic brand management.

Rockhurst University Strategic Planning Terms & Definitions

Vision Statement articulates a realistic and attractive future for the organization. If mission and values form the core of the organization, vision is about where the organization is going… a
shared picture of the future state of the organization.

Mission Statement reflects the basic purpose of the organization -- its reason for existence.

Core Values are behavioral aspirations. They reflect fundamental beliefs about how the
people at Rockhurst intend to conduct themselves in pursuit of mission and vision, consistent
with our Jesuit identity.

Critical Issues are major internal or external challenges of significant importance to the

Strategic Directions are broad directional statements of intent that provide a framework for
more detailed planning. Strategic Direction statements are pathways to the vision. They are challenging but realistic; achievable within three to five years.