Strategic Plan 2013-2017

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) 
Summary of Strategic Plan 2013-2017

In many ways, this plan builds upon the previous strategic plan (2007-2012).  It maintains the same four critical issues.  These could be summarized in four words:  Jesuit; Community; Stewardship; and Branding.  The articulation of these four critical issues and 16 strategic initiatives involved sessions with faculty, staff, alumni, students, trustees, and community leaders.  These sessions took place between August 2012 and March 2013.  Final edits were approved by the President’s Cabinet in April 2013.  The plan is scheduled for the Board of Trustees vote of approval on 21 June 2013.

Some of the highlights (Top Ten) include:

  • Pursuit of new academic programs and innovative delivery of existing ones
  • Leader formation
  • Increased understanding of assessment
  • Continued education and formation in Jesuit mission
  • Recruitment, retention, and graduation goals
  • Greater inclusivity and partnership in revitalization of urban core
  • Investment in personnel and infrastructure
  • Culture of philanthropy
  • Office of Institutional Effectiveness
  • Raising of profile in region and beyond
Critical Issue #1: Transforming Lives Consistent with Core Jesuit Values

Consistent with our mission, core values, Jesuit identity, and university learning themes, ensure that Rockhurst transforms lives of faculty, students, and staff

  • As a reflection of our commitment to Magis, pursue new signature academic programs and innovative models of delivery, and enhance existing programs.
  • Educate faculty, staff, and students in their understanding of assessment of student learning through measurable learning goals consistent with the university’s seven learning themes, and the effective use of assessment data. Develop and maintain a culture of assessment throughout the university community.
  • Enhance formation and development opportunities for faculty, staff, students, and alumni in our Jesuit mission and values, Ignatian heritage, and spirituality.
  • As an institution “Where Leaders Learn,” intentionally develop an integrated and comprehensive approach to leader formation.
Critical Issue #2:  Enriching & Building Community

Create opportunities for the various constituencies within and around the University to connect, learn from, appreciate, celebrate, and serve one another, our city, and world.

  • Set and achieve annual and long-term recruitment, retention, and graduation targets that allow the University to sustain and improve the quality of Rockhurst students and their experience.
  • Identify strategies and resources to celebrate and develop the gifts and talents of Rockhurst faculty and staff through avenues such as research, mentoring, recognition, sabbaticals, CETL, and compensation.
  • As “men and women for and with others,” recruit a more diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. Expand opportunities to learn from and about each other.  Lead and serve in the revitalization of the urban core and other areas of need in our country and world.
  • Serve the community best through our education and formation of leaders. Rockhurst is “Where Leaders Learn who they are, what gifts they possess, and how to use their gifts to strengthen our community, region and nation.
Critical Issue #3: Ensuring Financial & Infrastructure Strength

Ensure the University is financially viable for both the short-term and long-term by strategically investing in areas that align with the mission and strategic direction.

  • Strive to exceed an operating surplus of $2 million each year without use of RUCEC dividends or endowment resources in excess of Board-approved levels.  Develop and implement an effective debt management strategy.  Ensure that costs to students, compensation for faculty and staff, and University operational expenses are market driven.
  • Build a “culture of philanthropy and stewardship” that is sustainable over time with students, alumni, faculty, and staff believing that Rockhurst is one of their top three supported institutions for life.   Increase the number of alumni donors annually while increasing the average annual alumni gift.

  • Implement an Office of Institutional Effectiveness that will allow the University to more effectively document compliance with accreditation and related standards, evaluate service and learning effectiveness by curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs, inform changes and resources allocation, and share the “Rockhurst story” in a compelling way.
  • Strategically invest in people and infrastructure (both programmatic and physical) in conjunction with existing long-term plans.  Reduce deferred maintenance to enhance the Rockhurst experience.

  • Through targeted fundraising, ensure that specific projects are completed on time, within scope, and within budgeted resources in accordance with the five-year and 20-year campus master plans, specifically for the new academic building in the near-term.
Critical Issue #4: Establishing Rockhurst’s Identity / Increasing Public Awareness

With an emphasis on the University’s core values, staunchly promote the “Where Leaders Learn” brand through strategic marketing and public relations efforts.

  • Strategically build the brand through appropriate marketing channels and differentiate Rockhurst from other institutions in the region and beyond.
  • Through creative public relations strategies and tactics, enhance the perception that Rockhurst University is a leader as an institution and is “Where Leaders Learn.”
  • Grow a proud student body and alumni base by actively promoting Rockhurst as an institution “Where Leaders Learn.”