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As any good business leader, field general or basketball coach knows, the key to long-term success is to identify key goals, establish a plan to achieve them, then follow through with resourceful and well-organized effort.
That’s the thinking behind the Newman University Strategic Plan 2009-2014, a blueprint for the university over the next five years that sets specific goals, outlines action steps and establishes performance indicators to measure success.
Through these efforts, Newman aims to achieve its vision of being the Catholic university of choice for the region by 2014. Here we take a look at how that vision and the plan that supports it were developed, and how the Strategic Plan will be put into action.
A collaborative effort
The process began more than a year ago with the creation of a “Visioning Task Force” that included representation from faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Board of Trustees. Through a series of steps the task force took input from employees across the university, the Newman Administrative Council, the President’s Cabinet and ultimately the full Board of Trustees to shape a vision for Newman toward its 80th year in 2013-14. From that, specific goals and objectives were identified to bring that vision to reality. Newman Provost Michael Austin, Ph.D., then led a process whereby working groups of faculty and staff mapped out the details of each goal.
Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. and other members of the university leadership team said making the process more inclusive and transparent helped build a sense of ownership for the Newman community.
“Rather than have just the top level of the institution create a plan and present it as a ‘finished product,’ this approach allowed faculty and staff to become more fully engaged in the planning process, and brought more minds and good ideas to the table,” Carrocci said. “There was of course guidance from the leadership team, but it was truly a university wide effort that the Board of Trustees found very impressive.”
“It was a good process,” said School of Arts and Humanities Administrative Assistant Julie Brin, who was on the Goal 4 Committee. “Everyone’s input was welcome, and I felt like everyone worked together well and listened.”
“The group I was in worked very well together,” said Director of Field Education and Instructor of Social Work Leslie Jensby, M.S.W., who was on the Goal 3 Committee. “We were able to bring in our own ideas for discussion and then collaborated on the final recommendations.”
“It was a huge step toward transparency in our planning and decision making process,” added Associate Professor of Decision Sciences and Information Technology John Vogt of the Goal 5 Committee. “There were no topics that were off-limits, and the willingness to share information was most impressive. I think it bodes well for the future that we will involve as many constituent groups as possible in this kind of decision-making.”
Implementation and flexibility
Following the completion of operational plans for all areas of the university, the Strategic Plan will be implemented in July. The planning process began before the university and the nation began feeling the full brunt of recent financial challenges, but as the process continued it became clear that economic issues would play a role in the university’s plans. Austin said the timeline for the Strategic Plan was designed with the current economic challenges in mind.
“During the first year of the plan’s implementation, we will focus on action items that will not cost extra money and the initiatives that will attract new students and generate extra revenues,” Austin said. “In subsequent years, we plan to use this revenue to support the new programs and initiatives built into the later stages of the Strategic Plan.”
Carrocci added that the key to implementing a strategic plan during a financial crisis is flexibility.
“We will need to be flexible in some aspects given the state of the economy now,” Carrocci said. “Still, the fundamental goals and objectives of the plan are achievable. I am fully confident this plan will help Newman realize its vision toward our 80th year and beyond.”
Committee members agreed.
“I don’t think our goals will be affected at all,” Jensby said about the initiatives to provide educational opportunities for more people in the community through partnerships. “Looking at the financial situation today, my sense is we’re more committed than ever to doing that. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
Strategic Plan supports vision for 2014
The Newman University Strategic Plan is built on the foundation of the Mission Statement, the Newman Code, and the Core Values of Catholic Identity, Academic Excellence, Culture of Service and Global Perspective. The plan’s six goals, outlined below, are specifically designed to achieve the recently created Vision Statement, which outlines the university’s spiritual, academic, financial and physical state of affairs in 2014.
1 Newman University will nurture our Catholic identity and mission.
Newman will seek to better educate all community members on the institution’s roots in the ASC charism and the Church; foster the integration of Catholic intellectual traditions with curricular and cocurricular activities; and become the premiere resource for Catholic education in the region.
2 Newman University will provide a transforming learning experience forstudents inside and outside of the classroom.
Newman will implement new, innovative teaching and learning practices that challenge students; increase interdisciplinary programs by integrating professional studies, liberal arts and co curricular activities; and create a culture of assessment.
3 Newman University will create partnerships and programs that ensure access for students.
Newman will reach out to specific populations, including adult and Hispanic students as well as area dioceses, businesses and other organizations, to increase enrollment; provide the financial support to make Newman accessible to all students; and create more programs students and community members want and need.
4 Newman University will provide an excellent work environment where people thrive, performance excels and collaboration prevails.
The university will provide excellent communication of information and data; offer competitive compensation and benefit plans; encourage and support professional growth; and maintain a safe working environment.
5 Newman University will provide stable financial resources to sustain and promote the mission of the university.
The university will identify and pursue best practices in financial transparency; and create a financial plan that provides sufficient resources to maintain capital resources and fund educational programming and other direct student services.
6 Newman University will develop and maintain a dynamic physical and technological infrastructure.
Newman will create a new campus master plan that guides growth and promotes environmentally sustainable facilities; maintain existing facilities; and create a campus technology master plan that supports learning, communication, and assessment.
In an effort to better meet the needs of adult, transfer and returning students, Newman University is making final preparations to launch five new academic programs in the fall 2009 semester.
The programs in some instances represent a dramatic shift in the university’s focus. Newman Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Austin, Ph.D. notes, however, that they also remain true to the university’s mission.
“I like to point out to people that Cardinal Newman did not convert to Catholicism and take vows as a priest until he was 44 years old, so creating programs for adults is clearly in keeping with our heritage, and fundamentally part of our mission,” Austin said. “Certainly we’re not abandoning our focus on traditional students, but in terms of growth, we’re reorienting Newman to serve adults. A large part of our mission lies in providing programs adult students want and will benefit from.”
‘Nontraditional’ vs. ‘traditional’
Austin said several recent studies show that students aged 21 or older, who have historically been considered “nontraditional” students, are making up a larger share of the enrollment at colleges and universities nationwide.
A study called “Major College Going Trends” conducted by the higher education research organization Stamats notes that while 65 percent of high school graduates go to college, 48 percent of freshmen drop out or stop attending at least once, 60 percent attend more than one institution, and 35 percent attend three or more institutions before they graduate. In addition, more than 17 percent of undergraduate students are 24 or older, 41 percent go to school part-time, and 84 percent work part-time while attending college.*
“Those kinds of figures say that the educational market of the future, and the educational responsibility of the future, is adult students – people who have stopped college and want to go back and complete their degree or get a different degree or certification. All of our new programs fit into those models.”
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Under this new bachelor of arts program, students who have been out of college at least eight years and accumulated at least 30 hours of college credit at accredited institutions can transfer credits from any past institution to Newman. The university will then custom-design a program of study leading to a degree using existing university courses.
Austin said the program offers students substantial latitude in designing a course of study that meets their needs and experience, and in creating ways to earn a degree not readily possible in traditional “degree-completion” programs. Students will be able to move through the program at their own pace, take time off if needed, and take classes only as their job allows.
Master’s in Theology
Newman has also created a new program that is especially aligned with the university’s mission – a graduate program in theology. Austin said the program actually consists of two related degrees: a master of arts degree for students who want to ultimately earn a doctoral degree in theology, and a master of theological studies degree that will allow people to teach PSR, RCIA and other classes in their local parishes.
These degree programs are currently being reviewed by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. If approved, they will be
available to people throughout the region, as classes will be delivered largely via the Internet.
“It will be a very interactive and media-rich environment, capable of using video clips, PowerPoint presentations and other electronic media to make it very visually engaging,” said Father Joseph Gile, Newman assistant professor of theology and director of the new master’s in theology program. “This program has tremendous possibilities on many levels. It allows us to reach the adult students we want to reach and who want this training, and it will bring the university and the diocese closer together. Newman was founded to train teachers, so this new program fits well with the original vision of the Sisters.”
The program has already drawn significant interest, and pending HLC approval will begin in the fall with a full cohort, thanks in large part to the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, which has awarded 30 scholarships through its St. Maria De Mattias Endowment to catechists from parishes throughout the diocese.
Bachelor of Health Care Science
This baccalaureate degree is designed for those with an associate’s degree in the nursing or allied health field who desire additional knowledge and skills to gain education or management positions within their areas. The program, which will come before the Newman Board of Trustees for approval in May, requires a minimum of 40 hours in upper division courses including business, management, psychology, ethics and others.
Bachelor of Early Childhood and Elementary Education
This degree will prepare teachers of children from birth through 3rd grade. The program, which was unified with the existing elementary education degree, will require an additional semester of coursework. This degree option was developed in response to a growing demand for certified early childhood educators and for teachers with a combination of early childhood and elementary education certification. The program will be offered in Wichita, Independence and western Kansas.
Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with an Emphasis in Reading Specialist
The reading specialist program is an additional area of emphasis to the existing master of education degree program. The new emphasis was created in response to a demand for K-12 teachers who can develop reading instructional strategies and provide leadership in a school reading program. The 33 credit hour program will include flexible course delivery through a combination of Web based instruction, class sessions and individual study. It is designed for completion in less than two years.
* Sources: The College Board and 2006-07 Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac
A new painting of a man who is revered by many in the Wichita and Newman communities will soon be completed and installed in St. John’s Chapel – Father Emil Kapaun, the Catholic priest who served as an Army chaplain during World War II and the Korean War, and died a prisoner in North Korea in 1951.
The 12-foot by 4 1/2-foot painting is the work of artist Wendy Lewis, who painted a mural of St. Maria De Mattias that was installed on the south wall of the chapel in 2005. The painting of Father Kapaun will hang directly opposite.
Father Kapaun has many connections to Newman and Wichita. He was ordained in St. John’s Chapel in 1940, and was the inspiration for Father Ned Blick ’86 to enter the priesthood. Blick is about to complete an 18-month tour of duty in Iraq, where he is assigned to the Explosive Ordinance Disposal teams – the soldiers who defuse roadside bombs – and serves as chaplain to more than a fifth of the country. Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita is of course named for Father Kapaun, and the Catholic Diocese of Wichita is now working to have him named a saint. As part of that effort, Newman Assistant Professor of Theology Father Joseph Gile is a member of the Theological Commission that reviews all materials written by Father Kapaun to ensure they are doctrinally sound.
Lewis said the painting is intended to reflect grace, mercy and love, qualities that characterize Father Kapaun and his work. Lewis said she used family and friends as models for the figures in the painting, including her son, Skylar, and Mike Navrat, who grew up with Father Kapaun in Pilsen. To help her portray Father Kapaun’s character, Lewis read several books about him and met with the late priest’s brother Eugene Kapaun, his wife Helen, and nephew Michael, now a soldier in Iraq.
“I wanted to bring as much of their feelings into the painting, too,” Lewis said. “I wanted to get to know his character through their eyes and memories, so I could portray how he helped others. I want people to understand what he went through on the battlefield, and for all of us.”
Newman alum and former basketball star Michael Bayer, M.D. ’73, and former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs B. Lee Cooper, Ph.D. will each receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa degree during the Spring 2009 Commencement May 16. Newman revived the practice of awarding honorary degrees in fall 2008, and will bestow degrees upon two notable and accomplished members of the extended Newman community at each fall and spring commencement. The recipients are selected based on their dedication to one of the university’s four Core Values: Catholic Identity, Culture of Service, Academic Excellence, and Global Perspective.
Bayer, who was selected because of his exemplary service, is co-founder of the Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM), a non-profit organization that distributes free wheelchairs to the physically disabled in developing nations around the globe. To date, the FWM has distributed close to 400,000 chairs in more than 70 countries.
Cooper, who was selected as a model of Academic Excellence, retired from Newman in 2007. He made many contributions to the academic vitality of the university during his tenure. Cooper also served as professor of American history and culture, and president protem from 2006 to 2007. He is a noted scholar on American popular music, and has published more than 200 articles and 15 books.
Newman University is responding to the needs of the community during the economic downturn by offering several special programs and events. One initiative is the “Displaced Workers Program,” which offers a reduced tuition rate for those who lose a job due to economic cutbacks and layoffs. Depending on the academic program, qualifying students will realize up to a 50 percent savings per credit hour. Students will be eligible for the reduced tuition rates for four consecutive fall and spring semesters.
Newman is also taking part in the “Yellow Ribbon Program,” a provision of the new Post 9/11 GI Bill designed for veterans, active duty personnel and family members who want to attend a private college or university. Under the new bill, which takes effect in August 2009, the government will cover the costs of in-state tuition and fees up to the most expensive public institution in the state. In addition, under the Yellow Ribbon Program the government will match dollar for dollar contributions Newman makes to help cover tuition and fees that go beyond those costs. Those interested in the program should first contact the Veterans Administration before contacting Newman. For more information on the Yellow Ribbon Program and other GI benefits, visit www.gibill.va.gov.
Newman has also recently presented a career fair, several job-hunting skills workshops and a “Life After Layoff ” event to help those seeking employment, and will introduce a bachelor of arts in Interdisciplinary Studies degree program in fall 2009 that will allow people to obtain a degree using credits earned from other universities (see related story, page 8).
Various workshops and conferences for professionals to earn continuing education credits will also be scheduled throughout the year. In addition, the university offers degree completion programs in business management, paralegal and counseling, as well as graduate degree programs in business administration, education, social work and nurse anesthesia.
RETOOL YOUR SKILLSET www.newmanu.edu/adults.aspx
Assistant Professor of Education Ted Anders, Ph.D. recently helped the university “Go Green” by initiating the donation and installation of a lighting system in a teacher education classroom on the school’s main campus.
The new lights are based on patented technology originated by Lifelight Technologies of Vancouver, Wash. Anders said the lights use less than one-fourth of the energy of current fluorescent systems, cutting operational costs and improving the natural quality of the light in the classroom. He added that the lights rate a 97 percent on the Color Resonance Index (CRI) – a measure of how natural the light is – as opposed to standard classroom lights that rate a 40 percent CRI.
Anders used his professional ties to Sourcelight, LLC, an international Lifelight systems distributor, to instigate the lighting renovation of Room 30 in McNeill Hall, with support from Vice President for Finance and Administration Mark Dresselhaus and Director of Maintenance Stephen Schulte.
Anders said in addition to being efficient, the lights are less of a health hazard, as virtually 100 percent of the mercury in the lights has been eliminated when they have reached the end of their lifespan. Current fluorescent lights have a residual mercury level equivalent to 50 percent of the original amount, he said.
“With lighting at the 97 percent CRI rating, our eyes don’t have to strain to see as they do when people are working for hours in a limited artificial fluorescent frequency range,” Anders added. “This positive difference is why the lights are appropriate for all employees and students, especially autistic, ADD, and LD learners in schools where our education majors will be teaching.”
When Mark Potter chose to return to his alma mater and revive a men’s basketball program that had been dormant 11 years, he knew it would be a challenge. Little did he know the challenge would include a battle against depression and a leap from NAIA competition to NCAA Division II. Despite such roadblocks, Potter recently celebrated his 200th career win at Newman.
Potter began Newman’s basketball revival in 1997-98 and enjoyed perhaps his most successful season the very next year. Newman went undefeated in conference play, won 29 games overall, and ended up with a No. 13 national ranking. That action brought Potter the MCAC Coach of the Year, Kansas Four-Year College Coach of the Year, and the Wichita Sports Commission Coach of the Year awards.
The Jets won 23 or more games a season five times under Potter before beginning the long and difficult transition to NCAA Division II competition. While the transition was tough enough, Potter found himself facing a new challenge – depression, which grabbed hold of the coach in fall 2006 and wouldn’t let go. Potter took some time away from the team he had built and the game he loved, but soon returned with a new resolve toward basketball, and toward making a difference off the court.
In addition to building a Heartland Conference title challenging team, Potter now tries to help others who suffer from depression by speaking frequently on the topic. His words seem to carry extra weight, as they come from someone in a profession where admitting what some would consider a weakness is almost unheard of.
Considering Potter built the Newman basketball program from scratch, then had to rebuild it for NCAA D-II, and then had to essentially rebuild himself, his 200th victory was especially gratifying. Given that he overcame these challenges with passion, tenacity, reinvention and, perhaps most of all, faith, there’s also little doubt about his ability to achieve his next 200.
Joanna Pryor was recently named head volleyball coach at Newman University. Pryor, a native of Attica, Kan., came to Newman from Cowley Community College, where she built one of the strongest junior college volleyball programs in the country, and took her last four teams to the national tournament.
Pryor said she plans to bring both success and excitement to Newman volleyball.
“Success is going to help get our name out there,” she said. “At Cowley we lost once a year at home, and our fans were stunned – they didn’t know what to do. That’s what I’d like to do here. Let’s stun our fans and win some matches, and get them ready to scream and yell for us.”
More than 200 fans and patrons of Newman University athletics gathered Jan. 31 to honor standout volleyball player Diana (Ford) Crook ’85 and the district and area championship 1983 men’s baseball team as the Class of 2009 inductees into the Newman Athletics Hall of Fame.
The Hall of Fame also honored Father Tom Welk as the 2009 recipient of the Thomasine Stoecklein, ASC Spirit Award. The award honors a person or group who has demonstrated outstanding spirit, pride, support and encouragement for Newman and student-athletes at university athletic events. In addition to serving as chaplain and campus minister, Father Welk coached tennis, women’s club softball and swimming, and took on many other roles at Newman from approximately 1975 to 1983.
Crook was an All-American in academics who graduated magna cum laude in 1985 and was a two-year captain in volleyball. She continues to coach junior high and club volleyball in addition to running a family medical practice.
“I am very much humbled by this honor,” Crook said in accepting the award. “It’s something I certainly will treasure.”
The 1983 baseball team won the NAIA District-10 and the Area-3 Championships, and is the only Newman team to advance to the College World Series. The team was coached by Paul Sanagorski, who has now been inducted into the Hall three times – as baseball coach with the most wins in 2007, assistant coach of the 1977-78 basketball team in 2008, and 1983 baseball team coach this year. Sanagorski introduced and praised each player for his contribution to the team, and became visibly moved at the end of his speech, saying, “I would like to thank each and every one of you for the opportunity to have coached you and the joy you have given me. I will always remember tonight as I have the 1983 season – a true band of brothers.”
The Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 2007 to honor student-athletes, coaches, administrators, advocates and patrons who have made significant contributions to the university’s athletic programs. To submit a candidate for consideration, contact the Newman University Department of Athletics at 316-942-4291, ext. 2118.