Loyola will introduce new programs this year aimed at building “a more just humane and sustainable world” inside and outside of classrooms as part of it Plan 2020 initiative.
The plan has four objectives: Use resources to ensure student success; bring social justice conversations to the classroom; promote multidisciplinary collaboration; and reach out to the Rogers Park/Edgewater community.
A faculty development program, which promotes understanding through teaching & research, is expected to start in September. This year, the university is also planning to form a Health Equity Collaboration to solve inequities in the community, and Campus Safety forums will be scheduled to teach urban safety.
The plan which is expected to cost the university $7.25 million by the time it concludes in 2020, is funded in multiple ways, according to provost Dr. John Pelissero. Money is coming from the university budget, a strategic initiative fund, endowments, gifts and grants.
Since, Loyola implemented the plan in June 2015, it launched Arrupe College and the engineering science program.
A year after its implementation, Pelissero said he believes the plan is on track for reaching its goals.
“The university had ambitious goals associated with the plan,” said Pelissero. “We actually made significant progress in implementing key institutional priorities in this first year.”
Susan Malisch, head of the Implementation and Steering Committee (ISC), said she thinks the plan has made noticeable progress. On the Lake Shore Campus, students can see signs of progress, including the Lake Shore Community Partners office and the Loyola Community and Family Services Clinic.
The ISC holds regular meetings to stay on track with the plan and updates the public with online status reports. Quarterly status reports list recent activity related to Plan 2020 as well as the next steps, according to Malisch.
With the progress the plan has made, Malsich said she does not foresee any significant roadblocks going forward because the committee is conscientious about conflicting factors. Time is budgeted to review and assess any possible conflicts and make adjustments if needed.
Senior marketing major Kelsey McClear, a student representative on the ISC, said the plan is significant for students, especially the new class of 2020.
“I see such great importance in the work that we’re doing,” said the 21-year-old. “For our first-year students — that class of 2020 — they are going to be here for the entirety of [Plan 2020]. So they are going to get to see this plan from start to finish, which is really unique.”
McClear also said ISC will hold a forum in October for students to meet with representatives to learn more about the plan and ask questions.
Adam Roberts, the vice president of Student Government of Loyola Chicago and a communications and sociology double major, believes student involvement with the plan will let students be a part of Loyola’s history.
“I think that Plan 2020 is important because it’s the future of our university,” said the 20-year-old junior. “We get to be part of the story of Loyola University Chicago, and this is writing that next chapter.”
Strategic plans at Loyola have yielded success in past years. The previous strategic plan (2009-2014) led to results such as launching the Institute for Environmental Sustainability and a revision of the Core Curriculum.