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March 16, 2006 • Volume 14 Number 13

Strategic Planning Process Moving to Next Stage

A broad-based plan outlining seven major strategic institutional directions for Boston College has been approved by the Board of Trustees and will be tested and further refined in preparation for a formal launching later this year, President William P. Leahy, SJ, announced this week to the University community.

These seven directions, encompassing such areas as liberal arts and professional education, natural and physical sciences, student formation, research and Catholic and Jesuit identity, "point toward a transformative possibility" for Boston College as it reaffirms its educational and faith mission and expands its commitment to research, said Fr. Leahy in a letter sent to administrators, faculty and staff.

The plan capitalizes on BC's partnerships, resources and Jesuit and Catholic networks to enhance its role as "a significant intellectual and cultural crossroads," and in so doing strives to be "the world's leading Catholic university and theological center."

Fr. Leahy said the trustees' approval of the strategic plan marked the end of the first phase "in our development of an ever-stronger Boston College for the 21st century."

The plan submitted to the board last month was the culmination of a two-year assessment and planning process, highlighted by the participation of more than 200 faculty and staff on various planning committees, and many others who offered ideas and views on the University's future through public forums and other means.

Reviewing a host of institutional trends and accomplishments that set the context for the planning effort, Fr. Leahy said "Boston College has never been stronger, more confident or more ambitious," adding that "the University's motto 'Ever to Excel' commits us to a restless quest for new, more effective, more exciting ways to achieve to our mission."

This pursuit is reflected in the seven strategic directions, each stemming from an existing strength of the University. The strategic plan's various tenets and initiatives will enable BC to become "the leader in liberal arts education among American universities," to develop a model student formation program and pursue research "that will achieve excellence and distinction in addressing urgent societal problems."

In addition, the plan would establish BC as a leader in selected natural sciences, and in critical areas served by the University's professional schools.

During the next phase of the process, Fr. Leahy said, "we will add detail to our plan and take the first steps in launching selected programs." The third and final phase "will include fundraising and the eventual development of all funded programs to maturity."

A further update on the strategic planning process is expected at the University Convocation this September. -Office of Public Affairs staff

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