President Robert L. Manuel > Designing DePaul > 125-Day Transition Approach
In my very first message to the DePaul community, I shared themes that were emerging as I listened to faculty, staff, students, the board of trustees, donors, alumni, and stakeholders across the city of Chicago. Since my initial communication, I have continued to listen, which has enabled me to crystallize the emerging themes into priority areas that will guide our collective focus and effort over the next 125 days. The graphic below illustrates the six priority areas that will set the course for designing the future of DePaul University. This is an organic process and these priority areas will evolve as we collaborate and take specific action on each one, and as they do, they will help to sharpen our focus and maintain our commitment to having a comprehensive framework for building the university-wide strategic plan at the end of 125 days.
Since our founding in 1898, DePaul University has remained dedicated to making education accessible to all, with special attention to including underserved and underrepresented communities. Guided by our Catholic, Vincentian charisms of personalism and professionalism, DePaul compassionately upholds the dignity of all members of our diverse, multi-faith, and inclusive community. Through education and research, the university addresses the great questions of our day, promoting civil, just, and equitable solutions to social and environmental challenges. These charisms are immutable – and will guide us through our time of transition.
As we emerge from the isolation caused by the pandemic, we are presented with the opportunity to become more than we currently are, and engage each other anew in creating a community that unleashes the full potential of our faculty, staff, and students. This is our moment to do this both for ourselves, and for the larger higher education community. By virtue of the incredible work of our faculty and staff, and the sheer determination of our students over the past few years - DePaul is positioned to be a national role model in the development of the new quality standards for higher education in America. During the first 125 days in office, I hope to work with all of you in a renewed sense of common purpose and give new momentum to our shared goals.
If we are successful, DePaul will be unequaled among urban universities in the United States, in providing quality educational experiences tied to our Catholic and Vincentian missions and connected to the most pressing issues of our day. We can do this for all groups of students, living out our mission as an institution that cares for everyone, serves everyone, and whose impact is felt everywhere.
Through programs that promote both research and practice, DePaul’s faculty and dedicated staff will develop students’ readiness to engage with and thrive in a changing world. Together we will broaden our historical mission of access to create sustained and consequential relationships to education for the members of our community. We will do this by prioritizing the requisite resources to support innovative and affordable programs, promote the scholarship of our faculty at the intersection of their interests and our goals, and empower and support the people on the frontlines, who are responsible for the work, with the necessary tools to create impact. What we have achieved in the past 125 years, gives us hope for what we can and must achieve in the next 125 days.
Priority Areas and Immediate Actions