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Creighton achieves Carnegie classification in Leadership for Public Purpose

Jun 14, 2024
3 min Read
Creighton Carnegie

Creighton University is among the elite, short list of institutions nationwide recognized with a new designation from the Carnegie Foundation: Leadership for Public Purpose. An inaugural class of just 25 institutions have been awarded the new elective designation, which was announced by Carnegie on Friday, June 14. Only 10 are private institutions and Creighton is the only university or college from Nebraska represented.

This elective designation is awarded by the American Council on Education (ACE), the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It recognizes universities and colleges that have committed to campus-wide efforts to advance leadership in pursuit of public goods, such as justice, equity, diversity and liberty.

“Since 1878, Creighton University’s mission has been rooted in forming leaders who are compassionate and curious,” said the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, president of Creighton University. “This new designation reaffirms the things that make us uniquely Creighton: excellence in health sciences education, undergraduate research, and a dynamic network of campuses in Omaha, Phoenix, and the Dominican Republic, as well as our Jesuit commitment to cura personalis, being for and with others, magis, and forming agents of change.”

These institutions have demonstrated a relentless commitment to fostering leaders dedicated to the pursuit of vital public goods.
— Timothy F.C. Knowles, Carnegie Foundation President

Elective Classifications are evidence-based documentation of institutional policy and practices, focusing on areas such as culture and mission, curricular and cocurricular programming, continuous improvement activities and the recruitment and reward of faculty, staff and students. Inclusion as an award recipient requires an independent and rigorous assessment of an institution’s extraordinary commitment to, investment in, and accomplishment at addressing pressing issues of the societies they serve through leadership for public purpose. 

“Congratulations to these pioneering recipients of the inaugural Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification,” said Carnegie Foundation President Timothy F.C. Knowles. “These institutions have demonstrated a relentless commitment to fostering leaders dedicated to the pursuit of vital public goods. Students from these institutions will undoubtedly shape a brighter future for us all, upholding fundamental American values and advancing opportunity for the nation.” 

There are currently two Elective Classifications that higher education institutions in the United States can pursue: Community Engagement and Leadership for Public Purpose. Creighton was one of just 13 institutions nationally, and the only Jesuit and Catholic university, to be invited to participate in the pilot class, which launched in March 2021. Applications to be included in the official inaugural class were opened in 2023 to all institutions nationwide. 

“Since 2021, the faculty and staff at Creighton University’s Omaha and Phoenix campuses have explored within their schools and colleges and among their varied stakeholders where and how leaders for public purpose are developed,” said Jennifer Moss Breen Kuzelka, Creighton associate professor in the EdD in Interdisciplinary Leadership program and chair of Creighton's Leadership for Public Purpose Committee planning team. “Achieving this designation is not only an honor for the University, but also an opportunity to explore how it can continue to prepare leaders whose intent is to create a more just, free and caring world in service to others. We hold this award knowing that the University is aligned and invested in an education that fosters Leadership for Public Purpose.”

We hold this award knowing that the University is aligned and invested in an education that fosters Leadership for Public Purpose.
— Jennifer Moss Breen Kuzelka, PhD, Chair of Creighton's Leadership for Public Purpose Committee Planning Team

During the pilot, reviewers praised Creighton’s participation and the University’s commitment to its Jesuit mission in developing leaders. As one reviewer wrote: “Throughout the application, it is evident that there is a strong commitment to the Jesuit framework and the conceptual approach to leadership as a holistic experience framed within it.”

Creighton also demonstrated proficiency in three areas: leadership is clearly emphasized as a University priority; leadership is defined in institutional strategic planning and branding initiatives; and consistent definitions of leadership programming are present within cocurricular and curricular structures. 

What ultimately distinguished Creighton in the eyes of ACE and the Carnegie Foundation, in both the pilot program and inclusion in its inaugural Leadership for Public Purpose class, were its:

  • investment in the development of cura personalis-influenced leadership among faculty, staff and students;  
  • commitment to forming a body of scholar-mentors who contribute to the scholarly understanding of leadership as a public good; and  
  • formation of students to become leaders in their fields and communities who positively impact their communities. 

Creighton seeks to form profoundly curious leaders who serve their communities while building a better world for all. With this new designation, Creighton stands prominently as a world-class institution that fosters opportunities for Leadership for Public Purpose through its students, faculty and staff, which extends far beyond the confines of its campuses—directly impacting the communities the University serves.