Dec. 3, 2019

Dec. 3, 2019

Presidential message

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. As we enter into the month of December, I want to take a few moments to provide updates on the emerging themes from our Nov. 19 Campus Engagement Forums and our search for a vice president of Information Technology, as well as invite you to attend the upcoming Waite Chair Lecture and University holiday celebrations.

I am, indeed, grateful for those who attended the Campus Engagement Forums, either in person or online, and provided thoughtful and insightful feedback. As we begin to sift through and categorize your responses, several key themes are emerging.

These themes broadly include leveraging our new Creighton University Health Sciences – Phoenix Campus and established and expanding partnerships in Phoenix; creating a “pipeline” program for primary and secondary school students to engage with Creighton; continuing to build on our commitment to the liberal arts as an essential component of our curriculum; developing programs and synergies to serve lifelong learners; and enhancing marketing efforts to attract students and philanthropic support, and best tell our story.

I am excited about the possibilities surrounding these themes, and how they align with the ongoing work of our strategic plan.

Steps are already underway on some of these themes. We previously announced that Catherine Todero, PhD, will serve as vice provost of Health Sciences Campuses; a search has begun for new leadership for University Communications and Marketing; and a new Lifelong Learning Work Group is currently being formed. This work group will be chaired by Tony Hendrickson, PhD, dean of the Heider College of Business, and will focus on driving enrollment growth among this key student constituency. Watch for more details forthcoming. Too, I want to thank Tricia Sharrar, JD, vice provost for Academic Administration and Partnerships, for her work in developing a number of corporate partnerships. The work group will collaborate with Tricia, and the Academic Planning Committee, to address the unique needs and challenges of the lifelong learner.

I hope to share more specifics on these themes and possible initiatives at convocation during Founders Week in early February.

Also, I am pleased to share that the following individuals have accepted my invitation to serve on the search committee for the new vice president of Information Technology. The committee will be chaired by Executive Vice President Jan Madsen, CPA.

Terry Begley, technology coordinator/ITLS, Heider College of Business

Charles Braymen, PhD, associate professor, Heider College of Business

Kristie Briggs, associate professor, director of the DBA Program, Heider College of Business

Duey Heffelfinger, director of data architecture, Enrollment Management

Amy McElhaney, interim assistant vice president, operations and strategic initiatives, University Relations

Holly Stessman, assistant professor, School of Medicine

Melinda Stoner, University registrar, Office of the Registrar 

Angie Wayman, administrative assistant, Heider College of Business; president, Staff Advisory Council

Kailen Wong, junior EMS major, College of Arts and Sciences; incoming vice president for finance, Creighton Students Union

At the Presidential Town Hall in September, I announced that the Rev. Abel N’Djomon, SJ, would be joining us as the Anna and Donald Waite Endowed Chair in Jesuit Education for fall 2019. After a semester at Creighton researching economic liberalism in Sub-Saharan African countries and Catholic social teaching on economic liberalism in African countries, Fr. N’Djomon will deliver the Waite Chair Lecture on Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m. in the Harper Center, Room 3028.

This free lecture is open to the public, and will address the recurrent problem of political violence in Côte d’Ivoire through the lens of choices of economic systems made by the Ivoirian leaders since the country’s independence from France in 1960.

With the Christmas and holiday season upon us, I especially look forward to two festive gatherings. Our annual Christmas at Creighton celebration and campus mall lighting will be Dec. 4 in front of St. John’s Church. The event, sponsored by the Inter Residence Hall Government, begins at 4:30 p.m. and the theme is “12 Jays of Christmas.” The annual University Holiday Party for faculty and staff will be Dec. 10, from 3:30-6 p.m., in the Harper Center’s Ahmanson Ballroom. I hope to see you there.

Finally, congratulations to the Creighton volleyball team and 2019 BIG EAST Coach of the Year Kirsten Bernthal Booth on a sixth consecutive BIG EAST regular-season title and eighth straight NCAA Tournament selection. We will play Iowa State at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, in Minnesota. Thank you for the manner in which you represent Creighton, and Go Bluejays!


Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD