March 2, 2017

MARCH 2, 2017: CGI, Strategic Planning, Sexual Misconduct Policy Review Committee

Many of you are leaving soon for spring break-related travel or to attend BIG EAST Conference basketball tournaments in Milwaukee or New York City. Before many leave campus, I would like to provide an update on a few important initiatives at this midpoint in the spring semester.

The 2017 Creighton Global Initiative, which is being led by Dr. René Padilla, vice provost for Global Engagement, is moving ahead, and a new committee has begun meeting and reviewing the 28 submitted proposals. The deadline for proposal submission is March 17, and we expect to announce funded projects the last week of April. For additional information on CGI 2017, click here.

The 10th Project Homeless Connect Omaha is scheduled for March 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Kiewit Fitness Center. Volunteers are still needed for this very important community outreach that serves members of the Omaha community who are often neglected. To learn more or to register as a volunteer, click here.

Thank you to those who were able to attend the numerous campus forums on strategic planning themes, which I announced at Convocation in early February. Hundreds of faculty and staff demonstrated their interest in the topics by selecting one or more sessions, and I am told there were many good questions regarding efforts currently underway. Additional information on the goals and tactics that are part of each theme will be shared as we continue through planning efforts.

As I announced last week, a 23-member committee of faculty, staff, and students has been formed to review University policies related to sexual and relationship misconduct. Dr. Catherine Todero, dean of the College of Nursing, and Mr. David Weber, JD, senior associate dean for academic affairs and professor of Law, are convening the first meeting of the committee this week, and I look forward to reviewing recommendations that will come from the group this semester.

For many staff remaining on campus, please be sure to attend the We Need A Spring Break Too Luncheon on March 8, at 11:30 a.m., in Kiewit Fitness Center. If you have not registered, you may do so here

In closing, the last few weeks have been very challenging. We are a community – one that so many of you – faculty, staff, and students – consistently celebrate. Students speak with admiration and affection for faculty and staff, and they tell stories of influential mentoring. Personnel daily demonstrate commitment to our mission, collegiality with each other, and a student-first focus, and many of them spend their lives working here.  Friendships – across all categories – begin on this campus, and they last a lifetime. As such, this University embraces the realities of our lives, and we move forward with empathy, compassion, and conviction, and much work to do. 

As we begin the Lenten season of reflection and reconciliation, and as we anticipate the freshness of springtime, we have an opportunity to invite healing and hope. In looking for such grace or goodness in our lives, permit me to share with you the first lines of an E.E. Cummings poem that I shared with a student who attended the recent Encounter Retreat: 

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them, men are old


Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ