May 7, 2018

May 7, 2018: Kingfisher Institute

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

I am very pleased to share today that the Kingfisher Institute, which is a significant goal in our new strategic plan, is moving forward as planned and that a timeline for integrating with all nine schools and colleges is being finalized. 

The Kingfisher Institute is founded on a bold vision for the future of higher education, and Jesuit and Catholic higher learning in particular. The institute will actively demonstrate that a liberal arts and professional education are not mutually exclusive but instead are mutually reinforcing and complementary.  

Moreover, through the formation of faculty and staff, the institute aims to influence every Creighton student. It will be instrumental in developing what makes our graduates distinctive – shaping the student as a Creighton lawyer, a Creighton accountant, a Creighton nurse, a Creighton dentist, a Creighton occupational therapist, and so on — unifying heart, hands, and mind, and embodying contemplation in action.

Affiliated faculty will create innovative interdisciplinary curricula and produce significant interdisciplinary research that will position Creighton as a national leader in transforming undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. For the first years of operation, the institute will organize itself around two broad themes of critical social importance. Subsequent themes will be determined through community input.

Inaugural themes for the institute include Narratives of Health and Wellness, and Fighting Racism and Racial Inequality, the latter linked to the centenary of the 1919 Omaha race riots. 

Located in the new School of Dentistry building, the Kingfisher Institute will be a crossroads and a clearinghouse for information on the intersections of liberal arts and professional education for all of Creighton and for the larger community.

During the institute’s initial launch in the fall of this year, reading groups will be initiated, the search for a director will begin, and a call for applications for faculty curriculum fellows and research scholars will commence. We expect to appoint a permanent director in the spring of 2019, and additional information regarding the institute’s work will be shared in the coming months. 

The Kingfisher Institute is an exciting achievement of our strategic plan, and I would like to thank Bridget Keegan, PhD, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Tracy N. Leavelle, PhD, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Gintaras Duda, PhD, professor and chair of physics, for serving as goal stewards. In addition, I am also grateful to the many individuals who served on the Medical Humanities Task Force, Leading with the Liberal Arts Goal Work, and the Kingfisher Institute Working Group for their dedication to making the institute a reality.

I look forward to actively participating in the institute’s work and watching the impact it has on our campus community.


Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ