Public Relations  >  News Center  >  News Releases  >  August 2018  >  August 24, 2018  >  The Intellectual Apostolate in Motion: Creighton’s Strategic Plan Ponders University’s Future, Mission
The Intellectual Apostolate in Motion: Creighton’s Strategic Plan Ponders University’s Future, Mission

Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, left, and Provost Tom Murray, PhD, have a sideline conversation during a strategic planning work session on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018.Even as the present pull of a fresh academic year commenced Wednesday, Creighton University faculty, staff and administration banded together to continue the work of the University's future in a daylong strategic planning retreat homing in on next steps and new trajectories as the plan goes forward.

Opening a work session with a meditation on the "intellectual apostolate," as enumerated by Jesuit Superior General the Very Rev. Arturo Sosa, SJ, Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, reminded the planning goal groups of the University's role in sending forth the light of knowledge and wisdom into the world, and how the strategic plan is effecting that mission.

"We are invited to join, in spirit, the intellectual apostolate that calls us to a wisdom where God is an inescapable part in discernment," Fr. Hendrickson said. "With that in mind, we can say that the strategic plan is demonstrating tremendous momentum."

With about 60 members of the University community represented in Wednesday's session, strategic plan goal stewards provided updates and led discussions on the plan's eight goals: academic health system excellence, interprofessional education and Creighton Collaborative Care, leading with the liberal arts, living our mission, diversity and inclusion, the Arizona Health Education Alliance and health sciences campus vision, global partnerships, and professional and corporate partnerships.

Robust conversation, questions and ideas circulated throughout the afternoon as faculty and staff shared thoughts on the next phases of the strategic plan.

Central to the conversation Wednesday were three components of the plan: the Arizona Health Education Alliance, Creighton Collaborative Care and leading with the liberal arts, though the interconnectedness of all eight goals was demonstrated time and again throughout the afternoon.

On the liberal arts side, the Kingfisher Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professions is beginning to take shape around two themes for the upcoming academic year: narratives of health and illness and perspectives on the centenary of the 1919 lynching of an African-American man, Will Brown, that touched off riots in Omaha. The institute has taken up offices in the new School of Dentistry building and is seeking its first director.

Tracy Leavelle, PhD, associate dean for humanities and fine arts in the College of Arts and Sciences, and an interim goal steward for leading with the liberal arts, took up a conversation on how the liberal arts, through the Kingfisher Institute, will help further inform study across Creighton?s nine schools and colleges.

"We want to send a signal that this about the entire University," Leavelle said. "We wanted the institute to be in a place where it would be accessible to everyone. Looking at the other goals, there are certainly ways to rethink the Kingfisher Institute along the lines of interprofessional education. There are more opportunities for collaboration, for cross-disciplinary research, and we want the institute to find ways to make that easier. There's no reason we should have sociologists and lawyers and public health practitioners all in the same place and doing similar projects and be unable to collaborate. We recognize there's tradition, there's bureaucracy in the disciplines. The Kingfisher Institute is trying to break those barriers down."

Breaking down barriers when it comes to health care education and delivery has been the well-traveled province of the Creighton Collaborative Care and interprofessional education goal.

Goal stewards Michael White, MD'01, associate dean for educational innovation in the School of Medicine, and Joy Doll, OTD'03, executive director of the Center for Interprofessional Education and Research, both spoke of Creighton's positioning within a host of disciplines, to be at the vanguard of a more cooperative health system.

"We truly are a nexus," White said. "What we're doing is being looked at closely around the country. With the breadth of the health professions education and practice we offer, we have been doing a lot of work, making sure we're staying visible and looking for ways to increase and enhance collaboration."

Doll said as all Creighton health professions students take part in interprofessional education, all health programs are pulling together to see what more can be shared, what curriculum looks like, what classrooms should be.

"There;s a lot of attention for that distributed model of education," she said. "From clinical onboarding to what makes up a classroom, that's the beauty and the challenge of interprofessional education. It focuses us to explore those issues and that's what we're doing today."

The Kingfisher Institute's theme on narratives of health and illness will cut across liberal arts, collaborative care and even the Arizona Health Education Alliance when Creighton welcomes Nicole Piemonte, PhD, for a public lecture on Oct. 2. Piemonte holds a doctorate in medical humanities and teaches and researches at the Creighton School of Medicine Phoenix Regional Campus, and has written a book on medical humanities, Afflicted: How Vulnerability Can Heal Medical Education and Practice.

"Nicole Piemonte has some really profound things to say about how we educate people in health care," Leavelle said. "And it's a further reminder that what's happening in Phoenix is part of Creighton. We have these incredible resources to do just what we're talking about across the strategic plan."

As the alliance in Phoenix - a partnership set in motion more than a decade ago - expands and strengthens, Creighton is finding ways to further enrich its health professions education offerings and make a difference in the health care landscape of the Southwest.

"The effort has been very collaborative in itself," said Catherine Todero, PhD, dean of the College of Nursing and a goal steward for the Arizona Health Education Alliance. "As we've thought about what could happen, what this could be, we've involved a lot of people, a lot of workshops, a lot of opportunities."

As the strategic plan goes forward toward its second year and more implementation efforts within it are firmed up, Fr. Hendrickson encouraged the entire campus community to continue taking part in shaping the plan and fostering its direction. A Sept. 25 Town Hall will focus on the plan, and campus forums on the eight goals will be held between Oct. 22 and Nov. 20. Progress updates will be communicated on the strategic plan website.

"We are one of the most complex, comprehensive Jesuit universities in the world," Fr. Hendrickson said. "The work we do is multifaceted, and our plan meshes these eight goals in important and meaningful ways. There have already been a number of good achievements and there is lots for us to dream about in this, our 140th year, about where we could be at 150."

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