Xavier University of Louisiana, founded by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, is Catholic and historically Black. The ultimate purpose of the University is to contribute to the promotion of a more just and humane society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society. This preparation takes place in a diverse learning and teaching environment that incorporates all relevant educational means, including research and community service.
COURSES AND ACCREDITATION
Undergraduate students, regardless of their major are required to complete sixty hours of liberal arts core curriculum courses in English, Literature, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, History, African American and Diaspora Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Philosophy, Theology, and Social Sciences in addition to courses in their major fields. Xavier offers preparation in over 40 major areas on the undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree levels.
The University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its respective programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the National Association of Schools of Music, the Louisiana Department of Education, the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Xavier is also approved by the American Chemical Society.
The total fall 2013 enrollment was 3,121. This enrollment is approximately three-fourths of its pre-Hurricane Katrina enrollment in 2005.
The University’s major academic units are the College of Arts and Sciences (2,345 undergraduates and 145 graduate students), which awards baccalaureate degrees as well as master’s degrees in Education and Counseling; and the College of Pharmacy (631 pre-professional), which awards the Doctor of Pharmacy degree. The University also awards the M.Th. in Theology through its Institute for Black Catholic Studies.
From its founding Xavier has embraced a special mission to serve the African American Catholic community; however, its doors have always been open to qualified students of every race and creed. Today 71.4 percent of its enrollment is African American and 26.5 percent is Catholic.
More than one-half of Xavier students are from Louisiana (54.2%), primarily from the New Orleans area. Non-local enrollment continues to increase with students coming from 39 other states – most notably Texas and Georgia. Nearly a dozen foreign countries are represented on campus.
Student life is enriched by the social and cultural setting of New Orleans, and by campus activities designed to enhance personal growth, interpersonal skills, and leadership in such areas as community service, the environment, cultural concerns, and social justice.
ADMISSIONS AND RETENTION
The Office of Admissions seeks to enroll a student body that is diverse and in keeping with the offerings within the colleges of the University. The average ACT and SAT (CR&M) scores for entering freshmen in 2012 were 22.7 and 986. In maintaining its historic commitment to academic excellence, the University attracts many students who are high achievers, yet it remains committed to admitting a certain percentage of “at risk” students who exhibit the will to succeed. The Student Academic Success Office provides the resources and support systems to assist all students in being successful. The retention rate of first-time freshmen is 64.9%.
Of the 224 full-time faculty members, 95 percent hold terminal degrees and 39.4 percent are tenured. More than 40 XU faculty members serve as endowed chairs or endowed professors, which provides additional financial support for their research and teaching.
Dr. Michael White, an eminent jazz historian and performer who holds the Rosa and Charles Keller, Jr. Endowed Chair in the Arts and Humanities, was named "2010 Humanist of the Year" by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. A 1976 XU graduate, he was also awarded an NEA National Heritage Award for his artistic excellence and continuing contributions to traditional arts heritage.
Dr. JW Carmichael, renowned director of XU’s prestigious premed program, holds the Xavier University Endowed Chair in the Sciences. Among his many accolades received is an honorary degree from Meharry Medical College for “his success in making Xavier the undisputed leader in African American medical school acceptances”.
Dr. John Ware, chair of the Department of Music and conductor/music director of the New Orleans Black Chorale, holds the Keller Foundation Professorship in Arts & Humanities. He was recipient of the Big Easy Entertainment Award’s 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a 1977 XU graduate.
Dr. Kathleen Kennedy, dean of the College of Pharmacy and the Malcolm Ellington Professorship in Health Disparities Research, was the recipient of the 2008 Meritorious Service Award by the Association of Black Health System Pharmacists for “her leadership, service, and voluntary contributions to the community and the pharmacy profession”.
Xavier faculty members enjoy the support of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching which provides workshops and pedagogical research opportunities focused on enhancing faculty teaching.
Xavier students attend graduate and professional schools at a rate that reflects the efforts of XU faculty, staff and administrators. The percent of students from the College of Arts and Sciences who enrolled in graduate/professional school during the fall or spring semester after graduation was 28.1 percent for 2012-2013 graduates. Within the natural sciences and mathematics disciplines, as well as the social sciences, one of every three students goes on to acquire advanced degrees. Xavier continues to address the national under-representation of Blacks with Ph.Ds. and other graduate and professional degrees as a strategic goal. The Pre-Medical program, for example, is a national model of quality. Xavier’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Graduate Placement Office continue to prepare students for graduate school.
In 2014, a total of 539 degrees were awarded at the undergraduate, graduate and professional school levels.
Science majors continue to be the most popular as many students prepare for careers in health and other scientific professions, particularly medicine. Business and psychology continue to be popular majors as well.
Seven years ago, new learning outcomes for the core curriculum were developed and approved by the College of Arts and Sciences faculty. Almost all disciplines emphasize faculty-student research and teach students to report their research results or interpretations in articles and scholarly presentations.
RANKINGS AND DISTINCTIONS
Xavier is first among the nation’s colleges and universities in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school, according to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Xavier had 60 African-American graduates earn medical degrees in 2011, the latest year for which complete data is available.
Xavier is one of the nation’s top four colleges of pharmacy in graduating African Americans with Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) degrees.
A National Science Foundation report ranks Xavier 1st in the nation in producing African American graduates who go on to receive life sciences PhDs., 5th in the nation in producing African American graduates who go on to receive science and engineering PhDs, and 7th in the nation in producing African American graduates who go on to receive physical sciences PhDs. A Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine report showed Xavier tied for 12th nationwide in the number of African American students earning professional doctorate degrees (in this case, the Pharm.D. degree) with 54.
The Department of Physics is number one in the nation for awarding African Americans baccalaureate degrees in physics and the physical sciences, according to the latest report from the American Institute of Physics (AIP). Xavier is consistently ranked by the American Chemical Society as one of the top 25 universities in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees in chemistry.
The 2015 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges has tabbed Xavier as among its “Best Buy Schools” for academics and affordability. The publication has designated 41 such institutions, 20 public and 21 private, – as “Best Buys.” XU is the only Louisiana institution – and one of only three Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) – to make the list.
Xavier was also singled out as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review in the 2015 edition of its annual “The Best 379 Colleges”.
Xavier was named one of the top colleges and universities in Louisiana for “return on investment” by AffordableCollegesOnline.org, which places Xavier fifth in the state among colleges that the organization feels “balance cost with long-term earnings potential”.
Xavier is ranked No. 13 on the Affordable CollegesOnline.org website’s list of the Top 36 Most Affordable Roman Catholic Colleges with High Starting Salaries. XU is the only predominantly Black and the only Louisiana institution to make the list.
Xavier tied for the No. 5 spot among Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the 2014 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News Media Group. Among all U.S. colleges and universities, Xavier was for 161st in the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges category.
President Norman C. Francis, a 1952 XU graduate, has guided the University’s progress since 1968. He is the longest tenured college president in the U.S. A nationally recognized leader in higher education and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December 2006, Francis has been cited as one of the nation’s most effective college presidents in a survey of his peers.
BUDGET AND ENDOWMENT
The University’s unrestricted operating revenue is more than $100 million, while the current value of its endowment is more than $152.5 million. Unlike some denominations, the Catholic Church does not provide funds for Xavier or other Catholic colleges and universities in the United States (Catholic University in Washington, DC is the one exception).
More than 87 percent of Xavier’s undergraduates apply for and receive some form of need-based financial aid. More than 65 percent receive Pell grants. Because many students have limited financial resources, the University maintains a policy of low tuition ($19,100 undergraduate in 2014).
RESEARCH AND SPONSORED PROGRAMS
Xavier has significantly increased its national prominence in research over the last decade.
Among the 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Xavier currently ranks 6th in funding from Health and Human Services (HHS) and 1st on a per capita basis. Among all universities in the nation, Xavier is among the top 30 percent in National Science Foundation (NSF) funding and among the top 15 percent in HHS funding. In Louisiana Xavier ranks third in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding behind only Tulane and the LSU System.
Awards from NIH, NSF, the Louisiana Board of Regents and foundations like Keck and Sherman Fairchild have enormously expanded Xavier’s core instrumentation facilities. Membership in the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium is making it possible for Xavier’s Cancer research programs to move aggressively forward.
Xavier’s strategic priorities for maintaining its unique place in the world of higher education and reaching even higher levels of academic excellence and service to the community include increasing scholarships for deserving students, promoting excellence in teaching and research, increasing the number of Xavier students entering graduate and professional schools, expanding the University’s leadership in pharmaceutical education and minority healthcare issues, and enhancing programs that promote core values and leadership.
Last updated 8/13/2014