January 8, 2007 Faculty institute planning session

Background on the Faculty Institute (January 8, 2007) and Planning

The Faculty Institute in January 2007 was used as an occasion to learn about some of the major forces that are shaping the future of higher education. Dr. Thomas Scheye, a nationally respected strategic consultant, opened the session with a presentation about Xavier and the future. He asked our community to reflect on its strengths and how we might exploit them; our weaknesses or challenges and how to surmount them; opportunities and how to capitalize on them; threats and how to respond. These themes became the topics of 18 breakout sessions that followed Dr. Scheye’s presentation.

Dr. Scheye talked about trends that will be affecting higher education: demographics; the economy; technology; competition; globalization; the changing face of students and the changing nature of the professorate. He also discuss the Spellings Commission Report and the issues that the report focused on: Access, affordability, quality and accountability.

He ended his talk with the sober conclusion that current trends portend a sober future. Unlike the previous history in higher education in which institutions re-structured, renewed, re-invented, there is an important difference today. In the past success meant doing more with more. The resources were there. Today success will mean doing less with less.

Scheye felt that those institutions that survive will be those that truly understand themselves and their mission. Clarity of purpose may be Xavier’s strongest asset. Clarifying our purpose is the point of strategy. Deciding how to achieve our purposes is the point of strategy.

The breakout sessions each focused on one of the four themes in SWOT – strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat. The discussion leaders collectively met from each of the four groups during lunch and selected a presenter and key issues that were then presented to the general assembly after lunch. Each discussion group recorded their meeting in a series of bullet points collected at the end of the session.

The thematic summaries were taken from the bullet points from the 14 breakout groups. The summaries from the facilitator presentations were taken from the minutes of the faculty institute.

SWOT - Summary (On Campus Only)

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