April 29, 2020
Xavier University of Louisiana has announced a new partnership with Duquesne University School of Law, whose Bar Preparation program is ranked No. 9 in the country by National Jurist. Like Xavier, Duquesne University is also one of the nation's top Catholic Universities. Duquesne was founded 140 years ago by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit.
“Our goal at Xavier is to continue expanding our programs and create more opportunities for our students. This new partnership with Duquesne University's School of Law provides a clear pathway for our students to further their education and pursue careers in the legal field,” said Dr. Anne McCall, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana. “Our institutions uphold similar values of academic excellence, service and Catholic tradition; I am looking forward to launching this initiative that will prepare our students to be leaders in a global society.”
Using education as a tool to mold change agents who go on to use what they've learned to promote a more just and humane society is a mission critical principle that both Xavier and Duquesne believe in. This partnership will position both Universities to continue a tradition and commitment to academic excellence, diversity, equity, and inclusion in education.
"Diversity makes us better; Our institutions are stronger when we are diverse and we make better decisions when disparate viewpoints are considered; we solve problems more creatively when community members come from a variety of perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds," said April Barton, Dean at Duquesne University.
Several key people were critical in bringing the partnership to life, including faculty members from Duquesne with New Orleans roots.
"This process really began when Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Criminal Justice Program Professor Wes Oliver approached me to ask if I knew that there is only one black Catholic school in the country. I did know that, as it's in my home town of New Orleans," said Associate Professor Jalila Jefferson-Bullock.
Associate Professor Bullock also mentioned receiving tremendous support from Duquesne Law leadership team to cultivate the relationship.
"Dr. Norman Francis, who was the president of Xavier for many years is a family friend, so through him we made all of the connections and that's where the partnership began," said Professor Bullock. "The scholarly, cross collaboration that will come from the partnership is especially exciting."
A virtual ceremony commemorating this historic partnership took place with leaders from both Duquesne University and Xavier University of Louisiana.
Xavier University of Louisiana now offers a master’s degree option in public health, successfully making the University the first HBCU in the state to offer the program. Of the 500 plus students who graduated during Xavier’s spring 2020 commencement, eight graduates received master’s degrees in public health. The inaugural cohort of graduates matriculated into the program in the Fall of 2018.Academics