By Daniel J. Elsener, President of Marian University
If there is one lesson Marian University has learned
from the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana
and their “courage to venture,” it is to pursue our
vision, be steadfast in faith and values, and be
strategic in action.
Here is our vision: To provide an education
distinguished in its ability to prepare
transformative leaders for service to the world.
Fundamental to this vision is the belief that scientists, artists, business people,
health care, and other professionals can be positive, transformational leaders
in their chosen fields and in all walks of life. This focus influences the nature
and substance of all our academic and co-curricular programs, university
policies, and marketing and recruitment communications to potential students
and collaborators in our vision.
Here are the three pillars on which a vision for transformational leadership
Pillar One: Exceptional Academic Programs
To successfully prepare students to be transformational leaders, academic
programs must be exceptional. Toward this end, we must:
- Ensure every student’s education is rooted in a strong curriculum of liberal
arts and a commitment to integral Marian University values;
- Recruit and retain outstanding faculty who are highly educated, adroitly
skilled, and dedicated to teaching; engaged in research related to being an
exceptional professor; committed to the development of students; and,
- Demonstrate innovative teaching that promotes engaged learning and use
of the best practices and technology to advance the speed, depth, and
enjoyment of learning.
Pillar Two: Vibrant Campus Experience
A dynamic, culturally-engaged campus is essential to a university culture
that promotes leadership. On this vibrant campus, co-curricular student
life programs will be offered that include, but are not limited to: mentoring,
internships, speakers, athletics, campus ministry, and performing arts.
Dedication to the university’s values by the faculty and staff who help oversee
these efforts will be key to pursuing this element of the vision with success.
Pillar Three: Building Character
A process designed to build character, based on the Catholic Franciscan
tradition and the sponsorship values on which Marian University was founded,
should be intertwined with traditional academic courses and all programs.
Other institutions can work to build character in various ways. But because
of our strong faith tradition, Marian University ought to be truly distinct in
its ability to prepare students as they become transformative leaders in the
professions and communities in which they will serve.
Alumni will recall the official Marian
University seal: sedes sapientiae (seat
of wisdom). Staying true to our vision
means being a seat of wisdom university
dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary,
our patroness. Please pray for us, the
entire Marian University community, as
we seek to educate leaders for service
to the world!