USD Magazine Summer 2010


THE GIFT OF HOPE P r e s i d e n t L y o n s r e f l e c t s o n t h e f u t u r e o f U S D [ f o r e s i g h t ]

this Catholic university is an institution of hope. And what a gift this is during an era marked by economic uncertainty, pessimism, and polarization. USD’s strategic goals have led to the creation of a num- ber of centers, such as the Center for Catholic Thought and Culture and the Center for Educational Excellence. What can you tell our readers about the new Center for Inclusion and Diversity? The most effective and sustainable achievements at USD have been those that are conceived, initiated, developed and implemented by representatives from the entire com- munity. The Center for Inclusion and Diversity is the most recent example of this. One of the strategic priorities we defined in 2004 was to become a more “culturally diverse and culturally competent community.” We also recognize our obligation to provide special outreach to those who have been traditionally underserved in higher education. A follow-up action to our 2004 plan was the creation of the Committee on Inclusion and Diversity, a campus-wide group of students, faculty, staff and administrators who explored what options would best help us achieve our goals. A result of their work was the creation of the President’s Advisory Board on Inclusion and Diversity in 2008. Alberto Pulido, chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, and Stephen Pultz, director of Undergraduate Admissions, co-chaired this effort, which defined five strategic directions, recommended the creation of a permanent Center for Inclusion and Diversity and adopted a statement capturing the goals of this initiative.

What do you think are USD’s greatest challenges today and in the near future? What do you see as the most pressing opportunities for the future of the institution?

If I were being cavalier, I would fall back upon a glib response to this answer: Most problems can be solved, most challenges can be met, most opportunities can be seized if you have enough money! While this is somewhat true, it actually misses the mark. Rather, our greatest challenge has more to do with having and promoting a great vision for our university and, subse- quently, generating a culture within our vast community — students and their families, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, alumni and friends — shaped by that vision. If we truly embrace the mission and vision of USD, have the will to work for the goals that derive from these, and com- mit ourselves to lead others in that direction, the university will continue to flourish. What do you think are the greatest challenges facing Catholic education today? What have been USD’s responses to these challenges? USD is an academy founded and sustained by a belief in the essential goodness of creation and the worthiness of a life-long commitment to understanding and working on behalf of the human condition. In this pursuit, our Catholic character opens to us the riches of the Church’s intellectual, spiritual, cultural and moral traditions. Its social teachings provide a foundation and an inspiration for our important efforts to teach and work for peace and justice. Above all,

In March of this year, I announced the appointment of the

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