Strategic Plan 2011-2016

Strategic Plan 2011-2016
Trustee Approved

In the spring of 2009, prior to the completion of the planning cycle, it became evident that many of the goals and objectives in the previous strategic plan had been achieved. It was also evident that dramatic changes in the external environment necessitated the development of a new plan. The primary external changes included the unstable economy, rapid increases in unemployment in the United States and extensive increases in competition. Additionally, changes in the internal environment, such as considerable increases in financial aid expenditures to respond to student financial issues, decreases in the University’s endowment and Trustee reserves and a financial model trend that would not support the University’s strategic positioning, also underscored the need for a revised plan. These changes and challenges were further refined and presented to the Trustees on December 18, 2009, as 1) affordability; 2) changing demographics in the United States; 3) emergence of on-line education, especially from the for-profit sector; 4) decreasing public appreciation of the value of a diverse system of higher education in the United States and 5) the end of a worldwide United States monopoly in higher education.
A year-long process of campus discussions, open forums and intense committee work has resulted in this document -- Sacred Heart University’s Strategic Plan: 2011-2016. This Plan builds upon some of the goals of past strategic plans, but also contains bold and ambitious ideas and objectives that are achievable. The five broad goals of the new five-year Strategic Plan are:
Goal 1: Increase Academic Excellence and Distinctiveness
Goal 2: Develop a Student Development Plan of Learning and Living Outside the Classroom
Goal 3: Build New Facilities and Upgrade Existing Infrastructure to be More Competitive
Goal 4: Strengthen the Long-term Financial Stability of the University
Goal 5: Deepen the Commitment to the Mission and Catholic Identity of the University
What follows is an explication of the mission, core values, positioning statement, objectives and strategies built upon these five goals.
Sacred Heart University Mission Statement

Sacred Heart University is a coeducational, independent, comprehensive institution of higher learning.  As part of the Catholic intellectual traditions, our primary objective is to prepare our students to live in and make their contributions to the human community.

The University aims to assist in the development of people knowledgeable of self, rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, responsive to social and civic obligations and able to respond to an ever-changing world. It does this by calling forth the intellectual potential of its students, nurturing each one's spiritual and moral growth and deepening in them a sense of social responsibility. The University is committed to combining education for life with preparation for professional excellence.

Sacred Heart University is Catholic in tradition and spirit. As a Catholic university, it seeks to play its appropriate role in the modern world. It exemplifies in its life the Judeo-Christian values of the God-given freedom and dignity of every human person. Inspired by the ecumenical spirit of the Second Vatican Council, Sacred Heart University welcomes men and women of all religious traditions and beliefs who share its concerns for truth, scholarship, the dignity of the human person, freedom and the betterment of human society. It values religious diversity as enhancing the University community and creating opportunities for dialogue in the common search for truth. Through its curricular and co-curricular activities and campus ministry programs, the University provides the context in which students have the opportunity to appropriate in a critical fashion their own religious traditions.

Sacred Heart University challenges its students to think critically, analyze carefully, evaluate with a sense of justice and proportion and convey conclusions in an intelligible and articulate fashion. The University provides the environment in which its students can develop the aesthetic dimension of life by nurturing their abilities to imagine, create and appreciate. It assists students to acquire a rich understanding of their own cultural and family heritages so as to assume their responsibilities as conveyors and creators of culture and family.
As a community of teachers and scholars, Sacred Heart University exists for the pursuit of truth. It joins with other colleges and universities in the task of expanding human knowledge and deepening human understanding. It encourages and supports the scholarly and artistic work of its faculty and students. Further, it has a responsibility to share its resources and its special gifts and talents for the betterment of the human community. All members of the University community are encouraged strongly to participate in the wider community through service to others, especially the poor.
From its founding, the University has been recognized for its caring approach to students. This expresses the University's belief that each student is born with a unique set of qualities and skills. It respects the personal and academic freedom of each of its members while, at the same time, fostering a genuine experience of community. By so doing, it creates the environment in which each person in the University shares in common goals and a common commitment to truth, justice and concern for others.
Mission and Purpose
Sacred Heart University’s fundamental mission is to assist in the development of human beings and of society by preparing its students to live in and make their contributions to the global community.
The University’s Strategic Plan represents the institution’s ambitious ideas and prioritized initiatives to achieve its goal of becoming a leading, comprehensive, Catholic university that fulfills its mission in an international context. The Strategic Plan is a way for the members of Sacred Heart University to live out the mission over the next five years, shaping decisions that impact key aspects of University life and prioritizing competing goods. The University is committed to:
  1. Nurturing the full human growth, intellectual development and professional preparation of its students
  2. Fostering student learning
  3. Searching for truth
  4. Serving the larger community, Church and society
In addition, the University affirms its special responsibility to provide educational and learning opportunities to economically disadvantaged people, especially in Fairfield County.
Core Values
The core values of Sacred Heart University are its guiding principles. They define what the University stands for and are, therefore, of intrinsic value to the University community. Flowing from its Catholic tradition, the University’s core values are the following:
  • Preservation, transmission and development of the Catholic intellectual and the liberal arts traditions
  • Commitment to excellence in all that we do
  • Pursuit of truth and knowledge as intrinsically valuable
  • Promotion of the common good of society
  • Recognition of the dignity and worth of every human being.
These core values guide the University’s operating practices, business strategies and cultural norms. Sacred Heart University is committed to these values for the long term.
Positioning Sacred Heart University for the 21st Century
Sacred Heart University is a leading, comprehensive Catholic university that fulfills its mission in an international context.
Subcommittee Groups and Primary Charges
Consistent with the University’s mission and Catholic identity, President John J. Petillo charged Dr. David L. Coppola, vice president for Strategic Planning and Administration, to establish the following committees and develop goals and objectives to achieve the following:
Increase Academic Excellence and Distinctiveness Chairs:
  • Dr. Patricia Walker, dean, College of Health Professions
  • Dr. Audrey Beauvais, associate professor of Nursing
  • Dr. Suzanne Deschenes, associate professor of Biology
  • Dr. Gavin Ferriby, University librarian
  • Dr. Stephen Lilly, chair/associate professor, Sociology
  • Dr. Mindy Miserendino, associate professor, Psychology
  • Dr. Lucjan Orlowski, professor, Economics & Finance
  • Dr. Rupendra Paliwal, associate professor, Economics & Finance
  • Domenick Pinto, associate professor/chair, Computer Science & Information
  • Mario Valenti, student, Class of 2011
  • Dr. Jonas Zdanys, associate provost, professor, English
Develop a Student Development Plan of Learning and Living Outside the Classroom Chairs:
  • Larry Wielk, dean of Students
  • Deanna Fiorentino, executive director, Student Affairs Research & Special Projects
  • Pam Barnum, Student Life office manager
  • Nancy Boudreau, director of Web Content Management
  • Dr. Stephen Brown, professor, Management
  • Shirley Canaan, director, Administrative Computing and Information Technology
  • Josephine Ferrantelli, student, Class of 2011
  • Sean Heffron, director of Student Experience, John F. Welch College of Business
  • Dr. Velma Heller, assistant professor, Education
  • Patricia Aquila, executive director Career Development and Placement
  • Kelly Leather, student, Class of 2011
  • Elizabeth Luckie, director of Athletic Admin/Co-Head Softball Coach
  • Dr. Peter Maresco, clinical associate professor, Marketing and Sports Management
  • Dr. Mary Jo Mason, Director of Student Wellness Services
  • Dr. Shirley Pavone, assistant professor, Psychology
  • Dr. Gerald Reid, professor, Sociology
  • Denise Tiberio, associate dean of Students
  • Linda Vagvolgyi, administrative associate to SVP Athletics and Student Affairs
  • Sherylyn Watson, instructor, Nursing
Build New Facilities and Upgrade Existing Infrastructure to be More Competitive Chairs:
  • Michael Trimble, vice president, Information Technology and Security
  • Paul Healy, executive director, Emergency Management and Public Safety and Campus Operations
  • Mark Adzigian, senior associate athletic director, Athletics
  • Jeffrey Barrett, manager logistics and emergency planning, Public Safety
  • Dr. Jody Bortone, associate dean CHP/chair OT&HS/CIM associate professor, Occupational Therapy
  • Marc Izzo, director of University Construction
  • Dr. Mark Jareb, associate professor, Biology
  • Christopher Mastrocola, student, Class of 2011
  • Trigona Mililli, director of custodial services and moves, Campus Operations
  • William Mumper, communication systems architect, Information Technology
  • Saburo Usami, director of networking and telecommunications, Information Technology
Strengthen the Long-term Financial Stability of the University Chairs:
  • Philip McCabe, vice president, Finance, Business Office
  • Mary Lou DeRosa, dean, University College
  • Robyn-Allise Brown, administrative associate to dean, University College
  • Dr. Michael Emery, assistant dean/director, Physical Therapy, professor, Physical Therapy
  • John Gerlach, senior business executive in Residence & Associate, Economics & Finance
  • Lisa Gockley, director of employee benefits, Human Resources
  • Michael Iannazzi, vice president, Marketing & Communications
  • Stephane Kirven, assistant professor, Criminal Justice
  • George Lombardi, general manager, WSHU
  • Julie Savino, executive director, University Financial Assistance
  • Stephen Scarpati, clinical associate professor, Accounting & Information Systems
  • Liz-Ann St. Onge, assistant controller, Business office
  • Peter Ward, controller, Business Office
Sacred Heart University Board of Trustees
  • Chairman: James T. Morley, Jr.
  • Vice Chairman: Frank R. Martire
  • Secretary: Christopher K. McLeod
  • Treasurer: Teresa Ressel
  • Rosanne Badowski '79
  • Norbert Becker
  • Mary-Ann Bunting
  • Patrick J. Carolan, MD
  • Robert L. Corcoran
  • Lawrence G. Foley
  • Rev. Msgr. William A. Genuario, J.C.D.
  • Rev. Robert M. Kinnally
  • Vincent Maffeo
  • Murray Martin
  • Frank R. Martire
  • Robert J. Matura
  • Christopher K. McLeod
  • Linda E. McMahon
  • William E. Mitchell
  • James T. Morley, Jr.
  • John J. Petillo, Ph.D.
  • Teresa Ressel
  • Lois Schine
  • Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, D.B.A.
2011 - 2016 Strategic Plan
Goal 1: Increase Academic Excellence and Distinctiveness: Sacred Heart University will enhance its distinctive commitment to academic excellence demonstrated by the work of students who take responsibility for their learning and who are encouraged and guided by a faculty dedicated to innovative teaching and actively engaged in scholarly and creative work that advances their fields.
  • Promote active and engaged learning. The faculty will be challenged to use pedagogy that facilitates their students’ autonomous and engaged learning.
  • Increase connectedness of full-time undergraduate students to full-time faculty in the freshman year.
  • Develop and increase opportunities and expectations for faculty development targeted at pedagogical best practice, increased convergence of academic standards, setting and communicating clear expectations, developing research-intensive courses and facilitating autonomous student achievement of expectations.
  • Improve student quality by improving the academic profile of new and returning students to the University.
  • Strengthen the academic reputation of the University, its colleges, departments and programs by emphasizing the University’s distinctive nexus between scholarship, research and teaching.
  • Increase international/diversity learning opportunities for students and faculty.


Goal 2: Develop a structured, mission-driven student development plan that intentionally educates the whole person within a campus-wide living and learning community and is a seamlessly integrated extension of classroom learning.
  • Create a culture that supports, recognizes and requires University-wide collaboration in the development and ongoing vitality of a campus-wide living and learning community for students with the explicit goal of increasing retention 1.5-2% per year from current 75%.
  • Ensure students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed career choices that reflect their distinctive gifts, values and goals and lead to professional success.
  • Promote self-knowledge and respect for others by creating a community that engages diverse cultures and ensures that all students are active participants in this aspect of the community.
  • Facilitate students’ awareness and fulfillment of their social and civic obligations and the development of a life-long passion for service.
Goal 3: Implement strategies to build new facilities and upgrade/maintain existing infrastructure for the university to be more competitive.
  • New Construction: Develop and begin implementation of a 10-year master University capital and infrastructure plan based on appropriate opportunities and enrollment and program priorities that inform the budget planning process.
  • Renovation: Develop and begin implementation of a 10-year I.T. and Facilities Renovation and Maintenance Master Plan.
  • IT Services: Provide a robust infrastructure for campus-wide IT systems needed to support the academic programs and administrative services.
  • Safety and Security: Ensure a safe and secure campus environment.
  • Sustainable Operations: Develop and promote conservation and sustainability and publicize appropriately.
  • External Funding: Obtain extramural funding for future facilities and infrastructure projects by creating an innovation culture that encourages and rewards ideas for seeking new revenue.
Goal 4: Strengthen the Long-term Financial Stability of the University: Develop and implement business plans that strengthen the long-term financial health of the University, while optimizing net revenues and ensuring transparent and strategic resource allocation.
  • Advancement - Develop the advancement functions to significantly increase the University’s capacity to raise funds for annual, capital and endowment needs, through the areas of major gifts, planned giving, annual giving (alumni & parents), foundation relations, corporate relations and grants with a commitment to significant fundraising growth, over the next five years, in support of the University’s strategic plan. Develop and implement communications and marketing plans to support the University’s overall advancement efforts.
  • Enrollment: Develop and implement a Strategic Enrollment Plan that considers academic excellence, infrastructure capacity and projects the economic effect of current and new programs.
  • Leverage human capital by developing and strengthening the University culture consistent with its mission. Ensure that the quality and productivity of Sacred Heart University employees continue to serve as a primary competitive advantage.
  • Identify new sources of revenue that comprise an increasing 1-2% percent of our Operating Revenue each fiscal year.
  • Establish a transparent financial reporting structure that measures the implementation of the Strategic Plan with key performance and financial indicators, specific metrics and benchmarks.
Goal 5: Deepen the commitment to the Mission and Catholic Identity in the life of the University Community.
  • Engage students in a community that understands, appreciates and is committed to the shared mission and Catholic identity of the University to foster holistic intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth.
  • Consciously inculcate the Catholic Intellectual Tradition throughout the Core Curriculum in supportive and innovative ways.
  • Rooted in the Catholic worldview, especially Matthew 25, and supported by a robust intellectual tradition that has evolved over the past two millennia, the University seeks to promote in all its students and faculty an appreciation of and commitment to service and social justice as an important part of the holistic education of good citizens contributing to the common good.
  • Increase active participation in the liturgical and spiritual life of the University.