When he assumed the presidency in 2003, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., began a process of strategic planning to chart Fordham’s future. Father McShane, Judith Mills, Ph.D., then the University’s strategic planning officer, and the vice presidents, led Fordham’s students, faculty and alumni in a discussion of themes and foci for strategic ideas and initiatives. The planners recognized that Fordham’s Jesuit identity and its New York City location would be central to the University’s efforts to reclaim its position of leadership in American higher education and preeminence among Catholic universities.
In March 2005, Fordham’s Board of Trustees approved a Mission Statement, which specified key elements of Fordham’s identity as a Catholic and Jesuit university located in the City of New York and its role in society as an institution committed to the “discovery of wisdom and the transmission of learning through research and through undergraduate, graduate and professional education of the highest quality.” Nine months later, the University’s strategic plan, Toward 2016, was approved by the Board of Trustees and put into action.
In my State of the University address in September 2007, I said that the success of the Strategic Plan is especially dependent upon the work that we all do every day, and I exhorted the members of the University community to do all they could to make the ambitious dreams that we have drawn up a reality.
The progress report you are reading, and the good news therein, is in large measure a reflection of the hard work and devotion of hundreds of faculty, administrators, students and staff. The best plans and the noblest intentions are naught without consistent and enthusiastic execution. As you will see, our work is not yet finished—not by far—but I am deeply proud of, and thankful for, the Fordham community’s daily effort and dedication thus far.
We have much to achieve, but I hope you will take pride in our accomplishments to date, and know that, whatever your duties at Fordham, you are contributing to a great and worthwhile effort.
Joseph M. McShane, S.J.