By Emily Helldorfer
Sacred Heart University is in the process of updating its Mission and Vision Statements for the first time since 1991.
The process took place over several meetings that were held in the University Commons for students, faculty and staff.
The meetings were led by Father Anthony Ciorra, University Vice President of Mission and Catholic Identity, and Larry Carroll, Executive Director of Pastoral Services and Planning.
The meetings served as an open forum discussion of Sacred Heart’s mission and the students’ vision for the future.
“Rolling this out to the Sacred Heart community enables us to have an increased awareness of what our mission is, and what values we hold, and to hopefully foster discussion,” said Carroll.
Father Ciorra worked with a committee to write and update the mission statement and core values of the university.
“It was a year-and-a-half to two-year process,” said Ciorra. “While the mission statement stays consistent, our vision for the future is always changing.”
One notable change to the statement is its reduction in length. “The committee thought the old statement was too long,” Ciorra explained.
What used to be several pages now fits neatly on a two-page pamphlet.
The new mission and vision statement was approved by the committee on Dec. 5, 2017.
The mission statement is as follows: “Sacred Heart University, rooted in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, embraces a vision for social justice and educates students in mind, body and spirit to prepare them personally and professionally to make a difference in the global community.”
The vision statement reads, “Sacred Heart University aspires to achieve prominence through innovative teaching and learning while cultivating a campus community that is recognized as caring and creative.”
“Now it’s easier to navigate for the average person—not that the substance has changed a lot—but it’s consolidated,” said Carroll.
“The way it is written is clear, concise and helpful for anyone who really wants to understand it. As opposed to reading pages of single-spaced, long documents, I think that the new format helps make it more user-friendly.”
Reflection on the mission and vision statements with the student body took place on March 22.
“I always knew Sacred Heart was a special place,” said sophomore Erika Borras. “Just seeing this mission statement and how it connects so much to my personal values makes me feel confident I went to the right school.”
Father Ciorra explained that the statement should be used as a guideline for members of Sacred Heart to grow both as individuals and as a community.
Ciorra also noted the importance of the mission and vision of Sacred Heart as the student body grows, saying, “The concern is we don’t want to lose the mission as we’re expanding.”
“The reason why we’re even in existence is for the students,” said Carroll. “That’s why I think it’s crucial that they have an understanding of what the mission is of the university they’re a part of.”
“We would hope that all of us, students, faculty, and staff, embrace the values so what goes on here day to day really reflects them.”