The Ignatian Compass

Guiding Loyola University Maryland to Ever Greater Excellence Strategic Plan • 2017-2022

Explorers beginning a journey identify a goal. They carry with them knowledge, provisions, and a pledge to collaborate and support one another along the way. They also use a compass to guide them and keep them focused on the path to their destination. Because their travels are full of unknowns, they take each step with purpose and conviction, while remaining open to the possibilities the adventure presents.

With this new strategic plan, we, the members of the Loyola University Maryland community, begin a new journey. Our journey will take us toward greater fulfillment of our Jesuit, Catholic mission. As members of a community built on a foundation nearly 165 years strong, we will move forward united, in a prouder, bolder, more caring way. An Ignatian way.

Through action, we will individually and collectively advance Loyola University Maryland toward realizing an exciting new vision: Loyola University Maryland, anchored in Baltimore, will be a leading national liberal arts university in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition.

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Priority I

Ignatian Citizenship

“In order to respond to this world, which is rapidly shrinking, we set our aim on educating for responsible citizenship in the global city.” - Rev. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., former superior general for the Society of Jesus

Loyola’s aim is to become the leader in defining, promoting, and advancing Ignatian citizenship. The University will begin by cultivating a campus-wide ethos of Ignatian citizenship, promoting thoughtful and active civic and global engagement among all members of our community.

Ignatian citizens think of themselves as part of something larger, as responsible for the betterment of our shared world; as men and women who think and act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and the oppressed. Now more than ever, our world needs Ignatian citizens; Loyola is called to act and we are uniquely poised to do so from a position of strength and responsibility that is based on our mission and core values.

Establish the Ignatian Citizenship Commons

  • Identify or build space for the Commons
  • Hire faculty across several disciplines to add curricular and research strengths
  • Create a faculty fellows program for visiting faculty and/or postdoctoral fellows
  • Engage in programming, student research, experiential learning, and internships; incentives for faculty teaching development and research; additional graduate fellowships
  • Seek budgetary resources for formational and mission enhancement for employees

Seek, embrace, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusiveness

  • Establish a President’s Advisory Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Create a senior leadership position for diversity, equity, and inclusion

Foster responsible and active citizenship on campus, and on local, regional, national, and global scales

  • Augment the University’s experience with ACE; generate a strategic plan for global engagement
  • Develop a plan to increase international student enrollment
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Priority II

Ignatian Educational Innovation

Jesuit education is not an end in itself, but a pathway to help guide each student. It offers structure yet flexibility and freedom, encouraging personal growth and student-directed study. Teachers, rather than merely delivering knowledge, serve as guides full of wisdom and experience.

Jesuit education must be adaptable to students’ individual needs and to the time in which it is delivered—with an eye toward preparation for the future.

Much as St. Ignatius urged that the Spiritual Exercises should be adaptable to those who undertook them, Jesuit education must be adaptable to students’ individual needs and to the time in which it is delivered—with an eye toward preparation for the future.

Although Loyola’s vision is to be a leading liberal arts university, that liberal arts identity is threatened. In recent years there has been a considerable decline in the number of Loyola students majoring in arts and sciences and an increase in those in the school of business. The needs of today’s students and local, national, and global job forecasts show that Loyola must require undergraduates to plan carefully in order to link liberal arts education with their career goals. Hence, career planning must be an essential characteristic of undergraduate education at Loyola.

By renewing Loyola’s commitment to the educational ideals of Ignatius, the University will make a compelling case for the integral synergies between the liberal arts and career and vocational planning. We will reiterate that initial call of Ignatius and ensure that the education we provide remains deeply committed to the liberal arts, offering students the foundation they need for any and every opportunity they will encounter. At the same time, we must ensure that they gain knowledge and experience through interdisciplinary connections among the liberal arts, STEM, and business, to help them graduate with a deeper understanding of how to respond to the needs of current times.

A Loyola education in the Ignatian tradition prepares students not solely for their first jobs, but for their careers, for a lifetime of contributing to the workplace and to society.

While remaining strong in its commitment to the liberal arts, the University must explore opportunities to strengthen the curriculum, weaving together vocational discernment and the power of a liberal arts education and poising each student to be an Ignatian citizen

Place greater emphasis on graduate programs and their curricula, locations, delivery modes, and availability of programs, and to the distinct graduate and adult student experience

Implement necessary technology enhancements; infuse digital pedagogy into curriculum

  • Expand experiential learning opportunities for undergraduates
  • Enable ongoing pedagogical faculty development, including establishing a Center for Faculty Development
  • Support a Digital Learning Commons housed in the Library to promote digital scholarship and teaching initiatives
  • Increase summer course offerings and programs, including support for staffing and infrastructure resources for hybrid/online programs
  • Provide greater resources and support to graduate students in the Writing Center, Library, etc.
  • Assess the need for existing graduate centers and the potential for a downtown Baltimore campus

Make career outcomes a distinctive feature of the graduate, undergraduate, and alumni experiences

  • Consider the location, staffing, and technology of The Career Center; emphasize career discernment; develop a more robust network of alumni to serve both students and alumni; extend and improve the data collection of career outcomes; identify methods for campus departments to collaborate and share data

Generate a unified student experience devoted to health, wellness, spirit, and traditions

  • Develop holistic initiatives for all students; provide additional resources for students from diverse backgrounds and identities
  • Tie traditions to important academic moments for students, and inspire and support students to create opportunities to grow spirit and start new traditions
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Priority III

Ignatian Culture of Engagement

Building on St. Ignatius’ belief that people should meet others where they are, The Ignatian Compass will expand opportunities to engage the Loyola community more fully, one individual at a time, by increasing connections and collaboration. The members of Loyola’s community are the University’s greatest resource, its most passionate supporters, and the most likely people to spread the word about the value of a Loyola University Maryland education. To inspire and nurture an Ignatian Culture of Engagement at Loyola, we must build the infrastructure to support engagement, inform and influence our stakeholders, involve our community, and promote a culture of philanthropy to advance, individually and collectively, Loyola’s mission.

An Ignatian way to build a culture of engagement is to examine and embrace our University’s core values and beliefs, inspiring members of the community toward deeper engagement with those values and the ideals they represent. As Ignatian citizens, we are called upon to strive for the greater good, and to educate and empower members of our community to engage in meaningful ways with one another and the world around them. We must align or create organizational structures, innovative programs, and sustainable services, fostering critical collaboration that will move us forward as one community with a common purpose.

Build a new University Engagement Center

Generate and promote new and exciting ways to engage alumni, who can and should play an increasingly important role in the life of Loyola

  • Increase opportunities for alumni and prospective family engagement by enhancing programs and services, upgrading technology, and expanding its alumni network
  • Build resources for much-needed scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students
  • Invite alumni and parents to participate more in Loyola’s career planning efforts and to network more

A shift in culture is necessary for Loyola’s employees to embrace their roles as Ignatian citizens

  • Create a University-wide mission education program for employees
  • Establish a University-wide mission integration activity or day of service for the entire campus community; enable employees to receive paid time off for approved service initiatives, retreats, or immersion trips
  • Examine opportunities to strengthen employee compensation, rewards, and recognition; performance management processes; and professional development opportunities

Maximize the impact of intercollegiate athletics on Loyola’s brand

  • Target athletics resources toward sports where Loyola can best compete; to enhance school spirit; to increase alumni engagement; and to improve the University’s profile and admissions demand

In addition to defining what it means to be an Ignatian citizen, the marketing and communications team will develop campaigns and core messages with particular focus on young alumni successes.

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Priority IV

Ignatian Institutional Vitality and Sustainability

To live out his vocation and give his order a strong foundation, St. Ignatius had to ensure that the Society of Jesus had the financial support it needed to travel and share the Gospel with the communities the Jesuits served. As he pursued his studies, he relied on the support of others, made prudent decisions, and trusted that God would provide. To make sure the Society of Jesus could have a significant impact on the world and grow, he surrounded himself with brother Jesuits—a group united in mission and vision and faith.

Returning to its Ignatian roots, Loyola will strengthen its vitality through a unified mission and vision as a university. As a community, we will embrace the Catholic sense of subsidiarity, appropriately aligning authority with responsibility. Loyola will place decisions in the hands of those who are closest to the issues, empowering them to make decisions that best serve the members of the community; this, in turn, will put the University in the best position for the future by ensuring that we have reached optimal operating efficiency through cost reductions or reallocations. While adhering to that sense of subsidiarity, the University will also need to embrace the Jesuit openness to undertaking new opportunities and the constant challenge for self-improvement. The pace of change requires that today’s educational institutions become agile enough to be a leading contributor to the knowledge and service that advance social justice around the globe. With greater financial stability and vitality, Loyola will be better prepared to serve today’s students and tomorrow’s—and to live out the mission St. Ignatius embraced.

Create the necessary shift in institutional governance structures

  • Empower deans and chairs with oversight responsibilities and accountability for academic programs
  • Examine Loyola’s shared governance model to identify opportunities for a more efficient, flexible way to approach decisions

Through establishing a culture of philanthropy, the University will increase its endowment

  • Continue to seek ways to foster a culture of environmental sustainability
  • Identify and realize new and varied sources of revenues to lessen the primary dependence on its traditional undergraduate student population

Shared Vision, Shared Purpose, Shared Hope

Loyola University Maryland is at a crossroads. Loyola cannot—and should not—be everything to everyone. Instead, the University must home in on the specific areas in which it does succeed, build on and expand on those strengths, and ensure a bright, bold future.

By adopting The Ignatian Compass’ priorities and implementing initiatives to bring them to life at the University, Loyola will live out the mission St. Ignatius embraced and introduced to the world.

As a community, we are embarking on this journey, as men and women for and with others, members of a community that extends around the world, poised for the future and open to the possibilities we may encounter along the way.


KPIs and Benchmark Institutions are available in the full version of the plan.


President Linnane

From the earliest conversations about developing this new strategic plan for Loyola University Maryland, our community recognized that it would be essential for the process to be inclusive, intense, and intentional. More than 300 members of our community—students, faculty, alumni, staff, and administrators—lent their voices and valuable perspectives to this plan, which set a new standard for collaboration at Loyola.

As we move forward with the implementation of The Ignatian Compass: Guiding Loyola University Maryland to Ever Greater Excellence, we will continue to work together as a community to shape the future of our university. Each of us has an integral role in taking the next step in implementing the plan and helping Loyola University Maryland achieve still greater heights, while staying true to the mission and ideals that are so central to our university.

I have the deepest gratitude for the work of so many who contributed to creating this plan and look forward to working together as a community to bring the initiatives of The Ignatian Compass to fruition.

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.
Loyola University Maryland

About the Planning Process

The Ignatian Compass represents the collective involvement and insights of more than 300 members of our community. Loyola’s voices have sounded hopes, ideas, concerns, and compassion, all of which have contributed to the development of The Ignatian Compass’s four strategic priorities: Ignatian Citizenship; Ignatian Educational Innovation; Ignatian Engagement; and Ignatian Institutional Vitality and Sustainability.

As has been the case throughout the strategic planning process, there is inherent and intentional interconnectedness among the four strategic priorities, and equally so, among their respective initiatives. Each of the strategic priorities’ initiatives could justifiably be represented in one or more of the other priorities, and implementation details will necessarily be organic.

The initial framework for the planning was developed through a variety of inputs from the Loyola community, including discussions regarding Loyola’s value proposition and brainstorm sessions to identify current and potential future sources of distinction for the University. The overarching themes of the planning framework sought deeper engagement with Loyola’s Jesuit, Catholic mission, identity, and core values, intending to strengthen the University’s value proposition and its economic model. Each priority referenced enhancing the experience of a stakeholder group, and thus, sought to enhance the overall Loyola experience.

Strategic Planning Steering Committee


  • Rebecca Brogan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology
  • Marc Camille, Ed.D., Vice President for Enrollment Management and Communications

Project Manager:

  • John McKiernan, J.D., Assistant to the President


  • Timothy Arnold, HVAC Mechanic II - Facilities
  • Seán Bray, Director of Campus Ministry
  • John Burger, Ph.D., Professor of Economics
  • Donelda Cook, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Student Development
  • Elissa Derrickson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology, Ex Officio as Chair of Faculty Senate
  • Frank D’Souza, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Finance
  • Elaine Edelstein, Office Manager for The Career Center
  • Joan Flynn, Associate Vice President for Administration
  • Kathleen Forni, Ph.D., Professor of English
  • Douglas Harris, Ph.D., Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Professor of Political Science, and Academic Co-Director for Messina
  • Sharon Higgins, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications
  • Jen Lowry, Ph.D., Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Cheryl Moore-Thomas, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education Specialties
  • Mark Osteen, Ph.D., Professor of English
  • Amy Wolfson, Ph.D., Ex Officio as Chair of Loyola Conference, Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Jare Allocco Allen, Rev. Ronald Amiot, S.J., Carolyn Barry, Ph.D., Jane Hogge, and Anthony Villa, DMA, formerly served on the committee.

Strategic Plan Updates

As Loyola University Maryland brings to life its strategic plan, The Ignatian Compass, our community is advancing seven areas of focus—ensuring institutional vitality and fiscal integrity; improving yield and retention; fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion; enhancing brand; creating a culture of philanthropy; engaging faculty, staff, and alumni; and cultivating innovation and entrepreneurship. All these areas support the advancement of the four priorities established in the plan.

The Ignatian Compass calls for the community to engage more deeply with Loyola’s Ignatian mission, so substantive and meaningful change is occurring across the University. This page will offer a place to gather and share more tangible updates throughout the implementation of the plan.

Information will continue to be added here as The Ignatian Compass comes to fruition.

Ignatian Citizenship

Enhancing Brand & Yield through Global Engagement

  • Loyola’s ACE Internationalization Laboratory task force drafted recommendations that will enhance Loyola’s efforts to create a campus supportive of global learning and Ignatian Citizenship. Recommendations will focus on learning outcomes, employee policies and practices, international student recruitment and mobility, and institutional partnerships. These recommendations will be presented to the community in early 2018.
  • Conversations continue between the offices of academic affairs, international student services, and undergraduate and graduate admissions to develop institutional supports to welcome international students and help ensure their success at Loyola.

Establishing the Ignatian Citizenship Commons

  • Loyola is conducting a careful review of the National Assessment of Service and Community Engagement, which models community engagement by students and faculty to provide a baseline for implementing and assessing a culture of Ignatian Citizenship. In collaboration with the work overseen by the University’s master planning steering committee, this exercise will guide development of physical spaces that will enhance Loyola’s commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion; the York Road Initiative; and the City of Baltimore.
  • The Center for Community Service & Justice launched a weekly Ignatian Citizenship calendar in fall 2017.

Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Loyola continues the work of the president’s advisory council for diversity, equity, and inclusion by promoting employee participation in diversity educational opportunities through a partnership with the Baltimore Racial Justice Action network.

Ignatian Educational Innovation

Realigning Recruitment Efforts to Improve Yield

  • A continued partnership between the offices of undergraduate admissions and marketing and communications has realigned Loyola’s approach towards student recruitment, retention, and yield. Loyola has engaged an enrollment marketing student search firm to execute multiple, simultaneous, radically personalized, multichannel marketing campaigns over the course of the entire enrollment cycle. This realignment coincides with a fundamental shift in Loyola’s marketing strategy, emphasizing the value and unique qualities of Loyola’s Jesuit, Catholic educational experience.

Making Career Outcomes a Distinctive Feature of a Loyola Educational Experience

  • The Career Center unveiled several new technology platforms to facilitate job and internship searching, career event registration, and alumni mentorship opportunities. This includes launching Loyola Connect, a partnership between the offices of alumni relations and career services that connects Loyola students and graduates with other Loyola alumni for professional mentoring and networking.
  • The Career Center completed a comprehensive reorganization in 2017, aligning staffing responsibilities according to employee expertise in either vocational discernment or career outcomes.

Creating a Unified Student Experience

  • The Campus Activities Board, a student programming board that creates and implements inclusive and engaging late-night and weekend programs, started in fall 2017. In its first semester, the board ran eight successful programs, averaging approximately 100 students per event.
  • The office of student life continues to develop new programs for students (and families), including the Messina Family Teach In, participation in numerous Baltimore civic and community events, and expansion of the residence hall association’s fall semester campus programs.

Cultivating Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Loyola announced plans to create the Center for Innovation and Collaborative Learning, which will include space for the Career Center to be relocated to a modern, central space on campus.
  • The Sellinger School of Business & Management continues to explore options for a central location in or around downtown Baltimore to emphasize Loyola’s commitment to the City of Baltimore and the Sellinger School’s commitment to Baltimore businesses.

Ignatian Engagement

Integrating Mission into Professional Development and the Employee Experience

  • In March 2018, the office of human resources will launch the leadership development program for employees, providing a range of professional development and mission-integration activities for Loyola employees. This includes development of a policy enabling employees to receive paid time off for University-sponsored service activities, in addition to review of Loyola’s practices around employee compensation, rewards, and recognition.
  • Loyola is creating a Mission Week for the spring 2018 semester, which will culminate with a new, dynamic approach to Maryland Day.

Promoting Opportunity for Alumni Involvement in Loyola

  • The office of alumni relations continues to enhance opportunities for alumni and family engagement, offering alumni networking events in both traditional and emerging markets. 2018 will feature networking events in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Tampa, and Denver, among others.
  • Loyola will hold a Homecoming in October 2018 to welcome alumni to campus, provide opportunities for engagement and networking with current students, and continue to emphasize the importance of philanthropy.
  • Alumni relations and the office of undergraduate admission continue to identify opportunities to involve Loyola alumni in the recruitment and yield process, including personalized outreach to Loyola graduates who are parents of prospective students and training alumni to represent Loyola at college fairs.
  • Advancement will continue to review and revamp current advancement events, such as Business Leader of the Year, the annual scholarship reception, and named lectures to ensure that the formats maximize time for alumni, student, and donor interactions, while also assessing costs associated with such events.

Ignatian Vitality and Sustainability

Promoting Institutional Vitality and Fiscal Integrity

  • For recent budget cycles, Loyola implemented a hybrid budget approach, utilizing zero-based budgeting for certain budget categories. This allowed for resource re-allocation supporting new initiatives and operating budget reductions.
  • The administrative services review continues and will identify opportunities for efficiencies which will yield significant operational savings in future years.
  • Facilities and campus services launched an energy audit for the campus in early January, which will complement on ongoing review of HVAC and other automated systems to identify opportunities for greater efficiencies.