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Strategic Context

Strategic Context

Our Context

Universities have protected themselves for centuries by preserving what matters most in layers of tradition. Instead of competing through innovation, American higher education has relied on constant growth. By opening doors ever wider, eliminating barriers of class, race, and gender, the percentage of Americans who obtain a bachelor’s degree or higher by the age of 25 has risen from 4.6% in 1940 to 33.4% today. 

This landscape, however, has utterly changed. The pandemic of 2020 has shaken our economy and our student base to its core. This massive disruption hit universities at a moment when they were already vulnerable, competing for a declining number of 18-year-old students during a demographic dip. Higher education can no longer resist change in order to survive. 

Like most of our peer institutions, Loyola struggles to bridge the gap between what our students can afford and the cost of the education they deserve. As a Jesuit institution, we engage in a struggle carried on for 500 years, that of providing truly excellent education but making it available to all. 

For a time, Loyola bridged that gap in a unique way, funding half of its operating revenue with the income of WWL radio and television stations. (WWL stands for World-Wide Loyola). Loyola sold those assets before the disruption of the television industry, and continues to benefit from the income of the resulting endowment. Now we must find new ways to diversify our revenue.

Remain nimble.

We must be more

entrepreneurial, nimble, and forever open to change. We also must remain lean and efficient to reduce costs for our students.

We bring together an extraordinary faculty and staff, whose loyalty to Loyola’s students has inspired them to work ever harder for static, or at times, decreasing amounts of compensation during the last decade.

Loyola must also diversify its revenue to avoid overreliance on undergraduate tuition at a time of disruption in that market. 

We build on key advantages as we work to attract more students and ask those who can afford it to pay more for excellence. This generation of students prefers urban institutions, in authentic and exciting cities. We know that we can do more to capture the zeitgeist of New Orleans. Students also prefer diverse campuses that look like the world, as Loyola proudly does. 

Cost of Living changes.

Loyola must grow

its revenue to meet its needs, to compensate its people as they deserve, and to maintain the kind of steady revenue growth necessary for cost-of-living increases and merit-based pay.

Students increasingly also prefer pragmatic and professional fields of study over the traditional liberal arts, and larger schools over small. We are a medium-sized liberal arts college with historic strengths in business, law, and the sciences. As we look ahead, we will need to capitalize on our most popular programs while continuing to make a case for the study of the humanities. 

Finally, we seek to preserve and strengthen our core Jesuit identity with a declining number of Jesuit priests. For students, nothing can replace the transformative nature of engaging directly with the Jesuits, whose wisdom and skills are honed through decades of training. If we are to sustain our core mission, we must spread those skills throughout our faculty and staff. We cannot ask the remaining priests among us to carry that mission for us alone. St. Ignatius designed his Spiritual Exercises as a layperson, for all people, and we must carry on the work of formation. Our Jesuit identity stands as our calling card; it establishes our credibility as educators who change lives; and it is the entire point of our institution. 


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Strategic Plan
2020

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Strategic Plan
for Inclusive Excellence

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Mission Priority
Examen

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