The Catholic University of America is launching an innovative approach to excellence in teaching and research following approval of its “Academic Renewal” program by the University’s Board of Trustees.
Developed over the past year and approved by the Board on June 5 following a campus-wide consultation process and approval by the University’s Academic Senate, Academic Renewal includes a wide range of initiatives that will strengthen Catholic University’s position as a national research university and, at the same time, strengthen financial sustainability.
The plan includes the opening of a new Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art in fall 2018. The school will unite three academic disciplines, encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration, and anchor the University’s commitment to the arts. Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw has been appointed dean.
The Department of Economics will return to the School of Arts and Sciences after several years as part of the Busch School of Business. “The Economics faculty are delighted that the Board of Trustees voted to move Catholic University’s Department of Economics to the School of Arts and Sciences,” said Martha Cruz Zuniga, associate professor of economics and director of economics programs. “Given the high value we place on economic research, both in practice and dissemination, we believe that this change will enhance Catholic University’s reputation as a global research university.”
Academic Renewal also includes the establishment of a new Center for Teaching Excellence to provide training and effective teaching approaches for graduate students and faculty; expanded support for faculty and student research; plans to add new programs and faculty in areas of growth; and renovations to the John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library, science laboratories, classrooms, and studio, performance and rehearsal spaces.
“Academic Renewal is notable in that it will maintain current programs while adding initiatives that will strengthen the University’s distinctive academic program,” said Joe Carlini, ’84, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America, adding, “Academic Renewal is about growth and investing in our future and is vital for a strong Catholic University. The Board of Trustees looks forward to continued collaboration with President Garvey in ensuring a bright future for Catholic University.”
Catholic University President John Garvey said, “I am grateful to the Board of Trustees for its support for Academic Renewal, and especially to Provost Abela, the Academic Senate, and all of the faculty and students whose participation in the process, ideas, and recommendations were invaluable to the development of the final plan. We will immediately move forward on implementation of Academic Renewal, including the creation of the new Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art.”
Academic Renewal is part of an ongoing commitment to growth at Catholic University. Since 2014, outside contributions to the University have more than doubled, and the campus is being transformed through renovations and new construction. Undergraduate enrollment increased in fall 2017 and is on track to grow again for fall 2018, and student retention is at its highest level in over two decades.