2023 Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Implementation Principles

  • Collaboration and Coordination: Cultivate collaborative and coordinated efforts throughout both the Division of Student Affairs and the wider University
  • Student Leadership Formation And Peer Mentorship: Enhance our focus on student leadership development and/or peer mentoring
  • Academic Integration and Partnership: Enhance academic and co-curricular integration and engagement
  • Stewardship of Resources: Commit to the prudent stewardship of resources by thinking holistically in terms of professional and fiscal responsibility while also allowing for the potential discontinuance and emergence of new initiatives
  • Organization and Structure: Commit to thoughtfully assessing and updating organizational structures, processes, programs, and initiatives 
  • Openness to New Forms of Engagement: Identify new and creative ways to engage students, staff, partners, and parents
  • Adaptability: Cultivate our openness to new ideas, processes, responsibilities, and internal engagement to enhance our work and effectiveness
  • Accountability: Commit to holding ourselves and our teams accountable for advancing strategic priorities


Guided by the University’s Catholic, Holy Cross mission, the Division of Student Affairs promotes the holistic education of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students so that all may flourish at the University of Notre Dame and beyond. Through our shared work, services, and partnerships, we seek to honor individual experiences and foster a sense of belonging; deepen engagement in faith; and cultivate meaningful relationships that empower students and enable them to develop in mind, body, and spirit.


To be a student-centered, collaborative, and faith-based community of professionals committed to the formation of minds and hearts. Through academic and co-curricular integration, authentic encounters with God and others, and personal development and formation in the context of community, the Division of Student Affairs strives to accompany students while preparing them to become a force for good in the world.


1. Faith and Formation
Embody a shared vision of development and formation rooted in the Catholic, Holy Cross tradition that invites and encourages every student to engage a life of faith, respond to the lived experiences of today’s world, and become people with hope to bring.


  • As a Division, articulate a clear and coherent vision of student formation and development at Notre Dame that fosters a shared understanding and enhances collaboration among Student Affairs offices and staff.
  • Engage partners in both the Division and the wider University to identify current practices and points of intersection to cultivate shared language, priorities, and initiatives related to faith and student formation.
  • Empower Division staff from a diversity of faith backgrounds, or no faith background, to engage in discussions of faith and contribute to student faith and spiritual formation.
  • Provide student development and formation opportunities through existing Division programs, services, and leadership positions.
  • Encourage continued student development and formation through regular outreach and education.

2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Nurture a campus climate that honors diversity of background, thought, and experience; supports the belonging and full participation of underrepresented students; and engages and values the authentic voice of every person.


  • Communicate the intrinsic value of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Notre Dame and expand programmatic support, mentoring opportunities, and resources available to diverse and underrepresented students.
  • Engage partners within and beyond the Division to identify, assess, and enhance initiatives and practices that contribute to diversity, equity, and inclusion at Notre Dame.
  • Seek new and creative opportunities to engage diverse student voices in Student Affairs decision-making and planning.
  • Assess and deepen the understanding of the campus climate related to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion to better inform the Division’s efforts to foster a diverse and inclusive campus.
  • Facilitate intentional support and resources for underrepresented and First-Generation, Low-Income (FGLI) students.

3. Health and Well-being
Create a collaborative and comprehensive campus-wide approach to health and well-being that promotes life-long holistic care; emphasizes ongoing prevention; and provides strategies for early identification, intervention, and response.


  • Identify and create strategic partnerships to promote daily practices of health and well-being for all students at varying levels of need (prevention, intervention, continued care, and crisis care).
  • Seek to develop a campus-wide understanding of holistic student flourishing that considers the spiritual, emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, vocational, physical, and social dimensions of all students’ lives.
  • Identify and develop strategies to address potential detriments (and the impact of those detriments) to student well-being and flourishing, such as the unhealthy use of alcohol and drugs, technology, or other internal and external barriers to well-being.
  • Provide for the holistic physical and mental well-being and flourishing of all students.
  • Coordinate care and support for students, engaging Student Affairs staff, faculty and partners, and peers as appropriate, to address fundamental, acute, and severe health needs.

4. Connection and Community
Enhance connection, community, and belonging through spaces and opportunities that enable students to know and be known, care for their own needs and the needs of others, and contribute to the common good.


  • Define what “belonging” and “community” mean for Notre Dame students, and create and enhance spaces and opportunities that support the efforts for students of all backgrounds to find a sense of belonging at Notre Dame.
  • Identify new strategies for developing students’ awareness of and appreciation for the role of community and concern for the common good in upholding the inherent dignity of themselves and others.
  • Develop new opportunities, while better promoting existing opportunities, for students to serve in leadership roles and as peer mentors to enrich community and foster connections.
  • Provide spaces and programs that support the development of meaningful and life-giving relationships for all students.
  • Offer residential and campus-wide experiences that invite all students to find opportunities for connection, personal development, and formation in community with others.

5. Reflection and Discernment
Promote a culture that values greater reflection and discernment so that students have the opportunity to recognize God’s call, identify their gifts, and share them in service with others.


  • Deepen divisional and university-wide understanding of student experiences, realities and expectations, and other influences that enable or inhibit practices of reflection and discernment.
  • Intentionally integrate opportunities for reflection and discernment into day-to-day work with students in a way that attends to and supports students’ particular needs as they deepen their understanding of and relationship with themselves, God, and others.
  • Cultivate a shared understanding of discernment and explore new ways to accompany students in professional and vocational discernment.
  • Provide opportunities for students to identify and develop their individual gifts and pursue lives of impact and purpose.
  • Offer opportunities for students to reflect upon and seek growth through their experiences at Notre Dame.

6. Staff Recruitment, Development, and Retention
Recruit, develop, and retain a diverse and talented team of professionals to work collaboratively on behalf of Notre Dame students and advance the mission of Student Affairs and the University.


  • Research, develop, and implement systems to recruit and retain exemplary talent within the Division of Student Affairs.
  • Identify professional needs of Student Affairs staff, and explore opportunities to partner with other University divisions, including Human Resources, to address these needs and increase and enhance the retention of staff.
  • Create a strategy to better leverage recruitment networks and creative fellowship opportunities to broaden awareness of employment within Student Affairs at Notre Dame, and expand the diversity of applicant pools.
  • Provide ongoing opportunities and resources for Student Affairs staff at all levels to develop as professionals and leaders.
  • Continue to assess and improve efforts around staff recruitment, development, and retention.