We are pleased to share some of the topics, highlights, and action items discussed at the recent meeting of the St. John’s University Board of Trustees held on Wednesday, December 14, 2022. We look forward to sharing additional information on these and other initiatives in the months ahead.
Strategic Planning Update
Fr. Shanley and the co-chairs of the Strategic Planning Implementation Committee—Sarah Jean Kelly J.D., Vice President for Student Success and Retention Strategy, and Christian P. Vaupel, Ed.D., Vice President for Advancement and University Relations—provided an update on strategic planning. The Strategic Plan, which serves as a five-year roadmap for St. John’s, represents the culmination of 18 months of effort on the part of the Strategic Planning Committee. The Plan focuses on five foundational themes (pillars) that are crucial to the continued success and growth of the University. They include:
Pillar 1: Student Success: Reimagining the Student Experience to Deepen Connection, Engagement, and BelongingPillar 2: Academic Distinction: Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and ResearchPillar 3: Mission, Equity, and Inclusion: Building a Community of BelongingPillar 4: Institutional Resources: Growing and Optimizing Institutional AssetsPillar 5: The St. John’s Identity: Elevating our National and Global Stature
The University’s Senior Management Group provided an overview of their respective Pillar(s) and the Goals, Action Items, and Metrics already identified and those to be developed. After a discussion on each Pillar, the Board approved the Plan as it was presented.
Equity and Inclusion Update
Rachel Pereira, Ed.D., J.D., gave a data informed presentation on “Diversity Demographic Data” at St. John’s. Dr. Pereira’s presentation included a summary of data on students’ gender and race, as well as similar information for the University’s faculty, staff, and administrators during the years 2018-22. Dr. Pereira is continuing to collect and analyze data and will continue to engage departments in meaningful conversations about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts.
“Education that Elevates” Brand Campaign Update
Dr. Vaupel provided an update on the “Education that Elevates” brand campaign led by the University’s Marketing and Communications department. Plans for the campaign include a media takeover of Penn Station in February 2023 coinciding with two BIG EAST games at Madison Square Garden (MSG). Penn Station will be filled with St. John’s branding, garnering an estimated 21 million impressions. “Johnnies Day” will be held on Saturday, February 11, and will be a day of sharing St. John’s pride and stories on social media. Leveraging the Penn Station takeover, Johnnies Day will occur on the same day that the men’s basketball team takes on Providence College at MSG and the women’s basketball team takes on DePaul University at Carnesecca Arena.
Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL)
Joseph E. Oliva, Esq., Vice President for Administration, Secretary, and General Counsel, delivered a presentation on Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) policies for student-athletes. Nationwide, college athletics is experiencing a substantial change due to the rapid implementation and expansion of NIL policies. Since various state laws and NCAA rules went into effect last year, student-athletes may now profit from their own name, image, and likeness. At the core of the NCAA has always been amateurism. NIL has transformed that idea by allowing student-athletes to receive financial compensation which has brought a marked change to college sports. The federal and various state governments have begun to undertake legislative efforts to better regulate what is already underway.
NCAA rules still prevent schools from paying players directly, and coaches may not offer high school prospects money as a recruiting enticement. NIL is a process for athletes to receive financial compensation for the brand they build while in college. For example, players may profit from endorsements, signing autographs, selling apparel, corporate partnerships, charitable appearances, teaching camps, and starting their own businesses, among other activities. They can also hire professional service providers for NIL activities. A discussion of the future of NIL and its potential impact on St. John’s Athletics followed.
The Board elected Rev. Joseph G. Hubbert, C.M., Ph.D., to the Board of Trustees. A 1973 graduate of Niagara University, Fr. Hubbert first served Niagara in the Department of Religious Studies between 1977 and 1980. He undertook graduate studies at The Catholic University of America and served on the faculties of Mary Immaculate Seminary and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He became Chairperson of the Department of Religious Studies in May 1996 and served as Chair until May 2006.
The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held in February 2023.