Planning Themes

Seven key themes guided the formulation of the University Strategic Framework. These themes emerged from the 107 proposals involving over 700 unique faculty developed as part of the Moment to See, Courage to Act initiative, as well as through discussions among the deans, members of the President’s Leadership Council, and Executive Officers. In spring 2022, University President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., appointed seven Theme Advisory Committees

Guiding Principles for Theme Selection

  • Align with the Notre Dame’s mission
  • Advance multiple University goals
  • Address emerging and enduring challenges facing our communities, country, world, and Church 
  • Offer the potential for Notre Dame to offer unique insights and solutions and have broad impact
  • Invite collaboration across colleges, schools, divisions, centers, and institutes
  • Represent current areas of strength that can become even stronger or new opportunities to amplify Notre Dame’s impact 
  • Are appropriate to the timeframe of a University Strategic Framework for the next 10 years

Opportunities for Excellence/Distinction in Key Research and Scholarship Areas

What are the areas, across the University and across disciplines, poised for distinction? How can we take the next steps in these areas?

Care for Our Common Home

How can we, through education, research, and creative interdisciplinary initiatives, respond to “the urgent challenge to protect our common home,” as Pope Francis wrote in Laudato Si’? How can we contribute to a transition to a cleaner future where the burdens of change are equitably borne?

Poverty and Equity

How can our educational and research efforts address poverty, inequity, and obstacles to access, nationally and globally?


What are the ways in which the University can contribute to human health and well-being? How can the University help to address health disparities and inequities?


What further steps can we take to internationalize Notre Dame in the education we offer, the research and scholarship we do, the engagement of international students and scholars on our campus, and the presence we have around the globe?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

What further steps can we take in education, research, and University practices to foster respect for the dignity of every human person, combat the sin of racism, and build an inclusive society in which every person can flourish?

A Catholic University in Service to the Church and the World

How can we become even more an intellectual center for Catholicism, serve the global Church, foster a dialogue between faith and reason, encourage fruitful engagement among Christian churches and the world’s great religious traditions, and respond to the growing secularism of our time?