Student Affairs

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Overview

Students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels who come to Notre Dame rightfully expect to receive top-notch academic preparation. But education here extends far beyond coursework and research, to the development and formation facilitated by residential life, extracurricular activities, and a culture grounded in the University’s Catholic, Holy Cross mission, which seeks to educate both the mind and the heart.

Through its various constituent units—ranging from Campus Ministry and the Gender Relations Center to the University Counseling Center, Student Activities Office, and Career Center—the Division of Student Affairs brings together the intellectual, spiritual, moral, and social dimensions of a student’s Notre Dame experience. It does so with an eye toward developing her or his potential as an individual and future leader.

Just what that “Notre Dame experience” is can be hard to define, but for most alumni, it has much to do with the striking sense of community that we strive to maintain. The division must therefore continuously look to evolve and improve the support it provides to students so that we, as a university, do an ever better job of meeting their needs and encouraging each to become a fully engaged member of the Notre Dame family.

Sometimes achieving this mission requires entirely new initiatives; in other cases, it demands an abiding commitment to those central, enduring elements of our tradition that set the University apart, such as our beloved residence hall system.

But whether it is implementing an innovative solution, serving as the caretaker of a cherished legacy, or blending the two, the Division of Student Affairs plays a lead role in the University’s efforts to fulfill our obligation to this generation of students. For no matter how rigorous the academics, an education that does not place an emphasis on personal growth and development fails to help students discern who they are called to be in the world.

The Division of Student Affairs brings together the intellectual, spiritual, moral, and social dimensions of a student’s Notre Dame experience.

View Strategic Plan News

Goals

Student Affairs has identified five overarching goals as part of its strategic planning process, each of which advances two or more of the five University-wide goals:

1. Foster community with our students, through a rich array of connections, that is animated by our Catholic, Holy Cross tradition, affirms both inclusion and contribution, and encourages integration of the mind and the heart

University Goals Supported

  • Goal I: Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors
  • Goal II: Offer an unsurpassed undergraduate education that nurtures the formation of mind, body, and spirit
  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • community building

    Pangborn Hall Rector Sr. Mary Donnelly, O.P., gathers with students in the hall.

Strategies

  1. Improve the climate of our campus with respect to diversity and inclusion
  2. Recruit rectors and refine the staffing model for undergraduate residence halls to sustain our ability to cultivate spiritual life, sense of community, and intellectual engagement
  3. Enhance the undergraduate residence hall renewal plan to increase the appeal of on-campus housing and alleviate crowding
  4. Augment gathering spaces and programming to facilitate healthy social interaction
  5. Establish graduate student-life priorities and assess residential needs
  6. Extend Notre Dame’s residential model to more effectively serve off-campus students

2. Enhance students’ individual development and formation beyond the classroom

University Goals Supported

  • Goal I: Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors
  • Goal II: Offer an unsurpassed undergraduate education that nurtures the formation of mind, body, and spirit
  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • individual development

    Students worship as part of Rejoice Mass, a monthly liturgy in the African American tradition offered on campus.

Strategies

  1. Revise and implement consistent community standards of conduct for students that are rooted in a developmental approach
  2. Enhance extracurricular opportunities for intellectual engagement with coursework and research
  3. Provide students with expanded experiences that cultivate leadership and professional skills
  4. Renew spiritual offerings for Catholic undergraduates while being more attentive to the spiritual needs of graduate and non-Catholic students
  5. Refresh our orientation programs for students

3. Nurture the health and wellness of our students with respect for each individual’s human dignity

University Goals Supported

  • Goal I: Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors
  • Goal II: Offer an unsurpassed undergraduate education that nurtures the formation of mind, body, and spirit
  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • health and wellness

    Students nurture mind, body, and spirit through yoga.

Strategies

  1. Create a holistic, integrated health education and promotion program
  2. Solidify the University’s system for preventing, intervening in, and responding to sexual harassment and sexual assault cases
  3. Strengthen our ability to identify and support the needs of individual students with emotional challenges

4. Support our students as they discern how to lead integrated, meaningful, faith-filled lives beyond Notre Dame

University Goals Supported

  • Goal I: Ensure that our Catholic character informs all our endeavors
  • Goal II: Offer an unsurpassed undergraduate education that nurtures the formation of mind, body, and spirit
  • Goal III: Advance human understanding through scholarship, research, and post-baccalaureate programs that seek to heal, unify, and enlighten
  • Goal V: Engage in external collaborations that extend and deepen Notre Dame’s impact
  • discernment

    A student meets with potential employers at a career fair.

Strategies

  1. Partner internally and externally to offer innovative programs that help students ascertain their vocations, encouraging the integration of their values and professional aspirations
  2. Collaborate with the First Year of Studies to better inform students about employment and further education opportunities available with degrees from all colleges

5. Build a cohesive, mission-centered division that operates with compassion, innovation, and effectiveness

University Goals Supported

  • Goal IV: Foster the University’s mission through superb stewardship of its human, physical, and financial resources
  • Goal V: Engage in external collaborations that extend and deepen Notre Dame’s impact
  • division

    Student Affairs staff participate in a small group workshop at an all-division professional development opportunity.

Strategies

  1. Improve communication, morale, and collegiality within the division and seek out ways to reach beyond it
  2. Solidify the division’s funding model in terms of programming, renewal, and revenue
  3. Articulate learning objectives and improve assessment across all residential communities, programs, and services
  4. Implement professional development programs that emphasize cultural competency and knowledge of Notre Dame’s Holy Cross traditions
  5. Institute a regular cycle of external reviews that facilitate departmental renewal and sharing of industry best practices
  6. Support and encourage participation, leadership, and professional development through relevant professional organizations
  7. Leverage technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the division’s operations

Learn more about the Division of Student Affairs by visiting studentaffairs.nd.edu.