Duquesne President Stresses Academic Excellence at Convocation Address
Duquesne University President Dr. Charles J. Dougherty focused on the importance of academic excellence in his annual address to faculty, staff and administration at the 2013 University Convocation on Sept. 12.
Academic excellence is a top priority in the University's strategic plan, and past convocations addressed two other priorities: the University's Spiritan identity and mission, and the student experience. The strategic plan, Dougherty explained, "is organized to draw attention to the fact that the heart of what we are is a trinity involving students, faculty and a mission that binds them together."
He detailed how the University's academic aspirations for excellence now reach nationally and internationally. "It is no longer sufficient for us to look at regional success," said Dougherty. With Duquesne faculty committed to excellence in both teaching and scholarship, he said, "We seek a balance for achievement in both."
The University is emphasizing quality teaching as never before and reaches students in new ways. Availability for advising and solid teaching in the classroom now intersect with increased technological support, extending educational efforts beyond the Bluff through distance learning.
Dougherty described numerous upgrades that better support academic excellence in all means of delivery. From 2002 to 2012, more than $29 million was spent renovating academic units; another $22 million is planned for 2013-2017, including construction of a theater.
The president also discussed the University's continued commitment to Africa, where Duquesne provides support to Spiritan educational efforts. Dougherty noted the Center for Spiritan Studies and African Studies Program connect African Spiritans to Duquesne, building closer ties between the congregation that founded the University and the campus community.
In closing, Dougherty expressed gratitude for campus-wide efforts to achieve academic excellence, explaining how the impact on the University's growing national and international reputation: "You are a critical part of the trinity at the heart of who we are as you bring our students an education for a lifetime in our Catholic, Spiritan tradition."
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.