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Strategic Plan

Clarke Strategic Plan Graphic

Goal 1: Live Our Mission and Values

This first goal sets the tone for all that we do at Clarke: to live our mission and values as a Catholic Institution. While the core values of freedom, education, charity, and justice have long been a part of the Clarke experience, we aim to bring them to life in new ways to support our students and employees of today and tomorrow.


  • Reinvigorate Clarke’s mission, educational legacy, and Catholic and BVM heritage in its programs and services
  • Establish durable organizational structures and leadership capacity to articulate and model our mission and core values
  • Enhance a culture of inclusion, belonging, and wellness for all at Clarke

Goal 2: Empower Student Success

Clarke has a proud tradition of supporting students’ minds, bodies, and spirits. Our student body is diverse, and as a generation is digitally native and more aware of their needs for social belonging and mental health support. To empower student success, we will embrace holistic initiatives that meet and respect students where they are with knowledge, skills, expectations, and aspirations.


  • Increase and enrich student engagement in academics, co-curricular activities, and residential communities
  • Engage students through holistic advising, academic support, and career preparation
  • Adapt and modernize facilities and technology platforms to meet student needs

Goal 3: Sustain Institutional Vitality

To be vital as an institution we must be improving constantly, maintaining financial stability, and progressing with the times to prepare our students for the world they enter upon graduation. That means our academic and co-curricular programming as well as our facilities are modern and create value for students, employees, alumni, community members, and visitors. Ask anyone at Clarke and they will tell you it is the people that make our campus special. In that regard, our vitality is enhanced through deliberate initiatives that allow everyone to thrive.


  • Refine current and create new multi-disciplinary academic offerings that create value, opportunity, and growth for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni
  • Increase and sustain student enrollment
  • Recruit, retain, and invest in employees
  • Engrain processes and feedback loops for continuous improvement
  • Continue responsible and effective stewardship of resources including philanthropic support for scholarships, faculty and staff awards, professorships, chairs, and capital needs

Goal 4: Cultivate a Lasting Legacy

To speak about Clarke’s future is to connect with its past. Mary Frances Clarke instructed the sisters to “incite” the students to think for themselves and by extension, become leaders.  This legacy drives our future so that all those touched by Clarke carry forward a culture of leadership and compassion into their communities.


  • Impact the greater Dubuque community through engagement and leadership
  • Foster increased alumni engagement and affinity with Clarke (“Clarke is for life”)
  • Empower the Clarke community – trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni – to be culture carriers of our values and heritage

Four-Phase Plan for Clarke University

Over the next 18 months, the following four-phase plan covers the essential steps for our strategic plan progress:

Phase 1 (Jan-Feb 2023)
Focus on communications, developing a shared vision, and establishing plans for enrollment, retention, and student support

Phase 2 (Mar-Jul 2023)
Assess academic and athletic offerings, and academic advising, and how these areas align with the Strategic Plan and budget

Phase 3 (Aug-Dec 2023)
Successfully complete our HLC accreditation visit, review the university’s financial status and capital needs, and explore retention initiatives for faculty and staff

Phase 4 (Jan-Dec 2024)
Lead strategic partnerships and community outreach that ensure a successful transition to the new president

Strategic Planning & Budget Committee Members

Kent Anderson, Bill Biebuyck, Julie Cirks, Callie Clark, Catherine Dunn, Amy Errthum, William Gregory, Steven Kirschbaum, Steve Kapelke, Fletcher Lamkin, Tami Lansing, Susanne Leibold, Curt Long, Amanda Matson, Beth McGrath, Jody Pfohl, Cathy Schulze, Kathleen Sinclair, Cathy Stierman, Jody Wolfe, and Kate Zanger

Strategic Planning Facilitator
Mariann Kurtz Weber