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Sister Sue Sanders, RSM, Appointed Vice President for University Mission and Heritage

New office created as part of proposals generated through Saint Xavier's strategic planning process

CHICAGO (May 26, 2004) -- Saint Xavier University today announced the appointment of Sister Susan M. Sanders, RSM, Ph.D. as Vice President for University Mission and Heritage. Sister Sanders will continue to serve as director of Saint Xavier's Center for Religion and Public Discourse, which she co-founded in 2001 , and as associate professor in both the Department of History and Political Science and the Graham School of Management.

“At Saint Xavier, everybody is ‘on' for mission when it comes to the teaching and learning activities of the university ,” Sister Sanders said. “People here have been focused on mission, doing it very well since 1846. We've established ourselves as a high-quality academic institution that is actively engaged in service to the community. This office gives us an opportunity to enhance our mission, to strengthen our Catholic identity and to draw even more consciously on the values of the Sisters of Mercy – especially those of compassion, hospitality and service.”

The new office of University Mission and Heritage was created as part of proposals generated through Saint Xavier University's strategic planning process, which – in one component – examined the university's mission, integrity, Catholic identity and sponsorship. Launched in October, the strategic planning process studied all aspects of the university, with teams issuing reports earlier this month. Strategic directions were identified to and approved by the university's Board of Trustees at a board meeting on May 12.

The primary goal of the office of University Mission and Heritage is to assist the Saint Xavier community in creating a university-wide ethos that – in its curricula, operations, programs and interactions with others – supports, enlivens and makes visible the university's core values, its mission of teaching and learning , its Catholic identity and its Mercy heritage.

“Our core values – respect, excellence, compassion, service, hospitality, integrity, diversity and learning for life – are integral to the continued success, future advancement and very life of the university,” said President Judith A. Dwyer. “Sister Sue Sanders possesses excellent credentials for this position and I look forward to working with her to further fortify Saint Xavier's mission, values and heritage.”

Within her current work at the university, Sister Sanders has provided a number of opportunities for the university and the local community to engage in informed conversations about important topics related to faith, organized belief systems, spirituality, religion and values. As director of the Center for Religion and Public Discourse, Sister Sanders developed and coordinated such programs as the “Squeaky Weal” lecture series; the “Still, Small Voice” celebration of peace and non-violence and “God Matters,” an award-winning radio program featured twice-weekly on WXAV and syndicated in California. Through the program, Sister Sanders has worked to advance intelligent and respectful conversations and scholarship on important economic, political, social, scientific and cultural issues.

Receiving her Ph.D. from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago in 1991, Sister Sanders has taught at Chicago's Mother McAuley High School; the University of California-Berkeley; the University of Chicago, and before coming to Saint Xavier in 2001, at DePaul University, where she was an associate professor of the Public Services Graduate Program for 11 years.

Widely published in academic policy and trade journals, Sister Sanders' scholarly work focuses on the nonprofit sector and the economic and social contributions such organizations make to the common good. Her book, The Invisible Peril: Teen Dating Violence , addresses the causes and consequences of teen dating violence and presents survey data collected from 499 female Catholic high school students.

A member of the Sisters of Mercy since 1973, Sister Sanders said she looks forward to embarking on her new position and to the dialogues, activities, collaborations and service in which she will engage the university community.

“Saint Xavier University has experienced enormous growth and change over the past decade. Even amid this change, our mission and values have remained constant,” Sister Sanders said. “I hope to help the university as it works toward identifying its guiding principles and ideas and putting them to work in every facet of university life.”