University Programs deans to promote Holy Cross mission

Marianne Hopper stepped down from her position as dean of University Programs following 35 years of working for the university. Cory Lock is the current interim dean, with Susan Loughran serving as associate dean.

While Lock is taking a break from teaching students, she will still serve on the School Committee, whose duties include nominating and evaluating St. Edward’s University faculty members.

The website of University Programs states that it is dedicated to “developing innovative ways to incorporate moral reasoning, civic engagement, social justice initiatives and global understanding across the curriculum.”

The general education classes all students take such as Freshmen Studies, a majority of the Cultural Foundations, CULF, courses, Capstone and the Honors Program are under the jurisdiction of University Programs. However, University Programs is, more importantly, in charge of representing the St. Edward’s community and the Holy Cross mission, Loughran said.

“As a student you may not see it, but there is a huge layer of management to keep all of  the general education courses running efficiently at a consistent, high-quality level,” Lock said. 

The purpose of Capstone is sometimes misunderstood by students.

“I do not think students are always directly aware of the university’s mission or how important it is as a part of the liberal arts education,” Lock said.

St. Edward’s is dedicated to making sure all students learn the importance of social justice and ethical reasoning.

“I want general education classes to foster even more awareness of our university’s mission. These classes embody that and are constructed to help students achieve,” Lock said. “Our Holy Cross heritage makes us distinct from other universities and it encourages us to develop further.”

St. Edward’s mission statement results in a commitment and fidelity to an idea of global community and humanism. The CULF courses not only fulfill the Holy Cross mission but also help prepare students for more than just job applications and office etiquette. This is what University Programs works to instill in students every day.

“It is easier to have a positive view on a class that is personally chosen. We feel strongly that the classes [CULF and Capstone requirements] can be very enriching. They might even be more valuable than the classes your major requires,” Loughran said, who  shared that she studied theater in college and has now been a part of general education studies for 20 years.

There are many offices and resources working for the students and faculty of St. Edward’s on campus, but University Programs is specific to emphasizing the importance of general education.