To ensure that the mission permeates every aspect of the University, the president has established three endowed chairs whose function is to articulate, promote, and make manifest St. Catherine's tripartite mission — Catholic, women, and liberal arts — throughout the curriculum and co-curriculum: the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Endowed Chair for Catholic Identity; the Sister Alberta M. Huber, CSJ Endowed Chair for Liberal Arts; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Endowed Chair for Women's Education.
In September 2011, the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Endowed Chair for Catholic Identity was the first chair to be established and serves as a model for the other chairs. Its
programmatic component, the Myser Initiative in Catholic Identity, has been in place since 2005 and was established to:
- devise an orientation program to help new faculty understand the meaning of faculty work at a Catholic institution;
- bring highly acclaimed Catholic intellectual leaders to campus;
- offer an annual summer institute to help faculty revise and improve their courses to more explicitly reflect the Catholic intellectual tradition and Catholic social teaching;
- offer an annual retreat program for faculty and Student affairs staff;
- facilitate participation in Collegium, a national initiative for faculty of Catholic colleges
- assist staff to reflect on St. Catherine's Catholic identity as it applies to their specific responsibilities; and to
- develop a program to serve as a model for other Catholic colleges and universities.
In short, the Archbishop Flynn Endowed Chair and the Myser Initiative have been quite active and highly visible in generating awareness and conversation relating St. Catherine's Catholic roots to its institutional identity and mission.
As chairs for women's education and for the liberal arts become fully active, a similar array of programs and events will help faculty and students better understand each element of the mission, as well as how all three mission elements integrate to become facets of a single whole. Taken together, these three endowed chairs for mission constitute St. Catherine's signature effort in imbuing the St. Catherine educational experience with a deep understanding of Catholic thought, liberal learning, and their integrated role in educating women to lead and influence.