Director's CHEC Reflection

image of susan fergusonIn October 2007, Dr. Lee Shulman, then president of the Carnegie Foundation, offered to host a conversation that would explore ways for Catholic higher education to better support P-12 Catholic schools.  The Carnegie Conversation, as it came to be known, involved representatives from Catholic higher education, Catholic school systems, diocesan staff, the National Catholic Educational Association, and philanthropic interests. The Catholic Higher Education Collaborative (CHEC) emerged from this initial meeting and sponsored a conference series that would include six additional meetings to address topics critical to the survival of Catholic schools.

Dr. Tom Hunt, Fellow at the University of Dayton Center for Catholic Education, and Rev. Ron Nuzzi,  Senior Director of ACE RISE in the Alliance for the Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame, were influential in bringing the University of Dayton to CHEC  conversations.  Representation from the University of Dayton at CHEC meetings began at the meeting in 2010 at Boston College.  After attending the 2013 CHEC meeting at Notre Dame, which concerned Catholic school financing and focused principally on challenges, opportunities, and solutions, Susan Ferguson, Director of the UD Center for Catholic Education, was asked to write a reflection that appears in the September 2014 Journal of Catholic Education.

Below are the dates, themes, and host colleges and universities for the conference series.

January 2009
Catholic Schools and the Immigrant Church: Lessons from the Past and a Bridge to the Future
Loyola Marymount University and the University of San Francisco

October 2009
Developing and Sustaining Leaders for Catholic Schools: How Can Catholic Higher Education Help?
Loyola University Chicago 

October 2010
Catholic Schools: Schools of Academic Excellence
Boston College and Fordham University

October 2011
Catholic Identity in Catholic Schools
The Catholic University of America

October 2012
Facilitating Effective Structures and Governance
The Greater Milwaukee Catholic Education Consortium: Marquette University, Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University, Marian University, and Mount Mary College

September 2013
Catholic School Financing
University of Notre Dame