Discovery and Innovation in Graduate and Professional Education Initiative


Adapt curricula and research support systems to provide competitive, mission-resonant graduate and professional programs that respond to societal needs, new market climates, and horizons of discovery.

A graphic of three concentric circles with the inner and outer two circles grayed out and one-fifth of the middle circle titled Discovery and Innovation in Graduate and Professional Education

Rationale and Strategic Approach

LMU's identity has long centered on our undergraduate programs, even while we have achieved distinction in signature areas of professional education (including law and education) and expanded into new areas of doctoral (educational leadership for social justice), master's degree and non-degree/certificate study. The education graduate students require in order to respond effectively to the world's complex needs is shifting rapidly. This presents an opportunity for LMU to fulfill the Jesuit imperative of meeting people where they are by making our graduate and professional education programs more responsive to the changing external environment and more effective in promoting research and discovery in distinctive areas of strength and promise. Increasingly, our reputation, rankings, and public profile will require us to sustain academic excellence and enrollment success in key graduate and professional fields. Selectively strengthening and expanding our graduate and professional education offerings can also help diversify revenues and add alternative sources of increased enrollment. Taking a more innovative and focused approach to graduate and professional education can further enhance the university's overall academic quality and extend its impact on the world.

  • Actions

    • Establish a revolving source of competitive seed funding to assist colleges and schools in developing innovative new graduate and professional programs en route to establishing long-term fiscal sustainability.
    • In collaboration with faculty, adapt the academic review process and program governance structures for graduate/professional program to encourage innovation and responsiveness to emerging opportunities while sustaining academic quality.
    • Revise existing budget frameworks and establish appropriate incentives that promote academic innovation, market-responsiveness, and enrollment growth.
    • Increase and systematize LMU's use of relevant market research and data-based decision-making about proposed and existing graduate programs.
    • Foster mission-distinctiveness and enhance mission integration in graduate and professional program curricula and student life.
    • Set clear expectations and data benchmarks to increase graduate enrollments.
  • Actions

    • Enhance university research grant infrastructure (sponsored projects and professional development) for faculty and graduate students.
    • Evaluate current support for graduate student success and research opportunities for graduate students and invest in key support structures.
    • Stabilize current doctoral program enrollments to ensure we meet requirements for national university status.
    • In dialogue with faculty, determine whether to add new research doctoral programs and/or convert selected existing research master's programs to doctoral programs.
    • In collaboration with faculty, develop a coherent overall portfolio of selected research-degree master's programs, interdisciplinary graduate/professional offerings, and market-distinctive graduate online/hybrid programs, and establish appropriate infrastructure to support academic quality for the new portfolio of programs.