Creighton University's new president praised enrollment growth and strong programs Thursday while pushing for better diversity efforts and more global engagement.
The Rev. Daniel Hendrickson spoke at his first Founders Week convocation since he took over as Creighton's president last July.
Hendrickson said the university has seen consistent growth in enrollment despite a competitive climate. He said the number of students in the Heider College of Business has nearly doubled during the past three years.
The sense of community has grown, too, Hendrickson said, and there is a strong sense of investment in Creighton's Jesuit identity.
But he asked for input in making that community more diverse among students and faculty.
"Our freshman class may be distinctively geographically, culturally and socially diverse, but that is in comparison to previous classes," Hendrickson said. "Our strides have not been strong enough."
Hendrickson said he plans to create the position of diversity officer to oversee the university's efforts and progress.
A global initiatives program that he announced last year has begun taking applications from students and faculty for about $2 million in seed money for ideas that will promote global engagement in Omaha and abroad.
Hendrickson also announced plans to renovate the pedestrian mall between 24th Street and the Harper Center, supported by a $2.5 million federal grant, and the 2016 commencement speaker: the Rev. James Martin, a prominent Jesuit writer.