Academic Powerhouse

Goal: Offer a liberal arts education that is among the finest in the world and be recognized broadly for doing so.

Students lined up at graduation


  • Charge the Provost with collaborating with the faculty to develop an Academic Excellence Strategic Plan.
  • Deliver an exceptional student learning environment and experience centered in inclusive excellence.
  • Provide every student with a meaningful pathway to postgraduate success.
  • Build the reputation and visibility of Holy Cross as an academic powerhouse and a diverse intellectual community.
  • Develop and implement strategies for increasing our national and international presence and leveraging financial aid effectively.
Elliot Visconsi
Meet Our Leadership Team
Elliott Visconsi '95, Provost and Dean of the College

Elliott Visconsi leads the strategy and implementation behind our Academic Powerhouse initiatives. An academic leader and class of 1995 alumnus, he joined Holy Cross in 2023 as our new Provost and Dean of the College.

Highlighting Progress

Since announcing our Aspire plan, we've gathered our community together to identify a framework for answering some of our core academic objectives. Here's some of what we've accomplished so far:

Improved Rankings

Earned #27 on the US News & World Report rankings—up from #33 in 2023 and #35 in 2022.

New Classroom Spaces

Invested in flexible new classroom spaces for use in Spring 2024. These spaces will support active learning and effective pedagogy. 

Launched Strategic Planning Process

Surveyed faculty in October 2023 and held an initial faculty-wide planning workshop in January 2024 to share learnings and identify next steps. Input from diverse stakeholders will inform our new academic strategy.

Leadership Changes

Restructured the Provost’s Office to increase support and capacity for faculty leadership in academic affairs. New leaders include a Dean of Faculty (with strategic and operational responsibilities) and a Dean of Faculty Development (to elevate and expand initiatives that enable and support faculty excellence). The Dean of Education and Academic Experience (formerly the Dean of Experiential Learning and Student Success) will oversee the student-facing and educational policy portfolio for the College. 

Research & Development Opportunities

Created permanent research and professional development accounts and recurring annual budgets to enable tenure and tenure-track scholarship and development. Streamlined processes to support scholarly activity. Strengthening this infrastructure is a top near-term priority. 

Town Hall Updates

On October 4, 2023, a Town Hall was held to provide updates from our leadership team on each of the six pillars of our Aspire strategic plan.

Get Involved

If you have a question about Aspire or a suggestion or idea related to one of its aims, we invite you to review the plan and share your thoughts.