I am pleased to present to you the Strategic Directions that the board of trustees approved on Thursday, Sept. 21, and Father Dennis Dease announced last Friday.
These Directions are the direct result of intensive work on the part of many members of the community, including the Study Groups and the Executive Vice President’s Cabinet. The Strategic Directions are a statement of our priorities that will focus our strategic planning efforts in the coming months. As such, they set before us both a guide and a challenge. In the coming weeks there will be several opportunities for dialogues about the impact and implications of the Strategic Directions. Dates and locations will be announced in the Bulletin Today.
Please visit the strategic planning Web site for complete background information about the Strategic Directions, including the recommendations made by each of the study groups. The site also contains information about the next steps in the strategic planning process.
The University of St. Thomas is poised to become an outstanding Catholic urban university, as indicated by our commitment to excellence and the challenges we have accepted. I invite and encourage your participation in the strategic planning process.
University of St. Thomas Strategic Directions adopted Sept. 21, 2000
The Catholic identity of the University of St. Thomas will be seen through its continuing engagement with and examination of the Catholic social, intellectual and spiritual tradition; its embracing of the complexity and diversity of the meaning of Catholicism; the commitment of all parts of the university to active exploration of the contributions they might make to the strengthening of values-based education for our students; and its unique mission as an urban university.
The University of St. Thomas will continue its efforts to enhance the diversity of the institution at all levels and to cultivate a climate on all campuses that will support and nurture diversity initiatives. Immediate attention will be given to the following:
Enrollment — Undergraduate
In recognition of the fact that our academic reputation is, in part, judged on the academic profile of each incoming class, the University of St. Thomas commits itself to the development of strategies that will result in the incremental improvement of the academic profile.
In our commitment to a high-quality, liberal arts education, a supportive campus environment and our recognition of fiscal realities, the University of St. Thomas commits itself to a day undergraduate enrollment cap of 5,500 (FTE) students on the St. Paul campus. The size of the new freshman and transfer classes will be strategically planned each year based on academic profile, resource (human and facilities) availability and market potential.
The University of St. Thomas is committed to excellence in its graduate programs. In support of this excellence, the university will reorganize services to create a common administrative center for the sharing of resources and costs in such areas as inquiry management, application processing and marketing communications, while recognizing the unique nature of each graduate program.
The University of St. Thomas will focus faculty resource support upon effective teaching that is informed and enriched by a productive scholarly agenda.
Finances and Facilities
The University of St. Thomas will implement a multi-year operating and capital budgeting process that incorporates the guiding principles of prudent fiscal management. The revised process will evaluate current and proposed programs and initiatives against the strategic priorities of the university and, where applicable, reallocate funds and/or reprioritize programs consistent with those strategic objectives.
The facilities planning process will:
Facility construction will be fully funded by philanthropy whenever possible. Building construction should be undertaken only when a source of funding for operations and maintenance has been identified.
Technology: Online Learning
Building on the knowledge gained by successful delivery of online programs, the University of St. Thomas will commit resources to distance education/online
learning. These resources will be expended in a manner consistent with the mission of the institution, good pedagogy, and the criticality of on-line learning to the survival of programs. The decision to provide online programs should be made only after thorough research, market analysis and benchmarking to ensure that the university offers unique and viable programs. Priorities will be established with the following principles in mind:
Technology: Organizational Structure
The University of St. Thomas commits itself to providing the highest level of quality information resources, technology and instructional media in support of teaching and learning and the administrative functions of the institution. To that end it will: