President Julie Sullivan has discussed the possibility of a new vision statement for St. Thomas since she arrived on campus last summer, and now she wants to hear from you.

Sullivan asks faculty, staff and students to join her for a brown bag luncheon at noon Monday, Dec. 9, in O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on the St. Paul campus to review three vision statement alternatives developed by a task force.

The brown bag will be live streamed to Room 201-202, Opus Hall, on the Minneapolis campus. Bring your own lunch. (Food will be allowed in OEC auditorium.) Beverages and cookies will be provided at both locations. There is no need to RSVP.

“I love our mission statement, and our convictions (core values) are timeless,” Sullivan said. “But I believe our vision statement can be updated to better reflect the university that we aspire to become.”

Sullivan expects the updated vision statement, in conjunction with the mission statement and convictions, to guide the university’s strategic planning process in 2014.

Here is the existing vision statement, which was written in 2004, when St. Thomas also rewrote its mission statement and convictions:

“We seek to be a recognized leader in Catholic higher education that excels in effective teaching, active learning, scholarly research and responsible engagement with the local community as well as with the national and global communities in which we live.”

Here are the three alternative vision statements drafted by the task force:

  • The University of St. Thomas, a recognized national leader in Catholic higher education, will prepare students for the complexities of the 21st century through interdisciplinary and multicultural inquiries that inspire them for leadership, work and service vital to the betterment of local and global communities.
  • Integrating Catholic social thought with the liberal arts, the University of St. Thomas will be recognized as a national leader in Catholic higher education. It will provide excellence and innovation in teaching, research and learning that lead to the formation of ethical and engaged citizens who will create a better world.
  • Educating students for the complexities of the 21st century through interdisciplinary and multicultural inquiry, the University of St. Thomas will be known nationally in Catholic higher education for excellence and innovation in teaching, research and learning, leading to the transformation of lives, communities and society.

The Vision Statement Task Force has met since mid-September. Doug Hennes, University Relations, and Dr. Susan Alexander, President’s Office, are co-chairs. Other task force members are Dr. Jane Canney, Student Affairs; Dr. Corrine Carvalho, Theology; Dr. Michael Cogan, Institutional Effectiveness; Dr. Mari Ann Graham, Institutional Diversity; Sara Gross Methner, General Counsel’s Office and Human Resources; Dr. Terence Langan, College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Mark Neuzil, Communication and Journalism; Dr. Rich Rexeisen, Opus College of Business; and Rob Vischer, School of Law.

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