As we near the end of the academic year, I would like to provide the community with an update on the university’s strategic planning process.

Strategic Directions
In September 2000, the board of trustees approved eight strategic directions for the University of St. Thomas. Significant progress has been made on each of these directions.

A sample of this year’s undertakings include:

  • The third “Managing in a Catholic University” seminar is in process with 17 participants.
  • The University Diversity Steering Committee unveiled the Five-Year Diversity Plan in October 2002 .
  • The largest freshman class to date enrolled in fall 2002.
  • Graduate Professional and Adult Student Services Council (GPASSC) developed a core of consistent policies for graduate students.
  • Eight new faculty positions were approved for the FY ’04 budget.
  • The university has met the budgetary challenge by closely monitoring expense levels.
  • Full implementation of the portal and course-management Web sites began in fall 2002.
  • Alumni/Development module of Banner went live on March 3, 2003.

To review the full progress on the strategic directions, please click here.

As a result of ongoing assessment of the strategic directions, two additional areas for which strategic directions are being developed are Academic Excellence and Staff Development. Recommendations for these directions will be presented to the Executive Vice President’s Cabinet this summer with final proposals to be submitted to the board of trustees at its October planning meeting.

Strategic Initiative Proposals
With three cycles of planning complete and a fourth under way, more than 200 Strategic Initiative Proposals (SIPs) have been submitted and reviewed.

  • In FY ’02, 12 Sips were funded at $285,200 with an additional $500,000 budgeted for faculty salary equity.
  • In FY ’03, 12 Sips were funded at $503,590 with another $500,000 for faculty salary equity plus $400,000 for new faculty hires.
  • In FY ’04, six Sips will be funded at a budget of $437,909.

Many of the Strategic Initiative Proposals approved through the Action Plan stage are longer-term projects requiring funding via Institutional Advancement and/or inclusion in the next capital campaign. As the EVP Cabinet reviewed these proposals, key themes emerged and from these themes “Planning Priorities for the Future” have been developed:

  • Increase the affordability of the University of St. Thomas, thus ensuring that both undergraduate and graduate education is accessible to students who cannot attend the university without financial assistance.
  • Support an outstanding faculty commensurate with our academic aspirations.
  • Remodel and add facilities in line with the campus master plan.
  • Provide a high level of quality information resources, technology and instructional media in support of teaching and learning and the administrative functions of the institution; establish priorities for the allocation of resources to support on-line programs.

To review these priorities and their accompanying initiatives, click here.

Campus Master Plan
The Campus Master Plan has three components: Minneapolis campus, the Summit Avenue Project and the St. Paul campus.

Master campus planning for the St. Paul campus continues with communitywide consultation and with assistance of consultant Richard Dober. Eleven potential projects have been identified on the St. Paul campus including a new campus center and additional residence facilities. At this time no final decisions have been made. To review the St. Paul campus plan components, click here.

Construction of the School of Law building and parking ramp continues on schedule and within budget. A committee currently is working on new space-allocation plans for Terrence Murphy Hall that will result from the move of all School of Law offices; another committee is planning the new Schulze Hall that will house the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, part of the College of Business.

Plans for the Summit Avenue development call for two academic buildings on the south side
of Summit, a residential village and underground parking. For more information about the plans, click here.

Future Steps
As we move forward with ongoing planning, we will continue to develop and refine specific proposals and the key themes that have emerged. In addition, you soon will receive suggestions for improving the year-end review and planning process based on our experiences to date with this process and the feedback Rosemary Miklitsch, associate director for planning, has received from those responsible for submitting these reports.

Thank you for your involvement in the strategic planning process. I am grateful for the progress we have made as a university community. I look forward to seeing more fully the results of our strategic decisions in the coming year as well as working with you as we continue to define the next stages of the process.