Student-lead Strategic Plan Forum:

Members of the Panel

Ryan Foster, Jared Cutts, Patrick Winter, Amanda Post, William Beardmore


1   How was the student task force members chosen? 

  • Over 100 people applied, and it was narrowed down to 15 people who were chosen by the Strategic Plan Task Force

2   How many Task Forces are there? What are the task forces dealing with when they are implemented? 

  • There are 8 task forces that tackle major priorities on campus.

The strategic plan includes five themes as developed by a Strategic Planning Steering Committee and eight subcommittees. The themes are:

1                   Excellence in Learning and Student Engagement

2                   Education Informed by Catholic Mission

3                   Diversity and Inclusive Culture

4                   Globalization

5                   One University


Eight priorities emerged from the themes, and eight task forces will develop initiatives that address and achieve the priorities. They are:

1                   Educating for the Future

2                   Flexible Pathways into UST, Within UST and to the Job Market

3                   Enhanced Visibility and Profile

4                   Global Connections

5                   Embracing our Differences as One Human Family

6                   Catholic-Inspired Community Engagement

7                   Integrated and Expanded Health and Wellness Programs

8                   Integrated Planning


3   What is the makeup of the task forces? Do they work together? 

  • The task forces are co-chaired by 2 people and work closely together

4   Do the task forces have money that can be used to implement their goals? 

  • The University is going through a comprehensive review of the budget, aiming to better spend our money towards the 8 priorities. 

5  Why did St. Thomas rebrand? 

  • To better determine who St. Thomas is during the present and for the future. This Plan is creating a globally identifiable brand for St. Thomas.
  • The rebranding was chosen to be implemented first and serves as a stepping-stone for future development. 
  • It plays off of St. Thomas’ strengths and diminishes our weaknesses. All of this helps give St. Thomas an advantage amongst the collegiate world. 

6   Can you talk more about the "Flexible Pathways” in St. Thomas’ priorities? 

  • St. Thomas is currently reevaluating the way credits are transferred, trying to ease the transition from other schools into St. Thomas. 
  • Flexibility within UST is also covered, including possible hybrid courses.

7   Will allowing more transfer credits devaluate my St. Thomas degree? 

  • No, we wouldn't be reducing the standards, but rather building relationships with other local universities to evaluate classes and ensure that credit is given where credit is deserved. 

8   Is the core curriculum being looked at? 

  • Yes, the core classes are being reevaluated to determine what is essential to a St. Thomas graduate. This core helps prepare students to be well rounded and balanced individuals—all bundled up in a St. Thomas degree.
  • The core plays an essential role in developing global students. The world is globalizing, and so should the students. 
  • Essentially St. Thomas is reverse-engineering what they think an ideal St. Thomas graduate should be and then selecting the courses based on that. 

9   What is the "Integrated and Expanded Health and Wellness Programs"? 

  • We will likely be adding more health programs. We are looking into possible options of what to offer. 
  • This has the potential to change a lot about St. Thomas, since Health programs could change the student population makeup. 

10  Have you looked into partnering with St. Catherine’s for a combined nursing school? 

  • St. Thomas is connecting with alumni and other local professionals to see how St. Thomas could best offer these Health Programs. 

11  How can students get involved? 

  • Check your emails. The feedback from surveys that are sent out to students is taken into consideration when implementing plans, so make sure you complete them.  There are also a lot of resources online that can be found to aid student engagement.
  • Student voices are being heard across the University, even though it might not be obvious. Faculty is constantly giving feedback from students. Student representatives are on many committees across campus. The examples are endless!

USG is dedicated to advocating student concerns. Comprised of 40 representatives from student organizations and each class, the USG council members work with  faculty, staff, administration, and other students in an effort to promote positive change and foster the St. Thomas identity.

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