Board approves strategic priorities; implementation to begin

Board approves strategic priorities; implementation to begin

It is a pleasure for me to announce that the St. Thomas Board of Trustees, at its May 4 meeting, approved in concept the document, “Strategic Priorities:  Planning for the Future.”  

You may remember that last fall I proposed three themes, “Access,” “Excellence” and “Catholic Identity,” as major directions for our next round of strategic planning.  At that time, I also appointed a task force, under the leadership of Dr. Gene Scapanski, to direct this effort. That task force is composed of representatives of the St. Thomas community:  faculty, staff, students, and alumni/ae.   The purpose of the task force is to assist in the development and implementation of new strategic priorities that will translate our recently revised mission statement into action, guide our planning for the next three to five years, and provide a platform for our next capital campaign.

Over the past academic year, members of that task force have met eight times in plenary sessions plus numerous additional times in working-group meetings. They have solicited input from academic and administrative units, student groups and alumni. They also have developed a draft of priorities and have held two university listening sessions. The board’s unanimous approval of the task force’s work concludes Phase I of the strategic planning process and moves us into Phase II: implementation. 

Implementation will be gradual. Since various units of the institution already have planning processes in place, under the leadership of the executive vice presidents they will begin to incorporate these priorities this year into their existing plans. The task force will assist us in that process and develop resources for full implementation a year from now. It is my hope that each of us will become familiar with the priorities and their “indicators of achievement” and find ways to advance them through our personal goals for the coming year.

The document: “Strategic Priorities:  Planning for the Future,” can be downloaded online from the Office for Mission Web site.

I would like to thank everyone in the community who participated in the discussions over the past year that led to the formulation of these priorities.   In a special way, I want to acknowledge the excellent leadership of Dr. Gene Scapanski and the members of the task force and express my appreciation for their outstanding work in bringing us to this point.  The members are:

Nominated by Faculty Affairs Committee:

  • Tom Fish, School of Education
  • Rick Goheen, School of Law  
  • Steve Hatting, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Nathan Jithendranathan, College of Business
  • Skip Nolan, Graduate School of Professional Psychology
  • Sister Katarina Schuth, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity

Unit Representatives (Nominated by):

  • John Bannigan (Alumni Board)
  • Jane Canney, Student Affairs (AAL)
  • Linda Halverson, exempt staff ( EVPs)
  • Isaac Huss, undergraduate student (All College Council)
  • Sam Levy, Information Resources and Technology (AAL)
  • Chris Puto, College of Business (AAL)
  • Pat Reinhardt, non-exempt Staff (Staff Council)
  • Steve Steffey, graduate student (Graduate and Professional Services)
  • Gene Scapanski, Office for Mission, chair (ex officio)
  • Helen Hunter, Office for Mission, (ex officio)