The University of St. Thomas has a new strategic plan, “St. Thomas 2020: Living Our Mission, Expanding Our Horizon.”
Unanimously approved Nov. 20 by the St. Thomas Board of Trustees, the plan provides a vision that will “enhance our strengths and position us to better prepare students for the complexities of the contemporary world,” President Julie Sullivan says in a video message.
The university’s new vision statement says:
“The University of St. Thomas, a Catholic comprehensive urban university, is known nationally for academic excellence that prepares students for the complexities of the contemporary world. Through disciplinary and interdisciplinary inquiry and deep intercultural understanding, we inspire students to lead, work and serve with the skill and empathy vital to creating a better world.”
The strategic plan includes five themes as developed by a Strategic Planning Steering Committee and eight subcommittees. The themes are:
- Excellence in Learning and Student Engagement
- Education Informed by Catholic Mission
- Diversity and Inclusive Culture
- One University
Eight priorities emerged from the themes. Eight task forces will develop initiatives that address and achieve the priorities, with members to be named to the task forces this month and in January. The eight priorities are:
- Educating for the Future
- Flexible Pathways into UST, Within UST and to the Job Market
- Enhanced Visibility and Profile
- Global Connections
- Embracing our Differences as One Human Family
- Catholic-Inspired Community Engagement
- Integrated and Expanded Health and Wellness Programs
- Integrated Planning
In an email to faculty, staff and students, Sullivan repeated the words “we are poised,” which she has used on several occasions since she became president in July 2013.
“So why do I believe we are ‘poised’?” she asked in the email. “My belief starts with you. As faculty and staff, you bring remarkable talent and unwavering commitment to provide the best possible education and to fulfill our mission to educate morally responsible leaders ‘who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good.’ As students, you embrace that challenge – to grow into the leaders of tomorrow – with a brilliant energy and keenness that refreshes my soul every single day."
Sullivan thanked the hundreds of faculty, staff, students, trustees and alumni who participated in meetings and presentations over the past year and provided regular feedback throughout the process. She singled out Drs. Corrine Carvalho and Michael Cogan for their “exceptional leadership” of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee.
“Much work remains to be done, and some would say that the real job is just beginning,” she wrote, reflecting on how her first year as president signaled the beginning of a new “journey” for St. Thomas.
“We would need a road map, which would be our strategic plan,” she wrote. “We now walk together on this journey into an exciting and rewarding future. Please join me on the journey and help us live our mission and expand our horizon.”