2025 Strategic Plan


The University of St. Thomas continually pursues innovation and progress in a rapidly changing world. Our powerful mission for the common good drives our passion for student- centered academic excellence and service to the community. Our educational distinction relies on outstanding faculty, a vibrant liberal arts foundation, professional graduate programs and the ability to stay nimble and relevant. Building on these strengths, St. Thomas is now poised to expand the impact of its mission. impact

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is an ambitious, yet focused, five-year strategic plan designed to propel the university toward a new level of impact. It will help St. Thomas recommit to ongoing priorities and embrace new opportunities. Recent achievements, implemented as a result of the last five-year strategic plan, include: ▶ Creation of the Dougherty Family College ▶ Launch of the Center for the Common Good ▶ Founding of the Morrison Family College of Health

▶ Nearly $100 million in philanthropic gifts to scholarships ▶ Establishment of a new undergraduate core curriculum ▶ New resources and integrated support for students through the Center for Well-Being, Veterans’ Resource Center, the Center for Student Achievement and the Intercultural Center ▶ Opening of the Iversen Center for Faith and renovation of the historic Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas ▶ Opening of two new residence halls

“Not only will this five-year plan help us strengthen what we do best, it will encourage us to leverage new opportunities, gain stature and continue to thrive in an increasingly challenging and competitive landscape for higher education.” - President Julie Sullivan

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will guide the university as it continues to offer a personalized, distinctive and relevant academic experience while embracing innovation.

Thriving universities must navigate many challenges and opportunities in an ever-changing higher- education landscape: Demographic shifts. The overall pool of high school graduates is shrinking, and more students are entering college with greater financial needs. Additionally, incoming classes will be increasingly racially diverse. Disparities. Left unaddressed, racial and economic opportunity gaps that plague Minnesota will impact higher education and weaken our economic competitiveness as a region. Concerns about Value. More than ever, society is challenging higher education’s “value proposition” as concerns about access and affordability grow. Increased Competition. The availability of online experiences and shorter, flexible and blended degree and certificate programs puts pressure on the traditional higher education model. Workforce Demands. To meet employers’ needs, graduates must possess relevant technical know- how, principled leadership skills and abilities to work across differences in a global and increasingly diverse world. Workforce Shortages. Gaps in engineering, health care, data analytics, STEM and interdisciplinary fields demand that we nimbly respond. Post-Pandemic Learnings. Our ability to adapt to new models of teaching and working, as shown during the pandemic, can improve how we respond to student needs and underscores efficiencies that can be implemented permanently.

OUR MISSION Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.

OUR 10-YEAR ASPIRATION The University of St. Thomas will advance to the level of excellence, impact and reputation that distinguishes the top 10 national Catholic universities.

“St. Thomas has been on a trajectory of innovation and growth and is now positioned to broaden its reach. Our momentum and increased visibility fuel a unique opportunity to grow in prominence as a leading Catholic university making transformational impacts.”


- Patrick G. Ryan, Chair of the Board of Trustees

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STRATEGIC THEMES The following themes, created with community input, will guide the university over the next five years, helping us remain true to what makes St. Thomas unique while empowering us to embrace opportunities that will help us thrive. Ever Press Forward through Innovation We will innovate, grow and excel in ways that align with our educational mission and vision to provide relevant and continuous learning for Tommie leaders of today and tomorrow. In the next five years, St. Thomas will offer new world-class educational experiences, pursue new degree and non-degree programs, and adapt existing programs to meet the needs of an ever-changing world. Build Belonging and Promote Equity We will become a university characterized by radical hospitality and a shared sense of belonging where all are welcomed as we work to achieve social justice and dismantle inequities of all forms. We will diversify our community to better reflect society’s demographics and cultivate inclusion for all who learn, live and work at St. Thomas. Beyond our campuses, we will mobilize our expertise to partner with government, businesses, nonprofits and community members to help create a future where social justice and equity prevail. Ensure Access, Achievement and Outcomes for All We will broaden access to a St. Thomas education, ensure all students have equal opportunities to take advantage of the full St. Thomas experience and the academic excellence we provide, and connect all students to career opportunities that leverage our powerful Tommie network. We will remove financial barriers to attending and succeeding at St. Thomas, and ensure that we provide equitable opportunities to engage in the holistic St. Thomas experience so all students are set up for success. Lean In to Our Catholic Mission We will bring the visions of our founder and namesake, our unique charism, and Catholic social teaching fully to life as we encounter the grand challenges of the day, develop principled leaders and contribute to a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable world. The history of St. Thomas, the vision of our founder, Archbishop John Ireland, and our patron, St. Thomas Aquinas, contribute to our unique charism. This tapestry gives our students a lifelong gift unique to St. Thomas. Our charism reflects Archbishop Ireland’s style of boldly addressing the challenges of our world while contributing deeply to the community. We will embrace our charism by being wholly committed agents for social justice, protecting our common home, and defending the dignity of all people. We will promote a culture where students actively engage in the common good.

Widen the Circle of Impact We will make our mark and widen our impact locally, regionally, nationally and globally by becoming a partner of choice and extending an invitation to students, faculty and staff from near and far to become part of our vision and our work. We will broaden our reach toward a national audience as well as connect more deeply in our local communities. To be a partner of choice to local businesses and other organizations, we will work to deeply understand what partners need from us and respond with relevant offerings and engagement. Strong St. Thomas connections locally, nationally and globally will give our graduates a distinct advantage throughout their career and life. Strengthen Culture as We Embrace Change As we respond to uncertainty and change in the societal and higher education landscapes, we will strengthen our university culture by expressing the values of respect, honesty and transparency, by engaging in open dialogue, and by committing to continued personal and professional growth. Changes in the employment market, global demands and headwinds faced by higher education all require a culture on campus that is adaptable and flexible. In this time of uncertainty, we will work continuously and tirelessly to develop a culture that values community and cares for one another. We will foster a caring culture that supports the well-being of each member.

Through the following strategic priorities, St. Thomas will build upon its strengths, embrace unprecedented opportunity and make bold progress. We will expand our impact with new and emerging priorities, and continue to accentuate our differentiating strengths through ongoing initiatives.


St. Thomas will provide exceptional and interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) programming. With consultation from employers, we will co-create relevant programs that inspire creative problem solving among our students and enable collaboration across programs. As we grow these programs, we will intentionally beckon diverse students and faculty toward our

inclusive programs and world-class STEAM complex. Grow the Morrison Family College of Health ••••

By growing the new Morrison Family College of Health and establishing the School of Nursing, St. Thomas will respond to a shortage of health providers and leaders required to promote healthy families and communities. As we welcome our first undergraduate and graduate nursing students, we will work with partners to build programs that help advance systems change and eliminate health disparities. Meet Ever-Changing Needs of Students, Alumni and Employers ••• By working closely with employers, St. Thomas will develop flexible and stackable degrees and programs, including credentials that can lead to a degree. We will creatively redesign programs and their pricing and shorten time to some degrees. As we adapt educational content and pedagogy to be relevant to future students and their employers, St. Thomas will become a sought-after partner for professional development, skills-based education and executive education. Foster Belonging and Dismantle Racism •••• Within St. Thomas and in our broader community, we will seek transformative, measurable equity and inclusion. We will recruit and retain faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds and insist upon a more inclusive campus environment for underrepresented students. Beyond our campuses, the Racial Justice Initiative will harness St. Thomas expertise and work alongside corporate and nonprofit partners to help reimagine a future for the Twin Cities free from racial disparities. Prepare Students for Work and Career ••• Deeper connection with the Tommie network of more than 110,000 alumni, and stronger employer and community partners, will increase experiential opportunities for students and provide stronger lifelong career outcomes for our graduates. Every student will be equipped with an internship or career experience before graduation and engage in meaningful career planning. These opportunities will reach every student, ensuring equity and access for all. Build National Awareness and Advance Priorities through Athletics •• As St. Thomas transitions to Division I athletics, we will expand the impact of our mission by raising our national profile, promoting our distinct educational experience, and galvanizing excitement and pride among our alumni and fans. As we emphasize both academic and athletic excellence, we will attract students from across the country and rise higher among our nationally-ranked Catholic aspirant peer institutions.

ONGOING PRIORITIES Promote and Leverage Our Comprehensive Academic Excellence •• The strong reputations of our professional schools, including the Opus College of Business, School of Engineering and School of Law, along with a solid liberal arts foundation and programs anchored in the College of Arts and Sciences, uniquely position St. Thomas as a comprehensive university, growing in prominence and rankings. Through enrollment growth, relevant programs that fill workforce demands, innovative delivery modes, and distinctive faculty and curriculum, promotion of our professional schools will help St. Thomas expand its reputation for academic excellence and achieve top rankings. Retain and Attract World-Class Talent ••• We will retain, attract and develop top talent, ensuring that our employees experience a sense of belonging, feel valued for their contributions and can flourish. We will modernize and align our human resources, finance and hiring functions to optimize efficiencies and reward talent. We will offer relevant professional development opportunities to help employees thrive. Prepare Educators to Dismantle Disparities •• The School of Education will exemplify St. Thomas’ deep commitment to reaching and serving underrepresented young people who deserve access to an equitable education as it prepares teachers to be a force for justice in classrooms and in our community. Our founder, Archbishop John Ireland, opened St. Thomas to educate underserved immigrants and eliminate barriers to their success. One hundred thirty-five years later, by developing a lab school, we will model ways of dismantling disparities and ensuring that all children receive a high-quality education. Expand Pathways through the Dougherty Family College ••• Dougherty Family College will set the standard for academic preparation of traditionally underrepresented students by achieving high retention and graduation rates and by creating pathways for students to earn a four-year degree. We will design and develop preparation for majors in STEM, business and health professions. We will build students’ professional competency and help them become transformative community leaders. Illuminate Our Mission and Charism ••

We will illuminate the charism of St. Thomas and fully embrace our Catholic mission to educate for the common good. Through collaborations with global Catholic organizations and work in our classrooms, we will help our students embrace a lifelong commitment to serving others as principled leaders. We will serve students of all faiths and engage alumni and other community members by offering ways to deepen their spirituality.

ONGOING PRIORITIES (CONT.) Close Financial Gaps for Students •••• attending and succeeding at St. Thomas. Expand Our Pipeline of Students ••

St. Thomas will be a leader among peers in closing the affordability gap for students with financial need. Through robust scholarships and need-based aid, we will remove financial barriers to

We will intentionally expand routes to St. Thomas through recruitment strategies that reach students across the country and the world. We will seek intentional partnerships with two-year colleges to welcome transfer and nontraditional students. We will increase the racial and geographic diversity of the undergraduate student body. Create a Robust Residency Culture •• As we implement our two-year residency requirement for bachelor’s degree-seeking students, we will deepen our commitment to an exceptional residential experience and ensure that every St. Thomas student can engage fully in a holistic on-campus experience. Live and Work Sustainably ••• Every member of the St. Thomas community will engage in sustainable practices as we fully implement our sustainability strategic plan. We will participate in global Catholic sustainability networks and create a hub on campus to foster collaboration as we work toward equitable solutions to global sustainability challenges and carbon neutrality at St. Thomas by 2035. Engage All Tommies as Changemakers ••• Through expansion of the university’s Center for the Common Good (CCG),

every St. Thomas student – undergraduate and graduate – will have the opportunity to learn from and contribute to advancing the common good through engagement with local and global communities.

Ensure Access, Achievement and Outcomes for All

Ever Press Forward through Innovation

Build Belonging and Promote Equity

Lean In to Our Catholic Mission

Widen the Circle of Impact

Strengthen Culture as We Embrace Change


• • • • •

• •

• • • • • • • •

Grow the Morrison Family College of Health

Meet Ever-Changing Needs of Students, Alumni and Employers

Foster Belonging and Dismantle Racism

Prepare Students for Work and Career

Build National Awareness and Advance Priorities through Athletics

ONGOING PRIORITIES Promote and Leverage Our Comprehensive Academic Excellence

• • •

Retain and Attract World-Class Talent

• • • •

Prepare Educators to Dismantle Disparities

Expand Pathways through the Dougherty Family College

Illuminate Our Mission and Charism

• • •

• •

Close Financial Gaps for Students

Expand Our Pipeline of Students

• • •

Create a Robust Residency Culture

• •

Live and Work Sustainably

Engage All Tommies as Changemakers

*Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics

COMMUNITY INPUT PROCESS The St. Thomas 2025 Strategic Planning task force was appointed by President Julie Sullivan to work with campus partners to gather input. Community members provided insights related to each of the strategic themes, resulting in more than 1,900 individual ideas and solutions. More information about the community input process and the work of the task force can be found at link.stthomas.edu/strategic-plan-process . This plan reflects both feedback from university wide planning efforts as well as ideas from specific planning efforts from units across the university. Input also was gathered from students, the President’s Cabinet, members of the Board of Trustees, various advisory boards, and individual colleges, schools and other divisions.

REALIZING OUR VISION Implementing these priorities will require significant focus, commitment and resources. To achieve our goals, St. Thomas will launch a comprehensive campaign. In order to effectively monitor progress toward each strategic priority, we will report on key metrics and provide implementation updates for each initiative. Visit link.stthomas.edu/2025-strategic-plan for more information.

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This is a summary of the St. Thomas 2025 Strategic Plan. To view the full plan, including progress against key metrics, please visit link.stthomas.edu/2025-strategic-plan .

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