“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
S T . T H O M A S
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.
Powered by FlippingBook