As the UST community comes together and focuses on our shared future, it is important that we maintain transparency in our projects and processes. Because of that, and because I am just generally excited about it, I would like to take a moment to share an update with you. The Call Toward Tomorrow planning process is in full swing, and significant progress has been made as we look to the future of this great Catholic university.
After much discussion, members of the committee representing the faculty, staff, alumni, board and students, have agreed on what has been termed our “Big Holy Audacious Goal.” The BHAG is short and concise; By 2023, University of St. Thomas will be known for having a fearless culture embracing positive change.
As I turned it over in my mind the first time I heard it, it occurred to me that the founding of this university itself was a fearless act. Our Basilian Fathers planted UST right in the heart of Houston and began what would be a transformative and positive change across this city and around the world. Change for the sake of change is not always a good thing, but positive change is something we can all get behind and aspire to. I believe this BHAG not only honors our Catholic identity, but reaffirms our commitment to the pursuit of knowledge in the Catholic intellectual tradition.
So now that we have a BHAG, what do we do with it? The committee has identified five strategic areas where we have both opportunities and obstacles.
- Ethos/Culture & Spirit
- Academics & Organizational Structure
Working groups have been assembled representing constituents from across the university. Those five groups are now hard at work compiling recommendations as to how we can approach these strategic areas as a fearless culture embracing positive change. Their recommendations will ultimately make their way into reports for the Board of Directors and become a part of the Integrated Plan for the University of St. Thomas.
I am honored to be a part of the UST family, and truly impressed by how our university comes together to face challenges and to carry our vision into the future with conviction.
In unity and peace,