One year ago, this community gathered together, dreamed of a beautiful future, and set out to realize it. Since then, we have made tremendous progress toward that future by launching new academic programs, athletics initiatives, a campus expansion, and countless other successes. We have a great many things to celebrate, and even more to achieve. This year, we will continue to accelerate our pace, as we live out our goal to be a fearless culture of positive change. Last Thursday, the UST Board of Directors confirmed its confidence in our course and took further action that empowers us to accomplish that.
On August 8, the Board of Directors voted unanimously and issued a resolution that charges this administration with restructuring the University by the end of Fall 2020. The goal of the restructure is to position UST to realize the targets outlined in the Call Toward Tomorrow, and to create a new academic-business model that will ensure a bright financial future. We have spent much time talking about our current academic-business model, one that no longer aligns with the challenges facing higher education. The time is now for us to change that academic-business model in very intentional ways, so that UST will thrive and advance its mission forward for many, many years to come.
Celts do not fear change! We welcome it. We are blessed with faith that grows, deepens, and guides us. Others may fear change and even claim it will jeopardize mission or identity. I assure you it will not. Only failure to change will do that. This is an opportunity for UST to advance its mission in bold, new ways. This process will be undertaken in furtherance of the University of St. Thomas’ fidelity to the Magisterial guidance for all Catholic universities that we “are called to a continuous renewal, both as ‘Universities’ and as ‘Catholic’ ”. (Ex Corde Ecclesiae 7)
This Wednesday we will come together for ‘Opening Day’ on the same day that we celebrate the Feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. A master of new media and a relentless innovator, Saint Maximilian Kolbe built the largest media apostolate in history. He, too, was a change agent. As we look toward the future of UST, I know that we can follow his example as we renew our University in innovative ways that will improve our students’ experiences and live out our Catholic mission in ever greater ways.
I encourage you to read the summary and introduction to the restructure process. I will be addressing this topic at ‘Opening Day’ and hope to see you there.
Dr. Richard Ludwick, President