Building a Future Full of Hope 2025

Introduction to the Strategic Plan

When I was selected to serve as the 14th president of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, I accepted with a sense of duty to honor those who came before me, as well as with a sincere desire to steward well our resources in order to better serve the educational needs of our students in a faith-based context. Over the course of the past 15 months, as I have become more familiar with this community of thought leaders, collaborative innovators, dedicated educators and staff, along with passionate students, I have seen the sincere desire to grow, develop, and succeed. Each person in the Saint Mary’s community is committed to ensuring its sustainable future along with its impact both locally and globally.

Embarking upon the strategic planning process was made possible by this commitment. In fewer than 10 months, we have created a pathway to success for our university, a pathway that embraces our Lasallian Catholic heritage while remaining open to all people of good will; a pathway that manages our resources responsibly while creating capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship; a pathway that positions Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota to become, over the next five years, a leader for regionally dominant and nationally prominent programs and services that emphasize excellence and competence.

We will achieve this vision together. In creating our strategic plan, we involved more than 1,500 stakeholders. As we now implement it, we will continue to need involvement, engagement, and support from thousands more. This knowledge, this abiding belief in the Saint Mary’s community, is the basis for the plan, and the basis for its name: Building A Future Full of Hope.


James P. Burns IVD


Father James P. Burns, IVD, Ph.D.
President, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota