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Leadership for Phase 2 of strategic initiatives announced

December 15, 2020

Cardinal Update News Newsletters

As announced in the Oct. 27 Cardinal Update, the strategic plan, “Building a Future Full of Hope 2025” is now in its second year as we continue to advance our five strategic goals:

  • Living our Lasallian Catholic Heritage,
  • Growing Enrollment,
  • Fostering Innovation,
  • Excelling through Excellence and Relevance, and
  • Stewarding our Resources.

As another step forward, we are pleased to announce the leadership of our Phase 2 strategic initiatives.
These three new initiatives build on the progress already made and continuing on our Phase 1 initiatives: 1. Lasallian Catholic Initiatives, 2. Collaborative Nursing Program Suite, 3. Pilot Pathway Concept in Business, 4. Philanthropic Growth, and 5. Institutional Effectiveness, Planning, and Analytics.

Co-chairs have been named, and committee members will be invited to take part in developing and advancing each of these initiatives. Scott Walker, associate vice president for strategic planning, is the main point of support for the various co-chairs and teams for our Phase 2 strategic initiatives.


Initiative 6 Saint Mary’s Future Model

Initiative 6A – Rochester Strategy
The Rochester Strategy will explore this growth market and determine ways to capitalize on the success of programs such as the 3+2 PA program, our physical campus at Cascade Meadow, and other Saint Mary’s assets. Offering to examine range from business and technology, bioethics, research, women’s professional development, entrepreneurship, and pathways in the Rochester area. A marketing assessment, including a competitive analysis will inform our existing and potential programming.
Work to begin by spring 2021

Michelle Wieser, dean of Business and Technology
Kelly Shannon, vice president for Marketing and Communication

Initiative 6B – Optimizing Academic Operations
This initiative will establish Saint Mary’s University as a year-round university infused and informed by our Lasallian Catholic mission and formation. The primary goal will be to develop a 12-month calendar for the university. Plans include aligning SGPP and College semesters, creating pathways between them, and expanding offerings to provide a robust summer term or the ability for online summer study, and developing specific programming to highlight Winona (leadership development, spiritual development). An evaluation of programming for alternative audiences (retirees) will also fall within this area. Work to begin by spring 2021.

Eden Wales Freedman, vice provost for faculties and academic affairs
Tianna Johnson, director of IT and user services

Initiative 6C – Global Online
Our Global Online strategy will be examined by members tasked with developing a comprehensive plan for moving online operations forward. Online program management (OPM) partnerships and ways to optimize efficiencies will be explored and developed, with an eye toward establishing a revenue and funding model for an internal OPM. Infrastructure, organization, and online training development for faculty and students will be evaluated and refined. Defined strategies will be developed for incorporating our Lasallian Catholic mission and formation into our online programs. Work to begin by spring 2021.

Andrea Carroll-Glover, vice provost for online strategy and programs
Susan Cosby-Ronnenberg, dean of the College
Dave Ulaszek, assistant vice president for finance – budgeting and planning

Initiative 7 – Trade Guild

This initiative meets potential students where they are. It will examine ways to provide an achievable, alternative, and practical pathway to employment and further education through skills and job training for adult learners to transition into degree/certificate programs or transition into new career paths. This team’s work focuses on research, market analysis, and program development to enhance enrollment with new markets while engaging the community. New pathways into our undergraduate and graduate programs will be explored through the trade guild program and expanded transfer enrollment. Work to begin by spring 2021.

Andy Dirksen, chief of staff to the president
Ben Murray, executive vice president and chief financial officer

Initiative 8 – Student Services Innovation

This initiative will focus on direct student support at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The goal will be to develop and implement a plan to provide universitywide core services. The focus will be on mental health, career initiatives, and learning assistance for our students. Key areas of exploration will be on forging opportunities for community partnership, online/virtual solutions, and building internal capacity.

Co-chairs to be named summer 2021 with work beginning in August.

It is an exciting time for Saint Mary’s University as we continue our important work of awakening, nurturing, and empowering our learners to ethical lives of service and leadership. We look forward to the continued progress with the strategic plan and appreciate all our university community’s hard work.