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Our Year Ahead

Written by Mike Thee
September 29, 2015

Anyone seeking a road map of where Seattle University will be going in the year-and years-ahead need look no further than the State of the University and President's Welcome speeches that Stephen Sundborg, S.J., delivered earlier this month.

In the State of the University address, which he delivered to trustees, regents and other key stakeholders of the university, Father Sundborg envisioned what Seattle University will be like years from now-what new buildings will go up, how many students we will enroll and what impact we will have. (Hint: the president forecasted growth in each of these areas.)

Father Sundborg also addressed the nearer term for SU, detailing what can be thought of as an institutional to-do list for the weeks and months ahead. Pulled straight from the speech, the university will focus on the following 11 priorities in 2015-2016. 

  • Assessing every program of the university in order to prioritize and invest in what is most important 
  • Launching the School for New and Continuing Studies for adult learners seeking to complete their bachelor's degree 
  • Doing an in-depth analysis of our university environment of diversity and inclusion and acting on it 
  • Taking the next big step into the development of global engagement and of the Youth Initiative 
  • Making the decision on how to increase our residence living capacity 
  • Remodeling much of the Connolly Center to create excellent venues for both our men's and our women's sports programs 
  • Implementing a new (software technology) system to advance the business and student service operations of the university 
  • Exploring the development and marketability of several new academic programs aligned with high demand jobs 
  • Adopting measures to assure the exceptional student experience of all of our students 
  • Pushing toward championship athletics in all of our programs 
  • Receiving gifts to the university which surpass all gifts in our history 

The president amplified and added to these priorities during his speech to faculty and staff at the Sept. 18 President's Welcome. He also touched on other developments on campus and in the world that will command our community's attention in the year ahead. As the president shared in those remarks, "This will not be a quiet year, but it will be a great year for what a university can and should be."

The full text of the president's State of the University and President's Welcome speeches can be found at http://www.seattleu.edu/president/speeches/.