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A Pivotal Year for SU

October 3, 2019

Lemieux Library and Learning Commons

Image credit: Yosef Kalinko

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President Sundborg outlines four key areas for the 2019-2020 academic year

The 2019-2020 academic year will be pivotal for Seattle University, President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., shared with faculty and staff in his remarks at the President’s Welcome on Sept. 20. 

Following 2018-2019, which was a year of unprecedented engagement across campus, the president encouraged faculty and staff to “…think of today as a pivot both from last year to this one and a pivot of our university from the past we and others have created to the future that is in the hands of all of us and which we are together envisioning and choosing.” 

Father Sundborg identified the following four areas as key to the university’s future direction and success. 

Strategic Plan | Born out of a highly consultative process that has engaged the entire university, the strategic plan, the president said, is “(t)he most important thing for this year to turn our university toward the future, to make it distinctive, to give us the edge in competitive attractiveness for students…” The Strategic Plan Steering Committee will soon share the plan and seek the campus community’s input before it goes to the Board of Trustees for approval in November. 

The Campaign for the Uncommon Good | Having already raised more than $250 million in the quiet phase, the university will publicly launch the campaign on Oct. 1 with a goal of $275 million. The campaign will “fuel our future,” said Father Sundborg. “We ask for your advocacy, your personal support, and your encouragement of our alumni.” 

Student Learning and Engagement | Seattle University’s student-centric mission will be strengthened this year as Student Development becomes integrated into Academic Affairs. This new approach to student learning and engagement will allow us to “be more fully a Jesuit university which believes in and is based on this integration and mutual impact of all aspects of students for the sake of their education and formation,” the president said. 

Reposition the University | To prepare for what Father Sundborg called “a new epoch in higher education,” the university will evaluate and orient its academic programs to address changes in student demographics, higher education and the job market, while continuing to invest in inclusive excellence and ensuring greater financial stability through multiyear budgeting and planning. “The biggest factor in all of this is what will drive enrollment in a new way with a new strategy, and as the responsibility and lifeblood of us all.” 

Father Sundborg's full remarks can be viewed here:

A text version of the remarks is available at President’s Welcome.

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