The third year of the Strategic Directions Initiative marked the beginning of deliberate action directed toward achieving the strategic goals.
After reviewing the proposed action plans at their May retreat and discussing them over the course of the summer, the Executive Council identified four topics to pursue as Strategic Directions Initiatives during this academic year:
- Catholic Social Thought: To explore the meaning and significance of Catholic Social Thought throughout the USD community in order to inform a respectful dialogue that fosters both a spirit of inclusion and expresses the Catholic identity of the university.
- Inclusion and Diversity : To advance initiatives and recommend changes in policies and practices that promote USD's goals of creating a culture of inclusion, promoting cultural competence, and recruiting and retaining diverse students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
- Integrated Learning: To explore the features of integrated learning experiences at all levels and create the institutional framework to support those experiences, beginning with the freshman year and expanding to broader initiatives.
- Internationalization: To improve and expand existing yet disparate internationalization activities; create new programs and partnerships for students, faculty, and curriculum; and coordinate responsibilities through the Provost's Office.
Four working committees were established, one to address each of these initiatives during the 2005-06 academic year. President Lyons sponsored a January workshop for the committee members and her Cabinet to give them an opportunity to focus on the long-term objectives.
Other topics identified as contributing to USD's strategic directions are being addressed by appropriate university administrators:
- School of Peace Studies: A committee of the Provost and Deans is meeting to explore possible configurations for the School and define a job description for the founding dean.
- Information Technology: A consultant has visited the campus, interviewed broadly among IT constituencies, and will make recommendations to the Provost.
- Enrollment Management Plan: The Enrollment Management Committee is drafting a plan to be shared with the Trustees in December.
- Academic Master Plan: The Provost will develop a procedure for academic program review. Once that is in place, the planning aspect can be revisited.
- Endowment: Efforts to increase the endowment are ongoing and will extend beyond the current planning horizon.
- Marketing: Initial efforts will focus on improving the visual consistency of USD's publications, both printed and Web-based.
- Student Life: Plans for improving student programming and facilities hours are already being implemented, and planning for the University Center expansion continues.
- Scheduling and Event Support: This will continue as an institutional project to improve communication and coordination across divisions.