The 2018-2019 Strategic Planning process has been an expansive effort – one that saw broad consultation and diverse input, making a special effort to hear from underrepresented populations and the broader community. Throughout the 2018 spring semester, the Strategic Planning Steering Committee worked in groups seeking input from faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and external stakeholders through surveys, open forums, SWOT analyses, and interviews. From all of the data collected, the Steering Committee developed twelve broad themes, which work groups deeply researched during the summer and fall of 2018. At the end of the fall semester, the committee narrowed it down to six final priorities with goals approved by the Board of Trustees in December.

Key accomplishments include the following:

  • Holding 47 meetings with 288 external stakeholders and community members
  • Conducting 29 SWOT analyses with nearly 300 faculty, staff, students, alumni and boards
  • Reaching over 1500 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents through a survey
  • Hearing nearly 250 participants in open forums and online recommendations

We are excited to move into the final phase developing the implementation strategies, conducting cost analyses, and developing metrics to ensure the successful implementation of the Strategic Plan. The plan will be finalized in May 2019.

Dec. 19, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

I write today with enthusiasm and optimism to announce the members of the steering committee that will guide the creation of Bellarmine’s new strategic plan – a plan that, once completed, will establish a new vision for Bellarmine’s future and chart our course to its realization.

The importance of this work to the university cannot be overstated. With the successful completion last year of our $100 million capital campaign, and with Vision 2020 in the rear view mirror, it is time now for Bellarmine University to re-envision its future as an innovative liberal arts institution that meets the demands of its students and serves the needs of a changing world.

I will deliver the charge to the steering committee on January 8, 2018 at 10am in the Frazier Board Room. At that time, we will also launch a strategic planning website where individuals can track the progress of the plan and submit their ideas and feedback.

I have recently engaged in conversations with many of you, affirming my belief that now is the perfect time to imagine our future and find ways to become stronger. The strategic planning process will enhance, clarify and strengthen the distinctive spiritual qualities and the powerful teaching and learning that make Bellarmine such a valuable institution and will keep it one going forward.

I greatly appreciate the more than 60 community members who either volunteered or agreed to accept a nomination. We attempted to choose a committee, which is representative of the broad range of colleges/schools and administrative units, and comprised of individuals who have varying lengths of service. While this composition ensures a great diversity of perspectives, it should be noted that all members will consider the interests of the university as a whole rather than serve as representatives of their own areas within the university. The steering committee members represent the colleges/schools and the major administrative units of the Bellarmine community.

A strategic planning process is an important way for the community to come together to face new challenges and spur innovation. Thus, we intend for this to be an inclusive, collaborative and transparent process, in which the steering committee actively solicits input from all internal and external stakeholders. In addition, over the next 18 months I anticipate the steering committee will directly engage upwards of 100-150 additional community members through work groups as common themes arise from the steering committee research and data mining.

The final strategic plan will be completed in spring 2019 and become the road map for moving Bellarmine forward. It will clarify and affirm our long-term vision, strategies and goals. It will also provide a multi-year direction and focus that will examine and build upon current academic programs and planning, inform annual operating plans and become the framework for acquiring and distributing resources. I am confident the strategic plan will build and strengthen our University community.

We not only welcome your input, we will depend on it. I encourage everyone to participate enthusiastically and thoughtfully in helping shape Bellarmine’s bright future for our students and for the world.

Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D.