Vision and Strategic Themes Prototype

Vision Prototype 2.0:

Drawing upon more than 150 years of history grounded in its Lasallian, Catholic, and liberal arts
heritage and with an eye towards the future, Saint Mary’s in 2030 will be a leading West Coast
university defined by our relationship to, investment in, and engagement with, the San Francisco Bay
Area - forward-looking, globally focused, diverse, sustainable, and committed to equity and justice.
Saint Mary’s will innovate, adapt, redesign, reimagine, and change the narrative about what it means to
be a liberal arts university that prepares students for success after graduation by equipping them with the
skills and knowledge the world needs and empowering them to make a difference. Through a broad
array of innovative and distinctive undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education
programs Saint Mary’s will redefine what it means to meet students where they are and nurture their
unique assets in support of their lifelong learning. And Saint Mary’s pedagogy, curriculum, and
operations, will reflect our institutional commitment to social, racial, economic, environmental and
global justice.

Strategic Themes Prototype 1.0:

Theme 1: Reimagine, Reinvent, and Redesign the Liberal Arts University

Offer a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education programs that
provide lifelong learning pathways to enable a diverse population of students to write the world.

Illustrative Objectives and Actions for Theme 1

  • Embrace new curricular models and undergraduate academic programs, including new
  • interdisciplinary programs that speak to the big problems and aspirations of the world.
  • Design and implement innovative and transformative graduate programs.
  • Prepare students for success after graduation: develop graduate pathways and commit to career
  • preparation through internships and job placements.
  • Reimagine academic programs to ensure that all students have experiential learning opportunities
  • within their majors.
  • Develop sufficient resources to ensure that every student has an international travel experience
  • through Jan Term or Study abroad.
  • Expand and deepen external partnerships.
  • Explore changing the name from College to University


Theme 2: Attract and empower learners of all backgrounds to attend Saint Mary’s
College and remain connected in meaningful ways after graduation.


Create opportunities that open doors for more students, especially those from underrepresented
communities to access higher education.


Illustrative Objectives and Actions for Theme 2

  • Attract and retain a student population reflective of the region’s diverse, multiple, and interacting
  • identities.
  • Welcome and retain non-traditional undergraduate students including bachelor’s completion and
  • transfer students and employ best practices in transfer mapping and articulation agreements.
  • Develop and implement curricula that requires all students to engage with power, privilege and
  • oppression, and build equity-based communities.
  • Increase flexibility in curricular structure and offerings to increase student retention and
  • graduation rates.
  • Implement an expanded and dynamic merit and need-based financial aid model
  • Develop a “Pathway to Graduation” program and improve comprehensive academic advising.
  • Expand financial literacy programs for students.
  • Increase opportunities to enhance the experiences of alumni and external constituents by
  • investing in a campus-wide CRM, developing online life-long learning and professional
  • development activities and implementing signature events and activities.


Theme 3: Advance our regional leadership in environmental sustainability and
environmental justice


Expand the campus’ commitment to the four pillars of sustainability: human, social, economic and
environmental to squarely connect a holistic conception of sustainability to the university’s mission
and emphasizes the interconnectedness and interdependence of those four realms.


Illustrative Objectives and Actions for Theme 2

  • Integrate resilience, sustainability, and environmental justice into the curriculum.
  • Strengthen the network of faculty connected to sustainability and environmental justice through
  • gatherings, research collaborations and scholarship exploring the four pillars of sustainability.
  • Fulfill the commitments of the Climate Action Plan and integrate resilience and sustainability
  • into the operations of the university.
  • Launch a distinctive, comprehensive, distinct, place-based Center for Environmental Justice &
  • Sustainability.
  • Expand the Legacy Garden as a place for community instruction on gardening and food
  • production.


Theme 4: Embrace a creative and innovative spirit

Be both adaptive and nimble in anticipating and responding to changing expectations about how we
will best serve our students, alumni, and community partners.


Illustrative Objectives and Actions for Theme 4

  • Adopt pedagogical innovations based on discovery and inquiry.
  • Develop and support systems and processes that foster creativity and innovation.
  • Create flexible learning environments and invest in emerging educational technologies to
  • enhance student access and learning
  • Deepen connections to innovative and progressive public, private, and non-profit organizations
  • and companies in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
  • Build a Library & Innovation Center – a vibrant community nexus of teaching, research, and
  • scholarly achievement that infuses our honored tradition with a contemporary vision.
  • Invest in innovation grants and awards to support new academic programs, curricular, and
  • pedagogical innovations.


Theme 5: Be an employer of choice

Attract and retain an exceptional and diverse faculty and staff to an inclusive campus community that
is committed to anti-racism, equity, transparency and collaborative and collegial governance guided
by social, economic, racial, and global justice and cultural humility


Illustrative Objectives and Actions for Theme 5

  • Utilize best practices in hiring faculty and staff, ensuring a broad and diverse pool of applicants
  • and implementing implicit bias training in search processes.
  • Foster a family friendly environment including developing an on-campus childcare center
  • Create a performance based culture where high performance is recognized and rewarded and
  • design thinking, lean, and continuous improvement strategies are employed throughout the
  • College.
  • Actively engage in anti-racist reflection, policy, and practice. Require all faculty and staff to
  • regularly participate in GUIDE training and mandatory training on racism and white supremacy.
  • Increase funding for the activities and personnel of CCIE.
  • Embrace a data-informed culture and leverage institutional data and analytics initiatives to
  • inform decision making and break down institutional silos.
  • Commit to a shared governance model that promotes collaboration, shared decision making and
  • accountability.


Theme 6: Leverage our unparalleled natural and built environment to become a
destination campus


Mobilize the unique advantages of our geographic location, Saint Mary’s marks of distinction as an
educational institution, and the valued features of the campus as a social environment and a physical
place to increase our engagement with families, alumni, and community members.


Illustrative Objectives and Actions for Theme 6

  • Develop creative outdoor spaces including spaces that can function as classrooms, meeting
  • spaces, and performance centers.
  • Prioritize the development of innovative performance spaces including a Fine and Performing
  • Arts Center.
  • Create a second destination campus, a Gael Village on the Rheem Campus which could be a hub
  • of activities and entertainment.
  • Explore the development of Lake LaSalle as a recreation area.
  • Increase on campus programming to engage students while forming partnerships with local
  • community organizations (i.e. CalShakes) to expand on-campus activities.
  • Build a Library & Innovation Center and transform St Albert’s Hall into a student union.



Vision Prototype Videos:



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