14:42 PM

Bases Loaded, Here Comes the Pitch: UST Runs toward Future Armed with Innovative Ideas for the Win

Baseball player hitting a  home runUsing baseball as his metaphor, UST President Dr. Richard Ludwick urged the St. Thomas community to fearlessly move the University of St. Thomas-Houston forward in our changing world by unleashing innovative possibilities for thriving. At the University’s second strategic planning focus groups, Ludwick stated that our bases are loaded, a batter is at the plate, and UST will “barrel it up” hitting the sweet spot of the baseball bat to bring home the win.

Ludwick, once again, is coaching the UST community – leadership, faculty, staff, alumni and students – toward a bold future. With the outside facilitator, Matt Phillips of Innovation Strategy Consultancy, the focus groups met for the second time in five years to imagine a new way to offer and deliver higher education. Two charges were presented: 1) If you had $100M to spend, how would you use it to advance the university, and 2) Think about these innovators - Apple, Google, Masterclass.com, the Prairie School of DuPage and the Thiel Fellowship – and how they completely reimagined tomorrow.

Sketch a bolder Future for UST

After exploring the University’s strengths and acknowledging its big-picture challenges, the groups moved to imagine 10 years into the future. As futurists, radical ideas were explored and sketched out in a freewheeling “bar napkin idea” fashion.

Ideas were collected throughout the process to develop an idea bank and word clouds for future exploration.

The Call Toward Tomorrow

Three years ago, the UST community gathered for its first strategic planning initiative under Ludwick’s leadership. From that process, the University planned for its five-year future with big audacious goals. Dubbed the Call Toward Tomorrow, the 2018 plan set St. Thomas on a course for “A Fearless Culture of Positive Change.” This initial process set five priorities in as many years with 18 goals for a bold future.

 “The Call Toward Tomorrow was a great roadmap until 2023,” Ludwick said, “and we have made incredible progress. Two years early, we are financially solvent and have come together culturally as a community. So we are ready, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to leap once again into the future. And, the future is bright.”