University of St. Thomas Sets Stage for Major ‘Renewal’
The University of St. Thomas Houston is poised to undertake an ambitious restructure by fall 2020, with the intention of accelerating the University’s integrated growth plan while continuing to strengthen its long-term fiscal position.
In 2017, UST’s new president, Dr. Richard Ludwick, rallied the community to create a bold five-year plan known as The Call Toward Tomorrow. Since the implementation of that plan, the University has already welcomed the largest incoming class in UST history (two years in a row), introduced a host of new academic programs including online associates degrees, elevated athletics into NCAA Division III, and announced plans for a new expansion into Conroe. This restructure will pave the way for even more innovation and growth.
“This community came together and set an impressive vision for what UST will look like in 2023,” Dr. Ludwick said. “It is a vision that I am proud to be a part of. We have already made incredible progress toward that bold future, and this renewal will take us even farther. Now is the time for UST to lead the way in innovating solutions to the challenges higher education faces today, from a position of growth and strength.”
New Academic Business Model for a Changing Marketplace
Although the University is fortunate to have a nine-figure endowment, significant real estate holdings in the Montrose neighborhood, and a growing student population, it is operating on an outdated business model. The administration and Board of Directors have determined that fixing that model will enable the University to keep pace with a more competitive and constantly changing marketplace. Ludwick says, “This is the ideal time to realign UST’s operations to today’s reality and tomorrow’s needs, to refocus on student need, properly align resources and reach equilibrium in budgetary outcomes.”
The process for the restructure has already been approved by the UST Board of Directors, and is comprehensive. The Board has empowered the administration to review all academic, co-curricular and administrative aspects of the University, with all programs, positions and operations subject to termination, modification or adjustment. The administration will present the restructure plan to the Board in December of this year, with implementation complete by the end of fall 2020.
UST Will Remain True to Catholic Identity
“Houston continues to grow and thrive at an exponential pace, and the impact of UST’s mission must grow with it,” Dr. Ludwick said. “As the University continues to change, one thing will always remain the same, our commitment to being Houston’s Catholic university.” For more than 70 years, UST has been committed to educating students in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, and the University sees this restructure as a chance to carry that mission forward in new and exciting ways.
UST is guided by the principles of Ex Corde Ecclesiae by “lifting the human person in a quest for education that combines excellence in humanistic and cultural development with specialized professional training.” (Ex Corde Ecclesiae 23)
The University of St. Thomas will continue to focus on high-quality teaching, scholarship and service, and providing students with an experience that instills the core values of goodness, discipline, knowledge and community.