How to Review the Plan

The 2020 Vision Plan is organized in the following eleven sections:

  1. Guidelines for reviewing this document (You are here!)
  2. 2020 Vision Outline and Executive Summary
  3. Preamble
  4. Contextual Narrative
  5. Strategic Directions
  6. Destination Metrics
  7. Strategic Action Priorities 2009-2013
  8. Strategic Metrics 2009-2013
  9. Work Plan/Critical Tasks 2009-2013
  10. Enrollment Forecast
  11. Summary Grids

Section 2 — Here you will find the Master Outline for the entire 2020 Vision Plan and an Executive Summary. Read the Executive Summary before or after you review the rest, depending on your style and needs.
Visit Section 2: Executive Summary »


Section 3 — Here you will find the Preamble to the 2020 Vision Plan as well as the Vision and Mission approved by the Board of Trustees. This section discusses why and how we developed a new plan for St. Catherine University, rather than “tweaking” the existing plan during its midpoint review in 2008. Read this section to understand the rationale for the 2020 Vision Plan; why we articulated a vision for the next ten years and established revised directions to get us there, and then developed a much more precise plan for the first four years of that journey toward 2020. Subsequent plans for 2014-2017 and 2017-2020 will complete the 2020 Vision Plan.
Visit Section 3A: Preamble »
Visit Section 3B: Vision and Mission »


Section 4 — Here you will find a narrative that establishes the context within which the 2020 Vision Plan was developed. The contextual narrative focuses on present external realities and the challenges and opportunities they present, as well as the implications of our change to University status. Read this section to get a better idea of why we approached planning in the way we did, and to understand better the rationale underscoring our priorities.
Visit Section 4: Contextual Narrative »


Section 5 — Here you will find the eight Strategic Directions that will carry the University forward over the next 10 years. Review them to get a good foundation for understanding the Priorities for the first four years of the 2020 Vision Plan (2009-2013).
Visit Section 5: Strategic Directions »


Section 6 — Here you will find the broad Destination Metrics.  These are major outcome statements for the 2020 Vision Plan, i.e., these metrics and corresponding measures are the means by which we will determine whether the 2020 Vision Plan’s goals have been met. At the end of this section is a chart that links the priority metrics for the 2009-2013 segment of the plan with the Destination Metrics.
Visit Section 6: Destination Metrics»


Section 7 — Here you will find the Strategic Action Priorities for the first segment of the plan (2009-2013). These articulate how we will approach the Strategic Directions (Section 5) between now and the visit of the Higher Learning Commission in 2013. These priorities focus on the University’s internal goals and are more specific than material usually subject to Board review. However, they are important because they tie back to the Strategic Directions (Section 5) and embody major milestones toward attainment of the broad goals embodied in the 2020 Destination Metrics (Section 6). Read this section to get an idea of what we will be working on over the next several years, what our program development work will be, and what our goals are vis-a-vis enrollment. This section also includes a comprehensive Glossary focusing on the academic acronyms used throughout this section and in Sections 8 and 9 as well.
Visit Section 7A: Strategic Action Priorities »
Visit Section 7B: Glossary »


Section 8 — Here you will find the Strategic Metrics by which we will judge whether the Action Priorities behind Section 7 have been accomplished). Read this section to understand how we will demonstrate accountability for accomplishment of the stated priorities for 2009-2013. Make sure to see Section 6-5 to see how these Strategic Metrics connect to and lead toward accomplishment of the 2020 goals.
Visit Section 8: Strategic Metrics 2009-2013 »


Section 9 — This section is available only to internal faculty and staff members and is not available online. Access may be requested through the President’s office. This section includes a huge interlocking work plan and “calendaring” of the critical task and milestones over the next several years. This section is “sub-tabbed” by Strategic Direction and either the President or one of the Vice Presidents has responsibility for each of these sections. These are dynamic and working internal documents that we expect will change and develop over time.


Section 10 — This section is available only to internal faculty and staff members and is not available online. Access may be requested through the President’s office. This section includes forecasts and narratives to support the enrollment, fund-raising and financial aspects of the 2009-2013 segment of the 2020 Vision Plan. The Enrollment Narrative supports the numbers found in the forecast and highlights challenges and work necessary to “make the numbers happen.” The Development (fund-raising) Forecast presents a timeline and plan for major funding priorities. The Financial Forecast translates the tasks and work outlined in the plan into numbers, beginning with a “baseline forecast” of major sources and uses of revenue at the beginning, and then adding anticipated expenses and revenues based on implementing the 2020 Plan.  We view all of these documents as working guides and expect to monitor and change them as we move forward in order to maintain steady progress toward the financial goals embodied in Destination Metric 5 (Section 6).


Section 11 — This section is available only to internal faculty and staff members and is not available online. Access may be requested through the President’s office. Here you will find three Summary Grids that provide an overview of existing programs as well as planned initiatives. These grids are organized by the University structure, that is, by schools and colleges. They give you a quick idea of what programs we have now (Grid 1); how our ranked faculty are distributed over the schools and colleges (Grid 2) and the initiatives and work embodied in this Plan (Grid 3), showing where both the major work and impact falls across the University during this segment of the plan (2009-2013).


Hints for Approaching the Plan

If you’re a “just give me the overall picture, I’m a ‘big picture’ type person,” read this Guide, the Master Outline and Executive Summary (Section 2); look over the Vision and Mission (end of Section 3); review the Strategic Directions (Section 5-2); read Section 6 to get an idea of where we are headed, especially the last page that shows the integration of the 2009-2013 metrics with the 2020 Destination metrics. Take a look at Section 11 as well.

If you like details and numbers, or just can’t get enough of St. Catherine University, read everything, including materials not available online.

If you’re someone who thinks about “how St. Catherine University plays in the wider world,” make sure to read the contextual essay (Section 4).

If you are someone who wants to know how, when and why every “i is dotted and “t” is crossed, be prepared to be frustrated. This is a dynamic and working plan – expect adaptive change as we move forward. A Plan that is perfectly articulated, prioritized and packaged may not be a very good one.

If you are wondering how we plan to “deal with the inevitable financial gaps,” please remember that we have structured the forecast specifically in order to highlight those gaps. We have successfully addressed gaps in the past and we will do so again. They are, in the view of the planners, challenges, not showstoppers.

Best Advice – read through with the frame of mind that is most proper to understanding a plan for a complex, changing organization; that is, focus on the big questions:

  1. Is this plan desirable, that is, will it take us in the direction of fulfilling our vision and mission? Will we be more and better of ‘who’ and ‘what’ we want St. Catherine University to be when we finish the 2020 Vision in ten years, and this first segment of the plan in 2013?
  2. Is this plan feasible, that is, does it present a plausible and effective way to attain the plan’s broad goals? Can we imagine ways in which we might shrink, minimize, or work our way through or around the “gaps?”

Happy reading!