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President’s Letter

In the second month of my presidency I convened a representative group of the Saint Louis University community to launch a strategic planning initiative. The group constructed a transparent process that provided opportunities for input to the entire community.

The response that day set the tone for nine months of intense and provocative discussion that included hundreds of participants. I am grateful for your embrace of this inclusive process and thankful for everyone who participated. The result is a plan answering the question that sets our course for the future: “What must we become?”

As an institution, Saint Louis University has a rich and productive past. We were born of a pioneering spirit that has propelled the University for nearly two centuries. Our history is one of innovative leadership—in academics, in health and medicine, and in our community. In short, we have long been positioned as one of America’s leading research universities. But challenges remain, and enhancements are possible.

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.
Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.

Our current conversations call us to recommit ourselves to excellence and innovation. We strive to be a world-class research university and the first choice among the high-quality students, faculty, physicians, staff, and stakeholders we seek to attract. We will achieve this vision with an enduring commitment to a bold path forward. We will be even more nimble, creative, energetic, and ambitious than we have been in the past. Collectively, we will meet the challenges of the times and embrace the opportunities of the future. We will be celebrated as an entrepreneurial organization devoted to the pursuit of truth and a rigorous, values-based Jesuit education that superbly prepares our students for meaningful lives and successful careers. In sum, we reaffirm our dedication to forming accomplished men and women who commit themselves to be for and with others. We dedicate ourselves to ensuring that students of all backgrounds have greater access to the transformative education we provide.

This plan defines how we will carry our responsibilities forward in a rapidly changing and challenging world. The result will be our most talented and diverse student body, the strongest and most diverse community of scholars and health care professionals, and even higher levels of prestige for academic programs and centers than have ever before been achieved in our storied history. We will aspire to preeminence in all to which we commit ourselves.

Through careful and strategic stewardship of our resources, human, physical, and financial, and with a commitment to the principles of shared governance, we dedicate ourselves to the next era of greatness for our university. All we do and espouse to be will be grounded in our Catholic values and Jesuit heritage. And, in this particularly difficult time for the St. Louis region, we explicitly pledge to become even more engaged with the issues with which our community is grappling.

This plan points the way for us to become all of these things . . . and more.

We continue to serve a higher purpose and contribute to the greater good.