Saint Louis University

University-Level Strategic Plan

Strategic Intention and Strategic Directions
Saint Louis University (SLU) is ranked among the top 100 national universities, among the top Catholic universities in the United States, and among leading American universities with an autonomous foreign campus. As a multinational, Catholic, Jesuit University, SLU's strategic intention is to continue to prepare the next generation of global leaders through a distinctively Catholic, Jesuit educational experience and to continuously improve its quality across all academic and operational units.  The university seeks to pursue its strategic intention along the following five strategic directions.

A.    Improve Academic and Research Performance and Reputation: Improve academic and research performance leading to increased reputation of excellence in student learning, research and health care (e.g., ranked among top 50 national universities) and globalization of the overall educational experience.

B.    Utilize Prudent Fiscal Management to Build on Financial Strength: Exercise strong financial management through prudent budgeting and judicious strategic programmatic investment.

C.    Grow and Improve Clinical Care Business: Strive for continued growth, regional expansion and profitability and increasingly synergistic relationships with hospital partners

D.    Continue Campus and Community Development: Provide an attractive and safe environment, as well as specific programs, that contribute to the recruitment and retention of students, patients, faculty and staff and engage in active community development through academic, co-curricular, and service projects.

E.    Develop our People and Leadership:  Provide comprehensive leadership development aligned with strategic goals of the institution as well as support development of the individual person.

Operating Principles and Performance Standards
Saint Louis University's leadership team will observe the following five operating principles and four performance standards in pursuing the above strategic directions and subsequent achievement of the strategic intention.

1.    Benchmarking: Each academic and operational unit, managed by its vice president, will develop its own performance criteria and standards in accordance with the university-wide benchmarking guidelines and use the benchmarking approach to recommend performance improvements, best practice implementation, resource investment and reallocation, and discontinuance of ineffective/inefficient practices or policies.

2.    Goal Setting: Each academic and operational unit, managed by its vice president, will develop its own measurable performance goals, align those goals with team-level, and individual-level performance goals, annually evaluate the progress, and make timely corrections to the implementation strategies/tactics. Budget models and investment decisions will be consistent with the set goals. A matrix of strategic direction versus unit goals will be maintained to track performance.

3.    Accountability, Evaluation and Reward Systems: All personnel in supervisory capacity (e.g., managers, directors, department chairs, deans, vice presidents) will be accountable for their actions and inactions. Evaluation of individuals as well as programs will be conducted with respect to the pre-agreed goals, timelines, and resources available to achieve those goals. Reward systems will include base salary adjustments, variable pay, and non-financial recognition. Both individual and team rewards/recognition will be considered. Measurement of success will be based on objective criteria and performance standards. While staff and faculty performance criteria may be different, the overall expectation of commitment to the University's Catholic Jesuit mission, professionalism, and continuous improvement apply to all.  Annual budget decisions will be consistent with the University-level strategic plan as well as unit-level strategic plans and performance goals.

4.    Innovation: Innovation will be encouraged across all academic, research, service, business, and technological aspects of the University. Inherent in such initiatives is a certain degree of risk; however, innovation is an essential element of institutional progress and therefore a select number of innovative projects will be supported. Appropriate approval channels must be utilized, risks and rewards must be clearly identified, performance metrics must be agreed upon, and an exit strategy must be delineated prior to the formal approval of the proposal.

5.    Communication: Each academic and operational unit, managed by its vice president, will develop communication and dissemination protocols that will keep all stakeholders informed and appropriate parties engaged, with timely, relevant, and clear messaging on key initiatives. Multiple and appropriate communication channels, including annual status reports on strategic initiatives, will be used.

Performance Standards
The structure of performance standards presented here is intended to develop a clear sense of how a particular individual's performance contributes toward the University's strategic intentions.

1.    Individual: Each individual faculty, staff, or faculty-administrator, in consultation with his/her supervisor (department chair, manager, director, etc.), will develop performance goals prior to the beginning of the review period and will be held accountable to achieve the set goals. The supervisor will be expected to consider benchmark performance characteristics, resources provided, and overall significance of the performance in achieving the unit's mission.

2.    Team: In some cases, multiple individuals may be assessed as a team. The team assessment may be in addition to or in lieu of individual assessment. The appropriate supervisors will consult with each other as well as all the team members to develop the performance metrics. Teams may be formed within or across academic and/or operational units as well as between or across faculty, staff and faculty-administrators.

3.    Unit: Each academic and operational unit, in consultation with its vice president, will develop its own strategic plan and corresponding performance goals. These strategic plans and the respective performance goals will be tied to discipline-specific benchmarks as well as overall university-level strategic intentions.

4.    University: The University's success will be measured along the following five Critical Success Factors: (1) Academic and Research Index, (2) Financial Strength Index, (3)

5.    Clinical Quality and Sustainability Index, (4) Campus Infrastructure and Environment Index, and (5) Human Capital Index Each vice president, in consultation with the President, will develop and maintain a current list of performance goals that will collectively advance the University's strategic intentions and demonstrate progress along the five Critical Success Factors. The executive team (all vice presidents and the President) will review progress along these goals and make appropriate changes to strategies, policies, tactics, resource allocation, personnel assignments, or structures.

Periodic Review
This University-level Strategic Plan was endorsed by the President's Coordinating Council on November 15, 2011; the final version was approved by the President on December 6, 2011; and subsequently approved by the Board of Trustees on December 10, 2011.