Academic Reinvention Launches

Our university exists to support the student-faculty relationship, advance research and scholarly activity, and contribute to health and healing of people. This is what we do as an academic community.

In August, the Magis Operational Excellence Program shared a summary diagnostic report identifying 25 focus areas, four of which involved academic matters.  (Jump to page 31 for the list.)  These four focus areas have been gathered under one initiative named Academic Reinvention, which is being led by the Provost and Deans.

Goal

The overarching goal of the Academic Reinvention initiative is to achieve cost savings in ways that also elevate the quality of instruction, enhance our students’ experiences, and expand and strengthen faculty research.  Guided by our Catholic, Jesuit mission, the Provost and Deans are seeking to align our resources and our people in ways that will enable Saint Louis University to achieve greater:

  • Impact. Contributions to society and the world
  • Distinctiveness. Reputation as a Jesuit university/community
  • Excellence. Top performance in teaching, research/scholarship, and faculty development
  • Student Learning. Meaningful and measurable learning outcomes for our students

The Academic Reinvention initiative is not, however, the only mechanism being used to achieve these objectives.  It is not designed to supersede other, important and ongoing initiatives.  For example, the ongoing planning efforts to establish innovative undergraduate core curricula shall continue through the work of established, faculty-led committees.  Likewise, school-specific strategic planning is moving ahead.

Process

During the spring semester, Deans will prepare school-specific proposals.  While proposals are expected to vary by school/college, a few common elements are being considered across the university: (1) decrease low enrollment sections, (2) adjust course/curriculum requirements to create more flexible and efficient pathways for on-time graduation, (3) seek greater impact from faculty time through implementation of emerging workload policies, and (4) optimize resource allocation by changing the portfolio of programs offered.  Approved proposals will be implemented over a one to three year period.

Faculty Input

While the approach to and timeline for faculty engagement will vary by academic unit, Deans have committed to a process that includes consultation with their faculties. If you have questions or concerns about the faculty engagement process, please seek information and guidance from your dean, faculty assembly leaderfaculty senators, Faculty Senate President Doug Williams (facultysenate@slu.edu) or Magis Operational Excellence Program co-coordinators (magisoperationalexcellence@slu.edu).

Decision-Making and Respect for Faculty Responsibility

As stated in the diagnostic report, academic matters are being pursued in a manner consistent with the Faculty Manual, SLU’s commitment to shared governance, and in recognition of the faculty’s responsibility for curriculum.   As emphasized from the outset of the Magis Operational Excellence Program, SLU leaders are making decisions and managing implementation.  SLU staff and the consulting team are supporting the work of the Provost and Deans with data analysis and general project management.  

Questions

Do you have a question about the Magis Operational Excellence Program or the Academic Reinvention Initiative? Check out the online FAQs. Send us an email at magisoperationalexcellence@slu.edu or fill out the feedback form on the program website. Dr. Eric Armbrecht is the project manager for the Academic Reinvention initiative and can be contacted directly as well.

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to read this message.  We are grateful for all of the feedback we have received since the Magis Operational Excellence Program began.  Your comments, questions, and ideas have been instrumental in guiding the work. 

Your program coordinators,

Eric Armbrecht, Ph.D., M.S.
Associate Professor

Mickey Luna, J.D.
Vice President, Human Resources
 


Launched in February 2016, Magis Operational Excellence is an institution-wide initiative designed to make SLU more efficient and effective, and identify opportunities for increased revenue and growth — all to enable the priorities identified in the University's strategic plan. The program stems from Initiative Five of the strategic plan that calls for us foster a culture of excellence, effectiveness and efficiency deeply rooted in our institutional mission and Catholic, Jesuit values.