Initiative for University Excellence

Our Mission: Pursuing excellence in teaching, scholarship and service are hallmarks of the University of St. Thomas. In keeping with this commitment, The Initiative for University Excellence (IUE) supports student success through collaborative efforts between faculty and staff.  The goal to strengthen the academic excellence of our faculty and students and to build a more engaged campus community through shared efforts with all sectors of the University supports our strategic initiatives and core values of goodness, discipline, knowledge and community. The IUE provides faculty and staff with services and resources to support their professional development.

Our Charge: Learning Our Way Forward Together  (Dr. Dominic Aquila: Used with his permission)

Our Structure:  Dr. Michele Simms directs Initiative programs and events in close consultation with Faculty Senate and Staff Council.  The IUE provides an annual action plan and reports budget matters to the Vice President of Academic Affairs.  All reporting is summative without identification of individual users.  The director maintains faculty and staff confidentiality and is not permitted to speak for a faculty or staff member’s promotion or annual evaluation. There will be an Advisory Board comprised of faculty and staff to help guide the IUE operations.

Programs and Events: The IUE provides specific support to faculty through faculty mentorship programs, support to the deans and chairs as part of the Faculty Development Plan and evaluation process, coaching and consultation to improve teaching efficacy, strategies to implement active and collaborative learning in the classroom, and resources to support scholarly pursuits.  The Staff Council provides direction regarding training and development needs of staff, which includes administrators, directors, chairs and the executive leadership.  Joint learning programs for faculty and staff include support of the Freshman Symposium (comprised of faculty, staff and student mentor teams), Learning Communities, the Synthesis Courses, and in areas where faculty and staff efforts influence student success, such as enrollment and retention.