Dear Mount Community:
Over the last two weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to do what I love most – engage directly with our students to talk with them about the year ahead and hear from them about their Mount experience. By the time you read this letter, I will have met with three of the four undergraduate classes as well as faculty, administrators, and staff. I will meet with the Class of 2020 this evening.
As I have been in every conversation I’ve had across campus over the last few weeks, I am so impressed by the thoughtfulness of the comments I have heard from students. It’s clear that you love the Mount, but you have also challenged us to do better in several important areas and we are working to be responsive to those concerns.
In my conversations with the Mount community, I have shared my three areas of focus for this year—enhance our community, improve our operating excellence, and strengthen our governance —as we head into a full strategic planning process. The comments and questions I received from everyone will inform my approach to these three key areas.
First, I want to enhance our community, one of the most distinctive characteristics of the Mount. Before all else, we must have a student-centered, safe and healthy campus climate in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect as a valued and trusted member of our community.
We will also continue our focus on educational excellence—so many comments I’ve heard from students emphasize the quality of teaching and intellectual inquiry at the Mount. In that vein, we will also look for areas of growth in programs that will prepare our students for professional success and align with our values as a Catholic institution of higher education. And lastly, we’ll enhance our ability to talk compellingly about the Mount experience by developing a strong and cohesive institutional identity through a refreshed brand.
Second, this year we’ll focus on improving our operating excellence to make sure we’re using our resources effectively and well. A large part of this effort will be in preparation for a strategic planning process that will give us a five-year roadmap for the Mount. Student voices will be important to this process, and we’ll have more information in coming months about how to get involved.
Lastly, we’ll spend this year strengthening our shared governance to ensure that members of the Mount community are involved with the decision-making processes of the institution. For our students, SGA is an important part of this process. We’ve also recently added student voices to the Mount Council.
The fall semester is off to an amazing start, with phenomenal energy in the classrooms matched with great events across campus, including Family Fest, student activities, and successes for so many of our athletic teams. The collective efforts of our Admissions team, students, faculty and staff made for an amazing Open House this past Sunday. I thank you all for what you bring to the Mount, and I look forward to continuing our conversations over the coming year.