Bellarmine adopts new plan to guide school’s growth

St. Robert Gate stands at the main entrance of Bellarmine University on Newburg Road. The archway — completed in 2013 — was one of the new or renovated spaces funded by the university’s capital campaign. The campaign recently concluded and raised $100 million for campus improvements, increased scholarships and additional faculty appointments. (Record Photo by Jessica Able)

Bellarmine University announced May 15 that its board of trustees has approved a new strategic plan for the university — focused on student success, inclusion and academic innovation.

The plan, titled “Tradition and Transformation,” will guide the university’s growth and continued improvement over the next five to seven years, according to a statement from the university.

Dr. Susan M. Donovan, Bellarmine’s president, said the new plan will allow the university to “re-envision” its future.

“It is time for Bellarmine University to re-envision its future as an innovative liberal arts institution that meets the demand of its students and serves the need of a changing world,” said Donovan. “We will explore ways to raise our profile regionally and nationally and we will work diligently to make a Bellarmine education affordable and accessible to students of all backgrounds.”

The new strategic plan will focus on six priorities supported by 26 goals, said the statement. They are:

Deliver a distinctive and transformative student experience, grounded in the Catholic and liberal arts traditions, that uniquely prepares each student for lifelong success.

Diversify the university’s educational delivery to become a model for academic innovation and purposeful risk-taking.

Expand the university’s geographic reach to enhance reputation and impact through enrollment pipelines, athletics, alumni engagement and outreach.

Demonstrate a fully realized and lived commitment to equity and inclusion, empowering all members of the university’s increasingly diverse community and supporting them to achieve their full potential.

Be an engaged partner with the city of Louisville and the region to expand learning opportunities, enhance career networks and economic growth, and advance equity and quality of life for the university’s neighboring communities.

Be a responsible and effective steward of the university’s resources, making a Bellarmine education accessible to students of all backgrounds and ensuring financial stability for decades to come.

William E. Mudd, chair of Bellarmine’s board of trustees, said in the statement “This new plan leverages Bellarmine’s existing strengths, extends the brand to new markets and improves accessibility while putting increased emphasis on academic innovation. It also prioritizes community engagement.”

The plan will be implemented starting this fall.

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