A Message of Gratitude as We Look Forward to 2020

December 17, 2019

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we head into Christmas break and turn the page on 2019, I want to thank you for all that you do for Seattle University.

This has been an extraordinary calendar year for us. We publicly launched the Campaign for the Uncommon Good, an effort centered on expanding access to our Jesuit education and enhancing the student experience in all phases, including our Center for Science and Innovation. We broke ground on the center in August and each day witness its emergence, which will herald a new era in STEM education at SU. We have continued the important work of becoming a more inclusively excellent academic community. Thanks to the unprecedented engagement and collaboration of our faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders of the university, we finalized this year a bold vision and transformational set of strategic priorities to guide our work for the next five years and shape the future of Seattle University. I am particularly grateful to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee and all members of our campus community who were involved in the process of developing the vision and goals the Board of Trustees approved in November, as well as the strategic and foundational actions by which these strategic directions will become a reality.

We will officially launch our Strategic Directions: 2020-2025 with a university-wide convocation in January. Watch for more event details in the coming weeks. We will then get about implementing the action items that have been identified, which include the academic and financial repositioning necessary to achieve the goals and higher aspirations outlined in the new directions. The budget for FY21 will begin an important series of steps in this repositioning. There will be some significant challenges and tough decisions as we undertake a university-wide approach to resource prioritization. Complementary steps include multi-year financial and enrollment plans to be completed this fiscal year, as well as a comprehensive review of programs that will require more time.

While these are undoubtedly uncertain and changing times in higher education, my confidence in Seattle University and the critical importance of our mission has never been greater. My optimism and enthusiasm for what lies ahead is rooted in something even deeper than what we have accomplished thus far or the roadmap we have created for our future. It is, above all else, the excellence, creativity and commitment of you, our faculty and staff, that makes us who we are and propels us forward as one of the most innovative and progressive Jesuit and Catholic universities in the world.

So it is with the utmost gratitude that I wish you and your loved ones a restful, reenergizing and joyful holiday season.


Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.