Mid-point Executive Summary

January 2009

The following represents a summary of the common issues and “big ideas” discussed at the first nine National Summit meetings regarding Gustavus Adolphus College’s five core values. The participants were asked how the College might ensure that the core values would be lived out in the lives of alumni, faculty, staff, and students. The summary is being shared with all members of the eight task forces of Commission Gustavus 150. The common issues and big ideas will help shape the recommendations made by the task forces to the Gustavus Board of Trustees and ultimately form the basis for the College’s long-range strategic plan.

Excellence

  • Continue strengthening faculty (recruit and retain the best faculty for Gustavus’s culture of excellence)
  • Cultivate intellect over all disciplines, especially interdisciplinary programs
  • Promote and maintain strong faculty/student relationships
  • Provide overall excellent student experience, resulting in developing lifelong relationships and acquiring skills for vocation
  • Continue to provide and value a liberal arts undergraduate experience, educating the “whole person”
  • Integrate elements of learning, student life, and service
  • Educate students to graduate with effective oral and written communication skills
  • Provide students with opportunities to discover their potential and to develop their leadership skills
  • Cultivate an atmosphere of civic engagement
  • Celebrate the Gustie Spirit
  • Sustain a hospitable, welcoming, and open-minded community
  • Promote strong participation in co-curricular programs
  • Control cost of tuition
  • Provide affordable study abroad opportunities
  • Build a national alumni network
  • Use alumni as a measure of success

Community

  • Remain a residential college
  • Provide leadership/participation opportunities in all aspects of college life
  • Strengthen a culture of lifelong relationships and commitment to the College among Gustie alumni
  • Encourage a global perspective through speakers, forums, courses and travel opportunities
  • Teach students to be responsible citizens through modeling and mentoring
  • Demonstrate civility, respect, and trust among all people
  • Maintain strong traditions and continue creating intentional programs to nurture community
  • Demonstrate the importance of faith development and daily Chapel attendance
  • Promote a strong relationship with the City of St. Peter
  • Continue providing strong community service and service learning opportunities

Justice

  • Define, model, and communicate the importance of justice as a core value of a Gustavus education and ensure Gusties leave the “mark of a Gustie” on whatever they do
  • Ensure that a liberal arts education leads to learning about justice
  • Develop consciousness/awareness of others’ needs
  • Offer opportunities for civil discourse by discussing different perspectives and challenging issues
  • Infuse components of social justice, ethics, and global perspectives throughout curriculum, programs and speakers, travel opportunities, and student life activities
  • Create a culture of awareness and an intolerance of injustices
  • Encourage sense of responsibility for one’s own actions and decisions
  • Ensure there are fair discipline and judicial policies
  • Ensure fairness in financial access and admission standards

Service

  • Tie community service to College culture, making service a part of the mantra for Gustavus — the “service” college
  • Leverage student organizations and upper-class students to instill a tradition of service
  • Provide diverse service opportunities for students with varying interests and time commitments
  • Recognize and reward alumni, faculty, staff, and students for their participation in service activities
  • Be intentional about appreciating the continuum of “service” (educating, understanding, supporting, participating)
  • Promote participating in service activities that are outside of one’s “comfort” zone
  • Offer incentives to students who participate in service projects (preferential housing, funding for student organizations, scholarships)
  • Determine if participation in community service programs should be a graduation requirement
  • Infuse service learning into curriculum
  • Support faculty and staff in their commitment to service
  • Engage alumni to participate in community service and service learning experiences as part of their own lifelong learning
  • Encourage alumni involvement with students in service activities (on and off campus)
  • Link service as a core value to the College’s Lutheran heritage and Luther’s understanding of vocation

Faith

  • Maintain and support the College’s strong ties to the ELCA
  • Provide educational opportunities to learn about other faiths
  • Encourage interfaith dialogue
  • Be respectful of all faiths
  • Promote a vibrant Lutheran community while engaging a religiously diverse community
  • Create culture of encouraging, challenging, examining and pursuing growth of one’s own faith development
  • Maintain voluntary daily Chapel service, honor Chapel time (no meetings or classes), and keep Christ Chapel open 24 hours/day
  • Create compelling programs to encourage students to attend Chapel, including offering alternative worship experiences in Lutheran and other Christian traditions
  • Provide alternative space for reflection and various types of worship services, including non-Christian faiths
  • Continue requiring a religion class focused on Christian teachings
  • Require a religion class on “comparative” or “world” religions
  • Produce alumni who are broadly educated about various religions and cultures