Personal Growth & Development

Summary of Primary Recommendations

  • Support professional growth for all employees, including new employee training and ongoing enrichment
  • Integrate health, wellness, and fitness opportunities and philosophies throughout the campus and community
  • Enhance the campuswide advising/mentoring community to meet the growing and diverse needs of our students
  • Nurture a campus community committed to civil discourse

Tier 1

Health and Wellness

Integrate health, wellness, and fitness opportunities and philosophies throughout campus, starting with a review of services for students. (6)

Implement a comprehensive plan to support prevention, education, intervention, and assessment that results in a significant reduction of high-risk behaviors, starting with first-year students and parents. (6)

Develop and increase the support for healthy lifestyle choices, especially related to topics of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, including assessing the merits of becoming a tobacco-free campus. (6)

Identify strategies and resources to enhance immediate assessments of chemical use and to support students recovering from substance abuse and addiction. (6)


Further develop a campuswide advising/mentoring community that aims to meet the growing number of diverse advising and mentoring needs of all students, including the recent work of the Men's Leadership Initiative. (1)

Expand the types of career experience options to increase the number of student participants. (6)

Nurture a campus community committed to and skilled in the practice of civil discourse by coordinating campuswide initiatives relating to intellectual diversity, conflict resolution, and civil discourse, which may include work with First Term Seminar courses. (6)

Conduct a comprehensive assessment of student needs and appropriate scope of practice relating to Counseling Center services. (6)

Enhance effective responses to victims and perpetrators of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and bias incidents by providing counseling and the ability to be effective when the response is both proactive and reactive. (6)

Strengthen the Colleges process to respond to, report, and communicate hate crimes, and to effectively sanction perpetrators. (6)


Implement an ongoing orientation for administrators and staff. (3)

Revamp and create new structures and policies to: provide a flexible schedule for employees; identify and utilize employees strengths; and further develop a culture of employee participation in decision-making and ownership in the future of Gustavus. (3)

Enhance competitively awarded internal funds to provide faculty additional funding for scholarship, research, or creative work and to leverage this for additional external funding. (1)

Create benchmarks for Gustavus to regularly measure employee satisfaction. (3)

Tier 2

Health and Wellness

Create a comprehensive wellness model (physical, spiritual, emotional, mental) and a Health and Wellness Office to implement a campuswide student, faculty, and staff health and wellness program. (6)

Provide comprehensive education in the areas of stress management, time management, and maintaining a balanced lifestyle. (6)

Develop a campuswide training program designed to provide the campus with the knowledge needed to engage in alcohol dialogue. (6)

Grow the PLEDGE program into a community-oriented group that includes programming for substance-free alternatives for students living a substance-free lifestyle. (6)


Increase student involvement in presenting at on- and off-campus professional conferences by 25 percent and grow the Celebration of Creative Inquiry to include summer research and Presidential Research Grants. (1)

Develop a guide that helps students work toward the realization of developmental goals. (6)

Develop an ad hoc committee to create strategies to leverage student learning through student employment. (2)

Create a “Difficult Discussions” program to give students the tools and support needed to adapt to, appreciate, and accept others. (6)

Conduct a comprehensive student communication audit to determine message penetration rate and the most effective message delivery methods/systems. (5)


Create a task force to develop a proposal for administrators and staff employee orientation, including an assessment of current practices, researching best practices for start-up training and a mentoring program for all new employees. (3)

Create a model for employee enrichment based on the principle that employees will annually be provided funds to participate in professional or skill development, and explore the interest and logistics of professional development leaves for administrators and staff. (3)

Create an endowment of $10 million for the Kendall Center to support programming, a director, and staff to strengthen its position as a national model for faculty development and support. (4)

Provide replacement costs for faculty who are on sabbatical. (1)

Explore the possibility of establishing a phased retirement program for faculty. (1)

Implement a robust professional leadership development program for employees to equip them to work more effectively as mentors and teachers for students and to advance the exploration and practice of core leadership capacities. (1)

Annually present a faculty development workshop to prepare faculty to include public discourse in their classes. (1)

Tier 3


Develop a comprehensive sophomore initiative that may include communities for students to focus on growing academic demands and problems of broad social importance. (6)

Develop an assessment tool to measure student learning outcomes related to learning and living communities. (6)

Develop a speaker series to support intellectual diversity and civil discourse. (6)

Explore a mechanism by which Gustavus can use the visual and performing arts to augment health and wellness and to reflect upon questions relating to social justice. (6)

Increase student-focused programming that integrates traditional and emerging multicultural backgrounds and experiences to educate toward a greater understanding within the Gustavus community. (6)


Create an ad hoc committee to review the philosophy, selection criteria/process, and recognition ceremony for administrator and staff awards recognizing years of service and retirement to ensure they are aligned with the Colleges mission, values, and intended purpose. (3)

Explore the implementation of an informal or lower-level recognition program focused on celebrating the Gustavus community and enhancing a culture of appreciation. (3)

Develop and support a pre-tenure leave program for tenure-line faculty. (1)

Establish an award recognizing faculty and staff who are exemplary in their commitment to service-learning or community-based learning. (1)

Develop staff/student positions to serve as internal rotating or temporary workers to be matched with departments to meet short-term/seasonal needs. (3)

External Engagement

Expand the “Reading in Common” program beyond first-year students to involve upper-class students, alumni, parents, and friends by providing a medium for book discussions, including online opportunities for discussion. (6)

Expand staffing and retreat space either on or off campus to continue to grow outreach efforts to engage students, faculty, staff, alumni, congregations, youth, and others. (3)

Establish a parent orientation program that includes diversity education and supporting students in making healthy choices. (6)

Increase the support of the MAYDAY! Peace Conference as a signature event in the spring. (1)