Quality-enhancing & Innovative Initiatives

Summary of Primary Recommendations

  • Increase the resources in faculty development to support the time and needs of faculty
  • Leverage the Nobel Conference to build Gustavus's reputation nationally and internationally, connecting alumni and friends and improving recruitment
  • Expand the acquisition budget of the Library and explore the needs for physical space and staffing to meet increasing demands to support faculty and students
  • Commit to being a national leader in environmental sustainability by managing resources responsibly and ethically
  • Infuse leadership development through the College experience beyond the curriculum and establish a comprehensive leadership center at Gustavus
  • Support faculty development for interdisciplinary programs
  • Develop a sustainable leadership structure and faculty support for the First Term Seminar program
  • Create and provide resources to support current and new Learning and Living Communities in residence halls
  • Develop appropriate academic and advising opportunities and support for sophomore students
  • Continue to explore ways to maximize the Interim Experience (January) as a meaningful addition to a Gustavus students education
  • Make community engagement a point of distinction for Gustavus

Tier 1


Substantially expand the acquisition budget of and appropriately staff the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library. (1)

Develop a sustainable leadership structure and increase the support of faculty teaching in the First Term Seminar program. (1)

Enhance the student experience in interdisciplinary programs through: guest professorships and lectures; collaborating with local community partners; study away; student/faculty research; attending and presenting at conferences; mentoring by alumni; and increased advising by faculty. (1)

Continue to explore ways to maximize the Interim Experience (January) as a meaningful addition to a Gustavus students education. (1)

Link curriculum development to the assessment of the curriculum, faculty effectiveness, and student learning outcomes in order to ensure ongoing academic excellence. (1)

Support, through faculty development, innovative pedagogical techniques incorporating new and emerging technologies that show improved student learning outcomes. (1)

Conduct a review of campus policies to ensure they are supportive of academic freedom and intellectual diversity. (1)

Provide competitive faculty salaries for those disciplines where Gustavus cannot currently compete for Ph.D. faculty, including the development of a “grow your own Ph.D.s” strategy. (1)

Student Development

Develop a vibrant undergraduate summer research program. (1)

Develop appropriate academic and advising opportunities and support for sophomore students. (1)

Infuse leadership development through the College experience beyond the curriculum, capitalizing on strong existing practices and providing resources to establish new programs and standards. (6)

Expand an interactive bystander intervention program that equips students to intervene in situations where another's drinking has potentially harmful consequences for the drinker and/or bystanders. (6)

Signature Events

Leverage the Nobel Conference to create near-term profit; build upon Gustavus's reputation; connect alumni and friends; improve recruitment; and expand supplemental curricular resources and lifelong learning programs. (1)

Secure the ongoing success of signature College events, including the Nobel Conference, Christmas in Christ Chapel, and the MAYDAY! Peace Conference, by fully endowing their production. (4)

Physical Plant

Affirm that academic building projects will respond to clearly identified program needs that support the curriculum, incorporate best practices of the discipline, and provide spaces to enhance learning activity at the intersections. (1)

When building or renovating residence halls, strive for housing that matches the expectations of current and future students. (3)

Complete over the next ten years the following long-term campus safety projects: well-lit Campus Drive path/sidewalk, keyless entry for all buildings, automatic fire protection systems in all buildings, multi-layered emergency notification for entire campus, and stand-by electrical generation. (3)

Environmental Sustainability

Commit to being a national leader in environmental sustainability by managing resources responsibly and ethically so stewardship of the environment becomes embedded as a value and is a hallmark of the Gustavus community. (3)

Create a Presidential Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group to promote best practices so the College can meet the goals set forth in the Presidents Climate Challenge Initiative, including reducing energy consumption, shifting to renewable sources, reducing water use, maximizing clean water recharging of aquifers; minimizing the production of material waste and transportation; purchasing recovery-produced commodities; and purchasing locally produced food and other commodities that reflect sustainability. (3)

Continue the Colleges tradition of multi-purpose use and adaptive reuse of current facilities and design new facilities that are efficient, durable, and responsive to changing uses and technologies. (3)


Implement Gustavus's brand repositioning to include a recruitment marketing campaign, education for students and alumni, and merchandise. (5)

Explore ways to collect and disseminate stories both on and off campus of the professional and personal achievements of faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. (5)

Create or reorganize a staff position to focus upon ways that Gustavus can maximize the use of emerging technology. (5)

Foster and promote a culture of philanthropy and gratitude by establishing the Gustavus story of philanthropy and re-examining the donor process. (4)

Strategic Planning

Maintain internal financial tracking controls and an institutional scorecard to benchmark financial and operational efficiencies and retention areas. (3)

Develop and annually review an internal and external communication plan, budgeting process, and implementation strategies for Commission Gustavus 150-related priorities. (3)

Identify programs where the College currently excels or would like to excel and give these programs priority for staffing and resource allocation. (1)

Tier 2


Support faculty development for interdisciplinary programs through the creation of dedicated tenure positions and time allocated for student advising, faculty/student research, and developing or enhancing course offerings. (1)

Establish a Center for Innovation at Gustavus to seed innovative thinking and culture throughout the Gustavus community, including establishing a Provosts Fund for Curricular Innovation. (1)

Conduct an annual campuswide review of the ways policies and practices are being upheld in the continued support of academic freedom and intellectual diversity on campus. (1)

Reduce the student/faculty ratio to 11:1. (1)

Establish a comprehensive Visiting Scholars Program that may include writers-in-residence, artists-in-residence, and international scholars. (1)

Campus Initiatives

Make community engagement a point of distinction for Gustavus. This might include developing a “signature” program, receiving the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification, being considered a “thought leader,” and creating a faculty development program focused on incorporating service/service-learning/engaged learning in course curriculum. (6)

Establish a comprehensive leadership center involving faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents, incorporating leadership development through the curriculum and through a leadership studies program, and guaranteeing that each student will experience leadership development and growth throughout their four years. (6)

Provide resources to support current and new Learning and Living Communities to be an innovative and intentional means to link students learning in and out of the traditional classroom. (6)

Capture the “innovation” in the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation to catalyze and support environmental innovation through the engagement of students, faculty, alumni, and the community. (1)

Weave the philosophy and practice of servant leadership into the ethos of Gustavus so that Gustavus becomes a regional center for servant leadership. (6)


Utilizing existing College documents, find the language to succinctly articulate the Colleges Lutheran heritage. (5)

Identify ways Gustavus can address a diminishing baseline of knowledge at the academic level, so as to nurture in students a mature understanding of the Christian faith. (1)

Develop resources for the ongoing professional development and support of Christian clergy, with special emphasis on young clergy, senior pastors, and pastors in transition. (7)

Establish an official collaborative for faith, vocation, and community engagement by affirming the work being done by the Center for Vocational Reflection, Office of Church Relations, the Chaplains Office, and the Presidents Office. (7)

Broadening Engagement

Provide technology resources and staffing to offer a full schedule of lectures and concerts to a wider audience. (5)

Develop an entertaining and engaging Web-based multimedia resource for students, faculty, staff, and alumni about Gustavus's Swedish Lutheran roots to provide a common understanding of Gustavus's roots and heritage. (5)

Tier 3

Implement a structure to support theme-based housing for a minimum of 25 percent of student housing by enhancing already existing communities and creating Learning and Living Communities linked to First Term Seminars and other academic courses. (6)

Explore the possibility of creating a visual literacy component to the curriculum, a media studies interdisciplinary minor, and an arts management minor. (1)

Conduct a feasibility study for creating immersion experiences for first-year students. (6)

Establish a named award to be given for faculty or faculty/student interdisciplinary research demonstrating innovation and excellence. (1)

Explore “graduation scholarships” or loan forgiveness strategies that encourage continued academic achievement, such as graduate school or leadership through service to the community. (4)