Suffolk University has been unleashing the potential of promising students since 1906, when founder Gleason Archer first taught evening law classes to working adults in his Roxbury home. In its earliest incarnation, Suffolk was a beacon of hope to immigrants and others trying to better their lives through education.
Suffolk’s Beacon Hill presence dates back to 1914, when the Law School opened its first building at 45 Mount Vernon Street. The University’s College of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1934 to ensure equality of opportunity for working people seeking a college education. That was followed in 1937 by the University’s newest professional department, a school of management that stressed the value of combining educational theory with work experience and would in 1995 become the Sawyer Business School.
Suffolk’s presence grew along Temple Street on Beacon Hill and, in recent decades, along Tremont and lower Washington streets in Boston’s downtown corridor. Today, the University’s location in the heart of Boston positions us at the crossroads of city and state government and ties us to Boston’s business, legal, and cultural communities, giving our students extraordinary access to experiential learning, research opportunities, and internships. Students experience the pulse of the city in an urban campus without boundaries. Our urban environment also extends to Madrid, where Suffolk students can study for a semester or as long as two years. With bases in two of the world’s great cities, Suffolk is truly a university whose students become global citizens.
Suffolk University was founded on the principle that educational opportunity should not be reserved for the wealthy. The University today remains committed to offering an affordable and high-quality education that provides paths to success for people of all economic backgrounds. At a time when rising costs of higher education nationally have created financial burdens for many students and their families, Suffolk University seeks to ease those burdens and provide economic value by operating according to sound financial practices and focusing on those areas and programs that most benefit our students.
Suffolk University is a talent catalyst that recognizes and develops student potential. Leveraging our location in the heart of Boston, our faculty, staff, and alumni work together to provide a student-centered experience. This diverse community builds on its dedication and excellence in education and scholarship to empower graduates to be successful locally, regionally, and globally.
Suffolk University will be recognized as a dynamic institution that fosters engaged learning, rigorous scholarship, innovative thinking, and community collaboration across disciplines.
We will ensure that Suffolk graduates are versatile and prepared for modern society and the new world market. We will provide rich curricula, experiential learning opportunities, and professional mentoring through increased collaboration with alumni and community partners. We will recruit, mentor, and support a diverse faculty of teacher-scholars who are passionately committed to preparing our students to be leaders in the global community. We will inspire investment in a Suffolk community that is built on ethical, forward-thinking leadership, teamwork, and cooperation.
Provide an integrated, student-centered experience, highlighted by strong mentoring relationships that develop students’ full potential.
Offer an education that blends theory and practice and prepares students to be innovative thinkers who can succeed in a rapidly evolving employment landscape and in an increasingly global community.
Leverage our borderless campus located in Boston to develop local, national, and global experiential learning and career opportunities for our students.
Develop, recognize, and reward excellence in teaching and in scholarship.
Integrate the Suffolk University community to build unity among students, faculty, staff, and alumni across the University.
Professionalize the governance of Suffolk University to include consultation with stakeholders about major decisions and transparency in management and operations. Manage resources and operations with the utmost fiscal prudence to support the goal of providing educational excellence at a reasonable cost.
Maintain the traditional nature of a Suffolk education while strategically advancing the use of new technology and innovative pedagogy.
This strategic plan sets a clear direction for the University. It embraces our history as a student-centered institution focused on developing student potential. It emphasizes our commitment to excellence in teaching and scholarship and bringing innovation to the learning experience. The core values laid out in the plan are Suffolk values. The strategic imperatives within the plan provide critical focus and will be the driver for resource allocation and budget decisions.
The plan, however, is only the beginning. It can only work if it is linked to specific, measurable goals and strategies. These specific, measurable goals and strategies will be presented in a series of annual Implementation Plans, which will serve as essential companions to the overall Strategic Plan. Signaling both the importance of these annual implementation plans and Suffolk’s commitment to moving ahead immediately on each of the “Strategic Initiatives” presented above, we are releasing our first annual Implementation Plan simultaneously with the release of this Strategic Plan. We commit to the release of subsequent annual implementation plans, and we invite all constituencies interested in the future success of Suffolk University to participate actively as we develop and implement these plans. Constant input and reactions from all concerned with Suffolk’s future are essential if the mode of continuous decision-oriented planning we have adopted is to succeed.
Suffolk University is a student-centered institution that nurtures the tremendous capacity for intellectual and professional growth in each of its students. We are passionate about the powerful role education plays in bettering lives. Our collective commitment to engaging, preparing, and supporting each student is one of our greatest strengths.
Our challenge is to take that ethic and build a cohesive organization that best serves our students, our alumni, and the wider community in a rapidly changing and highly competitive higher education climate.
With gratitude to the talented group of faculty, administrators, and students who make up the University’s Strategic Planning Committee, I am delighted to present our strategic plan, Charting the Future: A Plan for Suffolk University. With input from the campus community, the committee created a blueprint for success over the next five years.
This plan builds on our history as a student-centered institution and identifies our highest priorities and key areas of focus. It positions us to provide students with exceptional and seamless support from the time they first consider Suffolk, throughout a rich academic experience here, into successful careers, and as committed and engaged members of our alumni community. It confirms our commitment to faculty as teacher-scholars who bring cutting-edge knowledge into the classroom and the laboratory. It is a forward-looking plan that preserves the traditional student-faculty relationship while encouraging the strategic use of new technology and innovative pedagogy. It leverages our location in the heart of downtown Boston and promotes a deepened sense of who we are and who we want to be as a university.
The plan provides an updated mission and vision for the University. It identifies the core values that reflect who we are as a community. And it identifies seven strategic imperatives — those key priorities and objectives that will help us fulfill our mission and achieve our vision. The plan will serve as the platform upon which we build more specific implementation plans for each of the next five academic years. This mode of continuous decision-oriented planning allows for rapid action in a changing environment and enhances accountability. The annual implementation plans that will accompany this plan will contain explicit metrics against which the plan can be assessed.
As we have for more than a century, Suffolk University will continue to respond to the evolving needs of society and the workplace by providing a transformative, supportive, and experiential education that inspires students and prepares them for successful careers and fulfilling lives.
James McCarthy, President