Academic Resources Administration (ARA)

Purpose, Policies, Plans & Products
Based on Provost ARA Founding Policies 7/8/2008

A. ARA Objectives and Direction:
ARA, under the direction of the Provost and Chief Academic Officer and in cooperation with the leadership of the Schools, identifies and seeks to realize such priorities as increased quantity and quality of enrollment, academic programs creation or advancement, faculty increment and development, increased revenue for support of the University and research. These become the primary sources and determinants of ARA resource objectives. Cooperative planning and resource acquisition are continuously and informally reviewed and revised by the ARA with the leadership of the Schools.

B. Faculty Support and Participation:
The ARA encourages and supports individual faculty development and research projects with cooperative pursuit of resources. These initiatives benefit from the direction and support of the faculty members, School, and Institute leadership to realize academic programs and faculty advancement.

C. Resource Sources: ARA seeks external funding and other resources from (but not limited to) the following sources:

  1. Federal, state and other public agencies. Examples: US DOE Project SUCCESS; CCRA undergraduate science and mathematics four-year seamless sequence with MDC; USDA Cooperative HIS Agricultural Studies (Science base); Title V Retention Program.

  2. International and Foreign agencies such as USAID and Ministries of Education. Examples: Peru-US cooperative development program being developed; USDA foreign student plant biology program being developed; STU-Shanghai International Studies University (China) in a baccalaureate program in Chinese studies for International Business.

  3. Design, testing and modeling of innovative academic developments in cooperation with related STU academic units and other institutions. Upon favorable, research-based testing the sustainable model is established and possibly disseminated. Examples: Science Fellows program; Archdiocesan Partnership, Think Tank and Doctoral program for Catholic Schooling Leadership; Feeder programs of IRSC and STU in BA/BS to MS Continuum.

  4. Catholic institutions and STU/ARA partnership. Examples: Archdiocesan University and Office of Schools; Archbishop Curley High School and STU as University School.

  5. Foundations and private sector funding (with approval of STU Academic Advancement); Focused funding from foundations and the private sector for special needs, including developmental research and matching. Example: Minority entrepreneur project.

  6. Contract Funding. Examples: ARA as authorized External Evaluator gains contracts as components of federal grant to other university, school district, private sector agreements, et alia, to serve as formal and expert External Evaluators. Current example: FN University contracts with ARA for external evaluation.

  7. Partnerships in Research and Development. Example: ARA initiates and/or supports STU and Miami Dade College STEM Partnership for advancement of undergraduate science research with funding from the US DOE for student funding, travel, experience at outstanding research sites, such as USDA Research Center in South Florida, research engagement at the University of Louvain in Belgium, and New Mexico Technical lnstitute.

  8. Volunteer Engagement: Identifies major needs, such as “lowest achieving schools” in Miami-Dade School District and engages in a three-year transformation process with the facilitation of retired teachers’ voluntary engagement, or Peace Corps-STU/ARA Third Level Realization (Service of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV)) serving in needy schools, communities, and social entrepreneurial businesses.

D. Academic Affairs Contracts and Grants: ARA is the primary agency of support and coordination of institutional academic grants and contract projects. The ARA Dean will be one of the units who must approve of project grants and contract proposals. ARA has designed and gained approval of pre-proposal approval by means of a one-page Précis submission and a proposal approval process by related University authorities after review of the proposal abstract, staffing, process, budget and budget narrative

E. Institutional Collaboration: ARA leadership cooperates with other University divisions and offices to increase the acquisition of resources and other support for the University.

F. ARA Partnerships: ARA designs and realizes a series of partnerships in education, business, science, technology, and communications in cooperation with the leadership and faculty of the related Schools and with the approval of the Provost and Associate Provost. For example:

  • ARA has designed and tested the creation of University Schools, public and Catholic schools joining together with the University in professional development, exchanges, dual-enrollment courses, visitations to campus classes and activities, on-line courses, blogging, websites, and research initiatives. Each particular partnership is planned and approved by University and school leadership in the related departments. 


  • Miami-Dade College and St. Thomas University have formed the Hispanic STEM Program, developing a four-year integral and articulated program leading to baccalaureate degrees.  This partnership is committed to recruiting at each of the colleges through a STEM Fellows cohort at each institution. STU will have at lease one cohort of STEM students (biology, chemistry, and mathematics) beginning each Fall and at least one cohort of 30 students possessing Associates Degrees to enter the upper division of STU.

G. ARA & Catholic Education:
By virtue of the Catholic identity and mission of St. Thomas University, the ARA will form cooperative and mutually supportive initiatives with other Catholic educational institutions and agencies. This cooperation will be in tandem with STU Schools and Institutes. The Catholic institutions with which ARA engages may be local, regional, or in other nations.

H. ARA Leadership: The leadership and total staffing consists of two professional personnel with substantial academic prior experience as senior officers of universities, governmental agencies, international agencies, and K-12 school districts. ARA gains by contract and partnership funding to support its limited staffing. The two members of ARA are: 

  • John Carpenter, Ph.D., Dean, ARA and Professor of Education
  • Angela Rodriguez, Associate Director, Contracts and Grants Development Unit