October 3, 2002
Jim VanAlstine (chair), Ken Hodgson, Maddy Maxeiner, Ken Crandall, LeAnn
Jackie Thorvaldson, Shaun Hainey, Lowell Rasmussen, Andy Lopez, Jeff Xiong, Dennis Templeman,
Ferolyn Angell, Carol McCannon
Absent: Clare Strand, Amy Ackerman
minutes: UMM Communications Audit)
The meeting began with a round of introduction. Eaves said she was very happy to be here and asked the following questions:
1. Is UMM clear about its mission and purpose?
Lopez - Yes.
McCannon - It seems like its clear if we're far away from Morris, but not as clear if you're here.
VanAlstine - Yes, but somewhat restricted, pressure to dilute our mission.
Angell - As a land grant institution, it's not clear about who we are trying to give a liberal arts education.
McCannon - Staff are less likely to articulate our mission.
Hodgson - Not sure I agree with that. Some of our experienced staff are clear. Because there is so much turnover, at times we wonder if we are the best liberal arts college. We forget what got us to this point. We are educating and we are really good at it.
Crandall - we know our mission, but there must be a problem when we lose 25% of our faculty every year. The only way to be strong is not to lose good faculty members.
Angell - We lose faculty members because of our mission?
Crandall - We lose them because we don't pay them.
2. How would you describe UMM's image?
Hodgson - I always hear that we
have high academic standards.
Xiong - UMM is selective and the overall experience would be more beneficial if the standards were a lot higher.
Thorvaldson - UMM was my first choice because compared to private schools, I'm paying at least half.
Hainey - A friend of my fathers suggested UMM. I didn't know what to expect. UMM is very politically liberal, socially conservative. Not a wild campus. Voter turnout in the presidential election was huge. It has that cozy private school feel.
McCannon - When we hear of happenings at the WCROC, there's no mention of UMM. In the early days we tried to distance ourselves from the experiment station. Crookston tied themselves together with the experiment station.
Angell - Don't think the community is clear about our mission. They don't see it as local resource.
Crandall - When recruiting in the Cities, I mostly hear that we're a small highly selective school on the prairie. Don't know we're liberal arts; don't know where Morris is.
Angell - For students recruited out of state, there's an image they won't feel at home, a paranoia of what it will be like because of location.
3. Are you aware of a strategic plan to carry out this mission?
VanAlstine - There seem to be at
least three or four plans and it bothers me that there are so many.
Hodgson - We fall short in implementing plans, it feels like nothing seems to happen because there is never enough money.
McCannon - Individually not sure what role we can plan.
Crandall - Faculty and staff are already stretched too far.
Hodgson - There is such an abyss on what we turn out on this committee and who does what. The abyss begins because the division chairs and administrative groups control what happens next. The four division chairs try to out-think the other chairs on how they can get the most money.
Lopez - I've seen a lot of positive things develop here and some of those things take a long time. Not everything happens as fast as we would like them to
4. In your estimation, what are the strengths of UMM's Communications efforts?
Xiong - The minority student program
has helped a great deal, there's a diverse community here in Morris.
McCannon - It's pretty clear among everyone that we have a diverse population.
Lopez - I've very proud of the fact that we are very honest, our communication is accurate and honest.
Angell - The billboard is great, our presence on public radio is good.
Crandall - Don't feel we communicate our message. Our football games are on the radio, but there's no mention about Morris.
Thorvaldson - We focus a lot on the TC area, our potential student lists are so much bigger. We need to focus more on the Morris area.
Crandall - Public radio is a huge positive thing. Our alums are spreading the word.
Hainey - The fact that we have 19 students on assembly gives students the sense of inclusion. There is open communication between senior administrators and MCSA execs.
Angell - There is strong representation from students at legislative events in the cities.
McCannon - The TC now wants the same type of students we recruit.
VanAlstine - This is a very serious problem for us.
Lopez - There is a disparity in financial aid.
5. What are the weaknesses in the communications efforts?
Lopez - The faculty should be given
more of an opportunity in some of these roles.
Hodgson - We there is a need for a central office to initiate new ways to communicate.
Crandall - Great job of promoting web site and web presence.
6. What ideas do you have to significantly enhance the overall communications efforts?
Angell - I've always been frustrated
that Admissions sends out great publications, but we never see them. We
don't know how we are being promoted.
VanAlstine - We've made great progress: there's a UMM faculty member on every major committee at the all university level; our student involvement is very good; lobbying efforts have been phenomenal; fundraising has been unbelievable; the TC recognizes us as a force.
Angell - Hiring a coordinator would be money well spent.