University of Minnesota, Morris

Campus Resources and Planning Committee

 

April 29, 2004

 

 

 

 

Members Present:       Andy Lopez, Bryan Herrmann, Mark Fohl, Maddy Maxeiner,

                                    Ken Hodgson, Kevin Ely, LeAnn Dean, Carol McCannon, Tammy Faux,

                                    Arne Kildegaard

 

Guests:                                    Fritz Schwaller, Jim Mootz, Sandy Olson-Loy, Gary Strei

 

 

(In these minutes: Update on enrollment, Update on Integrated Communications Marketing Group, Report from Textbook Price Subcommittee, Budget update)

 

Minutes of 3/25/04, 4/1/04, 4/15/04, and 4/22/04 were approved as presented.

 

Update on Enrollment

 

Jim Mootz reported that the Admissions staff is having trouble getting final commitments.  He mentioned that May 1 is a target date that schools push for.  As of today, there are 1298 students registered for fall, compared to 1381 last year.  Students of color applications are up 33 compared to last year; transfer applications are down 3.  Ken Hodgson suspects the problem is complex‹our lifeblood is dwindling‹and this has to be one of our major concerns.  He believes our image rules out many students who could do well here.  On the flip side, students donıt know about us or have negative information.  He believes this is a major problem that we must address before we worry about anything else.  Jim Mootz said it could be a combination of many things.  The population seems to be shifting to the Twin Cities area.  His number concern is that UMM is not on the radar screen for young students.  We need to build an image of UMM.   Carol McCannon wondered why there isnıt a wave of panic?  This problem should be at the top of everyoneıs list.  She doesnıt see that this is a deep concern and believes the numbers wonıt change until that happens.  Mootz said the message out there is that we are selective and competitive.  Bryan Herrmann said he hears that we are too selective.  He believes the bigger problem is that people donıt know who we are, we need to be on the radar.  Fritz Schwaller added that if we were to change our profile, that significantly changes the way we do business.  Everybody wants the same students that we want.

 

Update on Integrated Communications Marketing Group

 

Maddy Maxeiner reported that the group has met a couple of times.  They are trying to come up with some kind of statement or catch phrase that is attractive to students and the public.  Tammy Faux suggested opening the discussion to students because they may creative ideas.  Maxeiner asked if there was interest in creating an informal group during the summer.  Carol McCannon suggested some type of electronic discussion.  Ken Hodgson suggested we ask our graduating seniors why they chose UMM.  Arne Kildegaard wished we could somehow embrace our location. 

 

Report from Textbook Price Subcommittee

 

Arne Kildegaard distributed the following report on book prices as outlined below:

 

As a public liberal arts college, UMM prides itself on providing affordable and quality education.  As state and federal aid fail to keep pace with increasing fees and tuition, the rising cost of textbooks is of increasing concern to many students already struggling to pay for college.  In an effort to decrease the burden textbook prices place on students at UMM, we recommend the following:

 

  1. Professors should investigate cost when choosing required textbooks.  Faculty should give preference to the cheapest textbook when the educational content is equal.
  2. The Bookstore and faculty should work together to create a mechanism to enable this process.
  3. Conversations about ways to reduce textbook prices should be held at the discipline level.


UMM should be aware of and attempt to limit ³bundled² materials
.    Many textbooks come shrink-wrapped with additional instructional materials such as CD-ROMs and workbooks, this practice is commonly known as ³bundling².  These additional materials substantially increase the cost of the textbook.  Furthermore, bundling limits the possibility for students to resell the book and for the bookstore to offer used books.  According to a recent CALPIRG study, ³65% of professors estimate they ³never² or ³rarely² include information from the additional bundled items in their courses, compared with only 24% who estimated they do ³always² or  ³usually², and 11% use the material ³half the time².

 

  1. Students should not be expected to pay for additional instruction materials unless these materials are necessary or substantially enhance the learning process.
  2. An assessment survey should be initiated to determine whether professors at UMM are including information from the additional bundled items in their courses.
  3. The bookstore should include a check off system on the bookstore request form to ensure that the professor desires bundled materials.
  4. Use of the Libraryıs reserve system, on-line documents and other academic support services should be considered as options in place of bundled materials such as workbooks and CD-ROMs.

 

UMM should be aware of and limit the cost increasing effect of new editions.  Textbook companies consistently publish new editions with minor changes that add little or no substantive value to the class.  Often the only noticeable difference in the text is in the pagination.  New editions decrease resale value of textbooks and limit the bookstoreıs ability to offer used books and MCSAıs efforts to produce a student-to-student market.

 

  1. Professors should be made aware of the increased burden placed on students by requiring new editions.
  2. Use of the Libraryıs reserve system and other academic support services should be considered in place of new editions.
  3. Pressure should be placed on publishing companies to reform.  (See ³Faculty have the right Š.²)

 

Faculty, staff and students should work together to build a more vibrant used textbook market.  Used books and textbooks substantially decrease the overall cost of book purchasing to students.  Decreasing the amount of bundled materials and new editions would greatly aid this effort.  Other institutional reforms would further the efforts of the Bookstore and student groups to offer more used books.

 

  1. Professors that know which books they will be using for a class should email such information to their class list before the previous semesters final examinations.
  2. When possible, professors, academic disciplines, or divisions should aim to use the same book for three class cycles or more.
  3. Coordination regarding book requirements should be encouraged between professors that teach the same introductory courses.
  4. Student groups, especially those related to discipline studies, should consider the potential fundraising opportunities involved in book buy back systems and cost saving initiatives through book-swap websites.

 

Faculty have the right to know how their textbook choices will financially affect students.  Many of the problems associated with book prices stem from practices of book publishing companies.  Reforms in the textbook industry are needed.  Different areas of the campus community do all they can to bring up these issues.  The following are some recommendations advocated by CALPRIG, in Ripoff 101:  How the Current Practices of the Textbook Industry Drive Up the Cost of College Textbooks, that we found pertained to UMM:

 

1.     Publishers should disclose all of the different products they sell (including both bundled and unbundled options) and list how much each of those products cost.  This information should be made available to faculty and departments when they are considering which textbooks to order.

  1. Each textbook edition should be kept on the market as long as possible without sacrificing educational content.
  2. Publishers should disclose how the newest edition is different from the previous edition.
  3. Publishers should give preference to paper or online supplements to current editions over producing entirely new editions.
  4. Publishers should disclose the length of time they intend to produce the current edition so that professors know how long they can use the same book.

 

Additional suggestions for further inquiry:

 

  1. Academic disciplines should investigate creating their own textbooks.
  2. Open Source textbooks hold tremendous potential for reducing book prices.
  3. Funding to compensate a UMM professor for writing an open source textbook should be investigated.  Possible sources include curriculum development grants.  With this small step UMM would be leading the way in an area that has potential to revolutionize the college textbook industry.
  4. Information regarding used textbooks as tax rebates should be investigated and publicized.
  5. Professors should ask students to donate their books at the end of the semester.  The donations could be given to the Library Associates fundraiser or held for future classes.

 

Ken Hodgson thought this would be an excellent report to present at Campus Assembly.  Kevin Ely made a motion to approve the report, second by Bryan Herrmann.  So moved.

 

Budget Update

 

Gary Strei distributed the following handout as outlined below.

 

UMM Tuition Estimate 2004-2005

 

Estimated tuition collected for FY04                                     $10,317,968

Tuition Increase for FY05                                                       $  1,126,638

Phase II Tuition Estimate for FY05 (TC)                              $11,444,606

Enrollment decrease for FY05 (55fte)                                                ($   419,606)

Continuing Education Tuition Increase                                $       75,000

 

Tuition Revenues Budgeted                                                   $11,110,000

 

Andy Lopez thanked the committee members for their service and work this part year.