University of Minnesota, Morris

Campus Resources and Planning Committee

 

September 20, 2007

 

Members Present:       Pete Wyckoff, Jenny Wermerskirchen, Michelle Page, Joe Basel,

                                    Jennifer Rothchild, Sara Haugen, Brook Miller, Dave Swenson,

                                    LeAnn Dean, Sharon VanEps, Ken Hodgson, Lowell Rasmussen

 

Guests:                                    James Morales, Jennifer Zych Herrmann, Bryan Herrmann,

                                    Margaret Kuchenreuther, Vicki Graham

 

 

Minutes from September 13 2007 meeting approved as presented. Motion made by Michelle Page, second by Joe Basel.

 

Meetings

 

Pete announced that some of the meetings would be moved to Tuesdays instead of Thursdays to avoid a scheduling conflict with the Curriculum Committee. Those dates and locations will be announced soon.

 

Update on Enrollment

 

James Morales distributed two handouts outlining the projection models for new high school students and transfer students. Our unofficial enrollment as of today is 1691 compared to 1747 last year, a 3.2% decrease. We also have less non-degree students enrollment this fall—117 compared to 151 from last year. The female to male ratio is 58% and 42% respectively. He also reported that the application deadline date has been moved up. Brook Miller wondered how the earlier deadline affects visitors’ decisions. James responded that it actually opens up more opportunities for students than drawbacks. Sara Haugen asked if $1,000 tuition reduction had an impact on the numbers. James responded that he hoped it would have had more of an impact. Jen Herrmann added that because it was announced so late in the academic year, it probably helped more with retention numbers. Pete inquired about quality indicators. James said the class rank for incoming freshman is 75.4% and the average ACT is 24.9 compared to 75% and 24.4% from 2006. Bryan Herrmann also noted that we have reset our scholarships for this year—offering larger awards for the top 5%. Pete said he was curious about other comparisons. If other committee members have additional questions, they can forward those questions to Pete or directly to James. James, Bryan and Jen are willing to come back to offer additional information and discuss strategies at a later date.

 

Discussion of proposed environmental studies major

 

Margaret Kuechenreuther reported that the Environmental Studies area of concentration has existed at UMM for some time and eight students have graduated from UMM with that degree. As of February 2007, eleven currently enrolled students were seeking an Environmental Studies area of concentration. Additionally, our Admissions office reports strong student interest in Environmental Studies among our potential student pool. In the fall of 2005, a group of interested faculty convened to discuss the possibility of converting the existing area of concentration into a major. That group now consists of: Sheri Breen, Donna Chollett, Chris Cole, Vicki Graham, Jamey Jones, Arne Kildegaard, Margaret Kuchenreuther, Dennis Stewart, and Pete Wyckoff. The need for formalized “environmental” curriculum arose repeatedly in the strategic planning process and appears in the 2006 strategic plan in the first recommendation for new campus initiatives. The 2007 Compact request included new recurring funding for an interdisciplinary major and a portion of that request was granted. This new program will initially house an interdisciplinary environmental studies major, that will report to the Dean.

 

Much of the faculty expertise and interest in the environment already exist at UMM. In the sciences, faculty members whose teaching and research interests are focused on the environment include all four of the current members of Geology, five in Biology and additional faculty from Physics and Chemistry. Environmental interest and expertise are also found in the Humanities and Social Sciences Divisions, including faculty in Anthropology, Economics, English, History, and Political Science.

 

UMM has several non-curricular ongoing environmental programs and innovations, including recycling, the wind turbine, the coming biomass plant, the local food initiative and the new campus Sustainability Coordinator. Additionally, UMM will be adding a green residence hall to campus.

 

Due to time constraints, this discussion will continue at the meeting next week.