Campus Resources and Planning Committee

January 30, 2008 -- 8:00 a.m.




Members Present:     LeAnn Dean, Sara Haugen, Jacquie Johnson, Carrie Grussing,

Maddy Maxeiner, Michelle Page, Jennifer Rothchild, Dave Swenson,

Sharon Van Eps, Jenny Wermerskirchen, Douglas Williams, Pete Wyckoff, Lowell Rasmussen


Members Not Present: Joe Basel, Ken Hodgson, Sarah Mattson, Brook Miller



Reorganization in Finance Area


Chancellor Johnson reported that our strategic plan, approved “in concept” in October, 2007, calls upon us to “maintain a sustainable financial position.” In a general sense, the plan fits into this overarching directive from the strategic plan.


In the year and one half that she has been here, it has become clear that as a University we have not allocated sufficient resources or importance to the finance area. In particular, as a campus, we have not engaged in a centralized, big-picture look at our finances, we have not engaged adequately in financial planning, financial modeling, or in financial forecasting. This has, in turn, compromised our ability to secure a strong financial position, something which we must do if we are going to enhance even further our leadership as an outstanding institution of higher learning.


Her plan is to combine our finance and facilities areas (which are intricately interrelated) into a single new office with a new leadership position: Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities. She has asked Lowell Rasmussen, currently Associate Vice Chancellor for Physical Plant and Master Planning, to move into this position effective March 1st and he has agreed.


Additional staff changes will support this new framework while aligning individual interests and expertise with responsibilities, thereby strengthening our financial position and working within the basic framework of resources available. In this new structure, Gary Strei, who has served the institution well for many years and who has diligently and graciously occupied the position of Senior Administrative Director for Finance and Administration will become the Senior Accounts Analyst and will work closely with and report directly to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities.


Other elements of the plan include:

Š       a change in the reporting line of the Director of Human Resources, Sarah Mattson, who will, effective March 1st, report directly to the Chancellor. This creates a more parallel structure to that of the Twin Cities campus, in which the Vice President for Human Resources reports directly to the President, not to the Vice President for Finance.

Š       Lisa Harris, who currently serves as Associate Administrator in physical plant, reporting to Lowell Rasmussen, will continue in that same reporting role, employee classification and job category, but with some expanded duties and a different working title: Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Facilities.

Š       Dave Aronson, who currently serves as project manager and assistant to Lowell Rasmussen in facilities will continue in that same role with some expanded duties.

Š       Kim Schultz, who currently serves as Manager of the Business Office, will continue in that capacity and will also continue her role of leading the transition from the old to the new financial management system (from CUFS to EFS.)


She began discussions and planning of these changes this fall. It has been her intention to consult with all those involved in the changes as well as with relevant campus leadership (Vice Chancellor’s group and Division Chairs) and with campus governance. In addition to campus consultation, she has also been in close contact with system administrators, in particular Executive Vice President Robert Jones and Executive Vice President for Finance, Richard Pfutzenreuther as she shaped this plan. She is aware that, as an element of the timeframe of this consultation, there has already been considerable discussion and speculation about these changes and that many rumors have circulated in the past few weeks.


Additionally, she noted that there will not be any new positions. There will be some salary increases and some responsibility added but no new positions will be added. Overall this will not affect the general student body on a day-to-day basis. But not being organized financially has a large impact on all of our lives. Michelle Page noted that we have financial issues and we will not be able to move forward by doing the same thing and she supports the effort. Dave Swenson added that he commends the Chancellor’s effort to address our financial position.


Green Energy Information


Lowell Rasmussen reported that a few days before the winter break, we learned that we had been authorized with three creb bonds that will allow us to build a second wind turbine up on the hill; build a third wind turbine in partnership with the Mille Lacs band and a steam turbine associated with the biomass.


Non-Compact Budget Discussion

Jacquie and Lowell will both attend a budget meeting next week, February 8, 2008 to discuss the campuses finances with the Twin Cities budget office. Lowell added that we need to strengthen our credibility with budget officers. We have a history of not knowing how to handle our resources and it appears the Twin Cities is no longer receptive to us asking for help every year. He added that he believes it is possible for us to work on our structural imbalance, even though it will be difficult and is probably not something we can do in one year. Our goal is to keep our budgets balances and generate revenues so can invest in our priorities that we’ve identified.



CPRC will plan to meet on Wednesday February 9, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. in the Moccasin Flower Room.