Campus Resources and Planning Committee
March 22, 2010
Present: Lowell Rasmussen, Carol Marxen, Bryan Herrmann, Pete Wyckoff,
Dave Swenson, Sydney Sweep, Sarah Mattson, Sara Haugen, Brook Miller,
Pam Gades, Kathy Julik-Heine, Zak Forde, Bart Finzel
Guests: Gwen Rudney, Pareena Lawrence, Janet Ericksen, Sandy Olson-Loy
Minutes of 2/15/10, 2/26/10 and 3/1/10 were approved.
Future meetings: due to the HLC visit on March 29, CRPC will not meet. Future agenda items include: renaming of the Food Service building on April 5; an update from Maddy Maxeiner on April 12; various budget/facilities update on April 19 and 26; enrollment update on May 3.
Higher Learning Commission Accreditation visit
Jacquie Johnson reminded the committee of the Higher Learning Commission team visit on March 29-31. The team will arrive on Sunday evening with their work beginning on immediately on Monday. The team will be located in the LaFave House. The final schedule will be complete in the next day or so. She encouraged committee members to attend meetings if they are invited to do so. The self-study is available online for those interested in reading the report.
Update on budget compact meeting
Jacquie believes our budget meeting went very well. The assumptions we used for modeling the budget are all things this committee has discussed. We were told not to model furloughs or the 27th pay period; however we were told to model a 2% salary increase. She also believes the Twin Cities budget officers are confidence in the information we presented and they have a general sense that we have moved in the right direction. They had a good conversation about the green prairie living and learning center as well as the sprinkling of Blakely. We presented a proposal for the American Indian Tuition waiver in writing and are waiting to hear back from VP Jones and President Bruininks. We presented some of the major findings at this point from the Blue Ribbon Task Force and where we might go if we have additional money for investments in the next few years. Lowell added that if we have a surplus, they have agreed to let us use 25% for an investment pool and 75% for a contingency fund. The rationale is we can use the contingency funds to keep our operating budgets stable for the next three years while keeping a stable work force at the same time. The expectation is that we will not add additional staff for the next three years. Jacquie said the budget meeting was positive and this committee should feel very good about their contributions. She reiterated Lowell’s comment about no net additional staff.
Bart said he continues to be troubled by the numbers of the SUFE students and how we plan to support them. Jacquie replied that adjustments will be made to support those students.
Update on Blue Ribbon Task Force
Jacquie reported that many of the people on CRPC are also members of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. The membership includes: Roger Wareham, Jane Kill, Mary Zosel, Zak Forde, Sydney Sweep, Cheryl Contant, Maddy Maxeiner, Lowell Rasmussen, Sandy Olson-Loy, Michael Korth, Gwen Rudney, Janet Ericksen, Pareena Lawrence, Paula O’Loughlin, Michelle Page and Pete Wyckoff. The charge of the task force is to consider how to implement the five strategies that are part of the Financing the Future report. The task force has identified two highest priorities. Priority #1 is to strengthen our core mission and enhance our ability to deliver by: 1) invest more resources in our strongest and most attractive major programs and areas of concentration; 2) add 2-3 new major programs over the course of the next 3-5 years, that align with our core mission and that have the potential to attract a new group of students; 3) reduce investment in or eliminate programs that are less critical, less attractive and that we do “less well” in a process of prioritized program review; 4) explore innovative uses of technology to strengthen and expand current liberal arts major programs and support programs in selected areas; 5) develop aggressive and ambitious retention plan and invest additional resources as needed; 6) develop aggressive recruitment and retention plan for community college students, international students, and veterans and dependents eligible for GI bill.
Priority #2 is to expand our core mission by capitalizing on our strengths, our infrastructure—especially facilities and renewable energy resources—and our niche(s) while better serving our region by: 1) capitalize on our strength in teacher education and in renewable energy/sustainability by fostering programs and connections between K-12 and post-secondary institutions in the region and beyond; 2) develop a business plan that capitalizes on renewable energy and sustainability niche and regional partnerships and implement summer and on line programs that speak to this niche; 3) further explore our capacity and interest in expanding Gen Ed Web program; 4) secure additional resources and creative partnerships to expand renewable energy infrastructure.
The next steps will include discussion of how to consider these tasks and how they will be accomplished. She expects this work to take place over the course of the next month or so and she will report back when the next phase of the task force work is completed. She welcomes thoughts and responses to these ideas.
Zak added that the task force also discussed e-learning, the use of facilities and the need to focus on the future. There was concern that prioritized program review would create fears that this was just a way to eliminate some programs. Jacquie agreed that those were concerns were discussed. She believes it is important to have a set of empirical indicators set in place to assess the vitality and viability of each academic or support program. At the same time, we need to be honest about what we are doing and were we are going.
Brook inquired about creating models of what is going to be profitable in terms of new initiatives and asked if we have comparative data from other institutions. Jacquie said that we need to have a conversation about the role of e-learning would play on this campus. We also need to do market research before programs are launched. We would be foolish to go ahead with a program if there isn’t a market for it. We have not been very good about pulling the plug on campus programs that are not succeeding. Programs need to have a sunset or reexamination process. We have a clear sense of our mission and purpose that needs to align with our mission and purpose within the University and state.