University of Minnesota Morris

Why Strategic Positioning?

Background Information

The University of Minnesota, Morris is undertaking a strategic positioning process as part of the University of Minnesota’s effort to “Transform the U” into one of the top three public research institutions in the world. At UMM, the Campus Resources and Planning Committee was asked to serve as our strategic positioning task force. Members joined with other task forces throughout the U at a mid-September kickoff retreat on the St. Paul campus. University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks clearly articulated the importance of this transformation effort, the most comprehensive strategic planning process ever undertaken by the University.

The task force consisted of 16 members with nearly equal representation of students, faculty, staff, and administrators. We met regularly as a committee and engaged in various fora and venues to collect input from our stakeholders and analyze reports and data received from students, faculty, and staff. The group sponsored a kick-off event facilitated by Bliss Browne, founder of Imagine Chicago, in the fall which was attended by 80 members of the campus community. Anne Carroll of Carroll, Franck & Associates and the Humphrey Institute assisted us in holding 60 focus groups attended by more than 650 members of the campus and the broader community, offered on-line surveys completed by 210 stakeholders who were unable to attend a focus group, and conducted individual interviews with University of Minnesota Regents and senior administrators, as well as prominent legislators.

We have submitted our intial report to Senior Vice President Robert Jones in April, 2006.