New university identity

Thursday, January 6, 2011

 Photo of Devinder Malhotra, provost, and Earl H. Potter III, president

Devinder Malhotra, provost, (left) and Earl H. Potter III, president, following the president's "Four Pillars of an SCSU Education" address. Malhotra spearheaded academic reorganization with help from faculty and staff.

St. Cloud State's new academic identity was spawned by irresistible forces of change and nurtured by employees who invested more than 1,400 hours of committee work, according to President Earl H. Potter III.

Reorganization of administrative functions, which is expected to be finalized in early February, is proceeding along similar lines.

And a new organizational framework that radically changes how academic programs are grouped, has emerged.

"As a community we have grown, we have changed, we have developed our capacity," Potter told employees at the Jan. 5 Spring Convocation gathering in Ritsche Auditorium.

"We've built strength for the next steps. And, while we are changing structures, while we're reorganizing, reshaping budgets, we are changing ourselves," Potter said.

Part of a strategic planning effort begun several years ago, reorganization has become more urgent as the university resolves a $14 million shortfall for the budget year beginning July 1.

"The truth is we have no choice but change. It's not just the budget. It's the call for greater accountability in public higher education. It's demographic trends that will change the shape and character of our student body," Potter said. "New industries. Familiar jobs and career paths disappearing. And, a global economy that has changed the meaning of a relevant education."


View video of the convocation speakers

View the academic reorganization report, including a diagram of the university's new organizational framework

View a transcript of Potter's "Four Pillars of an SCSU Education" address 

Learn more about the Four Pillars

Potter spoke in detail about the Four Pillars that will shape the university's future: community engagement, active learning, sustainability and globalization.

Across the stage from the president were four 11-foot pillars with red banners proclaiming in bold white letters the new principles for the state's second-largest university.

In his address, which was titled "Four Pillars of an SCSU Education," Potter pointed to student examples:

Community Engagement
Kent Koch, senior finance major and Husky Baseball captain, is the mayor of Loretto, Minn., and plays for the Loretto Larks, the town's amateur baseball team.

Active Learning
Amanda Bardonner is a junior international business and marketing major and Student Government president. Among her many efforts as a student advocate, Bardonner spoke for students during the recent debate about cutting intercollegiate sports programs.

Joe Vos of St. Cloud, Nicholas Janssen of Marshall, Eric Olson of Ogilvie and Michael Hicks of Litchfield worked with St. Cloud State Community Garden members to create an irrigation system. The senior management technology majors designed a system that primarily uses captured rainwater.

Shanika Perera, marketing major from Mahtomedi, helped raise money to rebuild 50 tsunami-ravaged homes in her parents’ home country of Sri Lanka.

The community engagement pillar had special resonance Wednesday as the university was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its engagement with local, regional, state, national and global communities. Learn more about St. Cloud State joining the Community Engagement Classification.

Potter thanked employees for their work. To-date, Potter estimates reorganization required more than 1,400 hours of committee meetings, five planning retreats, two open forums, a survey and countless discussions.

University officials plan to announce the latest recommendations for administrative reorganization the week of Jan. 10-14. Following feedback sessions, Potter is expected to announce reorganization decisions in early February.

Junko Masuda, a junior from Japan, closed the convocation with a solo piano performance of Frédéric Chopin's "Étude Op. 10, No. 4."


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