Three bottom lines

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Mike Jamnick, student president, speaks at the Convocation Week kickoff

Mike Jamnick, student president, speaks at the Convocation Week kickoff.

President Earl H. Potter III delivers his 2009 Convocation Address in Ritsche Auditorium Mike Jamnick, student president, speaks at the Convocation Week kickoff Mitch Bender, a Sustainability Task Force chair and associate professor of environmental and technological studies Devinder Malhotra, provost, at a Convocation Week reception in his honor Craig Wruck, vice president of university advancement, addresses a Ritsche Auditorium audience at the Convocation Week kickoff 

President Earl H. Potter III said today that St. Cloud State University must "be what it teaches" by focusing on the "triple bottom line" of ecological, social and financial outcomes.

In a Ritsche Auditorium address that kicked off Convocation Week, Potter praised people and partnerships that have advanced the university's agenda, including three task forces, a receptionist and a campus-community science initiative.

Two sustainability task forces are developing best practices that will help the university sustain natural resources. Their ideas will be discussed throughout Convocation Week, including at "Sustainability in the Five Colleges: Teaching, Scholarship and Service," an 11 a.m. Aug. 19 session in Atwood Memorial Center's (AMC) Voyageurs North Room.

Tending to the social bottom line is the Diversity Task Force, which will present 9 a.m. Aug. 21 in AMC's Mississippi Room. The task force, which has been meeting since November 2008, is assessing the university's "practices and strategies for building a truly multicultural community," Potter said.

Convocation Address

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Potter said the university "cannot accomplish its mission without being a strong, inclusive and anti-racist community."

The president lauded employees for helping create a sustainable financial framework for the university, notably cutting $5.1 million from the current fiscal-year budget. That same budgeting process, which is open and transparent, will be used to develop a balanced budget for fiscal year 2011, he said.

"We will restructure to be more effective. We will decide to stop doing some things so that we can do other, more important things," Potter said.

This fall the St. Cloud State will start something that specifically targets the ecological bottom line -- a farmers' market. LocatedatAMC, the market will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays on these dates: Aug. 31, Sept. 14, 21, 28 and Oct. 5. Among the vendors selling produce will be the campus-initiated Community Garden on Fifth Avenue north of the Women's Center.

The farmers' market, which was proposed by AMC receptionist Kathy McLeod, is "another wonderful example of how the ideas of caring people throughout the university can change the ways in which we work to fulfill our mission," said Potter.

Potter pointed to the planned $44 million Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility (ISELF) as a prime example of a "positive community partnership." Funding for construction will be requested at the 2010 Legislature. Planning, including a schematic design, is underway thanks to funding from the 2008 and 2009 sessions of the Legislature.

"ISELF would never have been approved without the support of Medtronics, and local firms like MicroBiolgics, the  St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership for Economic Development," he said.

ISELF is the third step of a campus-community Science Initiative. The first step was the January 2009 opening of the $14.5 million Wick Science Building addition.

The second step will be moving two departments -- Nursing and Communications Sciences and Disorders -- into Brown Hall spring semester. The 50-year-old building is being renovated with $15 million in legislative funding.

Sharing the stage with Potter and making brief remarks were Devinder Malhotra, provost, and Craig Wruck, vice president of university advancement.

Convocation Week is St. Cloud State's annual assembly of employees, ideas and information.

- Jeff Wood

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