St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
January 23, 2004, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. North Voyageurs Room, Atwood Center

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Members Present: Edward Addo, Diana Burlison, Debra Carlson , David DeGroote, Lisa Foss, Sara Grachek, Bonnie Hedin, Balsy Kasi, Pat Krueger, Judith Kilborn, Steve Klepetar, Guihua Li, John Palmer, Mahmoud Saffari, David Sikes, Mary Soroko, Phil Thorson, Brenda Wentworth

Members Absent: John Burgeson, Theresia Fisher, Kvame Johnson, Susan Motin, Karen Thoms, Addie Turkowski

Introductory Remarks by President Saigo:
The President stated that at all of the universities where he has served there has been a strategic plan. It seems that the plan takes so much effort and time, but it doesn't seem to get to the point of making it as workable as it possibly can be. The President wants to make linkages from the strategic plan priorities to the budget. Universities are evolving. The President reminded the SPC that a couple of years ago the Chancellor had a Citizens Advisory Committee for the whole state. Under that he established a MnSCU Strategic Plan and then a Chancellor's Work Plan. SCSU has its strategic plan. Within that we have a yearly work plan. Now MnSCU requires a quarterly report that it condenses and shares with the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees requires SCSU and other MnSCU institutions to be evaluated on their ability to achieve in each of the areas identified in the work plan. The bottom line is accountability. SCSU is now being asked for different kinds of measurements to demonstrate what percentage of the goals have been met. Another area where SCSU will need to demonstrate accountability is for the upcoming North Central Accreditation visit.

This morning the President met with the Chancellor, Manuel Lopez from MnSCU and Dan Coborn. A three-year plan was discussed for the System. SCSU is fortunate to have Bernie Omann as our legislative liaison. He is our linkage to the governor and the governor's people. This linkage provides us with a sense of the tenor and directions the governor will take.

President Saigo is awaiting KPIs from the SPC promised at the end of this semester. Developing KPIs is a huge effort and the most important thing that the SPC can do. President Saigo asked the SPC to start with the most basic KPIs and then go to the more complicated.

The Board of Trustees is gaining momentum in its push for the MnSCU allocation model whose backbone is enrollment. Currently only 10% of the allocation model is enacted. It will be interesting when 30% or 40% of the allocation model is enacted. The President thinks colleagues at Southwest and Bemidji are concerned because of their declining enrollment. Currently the smaller schools are protected.

If the SPC can establish five, ten, or fifteen KPIs, it may be useful to enact 10% or 20% of the budget to see how the KPIs tied to budget will affect us. The President does not see the budget changing that much in the next two years. SCSU can't do everything, can't starve everybody, and can't lower its quality. The SPC of this institution at this time is the most important thing to be successful. It will be a huge challenge. We need to come up with KPIs to help identify SCSU's priorities and start putting money where we feel our priorities are.

Currently SCSU has about 3% of its budget in reserves. We were down to zero. By law we are required to have 5%-7%.

How we want to shape SCSU in the next decade will be based on the criteria the SPC gives the President by the end of the semester.

The President ended his comments by expressing his appreciation for the committee's work and acknowledged the time it takes. The President said the number of KPIs could be only 5 and reiterated starting with the most basic and then going to the more complicated. He asked for comments or questions.

Kilborn said the Provost asked for two listings of the KPIs: 1) What can be done now? What is more long-term? 2) Priority order. The SPC is considering asking the Data Subcommittee to rank order KPIs when we have them all. The KPIs that we can do now may be the most basic. Many of them are quantitative--data collection things that we currently do or can easily put into place.

Kilborn asked the President if the priority strategic goals have been approved at his level. The President replied that the administration has accepted them. The President said the Chancellor and Manuel Lopez talked about the big picture when they visited with him this morning. The President told them about the SPC and the development of KPIs. The Chancellor and Lopez felt SCSU was right on line where it needed to be.

The President left the meeting, again thanking the SPC for its time and expressing the hope that the committee comes up with basic KPIs so that priorities can be established for the coming year.

Reports from Judy Kilborn, Strategic Planning Committee Chair:
Vote of no confidence from Student Government: (handout: Student Government memo of 5/1/03 and Kilborn/Fisher response dated 1/20/04 .) Kilborn told the SPC that the students were unaware SCSU had a mission and vision. Kilborn believed this was because the SPC did not include students in discussions of mission and vision. Simply having a student on the SPC does not insure that there is student involvement and that students are being informed. Part of the students' concern is that they have not seen movement. They are also concerned about not having ways of measuring accountability. The response informs students that the priority strategic goals have been approved and provides them a copy of the fall progress report. Additionally, the response tells the students the SPC is developing KPIs and that KPIs will be brought to Student Government later this spring. A willingness to meet with students is also offered in the response. Kilborn reminded the SPC that the committee previously discussed writing KPIs that are as student-centered as possible, where that is appropriate.

University Council - A short meeting occurred before the holiday break. Kilborn reported to University Council that the SPC had approved the strategic priority goals, that they were in the President's hands and that KPIs would be completed by the end of the semester. Kilborn told the SPC that the President is excited to see positive movement.

Kilborn's upcoming meeting with Michael Spitzer: The President asked the Provost to meet with Kilborn to discuss what happens after KPIs are developed. How does the acceptance process work? How does this get processed out to the larger community? Kilborn asked the SPC if it would be okay for her to bring draft copies of the KPIs to the Provost to show him where the committee is and ask if what they have is too much. Kilborn will report on her meeting with the Provost at the Feb 13 th SPC meeting.

2003 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) - (handout)This survey was discussed at meet and confer yesterday. The administration would like a thorough internal discussion of the survey's findings and decide as an institution on a few things that SCSU can work on. Kilborn called the committee's attention to Appendix A, 2003 Effect Size. Items that are larger than -.4 or +.4 are areas of concern. Because the President at meet and confer mentioned that he could see some of these issues addressed as KPIs, Kilborn asked him if he wanted the SPC to look at the NSSE. He responded yes. NSSE will be on the SPC Feb. 13 th agenda. The SPC can look at this immediately in these ways: 1) in the subcommittees as KPIs are developed; 2) are there areas that the SPC thinks it should start with? 3) in terms of process -- how does the SPC see the university approaching this?

Discussion Points:
•  DeGroote said there has been some discussion at DACs, and concern about the validity of this instrument has been expressed. Statistically, with a 50% response rate on a random sample, you get a sampling that won't represent the spectrum. There is some consideration of using the same instrument in a closed system with a 100% response rate in a randomly collected small group to compare to NSSE to get a constant to help us know which areas are statistically significant. DeGroote said the university has to be careful about the spin that is associated with the NSSE survey because the public will take a survey like this as fact.

•  Kilborn said that when the data was presented at meet and confer, the comment was made that the validity of the survey would not be discussed. The survey is out there, and the university needs to deal with it.

•  Kilborn said the administration is planning for discussion of the survey at the department and college level.

•  Palmer asked if there is a subset of national data that would be more appropriate for SCSU to compare to based on the hypothesis of self-select with motive.

•  Li confirmed that NSSE data is collected the same way everywhere. She said the survey center recommended a sample size of 750 for institutions with enrollment up to 16,000 students. SCSU chose to sample 1000 students. Our return rate was 49%--much higher than the national average. Li also pointed out that in both the 2001and 2003 NSSE surveys, SCSU has stayed below the national norm in areas centering on faculty interaction with students, academic support and campus environment.

•  Saffari felt it more important to look beyond the methodology and focus on what the survey is telling SCSU. Two years ago in about 50% of the questions, SCSU was rated below the national average. This year we are below the national norm in approximately 67% of the questions. While he was not here two years ago, Saffari doubts that the university has made a deliberate effort to go beyond data collection and information sharing and to focus on problem areas identified other than diversity-where SCSU did come out above the national norm. Saffari believes the university needs to focus on two or three different areas to make the efforts manageable.

•  Kilborn mentioned that the Administration asked at meet and confer that the University pick several of these areas upon which to focus its attention, and the SPC could help to determine these areas.

•  Soroko shared the results of the survey with her students in two introductory sessions of accounting. Her students were shocked to see how many hours they were suppose to be studying. She wonders if SCSU has failed to communicate to students what amount of time they should expect to put into studying.

•  Kilborn felt a lot of the areas might be targeted with the first-year experience program.

•  Burlison said NSSE is not the only report we have. Others include the student satisfaction survey and the SCSU Survey that mirror the results represented by NSSE. While no survey is statistically perfect, a number of information sources at our disposal are presenting similar pictures.

•  Li stated that with a true random sampling and a 49% response, the NSSE survey is valid. With a closed sampling, it can be argued how the students are chosen. Methodology will always be argued from different perspectives.

•  Palmer suggested a white paper outlining the confidence level placed in the NSSE survey before discussion of the data begins.

•  DeGroote again said that regardless of the opinion on the validity of the NSSE survey, it does need to be dealt with. What cannot happen is that items be picked out of the survey and considered to be fact. There is some room for doubt about the validity.

•  Kasi said the survey represents stakeholders looking for answers. To do KPIs correctly, you need to go to the stakeholders-students, parents. Communication is a part of that. Students need to know it takes time to study.

Election of Chair and Chair-Elect:
Moved by Foss, seconded by DeGroote to move to the Election of Chair and Chair-Elect.

Palmer said that nominations have been called for twice through e-mail. Kilborn called for additional nominations. Hearing none,
Palmer moved, DeGroote seconded to close nominations
. Motion passed.

Moved by Palmer, seconded by Klepetar to cast a unanimous ballot for the two nominees (Kilborn, Fisher) for Chair and Chair-Elect.
Palmer said that with no other candidates nominated, if elections are closed, the candidates are elected with one vote. Motion passed.

 Kilborn suggested at some point the committee consider a two-year term for the SPC chair for continuity.

Kilborn thanked the committee for electing her and said that the SPC's hard work and support made it easier for her to submit her name for the position.

Call for new agenda items:
Kasi suggested a focus group for student stakeholders. Kilborn said that could be considered under the Item 8, preliminary planning for forums on KPIs.

Discussion of first university-wide forum, January 8 th and 9 th :
Discussion Points:

•  The forums brought up the need to have a clearer sense of the process after KPIs are established.

•  The SPC may have confused for many people assessment with KPIs. This needs to be clarified. We need to be very clear about how we use the terms and how definitions apply. We have used "assessment" in a somewhat loose fashion. Perhaps in talking about KPIs we can use "evaluate" or some other word.

•  Kilborn noted that in a COFAH forum after SPC where the college discussed strategic planning there was confusion about qualitative and quantitative and assessment and KPIs.

•  E-mail discussion after the forums voiced a concern that qualitative KPIs are not appropriate. SPC needs to be careful to address that issue and insist on both qualitative and quantitative KPIs.

•  One college has asked if it needs to establish KPIs for the college now or should it wait until the SPC process brings forward KPIs. Kilborn will check with Provost Spitzer.

•  The level of forum attendance was higher than anticipated. It shows that people are interested. Kilborn noted that the colleges are having a lot of pressure now to get ready for accreditation visits. It was announced at meet and confer yesterday that efforts of college assessment folks will be coordinated to prepare for the North Central Accreditation visit.

•  It was helpful to have discussion about where the institution is with strategic planning and for the university community to see how departments are involved. Also there needs to be an understanding of how evaluation and accountability are part of the process.

Kilborn thanked the SPC members who were very involved in planning the forums-Foss, Sikes, DeGroote, Grachek and Wentworth. Kilborn believes the forums went smoothly and that the President and Provost were pleased. At one point, the Provost stepped in to help distinguish between assessment and KPIs.

Process for KPIs:
•  Kilborn suggested that the Data Subcommittee might order KPIs in terms of what can be done now or later and that subcommittees would then rank order KPIs in terms of priority. All subcommittees are at almost the same place-ready to come forward. Kilborn asked for the most efficient way to proceed.

•  Palmer asked for clarification of the relationships between the subcommittees, the Data Subcommittee and the SPC as a whole.

•  Kilborn gave an example of the Diversity and Social Justice Committee. That subcommittee has people not on the SPC who are intimately involved with diversity and social justice issues. Kilborn feels that subcommittees would be more prepared than the SPC as a whole to prioritize KPIs. Nervous laughter indicated subcommittees had some discomfort with that suggestion.

•  Palmer said there is a finite number of KPIs that the university can manage at one time. If KPIs are ranked, those not at the top won't get the same amount of attention.

•  Kilborn responded that she is asking subcommittees to establish timelines to a certain degree. The Provost has also asked the SPC to tell him what KPIs can be done now, what can be done long-term, what is the highest to lowest priority.

•  Grachek asked if the KPIs will be ranked against each other or within the sub-goal?

•  DeGroote, in looking at the Technology KPIs, asked the subcommittee, how resource-intensive the KPIs are? Thorson responded that the subcommittee has not strongly considered workload but would as it looked at the KPIs in terms of what could be done now versus later.

•  Grachek said rank ordering the KPIs reminds her of her desk. Some tasks are short and can be done quickly between other duties. If you start doing the short tasks, the bigger, longer projects that take more resources but hold more importance don't get done.

•  DeGroote said that if you are trying to do KPIs for benchmarking, you need to look at what is important to know now.

•  Kilborn gave another example. She said that the university is collecting a lot of data now in terms of diversity and social justice. She felt continued collection of data would not make any difference until analysis of the data takes place and goals are set up. That is a difficult thing to do but must be done to reach accomplishment. There are other things that are easier and quicker to do.

•  Thorson said it may be valuable in narrowing down KPIs to flag KPIs that require a lot of time.

•  Kilborn said the discussion confirms that subcommittee are better qualified to prioritize KPIs.

•  Hedin noted that some areas the technology subcommittee is looking at are outside of LR & TS so they do not have the expertise.

•  Kilborn asked if those areas could be flagged so that she could specifically ask the Provost about them.

•  Palmer said that in looking at the Technology KPIs he sees a tremendous amount of data points. He would ask for a measure of "up-to-date" broken down by key disciplines and then broken down by equipment and software. Collection of data is fine, but it needs to be informed data to show a KPI for the status of being able to provide up-to-date, discipline-specific equipment and software.

•  Kasi said he sees a KPI as an activity that needs to be done to get the data that is needed.

•  Carlson said the President gave the SPC its marching orders to work from the most basic to the more complicated KPIs. President Saigo wants 5, 10 or 15 goals that could be implemented or worked on this year. Carlson said that one part of her believes that in her time with the SPC this year, she can think of two or three things that are so basic, the SPC is meant to bring them forward to the administration: 1) no consonance on general education; 2) sufficient number of courses to fill schedules of new entering freshmen. Another part of her sees the priority strategic goals & KPIs that each sub-committee is working on so diligently.

•  Saffari believes there is confusion about where we are and what we are shooting for and at the same time having the expectation for the people leaving the forums to know what is going on. Saffari repeated what he said during an earlier meeting. Speaking from an enrollment management point of view, SCSU needs to recruit higher caliber students and retain those students. New students who decided not to come to SCSU or our own students who decided not to return are telling us what the issues are: 1) students do not question the substance of our general education requirement; 2) lack of course availability; 3) being an unfriendly campus when it comes to transferability; 4) lack of sufficient scholarship funds; 5) lack of a well-established, well-thought-out freshman year experience; 6) lack of good academic support services; 7) inadequate academic advising; 8) lack of a caring attitude towards students. We need to address these issues. Had SCSU retained 5% more students, SCSU would have had nearly $1 million dollar more this year.

•  Kilborn said these are not new topics. The question is how do we build into the plan the data that we need to collect to measure our progress and have resources put where they need to be. All that Mahmoud mentioned are in the KPIs. The question is how do we frame them and structure them so that top priorities emerge in each category.

•  Carlson asked what if we just did it backwards-writing in the top five KPIs to bring about those results and plug them in where they fit?

•  Would we have the large group or the subcommittees say what we want to emphasized most, what is the highest priority?

•  Palmer said that Service Community addresses all of the items previously listed by Saffari.

•  Kilborn asked the committee if they wanted to focus on Service Community or Technology KPIs or decide on process?

•  Grachek suggested that each subcommittee rank order the priorities but the SPC as a group choose the top 5 priorities.

•  Carlson suggested that each person write their top 2 priorities on a piece of paper and tabulate the results of the committee members' choices.

•  Addo said that the subcommittees are already working on KPIs. Let them rank over priorities.

•  Li said many times the KPIs are interrelated.

•  DeGroote said that styles of writing and analysis differ between the subcommittees. He is also concerned about redundancy and sending KPIs forward from different groups that are not aligned with each other.

•  Kilborn said the Data Subcommittee can make writing similar. Subcommittees can go back and revise. We have not yet decided to send KPIs forward separately.

•  DeGroote also believes there needs to be some substance to the definition of KPIs.

•  Kilborn thinks the Data Subcommittee could help committees write definitions.

•  Grachek is concerned about the timeline. Could each subcommittee meet with the Data Subcommittee to align priorities? Could the Data Subcommittee be responsible for pointing out overlaps so the subcommittees could refine from there? Would it also be possible to have x number of main KPIs that are not attached to a specific area?

•  DeGroote said that if there are comparable KPIs in different areas, maybe that signifies importance.

•  Soroko asked for more definition and feedback from subcommittees. Several priority goals refer to policies.

As a member of the Data Subcommittee she is not aware of what policies are included in these goals.

•  Palmer asked if it was safe to take the President at his word. Does he only want at a maximum 15 KPIs? With 5 sub-committees, does that mean each sub-committee comes up with 3 KPIs?

•  Kilborn asked the SPC if they wanted to look at making KPI lists smaller.

Moved by Palmer, seconded by Carlson to limit the number of KPIs.

Discussion Points:
•  Palmer said that discussion can now take place as to what number we limit the KPIs.

•  Thorson asked for clarification regarding limiting those KPIs thatare being tracked now and those that are long-term.

•  DeGroote said if limits are set, there is the need to fit in a box. On the other hand, let the SPC come up with KPIs they think are appropriate and choose from those.

•  Kilborn said if decisions on process can be made now, the work of the SPC can be shortened.

•  The SPC can rank KPIs or wait to prioritize KPIs after receiving university community feedback.

•  Kilborn said the SPC now has three jobs in ranking KPIs:

•  What are the main KPIs? What are other KPIs?

•  What KPIs need to be done now? What KPIs can be done later?

•  What KPIs are the most important? What KPIs are of lesser importance?

It was noted that the work of two subcommittees is nearly completed. It would be a waste of work if the SPC did not look at all of the KPIs before charging the subcommittees to remove KPIs.

A vote on the motion was called. The motion failed.

It was suggested that the Data Subcommittee (Palmer, Wentworth, Li and Soroko) look at KPIs and make recommendations about a process to the SPC.

Subcommittees were scheduled to meet with the Data Subcommittee:

February 6 1:00 pm Service Community AS-212
February 6 2:00 pm Technology AS 212
February 20 1:00 pm Academic Distinction AS 212
February 20 2:00 pm University Community Relations AS 212

 

 

 

 

Prioritizing KPIs could be done by the individual sub-committees, the entire SPC or the university community during KPI forums.

Kilborn reminded the SPC that KPIs were scheduled to be completed before spring break. Forums will take place after spring break.

Meeting adjourned.

Notes by Jackie Zieglmeier

 

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