St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
January 17, 2002, 7:45 a.m. Mississippi Room


Members Present: Edward Addo, Bassey Eyo, Bonnie Hedin, Jeanne Hites, Andrew Larkin, Pat Krueger, Glen Palm, Aspasia Rigopoulov-Melcher, Mary Soroko, and Addie Turkowski

Members Absent: John Burgeson, Diane Decker, Balsy Kasi, Mohammad Mahroof-Tahir, John Palmer, Karen Thoms, Jay Vora, Fred Walker, and Brenda Wentworth

Support Staff: Subimal Chopra and Lucie Schwartzkopf

I. Jeanne asked the record to show that Andrew Larkin will represent Theresia Fischer (Faculty Association) at meetings.

II. It was announced that quorum was met, so the minutes could be reviewed and approved. The minutes for October 25, 2001, were approved with one revision: Section II, the first paragraph, should read "EPT" rather than "RPT". The minutes for December 6, 2002, were approved with no revisions. The minutes for December 13, 2002, were approved with one revision: Paragraph I should read "Dennis Jones" instead of "Andrew Larkin".

III. Discussion of how to prioritize for this semester took place. It was stated that in light of the last session, it's time to move forward with planning. The suggestion was made to prioritize the items SPL has already compiled. There was going to be priorities in each of the areas, but no decisions were ever made on this. It was suggested to put all the information SPL as compiled, including the 95 thesis on the website and encourage anyone wanting to add in-put, to contact any committee member. It was ultimately suggested that the communications subcommittee meet to attempt to put the information in a finished format.

IV. NCHEMS will come back and is willing to meet with SPL again. If SPL can give a clear request, NCHEMS should be able to give SPL some help.

V. Various members shared the highlights they recalled from the last meeting, including:

  • NCHEMS is trying to get SCSU to identify who we are so we can identify who we want to become.
  • NCHEMS seemed to convey that SCSU doesn't know ourselves very well and who we're serving.
  • Is who we think we are consistent with who we really are?
  • Our area extends into the cities. What kind of student clientele are we thinking of in terms of location?
  • SPL should govern the budget. When it doesn't, the budget becomes the strategic plan.

VI. Much discussion was held on gathering data to help answer some of these questions. Mary Soroko and Pat Krueger shared they both have some information and Mary is pulling together some information for NCHEMS which she anticipates being complied by the middle of next week. She offered to share the information with SPL. She also said Diana Burlison is pulling budget and facilities information together for NCHEMS. It was suggested that SPL view the findings in relation to internal and external environment in the planning document.

VII. MnSCU has pointed out that SCSU's mission is not precise enough to separate it from any other MnSCU facility.

VIII. An example of not identifying who SCSU is was pointed out by showing that SCSU does not know how many student bodies we serve. i.e. SCSU is doing more with transfer students, which results in a loss of revenue because there is more profit from freshman classes. SCSU becomes a professional school instead of academic institution, which alters the nature of who SCSU is.

IX. Discussion of international students explored recent events which will and have affected that population of SCSU. The events of September 11, 2001, have lowered the number of incoming international students. The recent decision to increase the TOEFL scores requirement will also conceivably decrease the number of international students which had grown to approximately 900 students and was originally anticipated to go over 1000 next year. The projection is that the number will increase again within a relatively short amount of time.

X. One person suggested there might be a disconnect with the president communicating with SPL. It was speculated that NCHEMS was here for a reason. It is desired to know the result of the visit and how the information can be used.

XI. Jeanne shared that SPL has been invited to write articles for the U-News. If accurate information can be given to the departments, better decisions can be made.

XII. One person suggested that within each department the strategic plan is looked at when making budgeting decisions. Another person disagreed, saying the discretion of how to use funds is not made at the level of the departments. With fewer dollars and more demands, the strategic plan frequently has no connection to departmental budgets. Academic Distinctions was noted as one positive example of where it does.

XIII. In an effort to link the budget, a strong recommendation was made to invite Diana Burlison, Steve Ludwig, or someone from that office to participate on the SPL committee. Another member noted that the budget is not determined by Diana's position. It was noted that ultimately the president makes the final decisions.

XIV. It was stated that SCSU can't respond to demand when an increase of budget doesn't happen in relation to increase in revenue.

XV. "At what point are we going to as an institution, who will, or how should, the budgeting process change to reflect the few things we are talking about now?" It doesn't appear that question has been framed. How could/should it change (budgeting at this campus) change?"

XVI. It was shared that some committee members did not return out of frustration that their efforts did not yield anything last year. Disappointment was expressed that the budget doesn't reflect the work SPL put into it.

XVII. An individual shared that MnSCU is now asking for what SCSU needs, and will consider a proposal. It's a larger issue than at SCSU. While progress is being made, the problem is it takes longer than anyone has patience for.

XVIII. The question was asked: "What fundamental changes do we want to make?" The person then expressed that this university is willing to make incremental changes, but not fundamental changes. Another individual shared that many people don't know and don't want to know the data, after which, people get cynical, and toxic. There is secrecy and distrust. "How did we get to this point?"

XIX. The suggestion was made to send the information to the web, with an email announcement of the link.

XX. An individual proposed that there is a fear factor and this is a scary time. The changes are threatening to everyone. The fear of how it will change relationships and others causes people to stay stuck.

XXI. One person offered that there needs to be a change in the corporate structure. Accepting and embracing the data will make result in wise decisions, and right now that's not where SCSU is.

XXII. Admissions and Mary Soroko will pull data together to address the question of "Who we are and whom do we serve?" It was suggested that the communications subcommittee try to synopsize it.

XXIII. Jeanne Hites will work on gathering the data and have it on the agenda for the next meeting.

Planned meeting times

Thursday, January 31, 2002, 7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Mississippi
Thursday, February 7, 2002, 7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Mississippi
Thursday, February 21, 2002, 7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Mississippi
Thursday, March 7, 2002, 7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Mississippi
Thursday, March 21, 2002, 7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Mississippi
Thursday, April 4, 2002, 7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Mississippi
Thursday, April 18, 2002, 7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Mississippi
Thursday, May 2, 2002, 7:45 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., Mississippi