St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
February 21, 2002, 7:45 a.m. Glacier North Room

Revised Minutes

Members Present: Edward Addo, John Burgeson, Diane Decker, Bassey Eyo, Bonnie Hedin, Jeanne Hites, Balsy Kasi, Pat Krueger, Andrew Larkin, Mohammad Mahroof-Tahir, Glen Palm, John Palmer, Aspasia Rigopoulou-Melcher, Mary Soroko, Karen Thoms, Addie Turkowski, and Jay Vora

Members Absent: Fred Walker and Brenda Wentworth

Support Staff: Subimal Chopra and Lucie Schwartzkopf

Guests: Diana Burlison, Lisa Helmin Foss, Dennis Jones (NCHEMS), Dick Lewis, Steve Ludwig, Joane McKay, Ken Mortimer (NCHEMS), A. I. Musah, Dennis Nunes, Roland Specht-Jarvis, J.C. Turner, and Wayne Wells

I. Diana Burlison introduced Dennis Jones and Ken Mortimer from NCHEMS. NCHEMS gave a presentation of the interpretation of the data collected regarding St. Cloud State University. A copy of the overhead materials will be distributed to members of the Strategic Planning Committee as well as to others on campus.

II. A few of the interpretations given include:

  • Minnesota's population will not grow much for the next decade. What grows will be almost totally nonwhite. The nonwhite population growth will be mostly Hispanics at 20-35%. The rate of growth for Caucasian will be approximately 1-2% over the next decade. Public school populations will decrease at a rate of 18%. This translates into who will be coming over the next 20 years will be different than now.
  • Minnesota is below the high average of students going to college right out of high school. Participation rates change by ethnicity. While their numbers are stable, it will take more work to get other ethnicities to attend college.
  • 43% of St. Cloud State University students do not graduate from SCSU. This would be fine if SCSU's mission is stated to show SCSU plans to prepare people to move on.
  • Business Services, Health Services, and Education Services are the top 3 projected job areas where technical people work. Regional demands were matched against programs offered.
  • Minnesota is closer than any of the other upper states in having all adults employed that would like to be employed.
  • Minnesota is one of 11 states that, based on the tax structure, almost has a balanced budget. This means Minnesota is much better off than many other states. However, to maintain current levels, it would take a 60% increase in higher education appropriations. That would mean higher education would need to receive 3% more than the rest of the state's appropriations to stay caught up (to maintain per student funding). This is not likely given the economy. Higher education is the only constituency that also has an independent source of income.
  • Minnesota has a tax capacity that is a little higher than the national average on the ability to raise money. Given that tax base, MN is higher than the national average on how it taxes itself.
  • The national trend has been to lose money. The question is "What to do about it?" Funding will not go back to where it was because there are new demands for dollars. Higher education in Minnesota is receiving a smaller share of a much bigger pot. The state share has actually remained rather flat. The student share has been going up.
  • There is a large ratio of faculty per student compared to other MnSCU institutions. In every other category of employee, St. Cloud is at the other end of the list. There is a relatively small number of staff except in faculty. Faculty positions have been protected.
  • Class size distribution refers to classes that contain more than 50 students, down to the smaller classes. Music and Art classes were excluded from consideration due to private lessons, etc. Upper division courses have many smaller classes. At the graduate level, there is ample room to fill more into offered classes. This is one place to fill in at zero cost. The number of FTE graduate students per major or program is not very large. This translates into several programs over which few students are scattered. The proposal is to recruit students into current programs, including at the baccalaureate level.

III. The deans and/or their representatives spoke about the priorities of their respective colleges. Handouts of the college's priorities were distributed.

IV. The use of the report from NCHEMS in the strategic plan was explored. Questions were posed: "What is our role with our current students?" and "When they say the best place to recruit is with our freshman class, how does that come into it?" It was noted that the deans did not work together to write their plans which means there was no organizational synergy. One person stated that inviting them to this retreat was in the hope to get a conversation started regarding this. Another pointed out the belief that Academic Affairs should serve that purpose, and if it doesn't, the individual wants to know why. Another recounted that graduate education was presented as important to the colleges. It was stated that under the theme of academic distinction, accreditation was the strongest theme between the deans and that they all mentioned new things. It was expressed that no one wants to get rid of programs and that all the deans recognize something needs to be done although they seem to expect someone else to deal with it. It was suggested to look at all the programs where there are only one or two graduates per year. Community partnerships were mentioned several times by the deans and it was noted that there had not been collaborations between the deans.

V. The committee broke into five theme-based groups to brainstorm priorities. These include items on the attached list. The plan is to have five strategic initiatives (one initiative for each category). These will then sent to the president for his consideration.

Planned meeting times

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