St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
October 4, 2002, 2:00 p.m. Mississippi Room, Atwood Center

(Minutes approved by Strategic Planning Committee 10/18/02)
Download minutes [PDF: 3 pages]

Members Present: Theresia Fisher, Edward Addo, John Burgeson, Bonnie Hedin, Judith Kilborn, Steve Klepetar, Pat Krueger, Andy Larkin, Guihua Li, Ali Malekzadeh, Susan Motin, Glen Palm, Mary Soroko, Karen Thoms, Brenda Wentworth

Members Absent: Bassey Eyo, Diana Burlison, Lisa Foss, Joe Opatz, John Palmer, Chad Sivertson, Addie Turkowski

Support Staff: Jackie Zieglmeier

Approval of September 27, 2002 Minutes:
Motion: Moved (Kilborn, Palm) to approve minutes as corrected. Passed.

FY 02 SPC Synopsis Statement:
There was a continuation of the discussion from the previous meeting. Theresia asked committee members who served last year if they had ever seen the synopsis before. They had not. There is no evidence that the SPC committee approved the synopsis statements of FY 2002 Meeting Minutes. Like many items in the SPC files for the past few years, this document is undated and there is no indication of who drafted the document. The current SPC wondered what the purpose of the synopsis was - was it sent to the President, Provost, heads of bargaining units? There was a concern expressed that the synopsis was developed without committee comments.

Strategic Planning Report from FY02:
Theresia read a recent e-mail from Jeanne Hites:


Good news - the plan that did not exist now does. Steve Ludwig and I met today and merged an old (56 page) draft of a strategic plan with the priorities adopted by the SPC and forwarded to the President last spring, eliminating outdated material and much redundancy. We now have something which, while not perfect or complete by any means, can be called a plan. It is currently being typed, and we will forward it to you at the earliest possible date.

As I mentioned earlier, I determined that the information in the SPC minutes about MnSCU rejecting our strategic plan was misleading. It should have read "there is concern that MnSCU may reject our mission and vision." MnSCU does not review university strategic plans, although they do review mission and vision, facilities plans and academic master plans. MnSCU also does not review the values. (Did the FA committee get a chance to work on the values?)

I have spent the last hour searching the MnSCU site to determine what exactly a academic master plan is... I am not convinced that there is no overlap with our strategic plan (especially in the academic distinction area), nor do I know if our new provost has knowledge of it, yet. Lin Holder said she does not recall being asked by MnSCU for an academic plan in recent memory, so perhaps it is a mute point, anyway.


Action: The committee unanimously requested that Theresia e-mail Jeanne Hites and ask that she and Steve Ludwig NOT make any changes on the draft of the old 56 page strategic document. Also, that the two documents be sent to Theresia so that the current committee could review.

Motion: Moved (Kilborn, Malekzadeh) that Theresia Fisher request that Jeanne Hites provide an executive summary of last year's Strategic Planning activities. Passed.

Pulling April 2001 Strategic Planning Report from website:
Committee members from the previous Strategic Planning Committee do not remember making a decision to pull the April 2001 Strategic Planning Report from the website. They do remember discussion about the need to update the website.

Mission and Vision Statements:
One member of the SPC questions if Faculty Senate rejected the mission and vision statements.

Action: Andy will forward copies to the SPC of the mission and vision statements that Lisa Foss put together for the vice presidents.

Draft Peer Group Expenditure Comparisons - State University Peer Institutions - MnSCU FY 2002 (handout)
FYI Item: Theresia Fisher called the committee's attention to the comparisons for SCSU. Basically the total expenditure for SCSU was approximately $20 M below SCSU's peer institutions.

Action: Jackie: Find Chronicle of Higher Education article from approximately 1-½ years ago referenced by Ali. Article states how the University of Wisconsin system dealt with this problem. Distribute to committee members.

SPC Website:
As moved and passed at the previous meeting, Lisa Foss will manage website for Strategic Planning. Committee members should feel free to channel ideas to Lisa.

Communication Plan:
Tabled until next meeting.

Subcommittee on College Forums:
Tabled until next meeting.

Enrollment Management, Academic Affairs Council and SPC:
Theresia sent an e-mail to DebbieTamte-Horan to ask if she would like to meet with Theresia and Michael Spitzer. A meeting will be scheduled in the next month to talk about coordinating efforts of these three groups.

SPC e-mails:
Theresia will draft an e-mail to the campus community after she has met with Michael Spitzer.

Charge to the Strategic Planning Committee:
There is confusion as to what the current charge is to the SPC. Theresia read the following synopsis of responsibility for the Strategic Planning Committee from President Saigo's memo dated September 6, 2002 - RE: University Administrative Committee Appointments 2002-2003:

The committee will work to maintain a quality educational experience for undergraduate and graduate students; establish enrollment goals which match capacity and resources; establish practices that support internal and external community building; provide state-of-the-art, discipline specific technologies that improve teaching, learning, service and access and create an environment that welcomes and empowers people and builds organizational strength through domestic and global diversity.

The committee did not believe it was its responsibility to set enrollment goals. Some committee members recognized the above statements as a charge distributed last spring.

Andy read a statement from President Saigo dated February 21, 2002:

The purpose of strategic planning is to envision the future of St. Cloud State University and develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that desired future. St. Cloud State University's Strategic Planning Committee
must develop a prioritized plan that is coherent, unifying and proactive. The plan must be responsive to the University's internal and external environments and must be closely tied to the university's allocation of resources. Implementation of this plan will lead to the achievement of national eminence and the recognition of St. Cloud State University as Minnesota's premier comprehensive university.

(Note: This statement is also listed in a document entitled, "St. Cloud State University Strategic Plan Draft 4/06/02 - Section 1.05 Charge from President Roy H. Saigo") The same document also states in Section 1.0 - Role of Strategic Planning:

The role of the Strategic Planning Committee is to recommend overall university strategies and review unit plans for consistency with university mission, vision and themes for cross-unit coherence. All deliberations need to take a university-wide perspective, not dominated by any one of the membership constituencies.

Given the multiple charges discovered, the committee felt is necessary to get an official charge for the SPC at this point in time.

Theresia stated that the SPC has a Subcommittee on College Forums. Are other subcommittees needed? Suggested:

  • Repopulate subcommittees on the five themes to do a first pass to update the strategic plan.
  • KPI subcommittee -- KPIs were suggestions from last year that may not fit priorities. May need readjustment in light of the MnSCU workplan. Will also need to look at KPIs from feasibility and cost standpoints.
  • A subcommittee to figure out what retention means - why students are leaving, what needs to be changed, etc. Noted that this needs to be considered across the university community.

Retention as a charge to the SPC:
Discussion followed on the issue of retention and the role of the SPC. Discussion points included:

  • Retention is not one of the five themes. Concern expressed that the SPC has gotten into a groupthink where the themes might be suppressed without discussion.
  • Themes are intrinsically connected to retention.
  • SPC's first meeting with Michael Spitzer and Theresia's conversations with NCHEMS confirm that the SPC should look at retention.
  • Strategic Planning is a grass roots effort. The committee needs to decided on what areas to focus. Concern expressed that the Provost would tell the committee to focus on retention.
  • Strategic Planning's role is to establish a strategy and direction for the long-term. The mechanics of retention has to be a function of Enrollment Management.
  • Noted that a lot of the KPIs deal with retention, but can SCSU get to academic distinction if it is so focused on retention?
  • The NCHEMS retreat focused a large amount of time on retention.
  • Retention showed up in the themes before Provost Spitzer came to SCSU.
  • Retention needs to be addressed in all layers - don't see how layers can be separated.
  • Is the role of the SPC mainly to get the university community talking about retention?
  • Could the FCTE play a role in university discussion of retention?

Action: Theresia will ask Provost Spitzer for clarification: What are his expectation from the SPC with regard to student retention?

Strategic Planning Committee - Task for this year?
The question was asked what is the role of Strategic Planning once a report is developed and posted on the web? Maybe the immediate goal for this semester should be to get a plan, focus discussion in the spring about the plan, and emerge at the end of the year with a plan that has university buy-in. KPIs have not been prioritized. There has been no discussion with the campus community to see if there is buy-in.

It was pointed out that NCHEMS has said that now is the time to go to the next level - start implementing a plan.

A statement was made that the SPC is not an action committee - it is an influencing, guiding, directing committee.

Suggestion made that upper administration be invited to a SPC meeting to provide more clarity.

We do not know what strategic plan has been approved.

Theresia read a motion from the September 13 SPC meeting:

Moved that there be forums within colleges to talk about the goals of strategic planning and how those goals relate to individual department and college plans and that these discussions also focus on retention.

A statement was made that the SPC should be an oversight committee and not deal with the details. It was repeated that SPC needs to communicate goals, see if there is buy-in and then start down the road to implementation.

Priority Strategic Themes:
The problem is what are the goals? What has been approved?

Action: Theresia - Determine where the 4/6/02 SCSU Strategic Plan draft comes from. Was it approved? By whom? When?

When the SPC can determine what the goals are and if they have been approved, then college forums can take place.

Motion: Moved (Motin, Soroko) that Theresia meet with Provost Spitzer to 1) determine what the charge is to the SPC (showing him the 3 charges we have uncovered - with the understanding that the charge can be modified by Provost Spitzer; 2) determine which of the two drafts (4/30/02 or 5/2/02) of the Priority Goals is the latest. (5/02/02 draft appears less finished) Most recent draft will then be put on the web.Passed.

Motion: Moved (Motin, Palm) that once determined which is the most current version of the Priority Strategic Goals, those goals be sent to the Faculty Senate for approval. Passed.

Housekeeping Issue:
All documents that the SPC drafts or approves this year will have the following information: approved by whom; date approved.

SCSU Workplan:
Committee members stated that it is a good sign that the SCSU workplan references the strategic plan.

Action: Lisa Foss - provide a link from the Strategic Planning website to the SCSU workplan.

Agenda items for next meeting:

  • Communication Plan (tabled at this meeting)
  • Subcommittee on College Forums (tabled at this meeting)
  • Goals for SPC to accomplish this year
  • KPIs (do they need to be refined - subcommittee?)

Theresia has a conflict for the October 18th meeting. She will ask Jay Vora to chair that SPC meeting.

Motion: Moved (Malekzadeh, Motin) to adjourn. Passed.