St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
November 15, 2002, 2:00 p.m. Mississippi Room, Atwood Center

(Minutes approved by the Strategic Planning Committee 12/6/02)
Download minutes [PDF: 5 pages]

Members Present: Theresia Fisher, Edward Addo, Ben Baliga, Diana Burlison, Lisa Foss, Bonnie Hedin, Judith Kilborn, Steve Klepetar, Andy Larkin, Ali Malekzadeh, John Palmer, Chad Sivertson, Debbie Tamte-Horan, Karen Thoms, Phil Thorson

Members Absent: John Burgeson, Pat Krueger, Guihua Li, Susan Motin, Joe Opatz, Glen Palm, Mary Soroko, Addie Turkowski, Brenda Wentworth

Support Staff: Jackie Zieglmeier

Approval of November 1, 2002 Minutes:
Motion: Moved (Palmer, Kilborn) to approve minutes of November 1, 2002. Passed.

Welcome to New Members:
Theresia Fisher extended a welcome to members joining the Strategic Planning Committee for the first time today:
Ben Baliga (faculty member from Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering), Debbie Tamte-Horan (ex-officio member serving as interim Asst. VP for Enrollment Management), Phil Thorson (representing Middle Management).


Update: SPC Website:
Theresia Fisher and Lisa Foss acknowledged Sara Grachek for her hard work in getting the SPC website operational.

Action: If SPC members have feedback about the website, please e-mail Theresia and Lisa.
Theresia: send an e-mail to the university committee announcing the new website.

Update: Central Minnesota Community Service Plan:
Sub-committee has not met yet.

Action: Set up meeting time before the next SPC meeting.

Update: Subcommittee on College Forums:
Theresia has modified the Strategic Planning Goals for 2002-2005 as discussed at the last meeting.

Motion: Moved (Larkin, Thoms) to approve the modified version of the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 for use at college and university forums. Passed.


  • Should “draft” appear on the goals implying that the SPC is looking for feedback from the university community?
  • Noted that the date of approval and origin needs to be added to the document. ( SPC: Subcommittee on University Forums 11/15/02)
  • Chad Sivertson said that the students would like to see additional emphasis on faculty professional development and students being better prepared for work. (Will be discussed under New Business.)
  • Andy Larkin voiced the FA Senate suggestion that forums be announced one month in advance.
  • Suggestion that faculty workshops days at the beginning of spring semester be used for the college forums – scheduling a time block for each college.
  • Noted that forums for staff should be held near the same time, however, the first week of the semester is very busy for staff—consider multiple sessions during the break weeks. Also need to cover times for staff who work 11 pm to 7 am and 3 pm to 11 pm.

Action: SPC members: if you have editorial changes to the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document, e-mail members of the sub-committee: Ali, Pat, and Brenda.

Action: Theresia: Talk with Michael Spitzer regarding scheduling college forums during spring semester opening workshop days and start to chip out alternate forum schedules for staff.

Update: SPC e-mails:
Theresia said that she hoped that members of the SPC were reading the e-mails coming after the posting of the strategic planning priority goals and the invitation to share comments/suggestion/issues. The majority of the e-mails focus on the diversity and social justice goal.

Theresia circulated the latest UNEWS with the first article on strategic planning. This wider promotion is consistent with the recommendation from NCHEMS to give strategic planning more visibility.


Theresia has forwarded the priority strategic goals to C.O.D.E. (FA Committee on Diversity Education) and asked them for their view on the diversity and social justice goal.

The IRC (Independent Review Committee) which will be discussing all of the campus climate surveys (EEOC, JCRC, Nichols and Rankin) have also been sent a copy and invited to give their feedback on the diversity and social justice goal.

Listserv discussion: Diversity and Social Justice:
Points of discussion:

  • It is healthy to have open discussion about controversial topics.
  • Noted that part of the listserv discussion stated that the diversity and social justice goal seems to center only on color – not gender, race, ethnicity and general tolerance for differences.
  • On the other hand, if energies are not focused on color and other categories are included, is the discussion diluted? Is it appropriate to take one aspect of diversity and focus on it in the university forums?

Priority Strategic Goals: Academic Distinction:

  • Noted that the word “Hispanic” is used in the Priority Strategic Goals: I.G. Rationale. There is an agreement that the university will not use the word Hispanic in any of its documents. Also noted that the statement has a reference to HESO as the data source. If the statement is coming directly from HESO it should be in quotes. Discussion followed.

Motion: Moved (Klepetar, Kilborn) to replace the words “Hispanic” and “non-Hispanic” with “Latino/Latina” and “non-Latino/Latina” in the Priority Strategic Goals document. Passed.

Motion: Moved (Kilborn, Klepetar) to have Theresia Fisher talk with CODE and IRC to inform them of the SPC motion to change language to be consistent with the standing university agreement. Passed.

NCHEMS Views on Goals and KPIs:
Theresia distributed to the committee two NCHEMS documents received from the Provost November 13: SCSU Goals, KPIs.

A discussion of the relationship between these two NCHEMS documents and the approved Priority Strategic Goals followed:

  • Retention is not specifically addressed in the NCHEMS document under Academic Distinction. The assumption can be made that retention is covered by the statement, “Academic programs will graduate students who…” NCHEMS does address retention in B. Service Community.
  • This may be an organizational piece – does retention need to be addressed in all five goals?
  • NCHEMS statements appear to capture what it means to be academically distinct.
  • Concern expressed about the emphasis on professions – not the goal of this university and all of its students to prepare for professions. Could “professions” be changed to “fields” to be more inclusive? Should we be wordsmithing the NCHEMS document?
  • What is the purpose of the NCHEMS documents? Isn’t NCHEMS giving us examples to help us process what might be useful to us? NCHEMS documents were given to Theresia by Michael Spitzer to start discussion.
  • Question asked: How are KPIs connected to the goals? Answer: KPIs are the link between strategic planning and the budget. The KPIs are the evidence that says what you are going to do. Note that NCHEMS’ KPIs respond to NCHEMS goals.
  • If the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document is used in the college forums, the Priority Strategic Goals document becomes mute.
  • The Strategic Goals for 2002-2005document does not address the quality or distinctiveness of students and programs—may be doing a disservice by understating SCSU’s capabilities.
  • Comment about process: with so many documents (Priority Strategic Goals, Strategic Goals for 2002-2005, the Strategic Plan, the NCHEMS materials), it is hard to keep things straight and organized. We are looking at the same elephant but we are blind in different ways.
  • Clarified for the committee that the committee at the November 1, 2002 meeting approved the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005. The NCHEMS goals and KPIs can be accepted or rejected.
  • Even if approved, the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document can be amended. Pieces of the NCHEMS material are written better.

Motion: Moved (Larkin, Addo) that in the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document the first 3 three-year goals under Academic Distinction be moved to Service Community and substitute the five items (or a subset of the 5 items) listed under Quality Academic Experience in the NCHEMS material.

Theresia stated the motion was out of order because the committee was not discussing this. She stated a motion could be made to move the agenda.

An appeal was made. Andy said that if the object of introducing the NCHEMS materials was to learn things before taking the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document to the university forums for discussion, the motion was not out of order.

Motion: Moved (Larkin, Addo) to override the ruling of the chair. A calling of ayes and nays did not distinguish majority. A show of hands indicated 8 in favor of the motion; 5 opposed. Motion passed.

The initial motion was repeated:

Motion: Moved (Larkin, Addo) that in the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document the first 3 three-year goals under Academic Distinction be moved to Service Community and substitute the five items (or a subset of the 5 items) listed under Quality Academic Experience in the NCHEMS material.

Discussion followed:

  • In speaking against the motion it was stated that the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document was a focus document from the larger Priority Strategic Goals document with the focus being on students and keeping them here. What is being proposed to be substituted is more generic—not what we need to do now.
  • Some dissatisfaction with both sets of goals was voiced. The Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 is too restrictive; the Priority Strategic Goals are too wide and do not address the issue raised earlier in this meeting by Chad Sivertson. Suggestion made that the committee stay with the 3 goals originally listed under Academic Distinction and add an additional goal to address training for faculty and staff.
  • Repeated that academic distinction is more clearly stated in the NCHEMS goals. If academic programs are flawed and students can’t get classes, students won’t be retained. The two go hand-in-hand.
  • Retention is the thread that runs through the strategic goals.
  • Things that make the institution provide quality in the long run help to retain students.
  • In speaking in favor of the motion it was stated that all items are inter-related. To have as a focus to retain students, even those who don’t meet standards, is a disservice. Need to strive for more purity in the categories.
  • Discomfort was expressed because the committee seems to want to change the strategic goals with little discussion.

At this point, Theresia temporarily resigned as chair so that she could speak against the motion. She stated that she envisioned that there would be a lot of discussion but the committee went right to the motion. The university community is now aware of the priority strategic goals and the SPC is preparing to process university community members’ ideas and concerns and proceed with a process to change the culture of the university. Theresia then resumed the chair responsibilities.

Discussion resumed:

  • It was stated that the motion would not change the strategic plan. The SPC made the Priority Strategic Goals available to the university community. There are matches between the Priority Strategic Goals and the NCHEMS statements. The three-year goals listed in the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 do not come from the Priority Strategic Goals. Expressed was the need to take the best document that the SPC can to the planned university forums.

Motion: Moved (Palmer) to close debate. No second. Motion failed.

Discussion resumed:

  • Believed that the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document can be changed before it is brought forward to the university community for feedback.
  • Repeated that some members of the committee like some of NCHEMS statements
  • Some members felt that after reading the statements in the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document, the goals don’t reflect the increase in the number of accredited programs.
  • It is better to be late in putting forward the document for discussion at the university forums and taking the time to correct
    the current document
  • Suggestion to name the document “The Not So Perfect Strategic Goals for 2002-2005…DRAFT” to reflect that it is the best work at this point in time.
  • Reminder that the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document is a small piece. The larger strategic plan is more comprehensive.

The question was called. Initial motion reread:

Motion: Moved (Larkin, Addo) that in the Strategic Goals for 2002-2005 document the first 3 three-year goals under Academic Distinction be moved to Service Community and substitute the five items (or a subset of the 5 items) listed under Quality Academic Experience in the NCHEMS material. Motion passed.

Enrollment Management and Strategic Planning Committees – November 13th meeting with Provost Spitzer:
Per a SPC motion that activities be correlated between the Enrollment Management Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee, Theresia Fisher and Debbie Tamte-Horan met with Provost Spitzer on November 13. Provost Spitzer was asked his view of the relationship between strategic planning and enrollment management. Theresia said the Provost responded that strategic planning should give an overall structure of priorities to enrollment management and that enrollment management should do the actual implementation. Questions that the SPC could consider would be: How many students should SCSU have? What is the right size for the university? What should be the composition of the student body? How many in the top 10? The SPC should consider the costs associate with a target enrollment – how many students can the university afford? The kinds of decisions that the SPC should make regarding academic distinction include: what should be target enrollments by program? target enrollments considering faculty and physical plant? The SPC might ask the deans for their assessment of optimum capacity—identifying what the needs area. What is the importance of retention? What data is needed? Strategic planning takes a look at 5 years out into the future and works backwards from there—what do we need to do to get there? Strategic planning gives recommendations for the broad scheme. Enrollment management makes recommendations on how to achieve those goals.

Provost Spitzer will attend the next SPC meeting as the committee wraps up the semester.

Theresia said that the SPC committee has made it first priority for this semester to get the strategic plan out to the university community. What the SPC could be doing she believes is still a ways away.

The diversity and social justice goal it may take a different process to get that goal acceptable to all sections of the university community.

The SPC asked if there should be a sub-committee on retention? It was stated that when the SPC finishes its discussion on academic distinction, it will naturally move into a discussion of retention. It would be helpful to have data/information: physical space, allocating faculty by department and college and their capacity to offer classes, the relationship between enrollment and the previous two. It would be helpful for the SPC to start looking at the options of what it wants to be: determining how many sophomores and juniors is a healthy match and then know what class sizes the university wants to have.

Stated that there is national data from other universities to review but to determine capacity for the university could be a year of work. Each goal could require many task forces. There are different levels of capacity; different programs have different needs.

Agenda Item for Next Meeting: KPIs:
Noted that NCHEMS has said that the number of KPIs developed by the previous SPC is too large. What is the appropriate number that the university wants to keep track of? Discussion will take place at the next SPC meeting.

Meeting adjourned.