St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
September 10, 2003, 10:00 a.m. Mississippi Room, Atwood Center

Download minutes [PDF: 4 pages]

Members Present: Ben Baliga, Diana Burlison, Theresia Fisher, Sara Grachek, Bonnie Hedin, Pat Krueger, Judith Kilborn, Steve Klepetar, Guihua Li, Joe Opatz, Mahmoud Saffari, Mary Soroko, Karen Thoms, Addie Turkowski, Brenda Wentworth

Members Absent: Edward Addo, John Burgeson, David DeGroote, Susan Motin, Glen Palm, John Palmer, Phil Thorson

Guest: Michael Spitzer

Introductory Remarks by Michael Spitzer, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs:
Michael Spitzer thanked the committee for the work accomplished last year—the development and publication of the strategic planning priority goals—as reflected in the August 25th special edition of UNEWS. Thanks also went to last year’s co-chairs Theresia Fisher and Jay Vora.

Provost Spitzer continued:

  • The next step for the Strategic Planning Committee is to develop KPIs to measure each of the goals listed. NCHEMS has counseled that in coming up with specific indicators, the university needs to look at the data issues that compounded efforts in the past. There needs to be agreement about the validity of the data. Academic Affairs is currently working to clarify faculty workload and student credit hour generation. Independent studies and student teaching assignments will be incorporated into analysis of workload.
  • One of the goals of the university will be to work toward becoming a model of how a regional comprehensive university deals with issues such as equity, diversity, social justice, civic engagement and global awareness. The university will also focus on academic distinction and strength of academic programs.
  • Mahmoud Saffari, the new Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, will focus on retention rates to improve SCSU’s long-term stability—ultimately spending less energy to recruit more students and being able to move students to upper division and graduate courses.

Provost Spitzer was asked if he has a timeframe for development of KPIs. He responded that he would like to have KPIs established by mid academic year—the sooner the better.

The Strategic Planning Committee felt that KPIs for Service Community were close to being finished and Technology KPIs were possibly half completed.

Michael Spitzer stated that a priority should be KPIs for academic related programs focusing on assessment. The next NCA accreditation visit will be in 2007; data needs to be generated now so the university is ready to prepare the self-study. Assessment is something that universities should be doing at all times.

Provost Spitzer identified special initiatives SCSU will engage in this academic year:

  • AmeriCorps Grant – SCSU is acting as fiscal agent for this grant with a national service program that seeks to involve university individuals in various volunteer activities with a number of non-profit community agencies – United Way, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Boys & Girls Clubs.
  • American Democracy Project: This initiative is sponsored by AASCU and the NY Times. SCSU is one of 145 AASCU universities who have signed up to participate. The project seeks to develop a sense of civic engagement within communities. Public education is increasingly viewed as a private good – students are seen as pursuing higher education to earn more money, get better jobs, and advance themselves. The current thinking is that if public education is a private good, then individual students should be paying for higher education, and more and more public support is being withdrawn. The American Democracy Project seeks to generate activity through curriculum and co-curricular activities to encourage students to participate in the civic life of the community. This year there will be an attempt to initiate conversations across campus for all faculty and staff and interested parties to generate ideas for incorporating civic engagement into the curriculum. A place to begin is an audit of activities our faculty are already doing in this area. Joe Opatz, Karen Thoms and Lissa Staples, Volunteer Link Coordinator, have been asked to be involved. In a short time, a call will go out for campus participation. Envisioned is a once a month meeting for a couple of hours to share ideas. Next year the emphasis will be on incorporating those ideas into disciplines.
  • First Year Experience: SCSU would like to develop various kinds of models to improve the success of students the first year. We need to rethink what we do currently including orientation. Also, by next fall we hope to have students register for courses for one year instead of one semester so that we can plan more effectively to have classes available.

Theresia Fisher asked why there was not a representative from the Student Life and Development area (besides Addie Turkowski from Career Services) on the Strategic Planning Committee. Provost Spitzer made a note to look into this.

Introductory Remarks by Judy Kilborn, Strategic Planning Committee Chair:
Judy stated that she believed the SPC made good progress last year. The strategic goals are in place and the committee is in the middle of doing KPIs. The report from NCHEMS suggests KPIs. That will start the discussion. The Provost and Judy have also talked about key areas: the size and make-up of the university; the role and size of graduate programs.

Judy expressed appreciation for the participation of SPC members in the past and welcomed new members David DeGroote and Mahmoud Saffari.

Call for New Agenda Items:
Theresia Fisher asked that Academic Distinction Priority Strategic Goal be added to the agenda
(New Business).


Reports by Subcommittees on Status of KPIs for Various Sections of the Strategic Plan:
Academic Distinction – Some KPIs have just been drafted. Theresia Fisher, because of her current status of ex-officio, needs to be replaced on this sub-committee.

Diversity and Social Justice – Concepts have been identified; definition and data collection needs to be done. Subcommittee needs to be reconfigured.

Service Community – KPIs nearly complete. Pat Krueger will send a list to Jackie for dissemination to SPC. Judy will check SPC minutes from last year. KPIs may have already been approved by SPC. (Note: A review of the April 18th SPC minutes shows that KPIs were discussed and refined, however, there was no motion made to approve KPIs.)

University Community Relations – KPIs are nearly complete. Lisa Foss has the final document.

Technology – Many items were pulled from TLTR. The list of possible KPIs will need to be pared down. The subcommittee will set a goal to be ready in a month for SPC review of KPIs.


Approval of Strategic Goals:
Discussion turned to how to process strategic goals for approval by various sections of the university community, including action by Faculty Senate and forwarding to the Provost. Should the strategic goals be presented as a package with the KPIs included or strategic goals alone?

Consensus of Committee: Send the goals forward now. It was noted that the NCHEM Report discusses the importance of moving ahead.

Academic Distinction Strategic Goal:
Faculty Senate has not approved this goal but has recommended that an item “J.” be added: “The university will strive to promote graduate level professional training to the Minnesota workforce.”

Moved by Hedin, seconded by Wentworth to incorporate this statement into Item F. Motion passed.

Committee members noted discomfort with the tech college language used because they felt the language limiting.

Moved by Hedin, seconded by Wentworth to amend language to, “The university will strive to promote graduate level preparation to meet community needs.” Motion passed.

Moved by Hedin, seconded by Wentworth to take amended document back to Senate. Motion passed.

It was also noted that a concern has been expressed that the global element has been removed from the Academic Distinction and Diversity and Social Justice strategic goals. Committee members felt the spirit is there with the word “diverse” describing curriculum.

Action: Judy: Check minutes from last year and bring report back to SPC at next meeting.

Another concern was raised that the international aspect is not represented. “International” and “diverse” are complementary but different. Should both terms be included rather than giving the appearance of diminishing one by excluding it?

Action: This item will be on the next SPC agenda. Please consider it in the meantime.

The statement was made again that NCHEMS emphasizes the need to move ahead.

The consensus of the committee was to rewrite the international/global section with the intent to resolve the issue and send the packet forward.

Action: New members of the SPC: Let Judy know on what subcommittee you want to serve.

Judy asked the SPC what has been the precedent for involvement of people with expertise outside of SPC members on subcommittees. The committee responded that the process was simply asking for representation from pertinent groups.

Moved by Soroko, seconded by Wentworth, that Judy extend an invitation to CODE, the Committee on Diversity, Anti-Semitism and Social Justice and the Student Government Cultural Diversity Committee, asking for representatives to the Academic Distinction and Diversity and Social Justice subcommittees.

Theresia made a friendly amendment asking to change “asking for representatives” to “asking for input.”

The friendly amendment was accepted. Motion passed.

Review of NCHEMS Report:
Judy proposed that each subcommittee review the NCHEMS report for their particular section and be prepared to discuss at a future SPC meeting.

Because Service Community KPIs may have already been approved by the SPC, this subcommittee should be ready to report at the September 24th SPC meeting. KPIs suggested by NCHEMS will be compared to what the Service Community subcommittee has already proposed. There will be overlaps. Discrepancies will try to be massaged in.

Other subcommittees will meet within the month to begin work responding to NCHEMS recommended KPIs and be ready to report back to the SPC at a future meeting.

Michael Spitzer reminded the committee that in establishing KPIs, the committee needs to identify the big pieces of information the university needs to know to measure what is deemed important. The key is to be selective rather than trying to measure everything.

Committee members recognized the need to investigate the feasibility of data collection processes.

SPC Goals for this Year:

  • KPIs are a priority goal.
  • Sponsoring university-wide discussions: Examples of topics:
    • Issues facing reorganization
    • A discussion of KPIs
    • Size and make-up of the university over the long-term:
      • Weekend College?
      • What is the desired percentage of graduate programs?

Action: Before the next meeting, SPC members to consider the kinds of conversations to have with the university community and what the committee wants to focus on this year. Be ready to share ideas at the Sept. 24th SPC meeting.

Notes by Jackie Zieglmeier