St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
March 5, 2004

Download minutes [PDF: 4 pages]

Members Present: Diana Burlison, John Burgeson, David DeGroote, Sara Grachek, Bonnie Hedin, Judith Kilborn, Balsy Kasi, Steve Klepetar, Pat Krueger, Guihua Li, John Palmer, Mahmoud Saffari, David Sikes, Karen Thoms, Phil Thorson, Addie Turkowski.

Members Absent: Edward Addo, Debra Carlson, Theresia Fisher, Lisa Foss, Kvame Johnson, Susan Motin, Mary Soroko, Brenda Wentworth.

Approval of February 27, 2004 Minutes:

Minutes of February 27th be approved (John Palmer/John Burgeson, MSP)


  • Meeting with Provost Spitzer - Judy reported that she and the Provost discussed the upcoming forums. At first, Judy talked about the possibility of covering all the themes by holding round table discussions that included a table for each theme; however, the Provost thought this structure would be too chaotic. He would have preferred that there be a forum devoted to each of the themes. Given the tight timeframe to present forums, the Provost recommended grouping Academic Distinction with Technology and grouping Diversity and Social Justice with University-Community Relations and Service Community. These two groupings would be offered twice. The format of the forums would be that most of the time be allowed for conversation with only a small amount of presentation.

    Judy and Michael will send a joint e-mail to the campus community, asking people to read in advance the KPIs that will be posted on the web and come prepared for discussion. It is expected that issues faculty have will be articulated at the forums or that feedback will be provided through the website. A week before the forums, Judy plans to announce to FA Senate that KPIs are up, ask them to take a careful look at the KPIs, and invite faculty to the forum. John Palmer wanted to make sure that the expectation of the Senate and the action they take on May 4 will be perfunctory in a sense that the input will be heard, processed, incorporated and that debate should take place before that. Judy said the joint e-mail with the Provost will briefly state that once the KPIs are approved, they will go to departments and programs, and people will be expected to use them. Senators will be asked to take that message to departments also.
  • Updating KPIs with new restructuring information - Judy asked subcommittees to review their work and add where necessary under "Responsible Parties" the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the CETL. The Diversity and Social Justice subcommittee has included the Advisory Committee for Diversity under "Responsible Parties."
  • Meetings after spring break - Judy suggested that the meetings after spring break (April 2, 16, and 30) be working meetings where subcommittees would revise their KPIs with input from the forums so that Faculty Senate can take action at its last meeting on May 4.
  • Format Consistency - Judy will review KPIs for format consistency. There was a brief discussion on which data term to use (i.e. data sources, data types, data). Consensus of the committee was to use the term data .

Call for new agenda items:


Move agenda to Item 5, Planning for Forums on KPIs. Return to Item 4, Discussion of Technology KPIs, at 2:00 pm. (Palmer/DeGroote, MSP)

Planning for forums on KPIs:

The SPC developed the following schedule:




KPIs to be discussed

SPC members who indicated they would be available (should have at least 2 people from each subcommittee)

Monday, March 29

9 - 11 am

MC 122

Academic Distinction & Technology

John Palmer, Judy Kilborn, Bonnie Hedin, David DeGroote

Tuesday, March 30

11 am - 1 pm

Headley 228

Diversity and Social Justice,

University-Community Relations, Service Community

John Palmer, Judy Kilborn, Steve Klepetar, Guihua Li

Wednesday, March 31

1-3 pm


Academic Distinction & Technology

John Burgeson, David DeGroote

Thursday, April 1

(FA/Adm meet and confer conflict)

4-6 pm

Headley 228

Diversity and Social Justice,

University-Community Relations, Service Community

John Palmer, Judy Kilborn, Steve Klepetar, Pat Krueger, Guihua Li

It was noted that if AFSCME and MAPE staff attend, something needs to be worked out with supervisors, or these people will need to take vacation time or (if not working during the sessions) be paid overtime to attend the sessions. Diana said attendance should be strictly voluntary (no work related time off or overtime paid), and this is something that Steve Ludwig should address at meet and confer with the two bargaining units involved.

Discussion turned to what the forums would include: Judy suggested that there be a brief presentation-a few minutes to define what KPIs are, how the SPC set up KPI structure, and what happens after KPIs are approved-and then open the forum for discussion and remind everyone that there is a web access to provide feedback. One recommendation was to schedule 1 1/2 hours for the targeted KPIs and 1/2 hour for the other KPI(s) in each forum. Stated again was the need for people to come to the forum already having read the KPIs so that specific concerns and questions can be identified and addressed in the short period of time available.

Judy said that it was clear from her discussion with Provost Spitzer that he was hoping the SPC did not have too many KPIs.

Judy said the SPC could ask people attending the forums:

  • if KPIs are ranked appropriately or if there were KPIs that could be omitted
  • if the right ranking was given to impact and effort
  • if there is additional data that the SPC has not considered
  • if there are responsible parties missing
  • if there are holes in the KPIs - something missing

David felt the SPC needed to address early on that the numbers and scope of the strategic plan is not something that will be solved by spring 2005. Priorities will need to be established-some things looked at earlier and some thing looked at later. There will be process concerns. People will ask how can we do all of these things? Judy responded that in framing discussion, the SPC can talk about how many of the KPIs the university is already doing. David added that KPIs are trying to bring various workgroups together who are working toward a common goal. Judy felt that the SPC should also be prepared to answer who people collecting data report to and in what forum.

John Burgeson said people will ask about who will be responsible for the huge amount of data compiled and what will happen to the data then. Judy suggested that the SPC spend time next week strategizing how to respond to this question and the SPC members think about this during the week.

John Palmer noted that KPIs will have resource issues involved, and there is the need to prioritized KPIs determining which undertakings should be funded and at what level they should be funded. The person(s) who receive the data have responsibility for resource allocation. If the university community realizes that this is where the strategic plan is going-that the strategic plan will have an impact on where the dollars go-they will view the strategic differently than an academic exercise. Judy added that the Provost talked about this in general terms. There are two ways to look at this: 1) fund the units who are meeting the guidelines; 2) look at the units struggling to meet the guidelines and give them a boot up. John Palmer added that there is a third way-units who do not meet the strategic investment are eliminated.

Judy summarized what she believed the SPC was saying about forum content: ask people to come prepared with questions or issues or specific concerns, ask about priorities or if responsible parties or data sources are missing, and address what reporting will look like. Forums will be primarily open discussion with a few minutes of introductory presentation and time definite discussion for each KPIs.

Action: Judy asked everyone to check their schedules to see which forums they can attend and e-mail

Judy verification. Even if SPC members are not scheduled to attend a particular forum, it will be important to have as many members as possible attend each of the forums.

David DeGroote suggested that the slide presentation be posted on the web.

Mahmoud asked if the SPC could collectively determine the top priority for each goal. He questioned how most of the KPIs could be ranked "high." Judy responded that in a previous discussion, the thinking of the SPC was that if the KPIs were not ranked high, why would they be in the plan? Mahmoud said that another possibility was to ask the subcommittees to rank order the KPIs and then select one as the top priority so that there are only 5 top KPIs to be more manageable and realistic. Judy reminded Mahmoud that the SPC had talked about rank ordering at a previous meeting when the Provost requested that he receive KPIs prioritized and KPIs listed by what can be done now and later. SPC members during the discussion were very resistant, so the committee went to high, medium and low impact and effort. Judy asked the committee if it could now go back and rank order KPIs. David asked if prioritizing could be figured out from the impact of the forum. John Burgeson felt it would be difficult to rank order the KPIs as a group. He felt there was a natural order within the way people perceive list order.

John Palmer felt only a small number of the university will come to the forums informed and ready to ask questions. He believes all of the university community cares about how resources are allocated. The SPC has not done what NCHEMS asked it to do-link the strategic plan to the allocation of resources. We have a strategic plan that implies certain behaviors should be rewarded. Diana said that she does not see how the budget can be tied to the KPIs identified by the SPC because it is difficult to determine the meaning of the KPIs. Often there is no benchmark material. Where did we start? Where are we going? Are there areas we want to emphasize? Judy responded that the example used by Diana was assessment of student learning, and those are based in the disciplines. The programs establish the benchmarks, and through the assessment process, they establish where they are related to those goals. Assessment directors and others in programs doing assessment would do that work. It will be different for every program. Some departments have accrediting agencies with benchmarks set up; others don't. Diana asked how you take the whole group of KPIs and allocated x number of dollars? What counts more? What counts less?

John Palmer asked that the agenda be moved to item 4, Discussion of Technology KPIs.

Discussion of Technology KPIs:

The SPC reviewed the February 27 th version:

  • David asked if KPI 1 and 2 could be collapsed together. Sara responded that the subcommittee considered that but decided to have two KPIs to maintain the distinctiveness of each.
  • KPI 2 was rewritten to include other technologies and identify a difference between equipment and instrumentation.
  • Diana noted that Inventory Control does not keep track of equipment under $5,000.
  • Discussion of how administrators would decide if equipment in a lab is a greater need than a baby grand piano. Decisions have to be made not on artificial categories of equipment more than $5,000, but rather the need to focus on is the benefit that is derived from that investment. There is a need to clarify what the perception is so that people understand the premise on which decisions will be made. This needs to be defined in such a manner that administrative items are included (i.e., a truck for maintenance). Added to "Definition" - "Categories here do not refer to state classifications but to functional groups that benefit student learning."
  • Data point "Level of funding for equipment/software and amount expended in each category" was changed to "Level of funding for technologies and amount expended in each category."
  • Data point "Percent of budget allocated to purchase, maintain and upgrade equipment and software" was changed to "Percent of budget allocated to purchase, maintain and upgrade technology."
  • The administrative side is implied in Rationale D under integrated business functions. The subcommittee said that KPIs addressed this in earlier reiterations and maybe got dropped out of the prime focus.
  • John Palmer felt the second KPI under Service Community addresses the administrative side and is a narrow definition of the services the university provides for students.
  • John Burgeson countered that departments must define themselves in terms of the strategic plan-not the other way around.
  • Judy asked the SPC how detailed and general should we become. It was suggested that a data point be added on page 5: Survey measuring satisfaction with administrative support.
  • Add "and administrators" to the KPI on page 5.
  • Remove "e-services" from D. Rationale and second data point.

Accept Technology KPIs as amended. (John Burgeson , Balsy, MS)

Discussion of NSSE Report:

This item will be removed from the agenda. Items raised in the NSSE report are covered in KPIs.

Upcoming SPC meeting dates and locations:
Mar. 12, 1-3, Voyageurs North
Apr. 2, 1-3, Miller Center 114/115
Apr. 16, 1-3, Miller Center 114/115
Apr. 30, 1-3, Miller Center 11/4115

Notes by Jackie Zieglmeier