St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
April 2, 2004

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Members Present: Burlison, Debra Carlson, David DeGroote, Theresia Fisher, Lisa Foss, Sara Grachek, Bonnie Hedin, Judith Kilborn, Steve Klepetar, Pat Krueger, Guihua Li, John Palmer, Karen Thoms, and Phil Thorson

Members Absent: Edward Addo, John Burgeson, Kvame Johnson, Balsy Kasi, Susan Motin, Mahmoud Saffari, David Sikes, Mary Soroko, Addie Turkowski, and Brenda Wentworth

Approval of March 12, 2004 Minutes:

Minutes of March 12, 2004, be approved (John/David, MSP)


Judy notified SPC that:

  • Sara Grachek and Kris Brown are working on a simple web-based Campus Conversations survey that will be ready on Monday. Judy will email the general population when it is complete. The survey will be designed for the respondent to pick up to 5 KPIs under each theme and then one of the 5 KPI’s. Campus Conversations is set up to survey students as well as faculty/staff and will run for one week. Steve Frank will take the data to analyze it by the April 16 th meeting. Demographics will be included.
  • Judy asked Provost Spitzer to talk to SPC at the next meeting regarding his expectations about what we will accomplish concerning the KPIs this spring and next fall. Provost Spitzer wants to have measurable KPS. Judy doesn’t think SPC can complete all of the work we need to do yet this spring, but there will be opportunity to discuss short and long term goals with Provost Spitzer when he attends the next meeting. Lisa said the institution needs to know a baseline; there is a benchmark process with several options i.e. looking at peer institutions. SCSU may need to do something else such as compare peers on those KPI’s. Then highs and lows and where we fall on that perspective can be determined. Provost Spitzer would have liked those in the KPI’s now. It was explained and understood that SCSU is not in a position right now to do this. There may be existing benchmarks, but no baselines for many of the KPIs. Provost Spitzer hopes KPIs include both baselines and targets by the end of fall so data collection can begin in spring.

Call for new agenda items:

  • Judy deleted #7 on the agenda as well reordered the sequence.

Discussion of open forums:

  • John reported that the session yesterday spent a great deal of time discussing readiness to go forward with the social justice and diversity in its present form. Perhaps those KPIs need to be done in a way that is different from the others. Proposed if SPC should be thinking about a process with that group that’s different from the others.
  • Judy conveyed that has been discussed and came from Larry. She said that the subcommittee working on those KPIs struggled the most with getting them done and there was not enough time to take through the data subcommittee. She wanted it kept in mind that a busy group of volunteers is on this subcommittee, it didn’t have the same processing time, and the issues are complicated. The committee did get input from Student Disability Services and from the CODE committee. Although the committee intended to get feedback from GLBT, the draft KPIs were never sent to GLBT due to less time to look back and evaluate. She shared that Larry’s argument is that we’re not in the habit of planning at SCSU and don’t have a research system set up. The system will be strained by moving into this. Judy suggested it may be better to start with clearer, less complicated goals; Larry was arguing that we not start with social diversity because we’re shaky on the process and don’t want to do a disservice to important items. She said a small population attended the forums, but conversation was valuable. She brought in a couple notes that have been forwarded, and more are coming in. If SPC committee members will email her their notes, she can forward them to the committee so the subcommittees may have them. Judy questioned if SPC wants to make the notes more widely available, for instance on the SPC web site as done with last year's forums.
  • Theresia shared hearing concerns about whether Asian Americans were represented and how to get the statistics.
  • Steve heard that by and large people were behind what was shared with one striking exception.
  • John expressed by his tally that 3 people expressed similar perspectives. This subject has potential for polarization. He suggested a mix of access and climate KPIs, as there are two separate ways to organize.
  • Lisa noted that in University and Community Relations sessions, Provost Spitzer raised a good point that A5 is the big KPI for that whole first goal. The others are about getting there. Robert Johnson talked about University and Community Relations not being external enough. Maybe that could be looked at.
  • Pat heard that more responsible parties should be added.
  • Phil heard that goal C was the emphasis and goals A and B should be subsumed. The action should be first and goal second.
  • Judy noted a large thread was that technology is more than just computers.
  • Regarding Academic Distinction, David reflected he didn’t think the forum was very productive. Learned at the previous one the concern about duplication.
  • Theresia found a reluctance to eliminate KPIs. After someone said what could be implemented first, it moved the discussion along. General education and majors would have to go forward at the same time.
  • David expressed general education is about students learning life skills and needs to be constructed and evaluated in that context.
  • Lisa stated the idea that general education should be looked at as an outcome; prepared for life and prepared for their major.
  • Judy wanted to talk about skills in a major. She offered looking for presence of building core values outside of general education and looking for presence of writing and critical thinking in other places.
  • Theresia noted two perspectives: Accreditation verses non accreditation.
  • Judy expressed wondering if 4 and 5 are becoming blurred and if the groups heard directions their groups would like to take with their KPI’s.

Strategies/plans for revising the KPIs:

Discussion surrounded limiting the number of KPIs and what criteria to use for this. Also discussed the survey that will be available Monday and how/if the construction of the survey could possibly be blended to answer some of the KPIs.

  • Lisa offered the idea of pilot KPIs i.e. Identify 5 easy KPIs so that a system can be in place. A few at a time would allow other issues further down the process.
  • Judy questioned if it alters where Academic Distinction would be placed.
  • David noted that the KPIs do not all occur in the same time frame. The manner in which work is done will diverge from one KPI to another based on complexity; even organization of how it will be exercised may take a semester. He suggested SPC should initiate planning how to do it verses using something with existing benchmarks; collection and analysis is dictated by the nature of the KPI.
  • Theresia shared discomfort with talking about deferring the work on a particular area without looking at all of the existing comments and KPIs. She proposed considering what’s going on with the CARE initiative and actions (which will continue through the summer and is sanctioned by President’s Council) and possibly coordinate the process.
  • Judy used diversity and social justice as an example: we can select KPIs that include the current work being done.
  • Theresia conveyed that scans, research, immediate recommendations, and analysis based on the four studies are currently happening. Work with them could be used to strategize the KPIs.
  • John expressed hope that SPC is moving forward in a purpose-driven and consistent manner with the mission as an institution. Planning has consequences. SPC is trying to demonstrate to the community that it’s true. Guidance about selection criteria needs to be provided. He questioned if there should be a minimum for each of the strands. As it is process related, he wouldn’t want to not move forward by interpreting Larry’s comments to mean that. He suggested that we chose, based on criteria, which ones to deal with on a university-wide basis. Eventually SPC will get at all of the KPIs through some cycle of planning.
  • Theresia, after being asked for an explanation, described that CARE is a Community Antiracism initiative Faculty Association approved 2 years ago. President’s Council also approved it. 35 people (including Lisa Foss, Theresia Fisher, and Provost Spitzer) as well as community members funded through grants, etc. are charged to research the institution and reevaluate the 4 climate studies and make recommendations to the community, faculty, staff, and administration.
  • Judy stated it is comprehensive and asked if B6 is being looked at. She asked what is doable now. While it may not be easy, it may offer good results.
  • David suggested using what CARE is doing and supplement it to show commitment to that area.
  • Judy said the group will deal with process areas and questioned if there should be coordination between our and their areas, as some members overlap.
  • Diana asked about a timeline regarding the completion of the history of the institution and its review.
  • Theresia updated the group that it had just begun and recommendations will come forth as initiatives when deemed appropriate; Morehead and Metro have had MCARI in place for over 5 years.
  • Diana then asked, given this, how the integrity of CARE can be taken over a long period and how SPC goals can be implemented over a shorter period. She suggested some could be easily measured right now. Although only self reports are received, NCHEMS has gleaned some of this information which is obtainable. It must first be decided what the data is to show.
  • Judy initiated a discussion on wording regarding demographics. Some are unhappy when it excludes some groups. Steve noted that Admissions is gleaning some minority student information. Judy said it has been suggested to use the term “underrepresented in Minnesota.”
  • There was discussion of how duplication should be treated, and SPC agreed that we could pull the duplicated KPIs out of the themes (such as the KPIs on conflict resolution) and make them overarching or meta-KPIs that cross reference the themes from which they emerge.
  • Discussion of pros/cons of the term “meta-category” ensued.
  • Diana shared literature is showing the need to be aware of the issue of minority scholarships. For instance, the broadening gap between socioeconomic sectors is resulting in more students who do not have the social and economic skills to meet the requirements to get through college. This type of issue does not seem to be addressed in the KPIs.
  • Judy shared that the Diversity and Social Justice subcommittee had begun looking at this issue by considering the idea that not all students of color have the same issues of retention and that there is a question that gets at economic status and retention. She agreed that this idea may need to be looked at more closely.
  • John asked to talk about the motion that sets the parameters for filling out which KPIs will be developed for the next year.
  • Lisa expressed it would be controversial to cut the KPIs down from 47 to 15. Establishing criteria in advance would help.
  • John stated that nothing will be cut out. It may be listed but the resources do not exist to pursue them all.
  • David added the goal is to prioritize and reminded the group that Provost Spitzer frequently reminds everyone to ask the question “What enhances student learning?”
  • Phil noted the difficulty in prioritizing is due to it is not a strength of the committee/university. Strategizing, such as deciding on small wins for example, helps peel back the onion one layer at a time. He stated SPC needs to work especially hard right now to prioritize based on the feedback of the recent open sessions so it will be quick enough for people to see what has been accomplished.
  • Judy acknowledged the committee has resisted prioritization.
  • Steve expressed that limiting the number of KPIs to a maximum of 3 per category will probably result in 15 KPIs.
  • Judy shared not being sure what will be obtained from the responses to the survey and is not sure if it will be representative. Steve will tell the group the results based on what those responding choose as most essential. Beyond that, the committee has the goals.
  • Phil proposed a couple reasons to not solely using the survey to prioritize KPIs.

Move to establish criteria for selecting KPIs for the upcoming year with a minimum of one in each of the five themes and a maximum of three in each of the five themes. (John/Karen) Motion passed by consensus of the committee.

Reasons were discussed and agreed upon for meeting as small groups prior to the 16 th to establish criteria to use for the KPIs. Judy notified the group Provost Spitzer will attend the next SPC meeting at 2:00 p.m. and the committee could use the hour prior to that to work in small groups. Judy offered to forward any ideas on to groups members if sent to her electronically.

  • Phil proposed including an attachment of criteria on an email with the notes from this group.
  • Pat offered the idea of using John’s criteria as a starting list, and suggestions from others could follow.
  • Judy surmised that after reviewing notes, some viewpoints may be repetitive and help the process. She noted that it may help to reframe Diversity and Social Justice in a positive structure.
  • Lisa cautioned that at some point, the strategic plan will be reviewed and the goals may go away. When reevaluated in three years, the process starts from scratch again. The same needs may no longer exist, or there may be others.
  • Diversity and Justice. Judy asked if anyone else would be willing to help work on it. Theresia volunteered.
  • One thought was to determine whether SPC should wait for the survey results and then make changes or whether SPC should try to make changes based upon the forums as quickly as possible and evaluate the changes in relation to survey results. Judy called for any comments to be emailed to her and she will forward them to SPC.
  • John expressed that due to the time frame, SPC needs to reduce the volume of work. i.e. Use survey results to reduce the number to rewrite.
  • Judy stated that survey results won’t be available for 2 weeks.
  • David shared there is parallel work. The rewrites fall into a couple categories; putting them under a different one or rephrasing them as a measured item. They are not substantive in nature and don’t change the nature of the KPIs.
  • Debra noted the third one is the redundancy.
  • David suggested one could put a KPI above several notes and encompass several holes with the rewrites. It would reduce the number of KPI’s and collapse the number. As certain goals are connected, a bigger tent is built over the goals. i.e. How Steve mentioned A and B can go under C and is linked.
  • It was expressed that cross-referencing would get rid of duplication. Not everyone could conceptualize this.
  • Cross referencing would tell the community the issue is being addressed, but over in a given spot.
  • One preference is to list them in all spots.
  • It was noted that listing them in as many as four goals would not narrow down the list.
  • The important thing is that it gets measured; not which goal it’s listed under.
  • One KPI is mentioned in 2 of the 3 and is not attached to a particular theme. It attaches to where it is and only counts as one.
  • John suggested the first go round would be a collection of KPI’s that are the priority for this coming time period, but are not listed under the five themes. A high order KPI and cross referencing would be in the more detailed category.
  • David said just the repetitive ones are what he referred to, so not to make the decision of where it will appear.
  • John expounded to have one listing and the question would become how do to handle the conception that some people might have that since there is only one listing, it had degenerated in importance from what’s in the other plan.

Moved to accept that a KPI would only appear once, possibly by utilizing cross referencing. (John/David) Motion passed by consensus of the committee.

It was requested to address the KPIs that are listed under more than one goal. i.e. SPC does not want them to appear they are privileged or hold greater importance as a result of their numbering order and/or repetitiveness, yet there is a dynamic due to their duplication.

Moved to shift duplicate KPI’s out of the themes and let them represent a list of duplicative KPI’s and reference them through the goals they were derived from. (David/Lisa) Motion passed by consensus of the committee.

Upcoming SPC meeting dates and locations:
April 16, 1-3, Miller Center 114/115
April 30, 1-3, Miller Center 114/115

Notes by Jackie Zieglmeier

Potential for moving up to better place or better practices
Size of wins
Responding to survey results and forums
Impact on student learning