St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
September 23, 2004

Download minutes [PDF: 4 pages]

Members Present: John Burgeson, Diana Burlison, Debra Carlson, Frankie Condon, David DeGroote, Theresia Fisher, Lisa Foss, Sara Grachek, Bonnie Hedin, Judith Kilborn, Steve Klepetar, Pat Krueger, Guihua Li, Mark Nook, Joe Opatz, Mahmoud Saffari Annette Schoenberger, Phil Thorson, Addie Turkowski, Neal Voelz, Donella Westphal

Members Absent:Edward Addo, Balsy Kasi, Susan Motin, John Palmer, David Sikes and Brenda Wentworth

1. Distribution of approved minutes for April 16 and April 30, 2004

  • Kilborn shared the NSSE recommendation from last year went to Faculty Senate and passed last week. She reviewed that KPI’s were approved last year.

2. Welcome and Introduction of New Members

3. Announcements

  • SPC member list for verification
  • Spring Schedules
  • Training this summer
  • Piloting a section of the Strategic Plan
  • The Balanced Scorecard (a possible process for implementing the Strategic Plan)

4. Call for new agenda items


5. Discussion of a possible pilot

  • Kilborn shared that she, Lisa Foss and Theresia Fisher went to a training in Kansas this summer to learn about “The Balanced Score Card” (BSC) process of tracking and reporting information. They spoke with trainers who recommended starting with 2-3 KPI’s as a pilot rather than initiating all KPI’s at once. The trainers further suggested starting with Academic Distinction since accreditation is nearing. While this process does not have to be the one utilized, it will need to be determined how to designate responsibilities, collect data, report it, etc., as well as how to coordinate involving all departments, colleges, deans, administration, etc. There is currently no infrastructure for this.
  • Kilborn shared that currently, data collection is ongoing, but not coordinated. On a small scale, a pilot would start to build resources for this process. Using the example of retention, some questions to ask would be: Who collects data? What are the initiatives? What data should be looked at? Would it be applied to KPI’s? An evaluation of the cause and effect would take place. Once issues are determined, it would be determined why those issues exist. A series of initiatives would be identified that would hopefully resolve those problems. The initiatives would be conducted and at designated intervals, they would be measured to see if they have had any impact. The initiatives would be adjusted, deleted, added, or maintained. Upon completion of the pilot, the revised initiatives would be implemented.
  • Thorson expressed support of a pilot, saying it can work well as used in some technology issues, and it would be nice to experience success here as well.
  • Schoenberger asked for Lisa Foss’ presentation to make a better determination whether to do a pilot based on an understanding of the BSC process.
  • Kilborn expressed mixed feelings, stating she is not tied to BSC and that she sees the question about whether or not to pilot as separate from the question of whether or not to use the BSC.
  • Thorson clarified if there would be different levels of piloting or a less in-depth process.
  • Foss relayed that the facilitators explained that one piece of the plan is identified and executed in-depth all the way through.
  • Klepetar referred to President Saigo’s directive last year to implement the plan.
  • Foss noted that after discussion with President Saigo, who funded the training this summer, he may be more open to beginning on a smaller scale. She suggested this would be an issue to bring to him next week when he attends the meeting.
  • Carlson questioned taking only 1-3 KPI’s as opposed to honoring the work and implementing all 15 KPI’s from last year.
  • Kilborn recommended beginning with Academic Distinction so people from the university can “buy in”. She noted that this frequently helps with accreditation. The BSC does not undo any of the work done – the work already completed can be folded into it.

Motion to implement the strategic plan by beginning with a pilot program. (Klepetar/DeGroote)

  • Thorson questioned if “pilot program” is an appropriate term as it can imply a tentative program. He suggested “Phase One” of implementation instead.
  • Carlson asserted that she wishes to work on all 15 KPI’s because they are so interrelated.
  • Opatz conveyed it is impossible to do a one-year strategic plan and it is very common to break the plan into sections over a multiple year time-frame. In this instance, 3 KPI’s per year over a 5 year period would accomplish work on all 15 KPI’s.
  • DeGroote expounded that completing Phase One would achieve acquiring bits and pieces of work that would overlap with the work needed in other KPI’s. The foundation would cascade its way through the strategic plan. Each time new KPI’s are done, a little more of the work would be done. Rather than dilute the process, the information could be held at bay until needed later in the process.

Moved to amend the term “pilot program” to “Phase One” (Thorson/Klepetar) Motion passed.

  • Kilborn then asked for some sense of where to start with Phase One.
  • Burgeson shared that Academic Distinction is “number one” by design due to the hierarchy.

Amended Motion: Implement the strategic plan by beginning with phase one. Motion passed.

Moved to start Phase One by working on the three (3) KPI’s under Academic Distinction (Burgeson/DeGroote) Motion passed.

  • Klepetar asked if all three could be worked on.
  • Kilborn affirmed this and added that benchmarks need to be established and included.
  • Schoenberger questioned if this is in addition to the assessment.
  • Kilborn said “No”, and stated that what already needs to be done for accreditation would be folded into the strategic planning process.
  • Schoenberger cautioned that if it meant any additions, there would be disagreement.
  • DeGroote echoed that the information will be used.
  • Kilborn expressed that implementing the plan will be initially more work, but eventually the process will lessen the work rather than doubling it. It in part lessens the work due to determining what information is used and what isn’t.
  • Klepetar shared it would allow SCSU to take advantage of the work already being done.
  • Kilborn shared the BSC is not the only model that could be used to implement this process. She shared there are others. The BSC process was initially designed for the business sector and is now being used in universities. Lisa Foss’ presentation will use some business terminology, but if incorporated, Foss would translate it for SCSU’s purposes.

6. Short presentation on The Balanced Scorecard and discussion of its potential

  • Foss distributed 3 documents (“The Balanced Scorecard”, slides from a Power Point Presentation, and a glossary) from the conference this summer. She premised the presentation by establishing she is not an expert in this process, she is just sharing what she learned.
  • Foss recounted that BSC began in 1990 at Harvard with a great deal of documented success in the business community from large to small companies. The governmental non profit higher education sector began to use it in the late 90’s after recognizing the need to track and communicate information as it relates to strategic planning. BSC is a process to link everyday things with strategic planning. It looks at what is not being done well and figures out why that is happening. It took Western New Mexico University about 4 years to gear up to point where the information permeates the institution and employees can have access to and use the information. Ten years into this process, different information is collected now because they learned what is used. This is less costly and less time consuming.
  • Foss shared Northwest Missouri University is about the same size as SCSU with about 15,000 students. It is also a regional comprehensive institution. Another cost saving factor is that the process utilizes Word, Exel, etc., which are programs everyone already has access to on campus.
  • Foss described BSC as a communication and reporting tool. She was excited because it doesn’t undo any of the committee’s work. It is balanced in short- and long-term perspectives. It measures during the process and at the end of the process to be able to change as it moves along. It includes everyone in the organization and addresses multiple stake holders.
  • Foss shared there are two main pieces:
      • The strategy map is the communication tool. It shows every person what the plan is, what is being collected and how it will impact the institution.
      • BSC measures specifics in a detailed manner and is the reporting tool.
  • Referring to Worksheet 11, SCSU’s “Strategy” would be the 5 themes. The “Critical Success Factors” would be the goals. The “Perspective” piece looks at each area and determines what to do to address faculty concerns, MnSCU, etc. The “Objective” initiates specific goals. “KPI's” are the measures.
  • Foss stressed this is a framework – not a formula. It needs to be changed to fit each organization. The most critical goals are chosen. If the goal can’t be measured it, it’s not a good KPI. If it doesn’t measure the strategy, the number doesn’t mean anything.
  • Burlison asked how MnSCU’s needs fit into this framework.
  • Kilborn stated that because they are one of the stakeholders, they are consulted in the process.
  • Foss said the most information is collected on the issues trying to be addressed. She noted the items on the “dashboard” for the president would have the highest importance. The Provost and Vice President for Administrative Affairs, for example, would have dashboards that feed into the President’s dashboard. Although accessible to the whole campus by a campus server, the data collected is not accessible by the public. The three attendees did many role plays and exercises throughout the conference. Foss shared that departments can drive the data being collected, as it is not a “top down” process.
  • Foss expressed that if systems and structures are not in place, there will be bugs. It is better to start slower and improve the system. Once the issues are worked out, then expansion out to the next phases can ensue, as strategic planning is not static. It needs to be reanalyzed at intervals.
  • Foss shared that costs verses benefits was discussed. Human Resources is the biggest cost.
  • Discussion ensued regarding who makes decisions about determining the data to be collected and how it affects the decision-making process.

Motion to recommend the adoption of The Balanced Scorecard with the implementation of Phase One (Fisher/DeGroote)

  • Burgeson expressed that it makes sense to him.
  • Klepetar suggested the motion is precipitous noting there has been no time to read the packet.
  • Turkowski would like to hear feed back from other universities that are using it. She would also like to hear any opposition and have time to digest it and perhaps vote on it in a week or so.
  • Condon noted concern about how data is being discussed. She expressed there seems to be a kind of “faith” in data and measurable and quantifiable information that she doesn’t share. She gave the example that “no child left behind” doesn’t account for the constellation of actors and forces impacting education come from the outside of the institution or is hindered by unchangeable policies already established from the inside by the institution. She suggested BSC seems linear and industrial.
  • Kilborn expressed that the team did recommend that several types of measures would be in place. She shared her belief that qualitative goals can be set up and capped in some. She said she will insist that both qualitative and quantitative measures are established, and the plan already asks that accreditation standards be used for programs that can be accredited.
  • DeGroote offered the example of scoring the attributes of writing: Assigning a number to each attribute, and adding up the level of ability attached to that attribute, the number of students that hold those attributes of good writing can be shown. He suggested the need to get away from the idea of multiple choice tests as a determiner of how good of a student a person is. He further suggested that a semi quantitative format could be found and applied. He conveyed department can decide if that is sufficient
  • Kilborn asked if this is too precipitous. She shared that the BSC is a process, which is not the same thing as the Baldridge model. Baldridge and AQIP have been used in combination with the BSC.
  • Foss suggested the Baldridge model could still be utilized and reported to the community through BSC.

Motion to postpone definitely voting on the current motion until the next meeting. (Klepetar/Kruger) Motion Passed.

  • Kilborn expressed that no matter what process is used, the committee will need more than what it currently has.
  • Fisher noted that if BSC is chosen, SCSU would probably contract with the trainers to meet with the President’s Council, the Strategic Planning Committee, Academic Affairs Council, and remain available as consultants. Since it is a whole area of study that has shifted to the nonprofit sector, SCSU will need people to help with it.
  • Kilborn shared that President Saigo and Provost Spitzer will attend the next meeting to discuss what they see as the committee’s focus this coming year. She further asked for permission to take the motion regarding implementing Phase One to Faculty Association next week prior to having the minutes approved.
  • Schoenberger noted that the committee may not get to the agenda item.
  • Kilborn stated that she would still like permission in the event they do.
  • Agreement by consensus.

Fall meetings days and locations:

Thursday, September 30, 2004 — Voyageurs North
Thursday, October 14, 2004 — Voyageurs North
Thursday, October 28, 2004 — Voyageurs North
Thursday, November 18, 2004 — Voyageurs North
Thursday, December 02, 2004 — Voyageurs North
Thursday, December 16, 2004 — Voyageurs North

Notes by: Lucie Schwartzkopf