St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
September 30, 2004

Download minutes [PDF: 6 pages]

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

Members Absent: Balsy Kasi and Guihua Li

Guests: President Saigo and Provost Spitzer

1. Approval of minutes for September 23, 2004

  • Kilborn noted that the minutes would be addressed after comments by President Saigo and Provost Spitzer.

2. Announcements

  • Faculty Senate Action on our motions
    • Kilborn announced that Faculty Senate passed the recommendation that the strategic plan begin with the KPIs under Academic Distinction, which will be referred to as "Phase One."
    • The rest of the announcements will be made after President Saigo and Provost Spitzer speak.

3. Comments by President Saigo and Provost Spitzer

  • President Saigo noted that strategic planning began seven years ago. He sees many changes have transpired in MnSCU since Chancellor McCormick came three years ago. The pressure is on SCSU to provide measurable outcomes. SCSU can no longer say "We’ve increased the quality of our education." Rather, measurable results of this must be shown.
  • President Saigo said that tremendous progress on narrowing down the KPIs last year was made. His charge to the committee is to make the KPIs in Academic Distinction more measurable by January, 2005. He would like the same done to the remaining KPIs by June, 2005. He said the KPIs are to show where SCSU is and where we want to be. He stated this committee is guiding this institution on a broad basis.
  • President Saigo indicated that funding has not been behind this process in the past. He said that this year he wants to start allocating funds for strategic planning. He stated the next component is to have the process for which data is going to be collected. He said it is a huge process and will require much effort.
  • President Saigo said the committee’s responsibility is to coordinate and communicate. The committee will need to look at how to consider all the units and collect information and coordinate it.
  • President Saigo referred to an email announcement he sent regarding one-time remaining funds. He told the committee that the committee’s task is to identify criteria under the five themes and he will make decisions how to allocate some of the funds based on the criteria.
  • Provost Spitzer stated the need to focus on the KPIs and look at what a KPI is in terms of measurable outcomes. Unless there can be measurable outcomes, the current KPIs are more goals than KPIs. Provost Spitzer congratulated and told the committee that the first strategic priority is probably the hardest to do in terms of assessment. He expressed there are ways to get at the information and assemble it. A lot of this is connected to assessment. While SCSU is engaged in assessment for NCA accreditation in 2007, in the long term, the NCA is less important because SCSU needs to know if SCSU’s students are learning what SCSU needs them to learn. It needs to be determined how to know this has been done.
  • President Saigo read some statistics regarding SCSU’s enrollment figures. He said there has been an effort to work with presidents of two-year institutions to foster relationships. He indicated Dr. Spitzer is asking deans and faculty to visit with these two-year institutions. If the number of students drops, the budget drops, and SCSU doesn’t have the opportunity to serve the community, he expressed.
  • Provost Spitzer mentioned that a number of things are being done to address these needs. Funds have been allocated for an assessment director of each college. He hopes there will be some other initiatives in the future.
  • Kilborn explained that while there are three KPIs in the first strategic priority, the question is "Are they three measurable KPIs?" She said work needs to be done with departments for some of the refinement of the measurements.
  • Fisher asked how the January and June dates correspond with the implementation of Phase One.
  • Spitzer asked for a clarification of "Phase One.".
  • Fisher explained that the committee is trying to implement a piece of the plan using a yet undetermined method. Rather than taking the whole plan, the plan would be rolled out one piece at a time. The work would be completed on the whole plan one piece at a time.
  • President Saigo invited the committee, upon the committee’s approval, to hear a presentation on The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) at a time determined by the committee. He said that the MnSCU board composite has changed considerably in the last year. Board members are in large part from the business sector which historically quantifies things. These members are demanding measurable goals.
  • Klepetar noted that BSC uses the term "pilot." If BSC is adopted, there will be some confusion if the term is not used. He expressed being a little unclear about the committee’s charge for this year.
  • Provost Spitzer reviewed that the first priority in the strategic plan has goals "A", "B", "C", "D", "E", and "F." He stated it would be a good start to Phase One if three KPIs could be identified to measure each of the goals in this priority.
  • Klepetar noted that it would translate into fifteen KPIs for Academic Distinction. He asked how Provost Spitzer expects the committee to do this when it could not be done last year.
  • Provost Spitzer answered because it has been talked about. It has been discussed that it needs a measurable component. It should provide a basis for what SCSU is looking for. The plan should show a definition of competency and the extent students have achieved that. He stated it is not a super difficult process: The work to do the measuring is the hard part.
  • Fisher stated that when the three of them went to BSC training, they discovered SCSU was by far the furthest along in the strategic planning process. She recounted the trainers said what has been compiled is good. They never said to get rid of anything. She offered huge kudos. She agreed with Provost Spitzer that the KPIs need to be honed in and the committee is not far off. She said that the committee had predicted the need to go to departments to set measurable KPIs. Some initiatives are already in process. Where measurable outcomes are already being gathered through current assessment initiatives, they will need to be integrated.
  • Provost Spitzer agreed.
  • Schoenberger summarized her understanding is that the president is asking the committee to gather what the measurements will be for the first priority goal and it’s KPIs from departments and programs. She added this seems to be a reasonable request, stating so much work had been done last year.
  • Kilborn noted that programs and departments will be at different levels in this process: Some will need to start from the beginning.
  • Schoenberger stated that they will have to be trained. She noted that several of the terms such as "measures" are the same between disciplines.
  • Kilborn stated this is especially the case with assessment.
  • Fisher indicated that strategic planning was lacking faculty representation at forums in the past and that showed. She asked that Administration encourage deans to encourage faculty to be active in this.
  • Schoenberger suggested there may be the need to go to department meetings.
  • Condon asked for a definition of "measurable." She asked if the chancellor and board are only looking at the quantitative.
  • Spitzer said "No to the second question." He said that he was less concerned with the board and NCA than what SCSU is doing. Not every one is quantifiable. He noted the qualitative can be aggregated to make it quantitative
  • Palmer stated that this is what he teaches in the College of Education. A good design says where the outcome will be at the end of instruction. He said he would like to make sure he knows what the expectations are of this committee. His review of the minutes does not align with what he heard President Saigo and Provost Spitzer say. The minutes talk about three KPIs on the roll out. What he heard from the President is an expectation that by January, 2005, the committee will have completed something. He asked if that "something" is 3, 6, 15, or some number in between.
  • Provost Spitzer clarified that the KPIs for the first strategic priority should be set by January, 2005. Since there are six goals, that would be roughly three KPIs for each goal. He said he does not see this as being finished by January. He noted that the committee may want to revise them down the road. Provost Spitzer expressed the desire is to ensure that the right things are being measured. Reviewing them allows the ability to make revisions. It may be decided to make changes. This is an ongoing, constantly changing process. In essence, the KPIs become moving targets. For instance, if students consistently meet the level of targeted achievement, the level could be raised.
  • Kilborn stated she wants to emphasize that the recommendation has been approved to begin with Academic Distinction. This is Phase One, and in Phase One, SPC will build and test the infrastructure for reporting and communicating. It entails ongoing testing and changes. As data comes in, SPC will recommend initiatives.
  • Fisher explained that the training taught the attendees that the critical part of BSC, if adopted or not, is the communication between this committee and the academic units. The next focus would be into the 44 departments.
  • Kilborn clarified that it would not just be the departments, but programs and units as well.
  • Palmer stated that his question regarding alignment still stood.
  • Provost Spitzer explained the task is to measure success in the core values. Each is under the rubric of different faculty. Each of what the students need to learn is identified. The KPIs can address all of them simultaneously.
  • Palmer said that it is a flexible relationship - it is in a package.
  • Schoenberger stated that what is done in her discipline is to list the things that the group would like to be know. The things that can actually be measured are listed on a separate list. The next step is to attempt to connect them. It is very possible that three things that can be measured would tell something about each one of the KPIs. She cautioned against setting too large a number.
  • Provost Spitzer stated he had used the number "3" to prevent a number such as "15" from being established. The number should be smaller rather than larger.
  • Schoenberger added that sometimes the measurable items are not useful, so they are not used.
  • Provost Spitzer explained that the first priority is difficult to use as an example because it identifies more than one thing to be measured. Secondly, it refers to a "variety" which asks for a different kind of measurement.
  • President Saigo asked if Palmer, Schoenberger and Condon would like to get together to do workshops to identify KPIs.
  • Condon joked that Palmer would.
  • Palmer stated that the expectation he hears is the committee would take 1.A and work it to its conclusion by January, 2005, and that somewhere in that process, the committee would pick another to be completed by June, 2005.
  • Provost Spitzer confirmed this.
  • Palmer stated that now that he knows what the expectation is, he wanted to ask the committee for clarification. The committee said "3" and he hears something different, even though he would not be uncomfortable with that.
  • Provost Spitzer said that if three KPIs under each of the six goals in the first priority can be done, the committee will have passed the expectation.
  • Fisher asked Provost Spitzer for assistance in going to the academic departments.
  • Provost Spitzer said "Absolutely." He noted Voelz and the assessment committee will be working on some of these same issues. They will report back to the Strategic Planning Committee so that their assessment measures can be incorporated into the Strategic Plan. It is not the role of the Strategic Planning Committee to make measurements. This is the kind of activity that needs to come from the practitioners in the field.
  • Fisher said that due to how much work there is to be done and how busy people are, it is understandable that some will not want to take all the time this will require.
  • Motin asked if Provost Spitzer could request their assistance in some formal manner.
  • Provost Spitzer acknowledged that departments and colleges have already begun to be approached as part of the assessment process and asked what they are doing in way of assessment. They have already begun to be asked for their mission statements and measurable objectives. These mission statements and objectives are being revised. This process is not being done in isolation. Rather, they should communicate the information through their dean’s advisory councils. Provost Spitzer said he knows several of them already have.
  • Fisher agreed.
  • Motin requested that an official statement be directed to deans and department chairs to give advance notice that this is coming.
  • Fisher added that assistance for overloaded departments would be included.
  • Kilborn asked if it is possible to share the report that was sent to NCA with the committee.
  • Provost Spitzer agreed.
  • Kilborn asked if work needs to be done with the Faculty Association General Education Committee regarding the general education objectives.
  • Provost Spitzer said "Yes."
  • Fisher asked Schoenberger to offer advance notice of this to General Education, which is one of the Faculty Association Committees.
  • Thorson asked what to expect after January. Since the history of the committee is to not be punctual with deadlines, it would be an incentive to work diligently if people know what follows.
  • Provost Spitzer answered that the next step would be to move forward with the next priority.
  • Motin asked if President Saigo wants them by June, 2005.
  • President Saigo nodded "Yes."
  • Kilborn expressed concern about the speed. She said the KPIs are only one phase of implementation. Determining how data is collected, communicated, etc., will take time to determine. She asked how trying to complete all of the KPIs for all of the other strategic planning goals feeds into the recommendation by the committee to do it as a phase.
  • Spitzer stated it is not the committee’s role to do all the work. It is the committee’s role to obtain the data from those collecting the data.
  • Kilborn noted that how to do so still has to be figured out.
  • Provost Spitzer agreed, noting that is a much simpler step.
  • DeGroote said we need to describe the infrastructure and how it flows back.
  • Motin asked if the directive is to drill down the other four strategic goals by June, 2005.
  • President Saigo said that would be wonderful.
  • Foss brought up the need for information to be shared with all. The other piece is ongoing evaluation. Measurements are done and the committee looks at the data and asks if the priorities should remain the same or be changed and then moves forward.
  • Palmer stated that with five more meetings, the discussion should end and the work should begin.
  • President Saigo concluded by expressing this committee is one of the most important committees on campus because of the ability to direct the institution. SCSU cannot remain the same if it wants to be an outstanding university.
  • Kilborn asked if the committee’s recommendation to implement the Strategic Plan with Phase One, Academic Distinction, is being accepted.
  • Provost Spitzer said "Absolutely."

4. Collection of schedules for spring, 2005

  • Kilborn said a lot of members have responded with their schedules. She would like the others as soon as possible to facilitate announcing the spring meeting schedule at the next meeting.

Motion to accept the Draft II minutes as distributed in the meeting as edited. (Fisher/Motion) Motion passed.

5. Announcements

  • Additional information about The Balanced Scorecard
    • Thorson asked Subba in the College of Business if there is anything available similar to BSC. He said that other tools incorporate processes that are normally viewed as essential for strategic planning, but that this is the only tool that integrates best practices with internal consistency. Thorson researched it and distributed an example given under Educause from the University of California, San Diego, which is comparable in size and type. They have had much success. He expressed he did not have time to find more comparable data.

6. Call for new agenda items

  • Thorson would like to discuss whether to accept the task the president articulated because he feels the motion is at odds with the task.

7. Discussion of The Balanced Scorecard

  • Burlison cautioned against comparing a business process to a university process. It would be interesting to note if there are examples from the academic side.
  • Kilborn said that the examples presented at the last meeting are from academics and that the two trainers with BSC experience from the training this summer are in academia. The hope would be to get consultation and training because she doesn’t think it can be done without it.
  • Fisher said BSC started out as for-profits and came from Harvard. It has transmuted into the nonprofit area. One of the trainers has had it for over 10 years, so it has been some time since it has gone into the academic area.
  • Kilborn stated that BSC is a process for reporting, coordinating and communicating, and only the pieces needed would be used. BSC is meant to be customized. She said guidance would be obtained from the consultants to determine what is needed. One of the goals of BSC is to encourage buy-in and active participation from all stakeholders.
  • Palmer asked where the group is on the agenda.
  • Kilborn clarified that discussion could be held regarding the motion from last meeting currently on the floor to definitely recommend the adoption of The Balanced Scorecard with the implementation of Phase One.
  • Palmer asked for the financial implication of the vote.
  • Foss reviewed that at the training, the speakers said that they had implemented BSC with considerable human resources. While a $500,000 tool exists for this process, SCSU could build the data collection and reporting tool using Microsoft, a dedicated server, and appropriate IT staff. If SCSU hired the two trainers as consultants, the consultants could give advice about how to modify what they have done.
  • Fisher said that last summer, President Saigo, Burlison, and the three who attended the conference were going to drive to Rochester to examine a software tool for this purpose. They determined that they first wanted to understand the process and then look at a tool. Foss found the training, which she referred to as "a perfect training experience" where SCSU received much reinforcement on the work that has already been done. After the training, the option of looking at a $500,000 tool was dismissed.
  • Thorson asked what the cost of doing and what the cost of not doing it is, noting that costs are associated no matter what is decided.
  • Burlison said that having a tool would be great. She asked for the cost of the consultants.
  • Foss stated the consultation and full training over multiple days would be $10,000.00. She said she does not know the cost of a server. She acknowledged what SCSU needs to do to shore up IR staffing would need to be addressed. She suggested that a request to President Saigo and Provost Spitzer for some funding would be a good start.
  • Kilborn stated President Saigo had expressed he is willing to assist with funding. She added that a motion to ask for training would be appropriate.
  • Palmer said he is not opposed to taking action that says SCSU needs a better system. He does not think it is the committee’s responsibility to determine the detail of how that happens. He stated it is the committee’s responsibility to say it absolutely has to happen. He said he would like to get this issue off the table and return to the present motion.
  • DeGroote asked that a simple budget of potential costs be developed to obtain the consultants.
  • Palmer called the question.
  • Wentworth apologized if she asked something covered at the last meeting due to her inability to attend, and then asked if it is known if NCA has an opinion in BSC, given they had opinions about AQIP and others.
  • Kilborn noted the consultants are aware of and utilize both AQIP and Baldridge.
  • Klepetar asked if training is needed to do this task and if it can be done by January, 2005.
  • Kilborn noted the consultants would facilitate the process and deadline.
  • Klepetar stated NCHEMS was to have helped and it didn’t.
  • Kilborn stated this would help.
  • Schoenberg noted the two are intertwined. The president asked for measurements. Using BSC to implement Phase One would help identify those things SCSU will measure because it takes the plan and helps determine how to use it.

Motion to close debate. (Motin/Fisher) Motion Passed.

Motion to recommend the adoption of The Balanced Scorecard with the implementation of Phase One (Fisher/DeGroote) Motion passed. Wentworth and Klepetar abstained.

Motion that Fischer, Foss, and Kilborn draft a budget and present it to the committee for consideration and discussion. (Fisher/DeGroote) Motion Passed. Palmer opposed.

  • Carlson asked if there would be any kind of timeframe.
  • Fisher stated by next meeting.
  • Carlson asked if it could be distributed electronically in the next few days.
  • Fisher agreed to as soon as possible.
  • Foss stated the consultants could be here as early as mid October.
  • DeGroote stated that was why he recommended a budget first.
  • Kilborn said it is a two-step request: One for the initial training and the second for a fuller budget.
  • Palmer said the president said he would take responsibility. He said he trusts the president knows SCSU needs a consultant and the committee has never acted on budgets in the past. He stated the president said a budget is not needed.
  • Burlison indicated that in the past when consultants have been hired, there have been additional living expenses. She asked if there would be an additional charge if they come back a second time. She also asked who would be the target audience for the training.
  • Foss said the budget would be looked at. She clarified that consultation would offer more than a training process alone. It would translate what SCSU has accomplished into the BSC. The consultants can do whatever the committee wants them to do.
  • Schoenberger restated that the motion is the committee would try to make some kind of estimated budget to present to the president.
  • Burlison explained that if the budget would be approved, it implies the recommendation that the consultant will need three days of time from various people. She said she wanted to make sure the committee knew what they would be agreeing to.
  • Foss indicated that the consultants would not spend the whole three days with the committee alone. The three days would involve a variety of activities and the trainers could consult with key individuals. Presentations on BSC could be given to key groups of people such as this committee and President's Council.
  • DeGroote stated the committee needs to talk about the work plan after this motion.
  • Palmer stated he is voting against the motion. He said the chair and interested parties can do the budget.
  • Wentworth asked if BSC integrates with programs already started.
  • Kilborn affirmed that it does and asked if people were ready to vote.
  • Safari referred to Burlison’s concern. He suggested asking the potential consultant which groups need to meet as well as the costs for air, meals, and tickets.
  • Foss said she had already asked and the answer is $2,000 a day plus expenses. She said her conversation had been very basic because she did not want to commit the university.
  • Kilborn stated she will send a rough proposal to the committee electronically and then it will be taken to the president.
  • DeGroote expressed confusion regarding what the committee is to do.
  • Kilborn said she will ask the president for written clarification.
  • DeGroote suggested that since there is a sense of what he is asking, a synthesis of that understanding could be sent to the president for confirmation.
  • Kilborn said she would like to distribute that to the committee.
  • Motin mentioned that one agenda item remained.
  • Schoenberger suggested that agenda item become the first item at the next meeting. She said the task cannot be accepted until it is clear what the task is.

Motion to make the final agenda item for today’s meeting become the first agenda item at the next meeting. (DeGroote/Grachek) Motion passed by consensus.

Fall meetings days and locations:

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