St. Cloud State University
Strategic Planning Committee Minutes
September 14, 2006

Members Present   

Mark Nook, Lisa Foss, Annette Schoenberger, Brenda Wentworth, Jeff Gallus, Judy Litterst, Jim Knutson-Kolodzne, John Palmer, David DeGroote, Frankie Condon, Annette Day, Debra Leigh, Ken Miller, Jim Sherohman, Jennifer Jay, Susan Schleper, Robin Ewing, Jennifer Tudor,  Jeff Rhodes, Sara Grachek

Members Absent

Diana Burlison, Mahmoud Saffari, Julie Bresnahan-Stark, Judy Kilborn, John Burgeson, Jennifer Furan, Phil Thorson, Debra Carlson, Jane Olsen, Addie Habstritt

Welcome and Introductions

Meeting Schedule

It was established at the end of the last academic year that the SPC would meet the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 10-12, with only one meeting in November, due to the Thanksgiving holiday.   Because Thursday, December 28 falls after the semester is over and during the Holiday break it was decided by consensus that there would not be a meeting on December 28.  In place of the December meeting, two meetings were added, November 30 and December 14.  There were no objections. Meeting reminders will be sent prior to each SPC meeting.

An invitation was extended to all SPC members to attend a Webinar:  “Integrating Higher Education Planning and Assessment: A Practical Guide” on Sept. 28 @ 12 p.m.  It is being presented by the Society for College and University Planning and will be held in the Lady’s-slipper room immediately following the regular SPC meeting.

Updates on summer sub-committee work

Three subcommittees met several times over the summer to talk about the priorities that the President asked the SPC to discuss in regards to integrating planning on campus.  The committees were charged with looking at ways to connect the large strategic plan with what is happening in the Colleges/Units.

Outreach – Documents will be emailed and discussed at the next meeting

Global Initiatives – Documents will be emailed and discussed at the next meeting

The Strategic Planning Committee finished the performance measures at the end of last year.  As a result of the meetings this past summer, a document was put together that pulls together all five themes into one document (does not include performance measures).  There were some edits that came from looking at the MnSCU strategic plan. Suggestions also came from the President and the Provost.

Discussion and Concerns – Integrated Planning Document

The SPC committee proposes looking at the document so that it can be shared with the campus where we will have an informed discussion and come to some sort of an agreement on the document.  It is important to look at the changes and notice some of the substantive language changes which include changing the word “small” to describe class size and replacing it with the phrase “pedagogically appropriate”.  There are also routine editorial changes. This change is open to alternative language choices.

There is data that shows that some of the larger classes that are handled on the TWIG model (a way of handling a large class with tutors and extra on line help) can actually be seen as a better method of learning if they are done well.   Therefore we do not want to have something in our strategic plan that says we cannot use this method of learning.  Also, it is important to remember that some disciplines will need to have small class sizes.

The asterisks that were added to the document are a way of showing alignment with the MnSCU plan so that the committee does not have to rewrite the goals.  Some of the goals were there to begin with but we wanted to make sure they were aligned with MnSCU’s plan.

Administrative affairs thought it was important that we say allocate as opposed to provide.  The assumption is that the revenue comes from the State Legislature and tuition provides the amount that is allocated and then the University reallocates those funds.

There was concern over SC1.2 and SC1.3 being too specific to be in an overall strategic plan.  It was noted that goal SC.5 is specific MnSCU language

Recruitment and retention were combined into one goal.

The word study was removed from international study experience because a student might have an international experience that is not necessarily a study experience.

UC 2.4 was added directly from the MnSCU strategic plan.

There were also edits to the technology measures

The proposed changes to the document will need to go from SPC to Faculty Senate, then to the President and on to Meet and Confer.  There is still opportunity to add or delete goals, keeping in mind that we want to be careful not to start the process all over again.  

Review of SCSU Strategic Plan

The following bullet points were discussed in relation to connecting the SCSU Strategic Plan to the Accountability Process and the Balanced Scorecard process.

  • Developing annual work plans that show how we are supporting the strategic plan.
  • Tie our budget process into the plan and determine how well the two align.
  • Develop worksheets around this idea.
  • Develop performance measures for all of the areas
  • Based on the measures, the areas will develop a work plan that shows how it supports the university strategic plan and considers the budget process.
  • There is faculty concern about the fact that the worksheets count things without taking into concern the quality of those counts.  How do we capture this concern?
  • A motion was made before Faculty Senate in the spring of last year that has several pages of concerns regarding the worksheet documents and the process.
  • We need to keep in mind that this is a change for this institution.
  • There are some who believe that it is not going to happen; those that believe that it definitely will; and those that benefit from the current process and will oppose the new process.  All of these groups will act accordingly.
  • We need to be careful when we are talking about using measures to make decision and allocate resources, making sure that we are using the right measures.
  • Balanced Scorecard process is an idea that improves the planning and study process.
  • It is seen as a nine step theory that started out as a business theory for profit driven businesses.
  • It has been adopted over the last 5 or 6 years by mission driven organizations, putting the people you serve first.
  • Many mission driven organizations are now creating dashboards but that is only a small piece of what the process is really about.
  • The process is really about alignment and communication with your organization.
  • SCSU has developed a really great plan.  There are some holes but it is really good overall.
  • The strategy maps show the cause and effect relationship of this process.
  • Perspectives are ways you can view your objectives.
  • The language and process needs to fit your organization and your priorities.
  • The tools you give the various areas of this institution for this process are critical to making the goals work.
  • The question needs to be asked, do our processes allow us to function?
  • Are we spending our resources in the right place and do we have opportunities to add resources?
  • Who we serve is at the top of the plan and we need to answer the question, what do we want to provide for them or what is it that we want to do?
  • Much of what we have done already fits into the scorecard process.
  • We will build a strategy map for each theme.
  • To build the overall map we will look for commonalities and overlap. Once those have been determined, priority decisions will need to be made.
  • This process requires a great deal of input and feedback.  The committee structure works well for this type of input.
  • The initiatives column is where the budget piece fits into the plan.
  • Budget priorities will need to be tied in with the objectives.
  • The measurements inform the plan and assist in developing regular work plans based on the university strategic plan.
  • The Balanced Scorecard process fits with our strategic plan process.
  • Having a framework like balanced scorecard to work with is valuable.
  • This process would become the core of our planning and not something we are asking faculty and staff to add to their busy workloads.
  • Concern has been expressed about not having parallel processes with HLC self study.
  • There is some concern around asking individual faculty member to determine how they fit into a strategic plan when they may not be sure how a college or the university fits into that plan.
  • Once you get to the scorecard level, the next step is for the units and colleges to look at the objectives and determine how they develop their own objectives based on the university objectives.
  • A key piece of the plan would include rewards and recognition for helping meet the goals and objectives which help build organizational capacity.
  • There is some criticism around strategic planning not being brought down to the individual level.
  • The formation of a timeline to develop the strategy map for the university is still under discussion.  It is recommended that we get it done within 10-12 weeks. 
  • SPC will form subgroups to accomplish the 10-12 week completion goal.

In Conclusion:

The Strategic Planning Committee’s first priorities will be to review the document and form working groups.  There is a two hour training module available on line that can be set up for individuals to watch so that they can get a better understanding of the process. It is also important that the committee members become familiar with the document which will help everyone become comfortable with the scorecard process.  It will be beneficial to get involved with a work group.  It will help you to understand how the process fits in with department/unit goals.

Lisa Foss and John Palmer will make a presentation on the scorecard process at a Faculty Senate meeting as soon as possible.

Questions can be directed to Lisa Foss (8-4028) or John Palmer (291-4482).

Meeting was adjourned at 12 p.m.