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President's Remarks & Updates
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203 Owens Hall
1104 Seventh Ave. S.
Moorhead, MN 56563
Edna Mora Szymanski
Quarterly Update Report
July 1, 2009
complete my first year as president, I am thankful for the privilege of
leading this wonderful university. The activities reported in this
update are the results of the hard work of a fine group of
administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as the
assistance of the Chancellorís Office. Given the challenges of the
budget and the flood, I know that this has been a hard year for us.
However, I remain awed by the commitment and generosity of spirit of our
My report will cover my
original goals along with the fifth goal we added for budget. At the all
university presentation on August 17th, I will present refined goals for
the coming year and will organize quarterly reports around them.
Goal 1: Listen, Learn, and Build Relationships
Town meetings and regular
meetings with bargaining unit leaders have continued as
have regular meetings with Cabinet and Budget Council.
I continue to meet with
service clubs and other community groups as requested.
In May I attended the
MNSCU Board of Trustees meeting to present our new
mission and vision statements, and, in June, I attended
to testify on budget issues (See
Throughout the year, I
attended the Diversity Committee of the MNSCU Leadership
Council. During the coming year, I will co-chair that
Committee with Dr. Whitney Harris. This appointment will
also require my attendance at the Board of Trustees
meetings each month.
I have met individually
with legislators and community leaders.
Goal 2: Build Shared Vision and
Goal 3: Enhance Enrollment and
Student Success, Including Retention
We engaged the
Noel-Levitz consulting firm for a focused review on
enrollment management. Their report recommended a number
of improvements that are currently underway.
To focus on enrollment,
we have secured one time funding from the Chancellorís
Office for the following positions: an additional Twin
Cities recruiter, a director of marketing, a marketing
webmaster, and additional FTE for data management for
enrollment management. Two positions are on board, and
the others should start during the summer. These
positions are part of a plan to increase enrollment 2%
by Fall 2010. The increased tuition revenue will enable
base budgeting of the new positions no later than 2011
and will provide increasing additional revenue beyond
that for future years.
To focus on recruitment
and retention, we initiated four new first year living
learning communities with the following foci: Education,
Visual Arts, Biosciences, and Dragon Core. At this time,
86 students are registered in these new communities, and
The Academic Resource
Office has continued to develop its focus on retention.
The Residential Life
master planning consultants completed their work and
presented it to the Cabinet and a representative from
the Chancellorís Office. The work included an analysis
of how the projects would be supported within the
revenue fund, through a combination of bonding, fees,
and public private partnerships. The plan will be
presented to the Student Senate and other interested
groups in the Fall and will then proceed to
We have continued work
with Metro Alliance partners and with the Chancellorís
Office to open new opportunities for completion programs
in the Twin Cities.
Goal 4: Improve Fund and Friend
During the past year, we
developed a new strategic plan for the Alumni Foundation
along with a new strategic communications plan. Both
plans and VP Justesenís May 09 report to the Alumni
Foundation board are on the Web. (See
During Fiscal Year 2009,
donors provided $578,858, which was 6.5% more in annual
and endowed scholarships than in the previous year.
Fundraising for the
Wellness Center continued.
The D-1 Hockey
exploration process has yielded considerable media
coverage as well as the very real potential for
significant donor investment during the coming months.
Media coverage has
continued to raise the local profile of the institution.
Goal 5: Navigate Budget Challenges
With the help of all
constituents of our community, we have almost completed
plans for a $9M reduction of our biennial base budget,
which had been approximately $65M in September 2008.
The campus wide review of
all programs and services was completed with divisional
reports to the University Planning and Budget Committee
(UPBC). As a result, reorganizations are underway in the
Student Affairs and Administrative divisions. In the
Academic Affairs Division, some programs or departments
with low cost recovery ratios have developed plans to
As a result of the hiring
freeze and the early separation incentives, many
positions have been eliminated or remain vacant. At this
writing the planning for the Board Early Separation
Incentive is not yet finalized. It is hoped that this
final incentive, which should be available by August 1,
will enable us to avoid or at least significantly
The plan for fiscal
recovery was presented at the May 13 Town Meeting (http://web.mnstate.edu/president/Speeches/budget_and_planning_presentations/5_13_2009_townhallmeeting.htm
) and then slightly revised and presented as testimony
to the Board of Trustees on June 17. (See
Because the budget will
not be final until after the Board of Trustees meeting
in July, we have deferred briefing UPBC and the campus
community. We are planning meetings with bargaining unit
leaders and with UPBC on July 27 and Town meetings on