About the President
Points of Pride
A Special Place
Dille Fund for Excellence
President's Remarks & Updates
Vision Task Force
University Reaccreditation 2007
Office of the President
203 Owens Hall
1104 Seventh Ave. S.
Moorhead, MN 56563
Edna Mora Szymanski
Quarterly Update Report
January 1, 2009
much has been accomplished as a result of the hard work of
administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the assistance of
the Chancellorís Office and others. Due to the volume of additional
attention required by budget challenges, we have deferred the
presentation of the template for key performance indicators until the
next report and presented an additional Goal 5 on budget challenges.
Goal 1: Listen, Learn, and Build Relationships
We have continued with regular
meetings with Cabinet, direct reports, the Faculty Association
President, the Student Senate, IFO, and MSUAASF.
We have established regular monthly
meetings with bargaining unit leaders.
I continue to participate in
Tri-College and Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development
Corporation (GFMEDC) meetings.
I have presented to the following
groups: Moorhead Rotary, 2 Moorhead Kiwanis Groups, Fargo Early
Morning Rotary, and Fargo Lions.
The GFMEDC organized 4 sector
meetings for me to meet leaders of the following business sectors:
healthcare, IT, finance, and manufacturing.
I established a practice of moving
around the stands at sporting activities to chat with students,
parents, faculty, and community members.
I am continuing meetings with
I have met with the Chancellor and
members of his Cabinet and am participating in the futures strategic
planning group along with leadership council and the diversity
VP Kirk and I are meeting with City
leaders to form a joint MSUM-Concordia Town Gown Council.
We are hosting a holiday event for
our Foundation and Regional Advisory boards.
I attended new presidentís training
at the Chancellorís Office and workshops at the Fall meeting of the
American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
As a result of a meeting with the
Moorhead Police Chief, active shooter training was presented for
faculty and staff in order to promote an informed response to such
an emergency situation.
With help from the Cabinet and from
the Chancellorís Office, we have completed this yearís Institutional
Work Plan for MnSCU.
Goal 2: Build Shared Vision and
The identity statement was revised
again as a result of feedback and is available on the web at
The Points of Pride website is active
http://web.mnstate.edu/pointsofpride/ and growing.
The Vision Task force has been
appointed and is progressing on schedule. See
http://web.mnstate.edu/president/vision/. Three Town Meetings
have been held to provide overviews of the institutionís budget and
enrollment history, the regional economy, and regional demographics.
We are on schedule for draft vision and mission statements going to
campus town meetings in early spring along with a draft revised
mission to be reviewed by the Board of Trustees in summer.
As a result of a recommendation at a
Vision Task Force meeting, we developed a Points of Pride bookmark
that has accompanied the Foundationís Thanksgiving Cards and the
Presidentís Holiday Card. The Presidentís Card was redesigned to
convey the Points of Pride along with our developing niche, a
private quality education at a public university.
Goal 3: Enhance Enrollment and
Student Success, Including Retention
In order to promote our image in the
community, we engaged in local television advertisement. The Invest
in Your Valley ads promote the quality of our faculty, students, and
programs along with our contribution to the community. The student
and employer ads promote the quality of our education: a private
quality education at a public university price. We have had positive
reports in the community on the ads, and anecdotal evidence suggests
that the ads may be helping promote transfer recruitment.
In addition, in order to promote
image, we have done four talk radio visits.
We have enlisted some Mass
Communications faculty and students to assist with various aspects
of marketing and are establishing a campus marketing group.
As a result of analysis of our
recruitment and yield patterns along with the challenge from NDSUís
efforts to increase enrollment, we are adding an additional
recruiter in the Twin Cities area.
We are looking into working with a
Twin Cities firm on ways to increase our presence and recruitment in
the Twin Cities.
In order to counter problems with the
new application process along with lags in enrollment, we are
enlisting more staff to call applicants.
The new early warning system is
underway and apparently having some positive impact.
We are working with interested
faculty to start first year, academically oriented, living and
We are working with the American
Indian Students Association and others to develop an American Indian
A Community Task Force has been
commissioned to examine the effectiveness and coordination of our
diversity and antiracism efforts in promoting a welcoming community.
Goal 4: Improve Fund and Friend
The strategic plan for fundraising (http://web.mnstate.edu/president/Speeches/2008/Blueprint4MSUMFundraising_10012008.htm
)has been approved by the Foundation Executive Board.
Colleges and departments have
completed the first step in articulating their fundraising
One fundraising position has been
hired, and a replacement position is in process.
Plans are underway for the first
annual fundraising ball, February 20, during the inaugural week, to
kick off a major campaign for need based scholarships.
The Washington DC alumni event went
well, and we have continued additional visits and contacts.
I have made several fundraising and
Goal 5: Navigate Budget Challenges
An early budget freeze was
implemented to preserve flexibility in the face of decreasing state
revenues and the universityís structural deficit.
We have initiated monthly budget
briefings with the bargaining unit leaders and regular updates with
IFO, MSUAASF, the University Budget and Planning Committee, Cabinet,
and Administrative Council.
We are putting off major purchases
and are finding additional ways to address the deficit.
We are increasing recruitment efforts
(including the TV ads) to try to keep up enrollment and are
continuing development of two plus two programs with community
The Summer Session Task Force has
been charged with working to increase the profitability of summer
A Tuition and Fee Structure Study
Group was initiated to examine the relative benefits and drawbacks
of the current structure for students and for the institution.
The Chancellorís office provided us
with a multi-division consultation on public private partnerships,
which may enable some attention to our residence halls, thus