Working together, the Minnesota State University Moorhead community has invested the time and effort to articulate our purpose, core values, and strategic anchors so they have deep, abiding meaning and provide a powerful framework for decision making. In the process, we have strengthened our shared understanding of what makes MSUM special and distinctive. We have also created a transparent framework for focusing our attention and resources on those things that will add the greatest value to our students and the communities we serve.
As we make decisions about where to focus our financial and human resources, we will be guided by MSUM’s three strategic anchors: Focusing on Student Achievement; Embedding and Supporting Diversity; and Being Indispensible to the Communities We Serve. Activities that clearly and powerfully advance all three strategic anchors deserve our full attention. Those that do not should be examined to determine their future viability.
After careful deliberation, we have concluded that hosting the 4th of July community celebration does not serve our students or our community in ways that are consistent with our educational purpose and strategic anchors. With genuine regret, we have decided to discontinue the event.
This was not an easy decision. For four decades, we’ve been proud to open our campus to the Fargo-Moorhead community on July 4th. But doing something for a long time can’t be the reason to continue doing it in the future. How an activity fits within our declared strategic priorities must be the overriding factor.
MSUM serves best when we connect our students with the region in ways that meet community needs. Our Center for Innovative Business Solutions is an example of programming that provides students with valuable career preparation as they solve real world problems for regional businesses. The Regional Science Center, the Children’s Theater, and the Dragon Swim School are also excellent examples, and many more are in development. Only by making difficult choices will we preserve resources to expand such high-impact programming.
Good decisions about complex issues do not come easily. Members of our academic community and members of the general public should expect that this public institution will make decisions strategically and with clearly defined criteria that are fairly applied.