Presidential Inauguration

About the President

MSUM Mission Statement

MSUM Identity

Points of Pride

A Special Place

Legislative Activity

Dille Fund for Excellence

Strategic Planning and Budgeting

President's Remarks & Updates

Institutional Key Performance Indicators

Vision Task Force

University Reaccreditation 2007


Office Staff

President's Cabinet

Contact the President


MSU Moorhead
Office of the President
203 Owens Hall
1104 Seventh Ave. S.
Moorhead, MN 56563
(218) 477-2243


Edna Mora Szymanski
Quarterly Update Report
July 1, 2009

As I 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 campus community.

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 Focused Identity

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 registration continues.

  • 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 implementation.

  • 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 Raising

  • 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 increase revenue.

  • 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 minimize layoffs.

  • The plan for fiscal recovery was presented at the May 13 Town Meeting ( ) 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 July 28.