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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
September 26, 2008

In this first quarterly update report, I must present a disclaimer. Much has been accomplished. However, I cannot take full credit. I am privileged to work with an excellent cabinet and outstanding office staff. In addition, I have had the assistance and support of many individual faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members as well as members of the Chancellorís Office Staff and colleague presidents.

Following is a summary of where we are today using the first year goals from my all university address as well and the goals from the transition plan, which overlap. I am beginning to build a template for future reports, although all parts are not currently available.

Key Performance Indicators
Template will be completed with baseline data by next quarterly report.

Goal 1: Listen, Learn, and Build Relationships
Following is a summary of relevant activities and accomplishments.

  • We established a regular pattern of cabinet and administrative council meetings along with regular meetings with direct reports, IFO president, and student senate president.

  • I attended meetings with internal campus groups including deans, student affairs directors, enrollment management committee, dragon ambassadors, gray dragons, diversity directors, physical plant workers, general maintenance workers, foundation staff, major gifts committee, foundation executive board, and other groups.

  • I attended meetings with external groups including the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Council Board, the Chamber of Commerce (after hours), Tri-College, and a special group of Fargo Moorhead area business leaders assembled by Dick Solberg to welcome new president.

  • I visited White Earth and met with Chairwoman Visenor along with other educational leaders.

  • Introduced by President Emeritus Barden, I visited with area college and university presidents, tri-college leaders, and the leaders of the City of Moorhead, the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, and the Chamber of Commerce.

  • We participated in July 4 events, Potato Days Parade, and Greater Moorhead Days parade.

  • We hosted social events for city and state leaders (after the greater Moorhead day parade), retired faculty and staff, and current and former foundation board members.

  • We have scheduled meetings with departments. These will occur throughout the year.

  • I attended assorted campus events.

  • I attended Leadership Council, Board of Trustees, and New Presidents Training (both MnSCU and AASCU).

  • We worked with cabinet to complete draft institutional workplan for MnSCU.

  • I met individually with Representatives Marquart and Lanning and Senator Langseth.

  • VP Kirk and I met at least a few times with our campus security and safety leaders, and City Fire Chief Hewitt and his assistant chief to discuss and work on emergency preparedness.

Goal 2; Build Shared Vision and Focused Identity

  • We sent a stakeholder survey to key on and off campus constituencies and put it on the web for additional responses. The process of compiling and reviewing the responses is now underway.

  • We completed two drafts of an MSUM identity statement, using feedback from various groups for revision. The current draft is on the presidentís office web page, and will be revised again within the coming weeks using input from the stakeholder surveys.

  • We met with the advertising agency to assure consistency of advertising approach with evolving identity statement. We arranged for groups of faculty and staff to provide input and feedback to agency.

  • We initiated points of pride effort for website. The site should be up within the next few weeks.

  • We initiated Dragon Pride/Red Fridays.

  • We drafted visioning process and initiated appointment of visioning task force.

  • We held budget briefings that included discussion of proactive, inclusive visioning process.

  • We scheduled three budget and visioning briefing town meetings for the week of September 19.

  • We have started meeting monthly with bargaining unit leaders to discuss budget.

Goal 3: Enhance Enrollment and Student Success, Including Retention

  • We are continuing to study the numbers and looking for disaggregated analyses on retention by demographics and majors as well as yield by geographic regions.

  • I met with enrollment management committee and posed a number of questions about retention.

  • We authorized an institutional research position for enrollment management.

  • We started planning for increased percentage of required First Year Experience courses.

  • We initiated inquiry into retention issue with specific demographic group.

Goal 4: Improve Fund and Friend Raising

  • I studied multiple consultant reports and other documents regarding the Foundation and our development operation.

  • After recommendation from Chancellorís Office, we contracted with the Benz, Whaley, Flessner firm to provide facilitation and coaching with cabinet and Foundation board representatives in the development and implementation of a strategic plan for fundraising and communication. Initial drafts of the plan have been circulated.

  • I asked Foundation Board to hire Joan Justesen in the VP for Development position. A previous board member and alumna serving in the interim position, she brings a wealth of executive leadership experience and is addressing the shortfalls in infrastructure noted by the earlier reports.

  • We made several fundraising and stewardship visits.

  • We worked with Athletics to develop a plan for a catalytic transformation of fundraising to increase scholarships. This is a work in process.

  • We held an Athletics fundraising event.

  • We attended selected Athletics events for the purpose of friend raising.

  • Planning is underway for alumni events in Washington DC and Williamsburg, VA to coincide with travel to the annual AASCU meeting.


Copyright © 2008 Minnesota State University Moorhead
Minnesota State University Moorhead | 1104 7th Ave South | Moorhead, MN 56563 USA | 1.800.593.7246
203 Owens Hall | Phone: 218.477.2243 | Fax: 218.477.5093
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