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
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.
Template will be completed with baseline data by next quarterly
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
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
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
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,
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
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