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Points of Pride

A Special Place

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Dille Fund for Excellence

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President's Remarks & Updates

Vision Task Force

University Reaccreditation 2007


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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
January 1, 2009

Once again, 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 departments.

  • 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 committee.

  • 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 Focused Identity

  • 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 at and growing.

  • The Vision Task force has been appointed and is progressing on schedule. See 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 learning communities.

  • We are working with the American Indian Students Association and others to develop an American Indian Resource Center.

  • 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 Raising

  • The strategic plan for fundraising ( )has been approved by the Foundation Executive Board.

  • Colleges and departments have completed the first step in articulating their fundraising priorities.

  • 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 stewardship visits.

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 colleges.

  • The Summer Session Task Force has been charged with working to increase the profitability of summer session.

  • 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 benefiting recruitment.