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


Strategic Plan
Annual Report
October 11, 2010

Initiative 1
Offer competitive, high quality, rigorous academic programs and services that provide students the versatility to shape a changing world and support the state and regional economies.

  Action Plan Outcomes
A Continue the focus on discussion of student learning expectations, assessment of student learning outcomes and competencies, and resultant program improvements. Communicate these results across the University and to the community.
  • The Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee will continue providing peer reviews of department and program assessment of student learning. Its website will be updated to show the history of department/program assessment activities and resultant learning improvements based on assessment data.
  • MSUM will administer the ETS Proficiency Profile assessment to its first year and senior students, as part of the Voluntary System of Accountability.
  • Assessment of university-wide general education assessments will continue. Last year's data from the writing intensive course assessment will be reviewed, communicated, and acted upon.
B Continue work on specialized program accreditation as applicable.
  • The School of Business received prestigious accreditation from the American Association of Colleges and Schools of Business.
  • The Construction Management program received reaccreditation.
  • Two faculty members are involved at the national level (American Society of Biochemistry and NSF) within biochemistry and molecular biology education to establish foundational concepts and skills for the discipline and to promote student-centered teaching approaches and training for the workforce. This ultimate goal will be to lead to the first accreditation program for undergraduate biochemistry programs, which will likely be piloted at MSUM.
C Achieve accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission for online offering.
  • We decided to postpone the site visit until the next academic year in order to assure the highest level of preparedness.
D Increase the number of online and hybrid courses.
  • In 2010, we offered 254 hybrid and online courses compared to 182 in 2009 for a 40% increase. Of this increase 31% was in Fall and Spring courses, and 67% was in Summer courses.
E Continue the strong focus on and support for faculty mentoring and engaged learning (e.g., student academic research conference, student participation in regional and national competitions).
  • Over 500 undergraduate students presented their work at the annual Student Academic Research conference.
  • MSUM students received a regional Emmy from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on September 25 for the television documentary titled Inspired by Nature, produced by the Fall 2009 Broadcast Documentary Class and broadcast on Prairie Public Television. This is the fourth year in a row that MSUM students have received an Emmy award.
  • MSUM students had one national winner and five finalists in the Society of Professional Journalists 2008 Mark of Excellence Awards, recognizing collegiate work published or broadcasted during 2008. This year, student journalists submitted more than 3,600 entries in 39 categories. Only three other schools received more awards than MSUM, including Arizona State University, 10; University of Maryland, 7; University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 7; and MSUM with 6. National winners and finalists were previously recognized by receiving first place in one of the SPJ’s 12 regional competitions.
  • Two book cover designs created by Graphic Design students for New Rivers Press were selected winners in the 2010 American Inhouse Design Awards by Graphic Design USA. Only 15% of the 4,000 entries were recognized with awards of excellence.
  • Students from Construction Management placed third in the Commercial division of their regional competition, ahead of NDSU, Kansas State, MSU-Mankato, and 4 other universities.
  • Film Studies students presented their work at a number of regional festivals and conferences, including the South Dakota Film Festival and the Fargo Film Festival.
  • Theatre Arts students won numerous awards at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and two students won awards at the national festival in Washington, DC in April.
  • Six History students presented papers at the Phi Alpha Theta conference at the University of South Dakota last spring. One student won the medieval prize for her paper.
  • Three Philosophy students presented papers at the 2010 Minnesota Philosophical Undergraduate Student Conference at St. John's University.
  • Three English students presented papers at the Northern Plains Conference on Early British Literature last spring at the University of Mary.
  • Two Art & Design students won national awards for their book covers for the New Rivers Press.
  • MSUM students from three departments won 18 of the 29 Student ADDY awards from the American Advertising Federation of North Dakota.
  • 3 students won $400 travel awards at a regional undergraduate Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting (co-organized by MSUM, NDSU and Concordia) to attend a national American Chemical Society or American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Meeting.
  • 4 students presented at the national American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting.
  • 1 student presented at the national Developmental Biology meeting.
  • A Biology major with a Psychology minor won the prestigious National Collegiate Athletic Association Postgraduate Scholarship. She maintained a 4.0 GPA and was a letter-winner volleyball player. She was accepted into Pacific University College of Optometry.
  • The American Chemical Society (ACS) student chapter at MSU Moorhead was selected to receive an Honorable Mention Award for its activities conducted during the 2008-2009 academic year.
  • 60% of the 2010 Economics graduating class has been accepted to post-graduate programs across the U.S. including those at Purdue University, University of Illinois, Claremont Graduate School, University of Utah and William Mitchell Law School.
  • The Model UN Team made a strong showing at the 34th Arrowhead Model United Nations Conference in River Falls WI April 15th-18th and 8 students received best delegate awards.
  • 4 Economics majors and a faculty member attended the 2010 Eastern Economic Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia PA. Two students presented their research.
  • A 2010 Political Science graduate, received a $5,000 Federal Public Service Fellowship from the Timothy J. Penny Program for Minnesota State College and University students participating in public service internships and for those committed to community service. The student worked with N.D. Senator Kent Conrad in Washington DC.
  • Political Science graduates went on this year to: Harvard Law School , University of Minnesota Law School (2 students), Creighton University Law School, St. Thomas College Law School, Univ. of California Riverside, Political Science PhD program, University of Georgia Political Science Master’s Program, University of Georgia International Studies Master’s Program.
  • Students from Psychology presented at the annual Red River Valley Psychology conference.
  • Four students from Sociology presented at a national meeting in their discipline.
  • MSUM teacher candidates have been volunteering at White Earth Circle of Life K-12 tribal school for the 2009 - 2010 school year. Students and their faculty have taken a leadership role in the development of a partnership whereby students and faculty have been able to work with children in grades one through four in math, reading, and creative writing. The classroom teachers have used this time away from the classroom for collaboration, assessment, and planning a guided reading resource center. Teacher candidates will present on this project as an outreach and information poster session at the 2010 MSUM Academic Conference.
  • Fourth year students in education traveled to Detroit Lakes, Madison Elementary School in Fargo, and the Spring Prairie Hutterite Colony to teach integrated lessons to area elementary students for five Wednesdays each semester.
  • Community Health and Nursing students collaboratively worked together to promote, educate and provide immunizations for the MSUM Seasonal Influenza Immunization and H1N1 clinics on campus. More than 800 MSUM students were immunized for Seasonal Influenza and H1N1.
  • Four Speech Language Pathology students had their graduate projects accepted for presentation at the November 2009 ASHA Convention in New Orleans, LA. Presentation topics included voice, stuttering and augmentative communication.
F Develop a sustainability major or concentration.
  • A sustainability concentration is under development and should go to through review this Fall.

Initiative 2
Increase enrollment and student success, including underrepresented students. The number of enrolled students should reach 8,000 within the next five years with continued improvements in student success indicators.

  Action Plan Outcomes
A Increase enrollment and related tuition revenue by 6% by Fall 2011 from the base of Fall 2008 through a combination of increased new freshmen, increased transfers, and improved retention.

On this one, we can report good news and bad news.

  • Right now, our FTE, which determines to large extent tuition revenue, is relatively stable and 1.3% above 2008. We did not expect a large increase this year due to the presence of two unusually low freshmen classes (06 and 09) in the pipeline. Each low class contributes to lower numbers of returning students for at least 5 years.
  • However, we have just had our largest class of new entering freshmen (NEF; 1238) since Fall 2004. We expect our continued emphasis on NEF as well as increased transfer emphasis to enable achievement of our Fall 2011 enrollment targets.
B Develop a plan to improve graduation rates (4, 5, and 6 year) across colleges.
  • In addition to increased attention to graduation and retention rates in the colleges, we now have a joint administration and IFO task force on graduation and retention rate improvement.
C Increase recruitment and retention of underrepresented students.
  • From Fall 2008 to Fall 2009, overall enrollment of underrepresented students increased from 659 to 743 for a total increase of 13%. However, overall year to year retention for these students decreased from 68% to 66%.
  • MSUM held its first Summer Bridge program for underrepresented students. Eighteen students completed the program and 16 are currently enrolled at MSUM. The program's components included several retention interventions such as faculty mentoring, community building, and study skills.
  • The Office of Multicultural Affairs has initiated an academic success program to address retention in which student participants are required to frequently meet with faculty, participate in social activities and address financial and social issues with staff.
  • A full-time diversity recruiter is on board and under the supervision of the admissions office. This recruiter will focus on all underrepresented students, paying particular attention to American Indians and Latinos.
D Promote the benefit of the new tuition and fee structure through proactive advising and selective course development.
  • Preliminary review of data last year showed an increase in the average credit load of freshmen and sophomores.
E Increase the number of living and learning communities and the number of students participating in such communities.
  • Last academic year, we continued the existing honors living learning community and offered four more, serving a total of 147 students. This year, including Honors, we are offering 10 living learning communities and one learning community to a total of 270 students.
F Consult with students and work towards implementation of the Residential Life Master Plan to renew our facilities and support recruitment and retention.
  • The implementation of the Residence Life Master plan is moving forward. Grantham Hall was renovated over the summer, and the Dahl Hall renovation is in the design stage with Phase One beginning in summer of 2011.
G Build MSUM's market position, identity and brand to leverage its competitive strength.
  • We have completed brand research with STAMATS and work on our visual identity with Larsen Design. After campus input, we will launch our new visual identity in Spring along with a new look for our website.
  • In addition, working with Noel Levitz and Royall we have begun to recapture admissions market share in Fargo/Moorhead and the Twin Cities as well as to develop new markets.
H Continue to build strong Athletics programs that promote recruitment and retention as well as positive student and community engagement.
  • This past summer, Athletics held a summit with campus leaders and key alumni. The result was a strategic plan that is now in the implementation stage and involves plans to improve the quality of our current programs and increase the engagement of our alumni in scholarships.

Initiative 3
Strengthen our relationships with key stakeholders, including alumni, other donors, neighborhood groups, and the business community.

  Action Plan Outcomes
A Continue positive visibility in local community and expand to surrounding areas.
  • We have continued to have good visibility and press locally. However, it has not extended very far beyond the immediate area, with the exception of the excellent work of Admissions in the Twin Cities and Suburbs.
B Develop programs to engage new alumni and increase regional and programmatic alumni groups.
  • This year, we established a Millennial Alumni Group to better engage recent graduates. They are already communicating regularly and having events both in the local area and in the Twin Cities.
  • We are in the process of developing a Twin Cities Regional Advisory Group to complement the FM Area Regional Advisory Group.
C Develop student/alumni mentorship and internship opportunities.
  • A new student mentorship program is being piloted through the Academic Resource Office. Students are paired with faculty, staff, and administrators with expectations for periodic contact to occur during the year to assist with opportunity identification, engagement, and problem solving.
D Continue development of Homecoming as a campus wide event to celebrate and support the university.
  • Working together, the Office of Student Activities, Athletics, the Alumni Foundation, and Marketing increased participation of administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni in the planning and execution of homecoming week.
E Increase the frequency, quality, and relevance of alumni communication, including special group updates.
  • The Alumni Foundation has created new templates for all written communication to alumni and friends. The written communication plan also includes new formats for the monthly e-news, the biannual Alum News magazine, department newsletters and all other written communication to prospects and donors.
  • In addition, the Foundation has established measurable goals established for the number of times we communicate with the alumni and the number of times they respond to electronic mailings.
  • Using an email tracker firm, they have increased the number of usable emails from 17,000 to 28,000.
F Increase the number of donors by 5% over the baseline of FY08.
  • The goal was to increase the number of donors by 5% from the year 2008, or from 7104 to 7459. The Foundation phonathon callers, increased the number of donors to the Dragon fire walk, added two written appeals this year to donors who have not participated before, and increased the number of events three fold.
  • Over 1000 first time donors responded to these appeals, but in spite of the new strategies, the total donors decreased to around 6000. We will need to look at other strategies but market improvement will help and perhaps the new strategies take time to really work. We are currently reviewing strategies to see what we need to do differently.
G Increase the amount of money for scholarships by 10% over the FY08 baseline.
  • The Foundation raised more money this past year for scholarships than ever before, bringing in $1,058,024 in Endowed and $369,902 for annual scholarships. This will be very good for the future as it built the endowment very nicely.
  • However, they were only able to pay out 2% of the endowed funds last year due to the loss in the market. Therefore, the Foundation paid out $546, 816 in total scholarships from the Foundation.
H Engage surrounding neighborhoods and community in the campus facility master planning process
  • The campus master plan has been completed and included several meetings with neighborhood leaders as well as open community meetings.

Initiative 4
Continue to develop infrastructures that are sustainable through difficult economic times as well as consistent with the caring community that is MSUM.

  Action Plan Outcomes

Decrease base budget personnel costs by $1M through

  1.  stronger fiscal controls on hiring that directly restrict expenditures to levels consistent with current and predicted revenue.
  2. early separation incentives coupled with replacement at a lower salary level and/or unit reorganization for efficiencies, which would be marked by fewer overall FTE and/or lower paid positions.

We do not have a structural deficit, and we are on track to have a balanced budget for FY 2012, hopefully without layoffs. Our approach has been three fold:

  • We tightened fiscal controls with much closer control over all hiring. In addition, we used more conservative assumptions in the budget planning process.
  • We decreased base budget through hiring restrictions, early separation incentives, reorganizations, and energy refits. We gave 27 BESIs and 10 enhanced contractual ESIs since Spring 09. The total net base decrease at this time is approximately $1M.
  • Energy costs decreased by $395,000 or 17% since the last fiscal year.
B Increase revenues through increased effort and accountability in marketing, enrollment management, fundraising, and residential life with special attention to increasing new first time freshmen and new donors.
  • As noted earlier, we have increase revenues from the Foundation.
  • Enrollment has increased 1.3% above 2008. With the large freshman class of 2010 and increased attention to transfers, we hope to meet our 2012 enrollment increase goal.
  • We have an increase of 9% in students living on campus this year over last.
  • Summer session net revenue was $1.39M, as compared with $1.25M in 2009 and .79M in 2008.
C Continue focus on efficiency of expenditures (e.g., department cost recovery ratios) and operating budgets.

Two key committees help us to address efficiency of expenditures.

  • The Academic Affairs Budget Advisory Committee (AABAC) is advisory to the president and VP and includes deans and IFO representatives. On an annual basis, the AABAC reviews departmental and programmatic cost recovery ratios. Those programs with lower ratios are required to demonstrate improvement or face possible cuts. In addition, cost recovery ratios will be one of the factors considered in the prioritization of requests for resource allocation when funds become available. In this second Spring of AABAC meetings, we were heartened to see significant improvements from a number of departments that previously had low cost recovery ratios.
  • On the non-instructional side, we instituted a Non-Instructional Budget Advisory Committee (NIBAC) with VP and union representation. Like AABAC, this committee advises the VP and the president. All requests for permanent support and administrative positions are presented to this committee for review and prioritization. A critical consideration in discussing positions is whether or not the unit has reorganized to address potential economies of scale. For example, support positions now support more than one office.
D Continue to improve the quality and profitability of the summer session.
  • With the assistance of the summer session committee, summer session continues to improve. As noted earlier, net revenues have increased.
E Increase the reserves in order to assure a more stable operating environment during this time of economic uncertainty.
  • We have not yet increased the institutional reserves. Rather, we are holding carryover funds for possible board early separation incentives to reduce base costs as well renovations to increase efficiency and customer service through collocation.
F Continue to coordinate and improve the technology and communications infrastructures.
  • We have incorporated a bi-annual test plan for the campus generator – testing the power supply to the campus data center to prepare for emergency power outages.
  • We have implemented a Virtual Server farm which has reduced our cost on purchasing server hardware. It has also allowed us to operate in a high availability mode for our most critical services.
  • The IT unit has implemented a Master Project List on which has all of our IT projects.
  • We have successfully implemented the Image Now Document Imaging System in Records, Financial Aid, and Admissions. We will now move to the Business Office and HR this coming year.
  • We are 90% complete with our Active Directory Installation.
G In non-instructional areas, continue to examine potential for collaborations, collocations, or reorganizations in order to promote efficiencies and achievement of key goals. In addition, use quality improvement tools to involve and empower employees in the effort to continually improve work processes.
  • We are in the process of co-locating a number of academic support offices at the Flora Frick crossroads. Already, this has enabled sharing of an office manager by the Deans of the Graduate School and University College.
  • LEAN projects have been completed in printing, in the readmissions process, and with the directory.
H Develop assessment plans for all non-instructional units.
  • Although we have made some progress in Student Affairs, work still needs to be done in Finance and Administration.
I Develop and implement a new campus facilities master plan that positions the campus for future growth and sustainability.
J Continue to engage students, faculty, and staff in campus sustainability efforts.
  • Dennis Jacobs is assisting the campus in coordinating sustainability efforts.
  • Student participation and engagement continued with the Sustainable Campus Committee to create opportunities for developing “green” initiatives throughout campus. Examples include installation of many new campus bicycle racks, improving residence hall recycling programs, holding competitions for energy efficient designs for campus.
  • We continue to participate in the State of MN B3 Benchmarking Program through reporting of energy use and continuous improvement in campus' efficient use of energy resources.