Presidential Inauguration

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A Special Place

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Dille Fund for Excellence

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Institutional Key Performance Indicators

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
October 1, 2009

As we enter this new year of quarterly updates, I would like to make two points. First, the work reported in these updates is the result of a hardworking group of administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. It is my privilege to be their leader. Second, we are now reporting according to the goals set forth in the August 17th all University welcome, which can be found on the web at .

  1. Increase recruitment, retention, and student success.
    • We have continued in our relationship with Noel Levitz Inc. and have implemented significant changes to admissions processes, including increasing the number of initial mailings and contacts, increasing efforts in the Twin Cities and suburbs, and using more new technologies and social networking. In addition, we have increased our scholarship formula to a more competitive level to increase our yield from admitted to enrolled students.
    • Our new Marketing Director, Pat Staples, has started and the new admissions marketing campaign has kicked off. The campaign is targeted to high school students and incorporates a significant increase in the use of social networking and other newer communication tools.
    • AVP Diane Solinger has debriefed all staff and AVP Jean Sando is meeting with faculty involved in our new living and learning communities to discuss this year’s start up, which has reportedly gone well, and what can be learned for the future.
    • AVP Donna Brown is working on the opening of the new American Indian Center as well as other efforts to support recruitment and retention of underrepresented students.
    • The new Housing Director, Heather Philips, has started. The new Residential Life master plan has been completed and plans are underway for multiple meetings to discuss it with students, faculty, and staff.
  2. Assure both quality and efficiency in all areas of the university.
    • We are completing an accreditation visit from the Association for Accreditation of Colleges and Schools of Business.
    • The Faculty Association is working with the administration on a plan to assess the Dragon Core general education curriculum.
    • AVP Sando is convening a group to assess institutional trends on the NSSE.
    • VP Midgarden and the deans are working with low cost recovery programs to either address necessary changes or go through the governance processes to terminate them.
    • A special offering of the System “Art of Supervision” training has been scheduled for MSUM for late October.
  3. Increase external recognition, alumni engagement, and fundraising.
    • The new Marketing Director, Pat Staples, started on August 17th and is working on the marketing strategic plan. The web strategist position is currently in the search process.
    • Gina Monson has hit the ground running in her new position as a fundraiser with a focus on new alumni. New alumni events have been scheduled for Denver, St. Paul, and Moorhead in October and November.
    • We have finished Homecoming 09, which had significantly more coordination across campus than in past year. VP Justesen and AD Peters will work with others to assess the results of the new approach and plan further improvements.
    • Efforts are underway to engage with service clubs in the surrounding region.
    • Fundraisers continue to visit alumni and other donors, and plans are underway for presidential events and visits in Texas in November, Atlanta in January, and Arizona in January.
    • Just this week, the Mass Communications Department brought home its third regional Emmy in as many years. This year’s recognition was for their online magazine, Horizonlines.
  4. Continue development of a stable fiscal model to take the University into the 2012 biennium and beyond.
    • The Board Early Separation Incentive is underway with two of four planned tiers complete. As of the end of tier 2, there were 21 staff and faculty who volunteered.
    • Discussions of resultant reorganization are underway across campus.
    • We are continuing a hiring freeze in which any hires, except those associated with revenue generation, must be justified by revenue and approved by the president.
    • The summer session task force has been reappointed as a permanent committee and will begin assessment of the 2009 session and plans to increase profitability of the 2010 session.
  5. Complete a New Strategic Plan for the University
    • The last appointments by bargaining units were made to the committee on September 17 and the committee will have its first meeting on October 2.
    • A contractor for the new facilities master plan will be selected shortly. This process will align with the strategic planning process. The university will attend neighborhood meetings to seek input and feedback from campus neighbors in planning the campus perimeter.