Strategic Planning Committee Meeting Minutes September 25, 2008 Members Present: David DeGroote, Sara Grachek, Ken Miller, Diana Lawson, Mahmoud Saffari, Geoffrey Tabakin, David DiMaria, Kim Oren, Debbie Bechtold, Jim Sherohman, Mitch Rubenstein, John Eggers, Dan Gregory, Lisa Foss, John Palmer, Monica Devers, David Sikes, Judy Kilborn, Sue Massmann, Kay Worner, Stephen Hornstein, Robin Ewing President Potter President Potter began the meeting by thanking the committee for the work that was done last year. This year is continuation of last year. The form is somewhat different and poses challenges for us in working together, but it is critically important that we do this work together. Contextually, we do our work in a changing system and its attention to planning. We have to align and be responsive to the work that the system is doing as we do our work. More often than not we are ahead of the system in our thinking. We have good voices and good influence. It is better that we know where we are going and then struggle with meeting the objections of the system. We have made a commitment that budgeting and planning will be more transparent and we have made a commitment to do that. We are approaching the process in a different way this year. One of the consequences is that as we consider our committee structure we need to review whether it makes sense to have separate budget and planning committees or should have one integrated committee? Nature of planning that will happen this year: We are doing facilities planning and finalizing our updates to the plan. We are paying attention to the interface of the university with the community. We have a good academic plan but needs further development. The facilities plan needs to be driven by the academic plan. Foundations of Excellence work will help focus on the areas of undergraduate studies. What kind of learning spaces do we need? We need to get high quality thinking and participation from the faculty in regards to learning spaces and driving the plan. We also need to think beyond traditional boundaries and think about interdisciplinary programs and work. A number of things in the facilities plan will be placeholders as we go forward, but the plan needs to include the character of the spaces and what they need to include, including technology. Faculty needs to be involved in a deep and meaningful way. The planning committee needs to help identify a process for bringing out the pedagogical needs in the academic buildings. The scale of the plan is of a different order. It has been hard for us to pull out of the plans that were developed last year ideas for space needs. People who plan buildings will not get it right without the voice of the faculty. One of the problems is that they were built inexpensive to begin with and it is difficult to upgrade them as they are now. We need to direct resources to doing the best we can with what we have in place. Going in to the next biennium it is going to be difficult to put the money into the things we want to do. The answer should never be no but let’s develop a plan on how we can work these things into our plan. The residence hall study consultants will come back with a plan and the Strategic Planning Committee will need to review it and provide feedback. Also, we are working with a consultant on student health. The Strategic Planning Committee will need to review the report and recommendations from the consultant, including whether we need an integrated facility for health and wellness. We also need to look beyond the boundaries of campus in our comprehensive facilities plan. The plan is intended to look forward two decades so this will be important. Our facilities plan must pay a lot of attention to how the campus flows and connects and maximize the value of our location on the Mississippi. It is important that Strategic Planning Committee be engaged in this facilities planning process. Lisa was asked to provide the facilities detail from the department planning documents and provide it to the committee for review and consideration. Last year we did not have clear vision and charge for a few of the work groups in the Academic Planning Process. The Leadership Team has continued work on those pieces from the Academic Action Planning process that needed further development. That work will continue this year. The Leadership Team and the Strategic Planning Committee will need to work together on these planning activities. Lisa has prepared a timeline for how this work will come together this year. These things are all tied into the work plan that has been developed for the University and integrated with the MnSCU system work plan. We need to get into the habit of planning our work and working within our plan. Feedback: Do you see a faculty participating through the individual department plans? Potter: Ideally, yes. Departments need to start thinking about what they want to be, but there will be an absence of data. Departments have come forward and have said they do not feel comfortable with what they put forward last year. There is now a better framework so that improvements to department plans can be made. Departments should be provided with specific instructions about what they should be doing next in the planning process. Potter: The process for review of proposals that require investments that was put together last year was one that has not been fully formed and needs additional work. The Strategic Planning Committee needs to engage in the work of further developing that process. A concern was raised about the space allocation for Admissions in the AS redesign plan. Potter: The AS building could not contain all of the services if each area got what they needed. I encourage you to participate actively in the process and work hard to get the best balance we can. A concern was raised about the timeline and consideration of religious holidays. Potter: Dates are brackets and are calendar markers and can be changed to consider important holidays and dates. How will we develop plans for new initiatives and what do you do with cross disciplines and inter disciplinary programs to achieve sustainability? Potter: Processes and structures that we offer need to clearly be available to these areas. The initiative process is included in the budget process needs to include inter disciplinary and cross disciplines. There is a gap in knowledge when it comes to planning. Our campus may have a bit of trained helplessness in this work. The overwhelming effort that some departments face in responding the changing demands of the state makes it difficult to vision. We need a new level of sophistication in the departments when it comes to planning. How can we help departments do this work? It would be useful for a unified message about the second year so that a message come from one source. Potter: I agree and would welcome concrete ideas on how we do that. We need to improve our understanding of how we do this type of planning, and we need to be sensitive to the different environments of each of us to do this type of work. How do we create the space to have these conversations? This work is exciting, challenging and it represents a significant change. We need to be reminded on how we have done things in the past and recognize our mistakes and move forward from that point. Committee discussion: We need a statement to the entire community as to the role the planning committee will play. This will hold us accountable. One of our jobs needs to be to figure out what people need to continue the planning process. There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. Need a unified message on what we need to do. A concern is the use of interims and momentarily filling of positions without any conversation. What is the process that ensures the continuation of conversations from one person to another? We need clarification of processes and procedures and how things go forward. It is one thing to keep the momentum going but it may be that we be sensitive to the ideas that someone might be hired to achieve a specific goal. The planning process was seen as a hoop to jump through in Education because there is so much assessment already. Programs that have outside accreditation it seems redundant but maybe not for groups that do not have accreditation. What can we do to help guide the activities of each college? It is overwhelming. 1. We are still learning this process as an institution. 2. We have to get to implementation on some of the pieces. 3. How do we engage students and other on campus and do meaningful education and communication with these groups.