November 9, 2016 (PDF Summary)

Groups represented:

  • Chancellor’s Cabinet
  • UMC Strategic Planning Leadership Team
  • Minnesota Extension (Northwest District)
  • Northwest Research and Outreach Center
  • UMC Staff
  • Faculty Consultative Committee
  • Crookston Student Association Executive Board
  • UMC Faculty

Benefits of being part of the system

  • Expertise on the TC campus supports our operational functioning at Crookston. Examples include OGC, leasing office, IT Services and staff professional development.
  • University of MN name is recognized and respected. The prestige of the University of Minnesota helps recruit students and faculty, provides integrity to UMC’s work, and helps students secure jobs after graduation.
  • System provides critical financial resources, especially for big facility projects. Being a part of a larger entity provides a sense of financial stability that would not exist if UMC were alone. Grant-in-aid funding from VP for Research provides help in purchase of high-cost research equipment.
  • System provides shared teaching and research resources that we could not otherwise afford, including the library, teaching supports, faculty professional development, international projects, GoldPass and Moodle. Faculty and staff appreciate the opportunity to share ideas and resources with colleagues on other campuses.
  • VetFast program provides a clear pathway from Crookston to the Vet School in the Twin Cities.
  • Although there are different budgetary and reporting structures, shared campus and strong relationships with NWROC / Extension and UMC faculty are very helpful in connecting citizens with University resources. Extension is able to directly address community problems/issues and foster good relationships with the community. The NWROC and Extension enhance UMC’s connection to the University’s land grant mission.
  • The Internationalizing the Curriculum initiative out of GPS Alliance has been especially helpful for internationalizing UMC courses and facilitating collaboration with other campuses.
  • Students benefit from being a part of the UMN system. Examples include program options for UMC students who want to focus in academic areas not supported by UMC and the ability to participate in other campuses’ study abroad programs.
  • UMC student voices are heard through representation at the Regents’ meetings.

Drawbacks/limitations of being part of the system

  • Not all TC solutions work on Crookston’s campus. For example, the system no longer wants to support the cashiering system, but to promote UMC’s student-focused culture, UMC wants to continue working with students face-to-face. Also, the job family study does not reflect the reality of UMC’s size/budget and the fact that UMC staff wear many hats. The lean structure at UMC results in valuing breadth over depth, but the job classifications seem to value depth, not breadth. To date, the U’s wellness program offers substantially more options to earn points on the Twin Cities campus than in Crookston or online.
  • System conversations often forget to offer opportunities to system campuses, so UMC misses out. An example is the Astra reservation system that UMC had to buy separately. Many library databases are not available to UMC faculty. Almost all University-wide professional development opportunities take place on the TC campus, which places a huge travel, time away from campus, and cost burden for UMC staff and faculty.
  • Some units of the University (e.g., central HR) do not provide for online meeting attendance, which places a huge burden for those attending meetings.
  • University branding does not appropriately recognize all five campuses. For example, all campuses should be featured at the State Fair, and the University website should make it easier to access system campuses. The commitment regarding the UM application website made at the September System-wide Strategic Enrollment Management meeting has not yet produced a webpage that highlights all of the campuses. ‘Driven to Discover’ doesn’t feel relevant for some UMC members, especially if it is attached only to large research programs.
  • Campus to campus differences in academic calendars are sometimes not taken into account for initiatives, such as IT maintenance, upgrades, etc. UMC is not always consulted before plans are created. Some UMC members feel that contributions to system initiatives are not valued.
  • Having to go through the Twin Cities to get basic services slows UMC down. For example, Twin Cities staff lock/unlock some UMC building doors remotely, and IT Help Desk services from the Twin Cities can cause significant and sometimes unnecessary delays.
  • Controversies or bad relationships from UMTC trickle down to UMC. For example, there are cases where tribal communities have had bad experiences with UMTC researchers that negatively impact UMC and Extension’s ability to work with them.
  • Crookston lacks in funding – other campuses, particularly the Twin Cities seem to get more. It is difficult to attract and retain faculty here when they can make more at other institutions. UMC faculty have higher standard teaching and advising loads. These loads make scholarship challenging, and some faculty burn out quickly.
  • Twin Cities student voices are heard far louder within the system.

Ideal future

  • There would be an awareness and appreciation for all five campuses. When a decision is made for any major aspect of the university, the impact on ALL campuses would be explored throughout the decision-making process.
  • System decision-makers would regularly and systematically visit the system campuses to understand the range of activities and the impact of decisions.
  • System campuses would work together to “make the pie bigger for all of us.” Admissions people throughout the system would work together to recruit students to the University of Minnesota. Experts in operational areas would meet together regularly to build relationships and share expertise.
  • Training and professional development for faculty and staff would be provided in formats that make it accessible for all campuses. This could mean consolidating meetings instead of spreading them out or using more technology. The expertise on system campuses would be tapped into for professional development.
  • Salaries and benefits for faculty and staff (especially in hard-to-hire fields) would be raised to attract and retain highly qualified people.
  • Faculty connections to other campuses would be systematically facilitated. Examples could include faculty appointments on two campuses, summer exchanges, and better information about faculty in similar fields at other campuses.
  • All campuses would be supported to meet diversity and inclusion goals.
  • UMC’s student-focused, applied career-oriented model would be maintained. This is especially true of the deep advising relationships faculty have with students as well as the connections with business and industry.
  • The strong relationship between UMC and Extension / NWROC would be maintained and even enhanced. It really works in Crookston!
  • System roles would be more clearly defined. This would help UMC know who to go to for help and assist UMC with more efficiently getting work done.
  • Students would have clearer pathways to UMTC, especially for graduate and professional programs. This could include more programs that provide automatic admission into UMTC graduate programs (e.g., VetFAST).  Similarly, pathways could be created to facilitate transfer to majors within the system that are not offered at UMC.
  • System services would be less cumbersome for people on system campuses. There would be more local control where it makes sense and timelier response/support when it needs to be a centralized solution.
  • The University’s online program strategy would be clearly articulated, strategic, and cooperatively offered. UMC has a strong presence in this area, but competes with UMTC Continuing Education and, potentially, all of the colleges and campuses. More online courses from other campuses could help UMC fill critical program holes, and UMC online programming could help fill program holes on other campuses.
  • UMTC resources would be more readily available to UMC students. Examples include job opportunities/job fairs and study abroad programs.