December 2, 2016 (PDF Summary)

Groups represented:

  • Student Development Focused Groups
  • Staff
  • Senior Administrative Team
  • Growth Planning Strategic Steering Committee
  • Collaborative Colleagues
  • Faculty
  • Students
  • Extension

Benefits of being a part of the system

  • The resources, protocols, processes and systems provided by the system meant that UMR did not have to start from scratch. Without this support and existing structures, UMR would not exist.
  • Many offices at UMR are one person, so it is nice to have experts and colleagues from other campuses to call on with questions and for collaboration.
  • The system provides a lot of great professional development opportunities for staff and faculty.
  • UMR students benefit from career fairs on the UMTC campus.
  • The University of Minnesota name/brand helps recruit faculty and students, helps UMR students secure jobs after graduation and helps faculty secure research grants.
  • Staff and faculty are able to further their education using the Regent’s Scholarship.
  • The buying power of the system provides better prices on many goods and services than UMR would be able to secure alone. UMR is also able to use existing vendor agreements to easily procure goods and services at good prices.
  • The system provides many resources to UMR such as financial services, library resources and student study abroad opportunities that UMR could not offer on their own. In addition, many of these services are scalable, meaning that UMR can continue to grow enrollment without worrying about space/capacity for these programs.
  • The system supports UMR’s legislative requests; securing legislative support would be much more difficult without the System.

Drawbacks/limitations of being a part of the system

  • Actual access to shared system resources is mixed. Sometimes UMR staff have to rely on personal relationships to get things done instead of it being a systematic relationship. There is a lack of understanding about what is a system resource and what is a UMTC-only resource. Some resources, such as the donor management database, are only partially available to UMR.
  • There are system processes that may work on UMTC that do not work for UMR. An example is housing applications and campus security protocols. A big disconnect is with the job family study; it does not fit the reality of UMR’s staff.
  • UMR is often not informed when forms, policies and processes change.
  • Students’ ability to take classes on other campuses is mixed, depending on which campus and which college. Taking classes at UMC is seamless, but taking classes at UMD is more difficult.
  • There is a lack of consistency around student credits across the system. This makes it difficult for students to transfer into UMR seamlessly, take classes on other campuses and know that their UMR credits are comparable to similar courses at other system campuses.
  • Many staff, faculty and students in the system don’t know that UMR is a campus, (or, if they are aware that we are a campus, they are not aware of our academic focus in undergraduate health sciences or our learning research). This lack of awareness causes unnecessary delays in accessing system resources and a sense of feeling devalued by system colleagues. In most cases this is due to a lack of understanding, but there are some system stakeholders who exhibit animosity because they believe that UMR is draining system resources.
  • The large size of the system can stifle innovative thinking and limit UMR’s nimbleness as a small and relatively new campus.
  • UMR staff and faculty always have to travel to the Twin Cities to access the many UMTC professional development and collaboration opportunities. Many offices at UMR are one person, which means their office must totally close to take advantage of these opportunities.
  • Personnel policies that restrict the appointments of teaching specialists and lecturers do not support UMR’s unique faculty model. The system policies make it hard to recruit and retain these critical members of the UMR team.
  • Facility contract rules do not support UMR’s unique relationship with the surrounding community. There are opportunities for public-private facility partnerships that are almost impossible using the system’s current rules.
  • UMR’s resource requests (budget, facility projects, IT projects, etc.) frequently get lost in the largeness of the system. UMR’s requests may be small compared to UMTC requests, but the relative impact of these requests on the UMR campus is much larger.
  • IT systems tend to misclassify UMR staff, faculty or students as a part of UMTC. Examples include email systems, PeopleSoft and Donor Management. This causes confusion, delays and limited access to critical systems like GradPlanner.
  • As a new campus, UMR must be “bursting at the seams” before resources are allocated for growth.

Ideal future

  • System responsibilities would be well-defined and all campuses would have equal access to those services. Each system function would have clear liaisons to each campus. All system policies would be reviewed and revised to represent all campuses’ needs. Senor system administrators, including the president, would regularly spend time and even have offices on system campuses.
  • The CEO of UMTC would not be the CEO of the system - it’s a conflict of interest.
  • Professional development opportunities would be offered on all campuses or at least organized in a way to make it easier for system campus staff to attend.
  • All campuses would be included and meaningfully represented at system meetings where decisions are made.
  • There would be one or two days designated each month for system-wide PD and meetings.
  • Staff and faculty who do similar work would be intentionally connected and supported to collaborate.
  • UMR’s ability to be creative and innovative would not be stifled. Innovations that are created at one campus would be shared with other campuses. UMR’s JustAsk model, successful collaboration with its surrounding community and teaching strategies are ripe for sharing with other campuses.
  • UMR’s individualized curriculum and close faculty-staff-student relationships would be maintained. Students come to UMR for the high-support, small environment.
  • Taking classes on other campuses and transferring credits would be strategic, thoughtful and easy for students.
  • UMR’s unique focus on undergraduate health sciences would be maintained.
  • UMR would be known and celebrated by all University stakeholders. This would be accomplished through an annual system symposium that highlights unique attributes of each campus and faculty exchanges.
  • As higher education resources shrink, resources across the system would be leveraged for the benefit of the whole.
  • Student enrollment would be coordinated and strategic across the campuses.