Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, November 20, 1996

World Trade Center
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Trustees Present: Morrie Anderson, Nancy Brataas, Kathleen Caffey, Archie D. Chelseth, Dennis Dotson, Robert Erickson, Christine Fritsche, Randall Knudson, Stephen L. Maxwell, Gary Mohrenweiser, William Smoley, Denise Stephens, William Ulland, Michael Vekich

Trustees Absent: David Erickson


  1. Call to Order/Announcement
    Chair Ulland convened the special meeting of the Board of Trustees at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20, 1996, in the World Trade Center, International Hall, Saint Paul.

    Chair Ulland announced that the purpose of the meeting was to hear public comment on MnSCU's proposed 1998-1999 Biennial Budget. Minnesota Satellite and Technology (MnSAT) will broadcast the meeting live to all of MnSCU's 53 campuses. Additionally, arrangements had been made to allow interested parties who are unable to attend the public meeting to comment on the biennial budget via phone, fax or e-mail.
  2. 1998-1999 Biennial Budget Hearing
    Chancellor Eaton briefly described MnSCU's 1998-1999 Biennial Budget request of $2.4 billion dollars over the next two years. Over $900 million dollars of the budget request is a base request for state funds, which represents a slight decrease from the base state appropriation that MnSCU received for the current biennium. In this budget, MnSCU is requesting approximately $128 million dollars in new state funds to support the core of the educational foundation that MnSCU is attempting to build with its new system. The new funds will support MnSCU's strategic plan. Chancellor Eaton and the Board of Trustees have recently completed a series of town meetings at twelve locations throughout Minnesota. They spoke with about 1,600 Minnesotans about the strategic themes and strategic planning activities. New state funds will help MnSCU establish academic accountability, a skill-based approach to transfer, a commitment to program and service alignment throughout the state, an emphasis on career education, an expanded Electronic Academy, and a strengthened relationship between MnSCU and K-12 education. MnSCU is also seeking support to further assist its students through student aid and establishment of a strong performance-based system. Of the $128 million in new funds, $98.9 million will be for performance-based initiatives.

    Chancellor Eaton explained that this budget is extremely important to MnSCU's future, as it represents MnSCU's commitment to being a learning-centered, technology-driven, performance-based system. The budget is an investment in a new kind of higher education system for Minnesota, she said.

    The following individuals addressed the Board of Trustees:

    • Roger O'Connor, a former faculty member, urged the Board to consider meeting with teaching staff, as well as administrative staff and students, to learn the needs of all parties.
    • John Owens, president and owner of a Twin Cities company that employs 100 people, stated that he is a graduate of Metropolitan State University. Mr. Owens commented on the need for offering higher education alternatives and flexibility for working adults.
    • Bob Poch, executive director of the Minnesota Higher Education Services Office (HESO), testified that on November 12, 1996, the HESO Council adopted a resolution in opposition to the proposal by the MnSCU administration to independently manage and target State Grant Program funds.
    • Cecil Smith, student member of HESO, spoke about the need for collaboration in order for students to have more choices and greater access to higher education.
    • Jessie Bethke, executive director, Chicanos/Latinos Unidos En Servico (CLUES), stated that he believes in education and in MnSCU but that there are issues in blending colleges and systems. Mr. Bethke urged the Board to think creatively and to be mindful of the higher education needs and potential of people of color and the disadvantaged in urban corridors
    • Chancellor Eaton read a letter addressed to the Board of Trustees from Senator Linda Berglin, who had been scheduled to testify on the biennial budget request, but was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. In summary, Senator Berglin is concerned about the challenges facing the Minnesota Legislature in the area of welfare reform. Congress did not provide any funding for job training in its welfare reform legislation, yet will require a growing number of people on AFDC to work at least 20 hours per week. Senator Berglin wrote that Minnesota will need more part-time opportunities for students to attend classes and for educational institutions and employers to form a partnership to offer students opportunities to work as a part of their higher education experience.
    • David Glass, St. Paul Public Schools, and an alumnus of Metropolitan State, spoke of Metropolitan State's positive impact on the community. Metro's student base has grown while its funding has not. Metro cannot continue to provide a positive impact without more funding.
    • Christine Matuzek-Rivas, education director, Minnesota AFL-CIO, spoke in support of improved public funding for education, including higher education. The Minnesota AFL-CIO offered the following guidelines for evaluating MnSCU's draft biennial budget:
      1. Public higher education must benefit all Minnesota - not just the privileged and the affluent.
      2. Public higher education must primarily serve the people, not corporate interests.
      3. The needs of MnSCU workers are as important as those of system executives.
      4. Improvement of the quality of education provided by MnSCU requires full funding for merger costs not adequately funded to date.
    • Trustee Fritsche read a letter addressed to the Board of Trustees from Jan Gallagher, a member of the Minnesota Higher Education Services Council (HESO). Ms. Gallagher expressed concerns with MnSCU's financial aid reform proposal in that HESO currently administers the State Grant Program based on financial need with complete neutrality regarding the type of educational institution the student will attend.
    • Gary Haider, president, Boring Machine Corporation, with 40 employees, testified that, ultimately, MnSCU will be judged by the quality of the work force produced by its institutions. Mr. Haider urged the board to take a proactive position in forming partnerships and unions with collaborative ventures.
    • Andrew Boss, Metropolitan State Foundation, and chairman of St. Anthony Park State Bank, urged the Board of Trustees to support funding higher education in the metropolitan area. Mr. Boss also urged the Board to continue to be creative, generous and assertive with the legislature.
    • Eldon Tessman, chairman, North Hennepin Community College Advisory Board, read a letter addressed to the Board of Trustees. Mr. Tessman testified that the NHCC Advisory Board has concerns that MnSCU's revised formula for distributing state funding to its institutions does not fully address the situation at North Hennepin Community College, nor that of the other metro-area community colleges. The NHCC Board supports the "Design Criteria" in MnSCU's budget request, the guidelines for the allocation model, recognition of different costs for different programs by using weighted student credit hours, setting the lower limit for state funding at not less than 10% below average for all colleges, and the decision to treat tuition as self-generated revenue to be retained by the campus. Finally, the NHCC Board requested the MnSCU Board to consider two adjustments to provide a more equitable distribution of state funding: (1) continuing education/customized training funding from the state should not be removed from the base budget when calculating averages, and (2) tuition generated by each campus should be removed from the base budget figure when calculating the state average and the funding per weighted student credit hours.
    • Paul Collins, St. Paul Technical College, testified that he had concerns about the executive compensation in the proposed budget. Mr. Collins urged the Board of Trustees to provide similar compensation consideration for faculty.
    • Kathleen Jasperson, faculty, Century College, and president of the Minneapolis Chapter of the Professional Organization of Dental Assistants, testified that MnSCU's proposed budget will require technical colleges to compete with other schools for funding.
    • John Dalton, faculty, Century College, explained how three of his students' lives were positively impacted because of their studies at Century College.
    • Patricia Billings, president, Minnesota Council for Quality, spoke in favor of MnSCU's request for funds for performance improvement. The rewards will exceed the investment and would benefit all Minnesotans.
    • Lester Collins, executive director, Council for Black Minnesotans, testified on behalf of the unique higher education needs for communities of color. Mr. Collins praised Metropolitan State University for doing an outstanding job in this area.
  3. Adjournment
    There being no further comments on the 1998-1999 Biennial Budget, Chair Ulland adjourned the meeting at 5:40 p.m.

William Ulland, Chair Board of Trustees
Recorded by Inge Chapin