Public Hearing Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, October 19, 1999

St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, Minnesota

Trustees Present: Andrew Boss, Nancy Brataas, Brent A. Calhoun, Mary Choate, David Erickson, Robert Erickson, Christine Fritsche, Jim A. Luoma, Joann Splonskowski, James Wafler, Michael Vekich, Chair

Trustees Absent: Kathleen Caffey, Daniel G. Coborn, Dennis Dotson



  1. Call to Order
    Chair Vekich called the public hearing to order at 1:40 PM and reported that a quorum was present. He explained that the purpose of the public hearing is to receive testimony on the future of Minnesota State University-Akita (MSU-Akita). After the public hearing, the Educational Policy Committee will convene to discuss the matter and is expected to make a recommendation on MSU-Akita at the Board meeting on Wednesday, October 20.
  2. Chancellor Anderson's Opening Comments
    Chancellor Anderson explained that the Board has discussed MSU-Akita since approving an additional $300,000 for MSU-Akita last year in order to sustain the program. At that time, the Board directed staff to make a recommendation on MSU-Akita. Chancellor Anderson noted that one of the recommendations, which he supports, is to close MSU-Akita by shifting the focus to the Prefecture level. The recommendation is for American students' studies at MSU-Akita to be discontinued at the close of the current MSU-A academic year in 3/00, and then to continue the English as a Second Language (ESL) program for Japanese students to 2001. A public hearing is required when MnSCU is considering closing a campus, and although the legal requirements may differ for a site outside Minnesota, we think this is the right thing to do, to hear from students and the public.
  3. Public Testimony
    The following people testified on the future of MSU-Akita:
    1. Kathryn Kelly, Winona State Faculty member, and MnSCU Center of Teaching and Learning
    2. David Mathieu, Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs, Normandale Community College
    3. Charles J. Graham, former associate to the chancellor for international programs, St. Cloud State University
    4. W. Michael Meserve, U.S. Consul General for Northern Japan, written testimony via e-mail
    5. Karen Sontag-Sattel, artist, Minneapolis and former student at MSU-Akita. Ms. Sontaf-Sattel also provided letters of support for MSU-Akita from the following:
      a) Senator Lawrence J. Pogemiller, St. Paul
      b) Terry Saario, past president, Northwest Area Foundation
      c) Lee Lynch, chairman and CEO, Carmichael Lynch
      d) Kumiko Masuda Voeller, Japanese language teacher
    6. Robert Larson, recently retired vice president, St. Cloud Technical College, and parent of former MSU-Akita student
    7. Laurie Elsen, former MSU-Akita faculty member
    8. Gerald Sackett, former MSU-Akita student
    9. Representative Steve Trimble, St. Paul
    10. Penny Neisen, undergraduate student, biochemistry and international studies, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota
    11. Frank X. Viggiano, executive director, Minnesota State University Student Association
    12. Marla Kanengieter,Ph.D., instructor, speech communications department, St. Cloud State University, and former faculty member MSU-Akita
    13. Torahiko Enda, student, St. Cloud State University
    14. Jack Nist, instructor, North Hennepin Community College, and parent of former MSU-Akita student
    15. Dan Wildeson, Ph.D., instructor, speech communications department, St. Cloud State University
  4. Adjournment
    Chair Vekich thanked the participants for their testimony. He commented that the Board has not yet made a decision. The Educational Policy Committee will make a recommendation on the future of the MSU-Akita campus to the Board of Trustees.

    Chair Vekich adjourned the hearing by consensus at 4:15 PM.

Michael Vekich, Chair
Recorded by Robert J. McFarlin