September 2003 Board Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Wells Fargo Place
St. Paul, Minnesota

Trustees Present: Jim Luoma, Chair, Will Antell, Andrew Boss, Daniel Coborn, Tyler Despins, Cheryl Dickson, Ivan Dusek, Clarence Hightower, Robert Hoffman, Lew Moran, David Paskach, Ann Curme Shaw and Shaun Williams

Absent: Mary Choate and Vincent Ijioma

 


 

  1. Call to Order
    Chair Jim Luoma called the meeting to order at 8:07 a.m. and reported that a quorum was present. There were no changes to the agenda.

  2. Conversation with Donald M. Norris, Ph.D.
    Senior Vice Chancellor Baer introduced Dr. Donald M. Norris, author of the article Tough Times, Big Choices: Getting Value Out of Technology, and the book, Transforming eKnowledge: A Revolution in the Sharing of Knowledge. Dr. Norris had been invited to join the Board in conversation about the challenges of leadership in higher education.

    Senior Vice Chancellor stated that there were several excellent discussions on Monday September 15, 2003, with Dr. Norris and the presidents, cabinet members, MN On-Line Board, Center for Teaching and Learning staff, I-SEEK staff, Digital Learning Plan Steering Committee and union leadership members.

    Dr. Norris began his presentation with the conditions that create Tough Times, Big Choices:

    • The perfect economic storm.
    • Change in public support for public higher education, plus competition from K-12, Medicare, security.
    • Public concern about cost of college and student indebtedness.
    • Lack of enterprise-level innovation in education.
    • "Handicraft" nature of education.
    • New competitors, disruptive innovations.
    • Opportunities for growth and new markets.
    • Failure to understand this problem is not temporary.

    Dr. Norris reviewed the choices available given the current situation, as:
    • Hang on and muddle through, hoping that times will improve when the economy improves.
    • Accept that education is different; our culture cannot support innovation and adaptation, and reconcile ourselves to a life of genteel poverty.
    • Circle the wagons, arguing that our handicraft, cottage industry culture and focus on "quality" is the best way.
    • Commit to fundamentally rethinking the patterns and cadences of our academic and administrative activities, focusing on the value we provide to stakeholders.

    Dr. Norris emphasized there is only one choice to follow: "to commit to fundamentally rethinking the patterns and cadences of our academic and administrative activities, focusing on the value we provide to our stakeholders." Dr. Norris added that this choice is what the discussions have consisted of with Senior Vice Chancellor Baer and her colleagues.

    Dr. Norris explained that value is different from quality in that:
    • A focus on quality seeks more and more resources for enhancing reputation based on traditional measures, which emphasize inputs, rather than outcomes.
    • Value is seen through the eyes of stakeholders, not providers. Value is a dialogue, quality a monologue.
    • Value balances three elements - quality of outcomes, the experience in attaining those outcomes, and cost/price.
    • Value is enhanced through productivity enhancement, collaboration, innovation, and creativity. Technology provides new opportunities to enhance value and build strategic differentiation - whichyields competitive advantage.
    • Value also involves aggressive cost reduction.

    Dr. Norris highlighted the following initiatives with a focus on value:
    • Set real stretch goals for using information and communication technology (ICT).
    • Establish public performance goals and flexibility.
    • Engage in educational boundary busting.
    • Leverage innovation, relationships and resources.
    • Reinvent learning experiences.
    • Reinvent and resource processes.
    • Unleash e-knowledge.

    A discussion followed the presentation. Chair Luoma stated that staff will develop a plan to present to the Board that incorporates some of Dr. Norris' initiatives for moving forward. Chancellor McCormick commented that he wanted to recognize the progress that has been made by the leadership and faculty of the colleges creating an environment that is moving forward to serve the underserved.

  3. Adjournment
    Chair Luoma adjourned the meeting by consensus at 10:05 a.m.

Recorded by Ingeborg K. Chapin
Board Secretary