March 1997 Board Meeting Summary

Radisson Inn
St. Paul, Minnesota

THIS SUMMARY IS NOT THE OFFICIAL MINUTES OF THE MEETING

Unrequested Leave of Absence (Discontinuance and Reduction of Programs at Technical Colleges)
Until ratification of a collective bargaining agreement with the United Technical College Educators, technical college instructors' employment rights are governed by 18 collective bargaining agreements with the instructors' previous employers and Minnesota Statutes §125.17 (covers instructors employed at technical colleges in cities of the first class-Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth) and §125.12 (covers all other instructors), which establish the procedures for laying off non-probationary instructors and terminating employment for probationary instructors. The statutes and negotiated contracts refer to the layoff of a technical college instructor as "placement on unrequested leave of absence." Minnesota statutes require MnSCU to notify faculty by May first.

Based upon recommendations of the college administrators, 197 programs are slated for either discontinuance or reduction. This number represents a "worse case" scenario. Only 13 programs are slated to be closed in the fall of 1997. The Board of Trustees approved five separate actions related to this process:

  • accepts the recommendations of the college presidents to discontinue or reduce programs at designated colleges
  • terminates the contracts of the affected probationary technical college instructors in cities of the first class at the close of the 1996-1997 academic year
  • terminates the contracts of the affected probationary technical college instructors from all areas other than cities of the first class at the close of the 1996-1997 academic year
  • terminates the contracts of the affected non-probationary technical college instructors in cities of the first class
  • terminates the contracts of the affected non-probationary technical college instructors from all areas other than cities of the first class at the close of the 1996-1997 academic year

The meeting was attended by approximately 75 members of United Technical College Educators and interested community members. Bruce Hemstad, president, United Technical College Educators, presented the Board of Trustees with petitions urging a fair and equitable settlement of the UTCE contract. Representatives from various technical colleges and concerned organizations addressed the board and spoke in support of technical education, UTCE faculty, and the vital role in contributing to Minnesota's work force and strong economy.

Revenue Bond Fund Management Delegation to the State Board of Investment
The Board of Trustees received a report and recommendation regarding delegating management of MnSCU's Revenue Bond Fund to the State Board of Investment. The board accepted the report and recommendation as a first reading and will take action on it at the April meeting.

Final Report: Strategic Comprehensive Program Enhancement (SCOPE)
The Board of Trustees approved a revised motion directing MnSCU system office staff to provide additional information on the Strategic Comprehensive Program Enhancement report at the June Board of Trustees' meeting. Specifically, the motion directed staff to prepare a timetable and work program that coordinates MnSCU's strategic plan and the recommendations of the SCOPE report.

Closure of Suspended Academic Programs
Based upon recommendations made by faculty and administrators at the campus level, the Board of Trustees approved a motion to close programs which are completing their third year of suspended status. Of the 130 suspended programs to be closed, 87 were diploma programs, 23 were certificates and 20 were associate in applied science degrees. During the same time period, 4,066 new programs and program options were approved.

Master Academic Plan for Metropolitan Area
Building upon the related action taken by the Board of Trustees on January 15, 1997, the chancellor is authorized to develop a revised and enlarged master academic plan for the metropolitan area, with the consultation of Hazel H. Reinhardt (Hazel H. Reinhardt Consulting Services). The plan should encompass MnSCU's six strategic goals of: 1. Academic Accountability; 2. Skill-based Transfer; 3. Career Education; 4. Electronic Education; 5. Program and Service Alignment; 6. MnSCU/K-12 Partnership, make a commitment to create an open admission and career-oriented institution, and include the principles of academic passport and electronic academy. The plan should define the "metropolitan area" as the 11-county region and St. Cloud and Mankato State Universities. In developing the plan there should be no prejudgment about facility needs, site selection or the consolidation of any institution with Metropolitan State.

MnSCU System Office Move
The Board of Trustees approved a motion authorizing the chancellor to develop final offer terms at agreed conditions for the Metropolitan Building and the World Trade Center, finalize cost estimates and schedule for relocation of the MnSCU system office, and further develop parking solutions for the Metropolitan Building and World Trade Center locations. Final recommendations will be submitted at the April board meeting.

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