… it’s time to recognize that our colleges and universities are interdependent higher education institutions, and that interconnectedness is a strength. Collaboration doesn’t mean giving something up. Rather, it is a way to advance institutional interests and, at the same time, serve students and partners more effectively. It is a way to be more, not less, successful…

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New thinking, new opportunities to serve

The time has come to plan and act more like a team, regularly bringing together the best thinking across our colleges and universities to solve problems and create opportunities for students and also to increase revenue and reduce costs.

In November 2012 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Chancellor Steven Rosenstone charged our three workgroups – Education of the Future, Workforce of the Future and System of the Future – comprising 46 students, faculty, staff, presidents and trustees, to recommend ways for our colleges and universities to best contribute to Minnesota’s prosperity in this ever changing economic, technological, and demographic environment. Each workgroup met eight to nine times between December 2012 and May 2013 and crafted the draft recommendations we presented to the Board of Trustees in June 2013.

Over the subsequent five months, more than 5,400 students, faculty and staff participated in 108 feedback sessions across the state. Our workgroups reconvened in October 2013 to revise the draft report, drawing on many suggestions from the feedback sessions.

“We need to develop a more robust and coordinated online strategy to support our students. As a student affairs and academic support professional, I am extremely pleased to see an emphasis placed, not only on the coordination of academic course offerings, but also on a suite of student support services. It will be important for folks in the system to be mindful of capitalizing on our human resources and incorporating existing and emerging technologies to help the students of our system.” – Adam Klepetar, President of MSUAAF

In this report, we offer six recommendations to maximize our collective strengths, increase access and affordability, better serve students, and remain effective stewards of our resources. They sustain the value and quality of our programs. They emphasize the knowledge, skills, and experiences that prepare students to advance career goals, personal accomplishment, and responsible citizenship. And they clearly respond to the realities of the challenges we face.

Implementation of these recommendations will require significant collaboration among our colleges and universities and a transformation of our culture, away from internal competition and toward significantly more collaboration to harness the size, expertise, and full potential of our colleges and universities.

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