Posted: February 21, 1996

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

A new administrative alignment of community and technical colleges in south central Minnesota was approved today by the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).

The changes, involving campuses in Austin, Albert Lea, Faribault and Mankato, were recommended by Chancellor Judith Eaton. The new groupings, which take effect July 1, are intended to increase administrative effectiveness and enhance academic programming and service to students. Here are the changes approved today:

  • The Albert Lea technical college campus will be linked with the consolidating technical and community colleges in Austin.
  • The Faribault technical college campus will join the technical college campus at Mankato.

Chancellor Eaton said the configurations were recommended after extensive discussion and consultation with the affected communities. Public forums were conducted last fall in Mankato, Albert Lea, Austin, Rochester and Faribault.

At present, south central Minnesota has seven public two-year college campuses--all part of MnSCU--including five technical college and two community college campuses. Three of the technical college campuses--at Rochester, Austin and Faribault--are known as Minnesota Riverland Technical College. The other two technical college campuses--at Mankato and Albert Lea-- are known as South Central College. The community colleges are located in Austin and Rochester.

After June 30, all seven campuses will become part of new administrative groups. The Board of Trustees already had given approval for the consolidations of the two college campuses in Austin and the two in Rochester. A facility in Owatonna that provides technical college classes will remain administratively attached to the Austin college.

Each of the new college groupings will be operated by a combined administration with one president. The consolidated college in Rochester will be known as Rochester Community and Technical College. New names also will be chosen for the other two consolidations--those of Minnesota Riverland Technical College-Austin, Austin Community College and South Central College-Albert Lea, and of Minnesota Riverland Technical College-Faribault and South Central College-Mankato.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved the immediate consolidation of Minneapolis Community College and Minneapolis Technical College, now to be known as Minneapolis Community and Technical College. The two colleges were scheduled to consolidate on July 1, 1996. However, the board was informed that planning for the consolidation has progressed ahead of schedule. Dr. Diann Schindler, president of the community college, will serve as president of the consolidated college.
  • Designated Winona State University as the site for a pilot project that will free the university from certain MnSCU policy and state law. The project, authorized by the 1995 Minnesota Legislature, is intended to measure the benefits of giving a campus more decision-making autonomy and to identify ways a university can be more effective and efficient with its resources.

    A report on the pilot project, including recommendations on procedures that could be used on other campuses, will be submitted to the Board of Trustees in January 1997. The pilot project will continue through June 1997.
  • Heard a report on administrative cost savings and academic program improvements resulting from the recent consolidations of neighboring community and technical colleges in Thief River Falls, Duluth and Brainerd-Staples.