U of M, MnSCU Plan stronger Ties to Rochester

Posted: February 16, 1999

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

What: Statement on U of M, MnSCU presence in Rochester
When: 1 p.m. today (Tuesday, Feb. 16)
Where: MnSCU board of trustees meeting, International Hall, 4th floor, Minnesota World Trade Center
Who: Robert Bruininks, U of M executive vice president and provost, (612) 625-0051 and
Linda Baer, MnSCU senior vice chancellor, (651) 282-5515
Contacts: Deane Morrison, University News Service, (612) 624-2346
Nancy Liviningston, MnSCU Public Affairs, (651) 296-0541

The University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) have prepared a statement of principles that would govern the expansion and revision of higher education resources in Rochester. University of Minnesota Executive Vice President and Provost Robert Bruininks and MnSCU Senior Vice Chancellor Linda Baer will present the statement during a 1 p.m. meeting of the Educational Policy Committee of the MnSCU board of trustees today (Tuesday, Feb. 16), in the International Hall of the Minnesota World Trade Center in St. Paul.

Rochester and Olmsted County have been a strong economic engine for the state. Currently more than 2,500 businesses, with a total payroll exceeding $2 billion, operate in the area. Between 1994 and 1997, business start-ups numbered 1,431, many of which were spinoffs of high technology and health service companies. About 32 percent of workers in these firms have at least a bachelor's degree. Rochester's population may grow as much as 26 percent by 2020.

Educational offerings, especially in post-baccalaureate and research programs, are projected to fall short in the face of this growing demand.

"Buiding on a 20-year foundation of partnership between Winona State University and Rochester Community and Technical College, we will now expand our partnership and provide more collaborative programming to meet the increasing higher education needs of the Rochester community," said Baer.

"Individuals, community groups and organizations such as the Mayo Foundation have stated their strong desire to have a larger University of Minnesota presence in the area," said Bruininks. "Growth in technology and health jobs matches the university's research and teaching strengths. The university's expansion would be complementary to the resources already in place."

Among the guiding principles for expansion:

  • The university would establish a nonresidential branch campus, the "University of Minnesota at Rochester," subject to agreement by the university's board of regents and the MnSCU board of trustees.
  • Rochester Community and Technical College and Winona State University will remain intact, and the academic interests of WSU in Rochester will be preserved.
  • If the expansion is approved, a special state appropriation to the university would be requested to provide core administrative support, infrastructure support and increased academic programs.

For a copy of the statement, call (612) 624-5551.


Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 430,000 students across the state.