May 17, 1999 - Range Higher Education District Proposed
Contact: Melinda Voss, (651) 296-9443, firstname.lastname@example.org
To promote administrative efficiency and academic cooperation, Chancellor Morris J. Anderson of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system will propose creating a Range Higher Education District composed of five colleges sharing one district president. The plan, which is subject to Board of Trustees approval, will be presented and discussed at the June board meeting. Chancellor Anderson will visit Itasca Community College on Thursday, May 20, to discuss the proposal with faculty, staff, students and community representatives.
"This plan is intriguing and could result in more resources for the individual campuses," said Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees. "I think the new structure must emphasize that each college has a unique identity and needs to maintain strong ties to its individual community." The new district would include Mesabi Range Community and Technical College in Eveleth and Virginia, Vermilion Community College in Ely, Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids and Rainy River Community College in International Falls. The proposal calls for each local college dean to report to the Range District president, who would have offices at an independent site apart from the participating colleges. The district president would be appointed this summer.
"The discussions we have had indicate that we need stand-alone colleges with leadership connected to their respective communities, and shared resources to bring added support to teaching and learning in northeastern Minnesota," said Anderson. The plan would be phased in in three stages. Phase one would include Itasca Community College, Mesabi Range Community and Technical College (Virginia and Eveleth) and Vermilion Community College. Phases two and three would add Hibbing Community College and Rainy River Community College.
The proposed timetable calls for the first phase to occur this spring or summer. No times have been set for phases two and three. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system consists of 36 state universities, community and technical colleges. The system serves approximately 230,000 students a year with a fall 1998 enrollment of about 140,000.