Posted: July 18, 2001

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Rigorous Agenda Reflects Commitment to Strengthen Minnesota's Largest Higher Education System

In his 12th day on the job, Chancellor James H. McCormick presented a detailed plan to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees aimed at building consistent standards of high quality, accountability, collaboration and service to students.

"I am committed to building on the strengths of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities," Chancellor McCormick told the board. "I also believe this large and diverse system offers great potential to serve students in new and more effective ways. With your support we can begin to realize the full promise of this relatively young system."

In his plan, McCormick pledged to spend a significant portion of his first year listening and learning. He has scheduled visits with students, faculty and citizens at each of the system's 34 institutions. Since beginning his term July 2 he has met with 26 of Minnesota's 201 legislators in their districts and plans to visit all legislators within the year.

The chancellor's plan also calls for creation of a Citizens Advisory Commission to assist in identifying the future direction of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.

McCormick said the goals in his 12-page plan will guide his work over the next 12 months. The goals fall into three major categories: advocating for students, defining the future for the system and improving efficiency and effectiveness. In addition, the chancellor outlined goals to:

  • make it easier for students to transfer from one institution to another;
  • identify and remove real and perceived barriers to participation in higher education;
  • improve recruitment and retention of students under-represented in higher education;
  • enhance recruitment and retention of faculty;
  • build partnerships to enhance the state's economic and workforce development;
  • improve accountability, efficiency and effectiveness;

The plan was approved unanimously by the MnSCU Board of Trustees.

"This is an ambitious action plan," said Michael Vekich, Chair of the MnSCU Board. "I am impressed with how Chancellor McCormick has hit the ground running, doing as much as he can to accelerate the learning curve and provide informed strategic direction to the system. I'm pleased with his external focus and his desire to create a system that reflects the real needs of the state. We look forward to working with him and supporting him as he pursues this agenda."

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is the largest provider of higher education in the state of Minnesota. The system includes 34 state universities, community colleges, technical colleges and comprehensive community and technical colleges in 46 Minnesota communities. The system serves approximately 216,500 students annually in credit-based courses.

See one-page plan summary