Posted: September 20, 2001

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Citizens Invited to Share Concerns and Hopes for Higher Education Sept. 27

Chancellor James H. McCormick of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will be in Grand Rapids September 27 to hear citizens, employers and public officials describe what they want from their higher education system in the years ahead.

Members of a new Citizens Advisory Commission also will participate in these forums to gather ideas that will be used to shape the future of Minnesota's largest system of higher education.

The public forum will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 27, in the Davies Theater at Itasca Community College. The public is encouraged to attend.

"This is an opportunity to really be heard," said McCormick. "Every region is unique. As we develop our three-year plan for the system, we must be both sensitive to the needs of the region and strategic in how we move ahead. We need help in setting priorities and we hope for a high level of participation from across Northern Minnesota."

The Grand Rapids event is the first of three public forums being held to gather input for the newly formed Citizens Advisory Commission. The commission, which is chaired by businessmen Glen Taylor and Vance Opperman, represents leaders from across Minnesota and is charged by Chancellor McCormick and the MnSCU Board of Trustees with formulating recommendations for the future direction of the state's largest system of higher education. Additional hearings will be October 9 at Normandale Community College, Bloomington, and October 30 at Southwest State University, Marshall. All forums are 4 to 6 p.m.

In addition to these public forums, Chancellor McCormick has launched an unprecedented effort to gather additional public opinion through visits with every legislator in his or her home district and community meetings at most of the system's 34 institutions. He also is visiting with students, faculty and staff on every campus.