Posted: June 19, 2002

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

A three-year strategic plan adopted today sets directions for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in four areas: increasing access, expanding learning options, strengthening community development and economic vitality, and fully coordinating the system of 34 institutions.

The Board of Trustees approved the plan, which was developed with statewide public input from community and business people, legislators, students, faculty, staff and campus administrators and a Citizens Advisory Commission.

"This is truly a plan from the people of Minnesota," Chancellor James H. McCormick said. "They told us very clearly what our colleges and universities can do for the state and its residents, and the strategic plan will focus and coordinate our work to meet those needs. With prospects for a tight state budget in the near future, we also need to be efficient and creative in pursuing the goals."

Mary P. Choate, chair of the Board of Trustees, said the new strategic plan represents a major accomplishment for the 7-year-old system that was forged from the previous community and technical college systems and the state university system.

"This three-year strategic plan forms a strong foundation for everything we will do in the future, from planning and evaluating programs and leadership to budgeting," Choate said. "The Board of Trustees appreciates the broad public consultation that helped develop the goals and the thoughtful suggestions from people throughout the state."

Twenty-one goals are laid out in four strategic areas:

  • Increase access and opportunity, including expanding participation of underserved students and support for higher education, maintaining affordability and establishing partnerships with K-12 education.
  • Expand high-quality learning programs and services, including providing more lifelong learning and opportunities for career education and workforce training, electronic learning options and graduate education.
  • Strengthen community development and economic vitality, including supporting state and regional initiatives, and collaborating with other higher education providers.
  • Fully integrate and coordinate the system of 34 different institutions, including ensuring seamless transfer for students; recruiting and retaining excellent faculty, staff and administrators; aligning technology and strengthening financial systems and processes.

Chancellor McCormick said a 2002-2003 work plan will be brought to the board in July outlining details on implementing the new strategic plan in the first year. McCormick has provided quarterly reports to the board outlining progress on the 2001-2002 work plan, which was adopted last July when he began his position.

The strategic plan also will be updated annually and extended by a year to maintain a three-year planning cycle, McCormick said.

Click here for a PDF copy of the Strategic Plan.

Click here for a one-page PDF summary of the strategic plan.