Tag Archives: Ginny Arthur

April 24: Spring 2018 retirement celebration

This spring marks the retirement of eight of our colleagues at Metropolitan State University. Join President Ginny Arthur and the Metropolitan State community in thanking them for their years of service.

The celebration is 2:30 to 5 p.m., Tuesday, April 24. Program will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Founders Hall Auditorium, St. Paul Campus.

Honorees will include:

  • Daniel Abebe, professor; College of Individualized Studies
  • Rose Wan-Mui Chu, professor; School of Urban Education
  • Valerie Geaither, professor; Human Services College of Community Studies and Public Affairs
  • Leah Harvey, professor; College of Individualized Studies
  • Paul Hesterman, director of Advising; College of Management
  • Kat Lui, dean; College of Management
  • Nancy Miller, associate professor; Human Services College of Community Studies and Public Affairs
  • Joyce Paxton, director; AQIP Academic and Student Affairs

Continue reading April 24: Spring 2018 retirement celebration

Susan Shumer memorialized with joyful stories, laughter and Community Engagement Fund

A memorial this week brought friends and colleagues together to remember Susan Shumer, who died on Nov. 19.

Shumer was the founding director of the Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL), which became the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship prior to her January 2013 retirement as director emerita.

She came to Metropolitan State as its academic internship coordinator in 1992. In 1996, she co-founded CCBL and became its director. Her work was always guided by the convictions that Metropolitan State was built upon having strong relationships with the community, and that we must collaborate internally if we want to have effective collaborations externally. She made sure the university’s founding commitment to honoring community-situated knowledge remained central to our work.

Her influence led to many program innovations and national recognitions for Metropolitan State. Thanks to her vision and industry, community engagement as an approach to teaching, learning, and scholarship became “institutionalized”—in the finest sense of that word—at Metropolitan State, anchoring an institutional ethos and reputation as an “engaged campus” into which we continue to live and grow.

Greg Mellas, director of the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship. President Ginny Arthur; and Shumer Family, husband, Rob, and daughters, Jessica and Aimee.

President Ginny Arthur at the memorial announced the creation of a fund to support Shumer’s legacy of community-based scholarship. The fund will be administered by the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship.

“I am very grateful to announce the establishment of the Shumer Community Engagement Fund. This fund, founded on combined gifts from Susan’s estate and from Rob (Shumer), will support programming in the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship,” President Arthur said.

“On behalf of the entire university community, I want to express our deepest appreciation for this gift from Susan and Rob, and to the family for bringing it to fruition.”

Shumer’s high points  at Metropolitan State are marked by many   accomplishments, including the following:

  • 1998: Received a HUD “Community Outreach Partnership Centers” grant to work in collaboration with community partners on affordable housing in the East Side;
  • 1999: Began efforts to position Metropolitan State for Campus Compact’s “Engaged Campus” designation;
  • 2001: Launched Project SHINE (Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders) in collaboration with MCTC;
  • 2002: Received funding from Minnesota Office of Higher Education to fund From Programs to Practice: Building the Engaged Campus;
  • 2003: Established the “American Democracy Project” at Metropolitan State, in partnership with the New York Times and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities;
  • 2003: Metropolitan State and LISC were named finalists for the “Rosalyn and Jimmy Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaborations;”
  • 2005: Developed the Circle of Engaged Learning, a visual representation of a social change model that connects civic engagement to the mission and vision of the university;
  • 2005: Organized the university’s inaugural observance of Constitution Day – A conversation with members of the Minnesota Supreme Court: The Significance of Supreme Court Nominations in the Constitutional Context, and Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom;
  • 2006: Established the President’s Circle of Engagement program to recognize faculty members for integration of community engagement into their teaching and scholarship;
  • 2007: Hosted Nobel Laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu during Metropolitan State’s hosting of youthrive’s PeaceJam conference;
  • 2008: Conducted institutional self-study to secure the Carnegie Foundation Elective Community Engagement Classification for Metropolitan State (Susan also contributed to the renewal of this classification in 2015);
  • 2008: Launched Metro State Votes, a series of activities and programs to inform, engage, and involve the university community in civic action during each election season;
  • 2009: Metropolitan State was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction (the first of two such recognitions of the university by the Obama administration);
  • 2012: Developed and launched the “Community Engagement” course designation process to assist students in identifying community-engaged learning opportunities in the course schedule;
  • Led the process that resulted in re-naming “CCBL” as “ICES,” broadening its scope and placing it on an enterprise-wide footing within the university.

Oct. 9: Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Metropolitan State University and the state of Minnesota annually designates the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in place of the federally recognized Columbus Day, and further recognizes that Metropolitan State’s Dayton’s Bluff campus is situated on formerly Dakota land and adjacent to sacred burial mounds on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day recognizes the unique cultures and challenges of indigenous peoples worldwide. These challenges include human rights, developmental, educational, environmental, and medical/health issues faced by members of native cultures.

Read 11 nations and flags of Minnesota Native Americans

Attend a celebration and recognition of the significant contributions of Native Americans to the United States during Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Monday, Oct. 9. Events will take place outside the commons near the Great Hall, Saint Paul Campus. In case of weather interruptions, presentations will be moved to inside the Great Hall.

Planned events include:

10 am to 6 pm – Native American tipi demonstration and display;(this display will be weather dependent).

3 pm – Smudging and blessing by Ernie Whiteman, a spiritual elder and cultural teacher from the Arapaho Nation. He works at Dream of Wild Health in Hugo, Minn.

3:10 pm – Welcome by President Ginny Arthur

3:15 pm – Ernie Whiteman will give an overview about American Indian spirituality and the use of tobacco and other sacred medicines, along with his thoughts on the importance of Indigenous Peoples Day’s work with youth and food sovereignty.

4 pm – Intermission with a light meal

4:15 pm – Maria McCoy and Nelda Goodman – Healing Through Time: Aanikobijigan (the String of Lives).  Ancestral wisdom, knowledge and resiliency is encoded in our DNA and is passed down through the luminous string of lives. Our DNA memory wakes up and can change when we begin our healing journey

5:15 pm – Asiginok Women’s Drum Group

5:45 pm – Closing comments by Tom Cook, special assistant to the President.

The observance is sponsored by the university American Indian Advisory Committee, American Indian Student Services, Dean of Students and Equity and Inclusion Council. For more information, contact Mai Her, mai.her@metrostate.edu.

First students in Nagasaki University exchange welcomed to Saint Paul

President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur greeted Nagasaki University students Ayano Tsuchihashi and Yoshiki Ohgi who arrived from Japan to attend Metropolitan State in an inaugural exchange between the universities.

The students were welcomed at an event June 3, at Como Park hosted by the Saint Paul-Nagasaki Sister City Committee, with assistance from the Japan America Society of Minnesota, AnimeTwinCities, and many volunteers. Saint Paul and Nagasaki became Sister Cities in December 1955.

In February 2017, the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Metropolitan State and Nagasaki University opened opportunities for a cultural exchange of students. The memorandum allows students from Metropolitan State to study in Japan for long and short term sessions. As part of the exchange, Metropolitan State will host an equal number of Nagasaki University students. Metropolitan State students will leave in August 2017 to attend Nagasaki University.

19th Annual President’s Leadership Awards

The 19th Annual President’s Leadership Awards presentation recognizes the student organizations and leaders that have made great effort to bring quality programming and events to Metropolitan State University.

The event for the university community was hosted by Interim Director of Student Development and Programming Philip Fuehrer and Student Life Leadership Development Coordinator Alysia Lajune on May 24 in Metropolitan State University’s Great Hall, New Main, Saint Paul Campus.

In a welcome address, President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur talked about the importance of an event such as this that highlights the hard work of outstanding individuals. She was especially honored to carry on the tradition passed on to her by her predecessors.

Dean of Students Herbert King echoed Arthur’s message honoring the members of the university community who lead by impressive example.

Student Senate President Dhibo Hussein mentioned some of the accomplishments of the senate in the past year, saying she was particularly proud of the Student Senate’s achievement to getting the Dean’s List added to Metropolitan State University. This award will be put into effect fall 2017.

The list of award winners is as follows:

  • Outstanding Student Organization Advisor: Linda Martinez
  • Program of the Year: Understanding and Responding to Mass Incarceration (Alcohol and Drug Counseling Student Association)
  • Perseverance Award: Richard Downs, Jr.
  • SLLD Wow Factor Awards: Troy Mathias
  • Male Student Leader of the Year: Guyo Kotile
  • Female Student Leader of the Year: Tina Martinez
  • Student Organization of the Year: Nursing Student Organization




Celebrate the Higher Learning Commission visiting team

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Site Visit Team will be on campus this week to evaluate the continuous quality improvement and strategic planning of the university. A great deal of planning has gone into this visit, and the steering committee invites the university community to a post-visit celebration.

The event will be 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, Great Hall, Saint Paul Campus. Opening comments at 3:15 p.m.

Enjoy light refreshments and a short informal presentation by President Ginny Arthur. Other Metropolitan State campuses will have a special delivery of cupcakes that day those unable to attend event at the Saint Paul campus.

President’s spring “Open Office” hours


President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur has annouced her spring “open office” hours:

Feb. 8: 4 – 5:15 p.m. at LECJEC, Brooklyn Park, Room 104, 9100 Brooklyn Blvd

March 2: 12:30 – 2 p.m. College of Management, M2028, Minneapolis campus

CANCELED: March 23: 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Midway Center, CR100-C, 1450 Energy Park Drive, Saint Paul

April 13: 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Saint Paul Room, New Main, Saint Paul Campus, Student Center, Cafeteria, Saint Paul campus

May 4: Noon – 1:30 p.m. at Student Center, cafeteria, Saint Paul

U-Penn hosts National Teach-in on the Presidential Executive Orders on Immigration and Travel

Faculty, staff and students seeking information and ideas on how to respond to recent Presidential Executive Orders on Immigration and Travel are encouraged to participate (via Google Hangout) in a National Teach-in from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8., hosted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education. The National Teach-In intends to assist educators and students in answering the following questions:

  • What are the legal and historical contexts and issues raised by these immigration policies?
  • How are students (K-12, undergraduate, and graduate), parents, and families being affected?
  • What rights people have and what resources are available?
  • What are some ways that college and university faculty, staff, and students can respond?

Register on the Facebook page and click “Find Tickets.” The Google Hangout link and participation instructions, including how to send questions/comments, will be emailed one hour before the event.

The principal organizers of this event include Arshad I. Ali, assistant professor of Educational Research at George Washington University; Maryam Kashani, assistant professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois; and Shirin Vossoughi, assistant professor of Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. They work individually and collectively in the study and development of educational settings for youth from Muslim, migrant, immigrant, and diasporic backgrounds, with particular emphases on issues of race, gender, and social justice.

For more information, contact the organizers at teachinEO2017@gmail.com.

Metropolitan State President Ginny Arthur statement on executive order

President’s message on student safety and privacy

To all Metropolitan State community:

President Virginia "Ginny" Arthur
President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur

On Tuesday, I wrote to you about the recent White House executive order restricting immigration and travel. Today, I want to provide additional details about pertinent systems and procedures already in place to provide for the community’s safety and security.

One of our first priorities, now more than ever, is the security of our students’ personal and educational information. Therefore:

• We will fully protect our student record information in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA);
• We will not turn over student information to immigration enforcement authorities unless required by a subpoena or court order;
• We will not request or gather information about students’ citizenship or immigration status in the course of providing educational or other services or in connection with public safety activities except as required for financial aid or tuition policies.

We are a public, urban university with free access by all. However, if asked to allow immigration authorities to enter campus properties and buildings we will only agree if a proper court order or warrant is presented.

Metropolitan State’s data practices are governed by FERPA and the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA). That means that student data (beyond routine directory information on which students have not placed a “hold”) may be released in only two cases: when a student signs a release form, or “to comply with a judicial order or lawfully-issued subpoena.”

To fully protect the educational privacy rights of our students I am asking all employees to be cautious if asked for information about a student that does not appear to be necessary to the questioner’s job duties. All employees are empowered to decline to answer those questions, to bring their supervisor into the conversation and to refer the questioner to Metropolitan State’s designated Data Practices Act Compliance Official, our Registrar, Daryl Johnson.

Any official request for protected information must be made to our Compliance Official. That means that, if any faculty member or other employee receives a request for data about a student (from anyone other than an employee with a legitimate need to know), that party should be referred to the Registrar.

It is extremely important, if you receive a subpoena or a court order requesting information about a student, that you contact Daryl immediately. There are provisions for challenging subpoenas or court orders, but the time frame is quite short.

Metropolitan State University has always welcomed and embraced applicants without regard to nationality or immigration status. Two implications of that principle are that (1) no University employee, including security staff, will inquire about students’ immigration status, and (2) within the limits of federal and state law, the University and its employees will not assist in federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Faculty and staff can contribute to students’ security and assurance that they are in a safe place by working to inform themselves about current policies and resources. I encourage departments, service units, and individuals to share useful information with each other. Four of many examples are:

• The Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s “Post-Election Talking Points and Resources”
• Resource page on DACA for International Student advisors
• Resources on the websites of NAFSA: Association of International Educators
• NASPA | Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education

The same principles apply to our employees. The Chief Human Resource Officer, Deb Gehrke, serves as the Information Compliance Officer for employees.

Many in the university community oppose the way the Executive Order has been developed and implemented, and I implore the President to reconsider his action. In the same vein, yesterday I joined many higher education leaders by signing on to the letter from the American Council on Education to the new Director of Homeland Security (text and signatories here).

I appreciate the time that many colleagues have taken to get in touch with me and members of our senior leadership team. I am a firm believer that “all of us are wiser than any of us,” and I welcome suggestions and insights that can increase the sense of safety and freedom that promotes optimal learning experiences.

Members of the leadership team will contribute to this series of messages in the days ahead, as we seek to respond to the wide variety of questions that our current situation naturally raises.

My commitment to the safety and security of all students and employees is unwavering.


President Virginia “Ginny” Arthur, JD
Metropolitan State University