Tag Archives: MnSCU

Innovations in developmental education reap significant gains for students

Improvements have saved students an estimated $15.6 million in tuition and fees in 2016 alone


ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 18, 2016 – Enrollment in developmental education courses at the colleges and universities of Minnesota State has been significantly reduced over the past five years, cutting the cost of higher education and trimming the time it takes to complete a degree for thousands of students.

Developmental education plays a critical role in ensuring academic success by enabling students to address gaps in their knowledge. Developmental education classes include precollege-level reading, writing, math, and English as a Second Language courses, as well as topics and services such as personal development, academic development, and interventions that are designed to grow student skills. These classes are offered for credit, and students are able to use financial aid to assist in covering course tuition and fees, but these credits do not count toward degrees, diplomas or certificates.

Continue reading Innovations in developmental education reap significant gains for students

‘MnSCU’ to become known as ‘Minnesota State’

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 21, 2016 – The Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities today endorsed an initiative that changes how the system refers to itself from “MnSCU” to “Minnesota State.” The move does not change the nation’s fifth-largest higher education system’s legal name, which is written in state statute.

“Research has shown that the vast majority of Minnesotans – including prospective students, parents, and community leaders – don’t know what ‘MnSCU’ means or how our state colleges and universities are different from other higher education institutions,” said Michael Vekich, board chair. “The Board of Trustees has made presenting a clearer identity a priority. It is a critical for any organization to build awareness and understanding with it key constituents.”

“Minnesota State should be known and understood as a system of colleges and universities united to provide an extraordinary education that is affordable and accessible, enhancing quality of life, and ensuring prosperous communities,” said Minnesota State Chancellor Steven Rosenstone. “More clearly communicating this will help prospective students and the communities we serve to better understand the tremendous value our colleges and universities deliver.”

“Minnesota State” is the new nickname for the system as a whole, as well as a system affiliation identifier. Individual state colleges and universities are not required to change their names, but they will use the system affiliation identifier in conjunction with their logos and brand identities to signify that they are members of the Minnesota State system. The new nickname creates a platform for future communication and promotional materials that will raise awareness of how the colleges and universities of Minnesota State differ from other higher education institutions in the state.

The Minnesota State system office will begin making the change in July by taking such steps as revising electronic letterhead, updating the website, and using it on newly printed mailers and brochures. Campuses will take steps to indicate they are a member of the Minnesota State system in phases over the next two years, as supplies of existing materials are depleted.

Minnesota’s First statewide summit on sexual violence prevention takes place at Metropolitan State

About 300 people from 57 colleges nationwide attended the the 2016 Minnesota Campus Sexual Violence Prevention Summit hosted by Metropolitan State June 9-10.

The purpose of the summit is to bring Minnesota colleges campuses together to connect, and to learn and engage in campus sexual violence prevention. The summit offered legislation, prevention and response workshops, as well as plenaries sessions for faculty. It is designed for teams of campus administrators and prevention staff (including Title IX Coordinators, student conduct workers, advocates, student health services staff, LGBTQ resource staff, etc.) to take away practical resources that will help campuses. 

The summit was a collaboration between the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Violence Prevention and Intervention concentration in the Department of Human Services at Metropolitan State University, MnSCU and MN Private Colleges.

The intended outcome is that attendees learn to:

1) implement effective, comprehensive prevention programs

2) share knowledge across campuses that call out resources and highlight successful programs

3) foster relationships among campus professionals who work to address sexual violence

Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Human Services at Metropolitan State, Roberta Gibbons, discussed questions about the summit; what it means to students, faculty, the state and beyond. She also opined about the Brock Turner case.  Listen to the discussion below.

Professor Roberta Gibbons


Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Center of Excellence Awarded $5.5 million Xcel Energy Grant

The Minnesota Energy Center, a collaboration of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities campuses, received a $5.5 million grant from the Xcel Energy Renewable Development Fund. The grant funds leading edge research that ensures the growth, development and delivery of renewable electric energy technologies throughout Minnesota.

“For renewable electric energy to continue its impressive growth in Minnesota, our state needs a talented workforce that is proficient with innovative technologies,” said Steven Rosenstone, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. “The projects funded by this grant will provide opportunities for our students to conduct state-of-the-art research that will deliver economic benefits for Xcel Energy customers and create a better environment for all Minnesotans.”

One of eight Centers of Excellence, the Minnesota Energy Center was established by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities in 2012 to develop partnerships with business and industry that ensure alignment with the current and future workforce needs of the state’s energy industries.

“Investing in innovative technology that leads to future wind, solar and other renewable energy projects benefits our customers and builds a better Minnesota,” said Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy Minnesota. “Xcel Energy’s Renewable Development Fund creates jobs, improves the environment and increases renewable energy use in Minnesota.”

Minnesota West Community and Technical College and St. Cloud Technical and Community College are the co-campus leads in the Energy Center. Minnesota West Community and Technical College serves as the fiscal agent for the grant. University faculty from St. Cloud State University and Minnesota State University, Mankato will serve as principal investigators in the program.

“The opportunity to expand research projects at our colleges and universities to explore and develop renewable electric energy products and increase generation capacity in our state is incredible,” stated Bruce Peterson, director of the Minnesota Energy Center. “The conversations we are engaging in to prepare for this opportunity are rich as we explore how we can expand our educational opportunities for current and future students across the state of Minnesota.”

The Center will select and oversee up to 14 quality research and development projects at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities related to renewable electrical energy technology. Projects will be chosen based on their ability to improve and stimulate the use of renewable electric energy technologies throughout Minnesota.

Rosenstone said, “The projects enabled by this grant will demonstrate the applied research strength of our state colleges and universities in ways that affect all regions of the state and leverage pathways that bring technology to industry for the benefit all Minnesotans. They will exemplify how collaboration among our colleges and universities delivers outstanding results that would otherwise be impossible.”

Additional information about the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Centers of Excellence is available here.

Tuition set to decrease at state colleges

After three consecutive years of tuition freezes, tuition will decrease for the nearly 180,000 students at Minnesota state colleges for academic year 2016-2017, making tuition rates lower than the rates paid for the 2012-13 academic year. Meanwhile tuition rates at the seven state universities will remain frozen at the levels charged during the 2015-16 academic year.

“Our state colleges and universities remain the lowest cost, highest value option in higher education in Minnesota,” said Steven Rosenstone, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. “Affordability and accessibility ensure that our colleges and universities can be places of hope and opportunity for all Minnesotans.”

The action on tuition is an outcome of the Higher Education Omnibus bill that came out of the 2015 legislative session. “We remain very grateful to Governor Dayton and the legislature for the commitment they have shown to our shared goal of protecting the affordability and accessibility of quality higher education for all Minnesotans,” said Chancellor Rosenstone.

The good news gets even better once the effect of financial aid is factored in. Changes to the Minnesota State Grant Program that take effect this year are projected to benefit students at state colleges as well as state universities so that all students who benefit from the State Grant will see a decrease in net tuition.

For undergraduate students receiving state and Pell grants, the estimated average annual tuition cost for attending a state college full-time is $894.

For undergraduate students receiving state and Pell grants, the estimated average annual tuition cost for attending a state university full-time is $2,088.

MnSCU partnership with the Basque Country to yield new opportunities for Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 28, 2016 – Increasing global competitiveness and the exchange of information, research, and ideas to meet the pressing need for talent is the focus of a Memorandum of Understanding signed today by leaders of the Basque Government and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone
MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone

“This agreement will strengthen the economies of both Minnesota and the Basque Country by encouraging best practices in research, innovation, and learning,” said Steven Rosenstone, chancellor of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. “It will promote education and training to prepare our students to meet the needs of business and industry, and promote collaborative educational and research activities.”

Continue reading MnSCU partnership with the Basque Country to yield new opportunities for Minnesota

Nancy Black recognized at IFO Delegate Assembly Banquet

A black and white photo of Nancy Black
Nancy Black

Nancy Johnson Black, professor emerita, Social Science Department, received the Outstanding Contributions to Women’s Advancement in MnSCU Award by the Inter Faculty Organization (IFO) Board of Directors and Feminist Issues Committee (FIC). Black received the award during the annual Delegate Assembly Banquet on April 1.

Tamara Berg, IFO board representative from Winona State University and board liaison to the FIC, presented the award to Black for her six years of outstanding service as IFO president and her great strides in improving the lives of women faculty through her visionary leadership and tireless energy.

“I am deeply honored to have this award. The IFO, the faculty union which represents more than 3,800 faculty on the seven state universities in Minnesota, is the guiding force and backbone for addressing issues of equity and diversity within MnSCU. I learned so much from my colleagues over my 30-year career at Metropolitan State University; importantly, one must never be afraid to speak out, especially for those who feel they must remain voiceless. There is no greater reward for service than being respected by one’s colleagues,” said Black of the honor.

Black is the only IFO president to serve three terms and to sign four IFO contracts with MnSCU. After serving two terms as an effective IFO president, the membership again sought her leadership and elected her to serve as IFO president from 2012–2014. As president, Black’s priorities included domestic partner benefits, salary equity and transparency in faculty placement on the salary schedule. She also saw improving faculty salaries as a core responsibility and contract agreements included record increases of 8.7 percent and 11.2 percent.

In addition to teaching at Metropolitan State for nearly 30 years, Black cofounded the Social Science Department, developed its major and curriculum and was chair for the first nine years. She was active in local campus governance and a leader on Metropolitan State’s Women’s Commission, chair of the Women’s History Month planning committee and a member of the Women’s Studies Consortium.

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities exceed performance goals set by Legislature

ST. PAUL, Minn., April 20, 2016 – Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has exceeded all five of the performance goals the legislature set during the 2015 session. Five percent of the system’s fiscal year 2017 appropriation was contingent on meeting three or more of the performance goals. As a result of this achievement, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will not forfeit nearly $32 million in funds.

Chancellor Steven Rosenstone announced the achievement in his report to the Board of Trustees. In his remarks, Rosenstone said, “I am very pleased that we have met and exceeded each of the performance goals the legislature set for this biennium. I would like to thank our presidents, faculty, and staff across our colleges and universities for the dedication and hard work that made this tremendous accomplishment possible.”

The goals specified in the legislation and the actual performance were: Continue reading Minnesota State Colleges and Universities exceed performance goals set by Legislature

Clarification: MnSCU identity and branding process

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities issues the following clarification in response to published news reports:

“For the past year, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has been involved in internal stakeholder consultation regarding brand identity, which may include a shift from “MnSCU” to another identifier. A presentation on this topic was made to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees on April 19.

Consultation on the brand identity is ongoing; a final recommendation is anticipated for June.”

April 20: Reception for new university president

On behalf of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees and Chancellor Steven Rosenstone, you are invited to the presentation of the incoming president of Metropolitan State University. The presentation is 3 p.m., April 20, in New Main, Great Hall, Saint Paul Campus. Refreshments are provided.

The incoming president is announced at the April 20 Board of Trustees Human Resources Committee meeting. You can hear the recommendation by Chancellor Rosenstone by listening to the meeting’s live streaming audio at this link, beginning at 9 a.m., Wednesday.

Learn about the two candidates.