Consultation is the formal process college administrators use to confer with students about campus issues. Administrators are required by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minnesota State) system to consult with students on proposals that significantly impact students, such as tuition and fees, the establishment of an athletic fee, presidential exemption of fees, student life/activity fees, health fees, facility fees, parking fees, student wage rates, and technology fees (see Minnesota State Policy 2.3 and Procedure 2.3.1 Student Involvement in Decision-Making). Annual tuition and fee rate decisions are the most common topics of formal consultation. Consultation is not the same as an informational presentation; it requires an opportunity for students to discuss the proposal, ask questions, provide input, and take an official position. The administration must provide students with background materials and an agenda in advance of consultation, provide reasonable time for the senate to consider the issue, and provide responses to senate requests for further information.
The Board of Trustees requires that senates submit a letter about the consultation process on any issue to be approved by the Board that significantly impacts an institution’s students. These circumstances arise around tuition changes, room and board rates, significant land purchases, student union facility fees, and food service contracts. View an example of a budget consultation letter.