Transferology website launches, helping students plan for transfer
CollegeSource released Transferology last week, a website that allows students to see how their coursework will transfer to other programs. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system is a user of Transferology and pays a license fee to include system courses and programs on the site. The Transferology website marks a facelift for the company’s former product, known as U.Select, which MnSCU also purchased. Transferology allows students to import transcripts or planned coursework at their current school and compare how their work will transfer into various programs at other colleges and universities. A variety of public and private colleges and universities participate in the site nationwide. The new website went live on March 31, and will be promoted to students through advisors, flyers, and bookmarks. Learn more at http://www.transferology.com.
Work continues at the capitol in St. Paul. This week, much of the focus centered on passage of the supplemental budget bill in both the House and Senate.
The Senate Finance Committee met all day on Friday to debate and take amendments on each budget article which was eventually amended into one large budget proposal. During that hearing, changes were made to committee budget targets which had a significant impact on funding in the current and future biennium. Prior to the start of Friday's meeting, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) were set to receive $17 million in FY2015 and the same amount each of the following years. However, the committee reduced overall spending in the next biennium and that included the elimination of the $17 million for MnSCU in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. There was an amendment in the committee to re-instate MnSCU's funds, but it was not adopted. The Senate version of the bill does still include credit transfer language that was championed by MSCSA.
The House supplemental budget bill received final approval from the full chamber this week. That bill contains $17 million for MnSCU in FY2015 and $14 million in each of the next two fiscal years.
Following passage of the budget bill by the full Senate this week, a conference committee will be formed to begin work on finalizing the bill. All differences must be worked out before a final proposal can be re-passed by each legislative body and sent to the Governor for his signature. Negotiations will likely begin later this week or following the spring break for the legislature which begins this Friday.
If you have questions about a legislative issue, please feel free to contact the MSCSA office at 651-297-5877.
MnSCU faculty awards announced
The MnSCU system announced last week the winners of the annual Board of Trustees Award for Excellence in Teaching. The award recognizes 30 faculty across MnSCU’s colleges and are decided on through a nomination and portfolio review process managed by a committee that includes students. The award winners will be recognized at a ceremony on April 23. View the full list of award winners here.
The second committee deadline came and went on Friday of last week and work on the supplemental budget bills continued in both legislative bodies. The Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee met twice last week and discussed their proposal for the committee's supplemental budget article.
Included in the higher education budget article was $17 million in funding for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. This was the amount requested by the system prior to session and will help meet projected funding shortfalls on campuses. Much of the shortfall is the result of compensation contracts coming in above what was projected by the system and each campus. The proposal also included new base funding for the system in the next biennium.
A number of policy provisions were also included in this budget package including language from SF2771 (Miller) which directs MnSCU to create an implementation plan for new multi-campus articulation agreements aimed at improving credit transfer for students.
The budget article now heads to the full Senate Finance Committee were it will likely be added to a larger budget bill that will include funding for a number of different areas of state government. Once both the House and Senate have passed single budget bills, a conference committee is likely to iron out the differences between the two bills.
Policy Update – March 24
MnSCU Board of Trustees appoints three college presidents
The Board of Trustees for the MnSCU system approved the appointments of three college presidents. The appointments, approved last Wednesday, include two permanent presidents and one interim president. Dr. Barbara McDonald, the current provost at Itasca Community College, will serve as the interim president of Minnesota West Community and Technical College beginning July 1, 2014. She will succeed current president Dr. Richard Shrubb, who is retiring. Dr. McDonald’s term will end June 30, 2014, by which time a permanent president will be identified and appointed.
Dr. Laura Urban was appointed the president of Alexandria Technical and Community College, effective July 1, 2014. She is currently the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Gateway Community and Technical College in Kentucky. Urban will succeed current Alexandria Technical and Community College president Dr. Kevin Kopischke, who is retiring.
Dr. Dorothy Duran was appointed the president of Minnesota State College- Southeast Technical, effective July 1, 2014. She is currently vice president for academic affairs at Iowa Western Community College, and will succeed current Minnesota State College- Southeast Technical president James Johnson, who is retiring.