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Policy Update

Policy update: MnSCU faculty awards announced

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.

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Legislative update: Transfer language included in Senate budget package

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. 

MnSCU Board of Trustees appoints three college presidents

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.

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Legislative Update: Credit transfer bill passes the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee

The first committee deadline of the 2014 legislative session passed on Friday. Bills are required to have passed out of the policy committee to which they were referred upon introduction. Last week in the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee, S.F.2771 was heard. This legislation requires the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) to create an implementation plan to improve credit transfer. Specifically, the language states the system must create a plan around the establishment of multi-institution articulation agreements aimed at creating seamless transfer pathways between system colleges and universities. 

The House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee met last week to hear the supplemental budget bill. H.F.3144 provides additional funding the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system to assist in covering costs resulting from on-going contractual negotiations. $17 million is provided for FY15 in base funding, along with an additional $14 million in future bienniums. In total, this means MnSCU would receive $31 million in new funding. Both S.F.2771 and H.F.3144 were passed out of their respective committees.

Supplemental budget discussions

Supplemental budget discussions

The 2014 legislative session continues to move rapidly. Work continues on the creation of a supplemental budget. The House Higher Education Committee will meet on Wednesday of this week to consider its version of the budget bill. At this time, the bill contains one provision which would provide $17 million to the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system in Fiscal Year 2015. Language in the bill directs that the additional funding be used to cover increased costs for compensation of system employees.  

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