Tuesday, March 2, 2010

MnSCU Presents Plan for Budget Cuts

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities discussed how the unallotments coupled with the governor's proposed $10.5 million cut would effect the system before the House Higher Education and Workforce Development Finance and Policy Division today.

Chancellor James McCormick opened the discussion with a few anecdotes regarding steps taken at some of the Minnesota State Universities and Colleges. He reaffirmed the board of trustee's dedication to ensuring the burden of cuts did not fall on the students. Vice Chancellor of Finance, Laura King followed the Chancellor's statement with a synopsis of enrollment trends. She indicated the cuts will make it difficult to accommodate the higher demand from a growing student population.

King outlined a number of strategies for dealing with the reduction to the budget including: cost control, new revenue development, and enrollment management. In addition, it was indicated the Office of the Chancellor would be taking $ 1 million of the projected $10.5 million in cuts. This was met with mixed responses from committee members. Representative Poppe, indicated she would like to see a larger percentage come from the central office.

Chair Rukavina requested more specifics on how these cuts would effect the colleges and universities. Unfortunately, exact specifics on how the cuts would effect each campus were not available. However, King and McCormick assured the body measures had been taken to encourage the campuses to not only plan for the current budget reductions, but prepare for those likely to come when stimulus funds run out next biennium.

MSUSA will be testifying about the proposed cuts when the committee reconvenes Thursday, March 4th at 1:00 p.m.

Let us know if you have any stories about how cuts are affecting your campus.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Alumni Association Update - February 2010

Board Members Approved
The MSUSA Board recently approved the amended Alumni Association Bylaws which subsequently officially appointed the following members to the Alumni Association Board. Please help us to welcome Julia Opoti, Josh Martin, DJ Danielson, and Jered Weber as members of the Board!

Alumni Association Chair, Travis Reese, Resigns
Travis Reese recently resigned as Chair of the Alumni Association. The Alumni Board will be working to elect an Interim Chair to complete the term until November 2010. Thank you Travis for your work on behalf of MSUSA and the Alumni Association!

Accepting Chair Applications
Applications for
the Alumni Association Chair election will be accepted now until Friday, March 19th at noon. Applicants shall complete an application, which can be found at www.msusa.org, or otherwise provide similar information, which shall be submitted to the Secretary/Treasurer, Dusty Finke, or mailed to the MSUSA office. Applicant information received will be made available to Board members who will elect an Interim Chair at their March meeting.

MSUSA Executive Director, Kelly Asche, Resigns
Kelly Asche was recently selected to attend the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and has been offered an opportunity to be a Research Assistant working on rural issues. May 3rd will be his last day working for MSUSA. Thank you Kelly for everything you've done on behalf of MSUSA! Please watch the MSUSA website for Executive Director application information to be released.

MSUSA Officer & Board Member Elections
MSUSA will be holding officer elections April 9th-11th. Former chairs, vice chairs, or treasurers are encouraged to discuss the positions with the student candidates. Former Board members are also encouraged to connect with students running for student body president on each campus. Former student leaders can help upcoming students understand how they can have a positive impact on MSUSA. If you are interested in speaking with our student candidates, please let Kari Winter know.

Lobby Day
Alumni are invited to join MSUSA students on Wednesday, March 3rd at the Capitol for Lobby Day. Alumni can assist by guiding students through the Capitol complex, briefing them before meetings, and by doing a little lobbying themselves, on behalf of MSUSA. Please contact the MSUSA Office if you are interested in participating.

Minnesota History Day - Volunteer Opportunity!
Join MSUSA alumni, college students, and other community professionals as a judge during the Minnesota History Day events. Event dates and times can be viewed below and will be held in six of our seven university communities. Click here to register to be a judge. Please contact Casey Allen if you do register to be a judge so that we can notify other MSUSA members who will also be attending that event.

Events:

Robbinsdale Middle School, Robbinsdale, March 9th, 4-9 p.m.
St. Paul College, March 13th, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Winona State University, March 15th, 4-9 p.m.
St. Paul College, March 15th, 4-9 p.m.
MSU, Mankato, March 18th, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Red Lake Middle School, Red Lake, March 22nd, 4-9 p.m.
MSU Moorhead, March 23rd, 3:30 - 8:30 p.m.
St. Cloud State University, March 27th, 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Southwest Minnesota State University, March 29th, 4- 9 p.m.

Penny Program Accepting Board Applications
The Penny Program Board is currently seeking Board applicants. March 15th, 2010 is the application due date. The Penny Program Board will send nominations to the MSUSA Board and members will be appointed in April.
Seats that will serve two-year terms, beginning July 1st, 2010: 2 Higher Education Professionals, 1 Community Professional, 1 MSUSA Alumni and 1 MSUSA Student
Seats that will begin immediately and end June 30th, 2011: 1 MnSCU System Office Representative and 1 MSCSA Student
Click here for more information and to download the application.

Strategic Plan Release Party a Success!

On Saturday, February 6th MSUSA held its Strategic Plan Release Party at St. Cloud State University. You can view videos of each of our speakers by clicking on the following links: Mike Sieben, MSUSA's Founder, Eduardo Wolle, MSUSA's first executive director, Paul Hetland, 1995 state chair, and Hal Kimball, 2005 state chair. The Alumni Association helped to sponsor the event. Please contact the MSUSA Office if you'd like a copy of the Strategic Plan.

Happy Hour
About ten alumni attended the Alumni Association happy hour on Thursday, February 25th at Gabe's Roadhouse in Saint Paul. This was a good chance to learn more about the MSUSA Alumni Association and what they're doing, catch up with old friends, and create new networks. Thank you to Krista Murakami, your St. Cloud Alumni Board Member, for setting this up!

Welcome Ian Galchutt, MSUSA Vice Chair
The staff and officers of MSUSA would like to congratulate Ian Galchutt on his recent election to vice chair. Ian is a senior at Winona State University. Prior to his election, he served as the student body vice president and MSUSA historian.

New Director of Campus Organizing: Matt Smriga
Matt received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Minnesota where he played basketball for the Gophers. He then went on to receive his Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law. Matt's organizing experience includes various grassroots political campaigns. Some of his previous employers include: Greater Twin Cities United Way; Grassroots Solutions, a political consulting firm; and various political candidates. Please help us to welcome him to the MSUSA staff!