Posted: October 30, 2014

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@MinnState.edu, 651-201-1426

ST. PAUL, Minn., October 30, 2014 – Over 1,200 faculty, staff, students, and members of the public have attended statewide Gallery Walks (Charting the Future feedback sessions) after just five days of sessions. The events are opportunities for stakeholders to share their best ideas and give feedback on the ideas the Charting the Future implementation teams are eager to share. The Gallery Walks offer an open marketplace for the free exchange of ideas.

The initial success of the Gallery Walks is in contrast to recent university faculty votes of "no confidence."

According to a statement issued by Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, "We are disappointed that the faculty union leaders are employing this tactic to further their goal of stopping the critical conversations that make up Charting the Future, and we encourage everyone to attend one of the Gallery Walks taking place throughout the state that showcase the outstanding work of our campus-based implementation teams. We will continue to seek broad input on the ideas produced over the last two years and welcome the faculty back to the table any time they chose to return."

Other unions serving MnSCU students remain engaged in the process.

Board of Trustees Chair Tom Renier said, "The MnSCU Board of Trustees' vision was to find a Chancellor that would address the multiple factors that are threatening the very existence of affordable, accessible higher education in Minnesota. Steven Rosenstone is that Chancellor. The Board has repeatedly reviewed and endorsed Charting the Future as a collaborative way forward, as recently as September. We hope the faculty will return to participation in the process."

In addition, the 30 presidents of all of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities signed a letter of support on Oct. 17, stating: "We, the presidents of the MnSCU colleges and universities, are united in our enthusiasm for and pride in the work to-date on Charting the Future. The collaborative effort of the students, faculty and staff at our colleges and universities shows in the progress that’s been made and the plans moving forward. We stand ready for what’s next, with a keen eye toward student success and institutional excellence."

Charting the Future is an initiative spanning all 31 colleges and universities in Minnesota State Colleges and Universities intended to enable fundamental change so that the system can meet the significant challenges facing all of higher education and continue to fulfill its fundamental commitments. A total of 26 more Gallery Walks are planned at MnSCU colleges and universities in November. Additional information is available at http://www.chartingthefuturemnscu.com.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system includes 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 430,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.

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