Posted: November 6, 2014

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

ST. PAUL, Minn., November 6, 2014 – The leadership of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has proposed using the services of the state’s Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution (OCDR) to resolve disagreements with two faculty unions about needed changes in the state’s largest college and university system.

The initiative, Charting the Future, is an unprecedented effort to engage MnSCU faculty, staff, and students in developing creative solutions to significant problems facing the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. More than 5,000 students, faculty and staff across the state have provided input in the initial phase. However, concerns about the process have been raised by the leaders of two of the faculty unions, prompting their recent withdrawal of participation in the effort.

In describing the situation, Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor, said “After two solid years of hard work, it is MnSCU’s hope that an impartial third party with expertise in collaboration and dispute resolution can help us find a way to reengage the faculty in this critical initiative. Charting the Future is simply too important to the success of our students and our state – now and in the future – to allow disagreements about process stand in the way of progress.”

The Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution is an office in the State of Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services that provides conflict resolution and collaborative processes to address pressing issues of public interest. OCDR helps government and citizens find better ways to work together on important public issues by using assessment, mediation, facilitation, and process design. Its goal is to help clients achieve effective and efficient results.

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. Additional information is available at http://www.chartingthefuturemnscu.com.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities include 24 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 410,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.

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