MnSCU Board of Trustees Approves Strategic Framework for State’s Largest Higher Education System

Posted: January 18, 2012

Contact: Doug Anderson,, 651-201-1426

Strategy Guides Initiatives Driving Continued Transformation at State’s 31 Colleges and Universities

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) Board of Trustees today unanimously approved a strategic framework that will guide the transformation of Minnesota’s largest higher education system. The strategic framework calls on MnSCU leadership and the system’s 31 state colleges and universities to deliver on three commitments to Minnesota citizens, communities and businesses:

  • Ensure access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans
  • Be the partner of choice to meet Minnesota’s workforce and community needs
  • Deliver to students, employers, communities and taxpayers the highest value and most affordable option.

“Minnesota needs a substantially better-educated workforce if our state is going to compete successfully in the global economy,” said Scott Thiss, MnSCU board chair. “This strategic framework will ensure that we continue to produce highly skilled graduates who will meet Minnesota’s workforce needs.”

“With today’s approval of our strategic framework, 100 percent of our efforts are focused on implementation of the steps necessary to deliver on our commitments to Minnesota,” said Steven Rosenstone, MnSCU chancellor. “Bold initiatives, with aggressive timelines for completion, are already well underway. These initiatives will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations and increase the capabilities of our graduates so they have the job skills needed by Minnesota businesses today and in the future. ”

Initiatives underway include:

  • Collaborating with Minnesota’s business community and Department of Employment and Economic Development to ensure that MnSCU academic offerings are aligned to meet current and emerging workforce needs in each region and business sector
  • Driving dramatic improvements in student retention, ease of transfer, graduation rates and time to completion of degree and other programs
  • Increasing access to baccalaureate degrees
  • Enabling faculty-driven initiatives to create the best possible courses, distance education and learning experiences that can be shared across colleges and universities and will improve learning outcomes
  • Partnering with communities traditionally underserved by higher education to improve college readiness, recruitment and student success
  • Collaborating with K-12 educators and Minnesota’s Department of Education to improve college readiness and increase pathways to post-secondary education
  • Lowering operating costs by leveraging the collective purchasing power of MnSCU’s campuses and standardizing best practices and processes throughout the system’s 31 institutions.

Click here to see a Strategic Framework for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities

Each year, more than 420,000 Minnesotans from all walks of life attend MnSCU colleges and universities for undergraduate and graduate degrees, certificate and diploma programs, training and retraining classes and courses to enrich their lives. MnSCU educates:
  • 63 percent of Minnesota’s undergraduates
  • 49 percent of the state’s new teaching graduates
  • More than 80 percent of new nursing, construction trades, law enforcement and mechanics graduates; and
  • 9,000 firefighters and emergency first responders each year.

These are not only students right out of high school, they are also adult learners, workers and professionals retooling to meet the current and future needs of Minnesota’s businesses. More than 80 percent of MnSCU graduates stay in Minnesota to work or continue their education. Nearly 86 percent of MnSCU graduates get jobs related to their field of study. In addition, MnSCU partners with 6,000 employers throughout the state to provide customized training to 157,000 employees, helping to ensure that these Minnesota companies remain competitive. MnSCU delivers the most affordable and cost effective higher education option in Minnesota.