2007-2008 Action Learning Team Projects

Luoma Leadership Academy

  Executive Summaries of Projects Reports
1 Assessing the Effectiveness of Underrepresented Student Retention Programs Report
2 Recruiting Academic Deans in 2-year Colleges Report
3 Instructional Cost Management Analysis, Phase Two Report
4 An Investigation and Analysis of Current Instructional Technology at the Colleges of the Northeast Higher Education District Report
5 Evaluation Study of Optimal K-12-Century College Relationship Report
6 Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of Leadership Development Report
7 Minnesota State Colleges and Universities New Faculty Orientation Report
8 On-line Student Services Evaluation and Implementation Strategies Report
9 Getting at the Root of One STEM Problem: Science and Math Literacy Report
10 Developing a System-wide Communication Strategy with Minnesota’s 11 Tribal Nations Report
11 Recruiting and Retaining Diverse System-Wide Talent Pools in Greater Minnesota by Creating a Welcoming Environment for Faculty and Staff of Color Report

Project #1

 Project Title: Assessing the Effectiveness of Underrepresented Student Retention Programs

Problem: Over the past four years, the Office of the Chancellor has provided almost $3 million to colleges and universities for pilot projects aimed at increasing the recruitment and retention of underrepresented students. Although these projects have submitted final program reports, including evaluations, at the end of program funding, it has not been possible to do a comprehensive assessment of the overall effort, including teasing out which interventions or program components have been most effective and which programs have the most promise of being “transportable” to other institutions.

Team Charge: The team will review the original program proposals and final reports of each funded program, and will conduct additional research, which may include site visits and interviews of program staff, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of various program components and operational strategies. A report will be developed which will include an assessment of effective program strategies and recommendations for any program components that should be adopted across the system.

Executive Sponsor: Mike López, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Team Members:

Sylvia Barnier, Interim Athletic Director/Senior Women’s Admin., MSU Moorhead
Anita Hanson, Counselor, Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College
Patty Rafftery, Lead Data Warehouse Architect, Office of the Chancellor
Teri Walseth, Assoc. Dean, College of Education and Human Services, MSU Moorhead
Rory Wgeishofski, Cosmetology Instructor, MSCTC – Wadena Campus
Thomas Williamson, Director of Student Life, Inver Hills Community College

Project #2

Project Title: Recruiting Academic Deans in 2-year Colleges

Problem: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities institutions are feeling the early effects of the long-predicted and challenging era of dire competition for increasingly scarce workers brought on by huge demographic shifts reducing the numbers of working-age adults. Other less obvious factors that may affect interest in public-sector employment include the end of lucrative pension plans, declining interest in labor unions, and compensation packages that do not compare with private for-profit education or industry offers. This action learning project chooses one area where this problem is especially acute: recruiting academic deans for our 2-year colleges.

Faculty members within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities often cite disincentives for moving into academic dean positions, such as longer work hours, which may result in less pay per hour and heavy workloads. Challenges for recruiting external hires include competing with enticing compensation packages and work/life benefits of other organizations.

Key to competing successfully in the critically important talent search will be highly effective search and hiring procedures that assist us in leveling the playing field with competitors.

 Team Charge: Review existing recruitment practices across public and private higher education systems to identify effective best-practice exemplars in recruiting academic deans in 2-year institutions, both externally and internally. Make recommendations for improving our recruiting practices through the following action items.

1) Identify existing disincentives and incentives for recruiting academic deans at our 2-year colleges, both internally and externally.

2) Review disincentives and make recommendations for improvement.

3) Review incentives and recommend a marketing plan to highlight and publicize the advantages of becoming an academic dean. Some workplace incentives that could be explored include: flexible scheduling (telecommuting); educational benefits across the system; clearly defined promotional ladders; and, sabbaticals for administrators; etc. Many other examples should be identified and researched for consideration.

Executive Sponsors: 
Mike McGee, Dean of Academic Affairs, Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Linda Skallman, Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Office of the Chancellor

Team Advisor: Jim Lee, Director, Compensation and Special Projects, Office of the Chancellor

Team Members:

Teresa Ashworth , Director of Music, MSCTC – Fergus Falls Campus 
Marlene Craik , Cisco Program Coordinator, MSCTC – Detroit Lakes Campus 
Lori Katz , Instructor, Health and Human Services, Hennepin Technical College 
Raymond Philippot , Professor, English Department, St. Cloud State University 
Mary Visser , Associate Professor, Dept. of Human Performance, MSU, Mankato

Project #3

 Project Title: Instructional Cost Management Analysis, Phase Two

Problem: The Northeast Minnesota Higher Education District proposes an action research project that builds upon a prior project conducted by a Luoma Leadership Action Research Team. In 2006-07, an Action Research Team was given the charge to identify a research protocol to accompany the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities instructional cost study that chief academic officers could use to make decisions about efficiency and effectiveness in the instructional arena. The Team produced not only a protocol but actual data analysis tools including a dashboard that provides summary cost data for instructional programs and a section cost tool that provides detailed information about specific course sections offered in a given semester. On May 3, 2007, the Action Research Team presented their research to the President’s Cabinet and the need for further analysis became very apparent as the Provosts and Chief Academic Officers posted questions about what was described in the dashboard.

The District proposes a new action research project that would utilize the “tools” developed in Phase One to actually analyze the instructional costs at each of the District Colleges. The Action Research Team would work directly with the Northeast Minnesota Higher Education District’s Office of Institutional Research, college chief academic officers, and members of the initial Action Research Team to conduct the analysis and report findings and conclusions, much the same as the 2006-07 Research Team did in presenting the tools.

Team Charge: Utilizing the dashboard and section cost tools, the Action Research Team will analyze academic and financial data to help chief academic officers determine the root causes of being “outside the band” in the instructional component of the allocation framework, ensure that instructional costs are coded properly, recommend a common coding system for the District, and identify innovative instructional cost management strategies that could improve the colleges’ circumstances relative to the instructional cost study.

Executive Sponsor: Dr. Joe Sertich, President – Northeast Higher Education District

 Team Advisor(s): Dr. M. Sue Collins, Vice President – Northeast Higher Education District

Team members:

Susan Anderson , Program Director for Budget, Office of the Chancellor 
Gregory Ewig , Director of Real Estate, Office of the Chancellor 
Kelly McCalla , English Instructor/Enrollment Management Coord., Central Lakes College 
Doug Olney , Director, Institutional Research, Itasca Community College 
Rob Waksdahl , Director of Business Services, Lake Superior College

Project #4

Project Title : An Investigation and Analysis of Current Instructional Technology at the Colleges of the Northeast Higher Education District

Problem: The colleges of the Northeast Higher Education District seek information that would lead to better practice in the arena of instructional technology. Specifically, District colleges desire to investigate and discuss opportunities and areas for improvement that exist in instructional technology throughout the District. Research conducted by an Action Research Team would assist campuses in determining the following:

1) Areas of strength that characterize existing instructional technology at each college.

2) Opportunities to improve and enhance existing practice in instructional technology, including the District capacity to deliver online courses, integrate distance delivery methods and support instructional program sharing.

3) The overall effectiveness of instructional technology and ways the colleges can heighten this effectiveness.

Team Charge: Conduct an investigation and analyses of opportunities and areas for improvement that exist in instructional technology throughout the Northeast Higher Education District.

Executive Sponsor: Dr. Joe Sertich, President – Northeast Higher Education District

Team Advisor(s): Dr. M. Sue Collins, Vice President – Northeast Higher Education District

Team members:

Karla Anderson , Business Manager, Northland Community and Technical College 
Linda Beer , Registrar, South Central College 
Steve Fudally , Director of Web and Information Services, Lake Superior College 
David Matthews , Math Instructor/Division Chair, Minnesota West CTC

Project #5

Project Title: Evaluation Study of Optimal K-12-Century College Relationship

Problem: Century College needs to improve its partnership process with K-12. Century College needs to understand the characteristics, as well as analyze the strengths and weaknesses of its current relationship with its K-12 partners. Factors to consider include existing curricular pathways or structures, internal and external communication strategies, partnership administration/management infrastructure, fiscal agent roles and accountability mechanisms. Administrators should know what other models and best practices exist regarding the K-12-college alignment and whether data exists to measure the “value added” to the student participant. Additional research in the areas of successful Tech Prep student profiles, how Perkins IV impacts these relationships and the potential value of specific K-12 partnerships currently available would allow Century to clarify options to make positive changes in its relationships with high schools.

Team Charge: Provide an evaluation study of optimal K-12-Century College partnerships with recommendations for Century College for the next three years.

Executive Sponsor: Larry Litecky, President, Century College

Team Advisor(s):
John O’Brien, Vice President for Academic Affairs 
Jeralyn Jargo, Dean, Division of Business, Health Sciences & External Education

Team members:

Steve Monson , Physical Plant Director, Rochester Community and Technical College 
Cindy Nutter , Director, TRIO Programs, Anoka Ramsey Community College 
Curt Schmidt , Director of Public Safety, Minneapolis Community and Technical College 
Jeffrey Wig , Accounting and General Business Instructor, Central Lakes College

Project #6

 Project Title: Measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of Leadership Development

Problem: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities has begun several systemwide efforts to develop leaders internally, with the Luoma Leadership Academy and “The Art and Science of Supervision.” While anecdotal evidence suggests that these programs are having a positive impact on supervisors, managers, and other mid-level leaders in our organization, the need exists for a more tangible measurement of success. The Board of Trustees has asked us to articulate the return on investment for these programs and to demonstrate the bottom-line impact to our organization.

 Team Charge: Research how other organizations are measuring the impact of leadership development programs. Develop a list of best practices from government, higher education, business, and industry. Recommend measurement criteria and a process for conducting this measurement. Provide cost estimates for any system enhancements needed to track relevant data on an ongoing basis.

Executive Sponsor: Anita Rios, Director, Staff and Leadership Development, Office of the Chancellor

Team Advisor(s): Jeff Hudson, Director, Supervisory Training, Office of the Chancellor

Team members:

Brian Allen, Director, Technical Support ITS, Bemidji State University
Barb Breza, Custom Training Rep., Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical
Penny Dickhudt, Director, MnSAT, Office of the Chancellor
Robin Honken, Director, Laptop Programs and Systems, Winona State University
Trish Schrom, Dean of Academic Services, MSCTC – Moorhead Campus

Project #7

Project Title: Minnesota State Colleges and Universities New Faculty Orientation

Problem: It is challenging to welcome new faculty and introduce them to working in a statewide system, while also describing services and resources that can assist them in their professional and personal development. Campuses often provide extensive orientation programs (especially for their faculty who teach full-time), but at the system level, there is a great deal about Board of Trustees policies and procedures and the Office of the Chancellor that faculty will benefit from learning. Adjunct or part-time faculty, due to their work and teaching schedules, find it difficult to take part in campus and system-level orientations.

In the past:

2002-03 — CTL offered in-person workshops with guest speakers and active-learning sessions to give new faculty a practical orientation.

2001 until present — the Center for Teaching and Learning assembles new-faculty welcome packets with materials about the resources offered by the Office of the Chancellor. An individual letter to each new faculty member and a book on teaching is provided to CTL campus leaders who hand-deliver the packets and books to new faculty and discuss faculty development opportunities.

The Center for Teaching and Learning’s steering committee has called upon CTL to improve upon orientation for new faculty, and the resources and information provided.

Team Charge: The Luoma Leadership team is charged with recommending a new-faculty systemwide orientation. Using components from the current and campus processes where possible, your team will create an orientation program framework which would serve new faculty at the high standard. You will analyze current literature about the best-practices in faculty orientation, calling for more sustained, long-term orientation (1-3 years), analyze costs and resources available, and recommend a systemwide orientation that both supplements and complements the campus orientation.

The CTL staff is ready to assist you with any information needed.

Executive Sponsor: Lynda Milne, System Director, Center for Teaching and Learning

Team Advisors: Zala Fashant, Martin Springborg, Yvonne Shafer

Team members:

Lorrie Fox , Faculty/Allied Health and Nursing, Lake Superior College 
Bret Fuller , Dean, Teaching and Learning, Rochester Community and Technical College 
Joan Miller , Office and Admin Specialist, Bemidji State University 
Rachelle Schmidt , Human Resources Director, Saint Paul College 
Dorinda Sorvig , Director, Nursing, Northland Community and Technical College

Project #8

  Project Title: On-line Student Services Evaluation and Implementation Strategies

Problem: With the expansion of on-line/distance education learning, the provision of on-line services and co-curricular experiences designed to meet the needs of this student population is essential. While many campuses have undertaken initial steps within this area, a comprehensive look at the type and depth of on-line services, technology enhancements required to support advancement and an outline of cohesive implementation strategies are needed to dramatically raise the level of on-line service.

 Team Charge: Engage in a review, incorporating previous evaluative work by the University and new original work, of on-line student services within the Division of Student Affairs at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Research strong practices and critical issues for advancing the provision of on-line student services. Include within the project the provision of services that previously have been more typical of a residential experience such as student activities, counseling/advising or health services. Provide a summary of the review and research conducted, and outline recommendations and implementation strategies for consideration.

Executive Sponsor:

Richard Davenport, President, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Team Advisor(s): 
Pat Swatfager-Haney, Vice President for Student Affairs, MSU, Mankato
Pat Lipetzky, Dean for Extended Learning, MSU, Mankato

Team members:

Rocky Ammerman, Registrar/Academic Advisor, Northland CTC
Linda Foster, Director of Instructional Technology, Dakota County Technical College
Daniel Macari, Graduate Coordinator, Educ. Psychology, St. Cloud State University
Anthony Reisberg, Student Services Center Mgr., Minneapolis CTC
Pam Sukalski, Distance Learning Librarian, Minnesota West CTC

Project #9 

Project Title: Getting at the Root of One STEM Problem: Science and Math Literacy

Problem: The role of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ( STEM) education in Minnesota and throughout the U.S. is currently receiving a great deal of attention. The Minnesota state legislaturehas included STEM enrollments as a benchmark for funding in the current system budget. Recently published national studies, President Bush’s 2006 State of the Union address, and even a recent edition of Time magazine, highlight the importance of strong educational programs in these areas to ensure the vitality of the United States’ economy, sustain our national security, and maintain our global leadership in innovation and research. The Chronicle of Higher Educationreported that the proportion of students graduating in STEM disciplines has declined from 32 percent in 1994-1995 to 27 percent in 2003-2004. At many of our two-year colleges, 50 % or more of students do not pass their first college algebra course; the percentages of students requiring developmental mathematics before taking their first college-level mathematics course is even higher. These and other data make clear that more students need to complete rigorous STEM courses in high school, and their learning needs to be guided by teachers who are fully prepared to enable high levels of student learning in STEM disciplines. There are, in short, a number of related problems that we need to solve in STEM education. This project looks at one: the current levels of science and math literacy achieved by students in our colleges and universities. What fundamental math and science knowledge and skills do (and should) our graduates possess?

Team Charge: Investigate and report the evidence both of our problems and our best practices in ensuring that students achieve certain levels of competence in science and math. What preparation in math and science to we expect of the students we enroll? What measures do our colleges and universities use to assess student learning in these core disciplines? What do we know about the dimensions of whatever problems exist? What do we know about successful courses and programs, teaching methods, testing, etc.? What best-practices models in teaching and in improving teaching exist? What recommendations would you make for systemwide programs to address the problems and disseminate the best practices?

Executive Sponsor: Michael Murphy

Team Advisor(s): Gail O’Kane, Cyndy Crist, Lynda Milne, Craig Schoenecker, Thomas Wortman

Team members:

Sue Cutler, Assoc. Professor, Dept of Professional Education, Bemidji State University
Karen Hynick, Dean, Academic Affairs, Minneapolis Community and Tech. College
Dana Irgens, Director of Academic Planning, Anoka-Ramsey Community College
Ann Nelson, Interim Dean of Academic & Student Services, MSCTC – Fergus Falls
Deborah Van Overbeke , Asst. Professor of Education, Southwest Minnesota State University

Project #10

Project Title: Developing a System-wide Communication Strategy with Minnesota’s 11 Tribal Nations

Problem: Enhancing the access and success of American Indian students at our system’s colleges and universities is a specific initiative for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees and the Office of the Chancellor. Understanding and embracing diverse communication styles represented among Minnesota tribal nations is crucial towards the creation of a healthy and trusting relationship. All students will benefit from an increased knowledge and understanding of Tribal communication by the systems college’s and universities.

Team Charge: Develop a communication strategy/model for system and campus leadership when approaching, recruiting, and collaborating with each sovereign Tribal Nation.

Executive Sponsors: 
Charles Black Lance, Office of the Chancellor/ Central Lakes College
Roxanne Martineau-Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College

Team Advisor: 
Whitney Harris, Office of the Chancellor

Team members:

Cynthia DeVore, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Inver Hills Community College
Casey McCarthy, Asst. Director, Security and Safety, Bemidji State University
Chris Mikkelson, Asst. Director, Kopp Student Ctr., Normandale Community College
Adrece Thighman-Nabe, Asst. Director, Admissions, St. Cloud State University
Gerry Toland, Interim Dean, Distance Learning, Southwest Minnesota State University

Project #11

Project Title: Recruiting and Retaining Diverse System-Wide Talent Pools in Greater Minnesota by Creating a Welcoming Environment for Faculty and Staff of Color

 Problem: In order to better serve an increasingly diverse student body and better reflect the changing cultural, ethnic, linguistic and social landscape that Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) face as they enter the 21st century, the system needs to develop approaches that will effectively help our colleges and universities in Greater Minnesota recruit and retain diverse staff and faculty. While some institutions have had success in recruiting faculty and staff of color, it is often a bigger challenge to retain them in communities that do not have much diversity and do not have specific strategies for making people of color feel welcome.

Last year’s Action Learning Team was charged with the development of a plan to help MnSCU to develop diverse system-wide talent pools. Guiding principles were established and broad recommendations were made for system, campus and department levels. (See final report). This project focuses on one aspect of the problem: creating welcoming campus environments for faculty and staff of color in Greater Minnesota.

Team Charge: Utilizing three of our institutions in Greater Minnesota as a focus, develop specific recommendations that will help guide campuses in creating welcoming environments for faculty and staff of color. Recommendations will be presented to MnSCU’s Diversity Leadership Committee and the Leadership Council.

Executive Sponsors:

Renee Hogoboom, Office of the Chancellor
Kristina Keller, St. Cloud Technical College

Team Advisor(s): 

Members of the 2007 Action Learning Team
Ann MacDonald, Winona State University
Charles Black-Lance-Central Lakes College
Elizabeth Dunn-Bemidji State University
Laural Kubat-South Central College
Roxanne Martineau-Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College
Michael Parsons-Minnesota State University Moorhead

Team members:

Mary Bongers, Asst. Director, Human Resources, St. Cloud State University
Dena Colemer, Director, Research and Planning, South Central College
Deidre Rosenfeld, Director, Women’s Center, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Pakou Vang, Communications Instructor, Century College