A philosophical shift
It’s Time to take proactive steps to boldly alter the way we operate to better serve this generation of students. We will be reimagining what it means to be a regional comprehensive university and build on our strengths.
In order to do this good work, we had to fundamentally transform the way we have thought and operated in a number of areas. The foundation of this new philosophy is rooted in how we have
approached our institutional budget, as it is no secret that regional comprehensive universities are seeing a decrease in funding. This has led us to strictly use the budget to drive our decision making.
To put it simply, our budget management strategy has been to make cuts with the primary goal of balancing the budget and replenishing the reserves. After countless conversations with internal and external constituents, I knew that if we were to make changes, this great institution could no longer continue this way. It was time to create a new path for St. Cloud State University.
And although our budget challenges are real, we will use a roadmap, which I am calling “It’s Time,” to ensure we are operating with a balanced budget and working strategically toward creating a new comprehensive university.
I’ve outlined the It’s Time roadmap. My hope is that you are as excited as I am about the future of this great institution.
The need for redefinition
There are many factors driving our need for redefinition, from the advances in technology to changes in public opinion of higher education. Over the past 18 months we as an institution have identified the following areas that are driving the need for regional redefinition:
»» Funding squeeze – St. Cloud State has received reduced financial support from the state, while at the same time the demand for state funding from multiple sources has increased.
»» Student demographics – There are fewer high school students to recruit, and we are in direct competition with other entities to recruit from a smaller pool of traditional- aged students.
»» Increasing competition – Today’s students have the usual higher education choices and new choices through universities with online offerings. Students, parents and guardians are now shopping with a customer mindset and paying attention to how they are treated and how responsive a university is to their needs.
»» Digital experience – The digital revolution has changed how students receive information by providing them with unlimited access online, any where, any time and from any source.
»» Looped learning – Because of the choices of institutions, online options, PSEO, work options, and others, a trend of looping education is evolving. Students can loop in
and out of their education experience for a variety of reasons and education is no longer a linear approach where a degree leads to a profession and then retirement.
In addition, education is now a lifelong need in order to remain agile, adaptable and successful in their work. We must act in bold and courageous ways to take control of our future in this new landscape in order to survive and thrive.
1. It’s Time: Redefining the Regional Comprehensive University (RCU)
With a firm commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, the It’s Time Roadmap articulates our shift to becoming the new regional comprehensive university.
This path will clearly define us as leaders in these four areas:
4. Engineering and Applied Science
2 It’s Time: Reexamining our operations to better serve new and varied types of students
Creating programs in the four Areas of Academic Distinction will have the following characteristics:
»» Individualized student learning and support – We must pivot from a one-size-fits-all approach to a set of academic, social and financial support services that meets students where
they are and engages them in achieving their personal and professional aspirations.
»» Lifelong learning skills and a lifelong learning strategy
»» Robust external partnerships
»» Engaged teacher/scholars
»» Experiential and applied learning embedded in the curriculum
»» Clearly aligned with career options
It’s Time: Rebuilding a sense of community, new traditions that will bind us together as Huskies
It’s Time that we face our challenges head-on and acknowledge the need to work together to build a new regional comprehensive university, develop student-centered operations, and create a healthy community.