Weekly Update

As you know, the 2013 legislative session is in full swing. A great deal is at stake for Northland Community and Technical College as well as the 31 colleges and universities that comprise the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system. The MnSCU budget request calls for a $97 million investment over the next biennium which is focused on meeting the needs of Minnesota’s communities and businesses by:

  • increasing student enrollment
  • helping to accelerate student completion of certificate, diploma and degree programs
  • advancing the competitiveness of Minnesota’s workforce

While this investment represents a very small portion of the overall state budget, the state’s support for the MnSCU higher education system is a critical source of funding for Northland Community and Technical College. This funding is essential to our ongoing efforts to prepare our students for the existing and future jobs, improving access to quality education, and enhancing the vitality of our local communities.

MnSCU Chancellor Rosenstone presented the MnSCU budget request to the Senate Higher Education and Workforce Development committee on February 12. In his testimony, Chancellor Rosenstone discussed details of the proposal and the outcomes that it will deliver for Minnesota.  A copy of his testimony is available at: http://www.mnscu.edu/chancellor/speeches/index.html.  I am sharing this with you because it provides a very comprehensive picture of what has happened to higher education financing in Minnesota and, consequently, how it has affected students’ educational costs.

I encourage faculty members, employees of Northland, and community members to send emails expressing support of the MnSCU budget proposal to the legislators who represent Northland Community and Technical College’s district.

Other Happenings

  • Governor Mark Dayton, DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Seiben, and Sen. LeRoy Stumpf visited East Grand Forks briefly on Tuesday, Feb. 12.  We had been asked to brief the governor on the status of the Airspace Initiative in Minnesota.  This was a very timely briefing, as the Federal Aviation Administration released the Screening Information Request (SIR) on Thursday, Feb. 14.  The SIR is like a request for proposal.  In response, states and collaborations will make their cases for being designated as one of the six national test sites for integration of manned and unmanned vehicles in the national airspace.
  • MnSCU just released the draft housing feasibility studies that were conducted to determine if additional rental housing was needed for the student populations at both Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks.  The conclusion of the studies is that a strong case can be made for the need for housing at both sites.  This step will make it possible for Northland to work with MnSCU division of real estate to prepare RFPs for long-term ground leases to allow private developers to build housing on college property.
  • The Strategic Development and New Program Committee has made steady progress on developing procedures to link new program ideas with potential sources of funding for program start-up.  A couple of new program ideas have surfaced recently that might be good candidates for community support.

Upcoming Events

Tues, Feb. 19 – Eating Disorders Discussion – TRF Campus #635 – 11 a.m.

Wed, Feb. 20 – Pioneer 90.1 Volunteer Training  – 12 pm and 6 p.m. – TRF- KSRQ Studio

Wed, Feb. 20 – Military Appreciation Night @ Pioneer Basketball vs. Itasca Community College;

Women’s @ 6 pm; Men’s @ 8 p.m.

Sat, Feb. 23 – Pioneer Basketball at Central Lakes Community College – Brainerd

Women’s @ 1 p.m.; Men’s @ 3 p.m.

My schedule for this week:

Mon., Feb. 18 – Presidents’ Day Holiday

Tues., Feb. 19 – EGF – Northland Aerospace Foundation Board of Directors

Wed.,Feb. 20 – EGF – morning, TRF – afternoon, Military Appreciation Night

Thurs., Feb. 21 – EGF – NCTCF Exec. Committee, Cabinet

Fri., Feb. 22– Alexandria – MnSCU Trends and Highlights meeting


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