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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Town Hall Meeting - Wednesday, November 4

Dear Campus Community,

Please join me on Wednesday, November 4 from 3:00 -  4:30 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom for a special Town Hall Meeting with UMD faculty and staff.

Instead of the traditional update, I am asking the campus community to actively participate in a discussion about student success and r etention. As I shared in my recent Chancellor's Update , our enrollment is down slightly. Retention and graduation rates are critically important to our enrollment story, and we all play a role in creating a campus environment where students thrive both in and out of the classroom. We will spend time working together to brainstorm ideas and help develop retention action items to help our students continue their education a t UMD. Members of the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) subcommittee will share insights in order to guide our conversation.

If you are unable to attend the Town Hall Meeting, please review the information available on theSEM retention framework website and email your suggestions on best ways to retain our students to the SEM subcommittee (umdsem@d.umn.edu), and we will add them to the collected information. Thank you, and I hope to see you on November 4.


Lendley C. Black

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Chancellor's Update - October 21, 2015

Good afternoon,

I hope you all have been able to get out and enjoy this beautiful fall weather.  This semester sure seems to be flying by quickly.  Chief Development Officer Tricia Bunten and I were out last week visiting with donors and will be back on the road next week doing the same.  It is great to be able to share the impressive work of our campus community with supporters and hear their memories as well.  

We have had a busy year thus far and while I could write about many things, I am going to focus in and provide an update on a few topics including budget, campus surveys, enrollment, and our upcoming campus town hall meeting.  

Budget Update
We have received our final budget allocation, and it was consistent with our preliminary numbers.  Our new Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations Steve Keto has been with us for a few weeks now.  By the end of the semester we will have a specific plan for resolving the budget deficit and moving forward in a strategic and productive way. Please be assured, the campus community will be involved in that process.

Campus Surveys
We are currently in the middle of two very important surveys for our campus community.  Please find time in your workday to complete these two surveys.  Your input is valuable and appreciated.   
  1. The  Campus Climate Survey is open to all students, faculty, and staff.  This survey will help to measure and identify opportunity to further our goal of maintaining a positive and inclusive campus climate.  Complete the anonymous  Campus Climate Survey.  
  2. The Engagement survey is open to all faculty and staff.  This survey will help measure your perspective on the workplace environment.  Look back in your email for your unique link to the confidential survey.

Across the University of Minnesota system, total headcount enrollment is down by 1.2% compared to Fall 2014.  While we met our overall enrollment target, it's important to remember enrollments strategy is not just about quantity it is about finding the right student who will be successful here at UMD.  As predicted, primarily due to the decrease in high school graduates, our overall enrollment is down slightly.  Total headcount for Fall 2015 is 10,878 which compares to 11,093 in Fall 2014.  We are up slightly in new transfer numbers, and down in new freshman with a total of 1,997 new freshman this fall.  SCSE has reached an all-time high with a total of 3,098 undergraduates.  LSBE also saw an overall increase in enrollment this fall with 2,040 undergraduate students.  See the full UM enrollment presentation  from the recent Board of Regents meeting.  

Town Hall - November 4
Speaking of enrollment, I am excited to announce that we have an upcoming town hall meeting where I am going to ask the campus community to actively participate in a discussion about retention.  Retention and graduation rates are critically important to our enrollment story and we all play a role in retention.  Please mark your calendars for 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 4 in the Kirby Ballroom.  We will spend time working together to come up with ideas and develop actions to help our campus retention efforts.  

I also want to share with you that we are welcoming University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler to campus this Friday.  He has a full schedule and will be starting his visit up on the Iron Range before spending the afternoon on campus touring our newly renovated Kirby Student Center, our legislative bonding requests, visiting an active classroom, and enjoying some time in the MMAD Lab.  He will also meet with students, the Duluth News Tribune editorial board, and host a legislative dinner at Glensheen.  President Kaler will also meet with alumni and donors for breakfast and join us at the football game Saturday.  This is a great opportunity for us to showcase UMD and highlight some of what makes our campus so unique and special.  

As always, please contact me or a member of my senior leadership council if you have questions, thoughts, or suggestions about these topics or other campus matters.   Have a great rest of your week.  


Lendley Black

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Campus Climate Survey

October 6, 2015

Dear UMD Community member,

At UMD, a welcoming and inclusive campus climate is embedded in Goal #2 of our strategic plan and is one of the foundations of our educational model.  Creating and maintaining a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity and social justice is critically important for all of us.

I am asking our campus community to participate and take the Campus Climate Survey.  This survey of all students, staff and faculty will provide an Assessment of Learning, Living, and Working at The University of Minnesota Duluth. The goals of the project are:

1.      identify successful initiatives
2.      uncover any challenges facing members of our community
3.      develop strategic initiatives to build on the successes and address the challenges.

The survey is your opportunity to describe your personal experiences, your observations, and to offer suggestions for change that might enhance the campus climate at UMD.  This survey is part of our on-going Campus Climate initiative and will be used in conjunction with previous surveys to guide our continued efforts.

Be assured: All of your answers will remain confidential and the results will be reported in group form only. You will not be identifiable as an individual. Your participation in this project is voluntary. This research has been reviewed and approved by the UMD University Institutional Review Board. Additional information about the project is available at https://www.d.umn.edu/climatesurvey

Upon completion of the survey, you can enter to win great prizes such as a free parking pass or $100 Visa gift cards.  Your information and entrance for the prize drawings are not attached to your confidential survey responses. 

Please note that the Climate Survey is for all students, staff and faculty.  Next week, on October 12, our faculty and staff will also be asked to participate in an important workplace engagement survey.  Both of these surveys will provide valuable insight and your participation in each of them is greatly appreciated. 

I urge you to take 20-30 minutes and complete this very important Campus Climate Survey by going to https://rankinsurveys2.com/umd.

Thank you in advance for your contribution to this vital project.


Lendley (Lynn) Black, Chancellor