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Thursday, December 8, 2016

End of Semester Update and Buffet December 15

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for the conversations we have had over the past several weeks during the faculty and staff forums and coffee discussions  The vice chancellors and I will continue to follow up on the ideas and suggestions you shared during those meetings.  As we address our collective concerns, we should also find more opportunities to celebrate with each other the achievements of our students and colleagues.

We have had many successes this fall.  However, it is also a challenging and uncertain time.  The end of the semester and the end of 2016 will be here soon, and I send you my best wishes for a joyful semester break, holiday season, and new year. I'm sharing these thoughts now, because I have knee replacement surgery scheduled December 12 and will be spending most of the semester break recuperating. I will be out until the end of January and look forward to reconnecting with you then. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the Vice Chancellors, Jean Conner, or another member of my staff if you need anything or have questions.

I regret that I will miss the End of Semester Buffet, but I hope you will attend on Thursday, December 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom.

Again, thank you for all you do for UMD.  I wish you much joy in the new year and hope 2017 will be the best year yet for UMD.


Lendley Black

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Campus Climate Message and Resources

Dear UMD community members,

This message goes out to you as a follow-up to Chancellor Black's message a couple weeks ago. We would like to reaffirm our commitment to an inclusive campus community that is willing to pursue difficult conversations and be home to challenging dialogues. We must do so with respect, with a goal to understand one another, and, finally, to move beyond stereotypes and overgeneralizations and to a deeper understanding and sharing of ideas.  UMD stands firmly against intolerance and acts of hate and we think it is important to update members of the UMD community on actions and resources.

A number of activities have taken place following the recent national election.

  • On Wednesday, November 9, Student Life provided spaces in the Multicultural Center and in Housing and Residence Life for students to gather safely and process their reactions to the elections. Student Life staff were on hand to talk with students and offer support. In addition, several additional rooms were reserved in the event that students needed to talk individually with staff. A counselor in Health Services cleared the day so that walk-in appointments were available. Many students spent time in the Student Life spaces, with H&RL reporting that students from across the political spectrum participated in an active and meaningful way.
  • On Thursday, November 10, Chancellor Black sent a campus-wide message about the election results.  He shared his continued concern about the hateful, hurtful, and disrespectful dialogue that will not be tolerated at UMD.  
  • On Monday, November 14, a Speak Out event was held in the Kirby Lounge. Students from many different student organizations and groups took turns sharing stories, music, poetry, and expressing strong support for one another. In addition, resource tables were set up, with representatives from the H&RL, UMDPD, Student Conduct, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Commission on Ethnicity, Race, and Equity (CERE) participating. Speak Out participants were invited to sign a pledge for supporting a positive climate. That program will be the first in a series of Speak Out events.
  • On Wednesday, November 16, a meeting was held with international students to discuss their thoughts and concerns in relation to immigration policies and other issues such as reporting and safety.
There have been reports of incidents on or near campus since the election, and none of these incidents have been directly reported to the UMDPD, Student Conduct, or HR&EO. Faculty and staff are providing support. We continue to encourage students, faculty and staff to come forward and report. For those not sure how to report or seek other support resources, we suggest the following:
  • UMDPD - Call 911 to report an incident
  • Office of Student Conduct
  • Office of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity
In addition, there are a number of options for support for students, faculty and staff
  • Counseling Services (Health Services) - students
  • Office of Diversity and Inclusion

UMD is committed to equity, diversity, and social justice. UMD's values, mission, vision, and goals describe this commitment. As part of the commitment to equity, diversity, and social justice, UMD stands firmly against intolerance and acts of hate from those who work to undermine our goal of creating "a positive and inclusive campus climate for all." We encourage you to visit our Campus Climate website, if you are so inclined, to sign the pledge.

UMD is a great community of learners and scholars, let's continue to work hard to make our community welcome to all who seek to be members of our community and to pursue their professional and personal goals at our university.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.


Chancellor Lendley Black
Vice Chancellor Lisa Erwin
Special Assistant Susana Pelayo-Woodward
Executive Vice Chancellor Fernando Delgado
Vice Chancellor Steve Keto

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Election Week Message from Chancellor Black

Dear Campus Community:

As I said in my Chancellor's welcome last August, "The political environment, and particularly the presidential race, are adding considerably to feelings of unrest, discouragement, and anger."  Unfortunately, that unrest, discouragement, and anger not only continued but increased for many people.  The election is now over, but healing and moving forward in positive ways will not happen unless we take decisive action to repair what has been broken.  I raised these concerns in August because I was worried about our entire campus community.  I wanted to be sure we focused on helping our students and caring for each other, regardless of our political views.   
As a result of numerous national and local events, significant numbers of our colleagues were already experiencing attacks, threats, and an increased loss of their sense of belonging. 

On all sides of the political debates, or I should say, "irrational accusations and name calling", we have had people engaged not in communication, not in sharing meaning with each other or attempting to understand and respect each other.  Instead our dialogue has been dominated by an approach that literally screams: "You must listen to me, because you are wrong, and I reject you!"

We are a public institution and all political views should be expressed freely without degrading those with whom we disagree.  Our classrooms and all learning environments must be safe places for intellectual discussion and true debate as we expand our knowledge and try to better understand those with different opinions and perspectives.  If we only focus on winners and losers, we have no chance of fulfilling our higher education mission.  However, if we recognize how the past year or so of inflamed rhetoric has split us further apart and hurt those who were already marginalized, perhaps we can begin moving together towards a different future.  Many UMD community members may feel disempowered, but together we can control how we respond to these events and how we discover new avenues of living and working together to advance our purpose of educating our students, all of our students, for our new and ever-changing realities. 

UMD is such an outstanding place.  Let us recognize the harm that has been done and commit ourselves to creating an even greater future of collaboration, respect, and academic achievements.


Lendley Black

Friday, October 21, 2016

System-Wide Strategic Planning Process

October 21, 2016

Dear Colleagues and Students at the University of Minnesota Duluth:

As you may know, President Kaler has asked us to initiate conversations with students, faculty,staff, and leaders from across the system to help us recognize our commonalities and ourunique strengths. We want to find ways to strengthen a system mindset to enrich what theUniversity of Minnesota offers to the State of Minnesota, to our region, and to the world. Ourgoal is to create a document that the Board of Regents and leaders across the system can useto guide the University into the future. As faculty, staff, and students at the University ofMinnesota, your participation in this work is crucial.

How can you be involved?

Throughout this System-Wide Strategic Planning process, we will focus on the following:

●     What are our collective strengths and commitments as a University system?
●     What are the unique strengths of individual campuses?
●     How can we create a system mindset based on a sense of collective abundance?
●     How can we maximize the accessibility of our collective andunique strengths to the State?
●     What strategic intentions should guide both short- and long-term planning,decision making and resource allocation?

Please reflect on these questions, talk with your colleagues, and review relevant planningdocuments so that you can tell us about the exceptional aspects of your campus, as well ashow your campus contributes to and is strengthened by the system. 

We are seeking informationabout what already exists as well as what could exist in an ideal future.
Please attend the upcoming forums held at your campus on October 26. We have worked withChancellor Black to organize forums so that all campus constituents have an opportunity toengage in this process.
1:15-2:00 p.m. Student Association/Congress and Multicultural Student Leaders - Kirby Ballroom
2:00- 3:00 p.m. Staff Assembly - Kirby Ballroom
3:00-4:00 p.m. Faculty Assembly - Kirby Ballroom

If you are not able to attend the forums, we will soon provide you with information on how toprovide input electronically throughout this process. 

Additionally, in the spring, we will return toDuluth to talk with you about emerging ideas so that you have an opportunity to focus and refinethose ideas.

Thank you for your participation in this important effort to create a robust future for the Universityof Minnesota. We look forward to interacting with and learning from you.

Chancellor Stephen Lehmkuhle, University of Minnesota Rochester ViceProvost Rebecca Ropers-Huilman, Faculty and Academic Affairs

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Update on budget, campus climate and homecoming

Dear colleagues,

We are well into the fall semester and I have selected a few updates to share with you today. But first, I am excited to let you know that the University of Minnesota Board of Regents will be holding their regular March meeting at UMD March 23-24, 2017.  This will be an excellent opportunity to showcase our campus and have our campus community engage with the regents.  More information on that to come, but please mark those dates on your calendar.  

On a similar note, President Kaler was on campus last week and had a successful visit. While here he met with student association, faculty council, staff council, and an open campus reception. He also was able to see the Cina Hall renovation, learn about our legislative asset preservation request for the Sports and Health Center, and get a preview of the Shakespeare's First Folio exhibit. Thank you to those who participated.

We continue to make progress toward our budget resolution plan . Here is a brief update on the six strategies involved.

  1. Required Savings Budget Process
    1. Each campus unit (Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Student Life, Finance & Operations) has identified the required 1% budget savings for Fiscal Year 2017. Those reductions have been made for this fiscal year and total $1.175 million.
  2. Academic Administrative Restructuring
    1. This discussion is pending further results of the academic program optimization process. The staff task force continues to explore where we might find efficiencies in shared services and common practices within our operational and administrative functions.
  3. Academic Program and Course Offering Optimization
    1. The college deans have been working closely with Executive Vice Chancellor Fernando Delgado to identify savings. Read his latest  update message for more information. We expect the budget reduction process to wrap up towards the end of October and will share further information when ready. The conversation about program array will continue throughout this year and the next.
  4. Targeted Reductions, Tuition and Revenue Generation
    1. Work is underway on additional reductions that will achieve the $300,000 target over the next several years. Information about those reductions will be shared when they are finalized in the near future.
  5. Enrollment Growth and Reinvestment
    1. The incredible work of our admissions team and their faculty and staff partners across campus these last few years has resulted in positive results this fall. Thank you! We must all continue to support recruitment efforts and will continue to invest in these areas.
    2. Total fall 2016 campus headcount enrollment at all student levels equals 11,018, and is up 1.4% compared to fall 2015.
      1. Undergraduate  enrollment increased to 9,051, up 122 students from fall 2015.  
      2. Graduate enrollment remained steady with a total headcount of 664, an increase of 12 students.
    3. The freshman class increased by 7%, with a total enrollment of 2,138 surpassing the fall 2016 goal of 2,100 freshmen.  New transfer student enrollment also increased by 5.5% this fall.
    4. The percentage of students of color in the freshman class increased to 13.8%, which is up from 12.6% in fall 2015.
  6. Deficit Reduction and Investment Fund Transfer (DRIFT)
    1. Additional reductions of $3.5 million have also occurred this fiscal year in each campus unit (Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Student Life, Finance & Operations).  These reductions have reduced our accumulating cash balance deficit, and over time, this strategy will eliminate the balance cash deficit.

Last month our campus heard the results of our campus climate survey . Since then, the campus climate working group has conducted several listening sessions to help inform the development of action plans.  In addition, Vice Chancellor Lisa Erwin provided an update to campus about resources for  reporting sexual assault and will be providing another update shortly, including the updated  sexual assault website.  

The change unit teams have been and will continue to be engaged to help us implement other strategies. Ideas may also be submitted through the  Campus Climate Survey website.  I thank you for your participation in working together to make UMD a more welcoming and inclusive campus community.

This week, we will join together as a campus community at exciting events like the corn roast, the ASME Cardboard Boat Races, and the Brill Cup Faculty-Staff Flag Football Tournament. On Saturday, we invite all of Bulldog Country to campus for a fun-filled day of activities, beginning with the parade at 10 a.m. and continuing through the family carnival, the tailgate party, the football game, and the volleyball game.

The week will conclude in Canal Park with the men's hockey game at Amsoil. Homecoming is an important tradition that brings us all together to celebrate the history of UMD and our shared experiences here. I wish students, faculty, and staff a safe and enjoyable Homecoming 2016. Visit  d.umn.edu/homecoming for a full list of events.

Have a great week.  Go Dogs!

Lendley Black, Chancellor

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Campus Wide Meet and Greet with President Kaler Monday Ocotber 3

Dear Campus Community,

On Monday, October 3rd President Eric Kaler will be visiting UMD. All campus community members are cordially invited to meet and greet President Kaler and Chancellor Black on Monday, October 3, from 1 - 2 pm in the Kirby Rafters.

We hope you will join us.


Lendley C. Black

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Climate Survey Executive Summary, Presentations Tuesday, September 13

Dear UMD students, faculty, and staff,

A quick reminder to please join us Tuesday, September 13, to hear the results of the campus climate survey. I'd also like to share with you a copy of the climate survey executive summary .  Please mark your calendar for one of these sessions:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Kirby Ballroom

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Kirby Ballroom

Each presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.  We will also discuss our next steps, which includes a series of Idea Sessions you are invited to participate in. Please mark your calendars:
  1. September 28, 2016, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Ballroom (Staff and Faculty)
  2. September 29, 2016, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Garden Room (Students)
  3. October 3, 2016, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Ballroom (Staff and Faculty)

The primary goals of the climate survey project are to:
  1. identify successful initiatives;
  2. uncover any challenges facing members of our community; and
  3. develop strategic initiatives to build on the successes and address the challenges that impact how community members experience living, learning, and working at UMD.

Thank you,

Lendley C. Black

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Budget update and resources

Dear colleagues,

As we wrap up the first week of classes, it sure feels great to see the hallways full and feel the excitement of a new academic year. Thank you for welcoming our new students and helping all students transition back to campus.

We made good progress last semester in preparing our budget resolution plan, and we have continued to work on the budget resolution process over the past several weeks. In meetings this week with my Senior Leadership Council, the Council of Deans and Academic Administrators, and the Strategic Planning and Budget committee we provided updates and gathered feedback. We continue to move forward this week by identifying budget reduction numbers for the schools and colleges and are asking the Deans and their leadership teams to provide scenarios for how they will realize those savings.  

We need to provide time and safe space for these conversations to happen. We need to be strategic in looking at how all of these changes fit together. We need to be mindful of optimizing our programs, while ensuring a quality student learning experience. We need to be cognizant of working together to best position UMD for future success.  

I would like to provide you access to budget resources which will hopefully provide useful information. You may wish to review President Kaler’s 2017 fiscal year UMD budget allocation letter.  In this letter, you will see the allocations we received this fiscal year and the expectations from the U of M regarding our budget resolution. As well, VCFO Steve Keto has prepared a historical look at key UMD budget impacts since 2009.  

As we continue to progress through this process, there will be a variety of emotions and misinformation at times. I know there has been some discussion on social media about resources for our MTAG (Master of Tribal Administration and Governance) program.  I want to emphasize that UMD remains committed to the MTAG program.  The current staffing levels for MTAG will remain the same through the year as the College of Liberal Arts addresses necessary budget discussions. It is our expectation that as MTAG continues to grow, support for the program will continue to expand.

I will keep you posted as we move forward.  In the meantime, let me know if you have questions or would like additional information.


Lendley Black

Friday, August 26, 2016

UMD Campus Climate Results Presentations

Dear UMD students, faculty, and staff,

In our continued commitment to be a welcoming and inclusive campus community, we have to assess ourselves, think critically about how to improve, and work together to see results.  Last fall our campus participated in a campus climate survey.  You are invited to hear the results of this campus climate study on Tuesday, September 13 at either 10:00 a.m. or 3;00 p.m.  Please save this important date on your calendar and attend one of these sessions.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Kirby Ballroom

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Kirby Ballroom

The primary goals of the project are to:
  1. identify successful initiatives;
  2. uncover any challenges facing members of our community; and
  3. develop strategic initiatives to build on the successes and address the challenges that impact how community members experience living, learning, and working at UMD.

Dr. Sue Rankin of Rankin & Associates will be on campus to present the results.  In order to accommodate as many members of the UMD community as possible, Dr. Rankin will conduct two general campus presentations: at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in the Kirby Ballroom.  Each presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.  We will also be laying out next steps, as well as opportunities for community members to engage and contribute toward this initiative.

Members of the Campus Climate Survey Working Group will also be in attendance.  We encourage all members of the community who are able to attend to join us for this important, on-going conversation.  If you have any questions, please contact Susana Pelayo-Woodward at swoodwar@d.umn.edu.  We look forward to you joining us!

Thank you,

Lendley C. Black

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Our campus climate and the world around us

Dear Campus Community:

As we prepare for the fall semester, we must be aware of the impacts this summer's events have had on our university community members, particularly our students. The multiple killings and targeting of various groups in Minnesota, in many parts of our country, and internationally have enhanced an atmosphere of frustration, fear, and mistrust. These tragic events are jarring and disrupt our lives in different ways. They are particularly upsetting to our UMD community members who are part of the LGBTQI, African American, and Muslim communities being targeted. At our vigil after the Pulse killings in Orlando, I could see and feel the anger, fear, and outrage among our friends, colleagues, and community members. I felt it too, as my son could have been among those targeted.  

Our ongoing commitment to a positive and inclusive campus climate for all at UMD is already challenged by acts and attitudes that run against our core values. The violence this summer has the potential to worsen our campus climate unless we pull together and take steps to combat the destructive forces from those who intend to inflict harm. In spite of our challenges, we have a resilient campus community, and we have great potential to pull together. As they say, events like this can either destroy us, define us, or make us stronger. At the beginning of another academic year, let us work together and choose strength.  

As we continue to grow and enhance our campus climate, please mark your calendars for Tuesday, September 13 to hear the results of our campus climate survey from last fall. We will hold two presentations for students, faculty, and staff at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., each including a Q&A session. From there, I encourage you to participate in follow-up meetings and action planning to be announced.

I would also like to share with you some statements from UMD leaders and resources that can help us along this journey.

  • Utilize your campus change unit change team to engage in conversation.
  • Be familiar with how to report incidents and encourage utilization of these systems and resources.
  • Educate yourself. There are links to resources in Dr. Erwin's message.  As well, the Twin Cities Office for Equity and Diversity has a multi-page online resource guide with articles, books, videos, and websites.  
  • Use your voice. Do what you can to address issues of racism, bias, hatred, as well as engage in conversation in your personal relationships.
  • Find your community(ies). Connect with people you identify as your support group. When you can, be resource or supportive listener to our students.

Thank you for your dedication and continued commitment to UMD. I look forward to a great year and welcoming our new students to campus next week.


Lendley Black