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Monday, February 29, 2016

Audio Town Hall Meeting on February 23, 2016

Campus Community,

Talking Points
UMD Budget Strategy
February 23, 2016 Town Hall Meeting

In general:

  • Since the previous town hall meetings, we have built a framework that needs broad faculty, staff and student feedback and assistance in working out the details.  
  • While innovative solutions take time, we will balance that with the need to keep moving forward and to focus on UMD’s bright future.
  • Change is difficult, and we need to work together to undertake the budget-balancing actions by continuing to provide quality teaching and learning, relevant research and scholarship, and meaningful public engagement. This will be accomplished by ensuring and enhancing the student experience.
  • We have made great progress in balancing our budget over the past few years, and the end is in sight.
  • We must continue to be guided by our Strategic Plan priorities.
  • After the February 23 Town Hall meeting, we will revise the framework and submit it to the system leadership as part of our budget compact request. We will not submit specifics about administrative restructuring. Task forces will be established to review administrative restructuring proposals, with final decisions anticipated the end of fiscal year 2017.

Click here for the audio for the Town Hall meeting.

Lendley C. Black

Chancellor's Office
University of Minnesota Duluth
515 Darland Administration Building
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218.726.6535 (fax)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Update on budget deficit resolution strategy

Dear colleagues,

I am writing today to update you on our strategy to address UMD's remaining budget deficit. We have had several productive conversations over the past weeks through the town hall meetings and discussions with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee. Through these processes, we have fine tuned what I believe is a solid strategy for balancing our budget while ensuring minimal impact to students and their learning experience.  

I would like the campus community to review our proposed budget strategy in preparation for a more detailed discussion with faculty, staff, and Student Association leadership in our campus Town Hall meeting February 23.  As a reminder, that meeting will take place Tuesday, February 23 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom.  Please note that there are still discussions to have, feedback to receive, details, and logistics for us to work out before we are ready to implement this plan.

There are six components to our budget strategy:
  1. Required savings budget process
  2. Academic administrative restructuring
  3. Academic program and course offering optimization
  4. Targeted reductions, tuition, revenue generation
  5. Enrollment growth and reinvestment
  6. Deficit reduction and investment fund transfer (DRIFT)

To read a brief overview of each of these components, please see our proposed plan for resolving the structural budget issue.  

Next steps include discussing this again with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee in two weeks, presenting and discussing with the campus community in the town hall, making any necessary changes, submitting this to the University of Minnesota as part of our compact budget request in early March, and initiating specific tactics for implementation.  

As always, please feel free to contact myself or one of the Vice Chancellors if you have questions.  


Lendley C. Black

Friday, February 5, 2016

Update on diversity, budget, and enrollment. Town Hall Feb 23

Dear colleagues,

This is a busy and important semester for campus, and I am encouraged by the conversations we've had and your willingness to work together.  I'd like to provide you with updates on a few of our strategic priorities around diversity, budget, enrollment and the EVCAA search.

With regards to diversity, the staff members in the Office of Cultural Diversity have developed a new name that is more reflective of their work with students and on campus. The office will be known as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Goal 2 of our strategic plan calls for creating a positive and inclusive campus climate. We've made progress in achieving Goal 2, and I've been working on a plan to ensure that this strategic priority continues to be a focus for our campus.

I am happy to announce Susana Pelayo-Woodward's role to lead university-wide diversity and inclusion efforts has been expanded from 10% of her time to 30%.  She reports to me for this expanded 30% and to Vice Chancellor Lisa Erwin for her other 70% (providing leadership to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which will remain part of Student Life).  Susana will also be joining the Chancellor's Senior Leadership Council.  Please join me in congratulating Susana.  I am confident she will do a great job as our primary diversity leader.  

Paula Pedersen has done tremendous work in advancing our campus community in goal 2 and cultural competency and I thank her for the work she is playing as Faculty Fellow for Intercultural Initiatives.  While her faculty fellow position is set to expire this summer, she will continue to work with Susana.  Paula will return to the classroom in the fall, while receiving reassign time to continue diversity and inclusion training and development for campus.  Please join me in thanking Paula for all her work and continued leadership as we move forward.

I want to thank the campus community for their involvement, powerful discussion and feedback received at the recent faculty and staff town halls.  I will have the opportunity to meet with the Student Association next week. The Strategic Planning and Budget Committee met last week and is meeting again next week to continue discussing campus feedback and possible next steps.  I will continue to push hard on identifying a plan to address our remaining deficit. 

Please mark your calendars and join me on Tuesday, February 23 from 3-4:30 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom for our scheduled campus-wide town hall meeting.  At this meeting I will present to campus more information on our budget strategy moving forward. 

I am also pleased to share with you some great news about special funding that we are receiving to support our recruitment and retention efforts.  The University of Minnesota is allocating recurring funds to all system campuses designated to support retention and graduation goals.  As part of this effort, UMD will annually receive $650,000 to enhance our admissions, financial aid, and marketing efforts.  This is a great example of how we will continue to get strategic support from the U of M as we continue to make progress on our budget deficit. 

As you know, recruitment and retention are strategic priorities for UMD, and we all play a role in helping make a positive impact.  In 2015, we saw a 12.4% increase with 14,480 prospective students and their guests visiting UMD.  Congratulations, especially to our admissions team, for providing this solid quality work to generate interest in UMD.  We are also seeing positive signs in our application numbers for next fall, but we must remain focused on student retention to reach our enrollment targets and to give our students the best experience possible. 

Admissions hosts visitors on an almost daily basis.  In addition, you may have seen and will continue to see the following events on campus: 
  • Admitted Student Days
         January 29 Engineering / CS / Math
         February 5 CEHSP / SFA
         February 12 CLA
         February 19 SCSE Sciences
         February 26 LSBE
  •  Junior Day- February 15

Please be aware of these important events and how you can help support them.  For example, greet and welcome the visitors that you see to campus and be prepared to talk about your department/offices "Points of Pride."

Here is a link to the search committee members for the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.  This is a large committee and it well represents the faculty and other key components of Academic Affairs.  The committee begins its work next week. 

Well, this was a lengthy message, but filled with a lot of positive momentum.  As always, please contact me or one of the Vice Chancellors if you have questions or thoughts on these or other matters.


Lendley C. Black

Monday, February 1, 2016

Chancellor Black's Message to Campus February 1, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you were all able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather this last weekend.  I'd like to provide you with a few updates on the interim EVCAA, HR/EO transition, engagement survey results, and the upcoming diversity summit.

Last week, we welcomed three experienced executive candidates from The Registry for the Interim Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs position.  I have carefully reviewed all of the feedback and want to thank those who participated in the interviews.  I am pleased to announce that after receiving very positive support, I have extended an offer to Dr. Brian Levin-Stankevich.  He has accepted the offer and will start his interim position with us Wednesday, February 10.

Dr. Levin-Stankevich, a professor of history, brings a vast amount of useful experience from several universities.  He is currently at University of New Mexico serving as a Research Professor for the Center for Educational Policy Research.  Before that he was President at Westminster College in Utah from June 2012 - May 2015.  He also brings us regional experience having been the Chancellor of UW-Eau Claire from June 2006 - June 2012.  Please join me in welcoming him to campus.

As well, the search committee for the permanent EVCAA will be chaired by Vice Chancellor Steve Keto.  The composition of the rest of the committee is nearly complete, and I will send you another update when the committee begins its work.  We will maintain an aggressive timeline with hopes to complete that search by the end of May.

In regards to the Director of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity position, I have had conversations with our HR/EO team, the Twin Cities OHR staff and others to develop a comprehensive plan for UMD.  As of today the HR/EO office will report to Vice Chancellor Keto on an interim basis.  Mary Cameron has generously agreed to oversee the office staff and day-to-day operations.  Melissa Honkola will continue to work with us part-time and will be the first point of contact for labor relations and primary contact on investigations.  In addition, Margaret Yzaguirre from the Twin Cities campus will continue to work closely with the team.

Members of The Commission on Equity Race and Ethnicity (formerly known as The Diversity Commission) cordially invite you to attend the Summit on Equity Diversity and Multiculturalism: Connecting through Dialogue on February 24th, in Kirby Ballroom.  The name change of this commission reflects the evolution of its direction and its focus on issues related to race, ethnicity and intersecting identities. The Commission on Equity Race and Ethnicity (CERE) members join with all UMD commissions to continue the work of creating an inclusive and socially just campus community.

Results from our Fall 2015 employee engagement survey are in.  Overall our response rate continued to increase with 57% of faculty and 62% of staff responding.  We made solid progress with overall more favorable responses, while continuing to identify key areas of improvement. Unit reports have been distributed, and I would encourage you to talk with your Vice Chancellor on how to best utilize this information and build action plans.

You likely remember that in conjunction with this survey, campus was asked to participate in a Campus Climate Survey as well.  The results of the Climate Survey will be presented to campus Fall 2016.  The Climate Survey working group will be meeting monthly this semester in preparation of sharing those results.

Please contact me if you have questions or thoughts on these or other matters.  Have a great spring semester!


Lendley C. Black