Rochester paper: Sound more aggressive, MnSCU

Sometimes you have to break a few of these (Mpopp via Flicker)

Last week I posted the response of a Metropolitan State University professor, who said the Star Tribune‘s editorial board was portraying faculty as “obstructionist” toward MnSCU’s Charting the Future plan for more coordination among campuses.

Looks like the Rochester Post-Bulletin also had little patience for uppity faculty:

An early draft of the report was criticized by the system’s university faculty union, condemning the proposal as a push toward “Soviet-style centralization.” Consequently, the final draft explicitly drops references to a statewide academic plan and deletes specific proposals such as merging campuses, eliminating programs and relocating others. Instead, the report proposes that campuses “develop a collaborative and coordinated academic planning process.”

We would have preferred the report kept the assertive language. Some consolidations and closures are necessary and inevitable if the system is to become more efficient.

(The bold type is mine.)

Meanwhile, the St. Cloud Times also supports the MnSCU plan, but cautions that it’s not going to be easy to pull off:

… This chart calls for both increasing collaboration and maintaining each campus’s distinctiveness. Similarly, it states, “We must find the balance between honoring our commitment to serve communities across the state and, at the same time, investing where demand is increasing.”

In many ways, are those not competing objectives? How can operations collaborate yet remain distinctive? How can any entity invest where demand is increasing without divesting in places where there isn’t growth?