MnSCU chancellor: Faculty might walk

Faculty at state-run universities have long been grumbling over how the chancellor has been carrying out his plan to revamp the system.

The frustration appears to be coming to a head this evening with a vote on how — or whether — it wants to participate in the overhaul.

Officials at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system have forwarded to me a letter from Chancellor Steven Rosenstone, who appears to see a walk-out coming.

He acknowledges criticism of his management:

Without a doubt, some things could have been handled differently, and some handled better.

But he ends with:

While the heads of the unions may have made the regrettable decision to walk away from the table, their seats will be there for them whenever they decide to return.

Here’s the whole message:

 

To All Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Charting the Future is an unprecedented effort to engage students, faculty, staff, and all of our campuses in seeking creative solutions to significant threats to our future. The effort is nothing short of the most broadly consultative initiative in the history of the system, involving more than 5,000 students, faculty, and staff across the state. The effort seeks to deliver and ensure access to the highest value, most affordable and extraordinary education for our students and communities. Unfortunately, we have heard rumors that the heads of some of our unions have decided to walk away from the Charting the Future effort. Despite their stance, I will continue to seek the input of all students, faculty, and staff just as I have done for the past two years that we have all been working together on Charting the Future.

Change is hard, and is always accompanied by high emotion and complication. Without a doubt, some things could have been handled differently, and some handled better. I remain committed to doing my best to make sure all opinions are heard and all people are treated respectfully. Campus-led teams have begun to identify the initial implementation strategies needed to address our challenges. They need to continue to make progress.

From the beginning, everyone has had a seat at the table. The process continues to be one that welcomes everyone’s best ideas. I have not and will not deviate from my commitment that everyone’s best ideas are welcomed and that only after extensive consultation should we move forward the best ideas that emerge. We will continue to use this effort as a roadmap to serve our students better and strengthen our colleges and universities. While the heads of the unions may have made the regrettable decision to walk away from the table, their seats will be there for them whenever they decide to return.

Best,

Steven