The tough choice MnSCU must make in rearranging its programs

MnSCU main office

Winona State University President Scott Olson tells host Tom Weber on The Daily Circuit today that the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system will face a tough balancing act when it reconfigures its campuses and academic programs over the next few years:

“From a metro perspective, it makes sense that more resources need to be in the metropolitan area, because certainly that’s where the student population is growing. And we’re seeing a lot of growth in the schools in and around Minneapolis – St. Paul and Rochester. But when you get out into the outstate parts of Minnesota, they recognize what having a MnSCU campus in their town or in their region means for economic development and means for the economy locally.”

Olson and Weber were discussing MnSCU’s proposed overhaul of how it does business — a plan that Olson presented to the MnSCU board last month.

A final draft is expected later this year.

The proposal suggests, among other things, that MnSCU relocate academic programs to campuses in regions that need them most, eliminate redundant programs and merge campuses.

Olson’s comment above reinforces what MnSCU officials reported at the same meeting last month: Metropolitan State University can’t handle the metro area’s demand for four-year degrees on its own.

Olson told Weber the report does not address the issue of campus closures, a topic that has been on Minnesota college officials’ minds for several years.

You can listen to the full interview above and read some background information and comments here.