Chancellor Casey's Remarks to the Task Force Committee
Importance of Strategic Positioning at UMC
Dr. Charles Casey, Chancellor
28 September 2005
Good morning everyone. Let me add my welcome to you as you begin your work in helping develop a Strategic Positioning plan for the University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC). I would begin by thanking you for your willingness to be part of this task force. It’s a heavy responsibility that you’ve agreed to assume. The future of UMC, to a great extent, depends on your work.
In selecting you to be on this task force, I’ve tried to reach out to a broad range of perspectives. I intentionally named community representatives to the task force because I believe strongly in how important that perspective will be in building support for the future of UMC. Some of you have been part of UMC and the community for a long time; others only a short time. Some represent other University units. I ask all of you to be fully engaged in the discussions. I need your ideas, suggestions and comments for the work of the task force to be complete and successful.
I want to especially thank the co-chairs, VP and Dean Chuck Muscoplat and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean Joe Massey for assuming their leadership role. I’ve worked with both of them and they bring a lot of experience in multiple situations to the work of the task force. I have asked Richard Nelson to staff the task force because he really likes and is good at this work. Jody Horntvedt will help keep us on track and assist us in working with other groups to get their input. This process will take 5-6 months as you will hear during the discussion tomorrow on timelines.
I’m sure each one of you at sometime, when you are able to find time to think about this work, will ask the question, “Why are we, the University of Minnesota and UMC, doing this?” It’s a logical and important question. One answer might be because the Regents and the President have said so. While that’s true it won’t quite do. To me, the reason is contained in the first sentence of President Bruininks’ letter to the UMC community on April 6, 2005. He stated, “We are in the midst of a comprehensive positioning initiative to ensure the future excellence of the entire University of Minnesota system.” I am committed to that broad goal for UMC – to ensure its future excellence. Let me be clear that UMC needs to do this to be sure our programs and services meet the needs of students and serve the interest of the people of the region. If we have all the money we want and don’t meet that test UMC will not have a viable future.
The Regents and President have outlined an ambitious goal for the University of Minnesota – to be one of the top 3 public research universities in the world – How un-Minnesotan to say we want to be the best. Some would say if we were to name Lake Superior today, we would likely name it ‘Lake Pretty Good!’