Chapter 8

CRITERION FIVE: ENGAGEMENT AND SERVICE

 

As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways both value.

 

Like other contemporary organizations, an integral part of planning and strategy at UMD is identifying its most important internal and external constituencies.  Clearly, undergraduate students are its primary internal constituents, but UMD also recognizes graduate students, faculty, and staff as being important internal constituent groups as well.  While the current UMD mission does not explicitly identify internal constituent groups, most members of the UMD campus community understand and agree it refers to and implies that the groups identified in the preceding sentence comprise the organization’s internal constituents.  Most of the information presented in Chapter 6 for Criterion Three and in Chapter 7 for Criterion Four described and discussed how various programs  and activities at UMD serve the organization’s internal constituents.  The narrative for Criterion Three primarily addresses how UMD provides an effective learning and teaching environment for students and faculty.  The narrative for Criterion Four primarily addresses how UMD promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff, and students.  Therefore, those areas will not be covered again in detail in this chapter.

 

The chapter does include some reference to and examples of how UMD serves the non-academic needs of its students and some of the general needs of faculty and staff.  However, the primary focus of the chapter is on the organization’s external constituents, to which there are some direct references in the current UMD mission.  For example, the initial sentence of the mission states that “UMD serves northern Minnesota, the state, and the nation,” the second sentence notes that “its faculty recognizes the importance of scholarship and service,” and the second sentence of the second paragraph identifies “community service” as one of the active learning modes for students that promotes the development of skills, critical thinking, and maturity sought by society.  More explicitly, the sentence that is the third paragraph states:  “The campus contributes to meeting the cultural needs of the region and serves as a focal point for the economic development of the region through community outreach and through emphasis on the sea-grant and land-grant components of its program.”

 

As described in Chapter 2, the Introduction section of the report, the programs and activities at UMD are carried out by units that are administratively located in one of the following four broad functional areas, each headed by a vice chancellor:  academic administration (VCAA), academic support and student life (VCASSL), finance and operations (VCFO), and university relations (VCUR).  The primary source of information provided in response to this chapter was an informal survey of vice chancellors, deans, and associate deans asking them to identify the primary constituents of their areas and units, how they learn the needs and expectations of these constituents, how they analyze the capacity of their area or unit to serve the needs and expectations of these constituencies, and examples of how their area or unit has responded to meeting constituents’ needs and expectations.  The sections that follow for each of the core components of this criterion generally present information as it was gathered, by vice chancellor area.

 

 

Core Component 5a:

The organization learns from the constituencies it serves and analyzes its capacity to serve their needs and expectations.

 

UMD learns from both its internal and external constituencies and continually analyzes its capacity to serve their needs and expectations.  Information about and examples of how the organization learns from its constituencies are presented in the next sections.  The process of analyzing capacity and making decisions on how to meet needs and expectations is consistent for all UMD units.  Essentially, decisions on who to serve and how to serve them are determined by a number of variables, including but not limited to perceived demand or need; congruence with UMD’s mission, strengths, and initiatives; determination of which programs and activities provide the most benefit for the constituents and UMD; availability of financial and other resources; and general cost effectiveness and sustainability of meeting the needs and expectations.

 

Learning from Internal Constituents—Students

Most of the information about the needs and expectations of UMD’s internal constituencies is gathered by units within one of the vice chancellor areas or in the vice chancellor office itself.  However, as part of the governance system which involves all of the vice chancellor areas, student representatives on the standing committees of the UMD Campus Assembly have opportunity to provide input from the student perspective.  Also, members of the executive group of the UMD Student Association (SA), the “official voice of the student body,” meet on a regular basis with UMD administrators to provide feedback on issues and concerns.   Also, the University-wide 2007 Student Experiences Survey  (SES) which has been described and discussed in previous chapters, solicited information from students about their satisfaction with areas that cross vice chancellor lines.  Review and analysis of the findings for UMD students from the most recent SES as well as similar student satisfaction surveys conducted previously provide valuable feedback and one of the best opportunities to learn from this important group of internal constituents.

 

The following sections provide examples of how some of the units in three of the vice chancellor areas work to learn about student needs and expectations where it is appropriate to do so for planning their activities and programs.  The VCUR is not included here because the units in that area do not rely on student feedback at the level of the other three vice chancellor areas.

           

VCAA.  Some of the most important sources of information related to learning about students’ academic needs and expectations have been identified and discussed in previous sections of the report.  For example, course evaluations completed by students provide feedback to faculty members which is used to change course structure and delivery as deemed appropriate.  Information Technology Systems and Services (ITSS) conducts a number of different student surveys and collects data on student use to help make decisions related to equipment and software purchase, computer lab operation, and student training and information programs.   Student members of collegiate unit senates and governance committees provide input from the student perspective to the five collegiate units.  And, informal communication with faculty advisors and instructors is always a source rich with information about student needs.

 

VCASSL.  The missions and activities of units in the VCASSL area are directly related to the overall VCASSL mission which is to “engage and support students’ active learning by enrolling students and providing co-curricular activities, academic support, financial assistance, career development and opportunities for growth.”  Except for Admissions, which focuses on prospective students and their parents, each of the VCASSL units has been established and operates primarily to serve the needs and expectations of current students.  The general functions and activities of almost all of the units are clearly identified by their titles which are listed in Figure 8.1, below.   Some of the units such as Health Services, Recreational and Outdoor Sports Programs, Student Life and First Year Experience, and the Tutoring Center in the Supportive Services Program conduct surveys to gather information about needs and expectations of students in the areas they serve.  Other units such as the Kirby Student Center and the Multicultural Learning Resource Centers rely heavily on student leaders to determine programs and activities that meet the needs and expectations of their peers.

 

 

 

 

The $13.2 million, 46,000 square foot Sports and Health Center (SpHC) facility which was opened at UMD in September 2006 provides a very visible example of how the organization learns from its constituents and determines its capacity to serve them.  This new facility was the direct result of a primarily student-led initiative.  The exercise and weight room facilities available to students prior to the new addition were woefully inadequate by every measure.  Frustrated with the lack of success in having their need for expanded space recognized for several years, students systematically collected data and information to verify the need, worked closely with Recreational and Outdoor Sports Programs (RSOP) staff and UMD administration to craft a proposal for a new facility, worked with local area legislators, and appeared before the Minnesota legislature to present their case. Through lots of hard work, the students who led the effort prepared and presented a solid case for the need for expanded facilities and then applied additional leverage for their case by getting Student Association leaders and the student body overall to agree to add a special student fee specifically designated to pay for a portion of the cost of a new facility to the overall student fee schedule. The opening of the beautiful, spacious new facility in fall 2006 was truly the culmination of a major undertaking by UMD students to document and communicate their need, working with RSOP staff and UMD administration to determine how best to prepare and have a new building request supported through the University capital planning system, and working with legislators to present their case and provide additional information as needed. 

 

The many programs and activities offered by Kirby Student Center (KSC) are another example of how a UMD unit learns from its internal constituents and develops services to meet their needs. The KSC mission is “to maintain facilities, provide services, and promote programs that are responsive to student developmental needs and to the physical, social and recreational and continuing educational needs of the campus community.” Anyone who has ever attended or worked for even a semester at UMD is familiar with KSC’s location and the fact it is the “heart” of student activity on campus. As indicated at its web site, “whether you’d like to join a student organization, search for a place to live off-campus, find a late night Kirby concert to attend, or sign up for the UMD Leadership institute,” KSC is the place to begin. The links at the KSC homepage to “Late Night Kirby,” “Kirby Leadership Institute,” “Off-Campus Housing,” “Facilities/Services,” “Student Organizations,” and “Student Awards” are indicative of the type of programs and services is provides to members of the campus community.

 

VCFO.  The first sentence of the mission statement at the VCFO web site states that:
“The mission of Finance and Operations is to provide quality administrative, operational services, and modern and clean facilities in support of the teaching, learning, research, and outreach mission of UMD.” The mission and activities of each of the VCFO operational units listed below involves working directly with students in some way. 

 

 

Figure 8.2

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations

Operational Units

 

Business Office

Campus Police

Auxiliary Services

Facilities Management

Department of Human Resources

 

 

 

The level of direct contact and work with students varies for each of the VCFO units. Units and staff in Auxiliary Services have the most direct contact and work with students. These units include UMD Food Services, UMD Housing and Residence Life, UMD Stores, Parking Services, Print Services, and Trademark Licensing.  Each of these Auxiliary Services units is self-supporting with revenue coming from sales of goods and/or services, mainly to students for Food Services, Housing and Residence Life, UMD Stores, and Parking Services. These units continually solicit student feedback to help assess student demand for the goods and services involved. Among the VCFO units with the most student contact, Auxiliary Services and Facilities Management conduct constituent evaluations of their services; and within the past year, the VCFO has completed broader evaluations for the directors of those two areas plus the Business Office that included requests for input from both internal and external constituencies.

 

Learning from Internal Constituents—Faculty and Staff

UMD learns about the needs and concerns of its faculty and staff constituents in a variety of ways.  As described previously in a section titled Committees and Bargaining Units in Chapter 2 of this report, faculty, civil service staff, and several other staff groups are members of collective bargaining units at UMD.  Needs and concerns of these groups are identified as part of the meet and confer and periodic contract negotiations process.  As is true for students, faculty and staff representatives working with administrators and students on committees of the UMD Campus Assembly also provide input from their perspective as part of the campus governance system.  More generally, the Pulse Survey is a biennial employee satisfaction survey commissioned by the University's central administration and conducted in partnership with the Human Resources Research Institute in the Carlson School of Management. The survey asks a variety of questions about employees' (faculty and staff) job experiences and attitudes related to their jobs, departments, and the University.  Overall findings of the survey as well as findings by campus were provided to all members of the University community for review and consideration.  The following sections provides examples of how information is gathered to learn about faculty and staff needs and expectations.

 

VCAA.   A number of the programs developed and offered to meet needs identified by faculty and staff were described in the two previous chapters.  Examples of some of these include the Instructional Development Services (IDS) and the many technology resources for faculty and staff and individual help provided by Information Technology Systems and Services (ITSS) staff to enhance teaching and learning. Other examples are the programs providing for faculty professional development leaves, professional development leaves for P&A employees, administrative transitional leaves, the Regents Scholarship, and the various Graduate School faculty grants and awards programs.  All of these are based on perceived need identified by faculty and staff through collective bargaining processes, University Senate actions, or less formal communication and proposals to UMD administrators.

 

VCFO.   As noted above, the VCFO mission is generally to provide administrative and operational services and modern and clean facilities to support the teaching, learning, research, and outreach activities and mission of UMD.  The Business Office, Facilities Management, and Human Resources units all work directly with faculty and staff to determine their needs and expectations.  This occurs through informal communication with faculty and staff from units across the campus, the development and use of procedures for requesting service, completion of user surveys to determine levels of satisfaction with current services and solicit suggestions for additional services to be provided, and periodic evaluations of the directors of VCFO units that include requests for input from both internal and external constituencies.

 

VCUR.  The Publications Office in the university relations area “is responsible for producing a number of official communications pieces for the campus and for providing professional advice to other departments.”   Faculty and staff are the major contributors of announcements and other information that makes up the content of Currents, the newsletter for faculty and staff at UMD, which is produced by the Publications Office.  Therefore, these groups are directly involved in determining what content meets their needs and expectations.     Additionally, input and contributions from faculty and staff are used as part of some of the publications intended for external constituents such as alumni and donors; however, faculty and staff are not the primary audience for these publications.

 

Learning from External Constituencies

Based on information provided by each of the vice chancellors, it is clear that one of the primary vehicles for learning about needs and expectations from external constituencies at UMD is the use of advisory groups. This is also true at UMD’s highest level. The chancellor has established and meets periodically with the Chancellor's Council, currently comprised of 11 business and community leaders and alumni. The groups working with units in each of the vice chancellor areas have varying titles, are comprised of individuals who are members of the constituent groups being served by the program or unit, meet periodically with unit leaders to learn about activities and plans of the unit involved, and are asked to provide feedback and opinion on a range of issues.  And, as will be described in the sections of Core Component 5c, the advice provided by these groups is taken seriously as evidenced by changes that have occurred based on the feedback given.  A relatively recent development directly related to UMD’s commitment to civic engagement and service to the community was the establishment of the Office of Civic Engagement, which will be discussed in the following sections.  Similar to the preceding sections for internal constituents, discussion and examples of how some of the units in each of the vice chancellor areas work to learn about external constituent needs and expectations follow.

 

VCAA.  UMD’s academic programs have many external constituents.  However, those who benefit most directly and are considered the primary external constituent groups of the academic degree programs include employers of graduates; professional and graduate schools; and citizens and organizations in the Duluth area, northern Minnesota, and throughout the state and nation who benefit from future contributions made to the general economic and social good by UMD graduates.  Additionally, the many cultural programs and activities provided by units in the School of Fine Arts (SFA) provide cultural enrichment for constituents in the region.  Units in the VCAA area also serve a variety of external constituents through their research activities.  Primary constituents for the research component include groups who award sponsored funds to UMD researchers to complete projects meeting the funders’ criteria, organizations and governmental agencies who use research findings, and the citizens of the state, nation, and world who derive economic and social benefit from the user organizations and governmental agencies.

 

As noted above, the primary source of information from external constituents for units in the VCAA area are advisory groups with varying titles, but all consisting of individuals who represent the various constituent groups who have a stake in the activities of the units or programs involved.  In addition to the advisory groups at the collegiate level, there are such groups working with individual departments, centers, and other units.  While there are far too many to include here, the following list identifies some examples from each of the collegiate units.

 

College of Education and Human Service Professions (CEHSP)

  • Community Advisory Council on Teacher Education
  • Physical Education Teacher Education Advisory Board
  • Department of Social Work Advisory Committee
  • Community Advisory Committee, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Gekinoo’imaagejig White Earth Teacher Training and Maawanji’idiwag Unified Early Childhood Program
  • American Indian Community Advisory Council for American Indian projects in Social Work

 

College of Liberal Arts (CLA)

  • Advisory Board of the Alworth Institute
  • Baeumler-Kaplan Holocaust Commemoration Advisory Board
  • Center for Genocide, Holocaust, and Human Rights Studies Advisory Board
  • Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership Advisory Board
  • Women’s Studies Advisory Board

 

Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE)

  • LSBE Board of Advisors
  • LSBE Accounting Advisory Board
  • Center for Economic Development Advsiory Board
  • LSBE Financial Markets Program Board of Advisory
  • LSBE Financial Markets Program Investment Oversight Committee

 

Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE)

  • SCSE External Advisory Board
  • Departmental Advisory Boards
  • Computer Science
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

 

School of Fine Arts (SFA)

  • Friends of Sieur Du Luth (advisory for Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival)
  • Glensheen Advisory Board (Glensheen is the historic Congdon estate home)
  • Tweed Museum of Art Advisory Board

 

Research units in the VCAA area such as the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) and Minnesota Sea Grant also have advisory groups.

 

In addition to working with the many advisory groups, units and individuals in the VCAA area learn from external constituents through feedback on employer, alumni, and other surveys; from internship site supervisors; and from accreditation or other program reviews.  Faculty and staff who participate in professional and service organizations, serve on external boards,  and work as formal or informal consultants to organizations and government agencies in the community, region, state, and nation also learn from members of those groups.  Finally, faculty and staff learn informally from personal contacts and networking with members of constituent groups.

 

VCASSL:  While the primary focus of VCASSL units is on student constituents, some of them also have close ties and work with external constituents.  For example, Admissions works with external constituents such as prospective students and their parents and guidance counselors in the secondary schools.  Admissions staff use all of the following as opportunities to communicate with and learn from these constituent groups:  interactions with parents and prospective students at orientation sessions held during campus visits, telephone calls, a prospective student portal, the Admissions web site, point of service evaluations, recruiting events and personal contacts.Career Services works closely with employers, and alumni who use career services are surveyed annually. Health Services works with other community health care providers; and the Kirby Service Center works with community and organizational groups who schedule and use facilities for conferences, meetings, and other activities. Staff from these units all work directly with their external constituent groups to learn of their needs and expectations.

 

VCFO:  VCFO area units focus on two types of external constituencies.  On the micro level, they consider their constituencies to be those who may be impacted by the services they provide including construction management, housing, parking, and human resources.  In addition to the campus community, the “neighbors” in the community surrounding the campus as well as the broader Duluth community and the business community are external constituencies at this level.  In a broader sense, external VCFO constituencies include legislators, city and business leaders, and the general business community.  The interests of these groups are less focused on the activities that occur within the VCFO area than on the impact the macro or executive campus decisions have on the broader economic and social environment of the community, region, and state.

 

While most of the academic units use advisory groups to seek external constituent input, given the role they play, VCFO units have found it more effective to become actively involved in community organizations that have a vested interest in the success and direction of UMD.  Examples include assuming leadership roles in the Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Benedictine Health System and St. Mary’s Hospital, and the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.  Regular meetings with the mayor of Duluth, superintendent of Duluth Public Schools, and other community leaders ensure that the channels of communication between the community and UMD remain open, and easily accessible.  This type of participation builds a network of relationships, many with long histories, which can be beneficial in assisting UMD to meet the needs and expectations of the community and ensures community support for UMD-based initiatives within the University as well as at the legislature.

 

In addition to the preceding, for the past 20 years VCFO units have had an annual “neighborhood meeting” each fall shortly after the start of classes.  Typically attended by 50-100 neighbors, the meetings consist of short reports related to activities or programs that have potential to impact the campus neighborhood; and the question and answer session which is a key component of these meetings is used as a vehicle for obtaining constituent input. VCFO unit staff also work with the UMDSA’s “Better Neighbors Program,” which was started five years ago. This program is coordinated by students, and the goal is to have one student identified as a “Better Neighbor” on every block in the communities around the UMD campus. The student “Better Neighbor” serves as a bridging point between neighborhood issues and the students. “Campus Neighbors” is related to the student “Better Neighbor” program but involves community groups hosting receptions for new students in their neighborhoods each fall, with the costs being reimbursed by VCFO. For the broader constituencies, VCFO and the campus annual host a meeting with the northeastern Minnesota legislative delegation to discuss issues of common concern. And, the VCFO generally monitors legislative activities and coordinates participation of UMD staff and faculty in legislative activities such testimony at committee hearings and providing data and position papers on subjects relevant to the campus.

 

VCUR:  The units in the VCUR area include the Alumni Relations Office, Development Office, Public Relations Office, Publications Office, Photography, and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. The primary external constituencies of these units include alumni, donors, the general public, and athletic program supporters.

 

Appropriately, the thing that probably first catches the attention of most visitors to the Alumni Association web site is the continuously changing area that includes the words “We Engage, Connect & Celebrate Alumni & Friends.” Serving as a liaison between UMD and its more than 50,000 graduates, the goal of the association is “to be a valuable and meaningful resource for UMD graduates and the University.” The Alumni Association Advisory Board of Directors is the primary source of feedback from this important external constituent group to UMD. The board meets four times per year, twice in Duluth and twice in the Twin Cities area. 

 

The Director of Development and her staff “provide information, services and giving opportunities which support the university while fostering a relationship of goodwill and understanding with UMD alumni, the community and beyond. They work closely with the Chancellor, deans, and other unit heads when contacting and communicating with donors and prospective donors, including representatives of foundations and corporations, to determine the wishes of those making the contributions to promote excellence at UMD. Information on the high level of success of the Development Office was presented in Chapter 5.

 

The Publications Office assists other UMD units that produce publications for external audiences; therefore, it works more directly with internal UMD constituents who learn from their external constituents prior to preparing publications. The major function of the Public Relations Office is to “serve as UMD’s official news service providing news and information to the media and the general public regarding UMD issues, programs, projects, people, and special events.”  Representatives of the media groups are both constituents and vehicles for delivering news to the ultimate external constituent of news about UMD, the general public. Direct feedback from media representatives and the general public is the primary source of learning about needs and expectations of these groups. 

Finally, the Bulldog Club is a major source of feedback from UMD athletic program supporters to the director and staff of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.  The Club “is an all-encompassing organization dedicated to providing advice, assistance, financial support, fan support, and community leadership to the UMD Intercollegiate Athletic Program.”  A board of trustees made up of people who reflect the diverse nature of UMD athletics heads the Bulldog Club.  This groups interacts most directly and regularly with the athletic director and athletic program staff to provide feedback.

Summary of Component 5a

In addition to its important internal student, faculty, and staff internal constituents, UMD has identified a broad array of external constituents.  Some of UMD’s primary external constituent groups include prospective students, parents of prospective and current students, employers, business and service organizations, government agencies and legislative groups, members of the local community, and the general public

 

One of the primary methods of learning about needs and expectations of the external constituent groups at UMD is establishment of and working with an advisory group consisting of individuals who represent the various constituent groups who have a stake in the activities of the units or programs involved. Some of the other sources used for learning from external constituents include feedback on employer, alumni, and other surveys; feedback from internship site supervisors; and feedback from accreditation or other program reviews.  Informal learning also occurs as faculty and staff work in various ways with professional and service organizations, serve on external boards, and work as formal or informal consultants to organizations and government agencies in the community, region, state, and nation also learn from members of those groups.

 

The process of analyzing capacity and making decisions on how to meet needs and expectations is generally consistent across UMD units.  Essentially, decisions on who to serve and how to serve them are determined by a number of variables, including but not limited to perceived demand or need; congruence with UMD’s mission, strengths, and initiatives; determination of which programs and activities provide the most benefit for the constituents and UMD; availability of financial and other resources; and general cost effectiveness and sustainability of meeting the needs and expectations.         

 

 

Core Component 5b:

The organization has the capacity and the commitment to engage with its identified constituencies and communities.

 

 

From its beginning in 1947, UMD has consistently demonstrated it has the capacity and the commitment to engage with its identified constituencies and communities. As the programs and activities on the campus have expanded, so too has the capacity and commitment to engage with constituents. The following sections will identify and describe some of the ways the organization engages and works with constituents. However, the narrative will refer to “commitment to provide services to its identified constituencies” rather than “commitment to engage with its identified constituencies and communities,” since that vocabulary is more congruent with UMD vocabulary and terminology used in this area. The content presented for this core component is arranged similar to that for the preceding component.  Examples of services provided to internal constituencies by units from each vice chancellor area will be presented first followed by examples of services from vice chancellor areas to external constituencies.

 

Internal Constituents—Students

UMD’s major service to students is evidenced, of course, by the commitment of resources to provide the current array of academic programs leading to the granting of degrees.  Details related to teaching and learning and other activities related to the delivery of these programs were presented in Chapter 6.  Some other examples of ways UMD has demonstrated its commitment to students are presented in the next sections.

 

VCAA.  As noted above and in other places previously, the core operation of providing degree programs and all of the activities directly related to doing so is the primary function of the academic administration area. ITSS and the library, two other academic administration units, provide major support for the teaching and learning activities. Details about both of these units were provided in previous chapters and are available in the Institutional Snapshot. Also, although not part of the traditional teaching and learning activities, each of the collegiate units has a student affairs office and staff who provide many types of assistance and advisement to students. Finally, the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), which provides students an opportunity to learn while working independently with a faculty member outside of a scheduled class, is sponsored and administered by VCAA at UMD. The presence and operation of these programs, units, and activities are evidence UMD has the capacity and commitment to provide services that meet student needs outside of the traditional teaching and learning area. 

 

VCASSL.  As stated above for Core Component 5a, given its mission and the work done by the units and staff, this area is appropriately named academic support and student life.  The names of the units with hyperlinks to their web sites are included in Figure 8.1.  Again, the presence and operations of these units are evidence of capacity and commitment to provide services to student constituents.  The more detailed description of the two units that follows provides more detailed evidence of commitment to students.

 

UMD Health Services (HS) provides students the opportunity to develop healthy personal lifestyles, help insure their retention at UMD, and contribute to the overall excellence of their total educational experience. This accomplished this through three processes:  medical, counseling, and health education. HS aligned with the ASSL area in developing the “Molly Scenario” such that the clinic flow and the physical facility were developed from the point of view of the student from the time the student enters the door. HS uses several means to continue to determine students needs: an annual survey of students using Health Services and a twice a year survey for students counseling, a survey that goes to a random population of all students (using the National College Health Assessment Survey or some other specially designed survey), feedback from a student advisory group, and HS staff professional judgment, as informed by national conventions, the HS accreditation body, and professional list serves. Students report positive outcomes for healthcare concerns, high quality of care, and support for their ability to succeed academically. Last year HS participated in a special College Student Health Survey of 14 Minnesota Colleges and Universities.  Suggestion forms from students using HS service give real time feedback on processes and on things that go wrong. The director researches the origin of the complaints, speaks with staff, looks for solutions, responds to the student, and brings the complaint and the response to the management team and the student advisory group for review. 

 

UMD Recreational Sports and Outdoor Programs (RSOP) is dedicated to promoting healthy, active lifestyles and connections to the natural world through personal and professional experiences. The current RSOP fiscal year budget is just under $1.3 million. Approximately 60% of the budget comes from student fees; the remainder is generated through program income and user fees. In fall 2007 there were 13 full-time and one part-time professional staff members in RSOP; the majority of the programming staff are also instructors for the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.  In addition to the professional staff, RSOP employs about 200 students fall and spring semesters. The students work as lifeguards, intramural officials, climbing instructors, personal trainers, facility supervisors, clerical and registration staff and rental center staff. The work and student supervision in most of these positions is structured so the student employees gain personal confidence, communication and leadership skills, and other transferable skills and knowledge. Findings of research conducted by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association [NIRSA] indicate the presence of strong recreational and outdoor programs is positively correlated to student matriculation; and student involvement in such programs increases positive feelings about the learning environment, aids the integration of students into the social community of the campus, and enhances student educational and developmental outcomes. Those outcomes include enhanced retention, higher grade point averages, greater student satisfaction with the overall college experience, and many other physical and intellectual benefits.  Staff and student employees work hard to use the resources committed to RSOP to provide programs and activities and an overall environment that will result in achieving such results at UMD.

 

VCFO.  Information presented above for Core Component 5a noted that VCFO units all work directly with students in some way. However, one of the most important of these units is UMD Housing and Residence Life which oversees the operation of UMD’s residential facilities. A link to an overview of UMD housing facilities, links to information about each of the facilities, and links to other information related to residential living at UMD are available at the unit web site.

 

While its work and activities do not usually involve students directly, except for those employed by the unit, some of the operations of the Facilities Management (FM) unit are particularly important for creating and maintaining a positive learning environment for students. During fall 2007, members of the Buildings and Grounds Division of FM were responsible for maintaining over 50 buildings with roughly 2.9 million square feet on 244 acres and outlying facilities at four other sites.  A list of services provided by FM is available at its web site.  Staff from this unit provide custodial services for all academic and support areas at UMD.  The grounds and fleet services unit is responsible for maintaining the safety and appearance of the grounds, sports fields, natural areas, streets, and sidewalks at UMD.  Primary services are landscape installation and maintenance and snow and ice control.  About 75 students are employed in the custodial area and 50 students in the grounds and fleet services area each year. Maintaining the physical environment of the campus to positively support teaching and learning and support activities is another example of meeting student expectations at UMD.

 

VCUR.  VCUR units have the least direct contact and work with students of any of the vice chancellor areas.  However, the outstanding job of fundraising done by the Development Office has provided a large increase in the amount of scholarship support available to UMD students in recent years.  Information related to this activity was provided in Chapter 5 and is available at the end of this document.

 

Internal Constituents—Faculty and Staff

One of the most recent examples of UMD’s commitment to serve faculty and staff is the opening of the UMD Employee Health and Wellness Center (EHWC) on campus at the end of November 2007. The UMD EHWC is the result of a collaborative effort by the University Employee Wellness Program, UMD Department of Human Resources, UMD Health Services, and UMD College of Pharmacy, Duluth. EHWC services are available to all individuals who are in the UPlan Employee Medical Program, including active employees, early retirees, disabled participants, and spouses. The services provided by EHWC include a Quick Care Clinic, Medication Therapy Management Clinic, and UPlan Health Coaching.

 

Some of the information and examples presented in the previous section identifying commitments UMD has made to providing services to meet expectations of students are applicable to faculty and staff internal constituents also. For example, all of the programs and services provided by VCAA units to support the education of students are also commitments to faculty and staff who do the teaching in and administration of the education programs.  Similarly, the facilities and programs of RSOP from the VCASSL area are available to faculty and staff. Given the commitments to services and programs for students are generally also of value to faculty and staff, the following sections provide only some additional examples from the VCFO and VCUR areas.

 

VCFO.  Clearly, the services provided by the Building and Grounds Division of Facilities Management described for students, are applicable to faculty and staff.  In addition, Facilities Management units provide mailroom and mail delivery service to meet an important daily need of faculty and staff across the campus; a maintenance program for major campus utilities and infrastructure on campus; and project management staff to coordinate major construction and remodelling projects. The services provided by each of these units represent a commitment to providing a supportive work environment for faculty and staff.  Another area that is easily overlooked is the administrative support provided to faculty and staff by the UMD Business Office.  As stated at its web site, the mission of this office "is to support the overall budget of the campus by providing the accounting, financial information, reporting services and collections needed by the University as a whole and UMD specifically.” A final example of UMD and the University’s commitment to providing needed services to faculty and staff is the establishment of and commitment of resources to operate the UMD Department of Human Resources. The links on the department’s homepage to the many services and programs offered verify that this unit is meeting a variety of high-priority needs of faculty and staff. 

 

VCUR.  As noted previously, the Publications Office of VCUR publishes Currents, the newsletter for faculty and staff at UMD, which is available electronically or in hard copy to all faculty and staff members biweekly throughout the academic year. Additionally, the Public Relations Office serves as the link between those at UMD who wish to do formal news releases and the news media. While relatively few of the faculty and staff have need for this service, the chancellor, vice-chancellors, and other administrative leaders at UMD who wish to communicate to the general public work through this office to do so.

 

External Constituents

The following examples of programs, activities, and services provide evidence that UMD is responsive to its external constituencies.

 

VCAA.  A number of the programs and services provided to external constituents such as internships and contributions to professional and civic organizations by faculty and staff have been described previously. The following paragraphs provide information about other areas, including continuing education, research programs, outreach units, and the office of civic engagement.

 

The mission of Continuing Education (CE)is to innovate and create opportunities for continuous learning through the resources of the University of Minnesota Duluth.” As noted in the response to the 1997 NCA visit team’s concern about the lack of clarity in the role and mission of University College, there has been considerable change in this unit.  The name has changed, it is now a UMD entity, and its programs and services are clearly identified. As noted in the information available from the “About Us” link at its homepage, CE is committed to making higher education at UMD available, accessible, and convenient for nontraditional students.  Serving as a “bridge” to UMD for nontraditional students, CE provides opportunities to complete selected certificate and degree programs, professional development programs, and a wide range of other activities and services. While CE offers courses that fulfill degree requirements and in some cases complete degree programs, this is not the major focus of CE programming. As indicated by the names of the program areas and specific programs below, CE is committed to offering many different types of opportunities for continuing education to UMD’s external constituents. The links to these programs lead to more detailed information.

 

 

 

Information about the work of the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), Minnesota Sea Grant Program, and Large Lakes Observatory (LLO) was presented in the previous chapter. As reported there, the mission of all of these units is to be directly involved with external constituents.  Information about the types of research and outreach programs they provide is available at the web sites for each. The establishment of these units and their continued record of providing research findings and other services to the local, state, national, and international communities is evidence of UMD’s capacity and commitment to provide programs and services that meet the needs of its external constituents.

 

In addition to NRRI, Sea Grant, and LLO, UMD has established a number of other centers, institutes, and research labs that work directly with and provide services of various types to external constituents. Two of the most recognized of these units in the local, regional, and state business and government sectors are the UMD Center for Economic Development (CED) and the Bureau of Business and Economics Research (BBER).  The CED is a joint program of the Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE), NRRI, and the Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE).  As stated at its web site homepage, CED’s mission is “to assist entrepreneurs and businesses to grow and succeed,” and its vision is to strengthen “the viability of the region as a recognized leader in small business and entrepreneurial development.” Again, perhaps the best way to get an overview of the CED’s capacity and commitment to providing service to an important external constituent group of UMD is to check the following list of programs, services, and activities that appear on the CED web site homepage

 

Consulting Programs

 

 

Workshops & Events

 

 

Resources & Services

 

 

The Bureau of Business and Economics Research (BBER) web site states that BBER works for students, alumni, and the region as a whole, and has three distinct functions:

  • To collect, analyze, and disseminate information regarding the economy of Duluth, Northeast Minnesota, and the State of Minnesota;
  • To provide specific research to identify economic problems and opportunities in Minnesota; and
  • To act as a catalyst which generates research from faculty, staff and students within the School.

 

BBER is funded by a special appropriation of the Minnesota Legislature, private contracts, and research grants.  The listing of and links to BBER funded research recently completed and currently in progress and to sources of information on the local and regional economy provide examples of the types of service external constituents receive from the Bureau.

 

UMD has made civic engagement a priority. As a part of its commitment to this initiative, UMD joined the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) American Democracy Project (ADP) in 2004. This project is a nationwide multi-campus initiative that seeks to increase the number of students who understand and are committed to engaging in lifetime meaningful civic actions. ADP objectives include initiating new projects, courses and teaching strategies, extracurricular programs, and other programs to increase civic engagement in colleges and universities. In order to promote and coordinate civic engagement activities, an Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) was created with a full-time director. An advisory committee was formed to guide civic engagement activities across the campus. A small reading group was formed in 2004 to study issues regarding how students participate in society. Reading groups have met in each of the succeeding years and have now evolved into two action groups, one focused on citizenship and elections and the other focused on the environment and sustainability issues. These groups, whose participants include faculty and staff from over 35 different departments and programs across campus, meet monthly to discuss the theory and practice of civic engagement as well as how to encourage civic engagement activities at UMD. For the past three years mini-grants have been awarded annually as a means to encourage faculty to promote civic engagement in their curriculum. To date the Office of Civic Engagement has awarded nearly $30,000 in mini grants to 28 faculty from 12 departments across campus.

 

In 2007, the Director of the UMD Office of Civic Engagement received the Minnesota Campus Compact Sister Pat Kowalksi Leadership award and the YMCA Building Strong Kids award. These awards are in recognition of extraordinary commitment to campus-community collaboration and service-learning. The Sister Pat Kowalski Leadership Award is presented every two years by the Minnesota Campus Compact program to "a recipient who demonstrates commitment to high-quality service-learning and campus-community collaboration, success at building strategic, long-term partnerships with communities, and positive impact on both the community and the educational institution."

 

As noted in the information at the “About Us” link from the its homepage, the current OCE programs were originally a part of a nonprofit organization.  The office and staff are now housed physically and administratively in the College of Education and Human Service Professions (CEHSP).  OCE  staff work with a number of different faculty and staff on campus as well as many different community organizations and agencies as they coordinate the all-volunteer services provided to Duluth and local communities. The “About Us” information states that the mission of OCE is “to create a campus of citizens who are civically aware, skilled and committed to act for the public good” and that the mission is accomplished through “curricular and co-curricular activities that create opportunities for citizens to find a meaningful role in their local, regional, national, and international communities.” Data provided for “program accomplishments” at this same location indicate that during the 2006-2007 school year a total of 1,751 volunteers worked at 93 sites and provided 48,476 hours of direct service to the community. Thus, the OCE is also an example of the commitment UMD is making to providing services to external constituents.

 

VCASSL.  As noted previously, given its work and communication with prospective students and their families, the Office of Admissions is the ASSL unit most involved in serving an external constituency. Its web site states that “Admissions provides prospective college students and their families with the information, experiences, personal attention, and timely, quality service needed to make an informed, appropriate college choice.”  A relatively long list of ways admissions staff communicate and work with prospective students and their families was identified for Core Component 5a, above. The Admissions homepage also provides links to information about many of the services available to prospective students and their families. For example, anyone can submit a question using the virtual advisor link, information about scheduling a campus visit can be found using the Visit UMD link, and there is a link to information specifically designed for parents and family. There are also links to other information of importance to external groups such as the links for Transfer Students and International Students.

 

Much of the work of Career Services staff is with internal, student constituents. However, as pointed out previously, they also have a commitment to serving the external group of employers who ultimately hire UMD graduates. The Employer link at the Career Services homepage leads to information on a variety of opportunities for employers to connect with students, faculty, and Career Services staff.

 

VCFO.  Again, some of the VCFO programs and services provided for external constituents were described previously. The annual fall neighborhood meetings, the “Better Neighbors Program,” and the active participation by VCFO staff in professional and community groups are some examples. Additionally, the Facilities Management (FM) and Business Office units provide customer service to contractors and vendors who provide goods and services to UMD.  For example, over $9 million of products and services are purchased by the FM purchasing unit annually. Other examples of external constituent services from VCFO units include a catering service from UMD Auxiliary Services and the sale of UMD clothing and other items by the UMD Stores.

 

VCUR.  As implied by its title, the university relations area is directly involved in providing a number of services to external constituents.  Some information related to the functions of units in the VCUR area were provided previously.  For example, it has been noted that, as its name implies, the focus of the Alumni Relations Office is serving as a liaison between UMD and its more than 50,000 graduates while encouraging them to stay connected to each other and their alma mater. The Public Relations Office serves as UMD’s official news service to communicate with the media and general public.  In addition, the Publications Office produces publications targeted primarily to off-campus audiences. Examples are Bridge Magazine and, in collaboration with other University Relations offices, UMD View.  It also works to provide information on campus news and events to the general public and with other UMD units to aid in publication of items they produce.

 

A great example of UMD’s connection and commitment to the greater Duluth community is the loyal and supporting fans of the Bulldog athletic teams and other program activities. A major purpose of the UMD intercollegiate athletic program is to facilitate the personal growth and education of young men and women through their participation in NCAA Division I (hockey) and Division II (all other teams) athletics. However, the administration and staff of the UMD Department of Intercollegiate Athletics (Athletics) and all members of the UMD campus community also recognize and appreciate that athletic and other events organized by the department provide opportunities for UMD to build positive relationships throughout the campus and with Duluth and surrounding community at large.  The athletic program operates on an overall budget of just over $7 million, has approximately 500 student athletes participating in 16 sports, and employs over 40 full time staff members including coaches, administration, and support staff.

 

UMD’s Division II athletic teams currently compete in the highly competitive North Central Conference. The women’s volleyball, softball, and tennis teams all participated in 2006-2007 NCAA Division II National Tournaments. The 2007 women’s volleyball team was ranked Number #1 in the country and hosted the regional NCAA Division II Tournament. The NCAA Division I hockey teams participate in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The UMD women’s hockey team qualified for the NCAA Division I national championship and finished as national runner-up in 2007. Over the past four years, eight different UMD sports teams qualified for NCAA post season play. Members of the UMD campus community believe the successes of the athletic program help create a greater student interest in UMD programs and activities overall and a greater sense of UMD pride for everyone associated with the campus in any way.

 

In addition to providing ticketed athletic events to interested community spectators, the department is committed to serving the external community in several other ways. For example, the department has nearly 2,000 youth participate in clinics and camps annually, and over 1,000 community members and alumni provide direct support to the department through attendance at fund raising or special events annually.  In 2007-2008 there will be over 90 home intercollegiate athletic events, 29 camps and clinics, and several community-based fund raising events. UMD student athletes are also active in various community service projects throughout the greater Duluth community (Adopt-a-Highway, Mentor Duluth, MDA Telethon, Duluth Elementary School Partnership, Duluth Elementary School Partnership, ALS Summer Fishing Tournament).

 

 

Summary of Component 5b

UMD’s capacity and commitment to provide services to its constituencies are extensive, as the preceding examples indicate.  Moreover, the discussion describes only a sample of the many ways UMD has committed its resources to providing services to its internal and many external constituencies.  There are many additional examples of how UMD is committed to serving those who depend on it for services, however, it is not feasible to attempt to list them all in this report.

 

 

Core Component 5c: 

The organization demonstrates its responsiveness to those constituencies that depend on it for service.

 

 

Similar to what was true for the preceding core component, the narrative for this core component will discuss and identify types of “service or services” provided to constituencies that depend on UMD.  Further, the narrative for the two previous sections has presented a good deal of discussion and examples of services provided for UMD’s internal student, faculty, and staff constituents; so further commentary related to internal constituents would be repetitive.  Thus the following sections will only discuss and present examples of how UMD responds to external constituencies that depend on it for service.  Further, those preparing this report interpreted the call for information and examples for this Core Component to be similar to those for Core Component 5b.  Therefore, the sections below were prepared to avoid repeating examples from 5b.  The information presented will, instead, identify some additional examples of service provided to external constituencies and will also discuss changes made at UMD based on feedback from external constituents, an important part of responding to constituents.  Finally, as is true for the information provided for the two preceding core components, the information below is presented by vice chancellor area.  However, in general, the units in the academic administration area tend to have more active involvement with external constituents than is true for the other areas.  Therefore, most of the examples that follow are from academic units.

 

Vice Chancellor for Academic Administration (VCAA)

As stated in Chapter 5, American Indian education is one of UMD’s major initiatives, and this initiative is centered in units in the VCAA area. Given UMD’s location relatively near the tribal communities located in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, the resources committed to this initiative and the programs and activities carried out with American Indians in the region are evidence of the organization’s responsiveness to this special constituency that depends on it for service.  Information about two programs specifically targeted for this initiative to serve American Indians and their communities are described below. Other examples from collegiate units from the VCAA area demonstrating responsiveness to constituencies are also provided.

 

Eni-gikendaasoyang (Moving Toward Knowledge Together).  Information about Eni-gikendaasoyang (Moving Toward Knowledge Together), a major part of UMD’s American Indian initiative was presented in Chapter 5 for Criterion Two.  As noted there most of the programs and activities related to this the American Indian initiative are provided through the College of Education and Human Service Professions (CEHSP).  The narrative in Chapter 5 discussed programs and activities offered under the umbrella of Eni-gikendaasoyang (Moving Toward Knowledge Together), the Center for Indigenous Knowledge.   As noted there and at the Center’s web site, the Center supports degree programs serving Native populations, an institute of Indigenous knowledge, and efforts toward revitalization of the Ojibwe language.  The programs and activities of Eni-gikendaasoyang are developed, offered, and revised based on information provided by members of the tribal communities through advisory groups and by individual leaders and others in the schools and social agencies located in the communities.  Based on feedback and assessment of needs, efforts are currently underway to develop and offer two new programs: a Native mental health training program to train the next generation of Native chemical dependency and mental health professionals and an administrative licensure program to train school principals and superintendents, with a focus on training Native school administrators.

 

American Indian Projects (AIP)

In addition to the programs and activities offered under the Eni-gikendaasoyang umbrella, American Indian education is supported and provided through an American Indian Project (AIP) housed in the Department of Social Work, also a unit of CEHSP. AIP develops and oversees initiatives related to American Indians in the Master’s of Social Work (MSW) degree program, the only degree currently offered by the Department of Social Work.  AIP manages a U.S. Children’s Bureau grant, an Otto Bremer Foundation grant, and an American Indian component of the Department’s Title IV-E program. Links from the AIP homepage lead to information about programs, projects, grant work, and current programs. 

 

A strong compliment of American Indian faculty and staff in the department and MSW program deliver the AIP programs, conduct project research, and work with, advise, and mentor the ever-increasing population of American Indian students in the MSW program. On average, AIP consistently works with 20 American Indian MSW students who enroll at some time during an academic year. There were 9 American Indian graduates from the MSW program in 2006-2007, and 24% of the MSW accepted applicants for 2007-2008 were American Indian. The MSW’s emphasis on American Indian content and subject matter is being carried out as envisioned; in every academic year, all MSW courses integrate some American Indian content, and all students in the program must enroll in two of the four American Indian specific courses in order to graduate.

 

Demonstrating its responsiveness to its American Indian constituency, outreach is the cornerstone for AIP successes. AIP faculty and staff meet in the tribal communities with tribal human services practitioners, elected tribal leaders, traditional elders, and the general tribal populations. They discuss and identify issues that most impact individuals in the tribal communities and the communities collectively to listen to recommendations on how UMD can help solve, remove barriers from, or improve the identified issues, concerns, and outcomes. Grounded traditional knowledge and information comes from contributions provided by the eldest, wisest, and most respected members of the tribal communities.   

 

Some of the many non-University partnerships developed and maintained by faculty and staff of AIP are the following:

     

  • With Tribal Colleges at Fond du Lac and Leech Lake
  • Title IV-E AIP Component activities with Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, Red Lake, and White Earth tribal communities
  • With Tribal Social Service agencies at Fond uu Lac, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and White Earth tribal communities
  • With the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council/Minnesota Department of Corrections
  • With the American Policy Center, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • With the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Portland, Oregon

 

 

In addition to these partnerships, the following activities provide valued sources of information and feedback guiding the development, offering, and revision of AIP programs and activities:

 

  • Quarterly meetings with the American Indian Community Advisory Council. The Council is comprised of one representative from each of the seven Minnesota Chippewa bands and one spiritual leader. Meetings are held at each of the seven northern Minnesota Chippewa tribe communities on a rotating basis.
  • Focus group sessions at the individual, community, and key informant levels in the tribal communities.
  • Critical Issues Gatherings, involving child welfare/human service workers from the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and Red Lake Nation.
  • Cultural Advisors who provide traditional knowledge, counsel, and consultation to AIP faculty, staff, and students.

 

 

Finally, for anyone reading this report who is looking to learn some history and other information about the American Indian population in Minnesota, two MSW faculty members working with AIP published a wonderful booklet in November 2004 titled Minnesota Anishinaabe: Nations and People, An Information & Resource Manual.  As noted in the Introduction, the booklet is designed to introduce readers to the Anishinaabe Tribes and people of Minnesota and help them gain a basic understanding of some of the issues that face Anishinaabe people. This resource, the many connections to tribal communities, and the variety of programs and activities delivered to the American Indian community by the AIP are examples of UMD’s commitment to its American Indian initiative and its responsiveness to the American Indian communities that depend on it for service.

 

Other VCAA Area Examples.  In addition to the excellent work being done in the area of American Indian education, CEHSP has a number of other faculty and staff who are doing an excellent job of communicating and working with external constituencies that depend on UMD for service. They work with public and private day care centers, pre-schools, elementary and secondary schools, and community colleges in the Duluth area and throughout the region. For example, the associate dean of CEHSP is the UMD representative to the Arrowhead University Consortium (AUC), an educational partnership between six two-year colleges and three four-year universities in northern Minnesota with the mission of  providing bachelor's and master's degree programming to the communities of northeast Minnesota. The two-year colleges are listed at the AUC web site and are part of the Minnesota State University and College System (MNSCU); the four-year partners are UMD, Bemidji State University, and the College of St. Scholastica.  A listing of the academic programs offered by the consortium is available using a link from the AUC homepage. CEHSP has addressed needs identified by AUC members and others in the two-year colleges’ region by developing some online psychology courses for the major and an online M.Ed. program. Other recent responses to constituents in this area are the signing of articulation agreements with the Mesabi Range Community and Technical College (MRCTC) in Virginia (MN) to allow the MRCTC early childhood development A.A.S. degree work to transfer into the UMD licensure program, with MRCTC for their elementary/middle school program and for the same program with Vermilion Community College in Ely, for an outdoor Education program at Vermilion CC, and for an agreement in Unified Early Childhood studies with Fond du Lac Tribal and CC in Cloquet. All of the articulation agreements came about at the request of the community colleges.

 

The UMD Department of Education also responds to needs identified by the Community Advisory Council for Teacher Education (CACTE) which meets three times a year by school administrators at an annual breakfast. Regional teachers and administrators provide input for specific licensure programs through ad hoc committees and separate advisor groups for the programs. Through needs expressed in these venues, the department has recently:

 

  • Modified the autism certificate program from a face-to-face program to an online certificate program to make it more accessible to working professionals in the region.
  • Started to teach some courses for undergraduate licensure candidates at area school sites where classroom teachers can contribute to the teaching and can gain in-service experiences.
  • Started offering special education co-teaching training to teachers at Denfeld High School in Duluth.
  • Worked on revising the student teaching evaluation forms to address concerns expressed by supervising classroom teachers.
  • Arranged for department faculty members to complete a contract for evaluating the safe school programs for three regional school districts.

 

 

 

Of course, those in the other collegiate units also seek input from constituents regarding their needs. Thus, there are many other examples of how UMD academic units respond to meet the needs of external constituencies, but there is not space to include them all so following are a few examples briefly described for each of the other collegiate units.

 

The history of the UMD engineering programs is a good example of how SCSE units continually respond to constituent feedback. The initial creation of the engineering programs at UMD was a response to requests to begin them from citizens, the business community, and regional legislators.  Then the programs were changed over the years based in input from various constituencies.  For example, Materials Processing Engineering became Chemical Processing Engineering and now it is Chemical Engineering.  Computer Engineering became Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Mechanical Engineering program was added in 2002.  Most recently at the suggestion of the SCSE External Advisory Board and requests from other constituencies, the undergraduate Environmental Science Program was started in fall 2007, and freshmen students will be accepted for a Civil Engineering Program in fall 2008.

 

The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) initiated a required laptop program for all CLA students based on constituent feedback indicating this would better prepare the students for the marketplace. Feedback from constituent groups also resulted in the creation of the Masters in Advocacy & Political Leadership (MAPL) program and to the current work by the Department of Writing to develop a comprehensive major in Journalism.

 

The Labovitz School of Business and Economics (LSBE) initiated work on adding a Health Care Management major at the request of local healthcare industry leaders and worked closely with representatives of the industry while developing the curriculum for the program. Similarly, the LSBE Financial Markets Lab was founded and developed based on perceived need by individuals and organizations from the financial industry. A major reason for the program’s continuing very successful operation is the expertise provided by the two advisory boards comprised of financial industry representatives who are integral to management of the program and the financial commitment from industry organizations.

 

The School of Fine Arts (SFA) initiated the Sieur Du Luth Summer Festival in part as a response to external constituents expressing the need for summer programming and to international constituencies interested in a summer opera program for young professionals. The Fine Arts Academy in SFA was developed and offers programs as a direct response to needs expressed by the public for a non-degree granting community school of arts. The Academy currently enrolls over 400 students in a variety of programs including Kindermusik, private lessons on most instruments and voice, and a Suzuki Talent Education Program as well as a variety of summer arts programs.

 

Vice-Chancellor for Academic Support and Student Life (VCASSL)

As noted previously, most of the units in this area focus on internal constituents. However, Admissions Office staff often receive and welcome informal feedback from prospective students and their families during orientation programs, and changes have been made in these programs as well as in the campus visit program based on such feedback. Developments in information technology and use of electronic tools have enhanced scheduling of campus visits and processing of applications for admissions, financial aid, scholarships, and student housing. Career Services seeks and heeds feedback from employers related to campus recruiting and other employer programs conducted by the unit. For example, the setting for the annual fall employment fair was changed resulting in accommodation of a record number of employers in fall 2007. Finally, Health Services staff works closely with health service providers in the Duluth area to determine what new health care programs and services it might be feasible to add to those already provided to students. They also receive and thoughtfully consider feedback from parents that includes similar suggestions.

 

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations

Again, units in this area are less involved with external constituents than they are with student, faculty, and staff internal constituents. However, there are several examples of actions that demonstrate responsiveness to external constituencies. For example, because of concerns expressed by parents as well as students, video cameras have been installed in several interior and exterior areas. The first place the cameras were installed was in the residence hall parking lots because of the level of loss of personal property from cars parked in the lots overnight. As required by law, the VCFO publishes the annual report of criminal behavior on campus and in the community.While this is done because of the legal requirement, the report is ultimately of value to parents and families of prospective and current students. Staff in Facilities Management and Auxiliary Services  respond to many requests for improving the efficiency of communication related to business transactions from vendors, contractors, and others doing work for UMD.  Facilities Management staff have also worked with the UMD Environment Health and Safety Office to create a well-designed safety program for the campus and have been leaders in UMD’s commitment to campus sustainability, which includes the requirement that all new construction meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. The LSBE building opening in spring 2008 will be the first new public higher education building in the state of Minnesota to be a LEED certified "green building." Both of the preceding are examples of UMD’s commitment to being socially and environmentally responsible for the good of the external society in which it exists.

 

Vice Chancellor for University Relations

An obvious example of a unit from this area responding to its external constituency is the Alumni Office, which has as its primary mission serving the needs of UMD alumni. For example, Alumni Office staff organize and sponsor class reunions, homecoming events, and alumni events in Duluth and the Twin Cities area based on requests from alumni or the Alumni Associate Board of Directors. The UMD Development Office communicates and responds directly to its external constituency of donors by working with them to determine how they want their contributions to be used at UMD.  Development staff meet and work with donors individually and at special events recognizing them for their contributions.

 

Summary of Component 5c

Examples of working with and responding to the needs of external constituents are present in virtually all UMD units. The examples provided above demonstrate how some of these units have learned about constituent needs and responded positively to them.  As indicated by the examples provided, units at UMD are also involved in working with and responding to external constituents in a variety of ways.

 

 

Core Component 5d:

Internal and external constituencies value the services the organization provides.

 

In order to better serve their internal and external constituencies, UMD units have developed and employ a variety of ways to determine whether the groups value the services that are being provided to them.  A brief discussion and examples of how the organization determines that its internal constituents value services provided to them is presented first.  Then, a longer section describing some measures for determining whether external constituents value services provided by various units at UMD follows.

 

Internal Constituencies Value Services Provided

As noted previously, the Student Experience Survey and the Pulse Surveys of faculty and staff, conducted regularly by the University and involving samples of students and employees from all University campuses, are the two major measures of overall satisfaction of internal constituencies that are used by UMD.  Using data for level of satisfaction as a proxy for the level at which respondents value various programs and services, the findings specifically related to UMD from these surveys provide meaningful information about what the groups value at UMD.  Information presented as part of collective bargaining negotiations and by representatives participating in UMD governance as part of the Campus Assembly and its committees also provide an opportunity for administration to generally assess the level at which internal constituencies value services the organization provides.

 

Another measure of the value of programs is the number of participants.  As reported in the previous chapter, about 1,200 undergraduate students participated in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and just over 1,700 students participated as research or teaching assistants of Graduate School programs at UMD during the past decade. It was also reported that 96 faculty members were awarded full-year sabbatical leaves, 165 were awarded single-semester leaves, and over 1,500 were awarded funding from the UMD Chancellor’s Small Grant program in the past 10 years. Also, 20 professional academic and administrative (P&A) staff members and almost 1,900 staff members participated in the professional development leave and Regents Scholarship programs during the same 10-year period. And, finally, during the calendar year 2006, about 770 UMD faculty and staff members participated in the 50 training and development programs sponsored on campus by the UMD Human Resources Department. The levels of participation in these programs reported for members of the UMD campus community clearly indicate that they are accepted as valued benefits by students, faculty, and staff.

 

External Constituents Value Services Provided

As indicated previously, all of the collegiate units have established and meet regularly with advisory groups. In addition, all of the departments in CEHSP, some departments as well as centers and institutes in the other colleges, and other VCAA units such as NRRI and CED also work regularly with advisory groups. The willingness of the members of these advisory groups who come from public and private sector organizations or the general public to give of their time and expertise to assist the units involved is an indication that they and the groups they represent value the services being provided.

 

Other units such as the Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) hear from their advisory groups, but they are also able to determine that services are valued by virtue of the fact that external constituents provide sponsored research dollars or other financial support for them. For example, fulfilling NRRI’s “Resources Research Results” maxim, some of its experienced geologists are mapping the 1.1 billion year old deposits in the Duluth Complex—an area that hugs Lake Superior’s North Shore. Mining companies such as Arimetco International and Polymet have relied on NRRI’s expertise to provide valuable information and guide them in their exploration programs in this region. And, on Minnesota’s Iron Range, the newest product is a 97% pure iron nugget for use in electric arc furnace mini mills.  NRRI scientists and staff were the leaders in bringing this technology to Minnesota and will continue to be a leader in research and development of this new product. These two examples of research results that are obviously valued by external constituents and the fact that less than one-quarter of NRRI’s annual budget is covered by state of Minnesota funding, the rest from sponsored research funds or other external financial support, provide indisputable evidence that external constituents value the work and service being done by NRRI.

 

Somewhat related is the work of the UMD Center for Economic Development (CED), which was described above in the Core Component 5b section. As noted there, the CED provides a broad range of consulting assistance and services to small businesses and prospective entrepreneurs in northeastern Minnesota. As was true with NRRI, the “Economic Impact for 2006” reported that CED provides indisputable evidence that external constituents value the many services it provides.  In this case the source of the data and information are findings from a survey sent by an independent party to over two-thirds of CED’s clients with more than a 50% response rate. Among other things, the report indicates that almost 2,500 individuals participated in CED workshops in 2006, and about 780 businesses received one-on-one consulting. Estimates of the economic impact of CED services indicate that CED consultants assisted regional business firms and organizations in raising almost $42 million in capital, the work of CED staff increased sales activity in the region by about $23 million, the increased sales and other activity resulted in an additional $3 million of tax revenues being generated, and value added to the economy related to CED work in the region was about $12 million.

 

UMD students are an important and valuable source of volunteer work in the Duluth area community.  As noted previously in this chapter, about 1750 students provided more than 48,000 hours of volunteer service in programs coordinated by the Office of Civic Engagement during 2006-2007. It was also noted earlier in this chapter that UMD’s student athletes are active in various community service projects throughout the greater Duluth community. UMD students provide volunteer service that is valued by individuals, groups, or organizations in the community through many other programs. For example, students who participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program coordinated by the UMD Department of Accounting help elderly and low-income individuals prepare and submit individual income tax forms each spring. UMD’s VITA program has been providing this help to individuals in Duluth for 20 years, and during 2007 the students worked with individuals to complete almost 1,000 tax returns.  Some of the volunteer work is done as part of a service component in a course or program. For example, in spring 2006, about 500 students completing the general psychology class at UMD contributed 10 hours of volunteer work to the community. They worked at soup kitchens, tutoring elementary school children, coaching, providing assistance to hospitals and humane societies, and helping with adolescent groups and other community organizations. And, UMD student organizations sponsor and participate in many service programs and activities which involve volunteer work in the community. Students from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) volunteer to provide hearing, language, and other communication screening at schools and a number of community events. Finally, members of UMD student organizations organize and participate in many other community volunteer activities. Clearly, all of the volunteer service is valued or the demand for it would not continue.

 

The School of Fine Arts (SFA) and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at UMD both make important contributions to the quality of life for those living in Duluth and the surrounding community. Given the many theatre and music productions offered each year in the Marshall Performing Arts Center and Weber Music Hall and the art exhibits and lectures offered by the Tweed Museum of Art, all on campus, many consider SFA to be the cultural center for the region. Supporting this feeling is the fact that SFA units produced and conducted 58 music performances, 43 theatre productions, 13 art lectures and 8 art exhibits on campus during the 2006-2007 academic year. An additional measure of the value the community places on these cultural events is the level of attendance. Data for ticketed attendance at SFA events on campus during 2006 indicate a total of almost 27,000 tickets were sold.  Supporters of UMD's athletic programs purchased an average of almost 133,000 tickets for events during the past two years. About 20,000 of those sales were tickets bought by UMD students for hockey games, the only athletic events for which students must pay. The data for ticketed attendance at cultural and athletic events at UMD provide evidence that members of the community value and support these UMD activities.

 

Summary of Component 5d

The information and examples presented in this section described some of the methods used by UMD to determine whether groups of its internal and external constituents value the services the organization is providing to them. Examples of evidence indicating the groups value the services being provided were included for a number of areas. Based on these examples, UMD has determined that constituents value the services identified.

 

 

Conclusions Related to Criterion Five:

 

This chapter described and discussed how UMD works with its primary internal and external constituents to identify ways to serve them that both the constituents and the organization value.  Information about and examples of how UMD units learn from their constituent groups and are responsive to them were presented. The examples provided demonstrate UMD’s responsiveness to its constituent groups and its capacity to serve those that depend on the organization for service. Finally information and examples confirming that internal and external constituents value the services provided by UMD were included.  Overall, the content of the chapter provides evidence that UMD has identified its constituencies and serves them in ways both they and UMD value.

 

While reviewing the work of UMD units with constituent groups, the following strengths and areas for improvement were identified.

 

Strengths:

(order of presentation does not indicate level of importance)

 

  • Most UMD academic departments and other operating units have spent time studying and identifying their internal and external constituents.
  • The capacity and commitment to serve constituents is extensive at UMD.
  • The commitment to provide education programs and other services to the American Indian community through UMD’s American Indian education initiative is worthy of emulation in other areas.
  • UMD units have consistently responded well to the needs expressed by their constituencies.

 

 

Areas for Improvement:

(order of presentation does not indicate level of importance)

 

  • The use of advisory groups as the source of input on needs of external constituents is good; however, increased effort needs to be made to identify and use other sources as well.
  • The level of activity and involvement by advisory groups in a unit’s planning and development is uneven across units.  Increased effort should be made to keep advisory group members active and involved in providing input leading to major unit decisions.
  • Given the extensive range of ways UMD units respond to external constituents, it may be useful to spend time gathering information to identify the many ways each unit responds to its constituents and preparing a report with the aggregate results to be shared by all members of the campus community.

 

Continue to Chapter Nine: Conclusion