Board discusses Twin Cities campus alumni engagement

July 11, 2018
Graduation

During its July meeting, the University’s Board of Regents received an update on Twin Cities campus alumni engagement efforts during the 2018 fiscal year, presented by the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA).

Throughout the 2018 fiscal year, UMAA connected with alumni through various publications, networks and a diverse array of events and engagement opportunities. These included five Minnesota Sparks events in Greater Minnesota that brought faculty members into conversation with communities to discuss issues of importance to that area and the launch of the Minnesota Alumni Market, an online marketplace of products made by U of M alumni.

Building on the previous year’s efforts, the Board’s discussion focused on UMAA’s strategic plan, which will guide the direction of alumni engagement through 2023. Using 2017 alumni survey results and feedback from University leaders, UMAA has established four overarching goals for the coming years: enriching the lives of all alumni by fostering career growth and lifelong learning opportunities; bolstering student success by tapping the talent and network of alumni to support current students’ career aspirations; advancing the University of Minnesota through advocacy efforts, both at the State Capitol and across Minnesota; and positioning UMAA for long-term strength and growth as an organization.

Annual Report on Intercollegiate Athletics

The Board also received the Annual Report on Intercollegiate Athletics for the Twin Cities campus, focusing on the academic and athletic achievements of Gopher student-athletes.

For the Spring 2018 semester, student-athletes held a collective GPA of 3.24—the highest recorded GPA in department history. This marks the ninth straight semester that Gopher student-athletes have achieved a 3.2 or greater GPA average. Furthermore, student-athletes earned a department-record of 351 Academic All-Big Ten honors this past season, an award given to student-athletes in at least their second year of school who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or greater. Additionally, student-athletes currently have a graduation success rate of 92 percent, which is the highest in the department’s history and of any public Big Ten school.

Athletically, the Gophers won six conference championships in the last year, which is among the highest in the Big Ten. The Gophers also had three individual national champions, bringing the total to eight such titles in the past five years. In addition, 57 different Gophers were selected as All-American athletes during the past year.

In response to previous Board discussions, the presentation also examined Gopher Athletics’ budget within the context of other Division I programs across the country.

The Board also:

  • Approved the appointments of Jeffrey Ratliff-Crain as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Innovation at the University of Minnesota Rochester; Wendy Reed as Dean of the Swenson College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth and Jakub Tolar as Vice President for Clinical Affairs and Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School.
  • Introduced the new Civil Service Consultative Committee Chair, Becky Nelson. Nelson works in Student Support for Online and Hybrid Courses at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The Board of Regents will meet next September 13–14, 2018. Visit the Board of Regents website for more information.

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