News Release

Strategic plan achievements, key accountability measures reflect busy year at U of M

A collection of campaign-style buttons is scattered in a pile, all face up and featuring the Block M at their center, with some having white background, others with Gold background, and others yet with Maroon

During the last governing board  meeting of 2021, the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents and President Joan Gabel took stock of the University’s many strategic successes despite the challenges of the past 12 months.

“As a Board, it’s our responsibility to ensure the University is exceeding the high standards all Minnesotans have for the education, research and outreach we provide,” said Board Chair Ken Powell. “We are pleased to see President Gabel and her team make such strong, measurable progress toward the University’s strategic goals, even in the face of continued volatility and ambiguity from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Gabel and Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson presented the 2021 University Performance and Accountability Report, a key oversight tool that demonstrates the University’s accountability in meeting its mission across all five campuses. The report includes the University’s Progress Card and is aligned with the University’s systemwide strategic plan, MPact 2025.

The 2021 report celebrates all-time high four-year graduation rates; the breadth of the U of M’s research enterprise, which places it among the top 10 public research universities in the U.S.; the University’s significant investments in access and affordability; its ongoing commitments to service across Minnesota; and more. Other highlights included:

  • Creation of a free tuition program for Minnesota students from families making under $50,000 annually. 
  • Progress updates on policies and processes related to recognizing institutional history.
  • Improvement in  the University’s performance and rankings with regard to climate action, clean water and land ecosystems.

A final version of the report will return to the Board for action in February.

“Over the first year of MPact 2025, we took important steps together as a University System, including to navigate a global pandemic, while ensuring quality education, impactful research and a commitment to world-class outcomes for Minnesota," said Gabel. "We are stronger and better in every way as a result of these countless efforts.”

The Board also: 

  • Approved the Twin Cities campus plan, which was reviewed by the Board in October 2021 after public input on guiding principles and process.
  • Approved the President’s recommended supplemental state budget request for the 2022 legislative session.
  • Discussed recommended approaches to encouraging multidisciplinary research and teaching following a presentation from academic and research leadership.
  • Approved a resolution that moves most dining operations on the Twin Cities campus to a new vendor.
  • Discussed an annual report on the University’s research enterprise, one punctuated by the U of M exceeding $1 billion in annual externally-sponsored research awards for the first time in its history
  • Reviewed draft language updating Board of Regents Policy: Namings, the latest step in an ongoing policy review process led by Gabel.
  • Heard a report of the Faculty Consultative Committee (FCC)/Senate Consultative Committee (SCC) from FCC/SCC Chair Ned Patterson.
  • Discussed updates and proposals related to MPact 2025, including an enterprise risk management plan and financing options for strategic efforts.
  • Approved employment agreements, including the contract for recently selected Chief Auditor Quinn Gaalswyk and an updated contract for Gabel.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet next on Feb. 10-11, 2022. Visit for more information.

Media Contacts

Jake Ricker

University Public Relations