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Proposed Progress Card to map, measure University’s future progress toward Operational Excellence

Today University President Eric Kaler reviewed a proposed University Progress Card with the Board of Regents. The card is a robust tool that will be used to track progress on high level institutional goals.

The University Progress Card will focus oversight on a limited number of strategically measurable goals — called Gold measures — that establish an at-a-glance road map for the future. Gold measures include 4- and 6- year graduation rates, 4-year graduation rates of Pell-awarded students, research and development expenditures, medical school ranking, faculty awards, participation in the employee engagement survey and progress toward Operational Excellence.

“By keeping these goals as our highest priority, they will influence a range of decisions down the line and across the institution,” said Kaler while presenting the progress card. “Focusing on them will indisputably enhance the University’s excellence.”

The Board first discussed a progress card with President Kaler during a work session in May, to focus on the question: In what areas should the Board set specific aspirational goals? Over the summer Board members and the President drafted and clarified metrics and set ambitious goals to drive and measure progress toward excellence.

The progress card will also provide insights into important trends ­– called Maroon measures – that are a signal of institutional strength. These trends are important to monitor, but the University of Minnesota alone cannot significantly influence them. Maroon measures include Twin cities entering freshman average ACT score, Twin Cities transfer student 3-year graduation rate, graduate and professional degrees awarded, median undergraduate debt at graduation, fall enrollment in the health sciences, national public research university ranking, Minnesota intellectual property agreements, public service expenditures, average citations per faculty members, national scholarship awards to U of M students, spending on leadership and oversight as compared to mission and mission support, University facilities considered in “poor” or “critical” condition, sustainability measured in metric tons of greenhouse gasses produced, credit rating and athletics graduation success rate.

The board is expected to act on the progress card at its October meeting. Once adopted, the progress card will be available publicly and updated annually.

Six-Year Capital Plan
The Board of Regents reviewed President Kaler’s recommended Six-Year Capital Plan. The plan includes projects to be funded with state capital support, as well as planned major projects funded by the University through a combination of University debt obligations, local and unit resources, fundraising and public/private partnerships.

Four key initiatives are included: addressing buildings rated as “critical” by the Facility Condition Assessment, advancing the health sciences, modernizing St. Paul campus research laboratories and expanding capacity in STEM programs.

2016 State Capital Request
The Board also reviewed the University’s proposed legislative capital request before it is submitted for consideration by the Governor and Legislature.  The 2016 request totals about $304.4 million in project costs, with the State of Minnesota contributing approximately $236.3 million, and the University responsible for approximately $68.1 million.

The request includes:

  • Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) funds. HEAPR funds are intended to preserve and renew existing campus facilities by investing in accessibility, building systems (e.g. exterior work, mechanical, and electrical systems), energy efficiency, health and safety (e.g. hazardous material abatement, building code compliance) and infrastructure. The total request is $100 million, accounting for the full estimated project cost.
  • Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science Building (Duluth Campus). Plans call for approximately 51,000 square feet of research and instructional laboratories, teaching space, offices and meeting space for the Swenson College of Science and Engineering in Duluth. The proposed laboratory space will serve the needs of evolving research and classroom instruction. The Chemistry and Advanced Materials Science Building was awarded $2.25 million in funds in the 2014 legislative session for predesign and design. The total state request is approximately $27.2 million, with an estimated total project cost of $40.8 million.
  • Health Science Education Facility (Twin Cities campus). This project will renovate, modernize and expand the University’s medical and health sciences learning facilities. New education and learning facilities will include classrooms, simulation centers, small group rooms, an advanced technology-rich biomedical library and student services and community amenities. The University received $10 million in the 2015 session for predesign and design of the Health Sciences Education Facility. This work is underway and will guide the final facility solution to be presented during the 2016 session.  The total state request is $66.6 million, with an estimated total project cost of $100 million.
  • Plant Growth Research Facility (Twin Cities campus, St. Paul). The CBS Conservatory greenhouse will be a specialized unit that is focused on enhancing the State’s agricultural future. This project will provide an approximately 12,000 square foot greenhouse addition to the Plant Growth Facilities for the Biological Sciences Conservatory, and will replace the existing Biological Sciences Greenhouse on the St. Paul campus. The Plant Growth Research Facility was included in the University’s 2014 and 2015 legislative capital requests but was not funded. The total state request is $4.4 million, with an estimated total project cost of $6.6 million.
  • Academic and Student Experience Investments. These funds would allow for targeted strategic investments in teaching, research, outreach and student support in Duluth, Morris, Crookston and the Twin Cities. Similar to appropriations for laboratory renovations in 2008 and 2010, this request is intended to update individual spaces that will not otherwise be improved through whole building renovations. Funds will be allocated to each campus to advance high priority projects focused on learning spaces, student support services and research laboratories. The total state request is $16 million, with an estimated total project cost of $24 million.
  • Pillsbury Hall Renovation (Twin Cities campus). This project will completely renovate Pillsbury Hall, the second oldest and most iconic building on campus, by replacing obsolete science facilities with modern, flexible non-laboratory teaching, learning, and research spaces for College of Liberal Arts’ humanities programs. This will include the Department of English, which teaches nearly 6,000 students per year. The renovated space is anticipated to be divided approximately equally between classroom- and assembly-type space to support multiple modes of learning and alternative workplace office space. At nearly 60,000 gross square feet, the renovation will be consistent with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Preservation. The total state request is $22 million, with an estimated total project cost of $33 million.

The Board also received updates on the following items:

  • Twin Cities Athletics Facilities. Interim Athletic Director Beth Goetz provided an update on the Athletes Village project on the Twin Cities campus to the Board of Regents. In addition, she announced a commitment to build a competition level track on the East Bank campus. This is an important step in ensuring gender equity in the University’s athletics facilities. An NCAA competition-level track represents a significant improvement over the current track, which has not been suitable for competition for nearly a decade.
  • Bell Museum. The Board approved final schematic designs for a new Bell Museum on the St. Paul campus. The 89,860 gross square foot facility will house a permanent exhibit gallery, traveling exhibit gallery, planetarium (digital domed theater), touch and see room, classrooms, retail/food service, flexible space, basement, administrative and museum support spaces and site improvements including parking, pollinator gardens, water reuse ponds and the potential for additional enhanced educational amenities.  The Board also approved a Capital Budget Amendment, which amends the FY 2016 Annual Capital Improvement Budget by $10.525 million to fund the design and construction of the new Bell Museum. The project was originally included in the FY2015 Capital Budget at $53.7 million, while fundraising continued to be pursued to reach the planned target of $57 million. Since that time, additional design to enhance the museum’s future flexibility has been included.  Design enhancements included approximately 4,000 gross square feet increase to the permanent exhibit gallery and flexible shell space on the first, second and basement levels. The project is located on the southwest corner of Larpenteur and Cleveland Avenues.
  • Resident Dining Center, Duluth Campus. The Board approved schematic designs for the 18,632 square foot Residence Dining Center renovation on the Duluth Campus. This project includes renovation and interior upgrades to the utility infrastructure, interior remodeling, and new furnishings.
  • Affirmative Consent. The Board of Regents ratified revisions to the Sexual Assault, Stalking and Relationship Violence policy.  At its July 8, 2015 meeting, the Board requested that the administration delay implementation of amendments to this policy to allow for a legal review of the proposed amendments related to affirmative consent. To ensure student-focused training and education programs for the upcoming academic year reflect the policy revisions, Board leadership directed the administration to immediately implement the revised policy and welcomed a request from the President for Board ratification. In response to the legal review and further consultation with student government groups, the policy’s appendix was revised to clarify the definitions of “affirmative consent” and “clear and unambiguous words and actions.” The Minnesota Student Association, Council of Graduate Students, and Professional Student Government have endorsed the policy and additional appendix revisions.
  • Advancing Human Research Protections Update. In his monthly update to the Audit and Compliance Committee on progress of the University’s Advancing Human Research Protections work plan, Vice President for Research Brian Herman highlighted policy changes that prohibit the recruitment of persons temporarily confined under an involuntary medical hold (or 72-hour hold) into a psychiatric drug, device or biologic trial. Among other enhancements, he reported on the creation of the Fairview University Research Oversight Committee (FUROC) made up of senior Fairview and University leaders, and established to enhance communication and collaboration between the two organizations, and to create a space to hear and review inter-institutional concerns. Herman encouraged interested persons to visit the Advancing Human Research Protections website to see and sign up for regular updates of the University’s work to improve procedures for research involving human participants.

To read President Kaler’s remarks, click here. To view docket materials, visit regents.umn.edu. The Board will meet again on October 8 and 9, 2015.

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