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Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel resigned this morning:

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will resign on Monday after just under two years on the job. According to a report by Helene Cooper at The New York Times, President Obama has decided to replace Hagel after coming to the conclusion over the last several weeks that the current Defense chief was not the right person to lead the fight against ISIS.

According to the article, there was an ongoing fight between Hagel and some of President Obama’s staff:

Others reportedly questioned his overall leadership of the department, saying he “struggled to inspire confidence” and “had problems articulating his thoughts, or administration policy, in an effective manner.” Sources close to Hagel, however, blame those articulation problems on the White House’s heavy-handed message control. They also told Bloomberg News that the relationship with the White House had soured so much that Hagel no longer spoke in meetings because “White House aides with less experience in military affairs than the wounded Vietnam War veteran often ignored what he said.”

Imagine that. This administration took a dim view of senior administration officials speaking without reciting the administration’s talking points. Who could’ve seen that?

That’s what happens when the administration doesn’t trust its senior officials. That’s what happens when the top figure in the administration, President Obama, is a paranoid, narcissistic control freak. That being said, Hagel was a terrible defense secretary. His first day of testimony at his confirmation hearings were the worst performance I’ve ever seen in a confirmation hearing. Here’s what got Hagel in trouble at his confirmation hearing:

It was the troop surge in Iraq that became a flashpoint between McCain and Hagel during Thursday’s hearing. McCain repeatedly tried to get Hagel to answer whether he was “right or wrong” when he once called the troop surge a “dangerous foreign policy blunder.”

“I’m not going to give you a yes or no; I think it’s far more complicated than that…I’ll defer that judgment to history,” Hagel said, adding that he was referring to both the overall Iraq war, as well as the surge, in that comment

McCain fired back: “I think history has already made a judgment about the surge, sir, and you’re on the wrong side of it.”

Hagel shouldn’t have been confirmed. It’s only fair that his time at the Pentagon is brief.

Mary Lahammer interviewed Ryan Winkler for last night’s Almanac. During that brief interview, Rep. Winkler gave us the DFL’s mantra for the next 2 years:

REP. WINKLER: Divided government and gridlock and the type of divisiveness that we’re already starting to see is not the way we move ahead and they’re going to send Democrats back in to get things done.

That’s stunning. The new legislature hasn’t even been sworn in and Rep. Winkler thinks he’s Carnac. Before the first bill is submitted, Rep. Winkler thinks that Republicans are being divisive and sowing the seeds of gridlock. That’s world class chutzpah.

A couple themes are developing already. First, Paul Thissen is questioning whether Republicans will stand up to their big corporate special interests:

Will Republicans be willing to stand up to their big Twin Cities corporate donors and make sure to continue DFL investments in education that are closing the funding gap between rural and suburban school districts rather than handing out corporate tax breaks?

As I wrote here, that’s what chutzpah looks like. First, Republicans didn’t propose any tax breaks for corporations. Thissen knows that. Thissen doesn’t care because the DFL’s communications aren’t based in honesty. The DFL specializes in repeating outright lies. Second, Thissen and the DFL didn’t fight for Main Street.

When it was time to fight for miners on the Iron Range, the DFL didn’t.
When it was time to fight for women operating in-home child care businesses, Thissen & the DFL sided with AFSCME instead.
When it was time to fight for small businesses in outstate Minnesota, Thissen and the DFL raised their taxes instead.

Rep. Winkler, I’ve had enough of your dishonesty and chutzpah. I’m especially disgusted with your reckless assumptions. It’s reckless and dishonest to accuse Republicans of being divisive a month before the 2015 legislative session has even started. Further, it’s dishonest to say that Republicans having honest policy disagreements with the DFL is automatically considered gridlock.

That’s a clever Alinskyite tactic but it’s deceitful. Before the DFL started employing Alinskyite tactics, expressing honest policy disagreements on the House floor or in committee were what’s known as debates.

Further, it’s dishonest and deceitful to think that all DFL ideas are great solutions to Minnesota’s problems or that Republicans’ ideas are automatically doomed to failure. If Rep. Winkler honestly thinks that, then he’s a narcissist who thinks of himself as intellectually superior.

Considering the fact that he once called a black man an “Uncle Thomas”, then insisted that he didn’t know that that was a pejorative term, there’s reason to think that he’s just a lefty bomb thrower who’s prone to shooting his mouth off.

During the 2013 session, the DFL voted to hurt some small businesses with major tax increases and hurt other small businesses with forced unionization. Repeatedly, the DFL showed their hostility with small businesses. Many of the businesses hurt with the DFL’s tax increases were in outstate Minnesota.

Despite those indisputable facts, the DFL is insisting that disagreeing with them leads to gridlock that hurts Minnesotans. The DFL’s policies are what hurt Minnesotans. No catchy, dishonest mantra will change that truth.

Paul Thissen’s op-ed, which was also published in the Rochester Post-Bulletin, had so spin that I couldn’t fit it into one post. Here’s more of Thissen’s spin:

They voted against the Homestead Credit Refund that provided $120 million in direct property tax relief to 450,000 homeowners, helping reduce statewide property taxes for the first time in 12 years.

Bill Salisbury’s article quickly discredits Thissen’s spin:

Overall, cities have proposed a 4.6 percent property-tax levy increase, counties’ levies would go up 3 percent, townships would levy an additional 2 percent and special taxing districts proposed a 3 percent boost.

Thissen and the DFL initially raised taxes and fees by $2,500,000,000. After getting blasted for raising taxes on B2B transactions, Thissen and the DFL returned to St. Paul a repentant bunch. They quickly repealed the tax increases they’d passed just months earlier. Thissen and the DFL frequently justified that gigantic tax increase by promising property tax relief to the middle class. Apparently, the DFL failed. Property taxes didn’t drop. They’re still going up.

They failed to support our farmers, voting against grants to help family farms start up and expand, against livestock disease research and against the new Farm-to-Foodshelf program.

Republicans voted against the DFL’s attempt to use taxpayers’ money to buy votes with massive spending increases directed at their special interest allies. The Dayton-Thissen-DFL budget wasn’t a budget as it was the DFL checking off as many of the items on the DFL special interests’ wish list as possible.

The DFL’s tax bill didn’t reform the tax code to make Minnesota competitive with its neighboring states. It’s amazing that the DFL’s hostility to businesses didn’t result in them losing more seats.

More importantly, I hope to hear the Republicans move on to governing and discuss how the entire state can prosper together as one.

That’s a clever trick on Thissen’s part. You’d almost think that there was a Republican governor setting the agenda. It’s the governor that proposes. The legislature’s role is to debate Gov. Dayton’s budget, then offer amendments to the things he got wrong. Unfortunately for Minnesota businesses, there’s be so much uncertainty caused by Gov. Dayton’s budgets that businesses didn’t create as many jobs as they could have.

Will Thissen and the DFL support opening PolyMet? Will they support building the Sandpiper Pipeline project? Will they insist on a silica sand-mining moratorium? Those projects alone would spread prosperity throughout more of Minnesota.

When Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen attended the DFL State Convention, their devotion to Iron Range jobs was so tepid they wouldn’t even permit a debate on whether the DFL’s platform should include a simple statement saying that they support mining.

I’d love hearing Speaker Thissen explain how stifling debate on a major economic development issue helps “the entire state can prosper together as one.” That explanation would likely be more twisted than a pretzel.

Then again, I could say that about most DFL economic policies.

Paul Thissen’s op-ed in Friday night’s St. Cloud Times is breathtakingly dishonest. Here’s a prime example of Thissen’s dishonesty:

On the campaign trail, Republicans like Daudt attacked these accomplishments as inadequate, attacks ironically financed by enormous contributions from big Twin Cities corporate special interests. So it seems fair to ask:

Will Republicans be willing to stand up to their big Twin Cities corporate donors and make sure to continue DFL investments in education that are closing the funding gap between rural and suburban school districts rather than handing out corporate tax breaks?

I frequently wrote about the Democrats’ dishonest claims that Republicans supported “handing out corporate tax breaks.” To be fair, most of those claims were made against Torrey Westrom’s and Stewart Mills’ congressional campaigns but Thissen’s claims are dishonest just the same. One of the DCCC’s ads accused Torrey Westrom of shutting down the government “to give tax breaks to his wealthy friends.”

First, Republicans haven’t written any legislation that would “hand out corporate tax breaks. Thissen knows that’s verifiable fact but he doesn’t care because he’s utterly dishonest. Soon-to-be Minority Leader Thissen can clear this all up by citing which legislation the Republicans authored would’ve given corporations tax breaks.

Most importantly, though, let’s focus on who funded the DFL’s legislative campaign. In St. Cloud, the DFL paid for most of the campaign mailers. I don’t recall getting any mailers from Dorholt’s campaign proper. I also got mailers from a pro-union group called Working America Minnesota Political Fund. This is one of their mailers:

Will Minority Leader Thissen “be willing to stand up to [his] big Twin Cities” special interest allies in the next legislative session? Will he stand up to the environmental activist wing of the DFL? Will he tell Alida Messinger that he’ll steadfastly support mining on the Iron Range?

History shows he won’t. When AFSCME and SEIU insisted that the DFL impose forced unionization on small businesses, then-Speaker Thissen didn’t think twice. Rather than siding with the hard-working ladies who run in-home child care facilities, Thissen and the DFL voted with Eliot Seide and Javier Morillo-Alicea instead.

When convenience stores told him not to raise the cigarette tax because that’d hurt their businesses, Thissen didn’t just ignore them. He raised the cigarette tax $1.50 a pack. Thanks to Thissen and the DFL, convenience stores in Greater Minnesota got hurt.

Will a Republican legislature respond to the unique economic challenges that have made it harder for our economic recovery to be felt from border-to-border?

Unlike the DFL of the last 2 years, the GOP House will respond to Greater Minnesota’s economic needs. The GOP didn’t ignore small businesses’ calls to not start applying the sales tax on business-to-business transactions. In the House, the DFL voted for raising those taxes. After they got an earful from businesses after the session, the DFL knew that they’d overreached.

Sensing that their majority status in the House was in jeopardy, the DFL quickly moved to repeal the B2B sales taxes that they’d passed just months before.

Paul Thissen wasn’t the only DFL legislator who displayed hostility to businesses. That’s why he’ll soon be the House Minority Leader rather than getting another term as Speaker.

Elizabeth Warren, the hardline progressive who took Ted Kennedy’s seat, won’t be the Democrats’ presidential nominee. If she ran, however, she’d be pounded mercilessly for statements like this:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) went straight after Republicans, blasting the GOP on deregulation and trickle down economics during a Center for American Progress event on Wednesday.

“The Republicans have a pretty simple philosophy: they say if those at the top have more, more power for Wall Street players to do whatever they want and more money for tax cuts than somehow they can be counted on to build the economy for everyone else,” Warren said. “Well, we tried it for 30 years and it didn’t work. In fact the consequences were nearly catastrophic.”

That’s rich considering the fact that the economy created more full-time jobs in 6 months under President Reagan than have been created during President Obama’s administration. If high taxes, overregulation and big spending were the right elixir, the Obama economy would be creating 2,000,000 high-paying full-time jobs each year.

The truth is that Obamanomics’ cornerstone policies don’t work. They’ve never worked in creating robust economic growth that helps everyone. In President Obama’s America, the well-connected get special breaks, Wall Street gets monthly bailouts and the middle class, what’s left of it anyway, takes it in the shorts. If Sen. Warren wants to fight for President Obama’s policies, be my guest.

Sen. Warren’s policies are tired:

“We tested the Republican ideas and they failed, they failed spectacularly. There’s no denying that fact,” Warren said. “We know the importance of accountability on Wall Street, the benefits of having a better educated work force. The advantages that come from investments of high speed rail and medical research.”

‘Investing’ in high speed rail is a boondoggle. As for a well-educated workforce, the American people have been getting ripped off by government schools, aka public schools. Unions have hurt public education. Charter schools, while not being the sole elixir to the problem, are definitely a positive step.

This is positively rich:

“People across this country get it. Sure, there’s a lot of work to be done and there’s a long way to go before Democrats can reclaim the right to say that we’re fighting for America’s working people, that we’re fighting to build a future not just for some of our children but for all of our children,” Warren said. “No, we’re not there yet but don’t forget the good news. Our agenda is America’s agenda.”

The masses aren’t clamoring for a green economy. They’re shouting for a robust expansion of fossil fuel exploration. They’re insisting on limiting regulations on sources of energy that heat homes and power factories.

If Democrats want to run on Obama’s policies, which they’ll be forced to do, they’ll get soundly defeated in 2016. Moving further to the left won’t grow their party. It’ll set the Democratic Party back a decade or more.

Sen. Klobuchar’s op-ed in the St. Cloud Times would be easier to take seriously if she wasn’t MIA on other issues surrounding the military.

With grateful hearts, Minnesotans this month gathered on Veterans Day to honor the brave Americans who have served in uniform to protect our freedom. This day should be about more than just saluting our veterans. It also serves as an opportunity to renew our commitment to serve those who have served us.

After all, that is our responsibility, to do right by those who have stood tall on the front lines so that we can live free. This is especially true for soldiers returning from battle permanently injured and suffering life-altering disabilities.

It’s a bit hollow sounding, not because wounded vets don’t deserve the medical treatment, but because Sen. Klobuchar didn’t speak out when the military started sending out pink slips to officers still fighting in Afghanistan:

In a stunning display of callousness, the Defense Department has announced that thousands of soldiers, many serving as commanding officers in Afghanistan, will be notified in the coming weeks that their service to the country is no longer needed. Last week, more than 1,100 Army captains, the men and women who know best how to fight this enemy because they have experienced multiple deployments, were told they’ll be retired from the Army.

The overall news is not unexpected. The Army has ended its major operations in Iraq and is winding down in Afghanistan. Budget cuts are projected to shrink the Army from its current 520,000 troops to 440,000, the smallest size since before World War II. What is astonishing is that the Defense Department thought it would be appropriate to notify deployed soldiers, men and women risking their lives daily in combat zones, that they’ll be laid off after their current deployment.

Why was St. Amy of Hennepin County silent about this? Shouldn’t the Obama administration treat the men and women still risking their lives on the battlefield deserve better treatment than this?

As one Army wife posted on MilitaryFamily.org, “On some level I knew the drawdowns were inevitable, but I guess I never expected to be simultaneously worried about a deployment to Afghanistan and a pink slip because my husband’s service is no longer needed.”

The thing is that these troops are needed more than ever:

The nation should worry about the increased national-security risk of separating such a large pool of combat-experienced leaders. The separated soldiers are those who carry the deepest knowledge base of counterinsurgency operations. A senior Defense Department official warned: “If the force is smaller, there’s less margin for error. Let’s face it — things are pretty uncertain out there.”

Then again, that’s never worried Sen. Klobuchar. Since her first campaign in 2006, Sen. Klobuchar consistently talked about “ending the war responsibly.” Winning wasn’t important to her.

That’s why her op-ed rings hollow. This isn’t just about health care for wounded vets. It’s about giving them the resources they need to accomplish their mission. That mission is to defeat and destroy the terrorists before they attack again.

It’s hard to believe but today marks the 10 year blogiversary for LFR. It’s been an incredible experience. The first subject that I sunk my teeth into was the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. These days, there isn’t much in the way of good news coming from across the ocean thanks to our incredibly inept president.

Back when I started, I did lots of writing about world events. After the 2006 election disaster, I started paying attention to state government. In March, 2007, I broke my first news story thanks to a great tip from then-Rep. Steve Gottwalt. It’s still one of my favorite posts:

I just got off the phone with Steve Gottwalt, who had some shocking news from the Capitol. Today, at a committee hearing, Cy Thao told Steve “When you guys win, you get to keep your money. When we win, we take your money.” This was Thao’s explanation as to how the DFL plans on paying for all the spending increases they promised their special interest friends.

The DFL still has the same mindset today as they did in March, 2007.

Bit by bit, I started doing original reporting thanks in large part to frustrated state legislators who were being ignored by the Star Tribune and the St. Cloud Times. In 2008, I started covering the candidate forums. They were quite memorable. I still remember Rob Jacobs telling 2 major groups that he wasn’t an expert on their issues (transportation that Monday, health care the next day) but that he was a good listener. Despite telling everyone covering the events that he was totally unqualified for the job, the St. Cloud Times endorsed him over Rep. Dan Severson. The good news from that fiasco was that the Times had egg on their face when Rep. Severson beat Jacobs by 10 points.

The last 3 years, I’ve spent lots of time being the taxpayers’ watchdog. I’ve scooped the Times so many times that I’ve lost track of how many times it’s happened. Hopefully, I’ll be around when the mismanagement comes to an end. Hopefully, it’ll happen soon.

If you appreciate the reporting I’ve done, feel free to drop a few coins in the tip jar. Thanks for being incredibly loyal followers to LFR.

Tuesday evening, Senate Democrats voted to reject Mary Landrieu’s bill that would’ve forced the federal government into issuing the permits to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. The All Star Panel discussed it on this video:

My favorite part of the segment is the final part of the discussion. Here’s that transcript:

BRET BAIER: George, do you expect a lot of stories on the civil war within the Democratic Party?
(Laughter from George Will and Steve Hayes)
GEORGE WILL: I don’t think so. It is interesting to note that maybe they couldn’t have saved Mary Landrieu but they could’ve at least tried. And they didn’t even try.

The experts knew on Election Night that Mary Landrieu was history. That isn’t surprising to people who’ve followed that race. The Democrats’ circular firing squad hasn’t officially convened in public but it’s certainly started outside the public’s eye. I can’t picture it stopping until there’s political blood on the floor and the Democratic Party is damaged going into 2016.

While this was Sen. Landrieu’s last stand, we’ll have to wait until 2016 for Hillary’s last stand. Behind every ebb and flow in presidential polling is a steady current just beneath the surface. Right now, that current is running against the Democratic Party. They’re no longer the party of hope and change. They’re the party of Washington, DC. They’re the party of obstruction. They’re the party that’s stopped listening to the American people.

Hillary is the poster child for people who stayed too long in DC. Just like Mary Landrieu’s magic has evaporated, so has Hillary’s. Hillary first set foot in DC 24 years ago. She hasn’t left since. While Bill finished his time in office, she established a residence in New York, then immediately ran for Pat Moynihan’s seat. After winning re-election, she launched her first presidential campaign. After getting beaten by Barack Obama, she got picked to be his first Secretary of State.

Just like Sen. Landrieu tried getting her Washington friends to help her win a fourth term, Hillary is counting on her Washington friends to help her win her presidential election. It’s a schtick that Louisiana voters didn’t buy with Sen. Landrieu. It’s a schtick that Americans aren’t likely to buy in 2016.

As for Sen. Landrieu and the Democrats, 2014 was a difficult year, mostly because they ran a bunch of retreads that cast their votes for Obamacare. Isn’t it ironic that the ACA is sinking as fast as Sen. Landrieu’s political career is sinking? Isn’t it ironic that the Democratic Party’s favorability ratings are dropping as fast as the ACA’s favorability ratings are dropping? It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch.

GM’s Recall Problems and MnSCU’s Leadership Problem
By John W. Palmer

Stephen B. Young, Global Executive Director of the Caux Round Table concluded in his introduction of the July edition of “Pegusus”:

Leaders are needed to achieve good stakeholder relationships, not mere managers.

The focus of the July edition of “Pegusus” was the Report to Board of Directors of General Motors Company Regarding Ignition Switch Recalls issued on May 29th, 2014 by Anton R. Valukas of JENNER & BLOCK.

http://www.cauxroundtable.org/index.cfm?&menuid=139

The Valukas report began with a section titled: GM’S LEADERSHIP, THE TONE AT THE TOP, AND GM CULTURE. In this opening section of the report, Mr. Valukas wrote:

As described elsewhere in this report, the slow pace of the Cobalt investigation and the emerging pattern of accidents potentially related to the safety defect were not escalated to the Company’s most senior executives who from time-to-time met with the Board. The Board of Directors was not informed of any problem posed by the Cobalt ignition switch until February 2014.

The key phrase in this statement is: “…The Board of Directors was not informed…”.

The safety defect associated with the Cobalt investigation was in an ignition switch. This defect has been associated with 32 deaths when Cobalts were involved in automobile crashes where proper deploying of the air bag would have saved lives.

The recent concerns of various Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) stakeholder groups in the performance of Chancellor Steven Rosenstone are not as serious a matter as the loss of lives but the setting of “The Tone at the Top” and the creation of normative practices that engender a lack of confidence in leadership have serious consequences related to the future effectiveness of any organization.

In the past year, the MnSCU Board of Trustees (BoT) were not informed about two very important matters. In the first instance, the Chancellor’s contract was renewed in secret. In the second instance, a $2 million consultant contract concerning the major initiative called “Charting the Future” was entered into without the BoT being informed. In June of this year, the BoT was informed of concerns regarding the Chancellor’s performance. In recent weeks the BoT has been acutely aware of problems in stakeholder relations.

How will the BoT respond to the problem? I hope the response will not be like GM’s where:

One witness described the GM phenomenon of avoiding responsibility as the “GM salute,” a crossing of the arms and pointing outward towards others, indicating that the responsibility belongs to someone else, not me.

At GM, it took a change in leadership to begin a process of changing the norms. That change in leadership required the engagement of the Board of Directors. It is to early in the process of change at GM to know if norms will in fact change, but it is not to late to see change in the behavior at the top. You don’t hear the new CEO of GM using semantics to minimize and employees are no longer being told not use certain words and to call a:

“Problem an Issue, Condition, or Matter”
“Safety = Has Potential Safety Implications”
“Defect = Does not Perform to Design”.

GM has a new CEO that is a straight talker. Here are a couple of examples of some of her straight talk:

“I… believe if you have a problem you better solve it. Because if you don’t solve it you won’t be here or the company won’t be here. ”
Mary Barra, NY Times: Jan 23, 2014

And in front of Congress:

From the concluding article in the July 2014 Pegusus written by Erik Sande:

The culture at GM appears to have been one completely lacking in effective leadership. In many cases, what leaders need to instill in their organizations, among other things, are trust and responsibility….

The absence of actual leadership, inspiring trust and accountability, the opposite of the diffusion of responsibility, was a plague within the GM structure. One can only hope that Mary Barra, the newly appointed CEO, will be able to change this culture for the better.

It is now time for the Board of Trustees to step up and establish trust and accountability to MnSCU’s stakeholders by recalling Chancellor Rosenstone and establishing high expectations for themselves and all their employees. Recalling might not be sufficient in the Rosenstone matter and it may take discontinuation of the model to establish trust and a shared sense of accountability to do what is right for Minnesota.

Latest Fall Enrollment Numbers—Heading Towards Third
by Silence Dogood

The MnSCU website lists current FYE Fall enrollment numbers for MnSCU universities as of November 16, 2014. When these numbers are compared with the final fall enrollment numbers, the following figure is obtained:

While these are not final enrollment numbers—they do not become final until 45 days after the end of the semester—they are probably not far from what they will be. There may still be some second trimester Senior-to-Sophomore classes left to be added but it is unlikely that it will reduce the FYE decline substantially.

It is clear from the figure that the enrollment fortunes for all of the MnSCU universities are not the same. In fact, Southwest is actually showing a small increase. If we assume that each FYE is equal to $11,500 in revenue (tuition and state appropriation), a decline of 283 FYE represents a loss of $3,254,000.

Tammy McGee, Vice President for Finance and Administration confirmed the budget shortfall in a November 12, 2014 email:

In May, the enrollment projection was increased from a decline of 3.2% to a decline of between 4-5%.

For those that are interested in the details, the MnSCU website shows that Mankato currently has 6,635 FYE for Fall semester compared to SCSU’s 5,735 FYE. As a result, in Fall, Mankato is larger than SCSU by 900 FYE. If you look at headcount and count all of the high school students that SCSU enrolls, SCSU is actually ‘larger’ than Mankato. However, it’s the 900 FYE difference that translates into budget dollars—not headcount. Presidents seem to enjoy talking about headcount enrollments because they are always larger than the more important FYE enrollment.

SCSU’s decline of 283 FYE for fall is nearly four times larger than the 72 FYE decline at Mankato. When you look at summer, Mankato had 204 FYE more than SCSU. Combining Summer and Fall FYE enrollments, Mankato has 1,104 FYE more than SCSU. Once again, using $11,500 for the revenue from the combined tuition and state appropriation gives Mankato an estimated $11,592,000 revenue advantage over SCSU. If allowance is made for the reduced revenue from concurrently enrolled students, since SCSU has a much larger penetration in the high school market than does Mankato, the revenue gap is substantially larger.

The following figure shows the FYE enrollment by fiscal year for Mankato and SCSU:

Through FY11, SCSU had an advantage in FYE enrollment over rival Mankato. Starting in FY12, Mankato became larger than SCSU (at least in terms of FYE).

The following figure shows the difference in FYE between SCSU and Mankato by fiscal year.

A positive number means SCSU’s FYE enrollment was larger than Mankato’s. Correspondingly, a negative number means Mankato’s FYE enrollment was larger than SCSU’s. From 2008 through 2010, SCSU’s lead was increasing. In 2011, SCSU’s lead was cut nearly in half. Beginning in FY12, Mankato moved ahead of SCSU. What’s potentially scary is that the rate of increase is increasing!

Combining summer and fall enrollments for FY15, Mankato is already ahead of SCSU by 1,102 FYE. With the numbers for spring still to come in, it might not be hard to predict that Mankato’s lead over SCSU will increase even more.

Perhaps SCSU needs to stop advertising being the “second largest university in Minnesota” and consider what it means to be number three.