According to President Potter’s office, $146,652 of SCSU’s general fund was spent on the C.A.R.E. Initiative, aka the Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative. According to SCSU’s website, “students, faculty and community participants [overwhelmingly] tell us this is one of the best workshops they have ever attended because the workshops are relevant, engaging, informational, comfortable and eye opening!”

That sounds great but there’s no quantifiable, objective numbers to match with SCSU’s statement. Without verification, we can’t be certain that quote isn’t anything more than happy talk. It wouldn’t be the first time a public institution had issued a statement that was pure blather.

Further exploration of SCSU’s website shows that the first “C.A.R.E. Leadership Team Meeting” was held on Sept. 1, 2006. According to the minutes of that meeting, things got off to a fantastic start:

Convocation week CARE Orientation Workshops were well attended and response from new employees was good.

It’s odd that Sept. 1 and Sept. 21, 2006 are the only meetings of the C.A.R.E. Initiative executive board. That is, they’re the only meetings on the SCSU website.

Here’s the text of President Potter’s email:

From: President’s Office Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2013
To the Campus Community

As we continue our efforts to create an anti-racist culture with a commitment to diversity and inclusion, I offer this report on the resources we have devoted to this effort over the last several years. A shared understanding of what has been invested in diversity initiatives is all the more critical as we come to grips with a significant reduction in the external resources supporting the Center for Access & Opportunity, the largest single diversity initiative on campus.

An examination of the three most recently completed fiscal years, FY 2010, FY 2011, and FY 2012, reveals that we have a multitude of activities underway that are helping us advance these initiatives. In addition, it should be noted that there are numerous efforts in all areas of campus operations that are embedded in programs which are not included in the financial data in this report. A few examples of such efforts include programs in ethnic studies, African Studies, Global Studies, and Latin American Studies in the College of Liberal Arts; dedicated advisors for students of color in the Center for Advising; and the School of Education’s targeted recruiting program for students of color who are interested in teaching careers. Though critical to our community, these activities cannot be readily identified from an analysis of expenditure data.

University funds that support diversity initiatives have been divided into three groups based on the sources of funds that support the initiatives:

  • M&E (also known as University General Fund)
  • Student fees
  • State and private grants.

Each year, about twenty-five different programs have expended resources in the promotion of diversity at SCSU. Total expenditures across all these programs from the three major sources increased each year from $4.16M in FY 2010 to $4.24M in FY 2011 and $4.32M in FY 2012. The largest segment of programs and resources are supported from the University General Fund which comprised 96 percent of the total expenditures in FY 2010 and FY 2011 and 92 percent of the total in FY 2012. Student fee supported programs increased from 4 percent of the total expenditures in FY 2010 and FY 2011 to 6 percent of the total in FY 2012. The table on the next page provides the expenditure history in each of the programs supported by the three major fund sources during FY 2010, FY 2011, and FY 2012.These important questions weren’t answered:

  • How are the program results being measured?
  • What are the stakeholders getting in return for their $4.3 million?
  • Could some programs be combined or eliminated?
  • Could some services provided by programs like the SCSU Women’s Center be handled by Stearns County Social Services?

It’s time that these and other questions were answered.

Tags: , , , ,

2 Responses to “Where’s the accountability?”

  • M.B. Cooper says:


    Some of us enjoy your blogs about SCSU and various examples of administrative conniving (all on taxpayer’s money). Assuming you’re not a double agent whose loyalties are with Potter and SCSU despite criticisms published, you are basically correct in you assessments, conclusions and suspicions. However, as an outsider, you are missing details that would better prove/validate your criticisms. In other words, you’re already 65% correct but more details and specifics would boost your accuracy to 95% or more.

    Let me offer three examples based on chronological order of your recent blogs. First, just for openers, what you’re missing are historic details/facts about blatant bigotry exposed but ignored via: (a) the Mary Craik Psychology Department sexism case (1984); (b) the Marjorie Fish gender pay equity case involving 267 female faculty members (1998); (c) the anti-Semitism Ari Zmora class action lawsuit victory, 2002), (d) whistle blowing concerning blatant racism by two Black faculty members beginning in 2002; (e) the Somali high school girls’ rebellion against carefully ignored race-based maltreatment in District 742, (later investigated and supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Division, 20011); and (f) hidden reasons for firing Mahmoud Saffari (2011).

    The basis for your suspicions, discoveries and blog-stated complaints really began with the following national study findings published by the National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence entitled, “Campus Ethno-violence and the Policy Options,” March 1990). Among 250 colleges, universities and their host communities studied, St. Cloud and SCSU were found to be most racist of all:

    “The St. Cloud study implicates a hostile community and a campus that is equally hostile. Levels of ethno-violence reported here exceed those in any campus or community study that we have reviewed. THere is at St. Cloud a different normative structure than at any of the other universities studied.” (“Campus Ethno-violence and the Policy Options;” National Institute Against Prejudice & Violence, Institute Report, No. 4, March 1990)

    1. Evidently, Earl Potter has little or no clout with Dave Kleis and City Hall in terms of aggressively combating racism in ways that are convincing to invasive fact-finding independent study groups, news media beyond St. Cloud, you and me. So, if the problem is threatening enough, employ tactics of concealment and cover-ups (to include books cooking). Otherwise, simply ignore the problem until those two Black SCSU faculty members, Mahmoud Saffari or Gary Gross begin to make discoveries?

    2. First, to explain such low Black student retention and graduation rates without prompting an outside investigation from the news media and/or MnSCU, SCSU decided to begin counting Blacks who enrolled, left/transferred away (to safer campus/community environments) “and then went on to graduate elsewhere” as SCSU graduates. Let’s call it fraud.

    3. If the problem of students of color attrition is serious enough (and it certainly is), why not simply change grades of Blacks and a few others of color unilaterally (without approval from faculty members who initially issued the grades from their courses). Who would know? Most faculty members don’t know and few students would complain even if they did know via unilateral transcript changes later. Plus, if “white Cloud” is on its knees economically, why not keep those students of color in town with their spending power to help the community economy if only slightly (however CONNIVING and HYPOCRITICAL)?

    Rather than aggressively attacking community racism that drives most SCSU Black students and others of color away from “white Cloud” (creating an “attrition rate” so high that books are cooked with numbers are being juggled to redefine as “attrition” as “retention.”

    Since talk is cheap, let’s dare to deal with facts/numbers (from SCSU documents):

    (a) among a total of 187 Black students reported enrolled (to MnSCU) for fall 2002, only 16 graduated six years later in 2008.

    (b) among a total of 385 Black students reported enrolled (to MnSCU) for fall 2006, only 27 graduated six years later in 2008.

    (c) Based on regressive analysis and speculation, among a total of 685 Black students reported enrolled (to MnSCU) for fall 2009, only 40, circa, will graduate six years later in 2015.

    With an attrition rate like this at SCSU and knowing well paid heads would roll if MnSCU and taxpayer’s were aware, wouldn’t you at least consider cooking the books? If Mahmoud Saffari was daring and honest enough to complain (with so much to hide), wouldn’t you fire him?

    Gary, all this may be overwhelming and threatening, so do your own research.

    Forgive the typos. My eyes are very bad and the type is very small. However, this information should interest you and others enough to challenge or verify. Beyond merely writing about such conniving by Potter and company, how do we/you force an invasive investigation from the outside? This is a scandal waiting to be discovered.


  • Jethro says:

    Wow! Scandalous, indeed…on so many levels. It’s time for an external investigation.

Leave a Reply