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I just got an email from a professor at SCSU with an attached document highlighting MnSCU’s incompetence. The document was put together by the IFO, aka the Inter Faculty Organization. The IFO is “the collective bargaining representative for faculty in the seven state universities of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system.”

This information doesn’t cast Chancellor Rosenstone in a positive light:

The Chancellor has been Neglecting the Day to Day Operations of MnSCU
Metro State University’s entire HR staff resigned at once. Faculty members were being paid incorrect amounts, deductions were screwed up, and the financial management of the university is a complete mess. Moorhead and Southwest are in financial crisis. Faculty members are being non-renewed and programs for students are being cut.

Saying that the “entire HR staff” at Metro State “resigned at once” is technically accurate but incomplete. Metro State’s HR staff resigned at once because they’d screwed up the payroll so badly that they were about to get fired. Rather than having their resume say that they were terminated, these HR personnel resigned. Rumors abound that some faculty got overpaid by 10s of thousands of dollars over a period of years while others were underpaid by thousands of dollars.

What’s been confirmed is that Chancellor Rosenstone downplayed the Metro State crisis when initially confronted with the problem by the IFO. While it isn’t Chancellor Rosenstone’s responsibility to reconcile Metro State’s payroll each pay period, it’s his responsibility to make sure the problem is fixed ASAP. Thus far, he’s failed at that mission.

The presidents at Metro State and Moorhead State are being allowed to ‘retire’ at the end of this fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2014. Moorhead went through retrenchment last year, which is a fancy way of saying faculty were terminated when Moorhead’s budget was cut.

Unfortunately, that isn’t MnSCU’s biggest problem:

The gross mismanagement involved in the Coach Todd Hoffner firing has caused immeasurable publicity damage and may cost students and taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars—and none of the administrative decision makers are being held accountable for their bad judgments.

This is disgraceful. (I wrote about that crisis in this post.) MnSCU seems indifferent about its responsibilities.

President Davenport should’ve been terminated before the BMS, aka Bureau of Mediation Services, ruling was made official. When a prosecutor drops the case but a university continues building a case against the coach, which is what happened here, that’s justification for termination alone. That’s before considering the fact that Coach Hoffner’s lawsuit cost Mankato hundreds of thousands of dollars, including a year of back pay. That’s before considering the fact that Coach Hoffner’s lawsuit cost Mankato a fistful of money in legal expenses.

This past year, Chancellor Rosenstone has touted a new project titled “Charting the Future.” The IFO isn’t impressed with that project:

Meanwhile, we are in a fourth iteration of strategic planning that has yet to result in any change at the legislature or any benefit to students. It is time to start focusing on the present realities on our campuses instead of constantly cranking out vague documents that purport to chart the future.

Let’s be blunt about this. MnSCU isn’t a trainwreck waiting to happen. MnSCU is a trainwreck that’s happening. Before publishing “vague documents that purport to chart the future”, it’s important for MnSCU to get the payroll right each week. I’m betting that taxpayers would love seeing MnSCU getting its trains consistently running on time.

Right now, the trains aren’t running on time. Right now, it’s an accomplishment for MnSCU to get a train out of the depot once a day. If you can’t get payroll right consistently, why would people think you can predict the future?

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2 Responses to “Rosenstone fiddles while MnSCU burns”

  • Patrick-M says:

    In 1991 Roger Moe (MN state Senate majority leader) INSISTED (caps intentional)that MNSCU be created so he could have something to call his legacy. Failure is a better word for Moe’s legacy. See PDF at http://tinyurl.com/n959twn for a bit of history – it was a mess from the beginning. I think we have found the poster child for Term Limits Roger Moe. He was in the legislature from 1970-2003 (Senate majority leader for 22 of those years)…way too long.

  • Greg says:

    Just wait until Rosenstone has to take “The Potter Indictment” seriously. Change is GOOD and its time for sweeping changes with some accountability

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