Leaders Lead!
by Silence Dogood

According to an article published on NBCnews.com on October 19, 2014,


Dr. Raymond Burse, the President at Kentucky State University in Frankfort is taking a $90,000 pay cut “so the lowest-paid workers on his campus can get a wage boost.” Essentially, 24 employees will get a pay raise from $7.25 to $10.25 per hour.

Dr. Anne Blackhurst, the new President at Minnesota State University—Moorhead during homecoming week celebrations two weeks ago led a fundraising effort by running 12.5 miles (50 laps around the track) and personally donated $1,000 per lap out of her own salary towards the effort for a total donation of $50,000. Her fundraising efforts raised a total of $1,200,000, which is the largest fundraising effort in MSUM’s history!

What has President Earl Potter done?

At SCSU, President Potter is once again heading to China for several weeks. This, despite the fact, the university is facing a $9,500,000 shortfall in this year’s budget, enrollment is down over 5% for the fourth year in a row, Coborn’s Plaza is hemorrhaging money costing SCSU $6,400,000 in the first four years of operation and an incredibly low approval rating of President Potter and his administration as evidenced by the results of the Great Place to Work Survey.

Winona State University’s Faculty Senate on Monday unanimously voted “no confidence” in MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone.


According to the article the reason for the vote by the Winona Faculty Senate was

“a recurring pattern of secrecy in MnSCU decision making regarding the hiring of private consultants, questionable spending decisions by the System Office, and an unwillingness to incorporate greater student and faculty input into long term planning.”

Let’s look to see if these same issues occur at SCSU.

Anyone familiar with SCSU knows that has become easier to hire a consultant than hire a part-time faculty member. While some consultants may be performing worthwhile functions, the sheer number of consultants that have been hired the last few years is simply stunning—and those are only the consultants we know about! Consultant contracts range on the low end from a few thousand dollars to nearly half a million dollars.

SCSU also seems to have several questionable spending decisions of its own—most notably the contract with the Wedum Foundation for the Coborn’s Plaza Apartments, which has taken $6,400,000 from the university’s budget in the first four years of operation. On top of that, spending $720,000 on a three-year contract for additional police officers in the community surrounding the SCSU campus, $450,000 for the Confucius Institute and $459,000 on a ‘Rebranding’ campaign. This is only a partial list of major expenses!

Lastly, the lack of input and consideration of a wide array of opinions prior to making major decisions is the norm at SCSU. Most decisions are simply announced after the fact. Multiple administration positions have been filled without searches or consultation with the faculty. Some of these positions have been filled this way for several years. Even when the faculty requested inclusion in the process for removing grades from student’s transcripts, the President denied the request. So much for being ‘open and transparent.’

Perhaps the wrong senate took a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the wrong person.

The Winona State University (WSU) vote was taken by the 28 faculty members who comprise their Faculty Senate, which is the governing body for the faculty at WSU. The Great Place to Work Survey conducted at SCSU with 634 of 1,582 of those invited responding was clearly not a vote of confidence in President Potter and his administration. However, with such abysmal results for the senior leadership, it certainly could be viewed as a vote of no confidence in President Potter and his administration.

President Potter, with the support of Chancellor Rosenstone, simply refuses to see his part in the decline of what was once bragged to be the ‘flagship’ university in the MnSCU system. It truly is a shame because without leadership that is supported by the faculty and staff, things simply aren’t going to change for the better.

3 Responses to “Leaders Lead”

  • What has President Potter done? A lot of damage. The video I just watched is stunning beyond belief! WTF! The loss is in the millions of dollars now.

  • Crimson Trace says:

    So the enrollment management plan has been found after Saffari was terminated in 2011? Did it fall behind a copy machine? Why was headcount reported instead of FYE’s? Inquiring minds would like to know.

  • Patrick-M says:

    The latest “happy talk” email (SCSU 30th day enrollment) from EP3 tells the SCSU community don’t worry, that enrollment management plan has been found and the school is on track. The message trumpets that even though there was “5.1% decrease from 2013, however we remain the largest head count in MnSCU”. Sad to see the demise of a once great institution.

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