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The fake fight that MnSCU has tricked newspapers statewide into playing is insulting to thoughtful people. With virtually every newspaper in the state insisting that the IFO has to return to the bargaining table with MnSCU Chancellor Rosenstone, it’s difficult to a word in edgewise about what’s actually important.

What’s desperately in need of fixing at MnSCU isn’t what’s in Charting the Future, aka CtF. The things in CtF are things that universities are already working with tech and community colleges on. Lots of things in Chancellor Rosenstone’s ‘vision’ are things that’ve been around for years.

That begs another question. If many of these things aren’t new, why haven’t they been implemented yet? That’s a great question, one that points us to what desperately needs fixing. The powers that be, whether we’re talking about Chancellor Rosenstone or others in MnSCU’s Central Office or whether we’re talking about some of the universities’ presidents, aren’t competent.

There isn’t a CEO that would hire a consultant for $2,000,000 to implement CtF. A competent CEO would put together a team of his/her people and tell them their assignment and the timetable to complete their assignment. That CEO wouldn’t hide the consultant’s contract, mostly because it wouldn’t be possible to hide it from the board or directors but also because private companies put a high priority on accountability and profitability.

The MnSCU Board of Trustees haven’t put a high priority on Central Office accountability. If they had, they would’ve insisted that St. Cloud State and the 10 other MnSCU institutions that need to submit recovery plans soon should’ve been called out years ago.

It’s fiction that anyone, whether it’s MnSCU or Nostradamus, can chart the future. MnSCU shouldn’t attempt that because it’s impossible. If they want to set specific goals, then implement them within a specific timeframe, that’s fine. Then, at least, it’s possible to verify whether they’re meeting specific, quantifiable goals. Without that, all that will happen is some bureaucrats putting out a report saying that they’re doing a fine job without a way to measure that statement.

Our students deserve better than that.

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