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This article highlights the contract that the MnSCU Board of Trustees approved with the Minneapolis PR firm PadillaCRT. Here’s what taxpayers got from this contract:

MnSCU commissioned Minneapolis PR firm PadillaCRT to help it “communicate the collective value” of the 31 colleges and universities it oversees throughout the state, according to a report the company delivered Tuesday.

The report makes clear that neither “MnSCU” nor its much lengthier full name are getting the job done, describing the names as a “mouthful,” “awkward,” difficult to say and “complicated to look at.”

Most troubling, the report suggests, is that the current branding is merely a “generic description” that “communicates very little” and doesn’t do anything to clarify exactly what the system is and which colleges it includes.

Here’s some of the findings from the report:

Connections are to individual schools. Students and alumni think of their alma mater. Business and community leaders have local or regional perspective. School leaders need autonomy to serve their communities.

Here’s another set of findings published in the report:

Rarely does anyone think of MnSCU in the aggregate. Even among those most familiar with MnSCU, people do not think of it as the sum of its parts.

Spending money on things this obvious is positively shameful. It’s just recklessly spending the taxpayers’ money. Here are the people we can ‘thank’ for their part in this “study session”:

Board of Trustees – Study Session
Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Vice Chair

Scheduled Presenter(s):
Kim Olson, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer
President Earl Potter, St. Cloud State University
Lynn Casey, CEO, Padilla CRT
Kelly O’Keefe, Chief Creative Strategy Officer, Padilla CRT

I wish I could say that I’m surprised but I can’t. Margaret Anderson-Kelliher attempted to shove a major spending increase down Minnesotans’ throats when she was Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2007-2010. Earl Potter in running St. Cloud State into the ground financially as we speak. Of course, they’d team to spend the taxpayers’ money foolishly on a report like this. It’s part of who they are. They can’t help themselves.

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