If I was advising Steven Rosenstone, the ‘retiring’ MnSCU chancellor, about communications, I’d quickly teach him the first rule of holes. The first rule of holes is simple. If you’re in one, stop digging. I’d add that, if you ignore the first rule of holes, the second rule is similar but more urgent. The second rule of holes is that if you’re in one and you’ve refused to stop digging, stop digging ASAP.

While explaining why MnSCU has spent $617,000 on rebranding MnSCU, Chancellor Rosenstone recently said that “brand research has found the MnSCU name to be confusing. He said the system must be able to communicate the benefits of attending one of its schools.”

This is consultant-driven thinking. Another term for consultant-driven thinking is stupidity. If MnSCU stopped spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants, administrators and rebranding efforts, they could direct more money towards great professors. That, in turn, would trigger better student outcomes and higher placement rates after graduation.

Academic reputation and high placement rates after graduation is more effective in turning MnSCU around. Students and parents don’t spend much time sitting at the kitchen table wondering whether the student will be able to transfer from Metropolitan State to Moorhead. They spend their time figuring out which university will give them the skills they need to get a high-paying job. Brandon Johnson and Gloria Kaul-Kennedy have figured it out. They’re both students. Here’s what Johnson said:

It cost $272,000 for someone to come up with a name they got from a ‘Coach’ rerun?

Here’s what Ms. Kaul-Kennedy said:

The money could be well spent on many other things. The name change will mean nothing to 99.99 percent of the people. Don’t the administrators have other things to spend their expensive time on?

Ms. Kaul-Kennedy’s statement and question instantly put a smile on my face because she’s figured out what’s a priority to her and what’s foolishness. Here’s hoping that the consultants and administrators don’t negatively influence her thinking.

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3 Responses to “More MnSCU foolishness”

  • Crimson Trace says:

    Good grief. This is as bad as SCSU’s half million dollar rebranding campaign. I guess if MnSCU wants to see a systemwide enrollment drop of 27% like SCSU, then rebranding is a good plan for an enrollment plunge.

  • Gerald Johnson says:

    It seems like a pretty clear snub to Minnesota State Mankato and Minnesota State Moorhead. Perhaps we are back to 2000 when the Board of Trustees thought all of the universities should have roughly the same name. Seems like a terrible idea and a waste of money.

  • eric z says:

    It seems easier to point at the problem than to say how to fix it. Yes, first a broom since it at the heart is a personnel dysfunctional show.

    But then what? How do you make it work correctly? Or do you scrap and downsize, since the TC campus is the crown jewel, and its excellence could not be quickly rebuilt if the farmers in the legislature do dumb stuff. It has the graduate science and engineering excellence; the seed corn graduates from there being the next generation’s crop of leadership excellence.

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