Monday Minute: March 16, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Revenue-generating ideas continue to flow in from all parts of the college, and I will explore many of them with you in my future Monday messages. We want to continue gathering and assessing ideas throughout the semester, with the goal of identifying -- with your input -- the most promising ones by the end of this school year. We will pilot the ideas most easily launched this summer and develop plans for the others, with the goal of implementing them by the summer of 2010 or 2011.

We are not alone in this activity. At a lunch the Twin Cities deans had with the Board of Regents last week, I sat next to Patricia Simmons, the recently re-elected board chair, and Jim Parente, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Jim mentioned an idea that has also been suggested by some of you: setting up summer courses to "teach the teachers." This would enable K-12 teachers and MNSCU faculty from around the state to come to campus to catch up on the cutting-edge work going on in various fields, tapping the most up-to-date knowledge of our research faculty, while taking advantage of teachers' ability to spread that knowledge widely.

We should continue to look for such win-win scenarios. This particular idea might be done better at the scale of the University rather than of a single college, but it shows that what works best for us can also have widespread benefits for many others.