IFO Faculty Forums on the Future of Higher Education in the State of Minnesota

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees recently announced a new initiative with the goal to become “The Nation’s Most Innovative Higher Education System: Reimagining Minnesota State.”

The MinnState Forum on Reimagining will convene 5-8 thought leaders (in addition to three trustees) who have led changes in complex organizations. Individuals could be from healthcare, non-profit/community, or other industry areas (service, manufacturing, financial, etc.). In addition, individuals will be identified to speak to the group and share their experiences addressing change in their own area that developed innovative practices, including leaders in higher education.

IFO faculty are the state’s experts on academics, and our commitment to a quality educational experience for our students make us principal stakeholders in the future of MinnState. We design programs, develop innovative classes, incorporate new teaching materials, and cultivate student learning using varying teaching methods and high engagement strategies. There is no doubt faculty make a significant contribution to the recruitment and retention of our students. 

Over the next several months, the IFO will begin our own initiative to make our voices heard. We are asking each campus faculty association and all IFO members to begin thinking in earnest about the future of our institutions and the MinnState System. As the IFO Academic Affairs Coordinator, I will work across campuses to arrange meetings and bring faculty together for discussions.

I would like to kick-start this work in early October with visits to each campus during which I will: 

1)     Meet with the Academic Affairs (or equivalent) Committee; and

2)     Host a forum for all interested faculty as an opportunity for sharing ideas on the future of higher education.  

By mid-January, the IFO will provide the BOT and Chancellor Malhotra a copy of our “Initial Ideas on the Future of Higher Education in the State of Minnesota” based on the feedback from these meetings.

More information will be released once meeting dates/times are arranged, including questions to guide initial discussions.

Please contact me at omdahl@ifo.org if you have any questions or comments.