Strategy F

Charting the Future and Strengthen Institutional Performance

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities are essential to Minnesota’s economic success and social fabric and have been since the Minnesota Legislature authorized Winona Normal School (now Winona State University) in 1858. We fulfill our promise to Minnesota by being places of hope and opportunity where all Minnesotans can create better futures for themselves, their families and their communities. We believe every Minnesotan – regardless of age, economic status, cultural background, disability, immigrant status, or place of residence – deserves the opportunity for an excellent education.

To deliver on this promise, our energies and resources are focused on the core commitments articulated in our Strategic Framework:

  1. Ensure access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans,
  2. Be the partner of choice to meet Minnesota’s workforce and community needs,
  3. Deliver to students, employers, communities and taxpayers the highest value/most affordable option

The first Strategic Framework Performance Metric Report for Bemidji State University was released in May of 2013. In the report there are historical trends for 19 metrics reported for BSU. The performance metrics were developed in consultation with several constituency groups. The university institutional research directors participated in the development of definitions, data sources and reporting standards for the metrics. Consultation with the IR Group on the methods for setting improvement goals is currently underway. In addition to the discussions of the metrics with the Leadership Council, the chief academic and student affairs officers, deans and chief finance officers have been consulted.

Goals & Initiatives
1. Increase Student Persistence, i.e., Retention, at Bemidji State University


  • Defined as: Percent of a fall entering cohort of full?time students who have been retained, graduated or transferred by the second fall term following original fall enrollment.
  • BSU, from 2006 to 2011 has averaged 3.5% lower persistence than other MnSCU universities.
  • By 2016 our goal is to move persistence to at least the university average.
2. Increase Student Completion


  • Defined as percent of an entering cohort that has completed by 150 percent of normal time. Completion is measured as graduation by the end of the sixth spring after entry at the universities.
  • Between 2002 and 2006, the median completion rate at BSU is 2.85% below the median completion rate for MnSCU universities.
  • By 2019 our goal is to move completion rates at BSU to within one percent of the university average.
3. Decrease the gap in student tuition and fees between Bemidji State University and MnSCU Universities


  • Defined as Tuition and fees net of financial aid.
  • In the period 2008 to 2013, median tuition and fees were 10.1% higher at BSU than at MnSCU universities.
  • BSU needs to take every opportunity to lower tuition and fees compared to system universities. This may be accomplished by introducing lower tuition increases than MnSCU, cutting expenses (increasing affordability) or a combination of both strategies.
4. Increase the diversity of the students and employees at Bemidji State University


  • Defined as employees of color as a percent of total employees and student of color credit students as a percent of total credit headcount.
  • In the period 2007 to 2012, median percent of employees of color at BSU was 34% lower than the median percent at MnSCU universities. Similarly, the median percent of students of color at BSU was 24% lower than MnSCU universities.
  • By 2016 our goal is to cut these percentages in half. Part of the answer is a systematic and successful to recruit and retain Native Americans.
  • Related to this goal is the completion rate of students of color. For the period 2002 to 2006 the completion rate for students of color at BSU was 42.8% lower than the completion rate for MnSCU universities.
  • By 2019 our goal is to cut the completion deficit in half.
5. Juxtapose the intent of Charting the Future with the strategic milieu proposed in this strategic plan.


  • Dramatically increase the success of all learners, especially those in diverse populations traditionally underserved by higher education.
  • Develop a collaborative and coordinated academic planning process that advances affordability, transferability and access to our programs and services across the state.
  • Certify student competencies and capabilities, expand pathways to accelerate degree completion through credit for prior learning, and foster the award of competency-based credit and degrees.
  • Expand the innovative use of technology to deliver high quality online courses, strengthen classroom instruction and student services, and provide more individualized learning and advising.
  • Work together under new models to be the preferred provider of comprehensive workplace solutions through programs and services that build employee skills and solve real-world problems for communities and businesses across the state.
  • Redesign our financial and administrative models to reward collaboration, drive efficiencies, and strengthen our ability to provide access to an extraordinary education for all Minnesotans.