President's Staff Update
Volume 14 - July 2012
Join our reading group
We're constantly swapping news stories, articles, essays and the like on issues of importance to St. Scholastica's future. We'd like you to be reading along with us and sharing your own views. To that end we've created a blog called, imaginatively enough, "What we're reading." Check it out at

Private-public gets it done
The College is deepening its private-public partnerships with several MnSCU schools, to better serve students in the Twin Cities and Grand Rapids areas as well as online. For the first time we'll be running a hybrid HIIM undergraduate program out of St. Paul College. We have an agreement with Inver Hills Community College to offer their associate of arts degree completion program at our downtown St. Paul campus. And we're retooling our presence at Itasca Community College from the traditional 2 + 2 management program to the Extended Studies model, with Pam Hagedon moving from Brainerd to work from an office on the ICC campus. (Amie Anderson is the new Center Manager at Brainerd – congratulations Amie!)

How's our little bridge?
As you know, last month's flood significantly damaged our campus entrance bridge over Chester Creek and washed out part of adjacent parking lot 6A. But the stone-clad span's culvert is repairable and is covered by insurance. We're working with an engineer to determine the proper fix and then will secure permits from the appropriate authorities. Our hope is to reopen the bridge entry by the start of the school year. We also expect to address the low spots that were created on the soccer/football practice field in time for the season's start.

There's a digital file for that
The College is taking a big step toward going paperless. We're implementing a sustainability initiative called document imaging, through which we'll digitize all student, employee and financial documents. We'll save on paper and printing, improve efficiency by being able to view documents online from anywhere at any time, reduce errors because documents and files are not lost, and save space as we get rid of file cabinets. Admissions is going first; they're scanning in all new student applications, transcripts, and associated documents. They should be virtually paperless by fall. Next up is Financial Aid, followed by the Registrar and Student Accounts.

Homing in on a VP for HR
The Vice President for Human Resources Search Committee invited four candidates on campus in the last couple of weeks to meet with faculty, staff and students. We have a strong pool from more than 60 applicants and hope to identify a finalist soon. The committee is led by Lynne Hamre and Margot Zelenz; members are Tom Brekke, Pat Flattery, Emily Johnson, Mary Tanner and Ron Berkeland.

A new chapter for the bookstore
The College's bookstore is in transition. We're ending our contract with Nebraska Books on Sept. 26. Traditional students will continue to use our onsite bookstore for fall semester, while graduate, extended and online students will use our new eBookstore, The onsite bookstore will transition to a convenience store selling Saints attire, student supplies and grocery items. We're making the move because students are already purchasing books online, the on-ground bookstore isn't servicing all of our extended and online students, and we've experienced problems with book availability and timely delivery. Stay tuned.

What a difference a decade makes
Our continuing accreditation report to the Higher Learning Commission is complete and is now being formatted for submission by Aug. 15. The last time we did such a report was 10 years ago, and the College's progress since then is striking, including enrollment growth, program development, new buildings in Duluth, new sites across the state, the successful completion of two major fundraising initiatives, and an endowment that jumped from $13 million to $49 million. Once the school year starts we'll make sure everyone has access to the final report and can be properly prepared for the accreditation team's visit to campus beginning Oct. 15. Next time in this space, we'll share lessons learned from the process.

Updating crisis communications
We're taking a look at the way the College communicates in crisis situations. We want to assure we have effective protocols in place and are optimizing our use of technology. Senior leadership, along with standing committees that deal with emergencies, expect to have an updated plan in place this fall.

The Last Word
President's Staff starts every meeting with a prayer or spiritual reflection. Our favorite in recent weeks came from Margot Zelenz. The author is unknown.

A Summer Blessing

May you walk with God
This summer
In whatever you do
Wherever you go

Walking with God means...
Walking with honesty
And with courage,
Walking with love
And respect
And concern for the feelings of others

May you talk to God
This summer
And every day and
In every situation

Talking with God means...
Praying words of praise
For the beauty of creation
Saying prayers of thanks
For friends and good times,
Asking God's help
In all your decisions
Expressing sorrow
When you have failed

May you talk with God
Every day
The College of St. Scholastica

In the spirit of hospitality, we invite your comments and questions. Click here.

What's Ahead
You can tell we're heading into the second half of the summer by the campus events that we see year to year. Later this week, in come the cheerleaders for their annual convention. Then it's the Prairie Fire Children's Theater folks in the Mitchell, and Emeritus College's Day at College is Aug. 21.
Next week, the Sisters welcome the American Benedictine Academy conference to campus. Its theme is "Seek Peace and Pursue It: Monasticism in the Midst of Global Upheaval."