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Friday, June 11, 2021

Budget and Compact results for FY 2022

The Board of Regents is discussing the University’s proposed budget at this week’s meeting and will take final action at the end of June. For the college, part of this annual cycle is the conclusion of the Compact process. I’ve noted previously that this year the Compact process instructions required each college and administrative support unit to develop recurring reallocation options (i.e., spending reductions) of 3%, 6%, and 9% of what’s referred to as O&M (basically, tuition and state appropriations) to address the anticipated budget pressures for the upcoming biennium.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Shared governance update for 2020-21

Across the long trek of the academic year, the college’s navigation through the pandemic benefited significantly from our shared governance groups. 

These groups include long-standing and vital constitutional governance bodies such as the Assembly; Council of Chairs; Administrators Forum; P&A Board, Student Board; Promotion and Tenure Review Committee; Curriculum, Instruction, and Advising Committee; Course Review Committee; and Executive Committee. Each of these groups made substantial contributions throughout the year. To give but one example, the Assembly, the college’s most widely representative governance body, made significant contributions through identifying and communicating principles and guidelines for collegiate statements on diversity and equity, collaborating with the Center for Education Innovation to identify effective strategies for inclusive teaching in a distance-learning environment, and developing and reaffirming the Assembly’s values and principles for budget reallocation to meet the challenge of pandemic-era budgeting.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

One year after George Floyd's murder

Today marks one year since the murder of George Floyd. On this day, I join other individuals and communities who are thinking of Mr. Floyd’s family and loved ones, who dearly miss their father, brother, and friend. It will be a day when people across the globe pause and reflect. Here in the Twin Cities and on our campus, we take this moment to reflect on the historic movement his murder sparked in Minnesota and around the world. We take this moment to reach out and listen to our Black colleagues, students, and friends who have been deeply affected by Mr. Floyd’s death. We take this moment to acknowledge the particular distress that the painful events of the past year have caused our colleagues and students from BIPOC and other marginalized communities. And we take this moment to reaffirm our commitment to moving forward on the issues of race, justice, dignity, and respect, as a college and as individuals. 

Visit CLA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page for more information about our collective efforts, projects, progress, and initiatives in this area. And as President Gabel shared in her message this morning, the University has compiled a list of support and educational resources that you may find helpful today and throughout the year. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

CLA's future of work goals

I know many in our CLA community are anxious to understand what the future of work will look like when the University’s work-from-home restriction expires in August. As a college community, we don’t yet have all the answers, but I’d like to summarize the feedback we’re receiving from faculty and staff and share the interests and concerns at the heart of Future of Work discussions underway in the college. This message also indicates how you can contribute to these conversations. 

Thinking through these issues is a work in progress. August 2 will be a start, but only a start. Almost certainly there’ll be a need to revise, assess, and adjust as we move along. That’s okay. I also note that the discussion below focuses largely on the supervisor and staff experience that has been predominantly discussed in the Future of Work group. Nonetheless, units thinking through issues of faculty work may also find this discussion of assistance.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Extraordinary efforts during an extraordinary year

As we near the end of the semester, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for your outstanding and extraordinary efforts this academic year. 

It has been a time like no other in our college’s history, a time of challenges that we couldn’t have imagined a couple of years ago. I think back to the beginning of the pandemic, when we went from the occasional video conference to holding over 40,000 Zoom meetings per week. When instructors converted their in-person instruction in massive numbers to remote and online courses. When CLA’s academic advisors and career counselors had to switch on a dime and began conducting hundreds of virtual meetings per day with students. When LATIS helped convert hundreds of classes to an online format in a matter of days and weeks. When we all adjusted to a work from home experience with no clear sense of how long it would last.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Fiscal year 2021 recap and fiscal year 2022 projections

 As we head toward the end of the academic and fiscal years, I wanted to provide you with an update on fiscal and budgetary matters. You can find previous fiscal messages by scrolling to the bottom of the CLA COVID-19 page. 

For the current fiscal year (FY21), by the University’s estimates the U’s budgetary shortfall, including all colleges, campuses, and units, is $170 million. That gap is expected to be met through various spending reductions across units, including the hiring and merit freezes; use of budgetary reserves; the pay reduction and furlough program; a loan to Gopher Athletics; and assistance through the federal relief programs which are to be used for FY21 only.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Statement regarding Chauvin trial and verdict

(Message sent to CLA students, staff, and faculty on April 20, 2021.)

Dear CLA community,

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed a few miles from campus. The killing was appalling and outrageous. It shocked the conscience of millions throughout our state, across the country, and around the world. Today, former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of 2nd and 3rd degree murder and manslaughter in Mr. Floyd’s death.

The time in between has been a time of grief, of action, of anxiety and concern. It has underlined the stark inequities faced by Black and Indigenous communities and communities of color in Minnesota and across the country. And it has seen a powerful call for reform, not just surrounding matters of policing, but across all sectors of society.