Regents discuss turning U land into new community

The recommendations are based on principles the board decided on in February.

by Elizabeth Cook

University officials discussed a plan Thursday to create a place for 20,000 to 30,000 people to live in Rosemount.

Part of the University-owned 12-square mile area – UMore Park – would be a livable community in 20 to 30 years.

Charles Muscoplat, vice president for statewide strategic resource development, presented the plan Thursday to the University Board of Regents and said Regents would discuss the plans over the next few months.

The UMore Park Steering Committee made the recommendations after working since February with Sasaki Associates Inc., a land planning consulting company.

The area would include housing for the population growth in the area, which is expected to increase, according to a committee report.

Other plans include: wireless technology in every home, a library and technology-based learning center linked to the University library system and a health and wellness complex.

Other major components of the community would be green space and encouraging an active lifestyle through design. Spaces would be designated to increase walking and running.

The recommendations are based on principles the Board decided on in February, which included furthering the academic mission for the property and respecting the surrounding area.

Muscoplat said the plan follows the mission by enhancing “quality of life” through healthy living, natural resources, education and culture.

The recommendations presented at the meeting did not include information about the cost of the project or how it will be implemented, but will be addressed at upcoming meetings, he said.

One way to generate money from the land is to sell the already existing concrete and gravel that was left behind in the 1940s when the area was used to manufacture gunpowder. The cement infrastructure still stands.

Student Conduct Code

The Regents formally reviewed changes to the Student Conduct Code for the first time.

The Board recommended changes to some of the ambiguous words like “may” and “alleged” and will look at the code again next month.

One change to the code is that University officials would be able to discipline students for off-campus actions.

Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart said the code would be enforced when conduct “adversely affects a substantial University interest,” is a criminal offense defined by state or federal law, or indicates the student may be a danger or threat to the safety of others and themselves.

This code would be enforced in situations like sexual or violent assaults by a University student on another, he said.

Rinehart said the reason for making the change is to protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff.

“These are situations we feel we should be able to intervene in,” he said.

Student representative to the Board, Nathan Wanderman, said some students are concerned about the code being used for smaller offenses.

“For example, technically a minor consumption (citation) could be used against a student,” he said.

Wanderman said another student concern relates to the possibility of an overzealous vice provost who could over-exercise the jurisdiction aspect.

“We need something outside of the University to help enforce this to make sure there’s some sort of balance, “he said.

Under the code, the University has the ability to withhold a diploma or degree or revoke admission.

The University would withhold or revoke a degree, Rinehart said, if, for example, a student omitted information on a University application about previously failed course work at other schools to improve admission chances at the University.