New leaders at U, MnSCU could mean new collaboration

by Katherine Lymn

The coinciding of major power transitions at the U and MnSCU could be an opportunity for new collaboration in a time of disappearing state aid, MPR reports today.

The U’s new president, Eric Kaler, took over last week. Steve Rosenstone, who’s leaving the U to become chancellor of MnSCU’s 32 schools, will take over on Aug. 1. Kaler told MPR he’s discussed more collaboration with Rosenstone, who’s brought up “backroom operations” ideas to save money together.

“Business operations, infrastructure, the way we handle financial operations, facilities, technology, libraries and the like,” Rosenstone said. “That does not in any way create a problem in the very distinct missions of the two systems.”

MPR notes the two systems already share some resources, like 200 partnerships or programs. Students can also easily transfer credits between the two.

While she said there are no rumblings of it yet, Sen. Michelle Fischbach, who heads the House higher ed committee, said legislation to require collaboration is an option.