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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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November 16, 2005 Campus Newsletter

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Reaccreditation Evaluation Comments

The North Central Association's Higher Learning Commission is inviting public comment regarding Minnesota State Mankato in preparation for the University's 2006 reaccreditation evaluation.

The University will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit Feb. 6-8, 2006, by a Commission team. For the past year and half the University has engaged in a process of self-study, addressing the Commission's requirements and criteria for accreditation. The team will recommend a continuing status for the University. After a review process, the Commission will take final action.

The Commission is one of six accrediting agencies in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. It accredits approximately 950 institutions of higher education in the 19-state region. Institutional accreditation evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole. The University's reaccreditation self-study is under the leadership of Joan Roca, dean of library services, and Don Larsson, chair of the Department of English.

The public is invited to submit third-party comments that address substantive matters related to the quality of the University or its academic programs. The Commission must receive the written, signed comments by Jan. 6, 2006. Comments should include the name, address and telephone number of the person providing the comments; they will not be treated as confidential. Comments should be sent to:

Public Comments on Minnesota State University, Mankato
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400
Chicago, IL 60602
E-mail address:

Those with a specific dispute or grievance with the University should request a separate "Policy on Complaints" document from the Commission's office. The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education cannot settle disputes between institutions and individuals. Complaints will not be considered third-party comments.

Center of Excellence Earns Praise from State Officials

Officials from the Governor's Office, the Minnesota Legislature, Minnesota State and business and industry praised the new Minnesota Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence during a celebration event last week in the CSU Ballroom, hosted by President Richard Davenport.

The new Center, led by Dean John Frey and the College of Science, Engineering & Technology, will bring six college partners together with area manufacturers and K-12 schools to develop new programs encouraging students to pursue engineering and technical occupations. It also will help ensure that graduating engineers and technicians are steeped in cutting-edge, "best-practice" skills and knowledge demanded by Minnesota manufacturers.

It is one of four centers of excellence that will share $10 million allocated last spring by the Minnesota Legislature. Over the next two years the MNCEME will receive up to $3.3 million from the legislative appropriation and additional funds from private donations and grants.

"The stars are lined up for Mankato," said Office of Higher Education Director Susan Heegard. "Talented Minnesota students need a reason to stay in Minnesota," and the Center will provide that.

State Rep. Bob Gunther, instrumental in passing the legislation, said the project "has great potential. I'm very excited about the future of this collaboration."

Robert Hoffman, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, said the Center includes "some of the richest engineering and manufacturing talent in the system."

Minnesota State Chancellor James M. McCormick added that "the outstanding engineering school (at Minnesota State Mankato) is the basis for this," but it "could not have been accomplished without the power of all of you–the great technical and community colleges."

Industry Advisory Board representatives also lauded the new initiative. Their enthusiasm was summed up by Jonathan Zierdt of the Greater Mankato Economic Development Corporation, who called the initiative the most promising collaboration between education and industry that he's seen.

Colleges partnering with Minnesota State Mankato are Alexandria Technical College, Anoka Technical College, Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie, Normandale Community College in Bloomington, South Central College in Faribault and North Mankato, and the Northeast Higher Education District in International Falls, Ely, Virginia, Hibbing, Eveleth, Grand Rapids and Itasca.

What's in a Name?

Recent marketing research and other feedback have brought forward a number of important issues related to the name of our university.

  • One third of surveyed households in the Twin Cities who are aware of our university still refer to us as "Mankato State" instead of "Minnesota State."
  • The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System has informed us that we cannot imply we are the only "Minnesota State" in the system and has asked that we clearly indicate our specific campus.
  • Donor and alumni focus groups have told us that the word "Mankato" helps to maintain a sense of affinity with their alma mater.
  • The phrase "Minnesota State University, Mankato," while it addresses all of our naming issues, is relatively long and cumbersome. While it has often been replaced with the more convenient acronym "MSU," those same three letters can also represent "Mankato State University" to our various audiences. The acronym also does not clearly communicate our specific campus to those outside the campus boundaries.

In light of all these issues, we are asking campus departments to use "Minnesota State Mankato" as the preferred, shortened version of our University's name, particularly in new or revised printed publications. For questions on university name usage, please contact the Office of Integrated Marketing at 507-389-2523 or

Women's Hockey Frozen Four in 2008?

NCAA Ice Hockey LogoThe Athletics Department, in conjunction with the City of Mankato, the Greater Mankato Convention & Visitors Bureau and Midwest Wireless Civic Center, has submitted application documents to host the NCAA Division I Women's Hockey Frozen Four for 2008 or 2009.

Included in the 88-page application is information regarding the local organizing committee, a proposed budget, responses to questions regarding the facility, signage, broadcasting and media integration, food, beverage and merchandise concessions, hotel accommodations, marking and several letters of support.

The NCAA Division I Women's Hockey Frozen Four Committee will announce its decision in February.

'Freedom: A History of US' on Exhibit at Library

Freedom LogoAn exhibition from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York, "Freedom: A History of US," is open for viewing in Memorial Library for the remainder of the month.

The exhibition draws upon key documents and images to illustrate the changing understanding of freedom in America from its founding through 1968. Among the highlights are a rare 1776 printing of the Declaration of Independence, a secretly printed draft and official copy of the U.S. Constitution, Abraham Lincoln's handwritten notes of speeches, and letters by leading figures such as Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. Some of the more poignant descriptions of the meaning of freedom to the common man are found in the personal letters of Civil War soldiers, which speak to the pain and pride of fighting for national ideals.

The exhibition can be viewed Mondays through Thursdays from 7:45 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., Fridays from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 1-11:45 p.m.

Those who want more information may contact Memorial Library Archivist/Special Collections Librarian Daardi Sizemore at or 507-389-5949.

Nov. 18: Annual Diversity Dinner, Auction

This year's 35th annual diversity dinner and silent auction will be Friday, Nov. 18, at 5 p.m. in the Centennial Student Union. Ethnic foods and entertainment will be provided. The silent auction will be at 5 p.m., with proceeds going to replenish the institutional diversity emergency loan and program activity funds.

The Clarence E. Harris Humanitarian Award also will be presented at the dinner. It goes to an individual or organization that has demonstrated continuous support or service in promoting cultural diversity within Minnesota State Mankato or the surrounding community. The award is for those who have made specific contributions to students of color, or who have contributed to the growth and development of cultural diversity for all students.

Tickets and nomination forms are available from the Office of Institutional Diversity, 265 Morris Hall, or by calling 507-389-6125.

Campus Network Software Upgraded

The software for the campus core network recently was upgraded, and a redundant controller was added.

The upgrade provides a new, easy way to save and retrieve files from MavDISK through a web browser from anywhere in the world, and allows users to access library databases from off-campus without configuring proxy server settings. Secure web browsing, enhanced anti-spam software and the ability to access MavMAIL from a cell phone are additional features.

The upgrade also adds reliability to the campus network in event of a core router hardware failure, and reduces downtime needed for other software upgrades.

For more information go to the IT Services page.

KMSU Exceeds Fall Pledge Drive Goal

KMSU exceeded its Fall Pledge Drive goal, topping $15,000. Its first-ever on-air auction added $1,200, which resulted in a 36 percent increase over previous years' pledge drives.

KMSU received a $2,500 grant from the Mankato Area Foundation to purchase professional quality field recording devises for its student programs (Southern Minnesota News Project and High School News).

International Students Raise $932 for Earthquake Relief

The International Student Office has raised $932 for victims of the earthquake that struck Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. The funds will be channeled through the International Red Cross.

International students set up tables with collection canisters in the CSU and near Meyers Field House, and temporary Henna tattoos were provided by Nida Sumar for donations.

An October press conference about the University's response resulted in coverage by KEYC-TV and other media. Articles are posted on the ISO bulletin board.

Students and staff also signed a book in the International Student Office with messages for officials of the affected earthquake area.

Julie Caraway Jensen, Annelies Hagemeister, Bill Anders
Julie Caraway Jensen, Annelies Hagemeister, Bill Anderson
Erika Ertz, Lydia Hayward, Joni Forstner, Tara Hueper
Erika Ertz, Lydia Hayward, Joni Forstner, Tara Hueper

Students, Alumna Honored at Social Work Honors Day

The Department of Social Work honored four students and an alumna at the annual Social Work Honors Day last month.

Julie Caraway Jensen was recognized as Alumna of the Year. Julie is program director for Partners for Affordable Housing, a program that provides short-term shelter housing and longer-term homes and apartments for low-income people.

Student winners of the Department of Social Work Social Welfare Scholars Awards, recognizing excellence in research and writing, were Tara Hueper, Lydia Hayward, Joni Forstner and Erika Ertz. Their award-winning research papers focused on Head Start, methamphetamine dependency, services for the elderly and affordable housing.

Faculty/Staff Achievements

Numerous faculty and staff members were honored recently for professional achievements.

Bill Anderson (Social Work) presented a paper at the Minnesota Social Services Supervisors Conference, Breezy Point, and at the Region IX Minnesota Social Services Association annual conference in September.

Barb Bergman (Library Services), Meghann Matwichuk (University of Delaware) and Monique Threatt (Indiana University) presented at the annual conference of the Consortium of College & University Media Centers in Portland, Ore., in October.

Christine Black-Hughes (Social Work) presented at the Minnesota Social Services Supervisors Conference, Breezy Point.

An article by Kathryn Cady (Speech Communication) has been accepted for publication in Critical Studies in Media Communication. The article will appear in the journal's first issue of 2006.

Kebba Darboe (Ethnic Studies) presented at the Global Strategic Studies Conference in Omaha, Nebr., last month.

Nancy Fitzsimons (Social Work) presented at the Region IX Minnesota Social Services Association annual conference in September.

An article by Donald Friend (Geography) was published in The Funnel: News Magazine of the German-American Fulbright Commission. Another of Don's articles will be published in the Journal of Mountain Science, and he presented papers at the Fulbright Berlin Seminar in Berlin, Germany, the Italian Glaciological Committee 9 th Alpine Glaciological Meeting in Milano, Italy, the Institut für Geographie, Friedrich-Alexander Universität, in Erlangen, Germany, and at the Geographisches Institut, Universität zu Köln in Germany.

Articles by Curt Germundson (Art) were published in Collecting Modernism: Eurpoean Masterworks From the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute and Visual Resources.

Debra Gohagan (Social Work) presented at the MNLINK User Group meeting in St Paul last month, and at the Minnesota Library Association Conference in Minneapolis in September. Debra was also appointed to the Council on Social Work Education Commission on the Role and Status of Women and elected chair of the Baccalaureate Program Director's Information Technologies and Distance Education Committee for 2005-2006.

Doran Hunter (Political Science & Law Enforcement) presented a paper at the Conference of the Employers Confederation of the Mexican Republic.

Rosemary Krawczyk (Psychology) presented two papers at the Conference on Women, Gender, and Science, New Paltz, N.Y., in October.

Judith Kuster (Speech, Hearing & Rehabilitation Services) presented full-day workshops on Internet Resources for Speech-Language Pathologists in Marquette and Ann Arbor, Mich., in October. She also hosted the Eighth International Stuttering Awareness Day online conference.

Articles by Soonhwan Lee (Human Performance) were published in International Journal of Sport Management and International Sports Journal in September.

Paul Mackie (Social Work) presented at the Minnesota Social Service Association Region IX Conference in Mankato in September. He presented another paper to VINE: Faith in Action Agency in St. Peter and to Agriwellness Inc., The Clock is Ticking for Rural America: A Behavioral and Safety Conference, in Bloomington.

Luis Posas (Sociology & Corrections) delivered the keynote address at the Missouri Sociological Association conference in October.

Joan Roca (Library Services) was appointed as a consultant/evaluator in the Peer Review Corps of the Higher Learning Commission, part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and one of the six regional institutional accrediting associations in the United States.

Stewart Ross (Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning) was elected to a two-year term on the Center for Teaching and Learning (Minnesota State) Steering Committee, and presented ideas on active learning strategies for college classrooms for the faculty at Riverland Community College in November.

Paul Wyss (Distance Learning) presented a paper at the E-Learn 2005 World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare and Higher Education in Vancouver, Canada, in October.

Student Achievements

Several students won awards for papers and received scholarships recently.

Jessica Blackstad (Social Work) was awarded a 2005 Minnesota Department of Human Services scholarship for $5,000 to pursue a social work degree. Jessica also received a MDHS scholarship in 2004.

Sonja Christensen (Geography) took first place in a statewide undergraduate competition at the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium conference, winning a $1,000 scholarship. Yong-Seuk Park (Geography) placed second in the graduate paper competition. Other students and faculty members also presented, including Changjoo Kim (Geography) and Fei Yuan (Geography)

Angela Davis and Emily Engel (Rehabilitation Counseling) were awarded academic scholarships at the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association Fall Training Conference in St. Cloud this month.

Pam Miller, Marty Mitchell and Jose Lopez (Geography) had an article published in Physical Geography.

James Worm's (Geography) map of the Upper Missouri River region was used in an article by History Professor Emeritus Dr. Bill Lass. The article was published in South Dakota History, Vol. 35.


Personnel comings and goings at Minnesota State Mankato...

New hires include Jeffrey Bode (Physical Plant), Christopher Burban (Security), Samuel Casper (Building Services), Rebekah Elledge (Speech, Hearing and Rehabilitation Services), Mary Fleming (Registrar's Office), Emily Goetzke and Bessie Tsaouse (Nursing), Brandon Reichel (Athletics), Jeffrey Seehafer (Center for School-University Partnerships) and Cheryl Shumski (Campus Hub).

We bid farewell to Michael Letourneau (Security).