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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Planning Submeet & Confer Committee

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The Planning Sub-Meet and Confer has been involved in listening to comments at all of the Open Forums and in reading all of the responses to master plans that have been submitted on the website. We will use this memo to summarize briefly the comments that we heard expressed and to make some recommendations about the master plans based on our consideration of the comments.

Academic Space Needs

Several major issues related to academic space, including the need for a new academic building, were raised. Respondents were split on whether or not department or college identity was an important consideration for planning. Several lamented the lack of an "academic master plan," including enrollment management goals and attention to classroom space needs. Attention should be paid to health and safety issues such as heating, cooling, ventilation, and asbestos. Some raised concerns that space needs had changed since the campus plan was drafted. Respondents felt that the following specific issues need to be addressed: Nelson Hall needs renovations for adequate ventilation and space; Psychology has inadequate labs, poor housing in Armstrong Basement, and members located in 3 buildings; main stage in Performing Arts needs attention, and music needs a better recital hall; observatories suffer from light pollution, which was not considered; the Library needs more collection space and a connection to the rest of campus; Armstrong and Wiecking Auditorium were mentioned as needing classroom renovations.

Office Space for Academic and Support Units

There was also commentary on academic office spaces and support units' needs. Faculty office spaces in many buildings especially Armstrong Hall are very inadequate. AFSCME pointed out that there are no break rooms in some buildings. Several spoke of the importance of bringing the Career Development/ Counseling Center together in one central location. The potential loss of office space for Graduate Studies and Research was a concern. Others talked about more space and central locations for Center for Continuous Learning, First Year Experience, Human Resources, and Security. Several others pointed out that Disabilities Services needs to be centrally located and easily accessible both from residence halls and to the campus.


Other comments were focused on the external environment of the campus, including comments on green space, pedestrians, and traffic. There were some comments about art on campus. Other comments addressed preserving green space, maintaining the rugby field, preserving the view on the western bluff, and maintaining the arboretum as a teaching tool. There was no consensus on parking on campus; some people wanted no cars and others wanted more parking. Several, including neighbors of the campus, spoke of the importance of traffic control and pedestrian safety, especially on Stadium Road. In addition, there were comments on the importance of working with the surrounding neighborhoods as we plan. Working with the city on better mass transit would help.

Revenue Buildings

Finally, there were several comments on revenue buildings. In regard to housing, people agreed that students need a variety of options, but faculty and staff respondents wondered if we needed the new housing with all of the new developments on the edge of campus. Students were concerned if there would be enough space for upper-class students on campus and if housing would be affordable. Interest was expressed in graduate student and married housing. While people seemed to like the idea of a better entrance to CSU, the potential loss of office space (currently occupied by Graduate Studies and Research) was also pointed out by several people.


Based on these comments and our consideration of them, Planning Sub-Meet recommends:

  1. Classroom and academic building renovations as well as new, high quality classroom space are the highest priorities.
  2. The issue of the need for college and/or department identity (proximity) must be resolved.
  3. The size and quality of faculty and staff office space need to be better addressed.
  4. The location and office space for support units need to be re-evaluated.
  5. We should plan for greater safety and more free passage of pedestrians from residence halls and around campus and adjust traffic flow accordingly.
  6. The issues of green space and parking must be resolved.
  7. Choices for affordable student housing for upper-class, graduate, and married students need to be considered.
  8. A new entrance to MSU ought not to jeopardize already inadequate office space on campus.