Members Present: Members Present: Others Present: Others Present:

Chris Fastnow

Chris Livingston

 Carina Beck Chris Kearns
Terry Leist Sara Mannheimer Becca Belou Ron Larsen
Michael Babcock Brendan Mumey Jeanne Marie Callahan Mike Ouert
Walt Banziger Nicol Rae David DiMaria Megan Prettyman
Virginia Bratton Tricia Seifert Diane Donnelly Ronda Russell
Janet Heiss-Arms Nora Smith Tracy Ellig Brenda York
Wade Hill Katie O'Keefe Ian Godwin  
Keely Holmes      


I.  Welcome and announcements

II.  Approval of Minutes from November 23, 2015 – postponed to next meeting

III.  Information/Updates – none

IV.  Discussion:

A.  Metric deep dive

1.  L.2.1 and L.2.4 – retention and graduation rates – guided by Chris Fastnow and Tricia Seifert.

Questions raised in September:

  • More detailed data on both
  • How to get to targets in time?
  • Does application process and timing impact retention and grad?
  • Hear from AYCSS, UPdate Advising 

Planning Council member and Associate Professor of Adult and Higher Education Tricia Seifert presented a summary of research on what factors impact college student success, including policy, student behaviors, institutional environment, and institutionally fostered experiences (slides attached).  She also provided examples of MSU activities in these areas.

Chris Kearns, Vice President of Student Success reported on the UPdate Advising workgroup’s recommendations around advising to foster student success outcomes.  Recommendations include clarifying the role of advisors within each unit, building on advising support infrastructure, empowering students to engage in advising process, and developing unit plans for advising.

With that baseline information, the Council discussed several retention related topics: using IT to identify academically off-track students, use of Degree Works, and mapping advising across campus.

Ian Godwin presented trend data on persistence and graduation, showing both the SP metric rates (first-time, full-time) and other broader cohort data.  MSU’s retention and graduation reports for all cohort definitions are available online (

Carina Beck, Director of the Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success, presented on AYCSS efforts to improve student success outcomes, supported by institutional and grant investments including:

  • TRIO SSS grant-funded project to work with first generation, disabled, and/or low income students. 4000 MSU students meet the criteria, funding accommodates 140.  Will apply lessons broadly as able.
  • Define and identify students at risk based on cognitive, non-cognitive, and expectation variables
  • Encourage student engagement, ChampChange

Diane Donnelly, Director of University Studies and the Advising Center, discussed specific advising cohorts that show promise, e.g. Pre-US, Pre-Med, CoEX, with focus on finding major fit and getting students on-path quickly.  She described the important role math prep and placement play.

Chris Fastnow described several curricular and institutional efforts, including Freshman 15, TEAL, flipped classrooms, supplemental and peer instruction, and instructional coaches in the departments.  These are largely faculty-led efforts with some institutional support through the Strategic Investment Proposal and Performance Funding processes.

Questions about where to direct efforts for biggest impact were raised.  Discussion followed on race and ethnicity, gender, residency, and tribe, and developing a critical mass or the support structure that critical mass can be for a student even when the numbers are small.

2.  A.2.1-4 – Diversity – guided by Becca Belou.

Questions raised in September:

  • More detailed data on each group – UG/Gr, program/dept, admission type
  • How were targets set?
  • What strategies indicated by unit plans?
  • Articulation agreements with tribal colleges (discussed in November)
  • Feeder schools/programs (discussed in November)
  • Recruitment strategies
  • Faculty/staff numbers
  • Can we look at NCAA exit data?
  • Hear from OIP/David DiMaria
  • How is retention related?

Becca Belou presented information on MSU enrollment trends within race and ethnic groups.  Annual enrollment numbers are posted online ( 

Becca shared the diversity-related strategies from college, department, and division plans as submitted over the last few years.

Chris Fastnow addressed the background on setting metric targets – in all cases growth in specific groups was targeted higher than the overall 15% enrollment growth target, between 20% and 45%, depending on the group, its size and impact in our state, and the level of emphasis in the Strategic Planning Committee to expand diversity in specific ways.

Camie Bechtold, Senior Associate Athletic Director, reported on the results of student-athlete surveys from the past two years, broken out by minority and non-minority respondents.  Minority respondents reported lower levels of satisfaction on most topics both within Athletics and across campus.  Camie noted that minority women were less satisfied than minority men.  Athletics is pursuing a diverse coaching staff.  Camie noted the impact of a homogenous campus and broader community on recruitment and retention efforts, though student-athlete success rates outpace the student body as a whole.  Athletic aid as well as support services within Athletics help to increase student success outcomes.

Ronda Russell, Admissions Director, and Mike Ouert, Assistant Director, shared information on the number of new entering students from under-represented race and ethnic groups.  Application are healthy, but yield is difficult.  There are several recruiting/outreach efforts specifically for Native American students, which have shown success.  Additional targeted financial aid for URM students would likely improve outcomes.

Brenda York addressed issues facing veteran and re-entry students, who contribute to the non-traditional age population metric, including local cost of living, tight housing market, day care availability, and math and writing barriers for students who have been out of school for some time.  Bridge programs, targeted financial aid could be helpful here.

The Council invited David DiMaria, Associate Provost for International Programs, and Megan Prettyman, Manager of International Recruitment & Marketing, to return next month.

B.  Planning for next month’s switch to prioritization conversation – postponed to next meeting

V.  Other Business - none 

Next Meeting: February 24, 1-3 pm PCR


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