A New Focus for UMD

By KBJR News 1

August 31, 2011 Updated Aug 31, 2011 at 6:05 PM CDT

The new school year is here and at the University of Minnesota Duluth, the new chancellor has some innovative plans to make this the best experience it can be for his students.

UMD is trying something different this year.

A new strategic plan is designed to focus students and staff on a set of core values including strengthening ties with the community.

"I can truly say that I am proud that this is my home and I'm certainly proud that the people in this room are my colleagues, and my friends and my neighbors," Chancellor Black said to the audience.

UMD Chancellor Lendley Black listed six main goals as he laid out his plan.

Topping his list are establishing an excellent graduate program, advancing research, utilizing infrastructure and technology, and setting UMD apart from other institutions of higher learning.

The plan was crafted with input from 2,000 people including members of the community and students.

"There were students involved in every level of this process. I was in the vision group and the steering committee. We're still involved and anything we have we can go to Chancellor Black and he is very open and receptive to student involvement," UMD senior Zack Filipovich said, who has been working on this plan with the student government.

"We went through the year about 7 months worth I guess of discussions and forums not only on campus but also in the community many of our city officials and leaders were also part of the process," Black stressed.

This fall the wheels will begin to turn with the school and the community taking action for a brighter future for Bulldog students and the city of Duluth.

Among the chancellor's biggest concerns were state budget cuts.
He said he plans to work with University of Minnesota leaders to help ease the pain of significantly decreased funding.

Written for the web by: Zach Vavricka