A period of transformation...

If you read the latest news in higher education, you are aware of the significant concerns over the trends for traditionally older non-traditional students, changing attitudes on the value of higher education, and increased employer demands, to name a few. Without question, higher education is going through a period of transformation. As a campus, we can choose to let this transformation happen to us or we can be a part of creating a substantive place in that future.  

For this reason, I am pleased that we have started the “Imagine Crookston’s Future” process to allow everyone on campus the opportunity to think forward and contribute to our dynamic future.

You may recall the events earlier in the summer of 2023 examining the assets we have here in Crookston to create that future. Further, faculty and staff, including all members of the strategic leadership team, were invited to prepare for and participate in a two-day retreat in August 2023 exploring trends in critical areas of higher education, then beginning the formation of teams to combine identified assets with the most promising trends to catalyze transformation here on our campus. The original study groups including teams that research higher education’s place in society, the future of technology (including AI), modern trends in workforce development and credentials, and, finally, emerging trends in pedagogy.

Over the course of the two days, the teams presented their findings and proposed actionable ideas were proposed to allow us to start transforming our future.  

Now, I am pleased to announce those action ideas which gave everyone on campus the opportunity to explore and participate in one or more of the teams in advancing these initiatives. On September 21, 2023, from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., we held an information session providing more details on these ideas and giving faculty and staff the opportunity to ask questions and sign up to participate in the work of one of the teams. I wanted everyone on campus to feel empowered in moving forward to the future we imagine together.  

-Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause

The six action teams and their initial goals

Community Engagement

Expand regional footprint, regional connections and partnerships.


Regal the Eagle high fiving a dad and baby during the Ox Cart Days Torchlight Parade

Team Contact: TBD


Create the technology rich campus of the future.


Team Contact: Joseph Shostell

Corporate Partnerships

Make lasting, two-way connections between corporations and the University to create long standing relationships (not just transactional).

Team Contact: Brandy Chaffee

Sustainability and Optimizing Assets

Optimize campus assets and design a sustainable future.


Team Contact: Jeff Sperling

Durable Skills

Develop a competency based framework for Education at Crookston.


Team Contact: Teresa Spaeth

University of Minnesota System Collaboration

Create degree programs for international students with a plan for them to spend time at other system campuses and with us.

Team Contact: Sok Leng Tan