Letter shows MnSCU union asked trustees to fire chancellor

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Documents reveal that at one point a union for faculty in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system asked the Board of Trustees to fire Chancellor Steven Rosenstone.

Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1zARQzJ ) reports that leaders of the Inter Faculty Organization union wrote to trustees in November asking for Rosenstone's removal over his plan to overhaul MnSCU.

"The chancellor has been alarmingly divisive and punitive, at times resorting to personal attacks," faculty leaders wrote in the letter. "This, along with his lack of transparency and dishonesty, have exhausted any possibility of restoring trust."

The trustees rejected the plea, but MnSCU board Chairman Tom Renier said trustees saw a need to intervene in the dispute after receiving the letter. Jim Grabowska, the union president, said it stands by the letter but has "moved on" since relations have improved with trustees. Rosenstone hasn't participated in talks between the trustees and the union.

"In order to make progress, we believe that at least initially, the conversations would be most constructive without him," Grabowska said.

Rosenstone said in a statement given to MPR News on Tuesday that he is "pleased we are moving in the right direction together."

The chancellor says the overhaul plan, called "Charting the Future," tries to make college cheaper and would see campuses coordinate more for programs and support services. But union leaders say it would result in a one-size-fits-all approach.

Gov. Mark Dayton said last month that he won't make a budget recommendation for MnSCU until the dispute is resolved.

Faculty and administration at MnSCU released a joint statement in response to Dayton's decision, saying they are "taking positive steps and having substantive dialogue to resolve our disagreements regarding Charting the Future."


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org

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