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MnSCU criticized for lack of contract information

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is drawing criticism for failing to be more transparent about a $2 million consultant contract to help overhaul operations.

The contract with McKinsey & Co. comes as a surprise to students, faculty and legislators who were involved in the system’s initiative to improve collaboration and spur innovation at its 31 campuses.

MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone didn’t bring up the consultant contract when he updated the board of trustees about the initiative or when student leaders asked about its costs.

Board approval for vendor contract is required only for expenditures of $3 million or more. Rosenstone said MnSCU honored McKinsey’s preference to stay away from the spotlight. He also said student leaders did not explicitly ask if the system had hired an outside consultant.

He consulted with the board’s then-Chairman Clarence Hightower about the contract, Rosenstone added.

The heads of the Minnesota House higher education committee said they will push for changes to increase transparency and board oversight at MnSCU.

Legal briefs are compiled from Associated Press wire, staff reports and news releases.

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