While informal coordination among private colleges had been occurring for years, it was in 1948 that 14 institutions came together formally and founded the Minnesota Private College Council. Their intent was simple: to maintain the viability of a healthy private college sector in Minnesota.
A separate organization was created in 1951 — the Minnesota Private College Fund — when a group of business leaders from across the state came together to begin a $250,000 fundraising drive for private colleges.
The Minnesota Private College Research Foundation was formed in 1971 to provide research that serves the needs of the colleges and supports public policy advocacy. As circumstances changed over time, the boards decided to simplify the structure; in 2012 the Research Foundation was merged with the Fund and its functions moved to the Council.
The Minnesota Private College Council and the Minnesota Private College Fund are separate legal organizations that operate with a common president, staff and board of directors. The boards consist of the presidents of our 17 member colleges and universities, plus business and community leaders and the president of the Council and Fund. The organizations work in unison for the benefit of their members. The name "Minnesota's Private Colleges" is often used in marketing pieces.
By state statute the president of the organizations represents the private colleges on the Higher Education Facilities Authority and by practice on a number of other statewide and national organizations, including the Minnesota P-20 Partnership and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.