January 30, 2009

The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 9:30 a.m., on Friday, January 30, 2009, at Compton Union Building, Room 204, Pullman, Washington.  

Present:  Regent Francois X. Forgette, Chair; Regents, Harold Cochran, Elizabeth Cowles, Derick En’Wezoh, Laura Jennings, Connie Niva, and Michael Worthy; President Elson S. Floyd, and Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Regents Christine Hoyt. 

1. Report from the Chair of the Board of Regents. Regent Forgette welcomed everyone to the first Board Meeting in 2009. He indicated that many WSU administrative staff members are joining the meeting via videoconference.  He also pointed out that; the Regents will hold meetings on the Tri-Cities Campus, and the Spokane Campus in May.

2. Report from the President of the University.  President Elson S. Floyd reported that they have been spending much of their time focused on the fiscal crisis in which the nation, the state of Washington, and Washington State University are engaged. He said that he and the Provost have constituted a University Budget Committee, and that they are spending a significant amount of time with the Committee and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.  He said that the Committee is broadly represented with faculty and staff.  He said that they wanted to have a group in which they could vet ideas associated with responding to this fiscal crisis. He also said that they have established a website and have received in excess over 500 suggestions regarding ways in which the University can reduce both a one-time budget as well as the on-going budget.  He added that the Governor has submitted her proposed budget to the legislature and that the projected shortfall deficit would be approximately $5 billion. He noted that at that time, time the Governor included a reduction in the on-going funding in the measure of WSU’s supplemental budget of approximately $10.5 million which is 4.1 percent of WSU’s budget.  He said that she also included a reduction of 12 percent in the biennial budget which is roughly $31 million dollars. Further, Dr. Floyd stated that since that time, the projected deficit has gone from $5 billion to approximately $7 billion.  He said that several weeks ago they also received a request from the Senate to submit budget scenarios representing again the $10.5 million supplemental but moving up to 18 percent reduction in the biennial budget, which is approximately $47 million dollars on an annual basis.  He said that several individuals will be meeting with legislative leadership to talk further about specific instructions in that regard.  He added it is important for WSU to have a decision soon from the legislature on the supplemental budget, because the institution needs to determine the sizing of the incoming freshman class, the amount of financial assistance that can be provided, and the number of faculty that can and must be retained in order to keep the ratios in proportion.  He said, also, that it will be necessary to reduce the workforce within the institution in order to respond to this crisis. He said that it will be done in a responsible yet deliberate way, and as a consequence they are trying to build in as many tools as possible. He said that he is introducing a proposal to consider an early voluntary retirement program as one of those tools. He indicated that he and the provost have made a strong commitment that the institution will come out of this fiscal crisis and will be stronger as a consequence. He said that this is going to require everyone to stay focused relative to WSU’s priorities, strategic plans, and  view of the institution and its engagement in our state, this nation, and globally.  He said that over the next several weeks he will make sure that the Board is updated regarding steps that are being taken. He indicated that he will continue to use the University Budget Committee, and will also work with senior leadership, both academic and nonacademic, throughout the university to respond to this crisis.  

3. Minutes. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the minutes of November 19, 2008, and the November 19, 2008, Joint Meeting with the University of Washington.  Carried.

4. Reports from University Groups.  

Faculty Senate Chair Bill Cofer reported that Faculty Senate reconvened for its first meeting after the holidays on January 22, 2009.  He said that the agenda was rather light and included information regarding Graduate School Policies and Procedures and also information on the list of dropped courses from the Academic Affairs Program Prioritization Process.  He also reported that much of the discussions around campus among faculty involve the budget and the magnitude of possible cuts for the next biennium.  He added that he is conscious of his responsibilities and that of senior leadership to ensure that there is proper communication in all directions.  He said that in the end, decisions need to be made but everyone needs to feel that the process is fair and that they have been heard.  He said that it is also the job of Faculty Senate to make sure all of the procedures in the Faculty Manual are being followed.  He stated that the Senate Leadership appreciates the openness and candor of President Floyd and Provost Bayly and their willingness to listen. 

 Administrative Professional Advisory Council (APAC) Chair Francis Benjamin reported that budget continues to be the most important issue facing administrative professional staff and that they appreciate the communication demonstrated by President Floyd and Provost Bayly .  He also thanked Provost Bayly for attending their last APAC Meeting.  He commented that Provost Bayly is highlighted in their newsletter speaking on budget issues.  He added that APAC has tried not to focus solely on the budget, and that they have concentrated on other areas that are more positive.  He said they started the professional training series, the first being a mentoring seminar hosted by in-house WSU employees.  This was held via teleconference and had participation as far as Okanogan and Omak.  He said that the next seminar will be held in March.  

 Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) President Jessica Moore reported that GPSA Senate recently held a senate leadership workshop, with the goal of bringing the senate body together to break down some barriers between different groups, as well as to find potential leaders for GPSA.  She also reported that GPSA is working with the UREC wellness initiative to develop programming and materials to provide some coping mechanisms for GPSA students that are under a great amount of stress. She added that the childcare subsidy program is going well; however, they are working on ways to provide better access for the students.  She reported that GPSA is expanding event programming for graduate and professional students.  The purpose of this expansion is to develop a stronger graduate and professional community at WSU.  Lastly, she reported that the Resource Center remodel in the Holland Library should be completed by next week.  She said that they are remodeling that space to make it a better work space for the students to use.  She added that there will be computer work spaces that will have specialized software specific to graduate students.  

Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU) President Brandon Scheller reported that the ASWSU Student Entertainment Board has secured entertainment for the annual Springfest event, as well as securing the most high-profile lecture brought to WSU, Dr. Drew.  He added that Three-Six Mafia will perform in the CUB Ballroom and indicated that this is the second concert that has sold out this year– marking the first time ASWSU has sold out two concerts in one year.  He reported that they have made the decision to close the CUB between 2:00 and 6:00 a.m., as foot traffic averaged below four people during that time period.  He said that ASWSU is also working on alcohol policies for events inside the ballroom, and space allocation. He said that “Safe Walk” is ready to launch this weekend.  He added that WSU Police Interns will assist with volunteers every Friday and Saturday nights and that cooperation by WSU Police and their genuine passion to work with ASWSU has been invaluable.  He also said that they have put the lighting project on College Hill on hold until Pullman City Council votes on the proposed University District, as that could potentially change the inter-local contract they have been working on.  He announced that their director of marketing, Maddie Freiberg, will be launching an ASWSU survey on the myWSU browser asking students about the image of ASWSU and what issues they feel ASWSU should be working on in the future.  He said that this is an attempt to re-brand ASWSU and spark interest through different marketing, programs and initiatives.  The survey will appear with notifications and registration for classes.  He said that this will be the first time a survey will reach every student’s computer.  Lastly, he reported on the upcoming Multicultural Fundraising Dinner and thanked Regent Niva for agreeing to give the keynote address.

Associated Students of Washington State University Vancouver (ASWSUV) President Peter Sterr thanked the Board and President Floyd for the opportunity to report.  He reported that the rapidly growing populations on each of the campuses has created some challenges, which he said makes it even more important to have  a strong Student Government Council to communicate and stay connected.  He said that that strength and commitment of this year’s leaders in the Student Government Council has been stronger than ever.  He reported that one of the main focuses of ASWSUV has been to evaluate student representation within the greater university.  He said that this is meant to not only pursuing representation of the WSU student body at large, but also pursuing representation of each individual campus student body where appropriate.  He said that they have made it a priority on the Vancouver campus and have encouraged each of the other campuses to make this a priority at their locations as well in an effort to truly represent the individual interests of the students which is the fundamental duty as elected officers.  He also reported that it has been a busy year at WSU Vancouver.  He said they have made great strides on the student recreation project, but it has become evident that the goals of initiating a student referendum this spring will not be reached.  He said that that all their work is not in vain, as they have gained an incredible amount of knowledge and insight into the needs of the students.  He said they had a nearly 31 percent turn-out to participate in a feasibility study last fall, which is record involvement on the Vancouver campus. He said they will use the information they have gained to turn their vision to a reality in the future when the climate is more appropriate.  He reported that student organization and opportunities on campus continue to thrive, however, at the same time, they are experiencing the same growing pains as many of the other campuses in lack of space and resources to fully support these groups.  He said that as on organization, ASWSUV will continue to work to abate the financial fears of its students by providing them with up-to-date information and an outlet to voice their opinions. He said they are working for the benefit of all WSU students around the state, and their mission is clear, which is to provide a world-class education, a world-class experience, to empower students to be the very best students they can be, and to assist the university in creating the leaders and the innovators that our nation and state desperately need.   

WSU Foundation Board of Governors Brenda Wilson-Hale, Vice President for University Development and CEO of WSU Foundation reported for Bob Felton, Chair of the Board of Governors.  Vice President Hale reported that the Foundation has raised more than $54.5 million this fiscal year, compared to $48.8 million at the same point last fiscal year.  This is a large part due to the Voiland gift which helped boost the numbers in spite of the hard times we are finding.  She also reported that the endowment decreased from $324.5 million to $251.5 million during FY2009.  She said that even though the endowment has decreased 22.5 percent during the first five months of FY2009, due to the weakening market, the Foundation’s endowment is faring better than many other peer institutions endowments due to a well diversified portfolio. She also reported that the WSU Foundation has been responding the

University’s request to cut 12 percent, of the state funded portion of its operating budget.  In addition, the Foundation expects a significant decrease in the payout of the endowment’s management fees this year and next year due to the decline in the value of the endowment.  She said that for this reason, the Foundation is looking at a variety of options to cut its operating budget immediately in anticipation of this decrease in income and the Foundation is also looking for ways in which the funding stream for its operations can be made more stable in the future.  Lastly, she reported the Spring Meeting is scheduled to be held May 28-29, 2009 at Suncadia Resort, but there is a strong recommendation from the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors to postpone the Spring Meeting and hold it in Seattle during Seattle Week in September.  

Alumni Association (WSUAA) President Gina Meyers reported that the Alumni Association is continually searching for innovative ways to engage WSU students and promote membership.  She said that they held several special events including a Career Building Workshop for students and that additional career support and life-skills workshops are planned this spring.  She also reported that thanks to the support of generous WSUAA members and donors, the WSUAA will be awarding $166,000 in scholarship assistance to deserving student leaders and incoming freshman this year. She said that in March, the WSUAA will launch technology to expand its Web-based services and communication capabilities.  She said that these innovative tools will allow the WSUAA to reach more alumni and friends and increase awareness about WSU’s achievements and opportunities, and to also provide greater support for the Campaign. Lastly, she reported that in the last four months, the WSUAA has hosted 174 alumni events nationwide, and is continually improving and expanding its list of special interest, networking, and outreach events. 

5. Report from WSU Vancouver Chancellor.  Chancellor Dengerink provided an update on WSU Vancouver, which included a recap of his presentation from 2008; some historical context relating to the “branch campuses”; details relating to the metropolitan region in which WSU Vancouver is located; the local economy; and WSU Vancouver’s relationship to higher school education, and enrollment details. He also provided a review of WSU Vancouver’s areas of excellence, including technology and its impacts, community and professional leadership, and environmental sciences.

6. Executive Committee.  Regent Forgette reported that the Committee discussed the action item to name the WSU Vancouver Education/Human Development Building to the McClaskey Building.  

Additionally, President Floyd reported to the Board that when the 2009 Board Meeting schedule was approved, the November Meeting was scheduled to be held in Seattle in conjunction with the Apple Cup football game.  Since that time, the Apple Cup football game has been moved to be played the Saturday after Thanksgiving; therefore, there is no reason to hold the meeting in Seattle.  He indicated that he will have Christine Hoyt query the Regents to determine what the pleasure of the Board is in this regard and will follow-up at the March Meeting. He added that for there would still be a Joint Meeting with the University of Washington Board of Regents for those who planned on attending the Apple Cup Football Game.

The Board took action on the following:

Facilities Names Recommendations: WSU Vancouver Education/Human Development Building.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the recommendation to name the Education/Human Development Building the McClaskey Building on the WSU Vancouver Campus.  Carried.

7. Academic and Student Affairs Committee.  Regent Cochran reported on the ASAC action items: WAC Revisions on University Policy on Student Education Records and the Accreditation Self-Study.  He also reported that the majority of the committee’s time was spent discussing the budget process and the challenges the University is facing in that regard.  He added that as a follow-up to their discussions, he had proposed a resolution reaffirming the University’s priorities. The Regents approved the resolution, with some modifications to be incorporated within.  Regent Cochran also reported that the committee received an update from Vice President Tate on faculty diversity initiatives and also indicated that WSU was awarded a prestigious NSF Institutional Transformation grant for $3.75 million to increase the recruitment, retention and advancement of women scientists and engineers.  He pointed out that even though the institution will see cuts, grants are still being received. 

The Board took action on the following:

WAC Revisions: University Policy on Student Education Records.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the recommendation to adopt amendments to WAC Chapter 504-21.  Carried.

Accreditation Self-Study.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the 2009 Self-Study Report for Reaffirmation of Accreditation.  Carried.

Resolution Reaffirming University Priorities.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve resolution 090139-355 reaffirming university priorities.    Carried.

8. Finance and Audit Committee.  Regent Worthy reported that the committee from the State Auditor’s Office and for the 10th consecutive year WSU received an audit report with no management discussion or findings. The committee also received a report on the University Financial statement for the fiscal year that ended June 2008 as well the continued success of the Students Book Corporation in the same period. 

Regent Worthy reviewed each action item before seeking approval.

The Board took action on the following:

WSU Pullman, School for Global Animal Health Building, Phase I. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents delegate authority to the President or his designee, to utilize the General Contractor/Construction Manager (CG/CM) process pursuant to RCW 39.10; and subject to funding, select a GC/CM, and award contract(s), provided a Maximum Allowable Construction Cost can be established within the funds available for Phase I of the School for Global Animal Health Building. Carried.

WSU Spokane Riverpoint Campus, Veterinary Clinic, Budget Revision. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve  the revised budget of $1,750.000, to cover construction costs in excess of the original budget, and allow the inclusion of additive alternates to the original program requirements for the Veterinary Clinic on the WSU Spokane Riverpoint Campus.  Carried.

WSU Pullman, Stephenson North and McEachern Residence Halls – Refurbish Interiors. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the project to refurbish the interiors of Stephenson North and the McEachern Residence Halls, granted authorization to proceed, and delegated authority to the President, or his designee, to award a construction contract, provided costs are within funds available.  Carried.

FY2010 Housing and Dining Rates.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve an increase in the Housing and Dining Rates not to exceed the percentage from the FY2009 Rates.  Carried.

Regent Worthy commented that he appreciates the comprehensive discussions and the amount of time they are afforded in the committee sessions to deliberate and ask questions.  

Regent Jennings acknowledged and thanked the President’s Office for the work they are doing to help the Regents’ work be conducted in an efficient manner.  

9. Adjournment.  The Board of Regents meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.

Approved by the Board of Regents at its meeting held March 27, 2009, Consolidated Information Center, Room 120, Richland, Washington.