March 25, 2011

The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 8:00 a.m., on Friday, March 25, 2011, in the Compton Union Building, Room 204, Pullman, Washington.

Present:  Regent Laura Jennings, Chair; Regents Theodor Baseler, Scott Carson, Ericka Christensen, Harold Cochran, Elizabeth Cowles, and Connie Niva; President Elson S. Floyd, Provost and Executive Vice President Warwick Bayly, and Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Regents Christine Hoyt.

1. Report from the Chair of the Board of Regents.  Regent Laura Jennings welcomed everyone to the Regents’ Meeting.  She highlighted many of the activities that the Regents have recently participated in since their last meeting and also commended Regent Carson for his tireless efforts in chairing the Campaign.

2. Report from the President of the University.  President Elson S. Floyd thanked the Board for the opportunity to report. He began by echoing Regent Jennings sentiments regarding the contributions of the Board, not only in terms of the governance of Washington State University, but also what they are doing in leading very important legislative conversations. He thanked Regent Jennings for her contributions and said that he is exceedingly grateful because the conversations have been well received.  He added that all of the Regents have been greatly instrumental in so many important ways.

He said that there are several items on which he wished to update the Board:

Budget.  He said that the budget situation is still very fluid in Olympia and that he does not know the extent of the budget reductions. He said that it will range in the neighborhood of $80 to $85 million (which is the lowest number) to $125 or $130 million.  He pointed out that it is such a large range and that there is much volatility associated with it and that no firm commitments have been made.  He said that they have advanced two very important proposals. The first proposal is in the $85 million dollar range with the expectation that the institution would continue to grow enrollment. He said the most recent revenue forecast has not helped the budget situation and that the institution will do everything possible to make sure that the legislature understands the priority that WSU has on access and affordability, as well as maintaining quality. He said that we must have a solid commitment from the legislature regarding its investment in the University as measured by state appropriations. The second conversation must surround financial aid and how we continue to promote access and promote affordability; and the third level conversation is one of tuition and who has the authority to set tuition.

He said that he and Provost Bayly have asked the chancellors, vice presidents, and deans to develop plans and prioritize the work they are engaged in. He said those plans are due any day and that they will begin to look at those plans to determine strategically where they are going as an institution, and not abandoning the priorities they have clearly stated over the last four years with the strategic plan.

He said that one of the core values at WSU is shared university governance — listening in very active and meaningful ways to the students, faculty, and staff regarding the decisions that are made. He said that given the timeframe that they have in place relative to the budget being finalized by the legislature, it may be that we will not have a budget prior to the departure of the faculty and the vast majority of students. He said what is becoming clearer every day is the window to engage in thoughtful conversation is very limited and more about this would be discussed next week. He noted that, for now, he would like the University and the Regents to understand that shared university governance is an important core value for the institution, that he wants to protect and exercise it in very meaningful ways, but that everyone must understand that the budget is going to be very late this session and they will have to then readjust the schedule to be sensitive to that.

Everett.  President Floyd said that there has been much conversation surrounding Everett. He said that that the only thing WSU is desirous of doing is to assume the leadership role with the already established University Center that is on the Everett Community College Campus. He said if the State is to realize the economic growth associated with research institutions and correct the economic spiral that it finds itself in, it will need to be predicated on the engagement of research institutions in the communities which they serve. He added that, for example, there is little doubt that Boeing plays a significant role in the State and the Nation, particularly in the production of airplanes, which continues to fuel the economy. He noted that there is a gaping hole relative to the engineers that must and should be produced and brought into this area. He said they have begun conversations with the leadership of Everett, at their invitation and not at WSU’s initiation, to assume a greater role in the Everett community. He said it will not take away from anything that is currently in place for the Pullman campus or urban campuses. He said the budget protocol that has been advanced to the legislature is one that is “budget neutral” and it is simply a matter of transferring the leadership of the university center from Everett Community College to Washington State University.  He said he believes it is the right approach in Everett based on their needs and that too many false promises have been made to the Everett Community about baccalaureate and graduate education in that community, so it is time to deliver on the promises that have been made. He added that some will say that we should not do anything because of the fiscal crisis.  He said there will always be an excuse not to do some things and we have to, as an institution, be true to our land grant commitments and obligations that we have made to this State.

Enrollment Strategies.  President Floyd said that he and Provost Bayly have begun conversations with the Deans and others regarding a different enrollment protocol within the institution. He said there must be a stronger partnership among the Deans and the Colleges and Admissions relative to new students that are coming into the institution, whether these students are first-year students or transfer students.  He said it is very consistent with the plan in the context of establishing the University College and if students are admitted directly into the College in which they are desirous of graduating from, it sends a much stronger and much more effective message to our students, as well as greater clarity to our faculty regarding their engagement. He said they are very much in the throes of those conversations and they have gone well to date.

Urban Campuses.  President Floyd indicated that he has been working with the Chancellors on Vision Statements for their respective campuses. He added that several meetings ago, the chancellors and the various chairs of their respective advisory boards met in front of the Board of Regents to discuss the long-term visions of the urban campuses. He said that they are trying to refine those statements and will have them in a common format. He said he will be meeting with the chancellors and their chief academic officers, and the provost to get those finalized.

Athletics. President Floyd mentioned the successes of Cougar basketball. He said that they received an invitation to participate in the National Invitational Tournament, and have advanced to the last four teams. He also said that there is a new Athletic Branding Initiative under way and the Board will hear more about that, which is taking place in April in coordination with Nike.

Academic Showcase. Lastly, President Floyd said that this weekend is a very exciting weekend for WSU with Academic Showcase.  He invited the Regents to take a look at some of the displays and storyboards and said they will be thoroughly impressed. He said Provost Bayly will be hosting a celebration of recognition of faculty and staff and others who have engaged in exceptional work on behalf of the institution. 

3. Minutes. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the minutes of January 28, 2011.  Carried.

4. Reports from University Groups.  Representatives from each of the university groups—Faculty Senate, Administrative and Professional Advisory Council, Associated Students of Washington State University, Graduate and Professional Student Association, Foundation Board of Governors, and the WSU Alumni Association—reviewed their reports as submitted. (Individual written reports may be found on-line at the Board of Regents website or requested from the President’s Office.)

5. Focused Discussion – International Programs. John Gardner, Vice President for University Advancement and External Affairs, presented on Internationalizing WSU.  He said that International Programs is repositioning the university and taking on the notion that the borders of this state are the launching pad for this institution and the world.  He added that they have been on a deliberate track.  He said that they think that the borders of this state are particularly important because Washington has things that many states do not have.  Washington has multinationals, and multinationals like Boeing and Microsoft are global citizens and our neighbors and alumni. He also added that Washington State has several non-governmental organizations that are active in global health, food and agriculture around the world. Washington has fruit, food, in agriculture, and a wine industry that is global as well, and we think that the borders of this state, in partnership with the private sector, offer opportunities that many states, and many land grants do not have as part of their strategy.

Dr. Gardner introduced Prema Arasu, Vice Provost and Associate Vice President, for International Programs. Dr. Arasu highlighted WSU’s International Programs Framework Plan.

6. Executive Committee.  Regent Jennings reported that the Committee reviewed the future action of the 2012 Regents Meeting dates and they also heard a report from Jim Zuba on the progress towards identifying candidates for the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus award. She added that it is always a great event for them to look at the pool of candidates and that it is also always difficult to choose one.  Lastly, she indicated that the Committee discussed its own succession and that they will be entertaining a motion for chair and vice chair of the Board of the Board of Regents at the May Meeting as well.

7. Finance and Audit Committee.  Regent Scott Carson reported that the Finance and Audit Committee had two information items that are all about the future of this institution in terms of its footprint and impact.  He said that the first of those reports was on the Campus Master Plan. He said the Plan was both thought provoking but also constructive in terms of impact and that it was carefully thought out for the future of the institution. He said the second item was the five-year capital plan for the Athletics Department, which was a subset of the Master Plan. He said that the five-year plan will have an impact on WSU’s ability to attract excellent student athletes which, importantly, will have a broader impact on the institution. Regent Carson also reported on the future actions that will come before the Board for action at the May meeting and he reviewed the current action items before seeking Board approval.

The Board took action on the following:

WSU Pullman, Beasley Scoreboard Replacement. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents authorize the project to proceed to design and construction, using the traditional design/bid/build method of procurement to replace the scoreboard in Beasley Coliseum, and further delegate authority to the President or his designee to select an architect and award a construction contract, and enter into any and all contracts necessary to complete the project within the budgeted amount. Carried.

WSU Pullman, Proposed Changes to Parking System Rates and Fines.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents (1) adopt proposed changes in the annual and daily parking rates effective FY 2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014; (2) adopt proposed changed to the meter rates, maximum hourly garage rates, maximum daily peak and non-peak garage rates, and maximum special event rates effective FY 2012; and (3) adopt proposed changed to parking fines effective FY 2012. (The adopted rates appear in Exhibit A.) Carried.

8. Academic and Student Affairs Committee Report.  Regent Cochran reported that the Academic and Student Affairs Committee received reports from each of the campus Chancellors.  He also said that Vice President Murali provided a technology update; Provost Bayly reported on the National Survey of Student Engagement which is a survey designed to assess the extent to which students are engaged in good educational practices and what they gain from their college experience; a report from Vice President Grimes on the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Development Science and Prevention; an enrollment update  from Vice President Fraire; and a presentation from Executive Director of WSU Online Dave Cillay on the WSU Global Campus.  Lastly, Regent Cochran said that the Committee discussed the future action involving a revision to WAC 504-26: Standards of Conduct for Students.

Regent Jennings commended Vice President Murali for bringing “zzusis” (the new name for the student information system) live and for bringing such an enormous project in on budget and in some cases, ahead of schedule.  She said that this is a real testament to her leadership. 

9. External Affairs Committee Report.  Regent Ted Baseler reported that the External Affairs Committee heard from Kevin Harvey, Associate Vice President for University Development, who provided a Campaign update and year-to-date-progress report which indicated that we are moving ahead of the curve and are currently at $552 million. He also noted that there are a number of special gifts that are pending that could come in before the end of the fiscal year.

Regent Baseler reported that Colleen Kerr provided a legislative update and since President Floyd already went into great detail in his report, he would not repeat that information.

Regent Baseler also reported that the Committee received an Athletics Update report from Athletic Director Bill Moos who reported that the Pac 12 has reached an agreement with Fox Sports for a tournament, which will generate $1.5 million for WSU. He also reported that they hired Cougar Alum and former Volleyball player Jennifer Greeny as the new Volleyball Coach.  He also brought up the importance of playing basketball late into March and particularly getting into the semifinals of the NIT which means the continuance of having the Cougar logo and the WSU Basketball team on ESPN, along with other sports media and what that will do for future recruitment efforts.

Regent Baseler reported that Dean Bernardo provided a report on the NCAA Steering Committee. He added that the goal of that Committee is to make sure that the University is operating in accordance with NCAA principles, and so far the findings at this point are very good, particularly in the area of student athlete graduation rates, which are ahead of many areas of the university.

10. Adjournment.  In closing, Regent Jennings mentioned that many of the Regents would be staying to attend the WSU Showcase activities.  She also mentioned that four Regents would be together in Olympia meeting with Regents from all of the States of Higher Education institutions. She said they would meet with all four Caucuses as a group to demonstrate their commitment to working together and working with the legislature to figure out how they can continue to serve as an economic driver for the State during this time of economic crisis. Regent Jennings also reported that the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Regents will be held May 5-6, 2011, at WSU in Pullman and will also include commencement activities for WSU Spokane and Pullman. She added that commencement ceremonies for WSU Tri-Cities and Vancouver would be held one week later at their respective campuses. The meeting adjourned at 10:00 am.