The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 9:30 a.m., on Friday, March 27, 2009, at Consolidated Information Center, Room 120, Richland, Washington.
Present: Regent Francois X. Forgette, Chair; Regents Theodor Baseler, Scott Carson, 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 Board Meeting. He indicated that many WSU administrative staff members are joining the meeting via videoconference. He said that they have a full agenda, including presentation from Chancellor Carwein and Birgitte Ahring, Director of the Center for Bioproducts and Bioenergy and the Battelle Distinguished Professor. He also said that they will hear from Mike Schwenk, Chair of the WSU Tri-Cities Advisory Council and Vice President and Director of Technology, Deployment, and Outreach at PNNL. He thanked Mike Schwenk and the Tri-City Development Council, the Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau, and the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce for their hospitality at a reception they hosted the previous evening.
2. Report from the President of the University. President Elson S. Floyd welcomed Ted Baseler back to the Board of Regents. He then provided a budget update and said that we must continue to focus on quality and excellence, as well as balance the budget, at what is arguably the worst fiscal time the state has seen since the great depression. He said that we must focus on three key areas: access, affordability, and accountability. He also said that we must keep the doors of our university open and make sure that we have an educational product and research programs in place that are uncompromisingly excellent, and that we also must make sure to keep the university as affordable as possible. He said that if we fail to do so, we will eliminate the opportunity for students and others to enjoy the education that they have invested in and we must be accountable to the various publics that we have. He said as a consequence the administration will do everything possible to embrace those core values.
President Floyd further reported that he has spent a significant amount of time with faculty and staff leadership, students, and others regarding the fiscal circumstance. He said that it appears that the University may be facing an 18 percent budget reduction scenario. He said that if we have to encumber an 18 budget reduction, there is simply no way of being able to address that without impacting personnel within our institution. He said that we will be very thoughtful and very deliberate regarding programs and services that we provide as an institution, making sure that we are consistent with our core values and the core mission of our institution to educating young people first and foremost, making sure that we keep our civic obligations to this and other communities, and to continue to enhance the collaborative work and partnerships that we have in place. He said that is what the great universities do in this country and that is what Washington State University will do as an institution.
3. Minutes. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the minutes of January 30, 2009, and the February 12, 2009, Special Regents’ Meeting. Carried.
4. Reports from University Groups.
Faculty Senate Chair Bill Cofer reported that at the last Faculty Senate meeting, the following proposals were discussed: The Master of Accounting to be extended to WSU Vancouver; the Ed.D. in Curriculum in Instruction is to be dropped to allow a concentration of resources in a single specialization in Teacher Leadership; adding a policy at the end of course description titled “Course Syllabus” to the Education Policies and Procedures Manual; and the nomination of Max Kirk as Chair-elect of the Faculty Senate. He also reported that Faculty Senate leadership has been active in their role providing communication between the administration and the faculty and preserving the viewpoint of the faculty to the administration. He added that the faculty is concerned about cuts in programs and what might happen to the faculty and the students in those programs. In particular, they want to be sure that if programs are to be cut, that they have input, that existing procedures are followed with regard to review by Senate Committees, that proper advance notice is given for termination of faculty positions, and that good faith efforts remain in place. In addition they want to ensure that students in these programs are given the opportunity to graduate. He added that the administration has consistently shown that even though difficult decisions may be required, proper procedures will be followed. Lastly, he reported that the Senate Officers will meet next week with the Vice Provost to discuss ground rules for the review of proposed program cuts and as always, they appreciate the openness of President Floyd and Provost Bayly.
Administrative Professional Advisory Council (APAC) Chair Francis Benjamin reported that the budget continues to be the most important issue facing administrative professional staff. He added that the unknowns and waiting have been difficult on employee morale. He reported that APAC appreciates the fact that President Floyd has been available to meet with them and that his candor is respected. He reported that the APA Connection newsletter has been converted to an entirely electronic format and has been a useful tool in communicating among the Administrative Professional employees. He added that in February, APAC hosted its monthly meeting from Puyallup and that it provided opportunity for APAC leadership to better understand issues affecting research and extension centers. He added that they gained an understanding about the barriers resulting from WSU being geographically dispersed, and that it provided an opportunity to develop networks between administrative professionals. Lastly, he reported that APAC’s training and professional development program recognizes the importance and value of professionally trained staff and that the program also provides timely and relevant educational opportunities for administrative professionals. He said that their next program in May will be focused on Coping with Change.
Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) President Jessica Moore reported that Jason McConnell and Christine Crudo have been elected as the 2009-2010 President and Vice President of GPSA. She said that they are planning a two-day retreat so they can build a strong team and create a seamless transition for next year. She also reported that their campaign for WSU Wellbeing with University Recreation has been very successful. The WSU Wellbeing website received nearly 600 visits and the feedback has been very positive. She reported that GPSA is currently conducting an in-depth revision to their bylaws which are outdated and do not reflect the current activities and policies of GPSA. She added that GPSA has streamlined the application process for student groups to apply for funding activities, and they hope the impact of an online application will broaden the impact to their constituents. Lastly, she provided an update on the Childcare Subsidy that began in October 2008. She said in October, 67 children attended the childcare center using their subsidy, and in February 2009, 175 children attended.
Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU) President Brandon Scheller reported on the ASWSU Election. He indicated that over 4,400 students voted, second only to 2006 when 4,700 students voted on the stadium referendum. He also reported that ASWSU will be in excellent hands with Derick En’Wezoh as President and Jay Hendrickson as Vice President. He reported that over 2,000 students completed the survey they launched on the myWSU server. The purpose of the survey was to gain feedback from students regarding the ASWSU and student life. He said that with the help of CUB Marketing, they received unprecedented and invaluable feedback from students about current initiatives, potential initiatives and feedback about their overall image. He said that over 86 percent of students feel that ASWSU is a positive advocate for all students. He also reported that students are very disappointed with Pullman City Council’s decision regarding the University District. He added that the ASWSU Senate, ASWSU Executives, IFC, Panhellenic and GPSA all independently passed resolutions endorsing the U-District and were present at City Hall for the February 25 meeting wearing green t-shirts in support of the concept. He said that Greek chapter presidents also voted in favor of the proposal 28-1. He said that City Council’s decision to ignore the student’s wishes will not be ignored. He added that multiple students have already expressed serious interest in filing for a City Council position this summer as four seats are up for re-election. He added that students are very engaged in the community and the entire process created awareness to students to become more involved. Lastly, he reported that the Multicultural Fundraising Dinner raised over $28,000 which will go towards future recruitment conferences, that ASWSU launched a revamped website, and that “SafeWalk” is off to a successful start.
Regent En’Wezoh thanked Mr. Scheller for his leadership and commitment to the students and that it has been a pleasure working with him this past year. Additionally, Regent Cochran commended Mr. Scheller for his leadership and hard work involving the U-District.
Alumni Association (WSUAA) President Gina Meyers reported that the Alumni Association continues to grow and thrive even these challenging economic times. She commended the excellent staff of the Alumni Association lead by Tim Pavish and Jim Zuba. She shared some key metrics that their team and volunteers have accomplished. She said that for every $1 Alumni Relations receives from WSU, Alumni Relations generates an additional $3 which is reinvested in support of WSU. She also reported that since 2003, membership has increased nearly 40 percent. She said that at year’s end, the WSUAA will have held over 400 events which is 45 percent more than last year. She added that their new bylaws were approved at their spring board meeting, enabling the creation of a small governing board and the establishment of the new Council of Presidents, an assembly of all chapter leaders charged with WSU outreach at the local level. She indicated that the Alumni Relations team now leads the management of the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus/a Award. She said that promotion of the award has been dramatically increased and, for the first time, nomination forms and supporting documentation can be submitted online making it easier for more nominations to be made. Lastly, she reported that the Lewis Alumni Centre is celebrating its 20th anniversary and during the upcoming year, the WSU will increase awareness of the facility and honor those whose generosity and leadership helped make the “University’s living room” a reality.
WSU Foundation Board of Governors (WSUBOG) Brenda Wilson-Hale, Vice President for University Development and CEO of WSU Foundation, reported on behalf of Bob Felton, Chair of the Board of Governors. Vice President Hale reported that the Foundation has received more than $68.9 million in fundraising activity during fiscal year 2009, which began July 1. She said that this compares to $90.9 million at the same point last fiscal year, which included the $25 million gift from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the School for Global Animal Health. She also reported that the Foundation’s endowment decreased from $324.2 million to $246.6 million during fiscal year 2009. She said this includes more than $8.9 million in endowment distributions directed to university programs during this time. She added that even though the endowment has declined by 24 percent, the diversification of the portfolio has protected the endowment well. She said that they will do some balancing with the hedge funds that because they are outside the 15 percent range they want them to remain in, but the balancing will be minimal. She reported that during the Board of Governors meeting in February, the Governors approved a resolution to cancel the Spring meeting of the Board of Trustees that was scheduled for May 28-29 at Suncadia Resort. She added that the this decision was made in response to anticipated state budget cuts on the University and the Foundation, as well as the significant drop in the Foundation’s endowment. She added that more than 90 percent of the approximate 100 trustees contacted by the Foundation staff were in support of the action. Lastly, she reported that the Fall meeting of the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees, as well as the Recognition Gala, have been moved to Seattle Week, September 10-11, in Seattle.
5. Report from WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor. Chancellor Carwein introduced Advisory Council Members Wayne Martin, Product Line Manager at PNNL and trustee of Columbia Basin College, and George Garland, President and CEO of George Garland Enterprises. She provided an overview of WSU Tri-Cities, including enrollment and demographics, master’s and doctoral degree programs, funding shortfalls, admissions and discipline interests for Fall 2009, urgent needs, new initiatives and vision for the four-year experience. After Chancellor Carwein’s presentation, she asked James Sauceda, President of the ASWSU-Tri-Cities, to say a few words.
Associated Students of Washington State University Tri-Cities (ASWUTC) President James Sauceda thanked the Board and President Floyd for the opportunity to report. He introduced other ASWSUTC leaders: Vice President Zach Woffinden and President Elect Evan Bates. He reported that they have been working on communication between the students and the administration and that they recently created the Chancellor’s Student Advisory Board. He said this board allows all constituents to represent themselves and to address any issues they may encounter. He commented that he appreciates the development of this council, as it shows that the administration is willing to work with students. He reported that ASWSUTC has recently restructured their Bylaws, and that they have held numerous community outreach events which were very successful. He reported that they are currently working on projects that enhance student life by holding activities and providing opportunities for students to enjoy what the area has to offer. He also indicated that they are working with Athletics for the possibility of holding a pre-season basketball game in the area for the 20102011 season. He said that such an event would benefit the school and that there is substantial alumni support in the community. Lastly, he reported how much he appreciates the smaller class sizes at the Tri-Cities Campus. He added the academic ties with the community and partnerships provide such great opportunity for the students.
After the ASWSUTC Report, Dr. Carwein introduced Dr. Thomas Henick-Kling who is the new Director of Viticulture and Enology. Dr. Henick-Kling told the Board that he is very excited for the opportunity to work for Washington State University. He added that it is exciting because there is such a vibrant and successful wine industry here and with the commitment WSU has made to build this research and education program, he believes the opportunity exists to make WSU Viticulture and Enology Program one of the top five programs in the world.
Before Chancellor Carwein introduced Dr. Birgitte Ahring, Director of the Center for Bioproducts and Bioenergy she thanked President Floyd for doing all he can to protect the funding for the Tri-Cities campus.
6. Focused Discussion. Dr. Ahring thanked the Board for the opportunity to present. She gave a presentation called: The Direction of Research at the Bioproducts, Sciences, and Engineering Laboratory: Bioproducts, Bioprocesses & Bioenergy.
Chancellor Carwein introduced Mike Schwenk, Chair of the WSU Tri-Cities Advisory Council and Vice President and Director of Technology, Deployment, and Outreach at PNNL. She asked Mr. Schwenk to say a few words. Mr. Schwenk thanked the Board for being in the Tri-Cities and for also the opportunity to visit with them. He said that Dr. Carwein is a tremendous leader and she has assembled an incredible team. He also added that the Tri-Cities Advisory Council is a made up of the most engaged leaders in the community who know the campus, who know WSU, and they know how to bring forth their talents.
7. Academic and Student Affairs Committee. Regent Cochran reported that the committee reviewed the action item for the revision to the Faculty Manual. He also said the committee discussed future actions involving a revision to the Washington Administrative Code on policies and regulations applying to all student organizations and also discussed the tuition for the On-Line MBA program that the Board will be asked to approve at the May Regents Meeting.
The Board took action on the following:
Faculty Manual Revision: Faculty Leave for Jury Duty. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the Revision to Section III of the Faculty Manual regarding Faculty Personnel Policies. Carried.
8. External Affairs Committee Report. Regent Niva reported for Regent Stone who was unable to attend. She reported that the committee received a presentation from Vice President for University Relations Tim Pavish on the role of University Relations, and new initiatives. She also reported that they received a campaign update from Vice President Wilson-Hale. She reported that they do have one action item before the Board to approve the agreement between WSU and WSU Foundation.
The Board took action on the following:
WSU-WSU Foundation Agreement. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the Agreement between Washington State University and Washington State University Foundation. Carried.
9. Finance and Audit Committee. Regent Worthy reported that the committee received a report from the Internal Auditor and also received a Budget Update. He commended the staff for their work in dealing with the budget. He reported that they have three actions and the affirmation of two previous actions by the Executive Committee. Regent Worthy reviewed each action item before seeking approval.
The Board took action on the following:
WSU Spokane Riverpoint Campus, Academic Center, Budget Revision. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve a supplemental allocation to the Academic Center of $1,322,000 and allow the inclusion of improvements to the original Academic Center program. Carried.
WSU Spokane Riverpoint Campus, Nursing Building, Budget Revision. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve a supplemental allocation to the Nursing Building project budget of $2,000,000 and allow the inclusion of improvements to the original Nursing Building program. Carried.
WSU Pullman, School for Global Animal Health Building, Phase I, Schematic Design. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve Phase I, Schematic Design, of the School for Global Animal Health Building and granted authorization to proceed with the project. Carried.
10. Adjournment. The Board of Regents meeting adjourned at 11:23 a.m.
Approved by the Board of Regents at its meeting held May 8, 2009, at the Spokane Academic Center, Room 241, Spokane, Washington.