October 17, 2008
The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 9:30 a.m., on Friday, October 17, 2008, at Lewis Alumni Centre, Regents Room, Pullman, Washington.
Present: Regent Francois X. Forgette, Chair; Regents Scott Carson, Harold Cochran, Elizabeth Cowles, Derick En’Wezoh, Connie Niva, Rafael Stone and Michael Worthy; President Elson S. Floyd, and Executive Assistant to the Board of Regents Christine Hoyt.
1. Report from the Chair of the Board of Regents. Regent Forgette welcomed everyone to the meeting. He introduced Roger O. McClellan, recipient of the 2008 Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award. He added that the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor granted to Washington State University alumni who have made distinguished contributions to society, or through personal achievements bringing distinction to Washington State University. He asked Dr. McClellan to say a few words.
Dr. McClellan said he was extremely humbled to receive such an award as he looks at past recipients who have been his mentors.
2. Minutes. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the minutes of August 29, 2008. Carried.
3. Reports from University Groups.
Faculty Senate Chair Bill Cofer reported that Faculty Senate has been briefed and opinions were sought during the developments surrounding Provost Hoch’s departure. He said that there has been some concerns among faculty, but as facts have emerged, most faculty have gone about their business and one reason for that is because there is a universal amount of respect for Dr. Bayly. He reported that Faculty Senate is continuing to meet with the Provost’s Office on many initiatives regarding general education reform and other items dealing with accreditation. He added that items of great urgency to the faculty are the budget cuts that we are currently facing. While most are relatively prepared for the immediate cut, there is anxiety among faculty about possible large cuts in the next biennium. Lastly, he reported that they are pleased of President Floyd’s proposal to form an Ad Hoc committee to revisit the issue of salary increases.
Administrative Professional Advisory Council (APAC) Chair Francis Benjamin reported that even though there are hiring freezes and budget cuts taking place at Washington State University, it is not slowing down the work of Administrative Professional employees. He reported on the upcoming training that will focus on networking skills. He reported that the third edition of the APA Connection newsletter was released. He said the newsletter is designed to provide better communication among Administrative Professionals and has also been effective for the administration to announce information as well. Lastly, he reported that even though they are disappointed that the hiring freeze resulted in the suspension of the vice president for Human Resources search, they are pleased of the appointment of Theresa Elliot-Cheslek as interim director for the Office of Human Resource Services.
Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) President Jessica Moore reported that GPSA had recently learned that preventative annual examinations for women were no longer covered under their insurance. She said that with the help of Dr. Grimes, the situation was resolved. She also reported that GPSA Senate passed a Childcare subsidy that will pay for evening childcare for graduate and professional students so they can meet the requirements of their degree programs. Lastly, she reported that the GPSA Senate has almost 70 active senators which exceed the 42 senators serving this same time last year.
Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU) President Brandon Scheller reported on ASWSU’s overall visibility and outreach on campus. He indicated that the visibility is due to the launching of new programs and publications. He also reported that the Textbook Buy-back Campaign has been very successful. He added that the deadline for faculty to submit their textbooks to the Bookie is today and he is anticipating a much higher percentage than past years. He also reported that the Student Safety Campaign is at the forefront of his agenda this year and that they have been working with Capital Planning and Development, the WSU Foundation, the City of Pullman, Student Affairs, and Business Affairs on the first ASWSU initiative-based fundraising dinner. This dinner will raise support for a variety of programs, including increased lighting on College Hill, the new “Safe Walk” program and grants for self defense classes to students. The dinner will be held on November 14, and their goal is to raise $100,000. Lastly, he reported that the ASWSU Safe Walk will be launched in November. The Safe Walk is an on-foot alternative to Women’s Transit, designed to be quicker in response. It will provide two chaperones Thursday through Saturday nights. He said that they have received an unbelievable amount of interest from different groups who want to be involved.
WSU Foundation Board of Governors Chair Larry Culver reported that his twoyear term as Chair of the Board of Governors has now been completed. He thanked the Regents for their advice, counsel and support which has greatly contributed to the success of their organization. He also thanked President Floyd for his active participation in fundraising. He indicated that there has not been a major gift made that has not had President Floyd’s involvement with it. He also announced that a $17 million gift that was given to WSU from Gene and Linda Voiland and that it had a lot to do with the relationship of the Board of Regents, President Floyd and Brenda WilsonHale’s involvement. He said that this gift from the Voiland’s will make a huge difference for the University. Lastly, he introduced his successor, Bob Felton, who will serve as the next chair for the Board of Governors for the next two years. He indicated that Bob comes with a great deal of experience and will be a true asset.
Bob Felton thanked Larry for his leadership and kind words. He said that he is honored to serve as the next Chair for the Board of Governors and that he has big shoes to fill. He also said that he looks forward to working with the Board of Regents, President Floyd and Brenda Wilson-Hale. He reported that they held a soft-launch of the campaign during the Annual Fall Meeting and a number of them were so excited they made extra pledges totaling close to $1 million. He indicated that the Foundation named Jeff Puckett to serve as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He said that although WSU’s endowment has declined by approximately 3 percent since June 30 due to a weakening market, the Foundation’s endowment is faring better than many other university endowments due to a well-diversified portfolio.
Regents Carson commented that he has worked with both Larry and Bob for the past several years and thanked them for their leadership and involvement. He added that they are fine representatives for the Foundation and that he appreciates all that they do.
Regent Cowles commented that she sits on the Investment Committee and how pleased she is with the caliber and very high level of confidence that sits on the Investment Committee. She added that with the wild market swings, WSU is not immune, but is much better off than most places.
Regent Forgette again thanked Larry Culver for his excellent work and service over that last two years.
Alumni Association (WSUAA) President Gina Meyers reported that the WSUAA continues to grow and is very strong. She said that in the last quarter, WSUAA has increased membership by 23.9 percent. She also reported that WSUAA has increased their student engagement and outreach and that the Student Alumni Connection continues to be highly regarded on campus and will host over 30 campus and community events this year. She reported that WSUAA has received a clean audit for Fiscal Year 2007-08 and remains fiscally strong and debt-free. She also reported that the endowment finished the year valued at just over $10 million. Lastly, she reported on the Fall Board of Director Meetings that was held in September.
4. Report from the President of the University. President Elson S. Floyd started off by thanking all the university group representatives for their leadership. He said that they all serve as incredible ambassadors for the university and that it is a pleasure to work with them. He also thanked Larry Culver for being such and remarkable mentor to so many and wanted him to know much he appreciates all that he and his wife, Vicky, have done for WSU. He also mentioned how grateful he is for the generous gift of the Voiland’s during these economic times. Dr. Floyd further reported on the steps the University is taking in response to the $6 million reduction in the budget. He also formally introduced Dr. Warwick Bayly who has agreed to serve as Provost. He added that Dr. Bayly has done an outstanding job as Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine and thanked him for agreeing to serve as Provost. Additionally, Dr. Floyd thanked Brandon Scheller for his continued outreach efforts in regard to the University District. He said that they will continue to campaign across the state to talk about the role WSU plays within the state and the high quality programs that WSU delivers to our students and also the cutting-edge research our faculty is engaged in and the significant difference WSU is making as a university improving the quality of life for Washingtonians. He reported on the Assured Admission program that has been implemented. This program assures admission to students in the top 10 percent of their high school class and has earned at least a 3.5 GPA. He reported that he is looking forward to forming an ad hoc committee to address the many issues on faculty salaries. Lastly, he reported that WSU is focused on the right issues and that he has the best possible team in place to achieve its goals.
5. Finance and Audit Committee. Regent Michael Worthy reviewed each action item before seeking Board Approval. He also reported that the committee reviewed future actions relative to the amendments to the Washington State University Retirement Plan, recommendations to adopt the Washington State University Voluntary Investment Plan, and Recommendations to adopt, amend and repeal various Washington Administrative Code Chapters as related to Facilities Use Rules. Lastly, he reported that the committee received an internal audit report and a capital construction report.
The Board took action on the following:
WSU Pullman, Campus Wireless Project. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the acquisition of wireless technology, grant authorization to proceed, and delegate authority to the President or his designee to award a contract, provided costs are within funds available. Carried.
2009 Supplemental Budget Request. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the 2009 Supplemental Budget Request to address increased energy costs for the University. Carried.
WSU Pullman, School for Global Animal Health Building, Phase I Consultant Selection. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents delegate authority to the President or his designee, to approve the selection of the consulting firm that will provide planning and design services, and grant permission to proceed with Design, provided costs are within funds available. Carried.
7. Academic and Student Affairs Committee. Regent Cochran reported that the committee reviewed a future action that will come before the Board regarding a Washington Administrative Code Addition on cost savings on course materials. He also reported that the committee received an update from President Floyd on the University District, a report from Dr. Bayly on the Accreditation Self-Study Timeline and the Washington State Quality Awards. He added that Vice President Tate provided an update on Student Support Pilot Programs and they also received enrollment reports from Vice Presidents Fraire and Grimes.
8. External Affairs and Athletics Committee. Regent Stone reported that the committee received Campaign and Year to Date Progress Report for the period of July 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008. He also said that the committee received a report from Athletic Director Sterk on the culture within the athletic department and how WSU compares alongside other PAC 10 schools on a budget basis and the difficulties the athletic department has when looking at total dollars comparing with other universities, not only in PAC 10 but across the country. He indicated that WSU is doing an outstanding job with limited capital. He said they also reviewed Martin Stadium Renovation Phase III, and lastly they reviewed a new NCAA policy being implemented on recruiting and the qualifications of athletes.
9. Adjournment. The Board of Regents meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
Approved by the Board of Regents at its meeting held November 21, 2008, Lewis Alumni Centre, Regents Room, Pullman, Washington.