October 8, 2010

The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 9:00 a.m., on Friday, October 8, 2010, in the Nursing Building, Room 205, at Washington State University Spokane, Spokane, Washington. 

Present:  Regent Laura Jennings, Chair; Regents Theodor Baseler, Scott Carson, Ericka Christensen, Harold Cochran, Elizabeth Cowles, Francois Forgette, Connie Niva, V. Rafael Stone, and Michael Worthy; President Elson S. Floyd, and Executive Assistant to the President and Board of Regents Christine Hoyt. 

1. Executive Committee.  Regent Laura Jennings began the meeting with the Executive Committee report. She stated that the first item of business, the renewal of the President’s Employment Agreement, relates to the single most important business of the Board of Regents, which is selecting and sharing the continuity of leadership. She asked for a motion for renewal of the President’s Employment agreement to extend the term of the agreement.  Before Board approval she asked each Regent to comment.

Regent Connie Niva noted that these are very difficult times economically for faculty, staff, and particularly the students, in terms of issues surrounding tuition. She said that she cannot think of a better leader than Dr. Floyd to serve the University during these difficult times. She added it makes her very comfortable to know that the Regents have extended his term so they have some stability as everyone works through this time and hopefully into better times.

Regent Scott Carson said that he, too, cannot think of a better leader to serve WSU during this difficult time. He said in addition to the challenges that we face, we also have a unique opportunity for this University in fundraising and that there is great confidence and assurance in having Dr. Floyd’s contract extended through the period of the Campaign. He also stated that this action by the Regents will provide the most crucial fundraising opportunity for this University to the future of the programs that the Regents talk about today that will affect lives tomorrow. He added that the continuity of Dr. Floyd’s service will mean a great deal to all the citizens of the state and in the region.

Regent Mike Worthy said that such a decision by this Board is plainly a signal about the experience the Regents have had with him so far.  He said that the Regents do not spend a lot of formal time bringing forward performance appraisal documentation, and by formally discussing and deliberating about his performance as the University President in his view, is a loud and clear affirmation that they have been very satisfied with the performance of the President of Washington State University and are glad to have him continue.

Regent Betsy Cowles also agreed with Regents Jennings and Niva on the importance of continuity in the current challenging times and how critical it is. She added that beyond the current situation, WSU leadership has signaled a desire to keep thinking beyond this next biennium in where we want to take the University long term. She said that good leadership and vision for where we want the University to be is what they have been talking about for the past three to four years and that is still very much on the front burner. She said under President Floyd’s leadership, she is confident that we are going to get there, and she thanked him for serving the state and serving this great institution.

Regent Ted Baseler said that it is important that all the stakeholders in Washington State University know that the Board of Regents has very specific criteria for performance and that the Regents have reviewed benchmarks of other institutions and leadership as they contemplate a contract extension. He said they also have had significant view of performance standards, and the conclusion is clearly that President Floyd is an outstanding leader and is the best person to lead this University for many years.  He said that he is delighted that the Regents were able to consider his contract extension.

Regent Harold Cochran said that in the short years that Dr. Floyd has been here, WSU has had many positives things to celebrate. He said due to the economic crisis, we sometimes forget about the things that have been achieved, and he, too, agrees with all that has been said about President Floyd. He also mentioned that not only is President Floyd doing an outstanding job in our state, but he was recently invited to the White House to meet Vice President Biden, with only five other university leaders in the country being invited. He added that he is very pleased that President Floyd agreed to extend his contract and looks forward to the positive years to come.

Regent Fran Forgette said that this renewal comes at a critical time, a time when we are not so much just looking back as looking forward.  He said that during the Regents’ summer retreat, the Board, with the assistance of President Floyd, put together an aggressive set of plans for the future of the University focusing on excellence and growth, and this renewal of his contract and extension is a shared demonstration of trust that he is the right person to lead this University toward that vision.

Regent Rafael Stone said that he echoed everything that had been said in terms of some of the criteria targets they had set in place when searching for the next president for Washington State University. He commended President Floyd for the excellent job keeping his ‘eye on the ball.’  He said that the quality of WSU has improved significantly and that it is through his great leadership.  He added that the WSU family as a whole is behind him and looks forward to a great future for many years. 

Regent Ericka Christensen said that President Floyd has done great things for students of Washington State University and said they are happy that he is the leader during these tough times.

Regent Laura Jennings said that is was a privilege to serve on the search committee that selected President Floyd a few years ago and that it is truly an honor to be the Board Chair as the Regents look at extending his term. She said that working with President Floyd on the details of the extension was a fabulous experience, because he maintains his leadership by example by committing to the University through the period of 2016 without any pay increases and also by continuing his voluntary salary reduction, which was first implemented in November of 2008 and went into effect January 2009. She added that President Floyd is a higher education leader who could lead any institution of higher learning and that WSU is very fortunate to have him committed at Washington State for the next five years.

President Floyd told the Board how grateful he is for their support and for their leadership.  He said that the extension of the contract is not so much a reflection of his work, but rather it is clearly a reflection of the work of his amazing team. He also said that he has the great privilege and honor of serving as the President of Washington State University, a University that has unparalleled faculty members who are highly engaged in teaching, research, and scholarship and creative activities; an extraordinary support staff; incredible students; and an alumni base that is second to none. He said he is delighted in the confidence that the Regents have bestowed upon him. He said that he will do all that he possibly can to make sure that we continue our advancement of the University and strong commitment to the goals and priorities that we have laid out. 

The Board took action on the following: 

 Renewal of the President’s Employment Agreement.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents extend the term of President Floyd’s employment contract  from June 30, 2010, to June 30, 2016, with the same base salary as in the previous agreement.  Carried

Washington Administrative Code Addition, Regular Meetings of the Board of Regents.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the addition of Chapter 504-07 to the Washington Administrative Code.  Carried. 

2. Report from the Chair of the Board of Regents. Regent Jennings, Chair of the Board of Regents, thanked Chancellor Pitcher for hosting the Board of Regents at WSU Spokane. She said that the Regents had productive committee meetings the day before, followed by a reception with community and business leaders. She noted also that they were able to take advantage of their location in Spokane by also having a very productive dinner with the Trustees of Eastern Washington University.  

3. Report from the President of the University.  President Elson S. Floyd also thanked Chancellor Pitcher and his staff for hosting the Board. He also thanked President Arevalo and the Trustees at Eastern Washington University for hosting the Board for a wonderful dinner last evening where they discussed legislative strategies and priorities. 

President Floyd provided brief comments about the budget and reported that the Regents would hear a report a little later in the meeting about the economic forecast and the implications associated with the budget.  He stated that we must redouble our efforts with the legislature this coming session to highlight the priorities associated with our public colleges and universities in the state and focus directly on the economic return on the investment that must and should be made in the four-year institutions. He said that conversations have begun with chancellors, deans, and vice presidents regarding budget reduction plans in their areas, with an implementation date of January 1, 2011. 

President Floyd noted that at a subsequent Regents’ meeting, the Regents will hear more about the campus master plan, which had not been discussed during the Finance and Audit Committee meeting the day before.  He said that the consultants are working with Vice President Patterson and his team, they have already begun some preliminary visits on campus, and we will have a much more thorough conversation associated with that at a following meeting. 

He further reported that the Governors Higher Education Funding Task Force and the House Task Force are in full swing right now.  He said that a great number of them have met with them and will continue to do so over the coming months.  He said that it is the plan for the Governor’s Task Force to submit its final report in November. 

President Floyd also said that the administrative reorganization is progressing. He pointed out that we simply cannot rely on increased tuition to close the gap associated with a lack of state funding, and as a consequence, they have had to look at staff, at productivity, and said that we must be as efficient as we can as an institution. 

President Floyd indicated that there is a major public policy issue to consider, which regards the quality role of community colleges within our state.  He said that there are currently seven community colleges that are authorized to provide the applied baccalaureate. He said that this is a matter that we need to examine, especially at a time in which resources continue to diminish in the four-year higher education sector.  He said that there is an emerging notion of what he calls college and university fragmentation.  He said colleges and universities right now are somewhat losing their way and that he will begin a conversation with members of the Higher Education Coordinating Board on this subject.

Lastly, President Floyd reported that had the privilege of traveling to Washington D.C. to meet with Vice President Biden and that it was useful to spend time with him, as well as the other university presidents discussing research and the economic returns associated with it. He said that our research priorities within our institution are well focused and that we have a great team of faculty members and researchers that are working quickly to continue to advance our institution.  He thanked the Board for their confidence in him and his team and that they will do all that they possibly can to nurture and protect the priorities associated with Washington State University.  

4. Minutes. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the minutes of September 3, 2010.  Carried.

5. 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.)

6. Report from WSU Spokane Chancellor. Chancellor Brian Pitcher introduced ASWSU Spokane Student Body President Todd Keatts, a College of Nursing stduent.  Mr. Keatts thanked the Board for the opportunity to highlight some activities in which ASWSU Spokane is currently engaged, including several grants to help students afford certain items such as daycare, travel to various professional events and conferences, and test preparation grants. He also indicated that they are creating a student senate and that the elections will take place later in the month.   

Dr. Pitcher and Vice Provost for Health Sciences Bryan Slinker provided an update on the Academic Health Sciences Center. They discussed their vision for creating a healthier Washington. Their goal to create a comprehensive, research-intensive Academic Health Science Center at Riverpoint includes a four-year medical school and expanded residency programs; dentistry programs; a four-year pharmacy college; nursing programs (bachelors’ through doctoral degrees); and a public health program and allied health programs. They also discussed the regional impact the Health Science Center will have on the community and the state.   

Dr. Pitcher introduced Dr. Kenneth Roberts, Director of the WWAMI Program. Dr. Roberts provided a brief overview of the WWAMI Program and also introduced a group of students who shared their medical education experiences as they prepare to be ready for the work force.   

7. Academic and Student Affairs Committee Report.  Regent Harold

Cochran reported that the Committee heard updates from the Chancellors of WSU TriCities and WSU Vancouver. He added that enrollment is up at both campuses. He stated that WSU Vancouver just celebrated the opening of its Child Development Program Kindergarten, which is privately funded. He said that things are also progressing at the Tri-Cities campus, that their fundraising efforts are going well, and that they hope to provide more space for the nursing students there. Regent Cochran further reported that the Committee received an enrollment report from Vice President Fraire who predicts a 3-4 percent enrollment increase up to 2016.  He also reported that Vice President Grimes updated the Board on graduate enrollment. 

The Board took action on the following:

Amendment to WAC 504-43, Course Materials.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve providing cost savings to students for course materials as outlines in Amendment to WAC 504-43-030. Carried

8. External Affairs Committee Report.  Regent Betsy Cowles reported for Ted Baseler, who was unable to be at the Committee meeting the day prior. She said the Committee received three reports. The first was a campaign update and year-to-date progress report from Kevin Harvey who had reported that they are making good progress towards their December goal. Regent Cowles also reported that Tim Pavish provided a presentation on external news coverage for WSU, which includes a more proactive approach to packaging stores and using other ways to get the message out as to what is going on at WSU.  Lastly, she said that Colleen Kerr provided some insight into what is happening in pre-legislative session work. She added that there are various points of view on how to position higher education, and we need to keep reinforcing that higher education is not broken, as there are many success stories and that an overhaul is not what is needed—fair funding is what is needed. 

9. Finance and Audit Committee Report.  Regent Rafael Stone reported on behalf of Regent Carson.  Regent Stone called upon Joan King to provide an update on the budget, which had not been presented the day before due to time constraints.  Ms. King stated that we currently have two separate reductions to our state allocation.  The first, which was included in the budget approved by the Legislature last spring, is a permanent reduction of $13.5 million. The second, ordered by the governor last month, will require a further reduction of $11.2 million on a temporary basis for the remainder of the 2010-11 fiscal year. Budget plans will go into effect January 1, 2011. Regent Stone also reported that the Committee received report the day before on the following: the Long-Range Student Housing Plan; the Hotel/Conference Center; a potential renovation to the South Side of Martin Stadium; and an underwriter presentation on general revenue bonds.

Regent Stone reviewed the action items before Board approval.

The Board took action on the following:

Revision to Washington Administrative Code 504-36-020. It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents adopted the proposed amendment to WAC 504-36-020, which sets forth the rules for control of animals on all of the WSU campuses. Carried.

WSU Pullman, Duncan Dunn-Community Hall Renovation and Addition, Approval of Project Budget and Architect Selection.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the project budget of $21,600,000, and the selection of Mahlum Architects for the Duncan Dunn Community Hall Renovation and Addition. Carried.

WSU Pullman, Waller Hall Renovation and New Construction, Approval of Project Budget and Architect Selection. It was moved and seconded that the Board of

Regents approve the project budget of $32,600,000, and the selection of Mahlum Architects for the Waller Hall Renovation and the new addition Waller II. 


10. Executive Session. The Board of Regents met in Executive Session on Thursday, October 7, at 4:30 p.m. in Nursing Building, Room 204, to discuss pending litigation matters with legal counsel. The executive session lasted 30 minutes.

11. Other Business—Request for Defense of University Employees.  

  1. In Whitman County Superior Court:  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the request for defense by Washington State University employee Jaime Contreras, Director of Student Affairs at WSU Tri-Cities, in the base brought against him by Michael Luzzo.  Carried.
  2. In Benton County Superior Court: It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the request for defense by Washington State University employee Cheryl Oliver, Director of the Graduate Program in Business Administration, in the case brought against her by David Brown. Carried. 

12. Adjournment.  In closing, Regent Jennings mentioned it is Homecoming weekend on the Pullman campus. She also indicated that she is looking forward to the Veterinary Medicine Research Building Groundbreaking ceremony taking place in Pullman later that afternoon.  Lastly, she reported that the next meeting will be held November 18-19, in Pullman.

The meeting adjourned at 10:22 am.