September 7, 2007

The Board of Regents of Washington State University met pursuant to call in Open Meeting at 9:30 a.m., on Friday, September 7, 2007, at Hotel 1000, Great Room, Seattle, Washington.

Present:  Regent Connie Niva, Chair; Regents, Kenneth Alhadeff, Theodor Baseler, Harold Cochran, Elizabeth Cowles, Francois Forgette, William Gordon, Laura Jennings (via conference phone), V. 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 Connie Niva welcomed everyone to the meeting.  She added that today’s meeting represents a series of firsts. She said that this is the first official Board meeting with President Floyd, as well as the first meeting with our new student Regent William Gordon; and meeting for some of the university group representatives; she said it is also the first semester with freshman enrolled at our campuses at Vancouver and the Tri-Cities, and although it’s not the first, but one of the best budgets that higher education has been given from the legislature.

2.         Report from the President of the University.  President Elson S. Floyd thanked

Chairman Niva for the opportunity to address the Board. He said that he has inherited an incredibly strong institution and that Lane Rawlins, Sam Smith, and Glen Terrell did a marvelous job keeping the university on a very solid academic course and for that he will always be grateful. He reported that he will continue to move the university forward and will continue to build on solid academic strength. He said that over the last few months he has had the privilege of visiting with students regarding their expectations and has asked the student leadership to establish a student advisory council that he will meet with to identify issues that are important to the student body and to also identity a time that all of the vice presidents can have an open forum for the university to talk about the strategic directions that are in place.  He reported that he wants to make sure that the decisions that we make for the university are very thoughtful decisions. He also said that he has been assembling a leadership team, adding to the quality of excellence that is already in place. He introduced John Gardner, Vice President for Economic Development and Extension; Viji Murali, Vice President for Information Technology Initiatives; and John Fraire, Vice President for Enrollment Management. He added that he made a commitment to the university to get the most talented leadership team to serve Washington State University, and he believes that has been achieved. He reported that this is an exciting time for the university as we welcomed our first freshman class at the Tri-Cities.  He said every day we hear that what a wonderful addition to the academic portfolio of what we have in place. He reported that enrollment increased 3.1perent statewide, the Pullman campus increased 1.6 percent and minority enrollment went up from 13.4 percent to 14 percent this fall. He said that there is no doubt that we owe much to the legislature relative to the budget that was appropriated for operating purposes. He said the university is incredibly strong and he thanked the Board for their stewardship and leadership and for the opportunity given to him to come back to the State of Washington.

3.         Consent Agenda. 

            Minutes.  It was moved and seconded that the Board approve the minutes of May 4, 2007.  Carried.

Reports from University Groups. 

Faculty Senate Chair Ken Struckmeyer reported that the faculty, the faculty senate, and the faculty senate leadership look forward to working with President Floyd and his administrative team as they begin a new era of WSU. He commented on the “In Concert with Communities” event sponsored by the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resource Sciences and WSU Extension and what a good job they did in promoting the many different areas WSU Faculty are doing to help the community and the citizens of Washington State. He reported that Faculty Senate will be reviewing and submitting final approval of the General Education Program for WSU Vancouver this fall.  He added that even though the program’s goals are the same between WSU Pullman and WSU Vancouver, the delivery is quite different. He reported that the faculty has also received proposals for a Creation Sleep Center in Spokane, and a proposal to change the Maternity/Fraternity Leave Policy in the Faculty Manual. Lastly, he requested that the Board of Regents consider a Faculty/Regents Retreat for a half-day in the near future.  He felt it would be advantageous for the Senate Committees and the Regents to have dialogue as we continue to move the University forward.

Regent Rafael Stone endorsed Dr. Struckmeyer’s recommendation. He indicated as they went through the search process, the Regents’ Advisory Search Committee met with faculty members and they had many questions for them.

Regent Niva also endorsed Dr. Struckmeyer’s recommendation. She indicated that she and Regent Jennings had met with the Association of Faculty Women and felt that is was extremely beneficial to meet with them.

Administrative Professional Advisory Council (APAC) Chair Francis Benjamin reported that is good to have the opportunity to report to the Regents once again.  He indicated that the APAC Council is a University Group that works with all constituents from the university community. He said that it has been eight years since the Regents have heard a report from any staff organization and they appreciate that President Floyd had brought this group back to the table. He added that growth within the Administrative Professional classification over the last eight years has doubled in the University system. He said that part of that growth is because of reclassification of employees in the Civil Service classification into the Administrative Professional classification. He pointed out that there are currently 1538 Administrative Professional employees at Washington State University.  He also reported that results from a survey conducted last spring indicated that the top concerns Administrative Professional employees expressed were classification/compensation system, training and professional development, and benefits.  In response to those concerns APAC is working with Human Resource Services to address these issues.  He added the President Floyd is helping them with the issue of inversion that occurred with some of the employees. He also reported that APAC is also concentrating on improving visible and physical presence on all campuses and to identify ways to expand connections between all campuses and research stations. Lastly, he thanked President Floyd for his support and looks forward to continued improvement in communication with the Regents, Administration and university groups as we advance Washington State University.

Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Manpreet Chahal reported that GPSA started the year with orientation sessions where they were able to talk to new Graduate and Professional Students.  The goal at the orientation was to promote GPSA and inform student about how they can be involved.  He said that GPSA is in the process of updating their website.  The updates are occurring in stages with the goal for TA/RA/Advisor applications to be web-based applications improving accessibility to all GPSA members.  He indicated that GPSA is working on strategies to improve communications among all members and ways to reach a greater number of students.  He reported that GPSA participated in the all Campus Picnic which provided on opportunity to connect with current and potential GPSA members.  He said that GPSA is once again partnering with the Athletic Department to offer a discounted rate of one home football game and free admission to some volleyball games for GPSA members. Lastly, he reported that GPSA is in the process of developing a Strategic Plan for 2007.

Rafael Stone commented to Mr. Chahal that is would be beneficial in the near future to hear his input on how the University can improve graduate students research hours.

Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU) President Kasey Webster reported that the reaction from the students regarding President Floyd is extremely positive. He added that with Dr. Floyd’s encouragement, ASWSU has established a student advisory board where he meets with student representatives from all realms of WSU to hear student needs and to answer questions.  He also reported that ASWSU has assembled the CUB advisory board to ensure all interests of the students will be reflected in the new union building.  He said that ASWSU has also launched a “Thank You” campaign and that the objective is to help students find ways to show gratitude toward their supporters around campus. Lastly, he reported that the ASWSU Executive Committee will be attending the American Student Government Association Conference in Washington D.C. toward the end of the month.

Mr. Webster introduced Mr. Andrew Zander, President of the Distance Degree Program Student Government. 

Distance Degree Program (DDP) President Andrew Zander provided an overview of the Distance Degree Program student government. He reported on the DDP events along with enrollment numbers.  He also reported on new projects and methods of interacting among the DDP students. He provided an example of the Online Classroom that the DDP Students experience.

Regent Alhadeff commented that all the DDP students are part of the Cougar Family and it is essential that they have a quality educational experience as well. He thanked Mr. Zander for his insightful report.

Regent Niva also thanked Mr. Zander for reporting on the Distance Degree Program.  She felt that his report provided the Regents with a great deal of insight.

Foundation Board of Governors Chair Larry Culver reported on how exciting it is to be surrounded by Cougars this week in Seattle.  He started off by thanking President Floyd for his involvement in the Foundation immediately in his presidency.  He said that President Floyd’s presence coupled with the announcement of Brenda Wilson-Hale has lifted morale and the energy level among all. Mr. Culver also reported that the endowment is at $320 million, a 19.5 percent return on our investment.  He commended the Investment Committee for its fine work in the performance of the endowment.  He also reported that Foundations gifts, grants and pledges for FY 2006-07 totaled $80.2 million which is the biggest fundraising year in the history of the Foundation. He also said that when combined with current gift counting standards, pull-forward donations and revocable gifts gives a total of $138.7 million for the first campaign counting year. He said that these numbers are a result of President Floyd’s involvement.  He reported that they have retained two prestigious consulting firms to assist with the university’s campaign.  He also reported on the upcoming 28th Annual Foundation Board of Trustees meeting that will be held in Spokane, October 25-26, 2007.

President Floyd commented to Mr. Culver how much his leadership is appreciated.  He commended Mr. Culver, Ms. Brenda Wilson-Hale and the entire development team for their outstanding job. 

Alumni Association President Al Powell reported the WSU Alumni Association leads the nation in membership growth for universities of similar size.  He said that more members mean greater support, therefore, they will continue to recruit more members and add more benefits and discounts to enhance the appeal and value of membership. He added that they also providing ways for alumni to become more meaningfully involved in WSU. He said that in the last three years the WSU Alumni Association has conducted more than 550 events attended by over 95,000 Cougars and friends. He said that they are organizing new events and programs strategically targeted to address generational, lifestyle, and career interests as well as student recruitment, diversity, and advocacy initiatives. He reported that are also expanding their corporate engagement with Microsoft and Boeing and will conduct their first corporate outreach event with Weyerhaeuser in October. Lastly, he also reported that the WSU Alumni Association will be planning a Virginia Red Cedar tree in WSU’s Alumni Arboretum in remembrance of the victims of the tragedy at Virginia Tech last spring.  

5.         Executive Committee. Regent Connie Niva reported that the Executive Committee reviewed and discussed each action item. She said that the Bylaws needed some housekeeping due to the changes in Committee structure.  She also reported that President Floyd asked the Regents to consider changing some of the locations to the 2008 Board Meeting Schedule. She said that by changing the schedule to have Board Meetings at every campus on a yearly basis will allow more engagement and opportunity among the Regents, student leaders, faculty and administration. The current schedule had only one Board Meeting at one branch campus every year.

The Board took action on the following:

Changes to the Board of Regents Bylaws.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the changes to the Board of Regents Bylaws. Carried.

Changes to the 2008 Board of Regents Meeting Schedule.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the changes to the 2008 Board of Regents Meeting Schedule (Exhibit A).  Carried.

Delegation of Authority to the President to Authorize Defense of University Employees.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents delegate to the President of the University, Dr. Elson S. Floyd, the authority to review requests for indemnification and defense made by the University’s officers, employees, or agents, and, where in his discretion, it is appropriate to deny a defense, he shall have authority to take such action, subject to the following limitations and conditions:

  1. If any action, claim or proceeding is filed against the President of the University the request for indemnification and defense shall be reviewed and acted upon by the Board of Regents.
  2. If any action, claim or proceeding if filed against member(s) of the Board of Regents, the request for indemnification and defense shall be reviewed and acted upon as follows:
    1. Where the request involves a minority of the members of the Board of Regents, it will be acted on by the remaining members of the Board.
    2. Where the request involves a majority or all of the members of the Board of Regents, it will be acted on by the Attorney General of the State of Washington, as provided for in RCW 28B.10.842.
  3. The President will keep the Chair of the Board apprised of all indemnification and defense requests granted to University officers, employees, or agents.
  4. The Board reserves to itself the authority to grant requests for indemnification and defense.
    Exhibit B.  Carried. 

6.         Finance and Audit Committee.  Regent Michael Worthy reported that the Finance and Audit Committee discussed a variety of real estate matters, the proposed 2008 supplemental budget request, the capital budget process, and the operating budget. 

The Board took action on the following:

WSU Pullman, Palouse Ridge Golf Course Clubhouse and Related Facilities, Ground Lease and Facility Lease-Back.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents delegate authority to the President, or his designee, and grant authorization to accept proposals from bidders, and to enter into an agreement with the successful bidder, for a ground lease and lease-back of the Golf Course Clubhouse and Relate Facilities.  Carried.

WSU Pullman, Colorado Street Ground Lease for Retail and Housing Development.  It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents delegate authority to the President or his designee, to approve the Letter of Intent and Phase I Conceptual Drawings, and to negotiate and execute a land lease with a developer for the purpose of building a retail and housing development of University-owned property at the southeast corner of Colorado Street and Ruby Street in Pullman. Carried.

7.         Academic and Student Affairs Committee.  Regent Francois Forgette reported that the Academic and Student Affairs Committee received an update on the upcoming Revisions to the Student Conduct Code. He said the revisions are an attempt to harmonize provisions and to provide more flexibility in dealing with certain situations. He said that there is a public hearing scheduled in October and will be considered for Board approval in November. Regent Forgette also said that the Committee heard from Professor Terry McElwain, Executive Director of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab regarding the creation of the School of Global Animal Health.  He added that this is an excellent opportunity for WSU and that he is excited that President Floyd has made this a priority item. He added that this program initially will be geared towards graduate students and research oriented and that an undergraduate component may be added later. He said that the committee also discussed the Greek Community. He indicated that the Greek system is 14 percent of our total undergraduate population and that the record shows students in the Greek system have a high graduation rate and have also been very strong supporters, which are very good reasons to be fostering a positive relationship. Lastly, he reported that the Future Cougars of Luncheon to be held after the Board Meeting is sold out.

8.         External Affairs and Athletics Committee.  Regent Ken Alhadeff reported that the External Affairs and Athletics Committee had set its agenda for the year.  They also heard from Brenda Wilson-Hale who reported on how the accounting for the Foundation is analyzed. He said that this process is in line with what is happening across the county. He said the committee also received an update on the Martin Stadium Project and how the communication pieces are being delivered.  He referred to the website that Athletics has created that talk about all the phases of the project.  Lastly he reported that the Committee is working on quality benchmarking so that at the end of the year they will know what impact has been made.

9.         Other Business.  

Regent Niva reported that this is Regent Theodor Baseler’s last meeting.  She added that his term will end at the end of the month and that he has asked the Governor not be reappointed at this time.  She asked Regent Baseler to say a few words.

Regent Baseler said that due to the expansion of Chateau Ste. Michelle purchasing additional wineries, he will not be in a position to give the time needed for this prestigious appointment.  He said that this has been incredible honor to serve this role, to serve the university to work with such terrific colleagues.  He said that it was a tough decision, but he knows that the University is in excellent hands. 

President Floyd thanked Regent Baseler for his service to the University and for his guidance and that he will miss him greatly.   

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

11.       September 6, 2007, Executive Session. On Thursday, September 6, Chair Connie Niva convened the Board of Regents in open meeting at 4:30 p.m. Present at the meeting were Regent Chair Connie Niva; Regents Kenneth Alhadeff, Theodor Baseler, Harold Cochran, Elizabeth Cowles, Francois Forgette, William Gordon, V. Rafael Stone, and Michael Worthy; President Elson S. Floyd, Vice President Greg Royer, Associate Vice President Jerry Schlatter, Senior Assistant Attorney General Antoinette Ursich, and Executive Assistant Christine Hoyt.

Chair Connie Niva then called an Executive Session, pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, to discuss real estate pricing issues and also to discuss current and potential litigation matters. Following the discussion, which lasted one hour, Regent Niva reconvened in open session and adjourned the meeting. The Regents took no final action on any matter as a result of the session.

Approved by the Board of Regents at its meeting held October 19, 2007, Lighty Student Services 405, Pullman, Washington.