February 7, 2014

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS

MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

FEBRUARY 7, 2014

 

1.                  Roll Call

Present-     Mr. Stephen Bough, Governor

Mr. Joe Carmichael, Governor

Ms. Virginia Fry, Governor

Mr. Peter Hofherr, Governor

Mr. Stephen B. Hoven, Vice Chair

Ms. Paige Jenkins, Student Governor

Mr. Orvin Kimbrough, Governor (by conference call)

Ms. Beverly Miller, Chair

Ms. Carrie Tergin, Governor

                  Also

Present-     Clifton Smart III, President

Drew Bennett, Chancellor of the West Plains Campus

Frank Einhellig, Provost

Dee Siscoe, Vice President for Student Affairs

Ken McClure, Vice President for Administrative and Information Services

Jim Baker, Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and International Programs

Kenneth Coopwood, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Stephen Foucart, Chief Financial Officer

Brent Dunn, Vice President for University Advancement

Donna Christian, Director of Internal Audit and Compliance

Penni Groves, General Counsel

John McAlear, Secretary of the Board

2.      Presiding --- The presiding officer for the meeting was Ms. Beverly Miller, Chair of the Board of Governors.  She called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. in the Magnolia Room in the West Plains Civic Center in West Plains, Missouri. 

3.      Approval of Minutes:

a.      Board of Governors Meeting --- Ms. Miller mentioned that the first item of business was the approval of the minutes for the open meeting of December 13, 2013.  Mr. Kimbrough so moved, receiving the second of Mr. Bough.

Motion passed 8-0.

4.      Consent Agenda --- Ms. Miller noted that the next item of business on the agenda was the approval of the Consent Agenda for this meeting.  The items included in the Consent Agenda are:

Executive Committee Meeting Held on January 15, 2014

Approval of 2014-2015 employment agreements for assistant football coaches (Human Resources No. 1448-14).

Approval of 2015-2016 Academic Calendar (Curriculum No. 360-14).

Approval of Procurement Activity Report for the period November 25, 2013 through January 10, 2014 (Purchasing Activity Report No. 398-14).

Professional services in conjunction with the exterior envelope improvements for the west grandstand at Plaster Sports Complex (Architects & Engineers No. 698-14); Structural Engineering Associates, Inc., for a fixed, not-to-exceed fee of $112,400 plus reimbursable expenses.  Additional services of up to $15,000 as described in this agreement may be authorized and approved as necessary.

Constructional material testing services in conjunction with the planned athletic and recreation field improvements (Architects & Engineers No. 699-14); Palmerton & Parrish, Inc., for a fixed fee of $65,250 plus reimbursable expenses.  Additional services of up to $25,000 as described in this agreement may be authorized and approved as necessary.

Approval to increase the project budget for improvements to the athletic and recreation fields on the Springfield campus (Bids & Quotations No. 1450-14); this $1,722,190 increase brings the new total project budget to $26,819,190.

Approval of a resolution (Land No. 109-14) granting a sanitary sewer easement to the City of Springfield to allow for the construction of the new athletic and recreation field improvements.

Approval of a resolution (Land 110-14) granting easements to KAMO Electric Cooperative, Inc., for the construction of an electrical transmission line and a fiber optic or other communication system through property referred to as Baker’s Acres on Missouri State University property located in Webster County.

Approval of Amendment #3 to Lease Agreement with Brewer Science, Inc., at Jordan Valley Innovation Center (Agreement No. 337-14).

Approval of New Governing Policy – G7.07 Military Science Department Fee Waiver Policy (Board Policies No. 85-14).

President

Approval of Employment Contract of Brian Burton, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach (Human Resources No. 1449-14).

West Plains Campus

Approval of Activity Report dated February 7, 2014 (West Plains Campus Activity Report No. 105-14).

Springfield Campus Purchases/Contracts

Approval of Procurement Activity Report for the period November 26, 2013, through January 22, 2014 (Purchasing Activity Report No. 399-14).

Facilities and Equipment

Approval of Activity Report for the month of November 2013 (Activity Report No. 252-14).

Approval of Activity Report for the month of December 2013 (Activity Report No. 253-14).

Human Resources Items

Actions concerning academic employees (Human Resources No. 1450-14).

Actions concerning non-academic employees (Human Resources No. 1451-14).

Approval of amendment to Employee Handbook for Administrative, Professional and Support Staff Employees and related policies (Board Policies No. 86-14).

Ms. Fry made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda, receiving a second from Ms. Tergin.

Motion passed 8-0.

5.    President’s Report --- President Clif Smart began his report by thanking the City of West Plains for welcoming us with open arms.  He asked Dr. Bennett, Chancellor of the West Plains Campus, to introduce special guests in attendance.  Dr. Bennett introduced Mayor Jack Pahlmann and City Administrator Tom Stehn. President Smart then congratulated Governor Virginia Fry on her recent confirmation.  He commented that, unfortunately, Governor Kendall Seal’s confirmation got tangled up in a procedural predicament and his nomination had to be withdrawn and resubmitted.  We are confident he will be confirmed soon – in the meantime, he has joined us as a very interested observer. President Smart then asked Chancellor Bennett to introduce the student we are recognizing today.  Chancellor Bennett introduced Ms. Anna Cantrell from Conway, Missouri. Ms. Cantrell is a very active sophomore who is enrolled in the campus’s Nursing program and is participating in the William and Virginia Darr Honors Program. She will be graduating this May and eventually would like to work in a nursing clinical setting.

President Smart next provided a brief report on activities in Jefferson City. We are starting this legislative session in a positive position with Governor Jay Nixon’s budget recommendation.  It includes: a) a 5% increase in core funding for higher education; however, because both the Springfield and West Plains campuses achieved all five performance measures, we would get 5.2%, or an increase of approximately $4.2 million; b) more than $22 million in ongoing funding for STEM-related initiatives – our portion would be about $2.4 million, or another 3%; and c) $20 million in one-time funds recommended for Caring for Missourians – Mental Health, with our portion of these one-time funds being approximately $1.6 million. He commented that it is very early in the process and we will continue to work and to monitor as the budget moves through the process. He added that the bills that create a higher education funding formula are out of committee and are being discussed. We are supportive of the bills filed by Senator Pearce and Representative Thomson but it is unclear at this point if and how quickly the bills will move along.

He ended his report by mentioning the final item on today’s agenda – the discussion on accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. The HLC on-site visit is coming very quickly for West Plains and the visit for the Springfield campus is about 18 months from now.  The HLC accreditation is an important milestone for both campuses.

6.      Academic Affairs:

  1. a.      Report from Provost --- Dr. Frank Einhellig, Provost, first reported that two important actions of the Faculty Senate in their January meeting were to pass two new graduate programs: 1) Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis, and 2) Master of Applied Second Language Acquisition.

Dr. Einhellig next reported that, so far, they have hired 18 new faculty members who will start next fall and one new department head. There are another 38 searches in progress. He ended his report by commenting that they have been trying to increase the number of students enrolling in second-block classes (the last eight weeks of the semester). We have grown from 87 second-block classes in the spring of 2012 to 124 classes this spring. There appears to be a demand. A short discussion was then held on faculty recruitment and retention and it was decided to discuss this further at the Board’s retreat next month.

7.      West Plains Campus --- Chancellor Bennett next introduced Ms. Connie Morgan, Assistant Professor of History and current Chair of the West Plains Faculty Senate.  Ms. Morgan summarized how the West Plains faculty is addressing their primary goal of enhancing student learning and student retention. Current projects include the establishment of a committee to promote education in ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement. Chancellor Bennett then introduced Mr. Darrell Hampsten, Small Business and Technology Development Center Coordinator and current Staff Senate Chair. Mr. Hempsten reported that the West Plains Staff Senate has continued to raise money for charities. They have exceeded their United Way goal, have continued to participate in Lee Denim Day, and have raised money for cancer research. Chancellor Bennett then introduced Mr. Dakota Bates, President of the West Plains Student Government. Mr. Bates gave an overview of some of the projects that the West Plains SGA is doing: a) sponsoring a murder mystery party; b) sponsoring a blood drive; and c) volunteering thousands of service hours toward Operation 50K to recognize the 50th anniversary of the West Plains campus – they are at 38,069 hours toward the goal of 50,000 volunteer hours.

8.         Student Affairs:

a.         Report from Student Body President --- Mr. David Schneider, Springfield Campus Student Body President, next gave a report to the Board which included a summary of the $450,000 in sustainability projects funded since FY2011 from the $2 fee per semester which each student pays.  These projects include bike racks, LED lighting, indoor/outdoor recycle bins, electric vehicles, the campus gardens, an energy dashboard to allow students to monitor in real time the energy consumption in residence halls and other buildings, and hydration stations.

9.         Finance:

a.         Approval of Bonding Resolution --- Mr. Steve Foucart, Chief Financial Officer, presented a resolution (Finance No. 1033-14) authorizing and directing the issuance of not to exceed $42,000,000 principal amount of auxiliary enterprise system revenue bonds, Series 2014A, to provide funds to finance additions, renovations, extensions and improvements to the facilities of the auxiliary enterprise system of the University; prescribing the form and details of said bonds and the covenants and agreements made by the university to provide for the payment and security thereof; and prescribing other matters relating thereto.

He commented that the board members had an opportunity to hear from bond counsel and underwriters in this morning’s Finance & Facilities Committee. Mr. Hoven, committee chair, indicated that details were provided and he is totally comfortable with moving forward with this matter. Mr. Hofherr moved to approve the resolution with the second being provided by Mr. Hoven.

      Motion passed 8-0.

10.      Unfinished Business --- Ms. Miller next presented a resolution (Administration No. 34-14) to revise the Board’s 2014 meeting schedule. She explained that due to the inability to reserve an adequate number of hotel rooms for a June 27 meeting in Kansas City, this resolution moves the Kansas City meeting date from June 27 to June 20.  Moved by Mr. Bough and seconded by Ms. Tergin.

Motion passed 8-0.

11.    New Business:

a.      Discussion on Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Accreditation --- President Smart began this discussion by explaining that HLC is the umbrella agency that accredits higher education institutions and that the Springfield and West Plains campuses have separate HLC accreditation. He added that accreditations are hard work but they have great value. If you don’t have HLC accreditation, you can’t receive federal financial aid and the degrees you award have a value approaching zero, so it is important to have a good review. Accreditations are a tool for our goal of continuous improvement. Provost Einhellig then reminded everyone that achieving continued accreditation from HLC as well as other accrediting agencies is one of our 2013- 2014 goals. Accreditation is one evidence of assurance that you have a quality program. He added that beyond HLC, the Springfield campus has 29 specialized accrediting or certifying agencies for accreditations of specific majors and programs. HLC is a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and accredits the entire University, both academic and non-academic areas, more than just a specific major or program. Dr. Tammy Jahnke, Dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences and Chair of the HLC Steering Committee, next provided the HLC Springfield campus timeline, a ten-year accreditation cycle. Our last site visit was in 2005 and we expect our next visit will be in 2015. HLC has recently gone away from having every institution prepare a self-study – they now require a quality improvement initiative and assurance arguments. There are five subcommittees of the Steering Committee writing separate assurance arguments on how we meet the accreditation criteria. The quality initiative proposal that we have selected is a comprehensive, university-wide assessment plan for student learning outcomes related to the public affairs mission in general education, discipline-specific programs and co-curricular activities developed, and this is going very well. Their goal is to file a final assurance argument in May of 2015. Dr. Jahnke briefed the Board on the five criteria that each institution must meet to achieve accreditation. Chancellor Bennett next reemphasized that MSU-West Plains is separately accredited to award associate degrees. Mr. Dennis Lancaster, Interim Dean of Academic Affairs on the West Plains campus, explained that their accreditation cycle started sooner than the Springfield campus’s cycle and, thus still includes the preparation of a self-study document. They gathered information for their self-study over a period of 18 months. They are accredited under the same criteria as the Springfield campus. Chancellor Bennett then summarized some of the more significant findings of their self-study. He reported that the site visit by the HLC consultant-evaluators will be March 31-April 2. President Smart ended the presentation by commenting that this is a challenging topic to engage in but it is a very important topic.  The accreditation process is a great opportunity to assess where we are and how can we continue to improve.

The entire Board, along with others in attendance, next engaged in a lengthy discussion regarding the importance of the accreditation process. It was mentioned that there were no major surprises coming out of the West Plains self-study – they were aware of the challenges identified. A question was posed if this type of internal review could be helpful if performed more often. Dr. Jahnke explained that the new process with assurance arguments has to be updated after four, seven, and ten years. It was noted that listening to the accreditation processes of the two campuses points out their very unique relationship that could be very strategic and important to our State. One institution with an open enrollment, two-year, lower-cost campus and a four-year comprehensive campus with bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees is not found elsewhere in the State. A major strength that helps both campuses to be successful is their cooperation. It was also pointed out that focusing on weaknesses that come out of an accreditation process could very well result in those areas being strengths during the next accreditation. President Smart also commented that the better defining of public affairs and improved diversity on campus, two areas that the 2005 accreditation showed needed work, have improved because of the Board’s leadership in setting annual goals and engaging in multiple conversations of their importance.

12.   Closed Meeting --- It was determined that the Board of Governors needed to meet in a closed session to consider items of business provided in the Revised Statutes of Missouri.  Ms. Miller asked if a resolution authorizing a closed meeting of the Board was prepared.  Thereupon, the following resolution was presented for consideration:

BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Governors for Missouri State University that a closed meeting, with closed records and closed vote, be held immediately following this February 7, 2014, meeting of the Board of Governors to consider items of business pursuant to:

  1. R.S.Mo.  610.021 (1).  “…any confidential or privileged communications between a public governmental body or its representatives and its attorneys…”

Ms. Tergin moved the approval of the resolution and Mr. Hoven seconded the motion.

A roll call vote on the motion was as follows:  those voting in favor – Governors Bough, Carmichael, Fry, Hofherr, Hoven, Kimbrough, Miller, and Tergin; those voting against the motion – none.

Ms. Miller declared the resolution passed unanimously.

13.      Date of Next Meeting --- The date of the next scheduled meeting was set for Thursday/Friday, March 6-7, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri.

14.      Adjournment--- Ms. Miller adjourned the meeting at 3:20 p.m., on the motion of Mr. Bough, the second of Ms. Tergin, and the unanimous vote of the Board.

 

John W. McAlear

Secretary