February 18, 2010

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS

MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

FEBRUARY 18, 2010

 

1.                  Roll Call

Present-     Ms. Elizabeth Bradbury, Governor

                  Mr. Gordon Elliott, Governor

Mr. Brian Hammons, Chair of the Board

Ms. Ashley Hoyer, Student Governor

Mr. Orvin Kimbrough, Governor

Ms. Mary Sheid, Governor

Ms. Cathy Smith, Governor

Ms. Phyllis Washington, Vice-Chair of the Board (left at 11:45 a.m.)

Mr. John Winston, Governor

Absent-     Mr. Michael Duggan, Governor

Also

Present-     Michael Nietzel, President

                  Paul Kincaid, Chief of Staff

                  Clifton Smart, General Counsel

                  Belinda McCarthy, Provost

                  Carey Adams, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters

                  Nila Hayes, Chief Financial Officer

            John McAlear, Secretary of the Board

2.                  Presiding --- The presiding officer for the meeting was Mr. Brian Hammons, Chair of the Board of Governors.  He called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. in the Meyer Alumni Center Room 505 in Springfield, Missouri.    

3.                  Retreat Objective --- Mr. Hammons first explained that the objective of today’s retreat was:  “To gain a deeper shared understanding of our mission, long-term strategies, goals, opportunities, and strengthening our ability to provide guidance for the university administration in the months ahead.”

4.                  Update for the Board: 8 Goals for 2009-10 --- Dr. Michael Nietzel, President, first presented an update on the 2009-10 goals:

1)       Enhance the Quality of, and Improve Access to, Educational Programs: potential new academic programs are not being explored at this time due to funding issues: dual credit program is providing great access to new students; the Study Away vouchers are in place for this year and 2010-2011 but, again, due to funding, will recommend that vouchers be suspended for 2011-2012.

2)       Develop and Implement a Strategic Marketing Plan:  as the Board heard at their last meeting, a new tag line will be used – “Follow Your Passion. Find Your Place.”

3)       Improve Campus Facilities:  will break ground for the new University Recreation Center in March;  are exploring the possibility of bonding to fund capital improvements for academic and auxiliary facilities.

4)       Make Significant Progress on the Comprehensive Campaign:  we launched “Our Promise: The Campaign for Missouri State University” and we are now at about $110 million toward a goal of $125 million.

5)       Identify and Make Selective Investments in Research and Scholarship: we are looking at bonding about $600,000 toward animal research compliance needs with an addition to Temple Hall.

6)       Promote Diversity Through “Inclusive Excellence” Across the Institution:  we have improved our numbers of minority and international students but still need to improve our numbers of minority/international faculty and staff.

7)       Focus on Financing the University:  are focusing on cost reductions as there are not a lot of options for revenue enhancements; it appears we will exceed our goal of thirty faculty members choosing to participate in the voluntary incentivized retirement plan; there will be no salary increases for FY2011.

8)       Develop A New Long-Range Plan: this will be addressed in more detail later in today’s retreat.

All nine governors present expressed the importance of improving campus diversity; however, a lengthy discussion was held on whether an Administrative Council level Chief Diversity Officer position search should begin or to delay this search due to the present budget situation.  Mr. Winston made a motion to move forward with the search, with Mr. Kimbrough providing the second to the motion.

Motion failed by a 4-4 vote (Governors Kimbrough, Sheid, Washington, and Winston voting for the motion; Governors Bradbury, Elliott, Hammons, and Smith voting against the motion).  

5.                  Board Succession and Officers --- Mr. Hammons next reminded the Board that six members’ terms expire in calendar year 2011.  A discussion was then held on the Board’s annual election of officers at their July 30, 2010 meeting. 

6.         Financial Planning --- Dr. Nietzel next mentioned Governor Jay Nixon’s FY11 agreement with public higher education institutions to only reduce higher education by 5.2% with no tuition increases for students.  He then summarized how $5.5 million ($4.7 million state appropriation reduction and $800,000 in increased on-going costs) would be reallocated.  He commented that there are discussions in Jefferson City that suggest additional FY11 appropriation reductions which, if happens, would open up possible tuition increases.  Dr. Nietzel then added that discussions on what could happen in FY12 are very scary.  With federal stabilization dollars gone, higher education’s share of the State’s shortfall could result in budget cuts in excess of 15%....three times the FY11 cut.  With cuts of this size, the need to review marginal programs was mentioned with suspending admissions to some programs as a possibility.    Dr. Nietzel commented that the Faculty Senate just passed a resolution opposing any revision of the Faculty Handbook that would permit faculty to be reassigned without their consent, other than when justified by conditions and procedures already specified in the Faculty Handbook.  Dr. Rebecca Woodard, Chair-Elect of the Faculty Senate responded that the Faculty Senate was looking at this issue from a “punitive viewpoint” not from a financial viewpoint.  It was explained that the Board has the final say on the wording of the Faculty Handbook.

Dr. Nietzel, with the assistance of Ms. Nila Hayes, Chief Financial Officer, next proposed the possibility of a 2010 Bond Issue with Build America Bonds that are available through the end of 2010.  It is planned to present a resolution at the Board’s meeting tomorrow expressing the intent to issue bonds:  $40 million for the auxiliary enterprise facilities projects; and, $12 million for general educational facilities. The auxiliary enterprise bonding would permit some much-needed life safety expenditures and other needed updates and refurbishing in residence life facilities.  The general educational bonding would help with Willowbrook renovations, Darr Agricultural Center additions, and other needed academic projects.  A revenue stream from increased housing rates would fund the auxiliary enterprise bonds and the savings from retiring 2002 bonds and other internal reallocations would fund the debt service for the general educational bonds.  Mr. Elliott commented that bond interest rates are very low and construction bids would be very competitive at this time so it would be a good time for a bond issue.

6.                  Mission Review & the Board of Governors --- Mr. Hammons then made a presentation on the University’s mission and the prime responsibilities of the Board of Governors.  This discussion led to the need for an orientation (or on-boarding) process that provides training to new governors on business underpinnings that are unique to higher education, such as shared governance, tenure, and academic freedom.

8.         Long-Range Plan --- Dr. Nietzel next reported on the 2011-2016 Long-Range Plan process.  He is proposing that the Co-Chairs of the University Steering Committee leading this process be Carey Adams and Paul Kincaid.  The composition of the Steering Committee would be members of Administrative Council, Rebecca Woodard, Dale Moore, Helen Reid, Kent Thomas, and a representative from SGA.  The six separate work groups would include: 1) Academic Priority; 2) Educational Programs (Learning) and Student Life; 3) Research, Creativity, and Inquiry; 4) Public Affairs; 5) Economic Development and Community Impact; and 6) The MSU Community (HR, Technology, Facilities, Safety and Security).  The Academic Priority Work Group, chaired by Provost Belinda McCarthy, will begin the process by conducting a thorough SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis of all academic programs, academic organization, academic facilities, staffing levels for both faculty and staff in academic affairs, and student success programs.  They will present their initial report to the Steering Committee by September 1 in a public forum that would permit sustained review, response, and follow up.  Ms. Bradbury commented that a lot of five-year plans are updated each year and asked if this would be the case.  Dr. Nietzel stated that this would be similar to what we do each year with our annual goals and that we should develop the Plan in such a way to lend it to annual updates.  Mr. Kimbrough mentioned that it would be important to provide the Board updates on the progress of the Plan….facts, implications, and recommendations.

9.         Date of Next Meeting --- The date of the next scheduled meeting was set for Friday, February 19, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. in Springfield, Missouri.

10.       Adjournment--- Mr. Hammons adjourned the meeting at 4:45 p.m.

John W. McAlear

Secretary