Missouri State University

March 6, 2009

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS
MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY
MARCH 6, 2009



1. Roll Call

Present - Ms. Elizabeth Bradbury, Governor
Mr. Ryan Childress, Student Governor
Mr. Michael Duggan, Chair of the Board
Mr. Gordon Elliott, Governor
Mr. Brian Hammons, Vice-Chair of the Board
Mr. Orvin Kimbrough, Governor
Ms. Mary Sheid, Governor
Ms. Cathy Smith, Governor
Ms. Phyllis Washington, Governor
Mr. John Winston, Governor

Also
Present - Michael Nietzel, President
Paul Kincaid, Chief of Staff
Nila Hayes, Chief Financial Officer
Clifton Smart, General Counsel
John McAlear, Secretary of the Board

2. Presiding --- The presiding officer for the meeting was Mr. Michael Duggan, Chair of the Board of Governors.  He called the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m. in the Wabash Cannonball Room in the St. Louis Union Station Marriott in St. Louis, Missouri.  Dr. Michael Nietzel first introduced Ms. Jackie Crenshaw, Admissions Counselor, based in St. Louis.  Ms. Crenshaw reported that she has made numerous visits to area high schools recruiting new freshmen for the coming fall.  Mr. Duggan indicated that he, Mr. Winston, and Mr. Kimbrough will arrange for a luncheon meeting with Ms. Crenshaw to discuss recruiting strategies in the area.

3. Missouri State University Branding --- Dr. Nietzel next announced that we need to focus our efforts on three unique themes:

a) high quality education at an exceptional value – we are a selective admissions university with low tuition.  Students have a great exposure to faculty since our faculty, not teaching assistants, teach the students.  

b)     our Public Affairs Mission – we have been proactive in reviewing our curriculum to ensure that our courses touch on at least one of three public affairs themes….cultural competence, ethical leadership, or community engagement.        

c)    a campus that you can love – our residence halls are very nice and we have a very safe campus.  

When Mr. Childress commented that the Springfield community is a big factor in students having a positive experience at Missouri State, it was decided to change the title of the third theme to “a great collegiate experience that you can love.”

Dr. Nietzel then brought forward the following ideas for discussion purposes:

a) to increase the cultural competence of our students, we are exploring offering a $500 scholarship to all entering freshmen that they can use sometime during their four-year academic career toward an international study-away program.  The Board thought this was an excellent initiative.

b) to provide an option for the very ambitious student to get a degree in less than four years, we could consider a fee structure that caps at, for example, 16 hours.  Students taking more than 16 hours in a semester would pay for just 16 hours.

c) to set and announce the tuition for the next two years at the April meeting, provided that we have enough information upon which to make an informed decision.  Dr. Nietzel said he and the staff would gather additional information and decide whether to recommend this or not.   

4.    Recruiting & Retention --- Dr. Nietzel next reported that our first-time freshmen applications are up 14% compared to the same timeframe last year (7,544 compared to 6,605).  Our admits are up 3.6% (4,892 compared to 4,724) and our housing contracts are up 9.4% (1,880 compared to 1,719).  Our yield is what we need to work on since we normally only end up with a freshmen class of around 2,500.  He added that he would be pleased if we could increase our freshmen class to about 2,800.  At the present time, we have a group of students and faculty calling those admits that we have not heard from.  Ms. Smith asked if individual governors could send letters to those students in their area like we did last year in trying to help with the yield.  It was also brought up that alumni could be contacted by email to see if they could help recruit in their region.  Dr. Nietzel  added that our transfer applications are up about 50% but our transfer admits are down about 20% due to a backlog in processing these applications through our new Banner system.      

Dr. Nietzel next mentioned the three relatively new scholarships that have been created to help with recruiting:  a) Missouri State Advantage – $1,000 to entering freshmen who have earned at least six hours of dual credit from Missouri State; b) Renew – if you have lost your job since October, 2008, you can enroll at the University at about a 50% tuition discount renewable through Spring of 2011; and c) Complete your degree – if you have been away from school for awhile, and are close to finishing your degree, you can come back and receive a $500 one semester scholarship.

5.    Mid-Year Update --- Dr. Michael Nietzel next reported on the status of the FY10 budget.  He indicated that the Board should expect flat revenue for next year (combination of flat state appropriations and flat student tuition).  Given this flat revenue, we will need to internally reallocate between $750,000 and $1 million to cover know expenditure increases such as utilities, fringe benefits, promotions, postage, and minimum wage increases.

6.    Board Development --- Mr. Duggan then introduced Ms. Cheryl Walker, a member and past chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators from District 1 in St. Louis.  She provided an orientation for the Board focusing on frequency of meetings, committee structure, and election of officers.

7.    Update on next Board Meeting --- Mr. John McAlear, Secretary of the Board, gave an update on the events connected with the next board meeting.  He summarized the events on Thursday and Friday, April 2-3, 2009 in Jefferson City, Missouri: a) a thank-you luncheon in the 3rd Floor Rotunda of the State Capitol for legislators and their staff on Thursday; b) Board committee meetings in the Truman Building Thursday afternoon; c) alumni and prospective student receptions Thursday evening; and d) the Board of Governors meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning in the Senate Lounge of the State Capitol.  

8.    Future Retreats --- Mr. Duggan led a discussion on whether or not the governors felt the need for another retreat this summer considering the tight budget.  This led into a discussion on board committee assignments and whether or not the assignments should be based on a governor’s expertise or based on educating the governors in all campus matters.  It was decided to begin sending the individual board committee meeting agendas to the entire Board.  It was also decided, in connection with the July 31, 2009, meeting, to have a “Committee of the Whole Retreat” the Thursday afternoon before the Friday morning board meeting.  This retreat would be used to educate the entire Board on the basics of each of the three board committees.  The location of the Thursday afternoon meeting is yet to be determined.

9.    Board Bylaws --- Mr. Clif Smart, General Counsel, presented the same bylaw changes that were presented at the December 2008 meeting with a few small changes previously recommended by individual governors.  It was the consensus of the Board that the minor corrections were helpful.  Mr. Smart then presented the Board’s attendance by-law that Ms. Washington had questioned at the December meeting.  She had questioned the language:  “if a member of the Board is found by unanimous vote of the other members to have failed to attend without good cause two (2) consecutive meetings of the Board in any calendar year, the office of such member shall be vacant.”   After a short discussion, it was decided to increase this to “…three (3) consecutive meetings…”  Mr. Smart indicated that these changes would be brought before the Board at the April meeting.

    A discussion was then held on the Board’s annual election of officers at their July 31, 2009 meeting.  

10.    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.  Mr. Duggan 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 March 6, 2009 meeting of the Board of Governors to consider items of business pursuant to:

a.    R.S.Mo. 610.021(1).  “Legal actions, causes of action, or litigation involving a public governmental body…”

b.    R.S.Mo. 610.021(3).  “Hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by a public governmental body…”

c.    R.S.Mo.  610.021 (13).  “Individually identifiable personnel records, performance ratings or records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment,…”  

Mr. Elliott moved the approval of the resolution and Ms. Sheid seconded the motion.

A roll call vote on the resolution was as follows:  those voting in favor – Governors Bradbury, Duggan, Elliott, Hammons, Kimbrough, Sheid, Smith, Washington, and Winston; those voting against – none.

Mr. Duggan declared the resolution passed unanimously.

11.    Date of Next Meeting --- The date of the next scheduled meeting was set for Friday, April 3, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. in the Senate Lounge in the State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.

12.     Adjournment --- Mr. Duggan adjourned the meeting at 3:30 p.m. on the motion of Mr. Kimbrough, the second of Ms. Washington, and the unanimous vote of the Board.

John W. McAlear
Secretary