Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Monday, November 15, 1999

World Trade Center
St. Paul, Minnesota

Trustees Present: Andrew Boss, Nancy Brataas, Brent Calhoun, Mary Choate, Dennis Dotson, Robert Erickson, Jim A. Luoma, Joann Splonskowski, Michael Vekich, Chair

Trustees Absent: Kathleen Caffey, Daniel Coborn, David Erickson, Christine Fritsche, James Wafler.

MnSCU Senior Staff Also Present: Presidents Kathy Nelson, Phil Davis, Tom Horak and Dennis Nielsen; Board Executive Director Bob McFarlin, Associate Vice Chancellor, Personnel, Linda Skallman.



  1. Call to Order
    Chair Vekich called the meeting to order at 2:00 PM and reported that a quorum was present.

    Approval of the minutes from October 28, 1999 was moved by Trustee Boss and seconded. Motion approved.
  2. Purpose of the Meeting:
    Chair Vekich outlined that the purpose of this meeting was to continue the discussion begun October 28, 1999, on how best to move forward with the process of the formal search for MnSCU's next chancellor.
  3. Discussion:
    Chair Vekich led an open discussion on three items that were presented to the Board: (1) Board Executive Director Bob McFarlin presented a suggested schedule for 10 public "listening sessions" involving all MnSCU campuses throughout the state through which trustees would gather information from MnSCU stakeholders on issues related to MnSCU in general and the chancellor search process in particular. (2) Chair Vekich presented a paper developed by the consulting firm Himle Horner, Inc. which outlined a suggested format for the public listening sessions. (3) Chair Vekich presented a suggested timeline for the chancellor search process, beginning with the October 28, 1999, meeting and ending with the Board selecting MnSCU's next chancellor around December 2000.

    Significant discussion was held around all three items. Trustee Dotson expressed concern that the proposal for 10 "listening sessions" did not put trustees in direct contact with all MnSCU institutions. President Horak suggested the proposed search process timeline did not coincide with the common practice in higher education leadership searches of seeking candidates in the late winter/early spring. Trustee Brataas presented various materials related to past MnSCU chancellor searches.

    The open discussion led to the following decisions, reached by consensus:
    1. The proposal for 10 public "listening sessions" was rejected. Board staff was directed to begin developing a plan whereby one or more trustees would visit all 36 MnSCU institutions personally from approximately January 2000 to June 2000. The purpose of the trustee visits would be to discuss the chancellor search and other MnSCU issues with campus staff, students and local community leaders. For visits on their campuses, MnSCU presidents would be responsible for identifying individuals to meet with trustees, setting meetings and other logistics.
    2. The proposed search process timeline was altered to reflect the Board's preference to: (1) begin the process of selecting a professional search firm as soon as possible; (2) announce the selection of a chancellor search committee no later than February 2000. A new timeline would be presented for consideration at the next search process meeting.
    3. Work on developing a profile of the preferred characteristics and duties of a new chancellor would be done internally through various means and sources, including the task recently assigned to the Board Development Committee to examine and better define roles and responsibilities of the chancellor and the Board of Trustees.
    4. A motion would be presented to the Board of Trustees Personnel Committee at its November 16, 1999, meeting, and to the full Board at its November 17, 1999, meeting authorizing the Board to take the steps necessary to begin the chancellor search process.
  4. Adjournment:
    Chair Vekich adjourned the meeting by consensus at 3:45 PM.

Michael Vekich, Chair
Recorded by Robert J. McFarlin