Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, April 19, 2000
World Trade Center
St. Paul, Minnesota
Trustees Present: Andrew Boss, Nancy Brataas, Kathleen Caffey, Brent A. Calhoun, Daniel G. Coborn, Dennis Dotson, Robert Erickson, Christine Fritsche, Jim A. Luoma, Joann Splonskowski, James Wafler, Michael Vekich, Chair
Trustees Absent: Mary Choate, David Erickson
a. Approval of Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting of March 22, 2000
Trustee Wafler moved approval of the minutes of March 22, 2000. Trustee Robert Erickson seconded and the minutes were approved without dissent.
b. Report on Environmental Scan of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
Chair Vekich introduced Lee Kerschner, Ph.D., who had been retained by the Board of Trustees to conduct an environmental scan of MnSCU. Dr. Kerschner presented a draft of the report to the Executive Committee on April 5. At that time the Executive Committee asked Dr. Kerschner to provide a management letter to accompany the report.
Dr. Kerschner thanked the Board of Trustees for the confidence they expressed in him by giving him this assignment. He noted that the Environmental Scan is a compilation and distillation of what he heard and what he read, and not his personal thoughts or opinions. The management letter, on the contrary, represents his thoughts. Dr. Kerschner read the management letter. The management letter included specific suggestions relative to the Board of Trustees, management and education of MnSCU's future.
A long discussion followed. Trustee Robert Erickson asked Dr. Kerschner if he had any recommendations for the Board in dealing and responding with the perceptual information? Dr. Kerschner suggested that the Board should await the report from the Office of the Legislative Auditor and the management audit. He also suggested that the Board may want to divide up the various concerns to the standing committees for their consideration. The committees may wish to invite presidents and students to discuss issues raised in the Environmental Scan.
Dr. Kerschner commented that the Environmental Scan contains valuable information for potential Chancellor candidates, while the management letter was written as a tool for the Board.
Chair Vekich asked Dr. Kerschner to provide an overview of the culture of the different organizations prior to the merger and an opinion on the status of the culture today? Dr. Kerschner responded that he does not think the Legislature understood the complexity of merging the three cultures. MnSCU has done extraordinarily well in the five years since it was merged from three cultures that were very, very different. The state university system was used to a small, intimate board, the community college system had a central office that did everything for them and the technical colleges related to their local school district boards that met every two weeks.
Chair Vekich asked Dr. Kerschner if he thought the candidate pool would attract interesting and qualified candidates? Dr. Kerschner replied that while the salary is better than in 1996, it could be better and he understands the compensation is being pursued through legislation. Few, if any systems in the country, present the opportunity in Minnesota, which is the fifth largest system in the country. There will be lots of candidates from all around the country.
Trustee Brataas asked Dr. Kerschner if it was usual or unusual for the staff to undercut the Board to the extent that the MnSCU Board has experienced it and what have other Boards done in this situation? Dr. Kerschner replied that the Board can expect that staff will be unhappy with some of their decisions and that the Board needs to acknowledge and accept the staff's right to be unhappy and accept it. If the staff can't live with the Board's decisions then they should choose to do something else. Dr. Kerschner said he does not think it is appropriate for the Board to take action.
Trustee Brataas asked if it was common for the staff to undercut the Chancellor? Dr. Kerschner replied that he hoped the Chancellor would very quickly put an end to any undercutting by the staff.
Trustee Brataas asked if it was usual or unusual to have as much misinformation passed on by intent, as it was alluded to in the report? Dr. Kerschner replied that an example of misinformation were the widespread reports that MnSCU had seven or eight Chancellors when there were only two (Eaton and Anderson), maybe three if you counted Jay Noren. The misinformation was unfortunate, but he did not wish to respond to the question.
The Board thanked Dr. Kerschner for the report.
Trustee Boss moved that the Board of Trustees accepts Dr. Kerschner's report, and authorizes its dissemination to members of the executive search firm, potential chancellor candidates, and other interested parties, as requested. Trustee Robert Erickson seconded and the motion carried without dissent.
c. Report of the Executive Committee Meeting of April 5, 2000
Chair Vekich reported that the Executive Committee met on April 5, 2000.
Chair Vekich reported that Trustees Splonskowski, Calhoun, and Luoma were confirmed earlier today by the Senate.
Chair Vekich highlighted several noteworthy events on Minnesota State Colleges and Universities campuses. St. Cloud State University has become one of only 200 colleges and universities in the nation to achieve sponsor school status with the National Merit Scholarship Program for exceptionally gifted high schools seniors. Minnesota State University, Mankato's wrestling team combined cumulative grade point average of 3.333 earned the team the all-academic national championship for the 1999-2000 season. On the third Saturday of each month, Ridgewater College students provide all of the stories and feature articles for a student voice section of the newspaper. Next month, the Hutchinson Reader will begin the same type of partnership with Ridgewater College. Inver Hills Community College has been chosen to serve as the central United States regional training center for CISCO Systems. President Orley Gunderson, Northland Community and Technical College received recognition from the North Central Association accreditation team that recently visited the campus. During the exit interview, the team read a letter to the entire faculty commending faculty and President Gunderson and made a personal contribution of $50.00 for a brick for the school's donation wall. The school also received NCA accreditation for 10 years.
Senior Vice Chancellor Baer commented that Dr. Bensen was unable to be present today because today was Bemidji State University's "first annual celebrate student scholarship and creative work day." Bemidji State University also received NCA accreditation for 10 years.
Presentation to Nellie Stone Johnson
Trustee Wafler explained that due to the length of the meeting, the presentation to Nellie Stone Johnson would occur during the Chair's report instead of during the report of the Executive Committee. He read the resolution honoring Nellie Stone Johnson.
Whereas, Nellie Stone Johnson served on the Minnesota State University Board and the Higher Education Board; and
Whereas, she served with honor and distinction on the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and
Whereas, she has been previously acknowledged for her wealth of contributions to the causes of higher education, labor and civil rights by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees by Resolution; and
Whereas, Nellie Stone Johnson has recently written her life history and recollections of her life's success in her book, "The Life of An Activist" as told to David Brauer; and
Whereas, the Governor of the State of Minnesota has recognized Nellie Stone Johnson's contributions by Certificate of Commendation;
NOW therefore, the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities does hereby recognize and congratulate Nellie Stone Johnson on the historical value and richness of this published work in "the telling" of Minnesota's and the nation's diverse history that supports broad academic discussion, research, and inquiry at MnSCU Colleges and Universities.
Trustee Robert Erickson seconded and the motion carried without dissent.
Chair Vekich presented Nellie Stone Johnson with a certificate of commendation in recognition of her long and distinguished record of public service and support of the advancement of racial and ethnic peoples, the right of workers, and equal opportunities for all people, along with the MnSCU academic mission and her ongoing contributions to serving Minnesota students.
Ms. Johnson thanked the Board.
Chair Vekich thanked President Sertich, Northeast Higher Education District, and the performers of Heart Soul and Steel for their musical revue of the taconite and iron ore mining history of the Iron Range. The performance for the Board of Trustees was held on Tuesday, April 18, 2000.
b. Audit Committee
c. Personnel Policy Committee
Chair Brataas called on Trustee Wafler to report on the meetings of the Slate Advisory Committee.
|Faculty (3):||Larry Oveson (MCCFA)
Jim Pehler (IFO)
Ed Schones (UTCE)
|Presidents (2):||Sharon Grossbach
|Students (2):||Michael J. Redlinger (MSUSA)
Justin Wallin (MSCSA)
|Governor (1):||Peter Rodosovich|
|MN State Senate (1):|
|MN House of Rep (1):||David Olson|
|Bus. Comm/Foundations (1):||Cheryl Dickson|
|MnSCU Staff (1):||Dolores Fridge|
|Other MnSCU Labor Unions (1):||Karen Foreman|
|Trustees (2):||Mary Choate
Jim A. Luoma
d. Educational Policy Committee
Michael Vekich, Chair
Recorded by Inge Chapin