April 2001 Board Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, April 18, 2001

World Trade Center
St. Paul, Minnesota

Trustees Present: Andrew Boss, Nancy Brataas, Brent A. Calhoun, Mary Choate, Daniel Coborn, Dennis Dotson, Ivan Dusek, Robert Erickson, Bob Hoffman, Jim A. Luoma, Lew Moran, Joseph Swanson, Michael Vekich, Chair

Trustees Absent: Will Antell, Joann Splonskowski

 


 

  1. Call to Order
    Chair Vekich called the meeting to order at 10:20 a.m. and reported that a quorum was present. There was a change to the agenda. Chair Vekich commented that there would be a resolution under the Chair's report relative to the selection of an external auditor.

  2. Chair's Report

    a. Approval of Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting with MnSCU Presidents of March 20, 2001

    b. Approval of Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting of March 21, 2001
    Trustee Erickson moved approval of the meeting minutes of March 20, and 21, 2001. Trustee Calhoun seconded and the minutes were approved without dissent.

    c. Report of the Executive Committee Meeting of April 4, 2001
    Chair Vekich reported that the Executive Committee met on April 4, 2001.

    d. Selection of External Auditor
    Trustee Choate, chair of the Audit Committee, provided an update on the selection of the external auditor. She explained that a task force was selected to review the proposals and to make a recommendation to the Board. The task force is comprised of the Board Chair, Vice Chair, and Audit Committee Chair, the Executive Director of Internal Auditing, the Vice Chancellor-Chief Financial Officer, the Associate Vice Chancellor - Financial Reporting, the System Director - Financial Reporting, the System Director- Student Financial Aid, and three Chief Financial Officers from MnSCU campuses. The task force has reviewed the proposals and interviewed representatives from three firms and the Legislative Auditor.

    Trustee Choate explained that because the May Board of Trustees meeting has been rescheduled from May 15-16 to May 30-31, the Audit Committee requests that the Board of Trustees give permission to the Executive Committee to select the external auditors. The task force was going to make its recommendation to the Audit Committee at the May 16, Board of Trustees meeting.

    Trustee Choate moved to suspend the rules requiring that action items be marked on the agenda in order to allow the Board to authorize the Executive Committee to select an external auditor. Trustee Calhoun seconded and the motion carried without dissent.

    Trustee Choate moved that the Board of Trustees authorize the Executive Committee to select the external auditor or auditors to carryout the requirements of the MnSCU Audit Plan. Trustee Calhoun seconded and the motion carried without dissent.


    e. Other
    Chair Vekich recognized some of the good work being done on our MnSCU campuses. We can be proud of our students, faculty and staff who sandbagged in the Granite Falls and Moorhead areas last week. They played a big role in helping hold back the floodwaters.

    At Minnesota State University Moorhead, volunteers responded to the city's request and filled more than 97,000 sandbags at the bagging site operated by the campus physical plant. University staff delivered the bags by dump truck to property owners threatened by flooding, and football team members got to assist Governor Jesse Ventura in sandbagging one of the homes along the Red River.

    At Granite Falls, Minnesota West Community and Technical College canceled classes for three days and encouraged everyone to help with the sandbagging effort.

    Metropolitan State University graduate Sarah Dalsin, who is in the audience, has finished first in the state on the CPA exam given in November. This is the second time in three years that a Metro State graduate finished in first place.

    A team from Fergus Falls Community College earned a regional championship at the 2001 Students in Free Enterprise exposition. A panel of national business leaders and entrepreneurs judged each team's community outreach projects, which help the students apply classroom learning to real-life situations in projects that improve the community. Projects by the Fergus Falls team include a School Bond Referendum Survey, Tax Wise Training and a Girl Scouts Business Wise Badge Day. Next month, the Fergus Falls team will compete at the national exposition in Kansas City.

    More than 250 students, teachers and community members gathered March 20 at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College for the fourth annual St. Louis River - River Watch Congress. This event is a joint project of the college and the University of Minnesota Extension Service plus other groups that bring together people of all ages who are interested in learning about the river and protecting its water quality and recreational opportunities.

    At Northwest Technical College, the Custom Training Services/Economic Development division recently achieved ISO 9001 certification and registration of its quality system. The school applies these international quality standards to its work in delivering classes to nearly 140 companies in the region.

    Minnesota West has received a valuable training tool in the form of a 1994 Freightliner truck and refrigeration trailer donated by Schwan's Enterprises of Marshall for the truck driving training program on the Pipestone campus. This is a good example of the help that business partners provide our MnSCU campuses in keeping their training programs up to date.

    Finally, Winona State University is awarding an honorary doctorate to former university board chair Rod Searle at commencement on May 4. Mr. Searle is being given an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his tireless efforts in promoting Minnesota higher education.

  3. Trustee Reports
    a. Report of the Sub-Committee on Trustees
    , Andrew Boss, Chair
    Trustee Boss reported that the Sub-committee on Trustees met this morning April 18, and discussed a number of items including the need for ongoing Board orientation.

    b. Report of the Futures Sub-Committee, Will Antell, Chair
    There was no report.

    c. Other
    Trustee Luoma reported he attended a Teacher Education Issues Forum sponsored by MnSCU on April 5 and 6.

  4. Chancellor's Report: Morris J. Anderson.
    Chancellor Anderson reported that Itasca Community College, which is part of the Northeast Higher Education District, has been awarded a $1.3 million dollar grant from the Blandin Foundation to complete their engineering residential program. Michael Johnson, provost, and Erin Winger, retired engineering instructor, provided an overview.

    Chancellor Anderson announced that on April 17, 2001, MnSCU and St. Cloud State University jointly asked the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate whether there is in fact a systemic pattern of anti-Semitism or other illegal discrimination at SCSU. This unusual step was taken because the allegations are serious and both President Saigo and Chancellor Anderson have concluded that there is a need for an independent fact-finder to determine whether or not these charges are true. SCSU has agreed to take administrative steps including hiring a full-time investigator to look into complaints of discrimination and conducting an administrative review of all of the university's internal mechanisms for investigating complaints of discrimination.

  5. Executive Director/Board Secretary's Report: Penny Harris Reynen
    Executive Director Penny Harris Reynen commented that Minneapolis Community and Technical College will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the Wheelock Whitney Hall this afternoon. Round-trip transportation to the event will be provided for Trustees, presidents and senior staff, departing from the World Trade Center at 1:30 p.m.

    Chancellor-designee James McCormick will be here April 30 through May 2. On May 2, he will attend meetings of the Executive Committee, Sub-committee on Trustees, and the Futures Sub-committee. Representatives of the Trustee Candidate Advisory Council will attend the Sub-committee on Trustees meeting on May 2. The TCAC is beginning to outline the process for recruiting candidates for the MnSCU Board vacancies in 2002.

    Executive Director Reynen reported that the May Board of Trustees meeting has been changed to May 30 and 31. Because of the late date of the May Board meeting, the Chair has agreed that there will be no meeting of the Executive Committee on June 6.

    Executive Director Reynen provided an update on Trustee attendance at commencements this spring.

  6. Joint Council of Student Associations
    The following representatives of student associations addressed the Board of Trustees: Michael Redlinger, state chair, Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA), and Robin Melin, state president, Minnesota State College Student Association.

  7. MnSCU Bargaining Units
    The following representatives of MnSCU Bargaining Units addressed the Board of Trustees: Jeanne Cornishe, Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty (MSUAASF) and Jim Pehler, president, Inter-Faculty Organization (IFO).

  8. Consent Agenda
    a. Repeal of State University Carry Forward Policy 1.1, Definitions of Regulations (Second Reading)
    b. St. Cloud State University-Lawrence Hall Remodeling Schematic Design (Second Reading)
    c. Southwest State University Property Acquisition (Second Reading)
    d. Alexandria Technical College: New Classroom Building Schematic Design (Second Reading)
    e. Contract Noncredit Instruction Financial Restructuring (Second Reading)
    f. Mission Review: Vermilion Community College
    g. Program Approval: BA, Spanish; Southwest State University
    h. Program Approval: BAS, Manufacturing and Operations Management; Metropolitan State University
    i. Program Approval: AS, Engineering; Century College
    j. Program Approval: Certificate, Forestry Technician; Northwest Technical College, Red Lake Reservation
    k. Program Approval: AAS, Industrial Model Making; Northwest Technical College, Bemidji Campus
    l. Program Closures: Century College

    Trustee Hoffman moved approval of the Consent Agenda. Trustee Erickson seconded and the Consent Agenda was approved without dissent.


  9. Board Standing Committee Reports

    a. Finance/Facilities Policy Committee
    FACILITIES:

    1. Revenue Fund Reinvestment Program: Defeasance of Current Debt (Second Reading)
      Committee Vice Chair Moran moved the following motion:

      A. On the basis of information available to the Board of Trustees it appears, and the Board of Trustees hereby finds, that the proposed defeasance of the bonds issued under the Master Resolution dated March 30, 1989, plus the previously issued College Building Revenue Bonds (collectively, the "Existing Bonds") is within the authority of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities ("MnSCU") under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 136F, the existing Master Resolution and MnSCU policies.

      B. The forms of the escrow agreements, notices of redemption and other documents (the "Defeasance Documents") relating to the defeasance of the Existing Bonds, and exhibits thereto, are approved substantially in the forms submitted and on file in the MnSCU offices, with subsequent changes as contemplated by paragraph C. The Chancellor or Vice-Chancellor-Chief Financial Officer of MnSCU, or their designee, is hereby authorized and directed to execute the Defeasance Documents (to the extent MnSCU is a party thereto) in substantially the forms submitted, as modified pursuant to paragraph C, and any other documents and certificates which in the opinion of MnSCU staff and bond counsel are necessary to the transaction therein described. The execution of any instrument by the appropriate officer of MnSCU herein authorized shall be conclusive evidence of the approval of such documents in accordance with the terms hereof. The execution of any documents necessary for the transaction herein described by individuals who were at the time of execution thereof the authorized persons of MnSCU shall bind MnSCU, notwithstanding that such individuals or any of them has ceased to hold such office or offices prior to the complete defeasance of all the Existing Bonds. Copies of all of the documents necessary to the transaction described shall be delivered, filed and recorded as provided herein and in the Indenture.

      C. The approval hereby given to the various Defeasance Documents includes approval of such additional details therein as may be necessary and appropriate, and such modifications thereof, deletions therefrom and additions thereto as may be necessary and appropriate and approved by MnSCU's staff, MnSCU's financial advisor and bond counsel, and MnSCU's Chief Financial Officer; and includes approval of, among other things:

      1. establishment of the defeasance escrows; provided that the maximum aggregate amount deposited in the defeasance escrows (including amounts currently held in escrows which will be redeposited in newly-created escrows) shall not exceed $37 million; and

      2. the establishment of redemption dates for the Existing Bonds to be redeemed prior to maturity; and

      3. mailing or publication of the notices of redemption or the giving of irrevocable instructions for such mailing or publication.

      D. The authority to approve, execute and deliver future amendments or supplements to the Defeasance Documents is hereby delegated to the Chief Financial Officer of MnSCU, provided that: (a) such amendments do not adversely affect the interests of the holders of the defeased Existing Bonds; (b) such amendments do not materially adversely affect the interests of MnSCU; (c) such amendments do not contravene or violate any policy of MnSCU; and (d) such amendments are acceptable in form and substance to the Chief Financial Officer, and MnSCU's financial advisor and bond counsel. The execution of any instrument by the Chief Financial Officer of MnSCU shall be conclusive evidence of the approval of such instruments in accordance with the terms hereof.

      E. No covenant, stipulation, obligation or agreement contained herein or in the Defeasance Documents shall be deemed to be a covenant, stipulation, obligation or agreement of any member of the Board of Trustees of the MnSCU, or any officer, agent or employee of MnSCU in that person's individual capacity, and neither the Board of Trustees nor any officer executing the documents shall be liable personally on the documents or be subject to any personal liability or accountability by reason of the defeasance thereof.

      Trustee Erickson seconded and the motion carried without dissent.


    2. Central Lakes College Campus Master Plan
      Committee Vice Chair Moran reported that the committee reviewed Central Lakes College Campus Master Plan for both the Brainerd and Staples campuses.

    3. Pine Technical College Building Addition: Project Update
      Committee Vice Chair Moran reported that the committee reviewed a project update on the building addition at Pine Technical College.

      FINANCE:

    4. FY 2001 Systemwide Budget Update
      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the committee reviewed an update on the FY 2001 Systemwide Budget.

    5. Annual Fee Report
      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the committee reviewed the Annual Fee Report.

    b. Personnel Policy Committee
    1. Appointment of President of Anoka-Hennepin Technical College
      Committee Chair Brataas moved that the Board of Trustees approves the recommendation of Chancellor Anderson to appoint Anne Weyandt as president of Anoka-Hennepin Technical College, effective April 18, 2001, and authorizes the Chancellor to negotiate an employment contract to that effect, under the terms and conditions of the Personnel Plan for MnSCU Administrators. Trustee Luoma seconded the motion.

      Anne Weyandt, interim president, reported that Anoka-Hennepin Technical College has had a very productive year, and she commented that she is very honored to be chosen to represent the institution.

      The motion carried without dissent.

    2. Appointment of Interim President of Minnesota State University, Mankato
      Committee Chair Brataas moved that the Board of Trustees approves the recommendation of Chancellor Anderson to appoint Karen Boubel as interim president of Minnesota State University, Mankato, effective upon the departure of President Richard Rush, and authorizes the Chancellor to negotiate an employment contract to that effect, under the terms and conditions of the Personnel Plan for MnSCU Administrators. Trustee Luoma seconded the motion.

      Dr. Boubel reported that she has worked by President Rush's side for the past five years, and that her whole career has been in the state university systems. She commented that she will do her best to prepare Minnesota State University, Mankato for its new president.

      The motion carried without dissent.

    3. Discussion of Domestic Partner Report
      Committee Chair Brataas reported that the committee continued the discussion of the Domestic Partner Report by reviewing a document prepared by the Council of Presidents at their meeting on April 10, 2001. The committee decided to suspend the rules in order to take action on the presidents' document.

      Committee Chair Brataas moved that the Board of Trustees approves to suspend the rules in order to take action on the Council of Presidents' position on Domestic Partners benefits. Trustee Dusek seconded and the motion carried without dissent.

      Committee Chair Brataas moved that the Board of Trustees support the Council of Presidents' position on domestic partner benefits, specifically,

      1) the ability of MnSCU's labor negotiators to engage in discussions with faculty bargaining units regarding domestic partner benefits, such as those for certain types of leaves;

      2) the ability of DOER negotiators to discuss health insurance benefits for domestic partners with faculty and staff bargaining units;

      3) the authority of presidents to extend local campus benefits to domestic partners, on the same basis as spouses, as they relate to facilities use, event discounts, etc.

      Trustee Calhoun seconded and the motion carried without dissent.


    c. Educational Policy Committee

    1. Academic and Student Affairs Update
      Committee Chair Luoma reported that the committee heard an update on academic and student affairs from Senior Vice Chancellor Baer.

    2. Program Suspensions: Dakota County Technical College, Itasca Community College, Lake Superior College, Minnesota West Community and Technical College, Northwest Technical College, and Rainy River Community College
      Committee Chair Luoma reported that the committee received notice of program suspensions at Dakota County Technical College, Itasca Community College, Lake Superior College, Minnesota West Community and Technical College and Rainy River Community College.

       

    3. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Initiative "Circle of Prosperity": Bridging the Digital Divide
      Committee Chair Luoma reported that the committee reviewed a report entitled, Ending the Digital Divide: Building the Circle of Prosperity by Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

    4. Transfer Report
      Committee Chair Luoma reported that the committee reviewed the Transfer Report.

    5. MnSCU Academic Program Inventory
      Committee Chair Luoma reported that the committee reviewed the Academic Program Inventory Report.

    6. Sabbatical Report
      Committee Chair Luoma reported that the committee received the Sabbatical Report.

    7. Update on Naming Policy
      Committee Chair Luoma reported that the Chancellor has named the members of the Naming Study Task Force. Their report, due in October, will include a recommendation on a naming policy, including the identity of the MnSCU system.

  10. Requests by Individuals to Address the Board
    There were no requests to address the Board.

  11. Other Business
    There was no other business to come before the Board.

  12. Adjournment
    Chair Vekich adjourned the meeting by consensus at 11:25 a.m.

Recorded by Penny Harris Reynen