December 2001 Board Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, December 19, 2001

World Trade Center
St. Paul, Minnesota

Trustees Present: Mary Choate, Chair, Will Antell, Andrew Boss, Nancy Brataas, Daniel Coborn, Dennis Dotson, Ivan Dusek, Robert Erickson, Bob Hoffman, Jim A. Luoma, Michael Redlinger, Joann Splonskowski, and Joseph Swanson

Trustees Absent: Lew Moran, Michael Vekich


  1. Call to Order
    Chair Mary Choate called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. and reported that a quorum was present. There were no changes to the agenda.

  2. Chair's Report

    Chair Choate announced that Lester Jack Briggs, President of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Sunday, December 16. He was the first and only president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. In 1989, Mr. Briggs accepted the college's presidency after working as the founding CO-director of the institution since 1987. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is the only CO-governed tribal community and state college in the nation and one of the gems of the MnSCU system. During his tenure as president, enrollment at the college rapidly increased from fewer than 200 students to more than 1,000 students enrolled this semester. Mr. Briggs provided the vision to advance the college from its humble beginnings in rented classrooms in an unused elementary school to a modern architecturally stunning campus facility that was built in 1992. Chair Choate commented that the October Board of Trustees meeting was held at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and that President Briggs was very proud of the opportunity to highlight his campus.

    Throughout his lifetime and professional career, Mr. Briggs focused his efforts on increasing educational opportunities for American Indian people and on building bridges for understanding between Indian and non-Indian communities. He credited his respect for knowledge and his commitment to serving others to his strong Ojibway roots. Mr. Briggs, an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa was a respected leader in both the Indian and non-Indian communities. The Minnesota Indian Education Association twice named him American Indian Administrator of the Year. Mr. Briggs was active in community service, participating as a member of numerous national, state, tribal, and local advisory boards. He recently completed a term as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Indian College Fund and was Treasurer of the Presidents Council of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.

    a. Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting of October 17, 2001

    As there were no corrections or additions to the minutes, Chair Choate announced that the minutes stand approved as written.

    b. Report of Special Executive Committee Meeting of November 27, 2001
    Chair Choate explained that there was a special meeting of the Executive Committee on November 27, 2001 to approve a revision to the Personnel Plan for MnSCU Administrators in Section 1.09 (Insurance). The item is included in the Consent Agenda for approval by the Board of Trustees.

    c. Report of the Executive Committee Meeting of December 5, 2001
    Chair Choate reported that the Executive Committee met on December 5, 2001.

  3. Trustee Reports
    Trustee Antell thanked several people for their great hospitality and accommodation on the campus visits: Chancellor McCormick; Linda Baer, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs; Linda Kohl, Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs; Barb Shlafer, Senior Writer; Nancy Connor, Publications and Media Relations Director; Mike Lopez, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; and Leslie Mercer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Planning.

    Trustee Splonskowski commented that she has been promoting the student Trustee vacancies that will be coming up in June. She has encouraged interested students to not only contact the presidents at their institutions, but to also attend a Board meeting.

  4. Chancellor's Comments: James McCormick.
    Chancellor McCormick commented that he was very moved by the sudden death of Lester Jack Briggs, and on behalf of the Office of the Chancellor, he extended his deepest sympathy to Mrs. Briggs, the Briggs' family and the family of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Chancellor McCormick recognized Jack Briggs' great qualities - his great vision, uncanny creativity, and dogged determination in improving the quality of life for so many through higher education. He gave of himself. Just as the eagle soars, so did he. Just as the eagle reaches lofty heights, so did he lift the minds, hearts, and will of countless women and men in his community.

    Chancellor McCormick reported that he has asked Larry Anderson, the Vice President of Administration and Student Services at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College to serve as acting president.

    Chancellor McCormick commented that it has been just a little over a year since he and Maryan McCormick first came to Minnesota, and he wished to thank everyone for their warm welcome during this past year. Chancellor McCormick reported that he has visited 43 campuses and the support of the Presidents has been wonderful. He thanked the Board of Trustees for their support, which they have shown by their deep commitment to the people of Minnesota. He complimented Vice Chancellor Laura King and President Ron Wood for their presentation of the budget issues during the meeting of the Finance/Facilities Policy Committee. He continued that he and his staff have been working on the budget reductions requested by Finance Commissioner Pamela Wheelock. Chancellor McCormick noted that MnSCU has already made reallocations of between $80 and $100 million in budget adjustments over the years, and he has seen the results of those reallocations on his campus visits. MnSCU has a record enrollment with a 5.6 percent increase that amounts to 9,000 new students this year. MnSCU needs to make the case while at the same time remaining committed to good strategic planning, including the good work of the Citizens Advisory Commission in helping MnSCU plan its future and focus. The Citizens Advisory Commission met at St. Paul Technical College on November 30 and focused on work force development and access and was an excellent meeting. The Office of the Chancellor needs to be a model and leader of good planning and Chancellor McCormick announced that he and his staff are committed to a 10 percent reduction in the Office of the Chancellor.

    Chancellor McCormick expressed his appreciation to the Board of Trustees for their participation in the campus visits and attendance at commencements. Chancellor McCormick announced that he has visited with 149 legislators to date and plans to continue the visits in January and February. There are 10 campus visits left and those will also resume in January. Chancellor McCormick observed that the Leadership Council has become invaluable for their collaboration, insights and commitment to continuous improvement.

    Chancellor McCormick called on President Jon Quistgaard, Bemidji State University, to announce some good news. President Quistgaard announced that Bemidji State University was the recipient of a $1 million endowed chair in the area of wetlands biology from the Neilson Foundation. This generous gift from the Nielsen Foundation will propel BSU forward in the area of environmental studies and aquatic biology.

  5. Joint Council of Student Associations
    The following representatives of student associations addressed the Board of Trustees: Brad Krasaway, President, Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA), and Justin Klander, State Chair, Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA).

  6. MnSCU Bargaining Units
    The following representatives of MnSCU bargaining units addressed the Board of Trustees: Jeanne Cornish, State President, Minnesota State University Administrators and Service Faculty (MSUAASF), Karen Foreman, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and Jim Pehler, President, Inter Faculty Organization.

  7. Consent Agenda
    a. Ratification of the Executive Committee's Approval of Revision to the Personnel Plan for MnSCU Administrators in Section 1.09 (Insurance)
    b. Program Approval: AS, Engineering Foundations; Normandale Community College
    c. Program Approval: AS, Wildlife Management; Vermilion Community College
    d. Program Approval: Certificate, Drywall Installation, and Certificate, Floor Covering Installation; South Central College, Faribault-Minnesota Correctional Facility
    e. Program Approval: BS, Early Childhood Education; Minnesota State University, Mankato
    f. Program Approval: AA, Liberal Arts and Sciences; St. Paul Technical College

    Trustee Luoma moved approval of the Consent Agenda. Trustee Swanson seconded and the Consent Agenda was approved unanimously.

  8. Board Standing Committee Reports

    a. Finance/Facilities Policy Committee, Robert Erickson, Chair
    FACILITIES: Lew Moran, Vice Chair

    1. Southwest State University Library Renovation Schematic Design (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the committee reviewed a first reading of the Southwest State University Library Renovation Schematic Design. This will be an action item at the January Board meeting.
    2. St. Cloud State University Foundation Projects (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the committee reviewed a first reading of St. Cloud State University Foundation Projects. This will be an action item at the January Board meeting.
    3. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Building Addition Schematic Design (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the Finance/Facilities Policy Committee felt very strongly about approving this project after the first reading and presentation.

      Committee Chair Erickson moved to suspend the rules to allow consideration of an item not marked as an action item on the agenda. Trustee Coborn seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

      Committee Chair Erickson moved that the Board of Trustees approve the schematic design for the building addition project at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Trustee Antell seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
    4. Lake Superior College Campus Master Plan
      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the committee reviewed Lake Superior College's campus master plan.

      FINANCE: Daniel Coborn, Vice Chair

    5. FY 2002 Quarterly College and University Operating Budget Update
      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the committee received an update on the FY 2002 Quarterly College and University Operating Budget.
    6. Systemwide Reserves Report Committee
      Chair Erickson reported that the committee reviewed the Systemwide Reserves report.
    7. Progress on FY 2003 Budget Reductions
      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the committee heard a progress report on the FY 2003 Budget Reductions. The Chancellor sent a letter to Finance Commissioner Wheelock, dated December 14, 2001, concerning the state's budget planning efforts. The options included program closures/reductions and associated faculty and staff layoffs, use of system, college and university reserves, tuition increases, and outside revenue sources.

      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the committee also had a discussion about MnSCU's capital budget of $251 million dollars, including $100 million in Higher Education Asset Preservation and Restoration (HEAPR) requests. About $138 million of the bonding projects have been identified as critical projects that could be started immediately, serving as a catalyst for fiscal stimulus. Chancellor McCormick commented that the need to preserve and update our facilities and academic programs is more critical than ever as the demand for MnSCU's educational services increases.

    b. Personnel Policy Committee, Nancy Brataas, Chair
    1. *Approval of Collective Bargaining Agreement
      Committee Chair Brataas moved that the Board of Trustees approves the terms of the 2001-2003 labor agreement with the Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty (MSUAASF) and authorizes the Chancellor to sign the agreement on behalf of the Board contingent upon ratification by the MSUAASF membership. Trustee Erickson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
    2. Revisions to Policy 4.2, Appointment of Presidents (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Brataas reported that the committee reviewed revisions to Policy 4.2, Appointment of Presidents as a first reading. The committee made recommendations to the revisions and agreed to have another first reading of the policy at their January meeting.
    3. Revisions to Policy 4.5, Student Employees (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Brataas reported that the committee reviewed revisions to Policy 4.5, Student Employees. This will be an action item at the January Board meeting.
    4. Proposed New Board Policy 4.X, Relocation Expenses (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Brataas reported that the committee reviewed a proposed new Board policy on relocation expenses for new employees. During discussion, it was recommended that this policy needs further consideration and will be returned for another first reading.
    5. Closed Session - Update on Labor Negotiations
      Committee Chair Brataas reported that this item was canceled as there was no need for an update.

    c. Audit Committee, Daniel Coborn, Chair

    1. Office of the Legislative Auditor Financial Audits of St. Cloud Technical College, Anoka Ramsey Community College, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Inver Hills Community College, Anoka-Hennepin Technical College, and Ridgewater College Committee
      Chair Coborn reported that the committee reviewed the Office of the Legislative Auditor Financial Audits of St. Cloud Technical College, Anoka Ramsey Community College, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Inver Hills Community College, Anoka-Hennepin Technical College, and Ridgewater College.
    2. Review of External Audit of MnSCU Financial Statements
      Committee Chair Coborn reported that the committee reviewed the MnSCU Financial Statements, prepared by the accounting firm of Deloitte and Touche with an unqualified audit opinion. Committee Chair Coborn congratulated Vice Chancellor Laura King, Executive Director John Asmussen and their staffs for their contributions to the successful audit.
    3. Review Plan for Individual College and University Audits
      Committee Chair Coborn reported that the committee agreed to a revised timetable for the Plan for Individual College and University Audits. The committee suspended the rules and approved a revised plan and recommended Board approval of the plan.

      Committee Chair Coborn moved to suspend the rules to allow consideration of an item not marked as an action item on the agenda. Trustee Erickson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

      Committee Chair Coborn moved that the Board of Trustees adopts the revised audit plan in paragraphs 1 through 6 of the Review Plan for Individual College and University Audits, prepared for presentation to the Board on December 19, 2001. Trustee Erickson seconded and the motion carried unanimously.


    d. Advancement Committee, Lew Moran, Chair
    Committee Vice Chair Splonskowski reported that the committee discussed the three missions of the committee: legislative relations, marketing and public affair, and fundraising through the NorthStar Foundation.

    1. Legislative Session 2002
      Committee Vice Chair Splonskowski reported that the committee reviewed the bonding bill for the 2002 legislative session. There was a discussion about putting the $100 million HEAPR bonding bill on a fast track. The committee approved a resolution in favor of each college and university supporting the Board's priorities in the bonding bill, and recommended approval by the Board.

      Committee Vice Chair Splonskowski moved to suspend the rules to allow consideration of an item not marked as an action item on the agenda. Trustee Erickson seconded and the motion carried, with one dissenting vote.

      Committee Vice Chair Splonskowski moved that the Board of Trustees adopt a resolution that states each college and university shall follow the bonding priorities established by the Board of Trustees. Trustee Erickson seconded the motion.


      There was a discussion. Trustee Dotson commented that while he understood the sentiment behind the resolution, he had reservations about its consequences and who and how it would be enforced. He continued that he has respect for the Leadership Council process, and how they had addressed this issue.

      Chancellor McCormick commented that he felt it was important for everyone to work together and support the Board's bonding priorities, and that this was discussed during the Leadership Council meeting in early December. Trustee Erickson reported that he offered the motion during the Advancement Committee meeting as a way to formalize for the record the Board's support for the bonding bill. Several Trustees spoke in favor of the motion as a way of supporting the Chancellor. Chancellor McCormick commented that he was sensitive to concerns about the resolution and that he would be willing to take it back to the Leadership Council for additional discussion. Vice Chair Splonskowski reported that this matter was also discussed at the first meeting of the Advancement Committee on November 29 with Presidents in attendance. Chair Choate commented that she viewed the motion as showing that the Chancellor and the Board are in alignment.

      Trustee Coborn called the question and motion carried without dissent.

    2. Advancement Update
      Committee Vice Chair Splonskowski reported that Vice Chancellor Kohl is updating the Anton Study that was done a few years ago. The study qualifies the financial impact of a college or university in the community.

      Committee Vice Chair Splonskowski announced that the Fifth Annual Foundation Thank You Luncheon will be on January 16.

    3. Public Affairs Update
      Committee Vice Chair Splonskowski announced that the Naming Study Task Force is expected to have a recommendation for the Board in January.


    e. Educational Policy Committee
    , Robert Hoffman, Chair

    1. Academic and Student Affairs Update
      Committee Chair Hoffman reported that Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Linda Baer provided an update.
    2. Program Suspension: Minnesota West Community and Technical College
      Committee Chair Hoffman reported that the committee received notice of program suspensions at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
    3. Program Reinstatement: Riverland Community College
      Committee Chair Hoffman reported that the committee received notice of a program reinstatement at Riverland Community College.
    4. Draft Intellectual Property Policy 3.26 and Policy on Reproduction and Use of Copyrighted Materials Policy 3.27 (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Hoffman reported that the committee reviewed draft policies on intellectual property and reproduction and use of copyrighted materials. The policies will undergo some additional revisions before returning for a second reading at a later date.
    5. Student Involvement in Decision Making Procedure 2.3.1
      Committee Chair Hoffman reported that the committee reviewed a procedure relative to student involvement in decision making.
    6. Transfer Update
      Committee Chair Hoffman reported that the committee heard an update on transfer. While much progress has been made, work remains to be done to fully realize the transfer of credits within MnSCU.

    f. Technology Committee, Ivan Dusek and Joseph Swanson, CO-Chairs
    1. Charge for the Committee
      Committee CO-Chair Dusek reported that the committee discussed the charge for the committee, which is to provide oversight of strategic planning on technology initiatives.
    2. Overview of MnSCU Information Technology Services Organization
      Committee CO-Chair Dusek reported that due to time constraints, this item was postponed to the January meeting.
    3. MnSCU Security Update
      Committee CO-Chair Dusek reported that Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology Ken Niemi provided an update on MnSCU security, particularly progress on firewall installations.
    4. Minnesota Department of Administration/MnSCU Statewide Network Collaboration, Commissioner David Fisher
      Committee CO-Chair Dusek reported that this item was rescheduled to the January Board meeting.
    5. Update on Leadership Council Technology Committee
      Committee CO-Chair Dusek reported that due to time constraints, this item was postponed to the January Board meeting.
  9. Requests by Individuals to Address the Board
    There were no requests by individuals to address the Board.

  10. Other Business
    Chair Choate invited everyone to attend the Holiday reception in the third floor atrium immediately following the meeting.

  11. Adjournment
    Trustee Erickson moved to adjourn the meeting. Trustee Splonskowski seconded and the meeting adjourned at 2:35 p.m.

Recorded by Penny Harris Reynen