Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, February 21, 2001
World Trade Center
St. Paul, Minnesota
Trustees Present: Will Antell, Andrew Boss, Nancy Brataas, Brent A. Calhoun, Ivan Dusek, Bob Hoffman, Lew Moran, Joann Splonskowski, Joseph Swanson, Michael Vekich, Chair
Trustees Absent: Mary Choate, Daniel Coborn, Dennis Dotson, Robert Erickson, Jim A. Luoma
a. Approval of Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting of January 17, 2001
Chair Vekich pointed out that Trustees Boss and Splonskowski were recorded as both present and absent in the minutes of January 17. They were absent from the Board meeting as they were at a Senate Education Committee hearing that day.
Trustee Brataas moved approval of the corrected minutes of January 17, 2001. Trustee Hoffman seconded and the minutes were approved without dissent.
b. Report of the Executive Committee Meeting of February 7, 2001
Chair Vekich reported that the Executive Committee met on February 7, 2001.
Chair Vekich commented that Rainy River Community College President Allen Rasmussen, who was a presidential liaison to the Audit Committee when the committee was receiving monthly updates on Y2K, has heard of a new computer virus. President Rasmussen announced that there is a new computer virus called the Sven and Ole Computer Virus. To everyone's amusement, he then proceeded to tell the tale of a computer virus with a Scandinavian accent.
On a more serious note, Chair Vekich remarked that President Rasmussen has announced his retirement effective June 2001. Chair Vekich read several quotes by President Rasmussen reflecting on his tenure at Rainy River Community College that were published in the International Falls Daily Journal. President Rasmussen puts students first and focuses on what is good for them.
The Department of Administration's Management Analysis Division's report on Board-Level Administration and Management has been released, and will be presented to the House Higher Education Committee on Monday, February 26.
The Office of Internal Auditing report on MnSCU Network Security was distributed in the Trustees red folders. Also in the folders was the report of the System Office Quality Steering Committee. SOQS is a quality initiative that the system office staff has launched, and is part of the transition planning with results that will benefit incoming Chancellor James McCormick. The Trustees recently received a letter inviting them to participate in an organizational assessment of the system office.
Chair Vekich highlighted noteworthy events at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Two Winona State University programs this semester are good examples of community service as an important part of the student experience. A group of accounting students working with Professor Richard Schneider are volunteering to help low-income people in the community fill out their income tax returns. At tax time each year, the students help nearly 700 individuals and families. The free program is supported by the university and private donations through the WSU Foundation. Also, Winona State's Nursing Department again is offering area families an opportunity to improve their health through the "Healthy Families" program. WSU nursing students schedule five home visits with each family, answer questions and provide access to blood pressure checks, child development assessments and other health needs.
Dakota County Technical College's Interior Design students and instructors have turned their talents on their own department as it celebrates its 30-year anniversary. They planned and contributed their skills to remodeling the interior design program's central space, giving it a much-needed facelift for the first time in two decades. College staff refinished furniture and contributed carpentry, painting, electrical and ceiling work, keeping down the costs. The accredited program has 150 students and has graduated more than 770 since its start.
Recent events include Ridgewater College's annual Skill-O-Rama contest last Thursday, which drew 625 high school students - that's the second highest turnout in the contest's 17 years. The event tests technical skills in 42 different areas. Ridgewater also has started weekly segments about campus life on two Hutchinson radio stations. They feature a program or staff person in a 90-second interview. The theme is "Live and Learn at Ridgewater College." The first three segments featured the dean of instruction in technical programs, the dean of transfer programs and the new financial aid director. Next the college will feature unique programs or areas that need an enrollment boost.
Also, congratulations to the many MnSCU people and schools winning recent awards. The ROTC program at Minnesota State University, Mankato was honored February 14 with the highest possible award for demonstrating training and leadership excellence. Lake Superior College public information director Gary Kruchowski has been named "communicator of the year" for District 5 by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. Bemidji State University won several awards from the National Admissions Advertising Report magazine, and the winning materials were produced in-house, while most other winners used advertising agencies. MnSCU also won a gold medal in those awards for its Internet Web page in the category of schools over 10,000 enrollment. And MnSCU won an award from the Minnesota Public Relations Society of America for our campaign called "Go Back, You're Ready" aimed at interesting older students in attending college. You may have seen the billboards, posters and brochures featuring a huge cup of coffee to attract attention. Congratulations also to Metropolitan State University President Wilson Bradshaw, who has been named to the Bush Foundation Board. Tomorrow morning, NBC's Today Show is scheduled to feature an Anoka-Ramsey Community College student, Bruce Johnson. He has developed a unique computer program called "Are You Okay?" that has been credited with saving lives. It is offered by local law enforcement agencies to elderly or handicapped people, who decide when they want to be called. Congratulations to all of the campuses and their presidents, staff, and students.
a. Finance/Facilities Policy Committee
There were no Finance agenda items this month.
Committee Vice Chair Moran announced that the committee heard testimony from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Riverland Community College, and Minnesota West Community and Technical College on the 2002-2007 Capital Budget.
c. Educational Policy Committee
Committee Vice Chair Dusek reported on behalf of Chair Luoma who was present at the committee meeting, but had a prior commitment for the Board meeting.
Recorded by Penny Harris Reynen