October 2001 Board Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
Cloquet, Minnesota

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

Trustees Absent: Dennis Dotson


  1. Call to Order
    Chair Mary Choate called the meeting to order at 8:15 a.m. and reported that a quorum was present. She thanked President Jack Briggs and his entire staff for hosting the meeting at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. There were no changes to the agenda.

  2. Chair's Report

    Chair Choate commented that at the last Board meeting she had highlighted how several MnSCU institutions had moved swiftly to support their students and communities in the aftermath of September 11. For many communities, our campuses serve as gathering places where people come together to support one another, to process, to understand, to express frustration, and to find hope. Students at Rochester Community and Technical College collected $3,400 for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Century College held a forum October 10 called American Tragedy, which drew 350 students. The event took the form of a huge class discussion, led by a moderator and a panel of college faculty. Students struggled with very difficult questions. Chair Choate thanked all of our institutions for being a source of strength and opportunity for their students and communities.

    Several MnSCU colleges have also mobilized quickly to help deal with the economic repercussions of the tragedy. Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College are serving as lead institutions in a rapid response effort to respond to the massive layoffs by Northwest Airlines and Sun Country in the Twin Cities. All 11 schools in the Metro Alliance are participating in a coordinated outreach effort to help laid-off workers and are developing customized training programs as needed. The colleges worked with about 700 displaced workers at an emergency job fair October 3. Hibbing Community College and the Northeast Higher Education District are sponsoring an informational meeting October 23 at the Northwest Airlines reservation facility in Chisholm, where about 40 people have been laid off.

    The difficulties of the past month were compounded for the campuses as they dealt with the strike by our valuable Minnesota Administrative and Professional Employees (MAPE) and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 6 employees. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, Chair Choate commented that they are delighted to have everyone back at work. The strike created stress and anxiety for both the striking employees, and those left with the job of keeping colleges and universities running with uninterrupted service to students. Chair Choate thanked everyone for the very professional and positive return to work we saw this week. This says so much about our commitment to putting students first.

    a. Approval of Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting of September 20, 2001

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

    b. Ratification of the Executive Committee's Approval for the Chancellor to Attend Out-of-state Symposium Sponsored by the National Education Association Foundation and the Education Commission of the States
    Trustee Boss moved that the Board of Trustees ratifies the action of the Executive Committee approving acceptance by Chancellor James H. McCormick of travel and associated expenses from the National Education Association Foundation in order to attend the symposium on "Creating K-12/Higher Education Partnerships" sponsored by the NEAF and the Education Commission of the States on October 19-20, 2001. Trustee Luoma seconded and the motion carried without dissent.

    c. Approval for the Chancellor to Attend Out-of-state Symposium Sponsored by the U. S. Army War College
    Trustee Hoffman moved that the Board of Trustees accepts acceptance by Chancellor James. H. McCormick of travel and associated expenses from the U. S. Army War College in order to attend its symposium on "Educating Strategic Leaders for the Challenges of the 21st Century" on November 16, 2001. Trustee Coborn seconded and the motion carried without dissent.

    Chair Choate announced that the Board will review a first reading of an amendment to Board Policy 1.A.2, Part 4, Subpart C, during the report of the Personnel Policy Committee which would give the Board Chair the authority to approve the receipt of expenses.

    d. Amended Board Policy 1A.2, Board of Trustees, Part 5. Standing Committees and Working Groups of the Board (Second Reading)
    Trustee Erickson moved that the Board of Trustees approves the amendments to Board Policy 1A.2, Board of Trustees, Part 5, Standing Committees and Working Groups of the Board by changing the membership of the Executive Committee, and adding two new standing committees: advancement and technology. Trustee Luoma seconded the motion and the motion carried without dissent.

    Chair Choate announced that the Board of Trustees now has an Advancement Committee and a Technology Committee. Chair Choate appointed Trustees Will Antell and Robert Erickson as at-large members to the Executive Committee, effective immediately.

    e. Report of the Executive Committee Meeting of October 3, 2001
    Chair Choate reported on the Executive Committee meeting of October 3, 2001.

    f. Presentation by President Jack Briggs
    President Jack Briggs and Tom Davis, the Associate Dean of Instruction, provided an overview of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. For the past six years, the college has been at maximum capacity due to enrollment magnets and centers of excellence.

    Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is also hooking into Internet Two, one of the major pipes of the Abilene Network a wireless network that will increase the college's capacity for distance education. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is also working with the University of Minnesota Duluth and Ken Niemi, Associate Vice Chancellor Information Systems and Chief Information Officer and his staff at MnSCU.

    President Briggs reported that Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is also looking at changing its mission so it can offer a four-year baccalaureate program. There are baccalaureate areas such as teacher education that would meet the college's mission as a land grant institution. Tribal colleges have been leaders in promoting bachelor degrees. Currently six of the 32 tribal colleges in the American Indian College Consortium have baccalaureate programs.

    President Briggs outlined the $7.5 million capital building program and said that the college is working hard to take good care of its investments.

    President Briggs reported that the college recently received a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation. Associate Dean Davis commented that cutting-edge technology is difficult for people in minority communities to relate to, but that Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is committed to building an infrastructure and a program for minority people around the United States that will showcase these technologies. The college's Riverwatch Project, with support from the United States Department of Agriculture, is one of the strongest projects on the campus. Model how this technology is used in poor communities so we can start creating businesses and allow businesses to come into these poor communities to change the dynamics of poverty.

    President Briggs reported that Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College received tribal money and federal funds in the amount of $2.9 million in FY '02, and the allocation from the State of Minnesota for FY '02 at $2.8 million. Tuition revenue generated about $1 million.

    Chair Choate commended President Briggs and his staff for their great success in obtaining grant monies. President Briggs commented that Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College seeks to be a model for technology development, providing advanced education enabling ground-breaking technologies to be competitive, enhancing economic development, providing cutting edge job opportunities, developing innovative baccalaureate degrees specific for students in tribal and rural communities, and planning and implementing research projects designed to fill the land grant mission.

  3. Trustee Reports
    Trustee Swanson reported that he attended the Association of Community College Trustees annual conference in San Diego on October 10-13. Chair Choate, Trustees Boss, Brataas, Dusek, Splonskowski, Swanson and Executive Director Penny Harris Reynen also attended the conference. Trustee Splonskowski is a member of ACCT's Public Policy Committee.

    Trustee Dusek reported that he attended a diversity conference called Building an Inclusive Environment that was sponsored by MnSCU. He also attended a meeting of the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership.

    Trustee Splonskowski reported that she participated in a panel discussion at MnSCU's International Education Conference.

    Trustee Splonskowski requested that the Educational Policy Committee consider having a discussion about offering a tuition waiver for student Trustees and creating a mentoring program for student trustees.

  4. Chancellor's Comments: James McCormick.
    Chancellor McCormick thanked President Briggs for his leadership at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College and for graciously hosting the Board of Trustees meeting. Chancellor McCormick commented that he felt that MnSCU Presidents would be honored to host a Board meeting, and he hoped that the Board of Trustees would consider meeting three or four times a year on one of our campuses.

    a. Chancellor's Quarterly Report
    Chancellor McCormick presented his first formal quarterly report to the Board of Trustees. The work plan for 2001-2002, designed to improve accountability, grew from conversations with the Board of Trustees, all of the presidents, members of the search committee, and associates in the Office of the Chancellor. Chancellor McCormick announced that he would meet individually with each Trustee before the next Board meeting to discuss the progress of the work plan.

    The first two pages are the Executive Summary. The rest of the report is tied to the work plan that was approved by the Board of Trustees on July 18. Some of the report reflects continuous work, while other areas reflect new initiatives and a progress report. For example, the strategic plan will emerge from the work plan and will be presented to the Board of Trustees in April or May 2002.

    The alignment of the work plan with the Presidents and the Leadership Council, chaired by President Kathleen Nelson, has been very cooperative. Chancellor McCormick commented that the power of the MnSCU system continues to astound him for its synergy, strength, and relationships between universities and colleges to serve the people of Minnesota.

    Chancellor McCormick reported that the work plan has three primary themes: advocacy, defining the future, and improving effectiveness and efficiency. As an advocate for MnSCU, Chancellor McCormick reported that by the end of the first quarter he has visited with 119 members of the Minnesota Legislature in their home districts. The campus visits and forums are well attended. The Chancellor is participating in the Governor's Work Force Development Council Executive Committee.

    Chancellor McCormick reported that the second theme of the work plan is defining the future. Thirty-one outstanding citizens have agreed to serve on the Citizens Advisory Commission CO-chaired by Vance Opperman and Glen Taylor. Other initiatives in defining the future include the participation of the Board of Trustees in the World Futures Society Conference, the funding and staffing for a labor supply program-demand analysis, the initial review of technical college general education courses by a discipline faculty team, the development of an online orientation module for students, the addition of "The Scoop on Transferring" to Go Places, and a series of 16 community forums seeking input for the strategic planning process.

    Chancellor McCormick reported that the effectiveness and efficiency theme includes accountability standards, working with the state's workforce centers, designating the Government Affairs unit with responsibility for federal relations, and visits with the Minnesota congressional delegation in Washington, D.C. The Board of Trustees will attend the Association of Community College National Legislative Seminar in Washington, D.C. in February. MnSCU has come up with 37 recommendations to address data integrity issues, a network of student data integrity liaisons at each college and university, and a review of the role and scope of the Office of the Chancellor. Regular meetings are underway with the University of Minnesota. Chancellor McCormick has been meeting with the commissioners of the Department of Children, Families and Learning, Health and Human Services, and the leadership of Education Minnesota. MnSCU has a new marketing brochure entitled Making College a Part of Your Future.

    Chancellor McCormick thanked his staff in the Office of the Chancellor and the presidents and commented that he is very pleased with the hard work of everyone this first quarter. Noting that it was a challenging first quarter with the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the AFSCME and MAPE strike, he thanked everyone, the union leadership, student leadership and the people of Minnesota for their great support and announced that he feels very privileged to serve the people of Minnesota in this position.

  5.  
  6. Joint Council of Student Associations
    The following representatives of student associations addressed the Board of Trustees: Justin Klander, State Chair, and Frank Viggiano, Executive Director, Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA) and Brian Axel, Associate Director for College and Government Relations, Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA).

  7. MnSCU Bargaining Units
    The following representatives of MnSCU bargaining units addressed the Board of Trustees: Chas Martin, Business Agent/Higher Education Liaison, AFSCME Council 6, Jeanne Cornish, State Chair, MSUAASF, and Jim Pehler, President, Inter Faculty Organization.

  8. Consent Agenda
    a. Minnesota State University Moorhead Student Housing Plan (Second Reading)
    b. Finance/Facilities Policy Committee Goals and Objectives FY 2002 Work Plan (Second Reading)
    c. Program Approval: AS, Environmental Science; Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
    d. Program Approval: AAS, Diagnostic Medical Sonography; Northwest Technical College, East Grand Forks

    Trustee Luoma moved approval of Consent Agenda. Trustee Redlinger seconded and the Consent Agenda was approved without dissent.

  9. Board Standing Committee Reports

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

    1. *Revenue Fund Master Resolution (Second Reading)
      Fund Bond Sale Resolution (Second Reading) Committee Chair Erickson moved that the Board of Trustees approve the sale resolution as described in Attachment A (pp. 33-42) authorizing solicitation of offerings for state college and university revenue bonds. The Board of Trustees further authorized the offerings resolutions as described in Attachment B (pp. 43-89) including $37,000,000 worth of projects identified in Exhibit D (p. 84). Trustee Antell seconded and the motion carried without dissent.
    2. Hennepin Technical College Campus Master Plan Committee Chair Erickson reported that President Sharon Grossbach presented Hennepin Technical College's Campus Master Plan.

      FINANCE: Daniel Coborn, Vice Chair

    3. FY 2003 Preliminary Outlook
      Committee Chair Erickson reported that the Committee deferred the FY 2003 preliminary outlook to the full Board meeting.

      Laura King, Vice Chancellor/Chief Financial Officer provided an update on the fiscal 2002 and fiscal 2003 college and university financial outlook and some of the changing assumptions since the FY2002 college and university budgets were adopted last July. Final fiscal 2001 numbers will be ready in the next two weeks. There will be a Leadership Council discussion in early November and staff will work with the presidents to identify remediation tools that are available this year and next. The quarterly budget report for fiscal 2002 will be presented at the December Board of Trustees meeting.

      Vice Chancellor King explained that the revised forecast for fiscal 2002 is based on some changing assumptions on compensation costs. The tuition numbers will change based on the final enrollment numbers. The fiscal 2003 outlook assumes current enrollment forecast, tuition rate increases of three percent, no change in state appropriation, and assumed labor contract costs of between four and five percent. Even with revised assumptions there is a projected shortfall of $23 million for fiscal 2002 if compensation holds and no actions are taken to avoid spending down balances. Vice Chancellor King explained that the fiscal 2002 outlook is probably closer to balance than the projections indicate because of actions being taken by the Office of the Chancellor and the Leadership Council. The outlook for Fiscal 2003 is substantially more uncertain.

      Vice Chancellor King explained that the revenue forecast would be released in the third or fourth week of November. MnSCU financial statements will be done by the end of November, and quarterly budget updates will be presented in December. In January, the Governor will release his capital budget recommendations and possible supplemental budget recommendations.

      Chancellor McCormick suggested that the Finance/Facilities Policy Committee might want to meet with the Presidents about the implications of a budget shortfall and the possibility of a budget recession. President Nelson commented that the Presidents have realized the difficulties of managing their budget. They have been very aggressive in managing the budgets on behalf of their MnSCU institutions. She continued that these comments were very appropriate and timely prior to the Leadership Council meeting in November.

    b. Educational Policy Committee,
    Robert Hoffman, Chair
    1. Academic and Student Affairs Update
      Committee Chair Hoffman reported that Linda Baer, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs provided an update on academic and student affairs.
    2. Charter Schools Update
      Committee Chair Hoffman reported that the committee heard an update on Charter Schools. The Board will review this matter again in the near future as it is required to provide a response to the Legislature.
    3. International Education Update
      Committee Chair Hoffman reported that the committee heard an update on international education.

    c. Audit Committee, Daniel Coborn, Chair

    1. Policy Review Work Plan
      Quarterly Audit Activity Report for Quarter Ended September 30, 2001 Committee Chair Coborn reported that the committee reviewed the quarterly audit activity report for the quarter ended September 30, 2001.
    2. Internal Auditing Annual Report FY 2001
      Committee Chair Coborn reported that the committee reviewed the MnSCU Office of Internal Auditing Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2001.
    3. Proposal Study of Key Indicators Reported to the Board of Trustees
      Committee Chair Coborn reported that the committee reviewed a proposal for a system wide study of key indicators reported to the Board of Trustees.

    d. Personnel Policy Committee, Nancy Brataas, Chair

    1. Revisions to Policy 4.1, Personnel Plan (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Brataas moved to suspend the rules in Board Policy 1. A. 2, Part 6, Subpart C. in order to consider action on an item not included on the agenda as an action item. Trustee Boss seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

      Trustee Brataas moved that the Board of Trustees approve the revisions to Policy 4.1, Personnel Plan for MnSCU Administrators. Trustee Erickson seconded and the motion carried without dissent.


    2. Amendment to Board Policy 1.A.2, Part 4, Subpart C.1, Chair's Approval of Receipt of Expenses (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Brataas moved to suspend the rules in Board Policy 1. A. 2, Part 6, Subpart C. in order to consider action on an item not included on the agenda as an action item. Trustee Luoma seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

      Committee Chair Brataas moved that the Board of Trustees approve the revisions to Board Policy 1.A.2, Part 4, Subpart C.1. Trustee Vekich seconded and the motion carried without dissent.


    3. Student Employment Data Committee
      Chair Brataas reported that the committee reviewed the results of a survey on student employment

    4. Report on Closed Session: Strike Update
      Committee Chair Brataas reported that the committee did not meet in closed session. The committee met in open session and heard an update on the final settlements in the AFSCME and MAPE contracts.

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

  11. Other Business
    Chancellor McCormick thanked all of the Presidents for their hard work and commitment during the AFSCME and MAPE strikes.

    Chair Choate thanked President Briggs and the students and staff at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College for hosting the Board of Trustees meeting.

    Chair Choate announced that there will be no meetings of the Executive Committee or Board of Trustees meeting in November.

  12. Adjournment
    Chair Choate adjourned the meeting by consensus at 11:42 p.m.

Recorded by Penny Harris Reynen