Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Wells Fargo Place
St. Paul, Minnesota
Trustees Present: Jim Luoma, Chair, Will Antell, Andrew Boss, Mary Choate, Daniel Coborn, Tyler Despins, Cheryl Dickson, Ivan Dusek, Clarence Hightower, Robert Hoffman, Vincent Ijioma, Lew Moran, David Paskach and Shaun Williams
Absent: Ann Curme Shaw
Call to Order
Chair Jim Luoma called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m. and reported that a quorum was present. Chair Luoma announced that the Educational Policy Committee would be the first committee report heard on the agenda.
a. Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting of October 22, 2003
Chair Luoma announced that a corrected page 4 of the minutes was distributed, and that the minutes stand approved as written.
b. Minutes of Board of Trustees Emergency Meeting of November 21, 2003
As there were no corrections to the minutes, Chair Luoma announced that the minutes stand approved as written.
c. Draft Minutes of Executive Committee Meeting of December 3, 2003
Chair Luoma reported that the draft minutes of the Executive Committee meeting are included for information in the Board packet.
Trustee Tyler Despins reported that he attended the Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA) Board of Directors meeting at St. Cloud State University, December 5-7, 2003.
Trustee Ivan Dusek reported that he attended the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Strategy Forum with Ridgewater College, November 12-15, 2003, in Lisle, Illinois.
Trustee Mary Choate announced that the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) appointed Trustee Dusek as a member of its Diversity Committee.
Chancellor McCormick congratulated Minnesota Online for the preliminary positive report given by the Higher Learning Commission. Through Minnesota Online, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities will be the provider of high quality online learning opportunities. He added that a key recommendation by the Higher Learning Commission was the importance of adequate funding of Minnesota Online efforts. He added that he fully supports the efforts of building a strong foundation of programs and services for the online students.
Chancellor McCormick commented that the business and campus visits have gone very well and that the meetings have brought a realization that the higher education opportunities are important to the local community and business leaders.
Chancellor McCormick discussed his membership in the St. Paul Rotary Club and that he had an opportunity to hear Governor Pawlenty at a recent meeting along with Matt Kramer, Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development. Commissioner Kramer also met with the Leadership Council and discussed his interest in increased collaboration to serve the people of Minnesota.
Chancellor McCormick commented that in January a joint meeting of the Audit and Finance/Facilities committees will review the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. Although Sarbanes Oxley does not yet apply to nonprofits, including the higher education institutions, it does set new standards for accountability.
Chancellor McCormick stated that the Board of Trustees' annual "Foundation Thank You Luncheon" in honor of the private support to the colleges and universities will be held on January 22, prior to the Board of Trustees meeting.
Chancellor McCormick requested that the Leadership Council consider utilizing the lunch hour at the Leadership Council meetings to feature individual institutions as the presidents do not often have the opportunity to visit other campuses.
The Chancellor further commented this is the time that legislators and others will review their investment in higher education and to gain their support is to welcome the opportunity to be accountable and open to scrutiny. He added that we not forget that the colleges and universities belong to the people of Minnesota.
Chancellor McCormick stated that there are a number of students in rural communities to be served and although the costs may be higher, as are many other services provided to the smaller communities, it is a need that is important to present to the legislature. He added to support and advocate as a whole system is important in presenting to the legislature.
Trustee Daniel Coborn moved approval of the Consent Agenda. Trustee Tyler Despins
seconded, and the Consent Agenda was approved unanimously.
Trustee Andrew Boss seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
System-Level Accountability Framework Update
Chair Coborn reported that committee heard an update on the System-Level Accountability Framework. Due to time constraints, it will be presented again at the January meeting.
Trustee Shaun Williams seconded.
During discussion, Trustee Despins stated that one criteria of the mission of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities is access. He added that there is a need to provide access in times when resources are not available. Trustee Hoffman responded that he agrees and feels that the resolution as it stands now addresses the need. He stressed that it is important to allow flexibility for Chancellor McCormick as he presents to the legislature. Trustee Despins stated that the options are in addition to the language of the resolution and gives the Chancellor flexibility as he advocates for the System. Trustee Cheryl Dickson stated that she supports the resolution as it stands, adding that she is concerned about segmenting the state grant program. Trustee Shaun Williams agreed with Trustee Dickson but added that the low-income students' needs should be addressed and believes it is a battle he feels is being lost. Chair Luoma stated that he trusts staff to closely monitor the bills being presented to the legislature and that there are few resolutions that come before legislature.
Trustee Will Antell called the question. The amendment failed with four in favor (Trustees Tyler Despins, Vincent Ijioma, David Paskach and Shaun Williams) and nine opposed (Trustees Will Antell, Andrew Boss, Mary Choate, Daniel Coborn, Cheryl Dickson, Ivan Dusek, Clarence Hightower, Robert Hoffman and Lew Moran).
Trustee Antell moved that the Board of Trustees adopts the following resolution:
The Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System supports revising the state financial aid program to provide access to affordable, high quality public higher education for all Minnesotans and to reduce the financial burden for lower-income and part-time students. The formula currently used to calculate state grant eligibility places an extra burden on independent students and part-time students.
The Board of Trustees believes that state financial aid grants should be directed to students with least financial means. The system supports changes to the current Minnesota state grant program that would provide better targeting of scarce funds toward the lowest income students.
The Board of Trustees believes that maintaining affordable tuition is the best approach to improving access to higher education for low income students.
The Board of Trustees believes the system's primary legislative objective is to preserve the base level of legislative appropriations, to secure additional enhancements based on the Board-approved budget request, and to promote changes to the state grant formula to increase access to higher education to lower income, independent and part time students.
Trustee Andrew Boss seconded. The motion carried with ten in favor (Trustees Will Antell, Andrew Boss, Mary Choate, Daniel Coborn, Cheryl Dickson, Ivan Dusek, Clarence Hightower, Robert Hoffman, Lew Moran and David Paskach) two opposed (Trustees Tyler Despins and Shaun Williams) and one abstention (Trustee Vincent Ijioma).
Committee Chair Dusek moved that the Board of Trustees approves the suspension of the rules to allow adoption of proposed amendments without a second reading. Trustee Daniel Coborn seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Committee Chair Dusek moved that the Board of Trustee approves the proposed amendments to Policy 4.8, Emeritus Status. Trustee Vincent Ijioma seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
*Chancellor's Recommendation for Distinguished Senior Fellow for Academic Affairs
Committee Chair Dusek moved that the Board of Trustees approves the recommendation for Chancellor McCormick to appoint Dr. Anthony Kuznik as distinguished senior fellow for academic affairs, effective January 5, 2004, through February 27, 2004. Trustee Vincent Ijioma seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
*Appointment of Interim President of Alexandria Technical College
Committee Chair Dusek moved that the Board of Trustees approves the recommendation of Chancellor McCormick to appoint Janet Mahoney as interim president of Alexandria Technical College, effective December 18, 2003, 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 Vincent Ijioma seconded and the motion carried unanimously.
Recorded by Ingeborg K. Chapin