The Florida State University Board of Trustees Meeting
211 Westcott Building and Conference Call
July 2, 2002
Members Present: Duda, Furlow, Garcia, Haggard, Hinkle, Knowles, Marshall, McGee, Pletch, Thrasher, Uhlfelder (Trustee Uhlfelder joined the conference call during the discussion of item 6a4 on the agenda.)
Members Excused: Bloch, Ford
Chairman Thrasher convened the meeting of The Florida State University Board of Trustees at 1:30 p.m., on July 2, 2002. A call of the roll indicated the presence of a quorum.
The Chair recognized President D’Alemberte for comments. President D’Alemberte reported that he was in London and had just attended with considerable pride the opening session of FSU’s London Center. He noted that FSU was working to expand its international programs to Paris and that he hoped to discuss this further with the Board in the near future. He also expressed the hope that the entire Board might schedule a meeting in London at some time in the future if adequate provisions could be made so the Board could witness first hand the success of the university’s international programs. On another topic, the President indicated that a number of gifts were near completion and would be reported on as they occur. More immediately though, the President wanted Trustees to know that Dr. Paul Robinson, President and Director of Sandia National Laboratories and a former graduate of FSU, would be the August commencement speaker. The President suggested Trustees might want to attend and hear Dr. Robinson’s remarks.
Following the President’s comments, the Chair explained that most of the day’s meeting would focus on recommendations made by the Finance and Administration Committee. Unfortunately he noted, Trustee Ford, Chair of the Committee, would be unable to participate in the meeting, although he did chair the meeting of the Finance and Administration Committee on June 28, 2002. He is out of the country and unavailable despite Herculean efforts on his part to join the conversation. Trustee Ford asked Trustee Haggard, a member of the Finance and Administration Committee, to present the committee’s recommendations to the Board in his absence. The Chair wanted the members to know that after the meeting materials had been mailed, the university received a memorandum from Chancellor Blackwell dated June 28, 2002 delaying the submission deadlines for allocation and development of fixed capital outlay PECO and Facility Enhancement Challenge Grant program appropriations. On the basis of that communication, the Finance and Administration Committee deferred action on the fixed capital outlay agenda items. The Chair indicated the Board would follow suit by deferring items 6 and 7 on today’s agenda, knowing that the Trustees would want to have the time to refine its understanding of the projects involved and would like to consider such projects in a face-to-face setting later this summer, if at all possible.
The Chair recognized Dr. Vall Richard Auzenne, Faculty Senate president. She thanked the President, the Provost, and Vice President Carnaghi for the manner and extent to which they involved the faculty in the budget process. She was encouraged in her discussions with the President and Provost that there is potential for merit increases and raises which are so important for faculty morale. Finally, she noted that discussions with the members of faculty Senates (Advisory Council of Faculty Senates) at the other state universities had shown the relationship between the Faculty and the Board of Trustee at Florida State University is one of the most open and active in the state. She wanted the Board to know the Senate appreciates this. On behalf of the Steering Committee of the Senate, Dr. Richard Auzenne expressed the continued interest in and support of delegation of authority to university Boards of Trustees.
The Chair recognized Trustee Haggard for a motion to approve the minutes of the May 10, 2002 meeting. On a second by Trustee Duda, the motion was approved unanimously.
The Chair recognized Trustee Haggard to present the recommendations of the Finance and Administration Committee. Trustee Haggard provided an overview of the Committee meeting on June 28th and noted that the fixed capital outlay items had been deferred upon information that the state submission date had been changed to October 1, 2002.
Trustee Haggard directed the Board’s attention to item 6a1 at tab 2 in the docket book. He reported that the Committee recommended Board approval of a mutual aid agreement between Florida State University and the Department of Community Affairs. The agreement, he noted, would not obligate FSU to provide resources it does not want to and thus constitutes no risk to the university. Rather, it allows the university to help and be helped in cases of emergency. Other educational entities are in the process of entering into the agreement. The Committee recommended the agreement unanimously. At the call of the Chair, Trustee Hinkle moved approval of the recommendation in item 6a1 and Trustee Garcia seconded. The Board approved unanimously.
Trustee Haggard asked the Board to turn to item 6a2 behind tab 3 containing the Finance and Administration Committee’s recommendation regarding the use of local initiative funds for FY 2003-2003. He explained that the Legislature has allocated $5,218,712 to FSU for use in local initiatives. The Committee recommended dedicating these funds for use in the classroom, increasing the number of faculty by approximately 60 in order to reduce the student to faculty ratio. The Chair accepted a motion from Trustee Hinkle, seconded by Trustee Furlow, to approve the motion in item 6a2 of the docket book regarding the use of local initiative funds. The motion passed unanimously.
At the direction of the Chair, Trustee Haggard requested the Board to take up item 6a3 at tab 4 dealing with FT 2002-2003 Optional Tuition Policy and Emergency Rule. He reported that the Finance and Administration Committee had approved the three-part motion listed at tab 4. The first part approves the increase in optional tuition to the full extent authorized by the Legislature. The second approves adoption of an emergency rule under the authority of s. 120.54(4), Florida Statutes establishing the student matriculation and non-resident fees for undergraduate, graduate, law and medicine consistent with the recommendation in part 1 beginning Fall, 2002. The substance of this part of the recommendation is contained in the revised emergency rule found with accompanying memorandum at tab 4. The third part approves use of $4,518,758 in optional tuition funds as outlined in item 6a3. Trustee Haggard noted that student and faculty committees had reviewed these recommendations. The Finance and Administration approved the recommendations unanimously and forwarded them to the Board for its approval. Vice President Carnaghi reported that the recommendations had involved participation by faculty and students that reached a general consensus on the recommendations. The Provost noted that approximately 40% of the funds were dedicated to student financial aid and that FSU tuition is likely to remain 48th or 49th in the country even after the increase.
Upon recognition by the Chair, Trustee Pletch explained that this issue was extremely important to students and that she had considered it seriously. Students, she noted, have expressed general opposition to the increase. As such, she said she had a duty and responsibility to encourage the Board not to enact this increase in the interest of the student body. She applauded the involvement of students in deliberations about the fees and their use. Overall, she approves recommendations about the use of the funds should they be implemented. Nonetheless, she strongly encourages the Board to consider the student position in opposition to the increases. The Chair noted that the Board is likely to hear comments about these increases. While he appreciates the strong representation provided by Trustee Pletch, he also knows that this issue involves the kinds of flexibility that the Legislature envisioned when they enacted devolution of authority to the Boards of Trustees. The Chair recognized Mr. Alvarez, university budget director, to provide information requested by Trustee Ford. Mr. Alvarez reported that there are four state universities that have not exercised the tuition option fully. The University of Florida raised medical out-of-state by 5% instead of 10%. The University of North Florida raised the undergraduate out-of-state tuition by 4% rather than 10% and out-of-state graduate by 2% instead of 10%. The University of West Florida did not raise any optional tuition. New College raised undergraduate out-of-state by 4% instead of 10%. The remaining state universities have used the full option. Trustee Marshall asked Trustee Pletch if she had a different recommendation. She commented that she did not have a certain figure in mind, but did think the out-of-state increase was too large in one year and would cause financial hardships among some students.
Following this discussion, the Chair recognized a motion from Trustee Marshall approving the three-part recommendation in item 6a3 that was in turn seconded by Trustee Duda. Without further discussion, the vote was approved by all present with Trustee Pletch in dissent for a voice vote of 9 in favor and 1 opposed. The Chair promised to continue to work with the students through Trustee Pletch.
The Chair recognized Trustee Haggard to introduce recommendations by the Finance and Administration Committee regarding item 6a4 at tab 5, the FY 2002-2003 tuition waiver policy. Trustee Haggard noted that proviso in the 2002 Appropriations Act requires the Board of Trustees to adopt a tuition waiver policy. The policy listed at tab 5 amounts to $11,956,790 with $2,283,930 for undergraduates and $9,672,860 for graduates. The policy has separate criteria for undergraduate and graduate students.
The Chair on a motion from Trustee Garcia with a second by Trustee Pletch received unanimous approval of the tuition waiver policy in item 6a4. Trustee Uhlfelder was recorded present and voting at this point.
Item 6a5 at tab 6 was next on the agenda. Chairman Thrasher recognized Trustee Haggard to lead the discussion. Trustee Haggard noted that the Finance and Administration Committee approved the recommendations unanimously and forwarded them to the Board for its approval. The University Budget Advisory Committee had previously reviewed and recommended them. Trustee Haggard noted the legislative Budget Request consists of seven funding issues, dealing with technology transfer to K-12, nursing, first year experience, advising enhancement, living learning centers, bioinformatics, and graduate assistance stipends. It also advances two substantive issues: an admissions deposit and technology enhancement fee. Details of the request are found behind tab 6. The Chair recognized a motion from Trustee Haggard to approve item 6a5 seconded by Trustee Hinkle. On call of the Chair, the motion was approved unanimously.
Proceeding with the agenda, on acquiescence of the Board, the Chair reiterated that items 6a6 (tab 7) and 6a7 (tab8) would be deferred until the next Board meeting. He recognized Trustee Haggard to present the recommendation of the Finance and Administration Committee on item 6a8 at tab 9 involving litigation with Cybermark, Inc. Trustee Haggard explained the Committee was asking for Board approval for the university to institute legal proceeding against Cybermark Inc. Cybermark Inc. is a private company that has been involved in the development and servicing of a smart card for use in higher education. The card was developed by FSU and turned over to Cybermark in a negotiated contract. The university seeks approval to proceed against the firm for breach of contract for its failure to pay past due royalties and for its unilateral termination of smart card services to the university. The University will seek monetary damages and will be represented by the Office of the Attorney General. Vice President Carnaghi noted that there had been some success in getting software back from the company and in providing services to our students. So, the question now involves getting right with respect to the contract. Trustee Knowles indicated that he thought the university had taken action on this already. The Chair said he had authorized moving ahead, but now wanted the Board’s approval to institute litigation. Trustee Hinkle inquired about the probable outcome of such action. Vice President said that it was important to represent all the other universities who had followed FSU’s lead with this company even if monies were not recovered. Trustee Haggard asked about the prospects for settlement. The Vice-President said the company had just walked away and had not answered an inquiry in a favorable way as yet. The Chair entertained a motion to approve item 6a8 involving litigation with Cybermark from Trustee Garcia with a second from Trustee Hinkle. The motion was approved unanimously.
The Chair recognized Trustee Haggard who added for clarification that Vice President Carnaghi had signed the mutual aid contract in April and that today’s action represents approval by the Board. The Chair also recognized Dr. Bradley, Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs, to reaffirm that the revised emergency rule was the part 2 of the three-part motion involved in item 6a3.
On recognition of the Chair, Trustee Haggard expressed the desire to have the FSU Foundation appear before the Finance and Administration Committee and, subsequently, the Board to provide an overview of their operations with an eye towards realizing savings. He also hoped that the Athletic Department and the International Office might provide a review of their budgets and programs. Trustee Knowles suggested that the Board take up reorganization of the Audit Committee. The Chair indicated he would work with the President to include both sets of issues on upcoming agendas.
Following a brief discussion with the President on his upcoming activities, the Chair asked the Trustees to review the fixed capital outlay and PECO materials at tab 7 and 8 very closely before the next meeting. The Chair said he takes the issues involved very seriously and that they merit close study by the Board. There is a lot of interest in these items. He observed that members might get calls on the deferred issues. The Chair expressed the hope that members would listen attentively to anyone who calls, but in the end do what is in the best interest of Florida State University.
The Chair had discussed a number of dates for the next meeting. He indicated his desire that the meeting be in Tallahassee, perhaps toward the end of August or in mid-September. However, the date will be set after conferring with the President upon his return towards the end of July.
The Chair at the request of the President recognized the Provost for a brief report on the progress of the accreditation of the Medical School. The LCME will be here the first week in August.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 12:25 p.m.
Approved by The Florida State University Board of Trustees on September 20, 2002: