Board of Trustees > Meeting Archives > February 14-15, 2002 Minutes

The Florida State University Board of Trustees Meeting
Conference Call
January 14, 2002


Members Present: Bloch, Duda, Ford, Furlow, Garcia, Hinkle, Johnson III, Knowles, Marshall, McGee, Sundberg, Thrasher, Uhlfelder

Members Excused:

Chairman Thrasher convened the meeting of The Florida State University Board of Trustees at 4:00 p.m., on January 14, 2002.

The Chairman, by call of the roll, indicated that all members of the Florida State University Board of Trustees were present on the conference call.

The Chair commented that the chairs of the university boards of trustees, as well as the university presidents, received a memorandum from Secretary Jim Horne indicating that his office had reviewed the active Chancellor's Memoranda and was recommending that 56% of these CMs be rescinded. He commended Secretary Horne for his efforts to further devolve authority to the universities. The Chairman indicated the Legal Office was reviewing the rescinded CMs to identify which might need to be adopted by the Board.

The Chair indicated that the Governor's Recommended Budget for FY 2002-03 will be released tomorrow. In addition, he indicated that the Florida Board of Education meets latter that week in Pensacola. Some of the agenda items include the strategic plan, a discussion of the creation of two advisory councils relating to accountability and higher education funding, and a report on legislative session priorities.

The Chair recognized President D'Alemberte for comments. The President indicated that Dr. Graham Spanier, president of Pennsylvania State University, was in Tallahassee and had lectured on campus. He also indicated that at the legislature's urging, the university will be hosting a symposium relating to chiropractic and alternative medicine on January 15 - 16, 2002. It will be held in the Pensacola and Gaines Rooms, 5th floor of the University Center Club. President D'Alemberte invited all of the trustees to attend the symposium. In addition, he mentioned that Seven Days of Opening Nights begins on February 15, 2002. He encouraged all of the trustees to attend the many events scheduled during the week.

President D'Alemberte also indicated that the university will award an honorary degree to Dr. Charlotte Maguire in recognition of her contributions to the university and specifically the medical school. The ceremony is scheduled for February 14, 2002, at 5:00 p.m. followed by a reception and dinner. He also mentioned that the direct-support organization (DSO) boards, including the boosters, alumni, and athletics, will be meeting on Friday, February 15, and Saturday, February 16, 2002. President D'Alemberte reported that the Liaison Committee on Medical Education had a site visit to the College of Medicine in December and that the College was now working on the development of the clinical sites. He indicated that by all accounts it went well and Dean Scherger will provide an update next month. He noted that the Pensacola campus had selected a new dean. He reminded the Trustees that the 2002 Legislative Session begins on January 22, 2002.

The Chair also announced that Senator Jim King was selected as the next President of the Florida Senate. The Chair congratulated Senator King, and mentioned that the Senator is a support of the Florida State University.

The Chair recognized Provost Lawrence G. Abele for a discussion of the Proposed Budget Reduction Plan for FY 2001-02. The Provost reported that during Special Session C, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 2C which reduced the amount of funding provided to the university by $15,052,794. He mentioned that the reductions were made in the middle of a fiscal year. He indicated that guidelines were used to make the reductions which included the protection of direct classroom instruction. The Provost also noted that administrative costs have been reduced from 18.8% to just over 9% in the last few years. He also reported that the budget reductions were not made across the board, and, in fact, some programs like nursing did not take any reductions.

The Chair recognized Trustee Ford for his comments. He reinforced the Provost's views and said that he was pleased that the budget reductions were not made across the board and that student instruction was protected. He also commented that reductions during the middle of the year are difficult to make.

The Chair recognized Trustee Ford for a motion to approve the proposed budget reduction plan, seconded by Trustee Hinkle. In response to a question from the Chair about whether there was agreement with the reduction plan, Trustees Uhlfelder and McGee indicated that they were okay with the proposal. Dr. Karen Laughlin indicated that the Faculty Senate was pleased that the reductions were made in consultation with the faculty.

The Chair indicated that the amount set aside for reserves had been impacted with the budget reductions. He thanked Trustee Ford for his hard work with regard to the proposed budget reduction plan.

On a voice vote, all of the trustees approved the proposed budget reduction plan for FY 2001-02, as recommended by the President and recommended by the Provost.

The Chair recognized Trustee Hinkle to discuss the recommended legislative priorities for the FSU Board of Trustees. Trustee Hinkle explained that the legislative priorities included the following components. First, the priorities included a restructuring the General Appropriations Act so that universities were treated like community colleges and obtaining tuition flexibility consistent with that of the community college system through a 2-step process that included obtaining at least a tuition increase of 5% across the board with additional flexibility for setting graduate and out-of-state tuition, then advocating treatment consistent with that of the community college system. The President echoed Trustee Hinkle's remarks and requested that the Board encourage the legislature to give university boards of trustees to set tuition and fees for the following year.

Trustee Hinkle clarified that the tuition policy reflects a 5% increase with additional flexibility with graduate and out-of-state students. The Chair indicated that this proposed legislative agenda dovetails with Secretary Horne and Chairman Phil Handy's plans with regard to Bright Futures and financial aid.

Trustee Hinkle further explained the proposed legislative priorities included supporting funding for access currently being provided by universities and the authority for universities to assess an enrollment management deposit. Trustee Johnson raised a question relating to the enrollment management deposit and whether there was a hardship provision. Provost Abele indicated that there was a hardship provision. Trustee Johnson also questioned when the deposit was due. Provost Abele indicated that it would be due consistent with national deadlines.

Trustee Hinkle reported that another component of the priorities include the continuation of the commitment to the Alec P. Courtelis Facilities Enhancement Challenge Grant Program and the Major Gifts Trust Fund. The Chair indicated that this program was a good investment for the state.

Trustee Hinkle noted that the legislative priorities included a component to oppose the centralization of the university policy departments under the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. A bill has been filed with the legislature to centralize the police forces. The Chair indicated that, while he had great respect for FDLE, he thought the police at a university had different functions than the FDLE.

The Chair recognized Kathleen Daly for her comments. She mentioned that the legislative session would include reapportionment, tax reform, and budget issues. Trustee Hinkle added that the reapportionment occurred every 10 years and would be on the forefront of the legislative agenda. The Chair indicated that there would be a legislative update each Friday at noon for those interested.

Trustee Johnson said that he hoped that there would be student participation in the allocation process. President D'Alemberte noted that student participation is part of the culture of the university. President D'Alemberte argued that the tuition policy begins to implement the devolution process.

The Chair recognized Trustee Marshall for a motion to approve the legislative priorities, followed by a motion by Trustee Duda. On a voice vote, all of the trustees approved the proposed legislative priorities, as explained by Trustee Hinkle.

The Chair reported that the FAMU Board of Trustees has appointed 3 members to serve on a joint engineering committee, included Trustees Collins, Holmes, and Hanna. The Chair appointed Knowles, Marshall, and Thrasher to serve on the committee for Florida State University. He said the President will contact the FAMU Interim President to discuss meeting dates and times.

The Chair requested that the ad hoc and standing committees of the Board of Trustees meet in February 14-15 during a time allocated for committee meetings by the President, before the full Board convenes.

Following the completion of business, the Chair recognized trustees and the Senate President Dr. Karen Laughlin for their comments.

The Chair recognized the President for closing comments. President D'Alemberte encouraged trustee participation in the legislative session and said he looked forward to the February meeting of the Board of Trustees.

The Chair adjourned the meeting at 5:05 p.m.

Approved by the Florida State University Board of Trustees on February 15, 2002