Board of Trustees > Meeting Archives > January 24, 2003 Minutes

The Florida State University Board of Trustees Meeting
Florida State University Broadcast Center
January 24, 2003


Members Present: Dr. Auzenne, Ms. Duda, Mr. Ford, Dr. Furlow, Mr. Garcia, Ms. Hinkle, Mr. Knowles, Dr. Marshall, Dr. McGee, Ms. Pletch, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Thrasher

Members Excused: Mr. Haggard

1. Call to Order and Welcome

Chairman Thrasher convened the meeting of the Florida State University Board of Trustees at the FSU Broadcast Center in Tallahassee, Florida, at 10:05 a.m., January 24, 2003. The following members were present: Dr. Auzenne, Ms. Duda, Mr. Ford, Dr. Furlow, Mr. Garcia, Ms. Hinkle, Mr. Knowles, Dr. Marshall, Dr. McGee, Ms. Pletch, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Thrasher. Mr. Haggard had an excused absence.

2. Introduction of Trustees

President Wetherell introduced Jim Smith who replaces Eric Bloch on the Board of Trustees. He also welcomed Dr. Auzenne who assumes the role of Trustee with the provisions of Amendment 11 approved in November by the voters.

3. Election of Officers: Chair and Vice Chair

Ms. Hinkle nominated John Thrasher to serve as Chair. Ms. Pletch seconded the motion. Mr. Thrasher was unanimously approved as chair. Ms. McGee nominated Lee Hinkle as Vice Chair. Dr. Auzenne seconded the motion. Ms. Hinkle was unanimously approved as Vice Chair.

4. Operating Procedures

Dr. Larry Abele, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, indicated that the operating procedures were revised to comport with the new Board of Governors. Mr. Knowles asked about the meeting notice procedures, standing committees, and agenda consent items in the Operating Procedures. The Board agreed to place consent items back into the list of agenda items in the Operating Procedures. Mr. Knowles made a motion that the Operating Procedures be adopted. The motion was seconded by Ms. Hinkle and passed unanimously.

5. Chairman's Report

Chairman Thrasher expressed condolences to Dr. Furlow and she thanked everyone for all of the expressions of concern and condolences that she has received. Chairman Thrasher noted that Mr. Ford had recently been honored with the Hoffman Award from the Seminole Club in New York City. Further, he indicated that the contract with President Wetherell has been negotiated within the guidelines that the Board set on December 18, 2002. The contract has been signed and is available for review if members are interested. Chairman Thrasher indicated that state law requires the Board to conduct an annual evaluation of the President. He said that he intends to use the Presidential evaluation policy adopted by the Board last year in assessing the performance of the President.

Chairman Thrasher said that the new Board of Governors held their first meeting on January 7, 2003 and delegated significant authority to the Boards of Trustees. FSU graduate Tom Petway was elected as chair of that board, and our former board member, Steve Uhlfelder is also on the new board. The Board of Governors delegated the majority of the authority that the Boards of Trustees previously had back to the Board of Trustees.

Chairman Thrasher indicated that he wanted to establish committees again. He said that he wants to align the committees with the structure of the administration. So the committees would be for Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Finance & Business. The jurisdiction of those committees will encompass the areas of former committees such as Legislative, Auditing, and Judicial.

Dr. Jim Cobb, Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate Steering Committee presented a faculty report. He indicated that President Wetherell has spent considerable time meeting with the faculty. He said that faculty liaisons will be designated to work with Board committees. Dr. Cobb said that there are two matters of concern to the faculty. First, the growth in student enrollment has not been matched by the growth in faculty. Given the bleak general revenue budget outlook, the faculty are very concerned about the prospects for continuing to improve the quality of our University. Second, the change in governance situation implies uncertainty-among faculty and all employees--as to exactly what the future holds. These uncertainties about such issues as budgetary control, interactions between Board of Trustees and Board of Governors, implementing legislation for the new structures, lines of authority, and the employment status of faculty and staff are disturbing to morale. Dr. Cobb indicated that the faculty will work with the Board to enhance the University's quality and reputation.

Ms. Pletch presented a report on behalf of the students. She said that members of the student government association are meeting at the Florida Student Government Association conference preparing for the Legislative Session. She indicated that student government elections will be held in mid-February and that she will miss everyone.

6. Delegation of Authority

President Wetherell stated that the January 7th. reorganization took place as the result of the Constitutional amendment necessitates the reaffirmation of what the Board has done previously. The Delegation of Authority is a reaffirmation and adoption of what existed prior to the governance changes to get the University into proper context with the new governance system. Ms. Hinkle made a motion to adopt the Delegation of Authority, which was seconded by Mr. Knowles. The motion passed unanimously.

7. Ethics Policy

Chairman Thrasher thanked Mr. Richard McFarlain for his service as General Counsel to the Board and University. Mr. McFarlain indicated that the Ethics Policy is a carry over from the previous Board policy. The proposed ethics policy requires the Board of Trustees to use proper channels when dealing with conflicts of interest, use of official authority, hiring of employees, in handling grievances/complaints of students, staff, faculty or citizens, and handling special interest groups. The proposed policy defines conflict of interest, and requires potential conflicts of interest or uncertainty regarding a conflict to be brought to the immediate attention of the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Ms. Hinkle made a motion to adopt the policy, which was seconded by Mr. Smith. The motion passed unanimously.

8. Direct-Support Organization Policy

Mr. John Carnaghi, Vice President for Finance and Administration, indicated that the Direct-Support Organization (DSO) Policy is in response to the requirement that each Board of Trustees adopt a rule governing University DSOs. He said that this mirrors the current practices. Mr. Garcia made a motion to adopt the policy, which was seconded by Mr. Smith. The motion passed unanimously.

9. Governor's Budget Recommendations, FY 2003-04

Dr. Abele provided an update in the Governor's Budget Recommendations. He said that there is no enrollment growth funding so that the University would have to cap enrollment at its current level. There are two budget cuts. One is $15.2 million in General Revenue and $1.5 million in the medical school. One of those budget cuts is offset by a 7.5% tuition increase. Dr. Abele said that the University would have to increase tuition 25% in order to cover the short fall, and no one is considering that option. There was no additional funding for new space. He also noted that the $2.2 million transfer of funds from the Secretary of State's office to the University to operate the Ringling Museum was not in the proposed budget recommendations. That represents about 40% of the Ringling Museum's operating budget. There are no additional funds for the Challenge matching grant and no salary increases. There is $19.1 million General Revenue and $60 Million for the facilities enhancement program. We will look at summer enrollment. We are also looking at Bright Futures requirements. Since there is no PECO funding in the budget, we would have to stop the three buildings that are in progress. We also did not receive funds to operate the buildings that will be opened. It is going to be difficult to cap enrollment, so we will look at capping summer enrollment and hold decisions about what to do until we see the outcome of the Legislative Session. Board members discussed the impact of the Governor's Budget Recommendations with Dr. Abele.

10. Legislative Priorities

President Wetherell said the primary Legislative focus is on the Governor's Budget Recommendations. He indicated that a letter to Governor Bush has been drafted and will be sent and emailed. The same letter will be sent to the House and Senate leadership. President Wetherell said this is the beginning of a negotiation process so the numbers are not of concern yet. However, this is not going to be a particularly good year under any scenario. Consequently, certain decisions have to be made immediately. He indicated that this will make the University prioritize programs. President Wetherell said our first priority is to the academic programs. The purpose of our institution is to serve the students. He said the focus is on how to best use the resources that we have-whatever they happen to be-to meet the basic mission of the institution. Unfortunately there will be uncertainty, but we have to begin that process, although it is not something that we relish, but we will have to do it. He said that the universities are also examining the Bright Futures issue. President Wetherell stated that his biggest concern is with the messages that get sent beyond the boundaries of Florida, especially when the University is trying to recruit faculty. He said that letters will be sent to FSU alumni in a coordinated statewide university strategy. President Wetherell assured the Board that he is doing everything possible to avoid the budget reductions and moving the University forward.

The Board reviewed the recommended legislative priorities including increased general revenue funding for University operations, enrollment growth, major gifts program, continued College of Medicine phase-in, PECO projects, Challenge Grant Projects, and tuition and fee flexibility. Ms. Hinkle moved the adoption of the Legislative Priorities by the Board. Ms. Pletch seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Chairman Thrasher assured President Wetherell that the Board would do everything to assist in the effort to educate Legislators.

11. University Accreditation

Dr. Dianne Harrison, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies, provided an update on the status of the SACS accreditation process. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is the regional accrediting body that accredits FSU as an institution so it is significant and important to the University. She said we will complete the first half of our reaffirmation study which is called the Compliance Certification portion which is due this August. There will be an off site review between September and October of this Fall. Dr. Harrison said we are also preparing a Quality Enhancement Plan that is due in January 2004. On April 5-9, 2004 the onsite SACS review will take place. She said she would like the site team to meet with the Board of Trustees while they are here. The following December 2004, the SACS Board will meet and consider the site report and consider the status of the University's reaffirmation. This endeavor is time consuming and many faculty, staff and some students are working on the effort. The section on Governance and Administration has been delayed until after the Legislative Session is over. Dr. Harrison provided an overview of the SACS process, procedures, and examples of quality enhancement plan items. Dr. Harrison said that input and feedback will be solicited from the Board as the SACS process progresses.

12. President Emeritus Status

Dr. Valliere Richard Auzenne, President of the Faculty Senate offered a motion to grant President Emeritus Status to former President Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte for his long and distinguished service to FSU. The motion was seconded by Ms. Hinkle and passed unanimously.

13. New Business

President Wetherell said that the State Board of Education requested that the Board of Trustees adopt a motion for an amendment to previously adopted policy. This is a construction change order policy. Mr. Carnaghi explained the policy which delegates to the President the authority to approve construction change orders. Mr. Smith made a motion to approve the policy and Ms. Pletch seconded the motion that was unanimously approved by the Board.

Mr. Carnaghi also asked for approval of a policy on reporting on construction costs, purchase orders, and service contracts. He proposed that the University prepare an annual listing all purchases or service contracts made in the preceding year in excess of $1 million or any contract or agreement that exceeds 5 years in length, regardless of its amount, for the Board of Trustees. Likewise, there would be a similar annual report on construction costs of over $1 million on facility projects. The intent is to keep the Board informed on major purchases and construction projects. Dr. Marshall made a motion to approve this approach and Ms. Hinkle seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

13. President's Remarks and Future Meeting Schedule

President Wetherell said that the proposed committee structure has been established to follow the structure of the University. Dr. Abele will serve as the point person for the Academic Affairs Committee; Mr. Carnaghi will serve as the point person for the Finance and Business Committee and the new Vice President for Student Affairs will serve as the point person for the Student Affairs Committee. Each of the point persons will report to the Board for those areas of responsibility. President Wetherell discussed the process for staff changes and internal working policies. A DROP procedure was distributed to the board and discussed. President Wetherell said that he was going to Sarasota to attend meetings related to Oslo and the Ringling Museum. Finally, he indicated that quarterly meetings will be established, in addition to conference calls as needed.

15. Closing Remarks

Chairman Thrasher recognized Student Senator Levine to present a resolution for the 152nd Birthday of the Florida State University designating January 24th as the FSU Heritage Day. He also announced that the Provost recently appointed Dr. Karen Laughlin the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Chairman Thrasher adjourned the meeting of the Florida State University Board of Trustees at 11:32 a.m., January 24, 2003.

Approved by the Florida State University Board of Trustees on Friday, June 13, 2003.