Board of Trustees > Meeting Archives > September 19, 2003 Minutes

The Florida State University Board of Trustees Meeting
FSU Broadcast Center
September 19, 2003
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM


Members Present: Mrs. Duda, Mr. Ford, Dr. Furlow, Mr. Garcia, Mr. Haggard, Mr. Knowles, Dr. Marshall, Dr. McGee, Mr. Smith, Mr. Sullivan, and Mr. Thrasher.

Members Excused: Dr. Auzenne, Mr. Brooks

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 10:00 a.m., September 19, 2003. The following members were present: Mrs. Duda, Dr. Furlow, Mr. Garcia, Mr. Haggard, Mr. Knowles, Dr. Marshall, Dr. McGee, Mr. Smith, Mr. Sullivan, and Mr. Thrasher. Mr. Ford participated by conference call. Dr. Auzenne and Mr. Brooks had an excused absence.

Chairman Thrasher welcomed everyone to the meeting. Dr. Marshall made a motion to suspend the Board of Trustees’ Operating Procedure Section 203 (b) to take up the items listed on the agenda. Dr. McGee seconded the motion that passed unanimously.

Chairman Thrasher provided an update on Valliere Richard Auzenne. He said that she is in the hospital after some surgery and her husband George passed away this week. He asked the Board members to keep her and her family in their thoughts and prayers. President Wetherell said that he visited Dr. Auzenne the previous night at the hospital. He said that she has been through a tough time and is doing well considering everything that has happened. Mr. Thrasher said that she is a valuable member of the Board. She is someone he personally considers as a friend who has made tremendous contributions to our Board in the past and we look forward to her speedy return.

Chairman Thrasher made several announcements: First, for the third time in the past four times that the Florida Bar exam has been administered, FSU’s College of Law grads were first in the state in passing. Second, a former FSU student and intern in the president's office Andrew Harlow, won an Emmy award last weekend in Hollywood for his computer design skills on a recent movie. Finally, the new FSU Website, “everythingFSU” is up and running. The new site was designed to be a much more customer friendly gateway to everything you could want to know about the university: news, the calendar, links to shopping, restaurants, hotels, sports, and an e-postcard that allows you to select from a number of photos and music and send postcards from FSU to your friends.

2. Approval of Minutes

Mr. Smith made a motion that the Board of Trustees’ minutes from the minutes of June 13, 2003 meeting be approved. Mr. Garcia seconded the motion that passed unanimously.

3. Comments, Faculty Senate

Dr. James Cobbe made a presentation on behalf of the Faculty Senate. He conveyed greetings from Dr. Valliere Richard Auzenne from the hospital. Dr. Cobbe thanked the Board of Trustees for inviting a faculty representative to address them. He said that the faculty members want to assist the Board in continuing to improve the Florida State University so builds its status as an exemplary institution. He asked the Board to continue to include faculty as it tackles difficult issues. Lastly, on behalf of the Faculty Senate he thanked President Wetherell for his open and candid communication and consultation on developments and issues facing the University. He said that he wanted the Board to know that President Wetherell has continued and strengthened the tradition of approaching the faculty as allies in building the University. Mr. Thrasher indicated that as the University moves into the next Legislative cycle, the Board will need the faculty’s assistance and support to get additional resources.

4. Comments, Student Government Association

Mr. Cordy A. Richardson, Vice President for the Student Government Association, thanked the Board for inviting him to speak. Mr. Richardson listed several items of concern to students during the current semester. First, he described the 2004/2005 fiscal year budget. The projected revenue is $7,387,626, up from this year’s $6.98 million. He said that the service fee will be raised $.20 per credit hour for the 2004-05 year. So students will now be contributing $7.70 per credit hour. Mr. Richardson said that this increase was an absolute last resort to answer constraints of growth, rising costs and expenses. Second, students are very active in organizations and agencies this year. Estimates show that over 1,000 gentlemen participated in fraternity rush, and over 1,200 ladies participated in sorority rush. Third, Trustee Sullivan, spearheaded an initiative with Business Services to eliminate ATM usage fees for students. Fourth, the FSU student readership program has been continued providing the Tallahassee Democrat, The New York Times, and the USA Today to students free of charge Monday-Friday on campus. Fifth, students are very pleased with the extended hours and quality of the new food service vendor Aramark. Increased prices, however, are of great concern. Sixth, students are also very much concerned about University wide budget cuts, especially the new hours of the formerly 24-hour, seven-day-a-week computer lab, which now closes at midnight. Students have expressed much dissatisfaction with that development and S.G.A. hopes to work very hard with administration to seek a way to return that service to the student body.

5. Consent Items

Chairman Thrasher asked if there are any of the items on the consent agenda that the Board of Trustees would like to have removed and discussed separately? Mr. Carnaghi indicated that Mr. Ford, Chairman of the Finance and Business Committee, asked that they all be approved as consent items with the exception of the issue on Matching Gifts. Mr. Ford wanted the Board to be fully apprise of that item as a regular agenda item because of its importance.

Mr. Knowles made a motion to take up the first six consent items on the agenda and approve them. Dr. McGee seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The following consent items were approved in this motion:

  1. Request for Bond Approval – New Dining Facility
  2. Request for Bond Approval – Parking Garage #3
  3. New A&P Employment Contract & Severance Pay & Elimination of A&P Pay Grade Maximums
  4. Inspector General Charter & Outline of Finance and Business Committee’s Audit Oversight Responsibilities
  5. Report on Purchase Orders over $1 million
  6. Report on Construction Projects over $1 million

Chairman Thrasher asked Vice President Lee Hinkle to explain the Matching Gifts agenda item. Ms. Hinkle said the matching gifts issue is a critical issue of concern to FSU. The matching gifts program, the endowment program was started in 1979 and the facilities matching program started in 1988. These programs were adopted to provide donors with incentives to donate funds to public universities, and it has been an enormously successful public/private partnership. Ms. Hinkle said that the state has a very significant backlog in funding the matching gifts programs. As of June 30 of this year the total backlog for the matching gifts trust fund is $124.1 million. As of June 30 of this year the total Courtelis building facilities fund has a deficit of about ten to twenty million dollars. The funding for that program comes from capital outlay money. As far as FSU’s funding for the matching gifts program this year note that two years ago the Legislature did not appropriate money for the matching gifts program. In this last session they appropriated $40 million but they did so differently than they had done in the past. They lump-summed the $40 million and gave the eleven universities the opportunity to divide that money as they saw fit on their own campus. That means that FSU had the opportunity to use it all for matching gifts, the endowment program, or all for Courtelis, or split that match in some way. The $40 million allocated by the Legislature was divided among the eleven universities on an FTE basis. Florida State University received a little over $6.2 million. The funding came to FSU and has been allocated in the following manner: First, $5 million went to the Courtelis matching gift side to match contributions made for the Chemistry Building. The second portion, $1.2 million went to match endowments that had been donated in chronological order. Ms. Hinkle concluded by saying that the matching gifts program is of critical interest to the state, but so is funding for higher education in general. After a brief discussion Mr. Smith made a motion to approve the Matching Gifts funds allotment. Dr. Marshall seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

7. Matching Gifts Funds Approval
    a. Courtelis Fund
    b. Major Gifts Fund

6. Committee Reports:

Finance and Business Committee

Chairman Thrasher recognized Mr. John Carnaghi, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, for a committee report and discussion of the action agenda items. Mr. Carnaghi indicated that Mr. Ralph Alvarez, Associate Vice President for Budget and Planning would discuss DSO Budget Approval, the 2003-04 operating budget, and Dr. Abele will discuss the 2004-2005 Legislative Budget Request. Mr. Alvarez described the 2003-2004 operating budget for the seven DSO’s, including the revenues or expenditures, and their net increases or decreases. Mr. Sullivan made a motion to approve the 2003-04 DSO budgets, with delegated authority to the President to make changes, within available resources. Mr. Garcia seconded the motion, which passed without objection.

Mr. Alvarez briefly discussed the 2003-04 Operating Budget. At the June 13th Board of Trustees a tentative budget was approved. The major shifts of money to cover the reductions for this year to set up some reserves for next year have not changed. The University now has all the numbers and has submitted the budget to the Division of Community Colleges and Universities in late August. He said that these are the same numbers were in that submission. Dr. Marshall made a motion to approve the 2003/2004 operating budget and fixed capital outlay budget request with delegated authority of the President to make changes as the budget is needed within the available resources. Mr. Garcia seconded the motion, which passed without objection.

Dr. Abele provided an overview of the 2004-05 Legislative Budget Request. He said that Florida Statutes require universities to submit a legislative budget request each year. The State Board of Education issued the guidelines for the requests in May. The budget request items are over and above enrollment and projects and that are currently in progress. Issues such as the rollout of the College of Medicine, and the continued growth in student body are issues that are addressed by the Florida Board of Education. The University listed several items, with student success as a top priority. First, the University requested funding to integrate an academic mapping program on campus that would expand the number of advisors expand and guarantee courses that kept the student on track to graduate in four years. Second, funding was requested for the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and the Florida Reading Research Center, both of which are important in economic development in the State of Florida. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory brings in with its renewal about $225 million every five years and provides high tech employment for about 350 individuals. The reading program just brought in a $45 million Federal Grant into the State and has done simply a terrific job in training teachers and volunteers to go out an work with children to improve reading and its been really successful. Finally, other items that were requested include critical technology infrastructure and faculty retention.

At Dr. Marshall’s request, Dr. Abele elaborated on the success of the reading research program. There was also a short discussion on the academic mapping system. In response to a question by Mrs. Duda, Dr. Abele indicated that approximately 90% of the students are on Bright Futures.

Dr. Marshall made a motion to approve the 2004/2005 tentative operating budget and fixed capital outlay budget request and delegate the authority to the President to make changes within the available resources. Mr. Garcia seconded the motion, which passed without objection.

Mr. Carnaghi provided an informational briefing on two final items: the results of unionization and the FSU Continuing Care Retirement Community concept. He said several months ago a hearing officer voted in favor of the University that the unions that represented employees prior to governance changes, no longer represented employees. Now unions are seeking to represent employees and faculty. First, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has represented four units at the University and the human services, professional unit, and the administrative and clerical units were not successful in getting 30% of the cards signed that would have generated an election. The operational services unit voted and are underneath the umbrella of the union. He said that it is important to understand that final approval for any negotiations resides with the Board of Trustees. Any contracts will come to the Board for the final decision. Second, the Police Benevolent Association gained the right to represent FSU’s 61 police officers. Third, there will be an election of the faculty in the next six weeks concerning the United Faculty of Florida. Fourth, there will be an election of the nurses in the next six weeks concerning the Florida Nurses Association. Mr. Carnaghi concluded by saying that the University administration will work with FSU union representatives.

Mr. Carnaghi discussed the FSU Continuing Care Retirement Community concept with the Board of Trustees. He said that the President and a number of FSU faculty and staff discussed the concepts with several groups to determine if there is a market for a facility for seniors. Mr. Carnaghi said that the retirement center could bring back alumni and friends of the University. He said that Trustee Smith has agreed to be a part of the team. The effort is being lead by Ray Bye who works in Economic development. President Wetherell said that such retirement communities are in place at the University of Florida, the University of Virginia, Duke, and Clemson. He said that these retirement communities are a way for the University to expand and allow its alumni to further participate in the Institution

Academic Affairs Committee

Dr. Lawrence G. Abele, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, delivered a report on the Academic Affairs Committee introduced Mr. Vern Buchanan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art for an update on the partnership between FSU and the museum. Chairman Thrasher welcomed Mr. Buchanan and said that he has been involved in the partnership with Ringling from the very beginning and has done a tremendous job working with the University, the past president D’Alemberte, as well as President Wetherell, myself, and the Governor’s office in trying to see that the good fortune that was given to the University and to Ringling by the Legislature is used to maximize resources down there and to certainly maximize student success and student learning in that facility.

Mr. Buchanan said that a year ago, the Ringling Board was challenged to raise $50 million over five years. The Chairman and the Governor wanted $10 million the first year. He said that he was happy to announce that, despite a tough economy, the stock market being down 40-50 percent and some other things, the Ringling Board has raised $12,788,488.00 over a period of one year. He said there is an additional potential $1 million and some other opportunities. Mr. Buchanan said that the potential match in the future is $7-8 million. He said that he has relied on the FSU Foundation to determine what constitutes a cash contribution. Mr. Buchanan said that the successful fundraising has been a team effort, using a community partnership. He introduced Caroline Johnson the past Chair, the incoming Chair, Dorothy Jenkins, and John Wetenhall, Executive Director of the Ringling Board.

Mr. Buchanan asked the board to request the release of the $21 million for the new construction. Chairman Thrasher reviewed the history of Board action on the Ringling funding. He said that in the Trustees’ packets there was a draft letter to the Governor requesting the initiation of a budget amendment to release the $21 million based upon Mr. Buchanan’s representations. Mr. Thrasher said that he is concerned that unless we raise this $50 million, the Florida Legislature will not provide the necessary resources to maintain and manage these facilities and operate them. He asked Mr. Buchanan or a representative of the Ringling Board to come back in 6 months and provide the Board of Trustees with a continuing status report. Dr. congratulated Mr. Buchanan on his successful fundraising and the progress made at the Ringling Museum of Art. Mr. Buchanan said that is a 63 acre campus on the water on the bay and there are plans to add 170,000 square ft. to that. He invited the Board to meet there for a first-hand update. In response to Dr. Marshall’s question concerning the large increase in one year, Mr. Buchanan indicated that the success was do to enthusiasm, energy, and the FSU partnership. President Wetherell said that the University has designated this as a FSU cultural campus, so that it has the same rights and standings there of as any other campus throughout the State of Florida. He said that Ringling is a pretty exciting place to visit. Mr. Thrasher added that he would like to see students be able to take advantage of all the wonderful things at Ringling.

Dr. Marshall made a motion to approve the draft letter to Governor Bush to request that the additional $21 million be released through a budget amendment with authority for the President to make any minor changes to the letter as needed. Mrs. Duda seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Dr. Abele provided an update on enrollment. The enrollment plan is to grow slowly at the undergraduate level by approximately 1% a year and to grow faster at the graduate level at about 2% per year.

Dr. Dianne Harrison, Associate President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies provided an update on the status of the SACS accreditation. She indicated that information on compliance certification submitted to SACS last August is available on CDs and online. In October, the University will get some informal feedback via telephone. In January, the University will submit the second half of the requirements concerning the quality enhancement plan. Finally on April the 5-9, 2004 there will be an onsite campus visit by the accreditation team.

Dr. Abele referred Board members to informational materials in the meeting packet relating to job guarantees for teachers and nurses.

Student Affairs Committee

Dr. Mary Coburn, Vice President for Student Affairs presented a report on University opening and plans for the Fall term. She said that there are more than 6,300 students in the freshman class more than 37,000 students for the first time in FSU history. Everyone did a wonderful job from orientation to moving to starting classes off in a smooth way with excellent instruction. Dr. Coburn said that a new residence hall was opened for the first time in many years. Over 500 students are in a brand new residence hall apartment style living. She called attention to strategic plan for the Division of Student Affairs. The first strategic goal is preparing leaders for today and tomorrow. She said that the University is developing very strong partnerships with academic units to give students classroom experience in leadership development and find ways for them to expand and practice those leadership skills outside of the classroom. The second imperative on creating a culture of learning identify the close partnership with Academic Affairs units and the way Student Affairs will focus on learning in every aspect whether that is learning how to share in a residence hall or learning negotiating skills or being president of a student organization or doing a service leadership program with our center for civic education and service. The third goal is Building a Just Community. The University has had a value statement for a number of years called Responsible Freedom. Building the Just Community is a way to put that value statement into action. Student Affairs staff are looking at policies and procedures doing events across campus to help students, faculty, and staff buy into this concept that we are all into this together and here to take care of each other and have a productive and responsible sedentary. And the final (skipping over number 4 and 5) goal is the idea of Healthy Campus 2010. She said that Student Affairs staff are focusing on three healthy initiatives with this program: alcohol, tobacco, and nutrition.

Mr. Dave Hart, Director of Athletics, made a brief presentation on the ACC Governing Board Certification. He indicated that the certification is a routine matter that requires a signature from the Chairman to say that the board is fully knowledgeable relating to the importance of institutional control. It states that the governing board at each NCAA institution within the Atlantic Coast Conference has willingly delegated the responsibility and control for the athletic program to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the University. The CEO in turn, realizes that that mandate from the board is to make certain that the athletic program is operating with integrity and in full compliance of NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference rules and regulations. This form also specifies that NCAA meetings; governance meetings, legislative meetings, as well as legislative meetings within the conference that the CEO in consultation with the faculty athletic representative who happens to be Dianne Harrison and the Director of Athletics will determine the institutions vote with that sole determination going to the President after any consultation has taken place. Mr. Smith made a motion to approve the ACC Governing Board Certification. Mr. Haggard seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Mr. Haggard commended Mr. Hart for the response to the MGT and Inspector General’s reports. He also commended President Wetherell for the appointment of a new Athletic Committee, which he had the opportunity to observe. He thanked Dianne Harrison for agreeing to chair the Committee. Mr. Haggard urged Board members to visit the athletic facilities.

7. President's Report

President Wetherell began his report by reiterating that the start of the Fall Semester went very smoothly the $40 million reduction from where the University was three years ago and with the 16% growth in students above planned enrollment. He urged the Board to try to attend homecoming activities after their next Board meeting. At that meeting he will propose a specific salary program for our faculty and staff relative to salaries, holiday closings, and some equity issues that are important. Next, preparation for the Legislative Session has begun. A Q& A session, which is an online program similar to what, we did last year that other 10 universities has been developed. President Wetherell commended Dr. Harrison for her leadership on the SACS accreditation. He said the FSUCONNECT Campaign is going well and the Foundation staff have done an excellent job. The $600 million campaign is well underway and about $411 million has been raised. President Wetherell said that Dr. Abele has been working with the Governor’s Office and the Legislature on a new way of funding the University. He thanked Dave Hart because the Athletic Department has embraced recommendations relative to the athletic reorganization.
Finally, President Wetherell emphasized that the governance structure that is in place with the Board of Trustees is the way university systems need to go. We are deeply committed to this Board of Trustees and its ability to make decisions. It is becoming more and more difficult sometimes to navigate those waters. He said that he appreciates the assistance and advice provided by other entities but is concerned about directives that come that bypass the Board of Trustees. President Wetherell promised the Board that the University will work and make sure that their ability to be the governing agent of Florida State University is protected. He thanked the Board members for the work that they have done on behalf of the University.

8. Chairman’s Comments & Adjournment

Chairman Thrasher asked for final comments. Mr. Sullivan recently returned from the Panama City Campus and suggested that the Board ask one of the Trustees to kind of take care of that campus. Mr. Garcia reiterated what Mr. Haggard’s comments about Mr Hart’s handling of the athletic problems. Chairman Thrasher closed by saying that he shares the President’s concerns about other organizations out there. He said it is fine for them to make suggestions but I think the devolutions and the responsibilities given by the Legislature to our Board are significant and he hopes that those do not get confused and blurred. He thanked the Board members and the staff.

The meeting adjourned at 2:50 PM.