Board of Trustees > Meeting Archives > November 4, 2004 Minutes

The Florida State University Board of Trustees Meeting
Moore Athletic Center
November 4, 2004
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Members Present: Dr. Valliere Auzenne, Mr. Jarrett Eady, Mr. David Ford, Dr. Jessie Furlow, Mr. Manny Garcia, Mr. Andy Haggard, Mr. Harold Knowles, Dr. Stanley Marshall, Dr. Ann McGee, and Mr. John Thrasher.

Members Excused: Mr. Derrick Brooks, Mrs. June Duda, and Mr. Jim Smith.

1. Call to Order and Welcome

Chairman John E. Thrasher convened the meeting of the Florida State University Board of Trustees at the Moore Athletic Center in Tallahassee, Florida, at 1:00 p.m., November 4, 2004. The following members were present: Dr. Valliere Auzenne, Mr. Jarrett Eady, Mr. David Ford, Dr. Jessie Furlow, Mr. Manny Garcia, Mr. Andy Haggard, Mr. Harold Knowles, Dr. Stanley Marshall, Dr. Ann McGee, and Mr. John Thrasher. Mr. Derrick Brooks, Mrs. June Duda, and Mr. Jim Smith had excused absences.

Chairman Thrasher welcomed everyone to the meeting. Trustee Haggard made a motion to suspend the Board of Trustees’ Operating Procedure Section 203(b) to take up the items listed on the agenda and any supplemental materials passed out today. Trustee Auzenne seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Chairman Thrasher made several comments. First, he commended President Wetherell for his excellent speech to the faculty the previous day. Second, he said that our hearts go out to Joyce Ingram in the loss of her husband, Daniel Hughes. Chairman Thrasher said that our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. Third, he made several announcements about the upcoming homecoming events. Finally, Tim McGraw will be in concert on November 18th to benefit FSU. This is two days before the FSU-Florida game and we hope to raise $700,000 for construction of a new career center and an endowed baseball scholarship in the name of Tug McGraw.

2. Approval of Minutes

Trustee Haggard made a motion to approve the minutes of September 24, 2004. Trustee McGee seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

3. Comments, Faculty Senate

Dr. James Cobbe made a brief presentation of behalf of the Faculty Senate. He thanked the Board of Trustees on behalf of the Faculty Senate for the cordial and productive relationship that the Board has developed with both the administration and the faculty at the University. Dr. Cobbe directed the trustees’ attention to a statement in Dr. Abele’s October 14, 2004 memorandum to Dr. Austin in their packets: “To reach our goal to become a top ranked public research university, FSU will need to reduce class sizes, add additional faculty, attain competitive faculty salaries, increase graduate student support and replace technology at a level to retain state of the art equipment.” Dr. Cobbe said on behalf of the Faculty Senate, that the faculty very strongly agrees that the University needs to do those things to attain its goals. He said that the Faculty Senate stands ready to help the trustees in any way to reach this goal of becoming a top ranked public research university.

4. Comments, Student Government Association

Christopher Schoonover, the SGA Vice-President, made a short presentation to the Board. He said that FSU Student Government is working to raise $20,000 for the hurricane relief fund. Mr. Schoonover and Trustee Eady are holding town hall meetings to hear student concerns and make changes. Finally, he said that although the students, obviously, on the Athletic Fee Committee voted against increasing the athletic fee, that whatever decision the Board decides to make, the funds will go to a good cause and benefit the students of Florida State.

5. Report on Ringling Museum’s Activities & Fundraising Efforts

Dr. John Wetenhall provided an update on the Ringling Museum’s Activities and fundraising efforts. He invited the Board of Trustees to hold a meeting at the Museum in the future. He said there are three phases that the University’s and the Ringling Museum have addressed. The first phase was: “stop the bleeding.” Dr. Wetenhall said that the Ringling was really in bad shape when FSU took over in the year 2000. The facilities were not up to par, the roof leaked, the financial foundation was not there and there was a lot of work to be done and the operations were not up to par. He thanked Mr. Carnaghi and his staff for their assistance during this phase to help the Ringling. Dr. Wetenhall said that the second phase was to get the facilities up to par. The Ringling was built in the 1920s. The library was built for 20,000 volumes; it has 60,000 volumes. The first of two parts in Phase Two is restoration of the original facilities and the second part is to build a museum for the 21st century, not for the 1920s. He said that building new facilities is going fairly well. The third phase is the phase that really has yet to be fulfilled and that is the educational mission. Dr. Wetenhall said that as part of Florida State University, there is an understanding at Ringling that there are two major obligations. One is to meet the financial commitment, to raise the endowment and $50 million is the fundraising goal. The other obligation is to fulfill the educational potential inherent in the Ringling Museum. He said there is a lot that the Ringling can do to be prepared so that when the educational facilities are ready the potential can be fulfilled. For instance, working with Dean Sally McRorie, a full semester of museum studies at the Ringling will be offered in September 2005. Ringling will operate like a teaching hospital for museum studies, allowing the students to spend time in the laboratory, with the curators, with the educational division, and make their rounds. In addition to that, courses will be offered. Dr. Wetenhall indicated that he is going to teach a course on the business of art of museums and the Ringling deputy director, an attorney, will be teaching art, law, and ethics. Additionally, Dean Patterson has been working with Ringling on the Sarasota Film Festival.

Dr. Wetenhall said that on a long-term basis, Ringling is working on two major projects. One is to, in an educational sense, create an adult institute. So that people can go to the Ringling for a week or a weekend and take a cultural course, not just a lecture, but to learn in depth. He said the Ringling is also developing a summer program for a children’s cultural camp that can teach not just art, but dance, drama, and many cultural activities while partnering with the educational programs at FSU to work with graduate students and faculty a rich educational experience will be offered.

Dr. Wetenhall said that there are two other statewide Ringling programs. The first is getting Ringling art on the road, under the banner of FSU. Two traveling art exhibitions will be offered to museums around the State at no cost. The second program is in-house training sessions for museum issues.

Dr. Wetenhall addressed the progress of Ringling fundraising. He said that FSU assumed control of the Ringling in July of 2000 when the endowment was $2.9 million. John Ringling left $1.2 million in 1936, so there had been very little fundraising going on for over 60 years. The current total endowment is very close to $30 million. Since FSU took over the Ringling Museum, in cash and pledges everything has gone up 10 times the 2000 endowment. The Ringling Now campaign is at approximately $17.6 million. There are three and a half years to go in the fundraising campaign. Ringling knew it would be a little slower the second year because the first year was an all hands on deck effort. There are very good discussions going on with some potential large contributors. Dr. Wetenhall said that the Ringling Board is focused on fundraising. He concluded by saying that Ringling is moving along at the best speed possible.

Chairman Thrasher thanked Dr. Wetenhall for the report and reminded the Board that the Legislature kindly appropriated $49 million for Ringling. He said that the Board of Trustees made a pretty firm deal with Vern Buchanan, then chairman of the Board at Ringling, that they would raise $50 million over the next five years to endow, for operational purposes, those new facilities. He said that he understood Dr. Wetenhall to be indicating that there is currently $17.6 million of the $50 million goal Ringling promised to raise. Chairman Thrasher said that he supports Ringling but wants to make sure that the $50 million is raised because of promises made to the Governor and the Florida Legislature, and the University. He said that the Board of Trustees would be vigilant about that as we move into the next three years of that fundraising project.

6. Consent Items

Trustee Eady made a motion to approve the consent items. Trustee Marshall seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The following items were approved in this motion:

1. Approval of 2005 Non-Discrimination Statement
2. Approval of the Supplier Diversity Policy
3. M.S. in Biostatistics approval
4. MS in Aquatic Environmental Science approval
5. Reaffirmation of Wildwood Hall Project

7. Review of Ethics Policy

Ms. Betty Steffens, University General Counsel, provided an overview of the Board of Trustees’ Ethics Policy. First, she outlined the statutory ethics provisions for public officials relating to gifts, doing business with the University, holding office, voting conflicts and timely filing of disclosure forms. Second, Ms. Steffens reviews the FSU Board of Trustees’ Code of Ethics, which was adopted on January 24, 2003. The main idea is to remember that the President is the proper channel for all issues relating to the University. Also, a trustee’s foremost obligation is to act on all issues in a manner consistent with University policy, and to act only in the best interest of the university.

8. University Relations Update

Ms. Lee Hinkle, Vice President for University Relations, presented a University Relations update to the Board. She said that there would be an update at each meeting because there are so many activities happening on campus. First, Ms. Hinkle said that the recent Legislative elections resulted in 24 FSU alumni Legislators. Second, she said this has been a great and challenging year for the FSU Foundation. They have raised over $63 million dollars in the past fiscal year, bringing the capital campaign total to approximately $455 million out of the $600 million fundraising goal. The goal is to raise $145 million in the next year. Ms. Hinkle said that private gifts assure that the best faculty, the brightest students, and the most creative research projects are funded and she provided examples of innovative teaching projects.

9. Committee Reports:

Finance and Business Committee

Mr. John Carnaghi, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, presented the action items for the Board of Trustee’s consideration.

1) Request to the Board of Governors via FSU Board of Trustees for a Permanent Bank Loan of $10,000,000 to Fund Dining Halls

Trustee Auzenne made a motion to approve request to the Board of Governors via FSU Board of Trustees for a Permanent Bank Loan of $10,000,000 to Fund Dining Halls. Trustee Knowles seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

2) Athletic Fee Increase

Mr. Ralph Alvarez explained that there is a proposed $1 increase in the athletic fee from $4.98 to $5.98 for Fall 2005. The increase will generate roughly $1,057,910. Trustee Eady indicated that the students on the Athletic Fee Committee voted against the increase. Their counter proposal was $.75. He said the students support an increase, but believed that the dollar was a little too high.

Trustee Knowles made a motion to approve the athletic fee increase. Trustee Haggard seconded the motion, which passed with all members voting for the motion and Mr. Eady dissenting.

Academic Affairs Committee

Dr. Lawrence G. Abele, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, presented the action items for the Board of Trustee’s consideration.

1) Board of Governors Issues -- Strategic Plan (Y-Axis) and Activities

Dr. Abele asked the Board of Trustees to approve the Strategic Plan (Y-Axis). Trustee Eady made a motion to approve the Strategic Plan (Y-Axis). Trustee Auzenne seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

2) Union Update

Mr. Robert Henley presented a union update to the Board. He said that he spoke with Joyce Ingram and that she was doing well will greatly appreciate the comments made earlier. There have been four bargaining sessions for a total of 31 bargaining sessions since their last Board meeting. The parties have tentatively agreed to two more articles, for a total of 15 articles. That represents close to half of the total number of articles that are on the table. The parties also have agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding related to the legislatively appropriated $1,000 lump sum bonus, which is effective December 1, 2004.

3) School of Chiropractic Update

Dr. Larry Abele provided an update on the creation of the College of Chiropractic Medicine. He said that Dr. Alan Adams, a chiropractor, has been hired to work on the curriculum. Documents for the Board of Governor’s will be submitted by the first of the year. Dr. Abele said that the first financial allocation is being used to build a classroom building that will have classrooms in it that will handle lecture portions of chiropractic students.

4) Policies on Contracts & Grants including Foundation Gifts Related to Research

Dr. Kirby Kemper, Vice President for Research, provided a brief overview of the policies on contracts and grants. He said that state statutes allow state agencies to give grants to state universities and other state agencies without going through a bidding process. Universities also have the ability to purchase goods and services without competitive bidding. Dr. Kemper quoted from the Statute: “When such a process is necessary for the efficient and expeditious carrying out of a research project,” which is called a research exception. It is used very infrequently. The research exemption is audited every year by the state government. For the past three years FSU has had no questionable expenditures. There was a concern in 1992 by the Board of Regents that it was possible to bypass formal bidding procedures by using the research exemption of universities. At that time FSU adopted a policy that the University will not accept any grants or contracts unless the University does 50% or more of the work. That policy remains in effect, and an exception can only be approved by the Vice President for Research and the President. Exceptions are given about once a year. The reports released by the Department of Children and Families and the Governor’s Inspector General have been taken very seriously. The Inspector General at Florida State is going through the reports, and the University is auditing this issue and there will be a report by December.

Student Affairs Committee

Dr. Mary Coburn, Vice President for Student Affairs, provided an update on Student Affairs’ activities. She said that the University celebrated about the 20th Parent’s Weekend in early October this year. There were over 2,500 parents, family, and friends celebrating that weekend at FSU. Dr. Coburn reviewed the upcoming homecoming activities. The theme is, “You are always at home at FSU.”

10. Legal Report

Ms. Betty Steffens, University General Counsel, presented a legal report on the Appleton transfer from the Florida State University to the Florida Community College. She reviewed the history of the University’s relationship with the Appleton Museum. The Legislature required budget cuts and the University indicated that the Museum’s funding would be reduced. In January 2004, the Appleton family sued the university foundation, and the Florida community college foundation. The Florida Legislature included $1.3 million the budget this year in an item for the community college budget to replace the operating funds. The proviso for the funds would not be allowed to be saved in the budget, until FSU and it’s foundation, the community college and it’s foundation were released from existing obligations. Ms. Steffens indicated that the documents were signed in a timely fashion on September 30th and the lawsuits have been dismissed.

11. President's Report

President Wetherell presented an update to the Board. First, he said that the University is committed to work with the Governor’s Office and the University of Florida to develop a flat tuition plan. Second, Dr. Wetherell commended Ms. Steffens for the excellent job that she did on the Appleton Museum. Third, he said that the University is working with the Civic Center on a proposal for development of a hotel and other facilities.

12. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 2:20 p.m.

The Florida State University Board of Trustees approved the minutes on January 14, 2005.