Board of Trustees > Meeting Archives > June 9, 2006 Minutes

The Florida State University Board of Trustees Conference Call
College of Medicine
Tallahassee, Florida
June 9, 2006
8:00 AM – 11:30 AM


Members Present: Trustees Derrick Brooks, Susie Busch-Transou, June Duda, Manny Garcia, Harold Knowles, Richard McFarlain, Ann McGee, Christopher Evans, Jessie Furlow, Leslie Pantín and Jim Smith. Trustee Jim Cobbe participated by phone.

Members Absent: Trustee David Ford had an excused absence.

  1. Call to Order and Welcome

    Chairman Jim Smith called the meeting to order. He welcomed Susie Busch-Transou to the Board of Trustees. Chairman Smith respectively thanked John Thrasher and Christopher Schoonover for their tremendous contributions to the Board. Trustee Duda 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. Trustee Brooks seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

  2. Approval of Minutes

    Trustee Pantín made a motion to approve the minutes of the February 10, 2006 meeting and March 24, 2006 Conference Call. Trustee Knowles seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
  3. Comments, Faculty Senate

    Dr. Jayne Standley addressed the Board on behalf of the Faculty Senate. She thanked the Board for the opportunity to speak. Dr. Standley indicated that the Faculty Senate was very aware that it is not their role to negotiate salaries, but it is their responsibility to let the Board know what FSU faculty are thinking. She said that the Faculty Senate Steering Committee asked that the following be conveyed to the Board of Trustees: there is a serious faculty morale problem at FSU and it continues to worsen as salary levels fall in comparison to counterparts within the State University System (SUS) and within the nation. There is a great deal of discussion and dissatisfaction among faculty about this issue. In the 2004/20005 academic year, FSU salary increases from merit, equity, and negotiated across-the-board raises were below all but two SUS universities. For 2005/2006, FSU faculty was the only SUS faculty without a University-allocated pay raise. Dr. Standley said that the BOT retreat report has as its top priority implementing plans for Pathways to Excellence and includes in its short-term action strategies for that priority the statement: “Florida State University should make every effort to address salary merit and longevity inequities such as salary compression and inversion.” Dr. Standley said that the faculty strongly support that statement but are perplexed that University budget priorities and allocations do not correspond with that goal. It seems to the faculty that there must be a balance between plans for expanding faculty size and for developing salary levels commensurate with outstanding faculty achievements and University aspirations. To make this point the Faculty Senate Steering Committee has requested of the administration that the 2006-2007 budget allocations not be made until faculty salary issues have been negotiated so that funds could be prioritized for this purpose. Dr. Standley said that this is their focus as the University budget preparations proceed for the September Board of Trustees meeting. Finally, on behalf of the Faculty Senate she asked the Board to consider this: how can the bright young professorial talent recruited for the University’s future be retained if salaries fail to keep pace with competing universities within Florida’s SUS let alone within national rankings? It seems to the faculty that if FSU’s average faculty salaries within the SUS continue to deteriorate, then it is detrimental to our ambitious goals. Dr. Standley thanked the Board for their attention.

    Chairman Smith thanked Dr. Standley for her remarks and indicated that salaries are a priority of the Board. He said that the University is very much dependent on the Legislature for salary funding. In the meantime, the Board is going to do its best and appreciates the comments from the Faculty Senate.

  4. Comments, Student Government Association

    Mr. Christopher Evans provided an update on the Student Government Association activities. He discussed the changes that occurred during the Schoonover administration and indicated that the number one student priority this year is parking, and that he was glad the administration is doing something to address this problem.

  5. Legal Update

    Ms. Betty Steffens, University General Counsel, provided an update on University legal activities and issues. First, the University continues to be interested in working to help reduce electric costs or utility costs. An option the City of Tallahassee is considering includes the Biomass Gas and Electric Company that has made a proposal to the City to build a clean air energy plant. Ms. Steffens said that the proposal may involve using some University property. The General Counsel’s office will assist the University on this project. One of the representatives for the Biomass Gas and Electric Company is Virginia Wetherell, who is the former secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. To avoid any unforeseen conflict, in May the President asked Chairman Smith to take this matter over and handle any potential negotiations with the City of Tallahassee and BG & E over University property. Chairman Smith said he would do that so the University will act under his direction on this particular matter.

    The second legal matter concerns the lawsuit brought by the MDS foundation and Dr. Bob Holton in regard to two gifts he had given to the University and the construction of the Chemistry Building. Ms. Steffens provided a handout and indicated that the lawsuit is ongoing. She said that the University returned $11 million in gifts from Dr. Holton and the MDS Foundation plus interest, which totaled over $13 million. The two gifts had been matched by the Florida Legislature. Matching funds for one of the gifts--the $6 million—was lost for the Chemistry Building, but this Session the Legislature re-appropriated that money for other FSU projects. The Chemistry Building Committee redesigned the building last fall. The University plans to use funds received from the Taxol royalties that are currently on deposit or in the trust of the FSU Research Foundation, approximately $23 million, toward the construction costs. Ms. Steffens said that the University is unsure exactly how much will be used but the Florida Legislature gave the University specific authority to spend non-appropriated funds to build the Chemistry Building. She said that the building is out of the ground, and is about 17% complete under the current construction contract. In the lawsuit with the discovery ongoing, FSU has had 17 employees deposed, and provided the plaintiffs with 18,000 pages of information.

    Finally, Ms. Steffens provided a brief update on the Super Ensemble Model that was developed by a professor in meteorology. That process was patented and licensed in approximately 1999 or 2000 to a private company. The National Weather Service used it over the last several years. There were some legal relationships that the University was committed to honor. FSU is working with the National Weather Service, and with the private company, Weather Predict. She said the University has a written agreement in hand on how it will operate for the next hurricane season and beyond. Dr. Abele added that all of the University’s agreements provide a cost free license to the Federal Government of the model and to any academic researcher. So in commercializing this product and making it available to the broader public, the University protected the rights of the U.S. government as well as academic researchers.

  6. Consent Items—One Motion

    Trustee Pantín made a motion to approve the consent items. Trustee Busch-Transou seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The following items were approved in this motion:

    1. Approval of the Equity Accountability Report
    2. Approval of Proposed Amendment to Rules/ Regulation 6C2-2.009 Parking and Traffic Regulations
    3. Approval of B.S. in Computational Biology
    4. Approval of Ph.D. in Biostatistics
    5. Approval of M.S. in Geographic Information Sciences
    6. Approval of Student Government Bills for Spring 2006
    7. Approval of B.A./B.S. in African-American Studies
    8. Renaming of Colleges and Schools
      1. Change School of Nursing to College of Nursing

  7. Legislative Update

    Ms. Lee Hinkle, Vice President for University Relations, presented the Legislative Update because Ms. Kathleen Daly was attending a meeting out of town. Chairman Smith complimented the great job that Ms. Daly continues to do on behalf of the University. He said that she works very hard in what is a very tough arena. Chairman Smith said that overall the University had a good session. He said that he was disappointed about some vetoes, especially since some universities had items that were not recommended by the Board of Governors but were allowed to survive vetoes.

    Ms. Hinkle said that FSU received a 9.2% increase in the budget. There is a 3 percent salary increase for employees effective October 1. Enrollment growth for the University is $6.6 million. Also included in the budget were: $2.4 million for utilities costs; $15.2 million dollars for the matching gifts program; $35 million for PECO; $18.9 million for increased construction costs for our buildings; $2.29 million for the medical school phase-in; and $5 million for debt reduction on the Civic Center. She concluded by discussing various bills that passed the Legislature.

  8. University Relations Update

    Ms. Lee Hinkle presented a University Relations update to the Board. She referred Board members to the biweekly University Relations Update handout providing general information about the University, students, faculty, various colleges, athletics and the Seminole tribe. Second, Ms. Hinkle referred to the FSU Post Campaign Assessment, introduced Marylyn Spores--the interim president of the FSU Foundation, and provided an overview of the report. Finally, she provided an update on the Foundation presidential search.

  9. Committee Reports:

    Academic Affairs

    Dr. Lawrence G. Abele, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, presented the Action Items from the Academic Affairs Committee. He indicated that for the record the University did provide previous funds for salary increases. He said that in fact, three additional merit-equity salary increases were provided last year from University funds and the merit-equity portion, a promotion merit portion, and additional duties, and for retaining faculty, that was well in excess of $1 million.

    Explore a CLAST Exam Requirement

    Dr. Abele discussed the need to explore mandating a CLAST Exam as an assessment mechanism for both courses and students. He said that CLAST is an exam that is typically given to sophomores in college and it covers English, Mathematics, Reading, Critical Thinking and Logic. Dr. Abele said the exam would allow University administrators to integrate student-learning outcomes with an independent assessment and then link that back to the curriculum. Trustee Cobbe made a motion to allow the University to explore a CLAST Exam requirement for students. The motion was seconded by Trustee McGee and passed unanimously.

    Five-Year Enrollment Plan

    Dr. Abele presented the five-year enrollment plan, which includes an undergraduate growth of approximately one percent and a graduate growth of approximately two percent. Trustee Pantín made a motion to approve the five-year enrollment plan. Trustee Duda seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

    Collective Bargaining Update

    Ms. Joyce Ingram, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, provided a collective bargaining update. She said the University has successfully negotiated agreements with all five collective bargaining units. There is an outstanding issue with United Faculty of Florida (UFF) on merit increases for 2005/2006. The University management team met with UFF on December 13, 2005 to conclude discussions on this issue. No additional salary increases were negotiated, and the UFF formally declared impasse. The impasse hearing was held on February 22, 2006, with Special Magistrate Abe Lavine who was appointed by PERC. The Special Magistrate issued his recommendation on April 28, 2006. On May 16, 2006 the University management bargaining committee representing the Board of Trustees rejected the recommendation of the Special Magistrate. Ms. Ingram said that the insulation period is currently in place and both parties will be given the opportunity to have their issues heard before the Board of Trustees, which will rule on the impasse. She provided an overview of upcoming events in collective bargaining efforts for the 2006-2007 year. Ms. Ingram said the goal is to bring conclusion to the 2005-2006 impasse process, the negotiations for 2006-2007, and then gear up for full negotiations in the fall.

    Producing More Teachers Report

    Dr. Abele said that approximately 18 months ago, President Wetherell contacted the Commissioner of Education, John Winn, and the State Board of Education and offered FSU as a pilot institution to expand and improve the training for K-12 teachers. Dr. Abele said that one of the issues is retention. There are plenty of teachers in the State of Florida that are certified with active licenses but approximately 90,000 of them chose not to teach. Initially, they choose the teaching profession and for various reasons find that it is not the profession that they hoped it would be, or planned for and leave. He said that the University is working with a committee from a group of administrators and teachers from Gadsden County, Leon County, the State Board of Education, the Department of Education, FSU College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences. He said that the Living Learning Communities containing approximately 70 freshmen in a residence hall are focused on pre-teaching activities. Dr. Abele said that they are restructuring the curriculum to allow students to obtain earlier experience in schools with the final goal of increasing retention. He said the University is producing enough teachers to deal with retirement issues, almost twice as many, but not enough to deal with those leaving the profession, so the key is to focus not necessarily on producing more teachers, but producing teachers who will stay in the profession for a longer period of time. The trustees discussed the issue of producing teachers and thanked Dr. Abele for his excellent report.

    Student Affairs

    Ms. Liz Maryanski, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, presented the Student Affairs Committee issues.

    Tuition Proposals for 2006-2007 for Educational Research Center for Child Development

    Ms. Maryanski explained the Tuition Proposals for 2006-2007 for Educational Research Center for Child Development. She provided background information on the request to increase the fee in one of the childcare centers in campus. There are three childcare centers on campus. The Student Government Association funds two centers. They provide funding for the childcare center at Alumni Village and for the infant/toddler childcare center. The current request is for the Educational Research Center for Child Development (ERCCD), and the priority for all of the childcare centers is students. She said there is currently a waiting list of 205 students for all three centers on campus. The second priority for the childcare center is staff and faculty. There has always been a waiting list between 200 and 400. A parent advisory council advises the ERCCD. The parent advisory council made the decision and the recommendation to maintain salaries for staff that are comparable with Leon County School Board and the data indicates that the center gets the best teachers by remaining competitive in the county. There are six other ERCCD locations throughout the State of Florida. If the fee is approved FSU is still the lowest and well below the local childcare rates. Trustee McGee made a motion to approve the tuition increase for 2006-2007 for the Educational Research Center for Child Development. Trustee Brooks seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

    Update on Student Affairs Activities

    Ms. Maryanski provided an update on Student Affairs activities including the Class Ring Ceremony, a Student Affairs review of the Duke Lacrosse incident and Student Health Insurance.

    Finance and Business

    Mr. John Carnaghi, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Mr. Ralph Alvarez, Associate Vice President Finance & Administration presented the Action Items from the Finance and Business Committee.

    Approval of FY 2006-2007 Tuition Policy and Rule Authorization

    Mr. Alvarez indicated that the proposal was to implement the legislatively appropriated three percent (3%) undergraduate and graduate matriculation fee increase, no out-of-state tuition increase for undergraduates or graduates, and no increases in the College of Medicine. Trustee Cobbe made a motion to approve the 2006-2007 tuition policy and rule. Trustee Busch-Transou seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

    Approval of FY 2007-2008 Legislative Budget Request

    Mr. Alvarez discussed the legislative budget request for 2007/2008. He said that this year the universities were allowed to request up to 8% of their base budgets. There are also system-wide issues. The number one priority is faculty and staff pay increases, which is important to all the universities, not just FSU. There are also University-specific issues and the number one issue is Pathways of Excellence. Trustee Garcia made a motion to approve the FY 2007-2008 Legislative Budget request with delegation to the President to make changes if necessary. Trustee McGee seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

    Approval of 2007-2008 Fixed Capital Outlay Budget

    Mr. Alvarez presented 2007/2008 Fixed Capital Outlay Budget Request for approval. There is $48.2 million in building requests for 2007/2008. Trustee Knowles made a motion to approve the 2007/2008 Fixed Capital Outlay Budget Request with delegation to the President to make changes if necessary. Trustee Duda seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

    Approval of Tentative 2006-2007 Operating Budget

    Mr. Alvarez explained the tentative operating budget, along with the DSO operating budgets, which would be submitted to the Board of Governors in August. He said the budgets would be brought back to the Board for final approval in September.

    Trustee McGee made a motion to approve 2006-2007 University Operating Budget and the DSO budgets with delegation to the President or designee to make changes within available resources. The motion was seconded by Trustee Furlow and passed unanimously.

    Approval of Classification Redesign Project

    Ms. Joyce Ingram described the Classification Redesign Project. She said that key constituents across the University expressed concern about the current design being inflexible and outdated. After extensive research, Human Resources selected a broadband classification and compensation system to implement. Ms. Ingram said that the wide pay ranges and generally defined classifications of the broadband system best address the issues and needs expressed by key constituents in the University community. Implementing broad banding requires restructuring of two major components, the classification system and the compensation system. Ms. Ingram said that a major difference between the current plan and the proposed plan is movement from 678 classifications to approximately 132 classifications. She said that the collective bargaining process would determine the final number of classifications. The A&P and USPS designation will be retained to describe exempt and non-exempt work. The University will also move from four pay plans to three pay plans. Ms. Ingram stated that this is a no cost plan and the proposed bands are based on incumbent salaries as of March 2006. First, she said that the job families would allow employees to easily identify a career path. Second, there would be an opportunity to increase knowledge, skills and abilities without having to be reclassified. Promotional opportunities would still exist and movement to another job within the band would exist. The employee would also have the opportunity, depending on their performance, to move up the band structure. Third, goal setting would be encouraged, so that each department and supervisor would be asked to establish specific goals and objectives for their departments and for their employees. This will assist them as they have their performance review discussions. Fourth, Ms. Ingram explained that an accurate description of job duties would assist in ensuring that employees benefit from the proposed plan. Trustee Garcia made a motion to approve the Classification Redesign Project. Trustee Duda seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Additionally, Trustee Duda made a motion to delegate the design implementation to the President who would delegate the assignment to the Vice President for Finance & Administration. Trustee Busch-Transou seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

  10. President Wetherell’s Evaluation Handout

    Chairman Smith referred to the materials for President Wetherell’s evaluation. He said that the President is prepared to meet with Board members individually. Chairman Smith said the evaluation forms are due back by July 17, 2006, and will be discussed in the September 15, 2006 meeting.

  11. Board Retreat Report

    Chairman Smith presented the Board of Trustees Retreat Report for final approval. Trustee Duda made a motion to approve the report. The motion was seconded by Trustee McGee and passed unanimously.

  12. Board Attendance Policy

    Chairman Smith explained the Board Attendance Policy, which is designed to encourage participation in the Board meetings. Trustee Duda made a motion to approve the attendance policy. Trustee McGee seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

  13. President's Report

    President T.K. Wetherell thanked the Board for their work on behalf of the University. First, he said that the Legislature had been very helpful in providing resources to implement Pathways to Excellence. Second, a Florida History course is being developed that depicts history from the perspective of the Seminole Tribe. Third, the FSU website is being revised to make it more user-friendly. He asked the trustees for continual feedback on the website. Fourth, Dr. Wetherell said that the medical school branch campuses have become critical needs. The University just admitted 100 students to this medical school class. The next class will have 120 students. In two years those students will go out into communities for their third and fourth years of medical training. He said it is important to get those facilities online two years from now, so that the students will have diverse clinical learning sites. Finally, Dr. Wetherell said that Noleade has been distributed and the children who developed it are working on other ideas.

  14. Adjournment

    After some additional discussion the Board adjourned at 11:15 AM.