Agenda Item No. V. B. 1.

Washburn University Board of Regents



SUBJECT: Request for Proposal - Bond Counsel Services for Washburn University



BACKGROUND:



At the March 10, 1999 Board of Regents meeting, the Board approved awarding contracts to Cosgrove, Webb & Oman as bond counsel and Fahnestock & Co., Inc. as bond financial advisor for a period of five (5) years, ending on March 10, 2005. Prior to the expiration of the contracts, the Board of Regents asked the University's administration to obtain proposals from qualified municipal bond attorneys and firms that provide financial advisory and underwriting services.



DESCRIPTION:



On February 23, 2005, a Request for Proposal was issued to twenty-two (22) firms to provide bond counsel services to Washburn University. On March 21, 2005, the University received proposals from five (5) firms: Nichols and Wolfe Chartered; Kutak Rock, LLP; Robert J. Perry; Gilmore & Bell, P.C.; and Hinkle Elkouri Law Firm LLC.



The proposals were evaluated by an evaluation committee composed of Kenneth Hackler, Duke Divine, Chris Leach, Rhonda Thornburgh, Tom Ellis, and Wanda Hill based on criteria including, but not limited to: experience of the firm in serving as bond counsel to municipal tax-exempt issuers including institutions of higher education; understanding and level of competence in State of Kansas and federal taxation, legislative and regulatory procedures; qualifications of the personnel including the experience and availability of the day-to-day attorney and the breadth and depth of other partners, associates and other professionals available to provide services to the University; team organization and approach including the ability of the firm to adequately staff and complete time-sensitive transactions; firm's demonstrated commitment to understanding and serving client needs and its responsiveness to client requests for assistance; responsiveness of written proposals to the purpose and scope of services to be performed; and responsiveness and reasonableness of proposed pricing structure.



Based upon its review and analysis, the committee recommended Hinkle Elkouri Law Firm LLC be awarded the contract to provide required bond counsel services for the University for a five (5) year period. This recommendation was presented to the Board of Regents at its May 13, 2005 Board meeting and was deferred by the Board until the University selected a financial advisor and further review be conducted by the Board of Regents Budget and Finance Committee.



Following discussions at the Budget and Finance Committee meeting of October 21, 2005, two financial advisory firms were interviewed on December 5, 2005, and a contract was awarded to Springsted effective February 1, 2006 to provide financial advisory services for a period of five (5) years.

Following the approval of Washburn's financial advisor by the Board of Regents, three bond counsel firms (Hinkle Elkouri, Gilmore Bell, and Nichols Wolfe) were contacted to determine if they were still interested in providing services for Washburn.



Presentations/interviews were scheduled for Hinkle Elkouri on March 20, and on March 22 for Gilmore Bell and Nichols Wolfe. On March 22, Mr. Wolfe was not present at the time designated for his presentation. After contacting Mr. Wolfe, the committee determined it would not be necessary to reschedule Mr. Wolfe's presentation.



A summary of the evaluation criteria and the pricing structure proposed by each firm is attached.



Based upon its review and analysis and the firm's presentations, the committee reaffirmed its previous recommendation that Hinkle Elkouri Law Firm LLC be awarded the contract to provide required bond counsel services for the University for a five (5) year period.



FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:



Any fees and expenses incurred under a contract awarded pursuant to the RFP for Bond Counsel Services will be paid only for services rendered pursuant to the actual issuance of bonded indebtedness.



RECOMMENDATION:



President Farley recommends the Board of Regents approve awarding a contract effective May 12, 2006 to Hinkle Elkouri Law Firm LLC for bond counsel services for a period of five (5) years.



___________________ ________________________

Date Jerry B. Farley, President


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