WASHBURN UNIVERSITY OF TOPEKA

BOARD OF REGENTS

MINUTES

September 17, 2003

_________________________________________________________________________________



I. Call to Order



Chairperson Roth called the meeting to order at 4:08 p.m. in the Kansas Room of the Memorial Union.



II. Roll Call



Present were: *Mr. Blair, Mr. Dick, Mr. Engel, Mr. Felker, *Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Parks, Mr. Roth and Mrs. Warren.



* participated via telephone conference call

III. Approval of Minutes of August 27, 2003 and September 9, 2003 meeting.s



It was moved and seconded to approve the Minutes of the August 27 and September 9, 2003 meetings. Motion passed unanimously.



IV. Officer Reports



A. Chair's Report



First, Mr. Roth said he would like to ask that an Executive Session occur at the latter part of the meeting for about five minutes or so with no action to be taken.



Secondly, he said he'd been contacted by the chairperson of the Kansas Board of Regents who has extended the opportunity to meet the first of the year with members of the Legislature to discuss common proposals for funding of universities. He said he relayed to him that we would be very happy to do that and to try to meet with the Legislature to explain problems universities are having.



Third, he said the architect for the chapel project was going to have something for the Board of Regents this month and said Mr. Sheahan is present for that purpose.



Mr. Sheahan made a PowerPoint presentation which showed a rendering of the structure in the setting South of the Memorial Union and East of Benton Hall. He noted the artist left out trees from the rendering because you wouldn't be able to see the building were they shown. He showed photos of the existing site elevations of the structure on the Menninger campus and of the existing interior which were taken in the later afternoon and called attention to the vertical blinds on the windows.



He showed a drawing of the proposed site, noting the building is angled slightly so the stained glass window would not be blocked by one big oak. He said also this angle would save two trees and would have the south of the building be farther from the sidewalk. He noted there would be a fence on the back side of the structure and a small courtyard on the north. He had a photo of the building placed on site and several depictions of a model of the structure, one showing a lowered skylight, one showing the original roof structure, and one with a lowered roof and no skyline. He also showed a photo of the present interior with skylight and without skylight. Finally, he showed the budget, which reflected a total of $252,610 to move the structure onto the campus and remodel/reconstruction costs of $246,136, for a total budget of $498,745. He said he would anticipate the building would be moved to campus hopefully by the first of November so they could begin bidding the remodel work which would provide for the interior work to be done over the winter and stone work in the spring.



In response to a question concerning whether the roof line selected would have an impact on the budget, Mr. Sheahan indicated it would make very little difference overall. In response to a question from Regent Engel about the patio depicted on the north side of the building, Mr. Sheahan noted there is one at the structure presently and the drawings to date have all shown that feature. In a response to a question from Regent Dick whether the structure could be moved first and then a decision made on the roof later, Mr. Sheahan said that would be possible to do so and there would be the advantage of knowing the true cost associated with the roof. He said he thought the structure would arrive "somewhat intact."



Chairperson Roth asked that the president of the Washburn Endowment Association, JuliAnn Mazachek, update the Regents on fundraising efforts for the move of the structure. Ms. Mazachek first said she'd like to recognize the efforts of Tim Etzel in fundraising for the project. She said she is happy to report that as of to date the WEA has received $200,000 in cash donations, $30,000 in in-kind contributions and has $50,000 in pending requests about which they feel very favorable for a total of $280,000. In a response to a question from Chairperson Roth about whether she felt the organization could be successful for a $500,000 budget, Ms. Mazachek first noted that the dollar amount has increased over the months, but that "we feel confident we will be able to raise those funds."



President Farley noted that the schedule is a relatively aggressive one. Mr. Sheahan said it's a most aggressive schedule with a timeline of about six to seven weeks to get the building on site on campus. In response to a question from Regent Roth concerning the cost of providing security for the structure at the Menninger campus site, President Farley said estimates he's been provided indicate that were the security provided by student cadet officers, it would be about $3,000; with a professional organization it would be approximately $4,000; and with overtime it would be about $6,000 per month.



During discussion about whether the building would be heated, Mr. Sheahan noted that Western Resources has already disconnected service so there would be no heat for the structure. Regent Blair noted that having no heat would not be an issue, pointing out that he has the heat turned off on his home in Colorado each year and there has been no adverse impact.



In response to a question from Regent Blair whether the $500,000 budget included the $50,000 for landscaping, President Farley said that it did; and to a second question from Mr. Blair whether any of the committed fundraising was conditioned on the design of the building, Mr. Etzel said that people who had been contacted have no caveat that the roof be either high or low, but have expressed passionate interest in maintaining the skylights.



Regent Roth opened the floor for comment from any person present concerning the project. Mr. Etzel said he made a call on a potential donor this morning and did get a gift. He said he also got a question whether students are going to participate in the fund drive.



It was moved and seconded to approve the move of the structure to the campus and to delay any further action on the roof line and skylights until the structure is on campus. Motion passed unanimously. It was moved and seconded to approve the proposed budget of $498,745. Motion passed unanimously. Regent Dick said he is with some reluctance supporting the move with the experience that it is more difficult to raise funds once a project is underway. However, he said his reluctance is overcome with confidence in the excellent staff at the Washburn Endowment Association and Mr. Tim Etzel in conducting the fundraising campaign for the project.



Mayor Felker pointed out the fundraising efforts for the new sports park and for the zoo have garnered several corporate and individual donations. He said he has all the faith in the world that we will be successful in raising the funds.



It was moved and seconded to provide security for the structure on the Menninger campus until it is moved. Motion passed unanimously. It was moved and seconded to appoint William Sheahan and Associates architect for the project. Motion passed unanimously.



B. Committee Report(s)



It was moved and seconded to ratify the appointments of Regents Blair, Engel, Felker and Warren to the Finance Committee. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Roth indicated he has asked all the finance committee meetings be conducted with a phone line available so that all members of the Board of Regents could feel free to join in and participate in the meetings.



C. President's Report



President Farley said he has the unorthodox privilege of introducing the newest regents to the Board of Regents. He said that Lew Ferguson has been appointed this afternoon by action of the Kansas Board of Regents to serve as the appointee of the Kansas Board for the ensuing year.



Dr. Farley announced that Eugene Williams has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors of PBS, noting this is an outstanding opportunity for the institution as we are one of the smaller television markets.



President Farley noted the accomplishments of Bob Beatty, Donovan Cook and Sam Leung. Bob Beatty, Assistant Professor of Political Science, recently released his book "Democracy, Asian Values and Hong Kong: Evaluating Political Opinion Beliefs"; Donovan Cook, Associate Professor of Education, was named the national outstanding local advisor at the recent National Educational Association Student Leadership Conference; and, Sam Leung, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, received a Kansas Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network Faculty Scholar Award. Receipt of this very competitive award of $10,000 will allow him to obtain materials important to his academic and scholarly activities.



He noted that three Greek organizations have garnered awards. He said Delta Gamma's received its Most Improved Campus Image award from its national organization; Kappa Sigma has received an academic achievement award; and, Phi Delta Theta has received the Kansas City Trophy, the highest honor given by their national organization.



Finally, Dr. Farley noted that the grand opening of Yager Stadium occurred last weekend with some 2,000-3,000 people on hand. He said Loren Ferré was the leader of the grand opening session and that he did a great job. He said people enjoyed being a part of the new facility and that it was a great game, one that we won.



D. Treasurer's Report



It was moved and seconded to receive the Treasurer's Report sent with the agenda. Motion passed unanimously.



V. New Business



A. Action Items:



1. University Health Plan Renewal



President Farley noted the institution moved to a self-insurance program last year developed in part with the help of consultant Mike Eichten. Mr. Eichten circulated an outline for his comments covering why the institution had moved to the self-funding option, the results to date, trends and comparisons, modest plan changes, and the increases in funding in the self-funding category. He said he and the Fringe Benefit Committee reviewed several years of experience and when looking at the self-funding option it became apparent there were going to be some cost savings realized in terms of premium tax and reserve differences. There would also be some flexibility in design and increased awareness by employees of their health insurance coverage. He said over the experience they've only had ten months of claims, but that to date those claims are only at 76% of what was expected actuarially. He said the institution is building a reserve, the fixed costs have been reduced and awareness has been increased. He said if you use the fully funded model moving to the self-funded we have saved an additional $1 million in expenditures.



Noting the trends and comparisons, he said costs for medical expenditures are moving up in the 10%-15% range and the prescription drug costs in the 15%-25% range. He said our experience at Washburn appears to be at the higher end. He said there are some cost shifting and plan changes across the country, companies are raising deductibles, changing co-pays and co-insurance, and developing wellness initiatives. He said in terms of communication, Human Resources and the Fringe Benefit Committee have been a big help in explaining the health insurance coverage to members of the group. He said the greatest trend is that combatting of higher costs needs to be consumer driven.



Mr. Eichten said the Fringe Benefit Committee has made some modest changes, noting that the buy-up plan deductible has been increased to $250 from $200 for individuals and from $400 to $500 for family coverage. There's been a small change in the prescription coverage for the buy-up plan. Now the generic is at $5 as it was previously, while brand name is $25 or 30% of a prescription's cost, whichever is greater. He said on the base plan the prescription coverage is still $5 for the generic script, brand name of $30 or 30% whichever is greater. He said the committee has arrived at a 7%-8% increase overall which would presently fund 10% of the expected claims to be filed over the ensuing year.



With respect to the wellness initiative, Dr. Farley noted a contract has been issued with Mike Eichten. Mr. Eichten said the plan of action is for him to meet with the Fringe Benefit Committee, assess what has been done and what is to be done and the resources available to the institution for such a plan, and it would then begin to create its action plan. Mr. Easley, chair of the Fringe Benefit Committee, said the committee will begin in October and the action plan would be in place before the end of the fiscal year.



Mayor Felker said that Mr. Eichten has done a lot of work for various organizations across the city and that he had checked with Mr. Easley and Mrs. Moore concerning the premium costs for single coverage which for Washburn is $4,238 a year, for the city $4,231, and for USD501 $4,380, which indicates that all of the organizations are working very hard and are at the same area.



In response to a question from Regent Warren, Mr. Eichten indicated that were the University not self-funding it would experience an increase probably in the 15%-20% range as that is what it looks to be across the state. Mayor Felker said he's checked with the city manager in Wichita, they are experiencing an increase of 38%. Mr. Roth said his law firm premium costs are going up 30%-35% and Mr. Dick said his coverage is going up 30%.



It was moved and seconded to renew the University's health plans as modified and as shown on the agenda. Motion passed unanimously.



B. Consent Agenda:



It was moved and seconded to approve the Consent Agenda. Motion passed unanimously.



As approved by action of the Board of Regents:



1. Personnel Action - Administrative Staff

appointment of Karri M. Sanderson as Assistant Director of Residential Living, effective September 18, 2003, at an annual salary of $26,000;

2. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) System

award of contract to Smith-Audio Visual, Inc. in the amount of $84,028.50 to purchase a closed circuit television system for security surveillance; and,

3. Insurance Renewals - Property, Liability

renewal of property and liability insurance policy with United Educators Insurance Risk Retention Group in the amount of $770,288.



C. Information Items:



1. Water Feature at 17th and Washburn Avenue



President Farley reported the institution had, in response to RFPs, received a number of proposals. He said initially the proposal did not include the "fall" we had envisioned. He said the institution worked with the low bidder in response to the initial proposal to revamp it. He said now there will be a 12'-15' fall; the stone around the project will be similar to those near the Eagle; there will be two 18"-24" deep retention pond, it will be landscaped all around and will be flowing year round. He said we expect to be underway within the month. He said the present issue is getting in the stone. In response to a query from Regent Parks concerning liability, Dr. Farley noted there are several other fountains across the campus, many of which are deeper than this one, and that we did not anticipate any problems.



VII. Committee of the Whole - Academic Initiatives



Chairperson Roth said that inasmuch as no action would be anticipated from the Executive Session, the Board would pass over VI and move to the Committee of the Whole - Academic Initiatives.



He introduced Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ron Wasserstein. Dr. Wasserstein gave a brief history, noting the academic initiative plan had its roots from information provided to the Board at a retreat about a year ago. He said the faculty and the Regents have interacted over dinners over the past year, that a draft plan has been prepared and circulated to the faculty for input. He said the plan is now to permit the faculty to have a five to six week period in which they could review the academic initiative plan and visit with one another about its contents and then to provide feedback to his office. Thereafter, he and Dr. Farley will conduct town hall meetings with the faculty on the matter.



He said when you look at the academic initiative plan you'll find a preamble and then a brief discussion which is chiefly comprised of bullet points. He noted that not all bullet points are created equally. He specifically called the attention of the Regents to the first two bullet points: the first of which is that every student will participate in one of four types of experiences known as hallmarks which will change them and make long term differences in their lives; the other is to make some major changes to the general education programs. He said we are going to have a lot of transfer students and that we already have a large number and the concept is to provide a core component common to all students.



In response to a question from Regent Engel about whether there had been input from students, Vice President Wasserstein said that when we get down to specifics about the plan we'll absolutely include students in the discussion.



In response to another question, noting the summaries developed a year ago were more specific and this has become more general, whether they would move back to more specific, Dr. Wasserstein said that behind each of the general statements there will be backup providing specific information and detail.



There was also a comment concerning the language of the draft document concerning the accreditation by AACSB as continuing to take steps towards such accreditation. Dr. Wasserstein said he would frame the statement more positively.



Regent Dick said he had a process comment, drawing the analogy between the building process with the student recreation center and the change in design after it had been brought to the Board for its approval. He said as the academic initial plan continues to evolve he hoped there would be continuous input from the Board of Regents on the matter. He noted we have limited and scarce resources and by involving Regents at interim steps chances of surprise at the end of the cycle will be diminished and it will be easier to resolve resource allocation issues.



VI. EXECUTIVE SESSION



It was moved and seconded to recess to Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter and to reconvene in open session at 5:55 p.m. in the Kansas Room of the Memorial Union with no action to be taken. Motion passed. The Board recessed to Executive Session at 5:40 p.m.



At 5:55 p.m. the Board reconvened in open session. Chairperson Roth announced the Board had been in Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter and no action had been taken.



It was moved and seconded to adjourn. Motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 5:56 p.m.

_______________________

Kenneth P. Hackler

Secretary, Board of Regents


[ WU Home ] [ Directory ] [ A-Z Index ] [ Sitemap ] [ Contact WU ] [ Statements & Disclosures ] [ Accessibility ] [ Search ]
© 2014 Washburn University, 1700 SW College Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66621 (785) 670-1010
Contact webmaster@washburn.edu with questions or comments.