I. Call to Order
Chairperson Roth called the meeting of the Board of Regents to order at 4:07 p.m. in the Kansas Room of the Memorial Union.
II. Roll Call
Present were: Mr. Blair, Mr. Engel, Mr. Ferguson, Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Parks, Mrs. Paul, Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. Roth and Mrs. Warren.
III. Approval of Minutes of October 8, October 15, and October 18, 2003 meetings
It was moved and seconded to approve the Minutes of the October 8, October 15 and October 18, 2003 meetings as mailed. Mr. Hackler noted a correction to be made to the October 15 Minutes, adding in the first line on page 5 the words "although we subscribe fully to the principle of academic freedom" following the word "that" and before the word "we". The Minutes were approved as corrected by unanimous vote.
IV. Officer Reports
Chairperson Roth said he'd like to begin with the President's report.
C. President's Report
President Farley said there's a celebration today for all of us to recognize a person who distinguished himself in part because of his educational experience here at Washburn. He said Earl W. Sutherland, a Washburn Nobel Laureate, born and raised in Kansas, was interested in medicine and working with people. He said he was a 1937 graduate of Washburn who subsequently studied at Washington University in St. Louis and Case Western Reserve in Vanderbilt. He also noted his service in World War II. He said he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1971 for his work on Cyclic AMP and died four years later in 1975. He said his family was here on the anniversary of his birthday to celebrate and to participate in a retrospective of his research. Dr. Farley recognized Dr. John Sutherland, Professor Emeritus from the University of Missouri, Bill Sutherland, a medical researcher and professor at the University of Colorado, and his son Bob. Dr. Farley said he'd like to declare this a special day in recognition and appreciation for Dr. Earl Sutherland.
Dr. Farley said he'd also like to celebrate the accomplishments of another group, a student research group led by Dr. Tom Wolf, which has made several presentations at national organizations. Dr. Wolf said thanks to the efforts of the University, and particularly Dr. Farley and Dr. Wasserstein, the group was able to participate in presentations at an international meeting in Australia, including an International Conference on Genetics. There were six students who participated. Dr. Wolf said he'd like to make a point that without the support of the University and administration who made it possible for the students to do the research and the travel it would not have been possible for these students to have had the experience which he said was just amazing in transformation. The six students and two faculty who worked on this project are: Cordell Privat, Joyce Spicer, Michelle Blume, Michelle Brady, Rachel Schuette and Danson Kamunyu; and faculty: John Mullican and Paul Wagner.
Dr. Farley noted this is the 100th year of the School of Law and that the celebration will take place over the next three years as it is celebrating the entrance of and follow the entering freshman class. He said there are a number of activities and asked that the dean of the Law School address the Board.
Dean Honobach said, as Dr. Farley had indicated, the Law School launched its celebration of it's 100th year in September and is now completing its preparation of a centennial flyer which is being mailed to all alums. He gave each of the Regents one of the flyers. He said the Law School is also preparing a history of the school which is being authorized by former dean James Concannon. They have an updated and expanding web page and they will be doing a special edition of the Washburn Law Journal and also a centennial issue of Washburn Lawyer. He said if the Regents would look at page 3 of the centennial flyer they'll see a calendar of events and directed their attention to a major event scheduled for March 27 which is a black tie gala which will be held in the Westin Crown Center. He said the Law School will be getting out shortly a "hold the date" announcement and indicated the Board would be invited to that as well. He said the Law School, in its celebrating, is following the entering class of the Law School's second century and noted next fall there will be a special event at the United States Supreme Court for Washburn lawyers.
A. Chair's Report
Chairperson Roth inquired whether there were any present who wished to make public comments. Hearing none, he said he had a very brief report.
First, he said he'd like to appoint an audit committee and apologized for not having materials circulated in advance. He said as regents know, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires corporations to have separate audit committees and noted that the recommendations for higher education institutions, though not subject to the Act, include one that they too have a separate audit committee. He said the administration has prepared some materials which have been circulated indicating what kind of policy the University should be following. He said he knows that members of the Board have not had the chance to review the material but that he would like to create an audit committee to be chaired by Nancy Paul along with members Karen Lee and Blanche Parks.
Mr. Roth said he asked all members review the prepared materials and send their comments to Mrs. Paul who would then in turn advise Dr. Farley of any changes in what others might see as being required. He said that could then be presented to the Board at its December meeting and a policy adopted. It was moved and seconded to confirm the appointments of Nancy Paul, Karen Lee and Blanche Parks to the new audit committee. Motion passed unanimously.
The second thing that Chairperson Roth said he'd like to talk about is the formation of a former Regents club. He said President Farley has prepared a document outlining what the former Regent organization would look like. He asked members of the Board to review the documents and pass their comments to Dr. Farley. He said this organization would be very beneficial to Washburn University and also be a nice opportunity for former Regents.
He said the third thing he'd like to mention is that the members recently had received notice of the national conference of AGB to be held in March. He said he would ask all of them to review the materials and to try to make a decision in the next few weeks and let somebody know in the President's office of their plans to attend.
The last thing he said he would like to talk about would be the Nunemaker facility. He outlined the motions made by the Board with respect to the building at its August 27 and September 17 meetings. He said the options appear to be as we go forward with the project is to leave the roof line as is, to lower the roof line and have no skylights, or to lower the roof line and have skylights. He circulated reproductions of drawings by the architect showing the three options. It was moved and seconded to lower the roof line of the building and retain the skylight feature.
Mr. Blair, who made the motion, said it's not a question of whether the building will look okay as is, but whether it'll look better if the roof line is lowered. He said one of the things he'd like to note is that if the roof line is lowered, it will still be possible to see the rafter system detail. In response to a question from Regent Ferguson whether there were any covenant running with the donation of the building, Dr. Farley indicated there is none.
Regent Engel said he preferred the structure as is. He said some of the architectural detailing will be lost if the roof line is changed. He noted he was here on the Sunday the building was moved on campus and spoke with the architect, Bill Sheahan, and Dean Ferrell. Regent Engel stated Mr. Sheahan said if the clear story is removed and a skylight is put in its place it would increase the heating costs.
Regent Warren said when she viewed the building on the Menninger campus the clear story was not attractive. She has been here this week to look at the building and said she thinks now as the building is framed by the pine trees it's not unattractive, with the understanding the exterior will be modified. She said she doesn't really object to the clear story but did wonder what changing the roof line would do to the interior. She said if it were to change the interior, she would support leaving it as it is.
Regent Lee said she agrees with Regent Warren, that the building on the Washburn campus looks a little better than it did on the Menninger campus.
There was some discussion about the height of the tower and all of the options. On a vote of the motion, the motion passed with Regents Blair, Ferguson, Lee, Paul and Warren voting yes, and Regents Pomeroy, Parks and Engel voting no.
Chairperson Roth noted there will be no Committee of the Whole meeting in December.
B. Committee Report(s)
There were no committee reports.
D. Treasurer's Report
It was moved and seconded to receive 1. Liquidated Claims Approval - October, 2003, and 2. Quarterly Report for Quarter Ended September 30, 2003. Motion passed unanimously.
Vice President for Administration and Treasurer, Wanda Hill, made a brief construction update report.
She said at the recreation center all the footing work has been completed and they're 80 percent complete on CMU and presently installing the roof structure on the gymnasium. The HVAC is being roughed in as are the plumbing and electrical features. She said if people wondered why some of the wall block is black that is because it is being waterproofed before installation of the stone facade. She said the contractor "Leading Edge" who is responsible for the climbing wall feature of the project is on site. She noted this is a custom built feature and that Leading Edge will be providing the equipment and training staff on the operation of the climbing wall. She said in the coming month the committee will be working on color charts and the like to determine they have in fact chosen correct colors and they will also be deciding on equipment and shortly thereafter bids will be put out so that an order can be made in anticipation of a late July/early August completion.
On the transitional housing, Vice President Hill said pod A which is the southern most building is having drywall installed and that work is finishing. They're finishing roofing on pod B; and they're installing walls on building C2 and roofing on building C1. On the commons building a base slab is being poured and the building will be framed up next week. She said the project is two weeks ahead of schedule.
She said the water feature work is progressing as planned, that the project should be finished in the second week in December.
On the Nunemaker building, she said they are presently bolting it down and shortly they will be reconnecting electric and restoring HVAC. There will be some repairs to be made inside. She said at the next meeting of the Board of Regents the architect will present some final pricing including the actual cost of moving and estimated costs associated with roof line and other modifications.
V. New Business
A. Consent Agenda:
It was moved and seconded to approve the Consent Agenda. Motion passed unanimously.
As approved by action of the Board:
1. FY2005 Tuition Rates for Allied Health On-line Programs
tuition rates for FY 2005 for the Allied Health on-line programs as detailed in the agenda item;
2. Institutional Refund Policy for Course Withdrawals
Institutional Refund Policy for course withdrawals as outlined in the agenda item to become effective Fall Semester 2004;
3. Digital Video Playback Server System for KTWU
award of a contract to Alpha Video & Audio in the amount of $170,414.42 for purchase of a digital video playback server system for KTWU; and,
4. Change Order No. 6 - Transitional Housing Project
change order No. 6 to the transitional housing project as follows:
ITEM #1 ADDITION OF SOFFITS TO COVER SPRINKLER LINES:
There was a need to install soffits to hide some of the sprinkler system lines inside the apartments due to the following:
1. Conform to applicable code: the head of the sprinkler system at the breezeway has to be 4" below joists. The structural design called for 2x12 wood joists. Revisions were necessary so the lines could be lowered to the proper height stated in code and not be exposed.
2. Must offset structural member: the shearwall anchorage at various shearwalls prohibit the pipes from running through the walls. The lines had to be offset from the wall to avoid the shearwall anchorage.
These revisions resulted in a total cost:
Contract Add: $15,350.00
Schedule Implications: No Impact due to item being approved by Board Chair in October
The total Contract Revision proposed by CO-06 to date is as follows:
Construction Cost Increase - $15,350.00
Construction Schedule Increase - NO IMPACT
Original construction contingency: $350,892. The total commitment from contingency, including this change order is, $52,212, leaving a $298,680 contingency balance.
B. Action Items:
1. Architect Contract, School of Law, Building Renovation Project
It was moved and seconded to award for architectural services to Gould Evans for the Law School renovation project with fees as outlined in the agenda item. During discussion of the item, Vice President Hill noted that the consultant fees for acoustical and audio visual engineering are separate from the architectural agreement and that costs for those services could range from $8,000-$35,000. She said after discussions with Gould Evans, the range of total fees for the project would run from approximately $92,000-$113,000 depending on the complexity of the work performed by the special consultants. She noted the building would be completed next fall. Motion passed unanimously.
2. Art and Mulvane Authorization to bid construction
It was moved and seconded to approve the use of $2.5 million from University reserves and to allow the solicitation of bids for the art building. In discussion Dr. Farley noted fundraising for this project is the most ambitious goal of any project to date. He said they have been very successful in raising about $3.5 million but that a number of donors have earmarked their donations not for construction but for programs, noting as an example the Catron Professorship. He said there is approximately $1.5 million available for construction. He said if the work proceeded, the art building could be open for spring 2005 and then work could then begin on renovation of the Mulvane.
In response to a question about what the University might lose or gain by delay, Dr. Farley noted a delay would push the opening to the fall '05 semester or later, but that the costs associated with a delay of six months or so for updating plans and then proceeding are not significant. He said the question was really whether there was really any chance for dramatic success in fundraising over the next six months or so. He noted this project did not have the typical fundraising pyramid where you have a large donation of $1 million plus as the base followed by some lesser gifts. He said the institution was able to secure a $.5 million and some $100,000 and $50,000 gifts, but that they didn't see any immediate prospect of a major gift on the immediate horizon. On vote of motion, motion passed unanimously.
C. Information Items:
1. Capital Projects Forecast
2. Board Correspondence Process
The Board of Regents recessed at 5:38 p.m.
At 5:54 p.m. the Board of Regents reconvened in open session for its Committee of the Whole session.
VI. Committee of the Whole
Chairperson Roth indicated the purpose of the discussion for the Committee of the Whole this evening was the academic plan, about which reports have been made periodically, and said the meeting would be conducted by Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ron Wasserstein.
Dr. Wasserstein said he would like to tell the Board where we are in the process of the academic plan and where we hope to be.
Dr. Wasserstein said he's very excited about the progress. He said in the past year and a half he and others have been working very diligently and inclusively in a planning process and they have arrived at a plan for the academic future of the University. He said there has been an extraordinary "buy in" on campus. He said he's very pleased there's been such a remarkable degree of agreement. He said he can hardly wait to get to work in the morning because of the plan and the exciting direction the University is heading.
Dr. Wasserstein said there are a few definitions of terms he uses and would like for them to be understood. He said when he refers to the academic plan or plan, he's talking about the bulleted document outlining concepts that have been proposed and he said one question he would have of the Board of whether there are any aspects of the plan which are more or are less attractive to it. Then he said when he speaks of implementation process, he is talking about moving from the bulleted concept items to specific actions to be taken. He said he likens the process for academics much as the action by the Board at its retreat in 1997 related to what we want the student body to look like, identifying the improvement of student life which then led to the construction of the new student recreation center. He said in 1997 there wasn't a written plan of steps and sequences plus cost identified with improving student life but there was identification of some of the things that we might want to do which was then subsequently refined. He said that in the thick draft document which he circulated captioned "Washburn in the Community, Washburn in the World: a Vision and Plan for Future Development of Washburn's Academic Programs" he's illustrated a concept for implementation. He said there are five things needed. One is someone to be responsible for the implementation of the item which he said he'd like to refer to as "champion" who would be responsible for seeing that it gets carried out but not, however, that that individual would make all decisions, rather that it is the individual who "makes it happen." There is a proposed target date, there are approvals required for the particular concept, there is an implementation process through which things are moved, and some methodology for determining assessment of it. He noted there is also a sixth element and that is what's the cost. He said he's clearly cognizant that nothing is free and that as we move through this he will be looking for ways to be as frugal as possible and for creative ways to fund it.
One of the first questions was, what is Apeiron? Dr. Wasserstein said Apeiron is a Greek word which stands for student creative activity and is an annual research and creativity fair.
In response to a question from Regent Parks about the bullet point concerning unconditional admissions on page 4 of the document, Dr. Wasserstein said that all students come to the institution differently prepared and that it's not possible to find out all the differences. He said that looking at the performance of students since the implementation of the conditional and unconditional admission standards, the institution has found that below a certain level there is a greater risk of a student's failing in the second semester. He said at no time are students being denied admission, rather that the academic administration is suggesting two things. One is to bump the GPA ACT test numbers a bit higher, again not omitting anyone as a student, and make participation in the prescription for success less voluntary. He said he is a firm believer and proponent that we should only absolutely require things we absolutely know works and the data suggest that indicates when a prescription for academic performance is followed students do better. He said there will also be a few more things to do for the student to be more successful. Dr. Farley noted this will have the effect of increasing the number of persons in a required program.
Dr. Wasserstein also noted there is an additional item which is that the institution should "consider an overall admission standard." He said and others are not necessarily advocating for admission standards, but that it is important to talk about, particularly as the student body at the institution grows. He also said if there is a need for admission standards, he said we still do not want to be in the position where we are excluding students, but rather that we should provide an educational alternative. One example of such an option would be to create a separately organized entity within the institution which would serve as a community college. Another might be to expand our relationship with area institutions such as the Kaw Area Technical School.
Regent Engel noted the absence of any fiscal note with any of the items and asked if it were possible that the Board get fiscal notes early in the process, noting that some of these clearly cost very little while others cost quite a bit.
Regent Warren inquired where the four transformational educational experiences came from. Dr. Wasserstein noted that no other institution of which he is aware has all four. He said we will find some small, typically private institutions which focus on one. He said the most common is the service learning component, while others will push the international experience. He said the genesis of the transformational educational experience idea came from a challenge from the Board at its retreat a year and a half or so ago about a challenge where we wish to be academically in five years. He said the academic administration, faculty and others took stock of what we do well and noted that students benefit when they get pushed beyond requirements of the typical bachelor's degree.
Regent Engel noted one of the transformational educational experiences, the leadership program, and asked an update be provided with respect to the number of students involved and some kind of report on the program itself. Dr. Farley noted that the first class of the leadership program will be graduating in the spring.
Dr. Wasserstein noted the leadership program is undergoing a comprehensive review this year which includes an external consultant and that a report will be made.
There was discussion about how one assesses the success of the transformational educational experience. Dr. Wasserstein said that the measure of success will be the result to the student which should be something tangible for them. He said they will end up with something they know is valuable. He said the current thinking is that each of the students will be debriefed so that we can assess whether they believe they have been changed and whether the experience was valuable and beneficial to them. He said this would include presentations by participants to incoming students about how he or she benefitted.
Regent Lee said she would like our goal to be one in search of excellence versus the mediocre and would like to expand the general education as she is very interested in creating a market niche. She said she's not in favor of the same old thing, she'd rather have something which pushes students because if they are not challenged it is a waste of their time and money. She'd like the vision to be the creation of Washburn scholars, meaning the cream of the crop so that companies will seek out our students.
Dr. Farley said we are trying to capitalize on what we believe our niche may be. He said we have a great product, great people doing a great job educationally. He said we are trying to differentiate ourselves from other institutions and that is to specify what's distinctive about a Washburn education. He said with respect to general education, all the institutions now have a general education, all based upon distribution which began in 1890 or so when institutions departed from the classic education involving the study of Greek and Latin. He said the general education program we have now of 100 courses which required a process lasting some ten years to complete. He said we're trying to achieve an end result somewhat different than just revising general education.
Dr. Wasserstein said they will soon be announcing a series of faculty dinners for this spring to talk about development of a general education program to get people to talking about it. He said what we know about general education, generally it's the game in higher education based upon the model which presumes an 18-year-old individual pursuing a four-year education program which marches lockstep through general education and collegiate programs which typically occurs in private liberal arts educational institutions with enrollments of some 800-1,200 students and tuition costs of $30,000 a year. He said we have students at Washburn who are concurrently enrolled in other higher educational institutions and/or who transfered from a number of other institutions in and outside of the state.
Regent Blair, in addressing the transformational educational experience bullet point, said he would like to ensure that every year at Washburn provides a transformational experience not an experience which just occurs in the last semester. Vice President Wasserstein said the concept of transformational educational experience still requires a good deal of development but that it is his belief that the transformational educational experience will be the focus of a lot of attention by the student throughout their studies at the University. Dr. Farley noted there will need to be some care given to this because we need to consider what we do with transfer students. He said we have to be transfer friendly.
Dr. Wasserstein said he'd like to feel it is okay to plow ahead with continuing development of the academic plan knowing that a lot of the items within it will require approval and with the understanding that the Board of Regents will want to know well in advance items before they are asked to ratify anything. He said we will be working through this together over the next several months, noting there may be some of the items we can get worked into the budget process. He noted the Board has "been excellent at linking budget to strategic plans" and that's what we want to do with the academic plan.
Chairperson Roth requested all the Regents read the document comprehensively and to call Vice President Wasserstein if there are questions. He said he anticipates spending 30 minutes at the next meeting on the item to see if Regents have any additional ideas and whether there may be a need for a retreat to discuss the matter in some more detail.
Vice President Wasserstein said he will keep moving on this project and said again he's been very pleased with the remarkable amount of support and buy-in he has seen across the campus on the proposal.
Regent Engel noted that one of the things that Washburn University has that no other institution does is KTWU. He said at the moment KTWU is more community service rather than an academic program. He asked that people think about the use of KTWU in augmenting the academic program at Washburn.
The meeting adjourned at 7:05 p.m.
Kenneth P. Hackler
Secretary, Board of Regents