WASHBURN UNIVERSITY OF TOPEKA

BOARD OF REGENTS

MINUTES

May 12, 1999


 


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I. Call to Order

Chairperson Parks called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. in the Kansas Room of the Memorial Union.

II. Roll Call

Present were: Mr. Blair, Mr. Craig, Mr. Dick, Mr. Engel, Mr. Ferrell, Mrs. Parks, Mr. Roth and Dr. Ybarra.

III. Approval of Minutes of April 17, 1999 meeting as circulated

It was moved and seconded to approve the Minutes of the April 17, 1999 meeting as circulated. Motion passed unanimously.

IV. President's Report

President Farley reported that the University recently held its 8th annual employee recognition ceremony.

He reported that the following employees were recognized:

Outstanding Service Award:

Administrative: Steve Anson, Head Baseball Coach and Ken Hackler, University

Counsel;

Secretarial/Clerical: Mary Grooms, business office, and Ginger Webber, Mabee

Library;

Service/Maintenance: Jimmie Streeter, food service, and Paul Goebel, media center.

Herrick Service Award: Mary McCoy, Biolot;

A. Roy Myers Excellence in Research Award: Cliff Roberson, Criminal Justice, and David

Freeman, Political Science.

Ned N. Fleming Excellence in Teaching Award: Marie-Luce Parker, International Studies,

and Al Riveland, Mathematics/Statistics.

Faculty with 25 years of service: Linda Elrod, professor, School of Law; Lois Rimmer,

professor, School of Nursing; Virginia Pruitt, professor, English; and Alice Young,

professor, School of Nursing.

Dr. Farley reported that the University's softball team has been invited to participate in the NCAA southcentral regional softball tournament this coming Friday and Saturday at Kearney, Nebr. He commended the athletes for their successes but noted that because of commencement activities this weekend, many at the University would be unable to attend.

The President commented that this coming weekend is occasion for the various graduation ceremonies, noting that he expected many of the Regents would participate in the ceremonies, "appropriately gowned."

Dr. Farley announced that the Mulvane Art Center Mountain Plains Art Fair will be held soon. The event, which has become quite popular over the past few years, will be held the weekend of June 4 and 5.

The President announced that today, May 12, was the signing date for Senate Bill 345 reorganizing higher education in the state of Kansas. He said a number of representatives of higher education interests and the State Board of Education were invited by Governor Graves to attend the signing ceremony in the Statehouse.

Chairperson Parks thanked the President for his report and expressed her commendation to the recipients of the various outstanding employee and faculty service awards.

V. New Business

C. Information Items

1. Title IX

With the consent of the Regents, the information item on Title IX was moved for presentation to the Board at this time. There was a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the findings of a University committee tasked with analyzing the University's compliance with provisions of Title IX in its athletics program. The PowerPoint slides of Carol Vogel's presentation are attached to the Minutes.

A. Action Items

1. FY00 Budget

It was moved and seconded that the Board of Regents approve the FY 2000 Operating Budget based on the property tax model and approve the capital improvements budget detailed in the accompanying exhibits all as outlined in agenda item V.A.1. Interim Vice President for Administration, Mr. Ellis, made a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the proposed FY 2000 Budget. Copies of the PointPoint slides are attached to the Minutes. In response to questions from Regent Engel, Mr. Ellis reported tha: t the reduction shown on the campus activities board budget on Table IV page 10 was a reduction in the projected enrollment of approximately 3,000 fewer credit hours; the $20,000 transfer to the Brown Foundation shown on page 2 of the Plan of Operations was for the purpose of bringing visiting scholars to campus for short periods of time (there will be a total of $40,000 available in the institution's funds for that purpose - $20,000 from the University and a similar amount from the Brown Foundation); the reduction shown on page 185 of the Plan of Operations in the Washburn Alumni Association printing budget has been reallocated for Living/Learning Center support and set aside for student life efforts; and, the contingency fund of the institution is $1.820 million. It was moved and seconded to amend the budget proposal by reducing from the University Board of Regents contingency fund the sum of $36,000 to fund the Moore Bowl sideline project and to replenish the WAA printing budget by $10,000. Motion failed. The vote on the main motion approving the proposed FY 2000 budget as shown in the agenda item passed unanimously.
 


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* Mr. Joseph Ledbetter, a Topeka taxpayer, was afforded the opportunity to address the Board. Mr. Ledbetter reported that he is a city of Topeka taxpayer and also a Washburn alum of 1985. Mr. Ledbetter said that he believed that any "sales tax windfall" should be directed to tuition decreases for students to increase student population and consequently enhance economic growth of the city. He said he would also like to see more local recruiting in the city of Topeka and Shawnee County. He said he sees also a need to address parking on the campus, perhaps a multi-level garage, noting he would rather pay for parking than get a ticket, and that the stadium needs upgrading. He said the institution needs to keep up its infrastructure and that perhaps what is needed is a new stadium constructed from fundraising from corporations and individuals. And, finally, he would like to see the University take a greater leadership role in the community.

Chairperson Parks thanked Mr. Ledbetter for his support of the University and for support of the sales tax proposal for the University. Regent Ferrell commented that the institution does have plans in place for upgrading Moore Bowl.

2. Expenditures over $25,000

a. Carpet Replacement in Mabee Library

It was moved and seconded to approve the award of a contract to Zach Taylor, Inc. in the amount of $57,842.00 for installation of Regents Row carpet on the second floor of Mabee Library. Motion passed unanimously.

3. KSDOE Equipment Grant Proposal

It was moved and seconded to approve the KSDOE Equipment Grant Proposal outlined in the agenda item. Motion passed unanimously.

4. Change in Accounting Procedures for Summer School

It was moved and seconded to approve the change in accounting procedures for the summer school as outlined in the agenda item. Motion passed unanimously.

As approved by the Board of Regents, the Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs is authorized to expend an additional sum of $328,000 for summer school 1999 to be transferred from the Regents Contingency Account 01-78597 and to adjust the revenue budgets by $530,000.

B. Consent Agenda

It was moved and seconded to approve the Consent Agenda. Motion passed unanimously. As adopted by the Board of Regents:

1. Personnel

a. Faculty Personnel - Woolf

The Board awarded Dr. Linda Woolf Associate Professor Emeritus status, and

2. Financial Reports

a. Public Fund Investments

b. Depository Security Transactions

the Board approved the Public Fund Investments and Depository Security Transactions outlined in the agenda items.
 


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* Washburn Terrace Apartments - Operating Plan

Chairperson Parks noted that a number of tenants at the Washburn Terrace apartments wished to address the Board of Regents on the issue. She repeated the guidelines for public comment at the Board of Regents meeting and requested that the Board Secretary serve as timekeeper.

The following persons addressed the Board:

Charles Hensley informed the Board he was a graduating law student. Mr. Hensley said he believes the University is making a long term mistake in its proposal. He said there is a need for safe, on-campus housing and that people with limited incomes would not be able to attend Washburn but for the opportunity to live in this housing. He said his daughter lives in a safe apartment with a fenced in yard and friends with whom she can play and said where else in the community are we going to find a place where the police come by as frequently as they do in campus housing.

Chris Lagrone informed the Board he was a 1996 BA graduate, this was his second time through the University living in the Washburn Terrace housing. He said there is a great sense of camaraderie in "our community on the corner of the campus." He urged the Board to consider ongoing family housing.

Pete Kahler reported that his wife is a full-time Washburn student. He said that the main reason he and his wife came to Washburn was the curriculum opportunities and the second was affordable family housing.

Christina Pabillore reported that she is a single mother and that but for this family housing she would not be able to attend Washburn. She said if they lost housing they would have to move to a place where it's a "shooting gallery."

Ivy LeGrone said she is a second semester sophomore and part-time student. She said that many of the residents in Washburn Terrace apartments are here because this is a fine institution providing a quality education not available elsewhere in the state. She said discontinuance of the family housing proposal "frightens us, especially the single student." She asked that the Board consider continuation of the family housing units.

Corey Sommerville said she was a 23-year-old single student and has been here for five years and has $20,000 in student indebtedness and plans to graduate in December of 2000. She emphasized the community aspects of the family housing and said she really wants the Board to fix the apartments.

Terrice Hale outlined the chronology of events by which the students were informed of the proposal concerning discontinuation of family housing indicating that the manner in which this situation was handled was an insult to the education they are receiving.

Raylene Ballard said she was a first year law student and provided an outline of information provided to members of the Board of Regents and a document captioned "information packets concerning married student housing May 12, 1999" and underscored that the Washburn Terrace was the only affordable housing for many of the tenants there.
 


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Chairperson Parks said she has mixed feelings about the issue as she was a tenant there herself when the rental was only $77 a month and basically the units look the same now as they did then. She said that Washburn does have a long tradition of providing housing and that we hear what you students are saying.

Mr. Ellis then reviewed the item. He said the administration is at a crossroads with respect to these housing units and that we probably would not be in this situation but for two rapidly arising conditions - the gas line safety issue and the indication that there may be lead paint in some of the units. He said the administration has struggled for a solution to the matter recognizing there are no perfect solutions but was seeking one that would be sensitive to the needs of the students and proposed the closure of the Washburn Terrace apartments June 15, 2000, 13 months from now. In response to questions from members of the Board of Regents, Mr. Ellis indicated that: the estimate for demolition of the units over time of $55,000 was based upon information provided to the physical plant administration from a contractor and also in conversation with representatives from the Kansas Health and Environment Department; and, there are 33 units presently occupied and that by mid-June 1999 that the occupancy would be down to five or six buildings, meaning it probably would have only 24 of the 48 units occupied by mid-summer. Mr. Ellis indicated that the information he has presently is that it would cost approximately $27,000 to do the gas line project for the 24 unit expected to be still occupied by mid-summer and that, while there has been ongoing maintenance over the years, what's different now is that there are a number of significant systems failing because the units are 40 years old. He also noted that reserves from the family housing units previously had been reallocated for the construction of the West Hall housing project. He also said that the financial information provided to the Board by the students was correct, that there is approximately $216,000 available in reserves for handling gas line safety and lead paint issues but not for the many improvements identified for the project also outlined in the materials.

It was moved and seconded to amend the proposal to approve it as is but delete any reference to demolition of any units until June 2000. In the course of discussion on the motion to amend the proposal, Regent Ferrell reported that he felt a little uncomfortable with what we're doing with this matter at this stage. He said a few years ago the Board said it would want to do what we can to attract more traditional but at the same time there was no decision made to discourage non-traditional students in hopes that this is not an indication that we are discouraging the non-traditional student. He said he was concerned that there was no long range planning regarding housing done at that time and said he's not certain that it's not worth the investment to handle the gas line problem if for no other reason than politically. He said that this is the first that he's heard of this problem and just doesn't feel comfortable and would rather invest in the gas line solution.

Regent Dick indicated that there is an element of financial aid in conjunction with the Washburn Terrace apartments to the extent that the University is providing subsidized students on a self-selecting basis. He said that however we resolve this particular issue regarding the existing construction and whether there should be any new family housing built, any discounts for students ought to be handled through the financial aid office and not the housing office.

Regent Ybarra reported that he'd had two of his students live in the Washburn Terrace apartments while attending Washburn but believe that had it not been for the gas line problem we would not be discussing this matter at this time. It's one that had been thrust upon us. He said he believed the Board should send a message that we're going to bend over backwards to meet the needs of the students residing there presently.
 


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Regent Craig reported that he is opposed to a closure of the units at a time certain without regard to the current tenants. He said there should not be a time certain for them but they should be able to continue their education here. He said there needs to be a study for long range housing.

Regent Roth said he would like to thank the students for their excellent presentations and the information they had provided the Board. He said it does make sense to have an overall plan but that he does support closure of the units June 15, 2000. He said he doesn't feel that it's the Board's responsibility to leave the Washburn Terrace apartments until the last person leaves because expenses will continue to escalate over time. He said he does support the amended motion and that perhaps the Board would have some other solution six months from now. Regent Ferrell said he was against the amended motion.

The vote on the motion as amended was Mr. Engel, Mr. Roth and Mr. Dick voting yes; Mr. Craig, Mr. Blair, Dr. Ybarra and Mr. Ferrell voting no.

Upon discussion of the main motion, Regent Blair said that it can't be said that we're dealing with units that are at the end of their useful life. He said he's seem lots of properties in a lot worse shape than these and said that making a decision now on the information available is not doing business in a business-like way. He said we have a very serious problem here other than the gas line, speaking specifically of the lead paint issue, particularly when we have as many kids living in the units. He said the government considers this a very serious problem. He said that's a huge issue, but we can't get that done tonight. He said he is in favor of keeping the apartments open while we decide how to make a decision to accommodate tenants they have now and on the basis of what is the right thing to do for the University.

There was a motion to table the matter. Motion failed for lack of a second.

It was moved and seconded to call the question. Motion on the call to question passed. Upon vote of the main motion, the motion failed unanimously.

It was moved and seconded that we commit to the Kansas Corporation Commission that, not later than June 15, 2000, we will either bring the gas lines at Washburn Terrace Apartments into complete compliance with the law or vacate the apartments and that the decision will be made on or before the October, 1999 Board meeting. Motion passed unanimously.

Regent Parks said she would like to appoint several committees. With the consent of the Board, she appointed a board development committee comprised of Regents Blair, Ybarra and Roth; a nominating committee chaired by Regent Roth; and an intellectual property committee comprised of Regents Engel, Dick, Ybarra and Roth.

Regent Engel moved that pursuant to Article II Section 7 of the Bylaws, the Secretary be requested to provide minutes of all board committees to members of the Board of Regents. Motion was seconded. Upon vote, the motion unanimously passed.

Regent Engel moved and the motion seconded that members of the Board be provided notice of the time, dates and places that board committees will be meeting. Motion passed with Regent Roth voting no.

It was moved and seconded to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 10:10 p.m.

________________________

Kenneth P. Hackler
 


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Secretary, Board of Regents


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