I. Call to Order
Chairperson Blair called the meeting of the Board of Regents to order at 8:30 a.m. in Room 211 of Benton Hall.
II. Roll Call
Present were: Mr. Blair, Mr. Craig, Mr. Dick, Mr. Engel, Mr. Goossen, Mrs. Parks and Mrs. Wagnon.
III. Approval of Minutes of September 8, 1999 meeting as circulated
It was moved and seconded to approve the Minutes of the September 8, 199 meeting as mailed. Motion passed unanimously.
IV. Officer Reports
A. Chair's Report
Chairperson Blair said the current plan for the November 1999 meeting of the Board of Regents is for the Board to meet as a Committee of the Whole at about 3:00 p.m. on the 17th at which time they would talk about the current structure of the Board. This meeting would be followed by a dinner and then the regular meeting following.
Chairperson Blair then said he would like to advance the Family Housing Task Force Report for consideration at this time.
C. Family Housing Task Force Report
Regent Dick reported that the task force had had several meetings and had received assistance from several people, noting especially Ivy Lagrone and Raylene Ballard from the Washburn Terrace Apartments and Maggie Johnson of Wheatland. Regent Dick reported that the committee has two options. One, financial aid should be disbursed through the Financial Aid Office rather than through means such as subsidizing rents for housing; and, two, if Washburn Terrace were closed that the closing occur June 15, 2001 to permit current residents to remain. He then highlighted the options that were not considered viable options by the task force. He said that the committee concluded that were the University to expend the approximately $600,000 to renovate the facility, they would be financially viable. He noted, however, a caveat that assessment is based on current market conditions. The floor then was turned to the individual members of the task force to voice their thoughts.
Regent Engel said that he favored refurbishing the units based on the mere facts of the case. He noted that there is a 95% occupancy rate of apartments surrounding the University and there is no new construction being undertaken near the campus. He said that for all the short-comings of the family housing units, they continue to spin off profit and always have. He said the University would not be taking a risk financially to renovate the apartments. He said we need students and we continue to need student services.
Regent Goossen said he was concerned about the market conditions, what the future will bring. He also expressed concern about whether the expenditure of additional money on the facility is the best use of University resources as these would still be fifty year old apartments. He said the institution should look maybe at doing something completely new. He also was concerned whether the market really would support a $325 rate for those units.
Regent Parks reported that she was for renovation of the units. She noted that the appraised value of the corner of the campus upon which the housing is situated and noted also the absence of a campus-wide housing policy. She said a Kansas Board of Regent survey of family housing showed family housing the same age as ours and that none of those institutions had plans to tear down their family housing units. She said all appeared to be successful and continue to serve the needs of students at those universities. She said also that the family housing units provide an alternative to those students who are not able to live in the new Living/Learning Center or who cannot afford to live there and she also expressed concern about the message the institution is sending to students by closing out the units.
Regent Dick noted that both of the alternatives are very good alternatives and said that he didn't see that closing these units as being the same thing as doing away with family housing. He said the reason why family housing at Washburn is competitive now is a lack of action on the part of other folk because of a lack of competition from private housing off-campus makes those fifty year old units competitive.
Regent Blair then thanked the committee for its work and deliberations, noting that it was not an easy thing to consider. He said the alternatives are very difficult and that there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer.
It was moved and seconded to phase out the Washburn Terrace family housing on June 15, 2001 and evaluate at that time what to do with the property and future housing.
During discussion on the motion, Regent Dick reported that he had great confidence level in the numbers. He said the financials would still be attractive for the renovated family housing at $275 a month; that the $325 a month figure cited in the report would be on the higher end.
Regent Craig said he would be in favor of having family housing on campus and letting private industry do it instead of the University doing it.
Mayor Wagnon said she was on the same page as Regent Craig, noting there is a need for 22,000 affordable units in town and that, presently, only one out of five persons in need is able to find affordable housing. She said there is a high demand for below market rate subsidized housing. Mayor Wagnon noted that the Topeka Turnaround Team has been working for a number of years on revitalizing the neighborhood near the campus and issued a report for additional housing on the Washburn-Lane corridor. Third, she noted that there are at least four developers in Topeka with significant experience in doing low income housing including Mike McPherson and Ross Freeman. She said she didn't see anything wrong in spending $640,000 for student housing, but is not interested in spending that amount of money on fifty year old apartment units. She said she would be able to support the motion before the Board were it to be reworded to include language evidencing the Board's willingness to immediately replace the existing units with affordable housing.
It was moved and seconded to amend the motion by substituting for the language after the word "and" to read "begin immediately evaluating how to replace those units." On the vote, Regents Craig, Dick, Goossen and Wagnon voted in favor of the amendment; Regents Parks and Engel voted no. On the main motion which was restated to read as follows: "to phase out the Washburn Terrace family units on June 15, 2001 and begin immediately evaluating how to replace those units," the vote was Regents Craig, Dick, Goossen and Wagnon in favor and Regents Parks and Engel voting against.
Chairperson Blair reported that the item would be on the agenda for the next month's meeting.
Regent Craig departed at 9:25 a.m.
Chairperson Blair recognized Dean Willie Dunlap, Dean of the School of Applied Studies, who made a brief presentation highlighting the programs and activities of the School of Applied Studies.
B. President's Report
President Farley reported that the advertorial which has been running for the past two years in Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and Time will once again be appearing in subscription issues of those magazines, excluding the Kansas City metro area, in the near future.
He said that KTWU has recently been notified it is the recipient of $125,000 grant from the U. S. Department of Commerce which will be used to pay for a new antenna which will be mounted on a new tower and that the institution is continuing to work on proposals with area television stations for a new tower facility.
He reported that the last of the lecture series Science and Society in the 21st Century will be held October 21st. He said the last speaker will be Robert Pennock.
He said Washburn has been contacted by several other community colleges about distance learning potential. He said the institution is initiating discussions with those community colleges to begin offering distance learning at those institutions in the fall of 2000.
He said Michael Steiner has been awarded a Rotary international fellowship. He said Steiner, who has a B.A. in Political Science from the University will be in Lancaster, England. Lastly, he noted that the Washburn Lady Blues basketball team was named to the top 25 academic teams in Division II for the 1998-99 academic year.
D. Treasurer's Report
Vice President for Administration and Treasurer, Ms. Hill, made a presentation on the Quarterly performance of the institution for the first quarter. A copy of the PowerPoint slides is appended to the Minutes. It was moved and seconded to approve the financial reports. Motion passed unanimously.
The Board directed its legal counsel to tell it what it can and cannot do under state law with respect to the depository security transactions and liquidated claims Approval and idle fund investments. That is to be reported at the November, 1999 meeting.
V. New Business
A. Action Items
1. Softball Facility Improvement
It was moved and seconded to approve the project at the softball facility for a building to provide toilets, consession stand and pressbox for the two softball diamonds and to authorize a selection of the lowest and best bidders for the construction and lighting system within a budget of $303,000 from Capital Funds with the approval of the President, Chair and Vice-Chair and for the project to be ratified at the November meeting.
2. Academic Programs
a. Advertising Emphasis on Mass Media;
b. Master of Liberal Studies; and,
c. International Business Minor
It was moved and seconded to approve the three academic programs in agenda item V.A.2.a. through c. Motion passed unanimously.
B. Consent Agenda
It was moved and seconded to approve the Consent Agenda. Regent Engel noted a conflict with item V.B.2.b. and asked that the Minutes reflect an abstention. Motion passed with Regent Engel abstaining.
As approved by the Board, the following items were approved:
1. a. Payment of PBS Station Independence Program FY 2000 Dues in the amount of $27,250 less 1% as discount;
2. a. Faculty Personnel - Kuhn - the appointment of Margie Kuhn on a twelve-month contract as education coordinator in the Mulvane Art Museum at an annual salary of $30,000 effective September 1, 1999;
b. Personnel Action Administrative Staff - Carper - the appointment of Cristina Carper to the newly created position of director of student and development affairs in the School of Business at an annual basic salary of $44,004 effective October 1, 1999; and
3. a. Revised Bradbury Thompson Center Policy and
b. Revision to Business and Financial Affairs Handbook: Sick Leave to be inserted in the Business and Financial Affairs Handbook.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m.
Kenneth P. Hackler
Secretary, Board of Regents