Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, February 21, 2001

World Trade Center
St. Paul, Minnesota

Trustees Present: Will Antell, Andrew Boss, Nancy Brataas, Brent A. Calhoun, Ivan Dusek, Bob Hoffman, Lew Moran, Joann Splonskowski, Joseph Swanson, Michael Vekich, Chair

Trustees Absent: Mary Choate, Daniel Coborn, Dennis Dotson, Robert Erickson, Jim A. Luoma

  1. Call to Order
    Chair Vekich called the meeting to order at 1:30 p.m. and reported that a quorum was present.
  2. Chair's Report

    a. Approval of Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting of January 17, 2001
    Chair Vekich pointed out that Trustees Boss and Splonskowski were recorded as both present and absent in the minutes of January 17. They were absent from the Board meeting as they were at a Senate Education Committee hearing that day.

    Trustee Brataas moved approval of the corrected minutes of January 17, 2001. Trustee Hoffman seconded and the minutes were approved without dissent.

    b. Report of the Executive Committee Meeting of February 7, 2001
    Chair Vekich reported that the Executive Committee met on February 7, 2001.

    c. Other
    Chair Vekich commented that Rainy River Community College President Allen Rasmussen, who was a presidential liaison to the Audit Committee when the committee was receiving monthly updates on Y2K, has heard of a new computer virus. President Rasmussen announced that there is a new computer virus called the Sven and Ole Computer Virus. To everyone's amusement, he then proceeded to tell the tale of a computer virus with a Scandinavian accent.

    On a more serious note, Chair Vekich remarked that President Rasmussen has announced his retirement effective June 2001. Chair Vekich read several quotes by President Rasmussen reflecting on his tenure at Rainy River Community College that were published in the International Falls Daily Journal. President Rasmussen puts students first and focuses on what is good for them.

    The Department of Administration's Management Analysis Division's report on Board-Level Administration and Management has been released, and will be presented to the House Higher Education Committee on Monday, February 26.

    The Office of Internal Auditing report on MnSCU Network Security was distributed in the Trustees red folders. Also in the folders was the report of the System Office Quality Steering Committee. SOQS is a quality initiative that the system office staff has launched, and is part of the transition planning with results that will benefit incoming Chancellor James McCormick. The Trustees recently received a letter inviting them to participate in an organizational assessment of the system office.

    Chair Vekich highlighted noteworthy events at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Two Winona State University programs this semester are good examples of community service as an important part of the student experience. A group of accounting students working with Professor Richard Schneider are volunteering to help low-income people in the community fill out their income tax returns. At tax time each year, the students help nearly 700 individuals and families. The free program is supported by the university and private donations through the WSU Foundation. Also, Winona State's Nursing Department again is offering area families an opportunity to improve their health through the "Healthy Families" program. WSU nursing students schedule five home visits with each family, answer questions and provide access to blood pressure checks, child development assessments and other health needs.

    Dakota County Technical College's Interior Design students and instructors have turned their talents on their own department as it celebrates its 30-year anniversary. They planned and contributed their skills to remodeling the interior design program's central space, giving it a much-needed facelift for the first time in two decades. College staff refinished furniture and contributed carpentry, painting, electrical and ceiling work, keeping down the costs. The accredited program has 150 students and has graduated more than 770 since its start.

    Recent events include Ridgewater College's annual Skill-O-Rama contest last Thursday, which drew 625 high school students - that's the second highest turnout in the contest's 17 years. The event tests technical skills in 42 different areas. Ridgewater also has started weekly segments about campus life on two Hutchinson radio stations. They feature a program or staff person in a 90-second interview. The theme is "Live and Learn at Ridgewater College." The first three segments featured the dean of instruction in technical programs, the dean of transfer programs and the new financial aid director. Next the college will feature unique programs or areas that need an enrollment boost.

    Also, congratulations to the many MnSCU people and schools winning recent awards. The ROTC program at Minnesota State University, Mankato was honored February 14 with the highest possible award for demonstrating training and leadership excellence. Lake Superior College public information director Gary Kruchowski has been named "communicator of the year" for District 5 by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. Bemidji State University won several awards from the National Admissions Advertising Report magazine, and the winning materials were produced in-house, while most other winners used advertising agencies. MnSCU also won a gold medal in those awards for its Internet Web page in the category of schools over 10,000 enrollment. And MnSCU won an award from the Minnesota Public Relations Society of America for our campaign called "Go Back, You're Ready" aimed at interesting older students in attending college. You may have seen the billboards, posters and brochures featuring a huge cup of coffee to attract attention. Congratulations also to Metropolitan State University President Wilson Bradshaw, who has been named to the Bush Foundation Board. Tomorrow morning, NBC's Today Show is scheduled to feature an Anoka-Ramsey Community College student, Bruce Johnson. He has developed a unique computer program called "Are You Okay?" that has been credited with saving lives. It is offered by local law enforcement agencies to elderly or handicapped people, who decide when they want to be called. Congratulations to all of the campuses and their presidents, staff, and students.

  3. Trustee Reports
    Trustee Boss reported on behalf of the group of Trustees (Boss, Calhoun, Choate, Dusek, Splonskowski, Swanson) that attended the Association of Community College Trustees National Legislative Seminar in Washington, D.C. on February 3-6. The Trustees had appointments with members of Minnesota's congressional delegation. They met with Congressman Martin Sabo, Senator Paul Wellstone, and with staff members of Senator Mark Dayton, and Representatives Jim Oberstar, Betty McCollum and Mark Kennedy.

    Parris N. Glendening, the governor of Maryland, gave an eloquent and persuasive speech on the need for funding of higher education in both good and bad times. Staff has requested a transcript of his remarks that will be shared with the Board. Trustee Boss summarized that the ACCT Legislative Seminar was productive, enlightening and energizing.

    Trustee Splonskowski thanked Chancellor Anderson, fellow Trustees, students and presidents who participated in the students' advocacy days at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 14. She thanked President Schwichtenberg, and the faculty, staff and students at St. Paul Technical College for opening up the cafeteria for those attending the march and rally.
  4. Chancellor's Report: Morris J. Anderson.
    Senior Vice Chancellor Baer provided the Chancellor's Report because Chancellor Anderson was testifying at a hearing at the Senate Education Committee. She distributed photographs from the student rally at the Capitol.

    Senior Vice Chancellor Baer reported that there were more than 130 favorable articles and editorials in newspapers around the state after the flyaround on January 30 and 31. A smaller booklet of excerpts from those news clippings was distributed earlier today and will be available at the Friends of MnSCU dinner tonight.

    Senior Vice Chancellor Baer read a letter from Senator Bill Belanger to Chancellor Anderson, dated February 21, 2001, stating that, "MnSCU has too many campuses. It is easy to whine and cry. Do the right thing."

    Chancellor Anderson's response letter to Senator Belanger explained that he and the Board of Trustees recommended the closure of Anoka-Hennepin Technical College last year, but the Legislature intervened in the Board's decision and allocated extra funds to keep the campus open. Chancellor Anderson also wrote that he and the Board "stand ready to carry out the legislative will. Please tell me which campuses are surplus to the state. If there are none, then I've earned the right to "whine and cry" for the benefit of the students who attend those campuses and for the benefit of the communities they are located in."

    Senior Vice Chancellor Baer reminded everyone of the Friends of MnSCU Dinner at St. Paul Technical College tonight from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
  5. Executive Director/Board Secretary's Report: Penny Harris Reynen
    There was no Executive Director's report.
  6. Joint Council of Student Associations
    The following representatives of student associations addressed the Board of Trustees: Justin Bing, vice president, Minnesota State College Student Association (MSCSA) and Michael Redlinger, state chair, Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA).
  7. MnSCU Bargaining Units
    The following representatives of MnSCU Bargaining Units addressed the Board of Trustees: Jeanne Cornish, state president, Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty (MSUAASF). Ed Schones, CO-president, effective February 8, 2001, of the Minnesota State College Faculty (MSCF), the name of the newly merged United Technical College Educators and the Minnesota Community College Faculty Association. The CO-president is Larry Oveson, who was unable to be present here today. Jim Pehler, president, Inter-Faculty Organization (IFO).
  8. Consent Agenda
    a. Appointment to Academic Rank
    b. MCCFA/UTCE Merger Legislation
    c. Mission Review: Riverland Community College
    d. Program Approval: Certificate, Dispatcher, Central Lakes College
    e. Program Approval: Certificate, Latin American Studies, Central Lakes College
    f. Program Approval: AS, Nursing, RN, Minnesota State College - Southeast Technical
    g. Program Closure: Minnesota State University Mankato

    Trustee Moran moved approval of Consent Agenda. Trustee Calhoun seconded and the Consent Agenda was approved without dissent.
  9. Board Standing Committee Reports

    a. Finance/Facilities Policy Committee

    1. FY 2002 Revenue Fund Fees and Spending Plan (Second Reading)
      The Board of Trustees approved the FY 2002 finance plans and associated fees for residence hall/dining services and student union facilities of the Revenue Fund. The Board also approved raising the ceiling on the Student Union Facility Fee to $230.
    2. Anoka-Hennepin Technical College Remodeling Project Schematic Design (Second Reading)
      The Board of Trustees approved the schematic design for Anoka-Hennepin Technical College as presented, noting with concern, however, the lesser quality roof replacement mandated by the legislature. The Chancellor is requested to advise the Board regarding the status of fund raising and/or use of other College funds representing the $500,000 renovation portion of the project prior to the start of construction.
    3. Governor's 2001 Capital Budget Recommendation
      The Board of Trustees approved development of a HEAPR priority list for submission to the 2001 Legislature subject to final Board review and approval in March 2001. The Board deferred on other capital project recommendations at this time in view of the planning and review process now in progress for the 2002 legislative session.

      Trustee Moran moved the three motions referenced above. Trustee Splonskowski seconded and the motions carried without dissent.
    4. Winona State University Student Housing Plan
      Committee Vice Chair Moran reported that the committee reviewed a student housing plan for Winona State University.
    5. Capital Improvement Projects Quarterly Status Report
      Committee Vice Chair Moran reported that the committee reviewed the capital improvement projects quarterly status report.
    6. Space Utilization Study Update
      Committee Vice Chair Moran reported that the committee reviewed a space utilization study.
    7. Revenue Fund Reinvestment Update
      Committee Vice Chair Moran reported that the committee heard an update on the progress of the revenue fund reinvestment program

      There were no Finance agenda items this month.

      Committee Vice Chair Moran announced that the committee heard testimony from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Riverland Community College, and Minnesota West Community and Technical College on the 2002-2007 Capital Budget.

    b. Personnel Policy Committee
    1. Appointment of President of Southwest State University
      Dr. Danahar has been serving as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana, since 1992. Prior to that time, he served as Dean of College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, from 1985-1992; and Acting Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at State University of New York in Oswego, New York, from 1979-1985. Dr. Danahar received his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Manhattan College in Bronx, New York.

      Committee Chair Brataas moved that the Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of Chancellor Anderson, appoints Dr. David C. Danahar, as President of Southwest State University effective July 1, 2001, subject to the completion of an employment contract, which the Board authorizes the chancellor to negotiate in consultation with the Chair of the Board and the Chair of the Personnel Policy Committee in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Personnel Plan for MnSCU Administrators. Trustee Dusek seconded.

      Dr. Danahar and his family were introduced. Dr. Danahar commented that he is honored to be here and honored by the appointment. He thanked the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Anderson for their expression of confidence in him. He also thanked the many people involved in the search process. His first priority is to get to know the institution and the Marshall area.

      Chair Vekich recognized Christine Fritsche, a former Trustee and the chair of the Search Committee. Chris Fritsche commented that this was a wonderful experience. She introduced members of the search committee who were present. Despite extreme weather and budget issues, four qualified candidates were recruited to visit the campus. The committee made an excellent decision by selecting not only a qualified candidate but also a very good fit for the university. She thanked the Board for the opportunity to be of service. Dr. Danahar and his family were presented with gifts from the campus.

      Trustees Antell and Dusek, who were present at Dr. Danahar's interview with Chancellor Anderson, spoke in favor of the candidate, and congratulated the search committee.

      The motion carried without dissent.

      Chair Vekich thanked Interim-President Dennis Nielsen for his service as interim president at Southwest State University.
    2. Domestic Partner Report Committee
      Chair Brataas moved that the Board of Trustees receive the report of the taskforce on benefits for domestic partners. Trustee Calhoun seconded and the motion carried without dissent.
    3. Repeal of Board Policy 1.2, Relationship to Collect Bargaining Agreement (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Brataas reported that the committee reviewed a repeal of Board Policy 1.2, relationship to collective bargaining agreement. This will be an action item at the March Board meeting.
    4. Revisions to Board Policy 4.6, Re-Employment of Early Retirees (First Reading)
      Committee Chair Brataas reported that the committee reviewed revisions to Board Policy 4.6, re-employment of early retirees. This will be an action item at the March Board meeting.

    c. Educational Policy Committee
    Committee Vice Chair Dusek reported on behalf of Chair Luoma who was present at the committee meeting, but had a prior commitment for the Board meeting.

    1. Academic and Student Affairs Update
      Senior Vice Chancellor Baer provided an update on academic and student affairs.
    2. Program Suspensions: Minnesota West Community and Technical College and Central Lakes College
      Committee Vice Chair Dusek reported that the committee received notice of program suspensions at Minnesota West Community and Technical College and Central Lakes College.
    3. Update: Virtual Summit
      Committee Vice Chair Dusek reported that this item was postponed until the March meeting.
    4. Update: e-Student Services
      Committee Vice Chair Dusek reported that the committee heard an update on e-student services from Senior Vice Chancellor Baer.
    5. Update: Instructional Technology
      Committee Vice Chair Dusek reported that the committee heard an update on instructional technology by Associate Vice Chancellor John O'Brien.
    6. Report: Academic Program Policy Study
      Committee Vice Chair Dusek Luoma reported that the committee heard a report on Academic Program Policy Study.
    7. Report: Farm Business Management (FBM) Program Assessment Study
      Committee Chair Dusek reported that the committee heard a report on the Farm Business Management Program Assessment Study.
    8. FIPSE e-Grant Update
      Committee Vice Chair Dusek reported that the committee heard an update on the Comprehensive Program Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary education (FIPSE) e-grant.
    9. Closed Session: Discussion of Litigation, Aldrich, et al. v. Northwest Technical College
      Committee Vice Chair Dusek reported that the committee met in closed session to discuss the Aldrich, et al. v. Northwest Technical College litigation.
  11. Requests by Individuals to Address the Board
    There were no requests by individuals to address the Board.

  12. Other Business
    There was no other business to come before the Board.
  13. Adjournment
    Chair Vekich adjourned the meeting by consensus at 2:56 p.m.

Recorded by Penny Harris Reynen