Welcome to fall, everyone! I enjoyed last week’s Board meeting and believe that we, as a Board, are set to accomplish great things this year.
Perhaps the most important action of the Board at the September meeting was electing officers and Executive Committee members for 2011 – 2012. It is my opinion that we elected a great slate of individuals, who will continue the efforts begun this past year to ensure the ongoing relevance and governance responsibilities of the Board.
Below is the list of Board members elected to various positions.
Britt Brockman – reelected as chair
Pam May – elected as vice chair
Sandie Patterson – elected as secretary
(The Board Chair is the fifth member of the Executive Committee.)
For more information about Board members, please visit the Board’s website: http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/.
The majority of the agenda items on September 13 were fairly routine. Two in particular stood out to me, though.
PR 3: Personnel Action – Athletics Department (http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2011/sep/pr3.pdf)
Much has been said about this particular agenda item, and it has ultimately offered me an opportunity to learn a lesson. Merely because something is presented as routine does not mean there is nothing else beneath the surface. I plan to scrutinize future nepotism rule waivers more closely. Even though UK’s regs allow for such a waiver, it does not always mean it is a good idea.
FCR 3: APPROVAL OF GROUND LEASE….
This item, in and of itself, was not an issue. It bothered me, though, that the Board was being asked to authorize the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration (EVPFA) to negotiate and execute a lease without there being any indication of “closing the loop.” That is, there was nothing to indicate any report back to the Board on how it all turns out. I asked during the meeting that the EVPFA report back to the Board once the contract was signed to let us know what happened. Board Chair Brockman noted that the request would be in the minutes, and we could look forward to such a report.
Moving on to more general topics….
The Board is holding a two-day retreat on October 1 & 2, to take a look at future trends in higher education, as well as how UK can be best prepared to meet future challenges. It is my understanding that we will have information presented to us based on an external consultant’s view of UK’s data/facts/statistics, as well as spend time looking at how to move UK forward. I expect we will also discuss the infrastructure issues hounding the University, and perhaps hear some ideas about different methods of funding, etc.
Representatives from the Staff Senate and University (faculty) Senate have been working for about six months now on a proposal for an employment ombud. This would function similarly to an academic ombud but, obviously, would be for employees. The hope is that various administrators will see value in the proposed new office which would offer, among other things, confidential discussions, explanations of policy and how it is or is not being applied properly, and informal mediation discussions between employees (supervisors, coworkers, etc.). The intent is to have a mechanism for an employee (either staff or faculty) to address a workplace issue and inquire into possible solutions, without having to go through a very formal and proscribed process. Right now the proposal is still being vetted with administrators. Please contact your Staff Senator for more details.
That’s all for now, folks. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, concerns, complaints, suggestions, etc. I represent YOU, and I value any input YOU can offer. J