Good day, colleagues. This is your regularly scheduled, post-Board meeting, blog update. The full agenda and supporting documentation for the various agenda items from Monday’s meeting can be found at http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2013/may/welcome.html.
Brief digression – many thank to those who responded about the blog length. The overwhelming sentiment was to keep the content as is. In a nod to those who want a quicker read, however, one staff member offered the suggestion that I offer some bulleted highlights at the top of the blog. It was a great idea, and it begins now ….
· The Executive Committee reviewed for a first reading new language on its responsibilities, as well as approved the questions to be used for the President’s annual evaluation.
· The Athletics Committee and University Relations Committees met jointly and heard information about Athletics’ processes and procedures by which it develops and plans public relations, marketing and media strategies. There was also an update on the academic and athletic accomplishments of our student athletes.
· The Human Resources Committee heard a presentation from the Staff Senate, as well as voted to approve and send to the full Board the creation of a policy statement to guide oversight of the 19 non-managed retirement funds. (Non-managed funds are everything EXCEPT Fidelity and TIAA-CREF funds.)
· The Student Affairs Committee had an agenda that involved presentations on residence hall contracts with students, the mechanism for students to submit complaints, and an update on Student Government Association activities.
· The Finance Committee reviewed and approved a donor bequest, a variety of infrastructure maintenance expenditures, and the purchase the space and facilities of the Lexington Theological Seminary.
· The Board of Trustees meeting at 1 pm included just about everything bulleted above, as well as changes to the following Governing Regulations: Governing Regulations I (“The University of Kentucky: Definition”); Governing Regulations X (“Regulations Affecting Employment”); Governing Regulations XIV (“Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct”) (new GR); and Governing Regulations V (“The Staff Senate”).
The day began at 8 am sharp, with a meeting of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee reviewed for a first reading a proposed change to Governing Regulations I (“The University of Kentucky: Definition”), specifically the charges to the Executive Committee. The new language states that the Executive Committee will “serve in an advisory capacity to the President on regulations and policies, institutional compliance and accountability.” In short, it is a further attempt to drive home the point that ethics and accountability are everyone’s responsibility, all the time, not just when it is convenient. When the item was presented at the full Board meeting at 1 pm, it was for a first reading. Between that time and when the Board meets again in June, it will be vetted with the three representative bodies on campus. (The three bodies are the Student Government Association, University Senate (for faculty) and the Staff Senate.)
The second item of business involved the questions that will comprise the evaluation of the President for 2012-13. The questions were sent out to the three representative bodies on campus for input; all of the suggested edits suggested were incorporated. The evaluation is a long process, and will involve input from 20 to 30 individuals (staff, faculty, students, alumni, donors, elected officials, etc.), that will be solicited, received and collated over the summer. In the late summer/early fall, the Board members will see the de-identified answers and will use that in offering our own evaluation. The final step is for the Executive Committee to render a final decision on the President’s evaluation. The process is long, but it allows for greater participation from a wider variety of individuals. An expanded evaluation in year three or four (of this new evaluation process) will occur, with between 30 and 50 participants.
A joint meeting of the Athletics Committee and the University Relations Committee started at 8:30 am. We heard about the Athletics department’s processes and procedures by which it develops and plans public relations, marketing and media strategies. As one example, student athletes on teams that are subject to extensive scrutiny are given media training, to help ensure that interviews and other such public interactions are handled carefully and respectfully. The intent is to give student athletes some pointers on how to interact with the public – some of our student athletes have never needed to speak to a member of the news media prior to their collegiate career, so the training makes logical sense.
The next item of business was an update on the activities of the student athletes, both academic and athletic. Student athletes who were actively competing, and on scholarship, posted a UK record average 3.14 overall GPA for the spring 2013 semester. We also heard about the many accomplishments of both teams and individual athletes, in terms of regional and tournament play. It was pointed out that Athletics often serves as the “front porch” of the University – interested students and families may want to be involved at UK due to the sporting activities, but once they get in the front door, they see all sorts of educational and academic activities and initiatives in which students participate.
Next, at 9:30 am, was the meeting of the Human Resources Committee. There was one presentation and one action item. The presentation was given by the Chair of the Staff Senate, Mike Adams, in conjunction with the chair of the Staff Issues Committee, Terry Olson. The presentation touched on a variety of Staff Senate accomplishments and initiatives, as well as some current concerns. It was a nice balance of what the Staff Senate has accomplished over the years, what the Staff Senate is currently working on, and the issues that the Staff Senate perceives as being the most critical to/for staff. The critical staff issues mentioned included mandatory training for all new supervisors and refresher training for existing supervisors (standardize enforcement of and adherence to policies as well as foster skills for interpreting University policies); and the need for a much stronger University posture rejecting bullying and harassment of employees. The presentation was well received and I expect the Staff Senate will return in a year to give the Board another update.
The action item pertained to assisting employees who utilize any of the 19 investment funds that are offered separately from Fidelity and TIAA-CREF. Both Fidelity and TIAA-CREF monitor fund activity and fees to ensure appropriate levels of performance. The 19 non-affiliated funds, however, are not monitored. If an employee has put all their retirement funds into a fund that is not actively managed and the employee does not monitor the fund, the employee may not have a very good return on their investment. The action requested was to allow the Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration (EVPFA) to create a document that outlines the standards by which the funds will be managed (a policy statement), as well as allow the EVPFA to utilize an appropriate committee(s) and/or consultant(s) to assist in the execution of that policy statement. (That authority is codified in Administrative Regulations 3:1 – “The University of Kentucky Retirement Plans.”) There is no downside for employees, as far as I can tell. I appreciate the efforts to improve the return on our retirement investments!
The Student Affairs Committee and the Academic Affairs Committee met at approximately the same time, at 10:15 and 10:30 am, respectively. I attended the Student Affairs Committee meeting, where we heard an overview of how students are placed into University housing, including information about what students are told from the outset, the restrictions and policies, etc. The Official Guide to Living on Campus has a lot of details for students, from rules and policies to local convenience stores and a list of all the restaurants and retailers in Lexington that take the Plus Account.
This next bit was not a highlight of any presentation, but rather something that just stood out for me. I was skimming the Official Guide to Living on Campus and saw the heading “Feeling Ill? Order a Comfort Meal.” I didn’t know that students had access to this kind of service. The collaboration, between University Health Services and Dining Services, provides students with flu-like symptoms the ability to call and order a meal delivered to their residence hall room. The meal is of clear liquids and/or foods best tolerated based on recommended guidelines for flu-like symptoms. I just thought that was cool. There was also a presentation on how student complaints are handled, as well as an update on Student Government Association activities.
The last committee meeting of the morning was the Finance Committee. There was a slew of Finance Committee Reports (either consent or action items) that ran the gamut from a very generous estate bequest (from an individual who had already donated $5 million to UK), to the request to move forward with Phase II-B of the housing initiative with Education Reality Trust (EdR), to infrastructural repairs, to the approval to purchase the facilities and space currently owned by the Lexington Theological Seminary. All of the agenda items are inherently related to UK, but in the interest of choosing “the” most interesting aspect, I’ll mention more about the Lexington Theological Seminary (LTS) item.
UK has engaged in intermittent discussions with LTS for several years about the purchase of the property. (LTS is located on South Limestone Street, across from the Law Building. Here is a link to a Google map LTS: http://tinyurl.com/nl8zobn) As may be inferred by the duration of negotiations, this is a friendly acquisition – UK’s purchase of the physical space and facilities will allow LTS the opportunity to identify a different, smaller location that better suits their current needs. (LTS has moved aggressively to expand its online delivery of courses and programs. It will continue as an active educational institution in a different, smaller facility and location.) UK will take possession of the space and facilities in January 2014, when it is very likely that UK will use this space as “surge” space for those employees in the Gatton College of Business and Economics Building who will be temporarily displaced due to that building’s renovations.
We broke for lunch at noon and started up again at 1 pm. Since the 1 pm agenda is comprised primarily of committee agenda items, discussed above, I’ll stick to the reports from the President. (Those are the only things that weren’t otherwise discussed in a committee meeting.)
We had a first reading of changes to Governing Regulations I (“The University of Kentucky: Definition”) and Governing Regulations X (“Regulations Affecting Employment”) regarding nepotism. The changes are intended to offer a more concise definition; strengthen the statement that nepotism is prohibited; and codify specific criteria for approval of a situation in which one relative employed by UK is working under the direction/control of another. Previously, there was a list of specific titles/positions that required Board approval for nepotism conflict management plans. Any time a new position was created or removed, however, the regulations would be out of date. The new language simply states (among other things) that anyone who is a direct report of the President and has a nepotistic conflict with a relative working within their area must have the management plan approved by the Board. There have been unwritten standards used for quite some time to manage faculty nepotistic relationships in the workplace, but staff were often told simply that the individual would not be hired. The revised language now includes criteria that must be met for any such conflict for faculty AND staff. Generally, the criteria involve assurance that the conflict can be managed and that the employment of both individuals is in the best interest of the University.
The next Governing Regulation change we heard also pertained to Governing Regulations I (“The University of Kentucky: Definition”) and a new Governing Regulations XIV (“Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct”). This involved moving the Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct from GR I to the new GR XIV, so that the language is strengthened by being its own section. There were also some editorial and structural changes. This was a second and final reading – the changes were approved.
Following that was a second reading for a proposed change to Governing Regulations V (“The Staff Senate”). There were a handful of changes, including allowing the President to delegate appropriate administrative or managerial functions to the Staff Senate; clarifying that senators are expected to attend a variety of meetings as a part of senatorial duties; and stating unequivocally that supervisors “shall make reasonable accommodations” to facilitate a senator’s participation in the Staff Senate.
There were, of course, additional items for discussion or voting at the meeting, but I covered the vast majority of them in the committee summaries. If you have a question about something I haven’t mentioned, please feel free to ask me. I have been here for almost 20 years and I learn something new at every Board meeting.
It is an honor to represent staff – we are the largest, hardest working group around. Our personal and departmental initiatives welcome students, comfort patients and families, and inform our communities on too many topics to mention. If you have any questions, complaints, concerns or suggestions, please contact me and let me know (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / 257-5872).
Good afternoon, colleagues. This is your regularly scheduled post-Board of Trustees meeting update. The full agenda for the meeting is here: http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2013/mar/welcome.html. There was a lot on the agenda, so this one is rather long. As always, if you have a question about agenda items (or anything else, for that matter) please don’t hesitate to contact me. The views and opinions expressed here are mine.
The Executive Committee met at 8 am. The agenda included changes to the Board’s committee structure, as outlined in Governing Regulations II (GR), as well as the upcoming Presidential Evaluation. The GR change involves consolidating four committees into two, as well as some other requirements. (The consolidations are the primary component of the changes.) As a result of a trustee’s suggestion, the Executive Committee will consider whether or not to recommend that the Board add language about institutional accountability and/or ethics to the Executive Committee description in GR II. I think adding such language is a good idea and I look forward to seeing some new language that can start to be vetted in May.
The next discussion pertained to the Executive Committee’s evaluation of the President (as per Governing Regulations II.E.2.a). The regulation requires input from the three student/faculty/staff representative bodies, but last year the Board voted to make the process far more inclusive than in the past. It seems we will primarily have the same process as last year, which involved input from 45 individual interviews. This year, Board members will offer their input to the Executive Committee after seeing input from the various constituencies. The idea is that we as Board members can do a better job of contributing to the Presidential Evaluation process if we better understand what various constituencies think. I like the process and that we also are discussing small tweaks; last year was the first year of the new process, so it only makes sense to review suggestions and see what should stay the same and what can be improved.
The next meeting was the University Relations Committee. The committee chair has spent this academic year focusing on various ways that UK reaches out to the community, particularly through marketing efforts. This time, we heard a presentation about WUKY and its history at UK; the radio station began broadcasting on the AM dial in the 1940s. The station engages in “guerilla marketing” – there are no monies set aside for a marketing budget, so they utilize community partnerships and programming collaborations to get the word out about the station and its shows. I was interested to learn about WUKY’s emphasis on diversity initiatives in the Lexington community. For more information about WUKY, you can visit their website: http://www.wuky.org/.
The Academic Affairs Committee meeting began at 9:30 am with discussion of action items. Then the committee chair asked for ideas about guest speakers in the future and how to continue gathering information for the soon-to-be Academic Affairs and Student Affairs Committee. The committee members strongly supported the suggestion of a “flipped classroom” approach to future meetings. This involves front-loading information to Committee/Board members so it can be processed prior to a face-to-face meeting. For example, if there is goal is to learn more about retention efforts, prior to the meeting we might be asked to read an article, watch a presentation, or examine a UK 101 syllabus. We could then spend the committee meeting having an informed discussion instead of trying to listen to a presentation, understand it, and then formulate intelligent, relevant questions. I had to leave halfway through for another committee meeting, but I left with an appreciation for the committee’s desire to experiment with ways to receive and process information.
The University Athletics Committee met at 10 am. We started out watching a video about a UK Hoops player, a junior, who has created a foundation to help disadvantaged youth with basketball drills in group settings. After the basketball practice, this student athlete sits on the gym floor with the children and talks about how honesty is important, or what kindness and character look like in a schoolyard setting. This is just one example of how our student athletes give back to the community. I am beginning to notice a pattern – some of our most successful students spend a lot of time serving in leadership positions and carefully managing their time.
Next we heard a report about academic and athletic achievement of UK’s student athletes over the past few months. Regarding academic accomplishments, many student-athletes from a variety of fall sports earned a GPA of 3.0 or above. I appreciate that Athletics commits significant time and attention to the importance of a strong academic focus. Almost all the fall sports teams (or individual players) had a historically high ranking, annually consecutive tournament appearances, and/or otherwise broke team records.
The next agenda item was a review of the interim financial statements for Athletics. According to the information presented, Athletics is in good financial shape. Now that the Athletics Association has been dissolved we will have current and past year comparative actual information beginning in FY 2013-14. The reported numbers make sense, though, given their respective explanations. There was also a graphical representation of the sources of athletic budget revenues for Division I colleges (includes UK).
The chart reflected information from 97 public institutions with football programs and what percentage of their revenue budget came from which area. The categories are “other” revenue, corporate sponsorship, donor contributions, guarantees, NCAA/conference distributions and television agreements, ticket sales, institutional/government support and student fees. If the areas of student fees and government/institutional support are combined for each institution, most colleges’ revenue budgets received between 4% - 61% from those two areas. UK, however, is an outlier on the very low end; less than 1% of the UK Athletics budget comes from student fees, with Athletics not receiving any institutional or government support. The majority of UK Athletics funding comes from ticket sales and NCAA/conference distributions and television agreements.
I had asked a month or so ago for information on how Athletics addresses concussions. The committee chair informed us that the report was ready and would be distributed to committee members and Board members in the next few days. I am looking forward to learning more about these types of policies and standards.
The Finance Committee had a big agenda; six of the items involved gifts to support the expansion and remodeling of the Gatton College Building and the Academic and Science Building. Generally, UK regulations require the Board to formally approve gifts of $400,000 or more. After those action items, the committee chair took a moment to thank the donors for their contributions. I was very happy to hear him continue to express appreciation for all the staff whose efforts facilitate such contributions, as well as those who work to ensure the committee has the information it needs. I regularly draw attention to how staff employees contribute to the University’s missions; it is wonderful to hear others do the same!
After lunch we moved back to the Boardroom for the main meeting. After a few minutes, the Board approved consent agenda items, which included Finance Committee recommendations. That was a good time to ask the Finance Committee chair if he would repeat for the full Board his comments about appreciating the efforts of staff. Recognition of a job well done is always appropriate. The Board moved on to approve the change in committee structure as well as three individuals to receive honorary degrees.
The meeting ended after a presentation and discussion on UK’s ongoing SACSCOC accreditation activities. SACSCOC is the acronym for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Colleges. As a part of the reaccreditation process, UK submitted a 450-page report to show how UK complies with 97 accreditation standards. When the SACSCOC team visits the Lexington campus in early April, the key focus will be UK’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is “Presentation U!” It is an initiative to develop and improve upper-division undergraduates’ oral, written and visual communication skills within the context of their major.
We adjourned about 3 pm.
It is often difficult to summarize all the informational sessions and committee meetings leading up to (and including) the Board meeting. (In fact, I think it may be time to start to shorten these posts because I am concerned they are getting too long for a quick read.) There is more to Board meetings than I can put into a blog post that remains a reasonably readable length. I seem never to have the space to talk about how each trustee absolutely has UK’s best interests at heart; all the different opinions make for some very lively discussions. Trustees are always eager to learn about the big UK facts, but we also are very interested in the stories that involve how a UK person works to change the world for someone else. We are all proud of the ways in which UK touches our community, our Commonwealth and the world.
Someone, somewhere, asked me if anyone is recycling the materials from demolished campus buildings. Since I can’t remember who asked or the context, I’ll answer the question here. According to the campus administrator I asked, the contractors are separating metals to salvage and/or recycle. The salvage values belong to the contractors, as they were factored into their competitive bids. In addition, the demolition contractor for the two Cooperstown structures has brought a crushing machine in to crush concrete into re-usable rock.
If you have any questions about Board meetings or any other UK thing, for that matter, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The most efficient way to reach me is via email - email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also stop by my office in 203E Main Building. I am committed to having open lines of communication with staff and welcome suggestions for improvement. I look forward to serving you for the foreseeable future. As a final note, please consider shooting me a quick email to let me know if I should shorten these posts or leave them as is.
Good afternoon, everyone. This is the regular update I send out after Board meetings. This post includes my opinions on the January 28, 2013 Board of Trustees meeting. If you are so inclined, you can find the complete agenda (as well as supporting documentation) for the January 28 meeting here: http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2013/jan/welcome.html.
The day began at 8 am with a meeting of the University Relations Committee; we heard a presentation from Anthony Dotson, Coordinator/Director of the Veterans Resource Center. According to the information presented, the numbers of student veterans are growing and student veterans have high attrition rates. UK is working hard to offer a warm welcome to them as well as to address their unique needs. The Veterans Resource Center is also working to become one of a few universities nationwide which has a Veterans Affairs employee working on campus to assist student veterans. A lot of very good things come out of the small Veterans Resource Center in the Funkhouser Building! You can visit their website by clicking on this link: http://www.uky.edu/Veterans/.
The next meeting was the Student Affairs Committee. I was able to stay for the first couple of agenda items: a presentation on a proposed new student creed; and an overview of UK 101, an orientation course (not mandatory but strongly suggested) for freshmen, which includes students as peer instructors. The student creed was developed by a large committee comprised primarily of students, but which also includes staff and faculty. The proposed creed is short – I think it says a lot but with few words. The proposed new creed will be presented formally to the Board at its March meeting. The UK 101 update was also interesting. Our students learn a lot from UK 101 courses and it seems that as much as student peer instructors give to make UK 101 successful, they get even more out of the experience.
I left early to attend the last few minutes of the Academic Affairs Committee meeting, which began at the same time. It was the tail end of a discussion on student success, but it was nonetheless interesting. UK has brought a variety of student success initiatives under the auspices of one office, UK’s Student Success office. Our efforts to support students facing a variety of challenges range from college readiness, preparing “at-risk” students and expanded course delivery options (eLearning), to a peer-support network and a one-stop shop for student support where students can see the various helping hands that UK can offer to assist students inside and outside the classroom. Link to UK 101 website: http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/NewStudentPrograms/UK101/index.php.
University Athletics Committee was next – the primary agenda item was a presentation on student athlete academic success. UK’s student athletes are enrolled in a wide variety of colleges and programs and earn very good grades overall. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) gauges universities’ academic success based on an Academic Progress Rate, or APR. UK is one of only two schools in the Southeastern Conference Schools that have not been penalized since the APR system was established in 2004-2005.
The next two meetings, Audit Subcommittee and the Finance Committee, dealt with routine business. The Finance Committee offered information on timelines for UK’s proposed building projects (Gatton College of Business and Economics, Academic Science Building, and Commonwealth Stadium/Nutter Training Center). I appreciate all the time and effort expended by various individuals to facilitate these construction projects and that all three buildings will be LEED certified. In addition, these projects will bring in 300 local construction jobs, which does not include the additional economic boost felt by suppliers and others associated with the construction industry.
The full Board meeting took place at 1 pm. The vast majority of what I hear at Board meetings is interesting, but I’ll stick to just a couple items here. We heard a great presentation on UK’s Confucius Institute; it is just two years old, but in December was awarded the 2012 Confucius Institute of the Year. This prestigious award was granted to only 25 institutions worldwide. The Board also approved a variety of names for the new residence halls. All are vaguely descriptive of their location; the only one with a personal name is “Haggin Hall.” That will be the name of the building that replaces the existing Haggin Hall, to continue to honor the family of James P. Haggin. We also heard committee reports from the ones that met earlier in the morning.
The last item was an open discussion on online, or eLearning, education. (eLearning refers to education that is delivered or enhanced by some type of technology.) After a thorough presentation, trustees discussed the additional considerations required for eLearning as well as the effect of massively open online courses (MOOCs) on traditional course content delivery. There were no business items for this matter – it was an opportunity for Board members to discuss a topic that is currently trending in higher education.
Being your staff representative on the Board offers me educational experiences left and right. I enjoy opportunities to share with other trustees all the wonderful things that staff do. Perhaps more important are the occasions when I can offer trustees insights into the challenges we staff face every day when we sit down at our desk, stand at a patient’s bedside, crawl in the dirt or help a student navigate a tricky situation. We wear a lot of hats, and we do it very well!
It is an honor to serve each of you as your staff trustee. If you would like to reach me, you can reach me via email (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can stop by my office in 202E Main Building.
Good morning, everyone. This is your regular post-Board meeting blog update and contains my opinions on the December 11, 2012 Board of Trustees meeting. The full agenda and supporting documentation is here: http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/dec/welcome.html.
I am not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I serve on three committees – the Athletics Committee, University Relations Committee and Human Resources Committee. Due to my position as Board Secretary, I am also the ex officio Secretary for the Executive Committee. All the Board’s committees, and their descriptions, can be found in Governing Regulations II, starting at the bottom of page five. http://www.uky.edu/regs/files/gr/gr2.pdf
The morning of the 11th began with a meeting of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee reviewed draft language to change the committee structure of the Board of Trustees (Board) and moved to continue forward with the changes. There are a handful of proposed changes, but the main one will be to combine a few committees. Trustees generally attend Board committee meetings all morning on days when the Board meets, but there are more and more situations when it is impossible to schedule all the committee meetings in such a way that there is no overlap. For example, there have been times when I was late for one committee meeting (of which I was a member) because I was finishing up in another committee meeting (of which I was also a member). Although the full Board may have a first reading in January or February, the proposed changes will go to the Staff Senate, Student Government Association (SGA) and University Senate prior to any final (second reading) vote by the Board.
The next meeting I attended was the Student Affairs Committee, where attendees heard an informative presentation about the Students of Concern Committee (SOC). The mission of the SOC is to proactively enhance the well-being and safety of the University's students and employees. There are a number of areas involved with the SOC on an as-needed basis, including the Academic Ombud, UK Police, the Financial Ombud, and the Counseling Center. You can find out more about this group at their web page (http://www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/students-of-concern.php). It is reassuring to know this group is working very hard to keep campus safe and help students succeed, when a student is facing one or many challenges.
University Relations Committee was my next stop. We heard an interesting presentation from Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Michael Karpf, regarding the efforts toward (and subsequent results of) improving the UK HealthCare brand. We have come a long way regarding the perception of our health care facilities. In 2006, 25% of employees would not recommend UK HealthCare. Due in part to great strides in improving efficiency and patient satisfaction, by 2012 that number had dropped to less than 10%. UK’s Chandler Hospital also was recognized this year as the number one hospital in Kentucky.
The Athletics Committee reviewed the second reading of the proposed change to Governing Regulations II, regarding the threshold for reviewing capital construction projects. There were no objections to increasing the threshold to $600,000. (For more details, please see my blog post for the Board meeting on October 14, specifically the Athletics Committee discussion.)
The Board meeting itself was routine with no surprises. The Staff Senate and University Senate sponsored an informal meet-n-greet for senators, administrators and trustees immediately following the meeting. It was well attended and served as a great opportunity for staff to interact with trustees, and for trustees to see first-hand the wide variety of duties that staff perform, and perform very well, all across campus.
I feel like I write the same thing at the end of every blog post, but they are still true and still relevant. Thus, I can say I remain honored to serve you and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance in any way. You can reach me via email (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org), by phone (257-5872) or you can stop by my office in 202E Main Building.
May you enjoy the next few weeks, however or whatever you celebrate, and may you return to campus in the new year rested, relaxed and ready for spring!
Good morning, everyone. Here is your regular post-Board meeting blog update. This one is a little different, though – the Board met for a retreat on Saturday, October 13 and then held a Board meeting on Sunday, October 14 (meeting agenda here: http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/oct/welcome.html). Below are the highlights from the weekend from my perspective. I was tempted to apologize for the length of this blog, but it necessarily covers about 16 hours of meetings on Saturday and Sunday. Therefore, this is a long post.
The retreat began at 9:30 am on Saturday with general discussions about planning and metrics; 2011 Board retreat recap and progress; and strengths and challenges for a 21st century land grant and flagship research University. We continued our discussions through lunch. Afterwards, we heard presentations and discussions on the following: continued discussion & future direction for learning, research, University and community; discussion of current status and future direction of UK HealthCare; and a preview for the bus tour of new residence hall sites and University neighborhoods.
After each section, trustees had opportunities to ask questions and engage in discussions about a variety of topics. All our comments were written down; overnight (through the assistance of hardworking staff) someone grouped our varied comments into overarching themes. First thing on Sunday morning, we were given a presentation that showed a draft with six bullet points. We discussed them and made a few tweaks. Again, through the efforts of staff, we were presented with finalized six bullet points a few hours later just prior to the beginning of the Board meeting.
Below are the Board’s guiding principles goals for the President and the campus for the 2012-13 year.
· Continuing emphasis on undergraduate education and infrastructure (campus core); and
· Strengthening mechanisms for faculty and staff recruitment, rewards, and retention; and
· Conducting an assessment of what constitutes a strong environment for research, creative scholarship, and graduate and professional education; and
· Continuing the development and introduction of the values-based financial model that aligns revenues and expenses to meet the University’s mission, and ensure that individual units develop strategic plans in alignment with the University’s overall strategic planning process; and
· Developing a plan for implementing innovative, technology-rich content delivery to address needs in a constantly changing learning environment; and
· Continuing to develop a master plan that creates a 21st century living and learning environment and is sensitive to community concerns.
It is important that the Board continue to emphasize the needs of staff; asking the President to focus some of his energies on recruiting, rewarding and retaining staff is a wonderful step forward (second bullet, above).
We spent a lot of time on Saturday talking about technology and learning. Many trustees expressed interest in learning how UK plans to leverage available and future technology for our academic mission. We heard about MOOCs (massively open online courses) and how those are being used at some institutions. I was interested to learn that no one has yet identified a business plan for how MOOCs can be used – institutions are experimenting with them without knowing exactly how they will affect an institution’s finances. In addition, the student completion rates of some MOOCs are woefully low – less than 15%. We also heard about “flipped” courses, where the lecture is taped ahead of time and students watch it on their own time (as pre-class homework) and then spend time in the classroom interacting more closely with the instructor.
In the late afternoon on Saturday, trustees and a few others took a bus tour of the neighborhoods around campus to illustrate some of the issues facing campus neighborhoods. Most of us had never visited the areas around Aylesford Place and State Street. As part of the informational tour, we were asked to notice the number of houses with vinyl boxes built off the back of the house to allow landlords to house more students in each house. Another item of interest (unfortunately) was the rather dilapidated nature of many of the houses’ exterior facades and yards.
I learned that there are some neighborhoods around campus that are a nice mixture of single-family homes and student-rented houses. Unfortunately, there are also some neighborhoods that are made up almost entirely of rental dwellings. It’s not so much that there are large numbers of students, but rather that the houses for students to rent have been modified to the point that they do not structurally “fit” into the neighborhood as a whole. Other issues of concern are box-shaped apartment buildings in the middle of some neighborhoods, front yards and back yards that have been paved over for parking, and more than a few wooden stairways that serve as fire escapes. Student Government Association President Stephen Bilas (student trustee) graciously offered some personal insights into the student housing situation. Some Board members were stunned to learn there were five, six, or more students living in some very rundown houses. Trustee Bilas also explained that students can be taken advantage of by landlords – if a student has a complaint, it is a relatively simple matter for the landlord to “wait out” a student by just not responding to a concern. One anecdote had to do with a student who paid an extra month’s rent by mistake – when the student tried to get his money back after moving out, the landlord just ignored him. Bilas' comments were very timely and helped me understand more about the various concerns about student housing off campus.
We also saw the explosion of new student housing off Red Mile Road and Angliana Avenue. I hadn’t realized that those complexes, while nice and new, present their own problems – they are miles away from grocery stores, etc., and they are just far enough away from campus that students cannot walk to campus. Trustee Bilas mentioned that students in this particular area are left with the choice of driving to campus, or walking and taking unsafe shortcuts (crossing major roadways, walking along railroad tracks, etc.). It was good to know that UK is taking its relationships with local neighborhood associations seriously; UK has conducted 13 meetings so far with various associations and has plans for more. The President said more than once that he is committed to working with multiple groups, including the Mayor, to address the challenges.
The Board held its regular October meeting on Sunday; the day started off with the recap I mentioned above, followed by committee meetings and then the full Board meeting.
Sunday Morning Committee Activities
The Nominating Committee identified two trustees to serve on the Mining Engineering Foundation and the Research Foundation Board of Directors.
The Audit Subcommittee discussed the University’s external audit, an annual activity in which UK’s external auditor renders a report on UK’s financial statements. For this year, and for many consecutive years, the external auditor reported that UK’s financial statements fairly present the financial position of the University. Essentially, it means that the University’s financial statements are good representations of how the University uses its funds.
Because of the importance and reputation of UK Athletics, the Audit Subcommittee, in conjunction with the assistance of the Athletics Committee chair, has begun the practice of requesting a separate audit for UK Athletics. There were no activities or suspicions that anything was wrong in Athletics. The only impetus for this is to ensure that Athletics receives appropriate scrutiny because of the importance of that unit and the dissolution of the UK Athletics Association. The scope of the audit for the University as a whole encompasses $2.4 billion in revenues for 2012. Revenues for Athletics are approximately $92 million, or 3% of the total. It would be difficult to identify the relatively small components of Athletics if that information was wrapped up in a report on UK’s overall net assets of $2.7 billion. Therefore, a decision was made to have a separate audit of Athletics to ensure their financial statements are easily visible.
There was also a report from Internal Audit on their activities for the past year, as well as their plans for the coming year.
The Athletics Committee discussed two items. The first was a first reading of a proposed change to Governing Regulations II (“Governance of the University of Kentucky”), specifically the section on the Board’s Athletics Committee. Elsewhere in GR II, the threshold for the Board’s Finance Committee for reviewing capital construction projects is $600,000 or higher. For some reason, the threshold for Athletics capital construction in GR II is $400,000. The change we discussed was to increase the threshold to $600,000 to keep that in line with the language for the Finance Committee. The second reading for this GR change will be in December, after appropriate consultation with campus constituent groups.
Our second item of discussion dealt with the 2011 – 2012 financial statements from Athletics. Those were approved and recommended to the Board.
At the Finance Committee meeting, we heard a detailed presentation on Phase IIA of the residence hall project with Education Reality Trust (EdR). Trustees were given opportunities to ask questions about the proposed expansion in Phase IIA prior to the meeting, as well as during the Finance Committee. In a nutshell, Phase IIA involves the following:
· Five new residence hall facilities – an “E”-shaped hall in the Blazer parking lot; an “h”-shaped hall built on the current site of the (old) Wildcat Lodge; an “L”-shaped hall to be built on the site of Haggin Hall once Haggin is demolished (referred to as Haggin II); and two halls to be built where Cooperstown buildings D and E currently are.
· There will be a total of 2,317 new beds that will be ready for students in August 2014. As of August 2014, UK will have 7,675 beds, an increase of 1,703 beds over fall 2013. Although the number is increasing by “only” 1,703 beds, it’s important to remember that the facilities will be new and full of great amenities for students. As of now, the average age of our residence halls is about 50 years old.
· LEED-Silver certification for all five new residence halls.
· Geothermal energy at Haggin II. I didn’t realize this, but the cost of geothermal also involves land space – it takes roughly double the footprint of a building to be able to accommodate geothermal energy. Since our campus is rather landlocked without much extra surface space, Haggin II will be the only new residence hall in Phase IIA that has access to sufficient adjacent space to support geothermal energy.
Finally, the Board met in regular session around 1:45 pm. I was thrilled to have my first chance at a Board meeting to serve in an official capacity as elected Secretary. The duties are not overly weighty, but the knowledge that I earned the position through my interactions with trustees over the past two years, coupled with gaining and retaining their respect, was truly wonderful.
The Board meeting went rather quickly – we’d all had many opportunities to ask questions about the various agenda items. One other contributing factor to a speedy meeting was the very, very long day we spent on Saturday discussing issues pertinent to UK’s future. By Sunday afternoon, I know I was ready to finish up and head home.
Aside from informing staff about Board activities, this blog post also serves as my first attempt to reach all staff, and not rely on a variety of listservs. That is another wonderful milestone in efforts to ensure staff are well informed about what your staff trustee is up to!
I remain honored to serve staff as your representative to the Board. Please know you are welcome to contact me at any time, about any matter. You can reach me via email (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org), by phone (257-5872) or you can stop by my office in 202E Main Building.
With very best regards,
This is your regularly scheduled post-Board of Trustees meeting update. The Board met Tuesday, September 10. The full agenda for the meeting, plus supporting documentation, can be found at http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/sept/welcome.html. I’ve concentrated on the issues I found to be particularly interesting and/or important.
Athletics Committee Meeting
We reviewed and approved two action items regarding renovations to the women’s softball field and to the men’s and women’s soccer fields. I very much enjoyed the presentation from some female student athletes who travelled over the summer to Ethiopia and visited some impoverished areas, including a leper colony. They shared their overseas experiences and it was fascinating to hear how their lives were changed by that one trip. It is wonderful that some of our student athletes are able to have such experiences. One young woman observed that while money is important, it isn’t everything; giving your time to another human being can be far more valuable.
Executive Committee Report 1 (Annual Performance Evaluation)
Board Chair E. Britt Brockman went over the process and subsequent results regarding the Executive Committee’s evaluation of President Capilouto. In June 2012, select individuals (from constituencies approved by the Board) were asked qualitative and quantitative questions about the following aspects of President Capilouto’s performance: leadership; relationships with constituencies; strategies and priorities; financial management; fund-raising; organization and team; and future considerations. The constituencies included staff, students, faculty, legislators, donors, etc. About 30 individuals from the various groups submitted evaluation forms; 45 in-person interviews were conducted.
The average response from evaluators was 4.4 (on a five-point scale, with five being the best rating) and the majority of respondents gave President Capilouto a score of 4.5 or better. Chair Brockman added that respondents identified a few items for improvement, including communication; for example, while respondents complimented President Capilouto’s habits of listening to people, thinking about options, and then making a final decision, some expressed concerns that his messages were still not being adequately communicated to all constituencies.
I think the evaluation process went well. In my opinion, the process this year was more inclusive of various constituencies (including increased input from staff), did a good job of facilitating a well-rounded evaluation with depth and breadth of input, and continued the practice of keeping individual evaluations anonymous. Overall, I ranked President Capilouto highly. I agreed with the need for better communication, but I believe that poor communication at our University has been a problem for some time.
Executive Committee Report 2 (Performance Incentive Payment)
Board Chair Brockman reported that the Executive Committee sincerely wished to offer President Capilouto a first year performance incentive payment. However, based on discussions with the President, the Executive Committee decided to postpone any such action because of current economic conditions.
Nominating Committee Report (Election of Officers and Executive Committee)
This portion of the meeting was particularly special to me, as I was on the slate of officer candidates, for the Secretary position. I was (and still am!) thrilled to be elected and I will serve as the Board’s Secretary through June 2013.
Earning that position is important to me, for at least two reasons: it is an enormous honor to be elected to an officer position on the Board, as it reflects the respect I have earned from fellow trustees; and that although the Secretary position is a non-voting ex officio member of the Board’s Executive Committee, I certainly do not need a vote to speak my mind and bring the staff’s perspective to bear on issues at that level.
I have enjoyed representing my fellow staff on the Board of Trustees and I expect that this year will be no different. As always, I encourage you to contact me about any matter whatsoever, including suggestions about how to improve my communications with staff. Feel free to email me (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by my office in 202E Main Building.
With very best regards,
Good morning, everyone. I’m sorry for the delay in posting your (usually) regularly scheduled blog post. The full agenda (with supporting documentation) for the June 19 Board of Trustees meeting is available at http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/jun/welcome.html. Below are some particular items of interest.
President’s Report 3 (Removal of a Board Member)
This was the second reading for the proposed change to Governing Regulations II (“Governance of the University of Kentucky”). KRS statute has outlined the process for removal of a Board member for many, many years, but it was not documented/duplicated in UK’s regs. As part of the upcoming SACSCOC accreditation (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges – they recently changed their name from just ”SACS”), UK has added that information to Governing Regulations II. Only the Governor can remove a Board member, and it must be for just cause. I personally think that elected trustees should be subject to removal by a process conducted by their constituents, but I don’t feel strongly enough about it to try to change state law!
Finance Committee Report 4 (Budget Revision)
The Board approved a budget revision for the Athletics department – when the budget was created for 11-12, the basketball schedule had not yet been solidified. A 20th home game was added (they budgeted for 19) and Athletics had to receive approval from the Board to use the money generated from that previously unbudgeted 20th game. The income received will be primarily used for the renovations of the Softball Complex but a portion will go towards renovations for the ROTC program in Barker Hall.
Finance Committee Report 7 (Campus Security System)
Over the next three to four years, UK will see implementation of a campuswide security system, including cameras, loudspeakers, access to remote video feed for security personnel and employee/student security badges for building entry. The security cameras and loudspeakers will be located inside buildings and outside; the cameras will not be hidden and will look like security cameras (dark dome with a white base). Some sites off campus with security needs (some buildings at Coldstream, for example) will also be included.
Finance Committee Report 13 (Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Operating and Capital Budget)
This was the big item on the agenda, in my mind. I sent out a few emails soliciting input from staff – I wasn’t inundated, but it would be difficult to respond to them all. THANK YOU for sending me your opinions – they really guided my thoughts.
I think that by now, everyone is aware of the details of the budget and the cuts that took place. I’ll just say that I voted against the budget and prepared a short statement to read during the meeting, explaining my rationale for voting against it. That statement is reproduced below, in italics.
One thing that I have learned is that no one on the Board likes surprises when conducting business during meetings. When I am voting or speaking against something, I let the Board Chair and President know in advance as a courtesy. I have a good working relationship with them and other Board members, so voting against this budget does not affect my ability to work with them in the future.
We trustees come from widely varying backgrounds and have just as wide a variety in our opinions. Perhaps what I appreciate the most is that Board members discuss and debate and maybe even argue a little bit, but when the meeting is over, we shake hands, wish each other well and look forward to the next time we can meet and discuss and debate.
As always, if you need to contact me, try email (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can stop by my office – my contact information is in the directory.
One last thing - if you or one of your staff colleagues wins an award, recieves a grant, is elected to your professional board, etc., please let me know. I'd like to start recognizing you in my blog posts. We as staff do many, many wonderful things on this campus and sometimes we don't toot our own horns as much as we should!
With very best regards,
Statement Regarding the Budget (June 19, 2012)
First, I’d like to say to staff employees, including Angie Martin, staff who work in all areas across this University and put in countless hours to get all this information organized and together in one place so I, at the very least, could understand it, T H A N K Y O U.
I have heard from a number of constituents. Many commented on perceptions that decisions in departments are made based on favoritism, not on how the University’s mission can continue to be accomplished. Layoffs affect everyone – employees, students, and the community.
I regret that I must vote “no” on the proposed 2012-13 budget. When I make a big decision, I try to concentrate on a simple question - what am I trying to accomplish? I’m concerned that a major accomplishment of the recent position eliminations was having numbers add up properly on a spreadsheet. That type of simple math is not conducive to helping us reach our goals as a University.
I am concerned that the cuts that have already been enacted are too deep. Many employees were and still are willing to individually endure a paper cut, a small decrease in pay, to avoid watching a co-worker suffer a life-changing gash. I think the administration could have presented a budget that still moves us closer to our goals of improving facilities and our human capital, but sets aside a little less money for capital debt service pool and other items.
My biggest concern is that a vote in favor of the 12-13 budget is that it will be seen as an implicit statement of approval for the cuts scheduled for 2013-2014. If the 13-14 cuts take place, the savings from the cuts will fund the merit raises; I have deep concerns about how our performance evaluation process for staff is currently conducted – it has a number of problems. The evaluation process is inconsistent across campus, it is highly subjective and some departments dictate to supervisors the scores that can and cannot be given. Another issue that needs to be addressed is ensuring that no administrator carves out a little extra money from the raise pool for his or her direct reports, leaving less for the employees further down on the org chart.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to comment at length about this very important issue. President Capilouto, I look forward to our future interactions, whatever the topic may be.
Good afternoon, everyone. This is your regularly scheduled post-Board meeting blog, for the May 8, 2012 meeting. The full agenda with supporting documentation is available at http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/may/welcome.html. This is a long post….
Board’s Human Resources Committee
The morning began with what I believe is a historic event for staff, particularly for our hardworking colleagues in the Staff Senate. The sole agenda item for the HR Committee was a report on the Staff Senate, which was a joint report from Mike Adams, Chair of the Staff Senate, and Terry Olson, who chairs the Staff Issues Committee of the Staff Senate. This was the first time the Staff Senate was formally invited to present to a Board committee and it went very, very well!
Chair Adams shared some information about the history of the Staff Senate and some of the Staff Senate’s accomplishments. Mr. Olson then gave an overview of some of the current issues facing staff employees:
· lack of meaningful salary increases;
· inconsistent processes across campus for performance evaluations;
· salary compression;
· the need for Human Resources (HR) to be given authority to make supervisory training (SuperVision) mandatory for all supervisors; and
· the need for an office/unit to address non-policy workplace issues.
Mr. Olson also explained that the Staff Senate and Staff Issues Committee have partnered with the Human Resources office to develop policies to more clearly define and prohibit bullying and harassment. He also shared information about the very positive working relationship between the Staff Senate and the Office of Work-Life.
Members of the HR Committee asked a few questions. At the end of the meeting, the HR Committee decided that it was valuable to have information on issues that staff employees deal with regularly and suggested that a similar report be given at least annually to the HR Committee! This is a wonderful opportunity to make sure the HR Committee continually stays abreast of issues that are important to us all.
Board’s Athletics Committee
I am a member of the new Athletics Committee; our inaugural meeting was Tuesday. Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart gave an overview of the organizational structure of Athletics and some general facts about UK’s athletic program. UK has the largest number of sports teams in the SEC and four of our teams won conference championships this year: the rifle team, the tennis team, the women’s basketball team and the men’s basketball team. UK and Vanderbilt are the only teams in the SEC that have not been subject to penalties by the NCAA under the Academic Performance Rate (APR) program which measures academic performance for all NCAA institutions.
Next, Executive Associate Athletics Director Sandy Bell explained some of the ins and outs of how the NCAA determines eligibility for student athletes. It was interesting to learn how the academic eligibility system works. Ms. Bell explained that UK began the first academic tutorial center for student athletes in the nation in 1981 and that UK’s student-athlete tutoring program is emulated across the country. Every UK freshman student athlete must participate in individualized tutoring, but can earn their way out of the mandatory tutor with sufficient academic success. There is also a program (initiated in 1992) that offers a way for former student athletes to complete a degree after leaving UK; over 100 post-eligibility student athletes have completed the program and earned a degree.
A lot of additional facts and figures were shared with us, but what I found most refreshing and interesting is that our student athletes are treated as students first, with the “athlete” part coming in second. I’ve heard a number of times from various folks that Athletics needs to contribute more to the educational mission of UK. I don’t feel I know enough at this point to have an educated opinion, though I look forward to learning more.
Board's Finance Committee
The big item on Tuesday’s agenda was the request for the Board to approve the tuition, fees, dining and room rates for 2012-2013. (The budget itself will be reviewed at the June meeting.) Trustees had an opportunity to attend any of three voluntary educational sessions on the tuition, fees, etc. a week or so ago – I attended two of them. Vice President of Financial Operations Angie Martin gave a presentation to the Finance Committee on the proposed increases.
As stated in his email to campus on April 20 and May 8, President Capilouto proposed to the Board a 6% increase in tuition and mandatory fees for in-state and out-of-state students for the 2012-2013 year. In 2013-2014, the plan is for a 3% increase in tuition and mandatory fees for in-state students while out-of-state students would see another 6% increase. Along with that, academic units (colleges) will get an across-the-board cut for FY 2012-13 of 3.3%, and administrative units be cut by 5.0%. In FY 2013-14, academic units may be cut by an additional 4.2% and administrative units may be cut by an additional 6.4%. UK will set aside $15.4 million to be used in the future to pay for the debt on $200 million in capital project buildings. Finally, while there will not be any raises in the budget for 2012-2013, $21.2 million is set aside for merit raises in 13-14.
I think President Capilouto is doing the best he can, given what he has to work with. He has a state government that has regularly cut UK’s funding on a regular basis since 2001. He also has a budgeting process that is based on incremental budgeting. Our process is not transparent and encourages units to spend as much of their budget as they can to make sure they can argue for the same budget to be given the following year. Finally, President Capilouto inherited a campus budget process that does not encourage accountability regarding how the money is spent. Without that information, he and his staff cannot drill down into how units are performing, since the budget information currently captured does not lend itself to making decisions based on unit performance toward the University’s goals. The President has opted to move to biennial budgeting, since the state gives us funding (or gives us insufficient funding) for two years at a time. That is a logical idea which UK could have implemented sooner.
I am remain mindful of my responsibility to vote on issues that reflects staff needs, as well as the University’s needs as a whole. Ideologically, votes on tuition and budget are difficult for me. If I voted against the proposed tuition increases, it would mean a vote against a tuition increase which will help fund raises in two years. If I voted for the proposed tuition increases, it would mean a vote for increased tuition that makes it harder for Kentucky’s families to afford a college education. (I must note that President Capilouto has made an effort to increase scholarship monies and I applaud that effort.)
We have some tough times ahead of us and supervisors and administrators have to make some hard decisions. I think UK is moving in the right direction, though, and will be poised to take advantage of a variety of opportunities when they present themselves. Units across campus are in the midst of creating their plans to accommodate. I have been assured that the Board will be provided a summary of the cuts and will receive regular updates throughout the fall and spring.
During the full Board meeting at 1 pm, a number of trustees (myself included) expressed concern about the proposed increases in tuition and what that meant for Kentucky families. In the end, though, there were two abstentions and the remainder voted in favor of the proposed increases.
The last thing the Board heard was a presentation from Robynn Pease, Director of Work-Life. Ms. Pease reported on the results of the 2010 Work-Life survey and highlighted how far UK has come, as well as some current challenges. She briefly mentioned the five committees that were created to address the five biggest issues: 1. Trust, Communication and Value; 2. Career Development; 3. Inclusivity; 4. Burnout; and 5. Childcare and Elder Care. I commented to Board members that although the five committees worked independently, it was exceptionally striking to me that each committee’s report mentioned the same themes of the need for improved respect, shared governance, trust, value, and communication. Much of how President Capilouto has functioned during his first year has, in my opinion, contributed to improvements in all these areas but there is still work to be done. You can review the survey results at http://www.uky.edu/HR/WorkLife/2010_survey_introduction.html, (look at the bar to the right for the details) and the reports from the five committees at http://www.uky.edu/HR/WorkLife/2012_observations_report.html. I believe that changing our workplace culture is necessary and will require some top-down leadership to make lasting change.
Finally, and speaking of culture change, I believe that UK’s Core Values (as outlined in Governing Regulations I) are a good starting point for culture change at our individual, local levels. I printed out the Values a month or so ago and they are taped above my desk. I encourage you to look at these Values periodically – print out page four of GR I and put it in your break room, on a bulletin board, etc. If we all start paying attention to little things in our day-to-day interactions with each other, we can make a big change ourselves.
· Mutual respect and human dignity;
· Diversity and inclusion;
· Academic freedom;
· Personal and institutional responsibility and accountability;
· Shared governance;
· A sense of community;
· Work-life sensitivity;
· Civic engagement; and
· Social responsibility.
I appreciate and welcome your thoughts and comments. You can always reach me on the phone or via email (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / 257-5872).
Good afternoon, colleagues. Welcome to your update for the March 27, 2012 Board of Trustees meeting. I’ll mention the highlights. You can access the agenda and all supporting documentation at http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/mar/welcome.html.
Chair’s Report 1 (CR 1)
Board Chair Britt Brockman presented a new process of evaluating the president. Here are all the details: http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/mar/cr1.pdf. Essentially, the new evaluation process (the Board approved its adoption) will be a 360° evaluation of the President, with 20-30 interviews with representatives of key constituent groups who are in a position to comment on the President’s performance. Every three to four years the number of interviewees will increase to 40-50. Constituency groups will include the University Senate, Staff Senate, Student Government Association, Alumni Association, senior administrators, elected officials, donors, and state and local community leaders. The full Board will identify the individuals to be interviewed.
Interview questions will be agreed upon by the President and the Board Chair, in consultation with the Board’s Executive Committee. The President will prepare an annual self-evaluation to help aid the evaluation process. The Executive Committee will be responsible for conducting the evaluation (as is the current practice, per Governing Regulations II.E.2.a) and will share the results with the Board.
Evaluation questions will be both quantitative (on a five-point scale) and qualitative. The last page of the supporting documentation also includes sample questions used by other universities. Since they weren’t designed for UK, they don’t quite fit at UK, but they are good, basic examples of the types of questions we will use. In my opinion, this is a dramatic change for UK, and for the good of the University. This gives us as trustees a better picture of the President’s performance.
I think that the revised presidential evaluation process is a huge improvement. It will allow many more individuals to participate in the evaluation, particularly those who work closely with the President in various, specific areas. Board members will also offer individual opinions on the President’s performance.
President’s Report 4 (PR 4)
President Capilouto explained that the Board was being asked to award an Honorary Doctor of Engineering to Vijay K. Dhir and an Honorary Doctor of Science to Sally Mason. The Board approved them both unanimously – their bios are at http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/mar/cr1.pdf.
This was the second reading for a series of Governing Regulations changes that were revised primarily to ensure compliance with SACS accreditation standards. Some concerns were raised during the February Board meeting about how the proposed changes came to be and the Board Chair charged the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee with reviewing the changes. I attended one of the educational sessions provided to all Board members to help explain the changes. When the 2009 – 2014 Strategic Plan was approved in June 2009, it included a “Values” statement that was an update from what was listed in Governing Regulations II.C.3. There was a concern that the changes to UK’s “Values” statement may not have been appropriately vetted during the Strategic Plan development process. So, between the February and March meetings, there was a robust process at the Board level in which the changes to the Values (which stem from GR II.C.3) were vetted among Board members, as well with student, faculty and staff representative bodies.
There were other items, of course, but the issues above caught my eye, so to speak.
I enjoyed watching the positive outcome of the Governing Regulations review process, which was organized by the Academic Affairs Committee Chair, Keith Gannon. It is a good example of how well things turn out when different groups of University constituencies work together. Shared governance is a powerful thing.
As always, I am honored to represent staff at the level of the Board. If there is something you need from me, please don’t hesitate to ask. (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / 257-5872)
All the best,
Hello, everyone. This is your February 21, 2012 Board of Trustees update. The entire agenda is available at http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/feb/welcome.html.
The meeting began with the swearing in of the new faculty trustee, John F. Wilson (Medicine/Behavioral Science). Shortly thereafter, the Board honored longtime assistant to the Board, Peggy Way, for her decades of service in the President’s office.
As part of PR 1, President Capilouto introduced Dr. Margaret Szabunio, associate medical director of the Comprehensive Breast Care Center and division chief of women’s radiology at UK HealthCare. She talked to the Board about her specialization in using tomosynthesis in the early detection of breast cancer. (See http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/tomosynthesis-announcement/ for a complete article..)
PR 4 involved a number of changes to a variety of Governing Regulations. There were a few questions about wording changes, specifically the changes to the Values section in GR I. Board Chair Britt Brockman suggested that the Board’s Academic Affairs Committee review the language prior to the March Board meeting.
The agenda item that I found to be the most interesting was FCR 8, “Authorization of Ground Lease for Student Housing.” http://www.uky.edu/Trustees/agenda/full/2012/feb/fcr8.pdf The Board was given a number of educational sessions and Q&As with various administrators prior to the Board meeting. There were so many opportunities to ask questions in advance that there was not much discussion during the actual Board meeting. One trustee asked for confirmation that the vote of the Board was for one residence hall, and that was confirmed. I asked for confirmation that UK’s plan was for UK employees currently employed at Haggin Hall (the first residence hall to be torn down, in late summer 2013) will be reassigned to similar University assignments, with no change in start date, leave accruals, health benefits, etc. I was assured that that was the case.
I encourage you to review the link to FCR 8, above. There is a draft, bulleted list of the terms of the ground lease between UK and Education Reality Trust (EdR) which really explains a lot. Below are a few pieces of information that I found interesting.
· UK’s newest residence halls were built around 2005, so our “new” residence halls are seven years old. Prior to that, the last residence halls were opened in 1967.
· Over 700 students, including some returning freshmen, are turned away annually due to an insufficient number of beds. Studies show that students, particularly freshmen and sophomores, are more likely to succeed if they live in campus housing.
· Assuming UK’s past housing rate increases continue at the same level through 2013, when the new dorm on Haggin Field opens, the price of UK’s premium rooms (the dorms built in 2005) will be about $150 per semester cheaper than EdR’s new premium rooms. EdR’s average annual rate increases have hovered around 3.4 percent, while UK’s annual increases have traditionally been around 5.4%.
· While the Board discussed one new residence hall, in reality it will be two separate buildings, each built in a U-shape with outdoor space in the center of the U, including an amphitheater suitable for small classes.
· The new residence hall rooms will be about 170 square feet larger than UK’s current premium rooms (2 double rooms with one shared bath).
· Microwaves and refrigerators will be standard in every room. Not only can EdR guarantee more energy efficient units (as opposed to a unit that a student’s brother used eight years ago), but leaving the units in the rooms will reduce wear and tear on the building. Also, when the microwave turns on, the refrigerator will power off. Just a little more energy savings!
· EdR will seek silver LEED certification for the residence hall. On a related note, and a first for UK, the residence hall will be heated and cooled with geothermal power.
· To further the concept of living/learning communities, there will be three smart classrooms in the basement of one of the buildings, as well as office space for the Honors Program.
As you may know, this is very likely laying the groundwork for a campuswide agreement with EdR to manage all of UK’s campus housing. What the Board voted on during the February meeting, though, was for one residence hall. Moving ahead with other residence halls will require further, additional Board action.
My opinion is that this is a bold, creative step for UK to take. I believe that improved student housing will help UK enroll and retain students at higher levels. On the most basic level, our students deserve better facilities. Once housing is addressed, I suspect the President will begin the task of improving the rest of our buildings and office space.
I remain honored to serve each of you. If you want to reach me, I am easily accessible via email (email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org) and on the phone (7-5872). Enjoy the coming spring break!