February 18, 1999


An Executive Committee meeting of the State Board of Higher Education was called to order by President Imeson at 4:15 p.m.


The following Executive Committee members were present:

Dr. Herb Aschkenasy
Ms. Diane Christopher
Ms. Gail McAllister (via telephone)
Ms. Phyllis Wustenberg
Mr. Tom Imeson

Other Board members:  Mr. David Koch

Chancellor's Office:  Bill Anslow, Bob Bruce, Shirley Clark, Joseph Cox, Diane Vines, Marv Wigle

Institution presidents:  Paul Risser

Others:  Andy Bromeland (Secretary of State's Office, Audit Division), Mary Nicholson (Secretary of State's Office, Audit Division), Don Riggs (Deloitte & Touche), Rita-Lyn Sanders (Corvallis Gazette-Times), Tandi Thomas (Deloitte & Touche)


The Executive Committee dispensed with the reading of the January 15, 1999, Executive Committee minutes. Ms. Wustenberg moved and Ms. Christopher seconded the motion to approve the Executive Committee minutes as submitted. The following voted in favor: Directors Aschkenasy, Christopher, McAllister, Wustenberg, and Imeson. Those voting no: none.


Mr. Imeson indicated that he and several other Board members had just concluded a formal visit to the OSU campus. Noting that it was very interesting and informative, he said that he would discuss the visitation in greater detail at the regular Board meeting.


The Committee reviewed the audited financial statements for the year ending June 30, 1998, as prepared by Deloitte and Touche, LLP. The Executive Committee briefly moved into an Executive Session, pursuant to ORS 192.660(1)(a), for the purpose of discussing personnel matters.

Board members made recommendations to Mr. Wigle for various actions at several campuses.


OSU--President Risser

President Imeson asked President Risser to take about five minutes to highlight the most important points in his goals and objectives.

Dr. Risser explained that, in terms of areas of focus, working with lawmakers to ensure implementation of the new funding model was his top priority, followed by effective implementation within OSU. Next were enrollment (both undergraduate and graduate), maintaining financial stability, and the responsibility to communicate the values of OSU nationally and internationally.

Dr. Aschkenasy said that he felt Dr. Risser's plan was both ambitious and comprehensive, noting that the OSU objectives tended to have measurable parameters, except for the president's personal goals and objectives as related to the institution. Dr. Risser concurred that most everything he identified as a goal or objective was quantitative, adding that he was willing to have most of his performance judged on the performance of the institution.

"Under each one of the goals, I have a separate one for myself. I'll be happy to share those at the end of the year during my evaluation process," indicated President Risser. Continuing, he said, "Some of the things that I do or should do will not be quantifiable, as they are leadership goals."

Responding to a question from Dr. Aschkenasy regarding student retention, President Risser shared that the loss of students between the first and second terms in 1998-99 was only 3.7 percent, a decrease from 1997-98.

Ms. Christopher asked about the status of the institution's financial management and if any training is taking place for all levels of staff. President Risser indicated that departments had been essentially reconstructed and that a process of total resource review at the department level was a routine component of the new accountability process.

Dr. Risser explained that athletics remained a challenging area, but the budget was, in fact, stabilized. "We will still have to increase our revenue to be where we need to be at the end of the year," President Risser said. However, he felt hopeful that with the surge in purchases of new season tickets for the 1999 football season, coupled with increased fundraising efforts, the athletics department was experiencing a positive turnaround.

Ms. Wustenberg asked about the institution's Odyssey Program for freshmen, which attracted nearly 1,300 students in 1998-99. "Is there any way to get some more people involved?" she asked.

"It is a very successful program," observed Dr. Risser. "Those who have the initiative are those who tend to stay. We need to try and capture the students who wouldn't normally participate. Prospective students are now being encouraged to be involved in the opportunity, but I don't think we'll make it mandatory," President Risser said.

Ms. McAllister complimented President Risser on his report, saying that she liked how he separated goals for himself and the campus. She asked him to elaborate on the issue of management and leadership. There was agreement that it would be discussed in detail during the evaluation process.

"What can the Board do to help you?" asked President Imeson.

"The Board has been helpful," responded President Risser. "The new budget model and its credibility in the legislature is good. Also, your charge that each institution become more autonomous is a positive direction," he concluded.

"We had a good conversation today regarding diversity on campus. I'm glad it's a goal--you seem to be moving along well," observed Ms. Christopher.

OUS--Chancellor Cox

President Imeson asked Chancellor Cox to take about five minutes to highlight the most important points in his goals and objectives.

In his opening comments, Chancellor Cox shared, "I don't consider myself successful unless the institutions are successful. I don't know how you would quantify that. In Oregon, we have assembled the best set of presidents that I've had the privilege of working with," he said.

The Chancellor noted that, in his goals, the term "broker" was going to have to be expanded greatly. Continuing, he said, "We ought to do some strategic planning and environmental scanning; it's been too ad hoc. The areas within biotechnology--we should be harnessing those things."

When discussing implementation of the new budget model, he asked, "What's the Chancellor's Office going to look like five years from now?" He shared that one of his challenges will not only be implementing the new budget model, but changing the culture at both the System and institution levels.

Mr. Imeson observed, "The Board feels strongly that financial accountability needs continued attention. Good financial practices are needed to ensure that this new investment involves sound, prudent financial practices. The Chancellor's Office should provide oversight and the Board needs to continue to ask about it."

Ms. Christopher shared that she appreciated the Chancellor's efforts to collaborate with the presidents in decision making processes whenever possible. "Use them as much as you can," she said.

"It's going to be essential to show more of a System approach to the state and to the world. We will be as weak as each of the individual institutions," said Dr. Aschkenasy.

The Chancellor said that, in terms of leadership, Board orientation was a concern of his. From an internal perspective, he urged the Board to look at leadership development across the System, saying that more opportunities for long-term leadership within the System should be created.

"Are there any ideas for opportunities as you see it?" asked Ms. Wustenberg.

"There are still underserved areas," indicated the Chancellor. "We'll have to look and see what happens with ED-NET. We also need to

bring faculty along to teach classes in different mediums. Learning beyond the traditional classroom is a huge opportunity. I find that exciting."

While indicating that she appreciated the Chancellor's foresight and flexibility, Ms. McAllister cautioned that the Chancellor and the Board try not to do everything at once. "We really need to focus," she said.


The Executive Committee meeting adjourned at 5:55 p.m.

Diane Vines
Secretary of the Board

Tom Imeson
President of the Board