OREGON STATE BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION
MINUTES OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING
ROOM 238, SMITH MEMORIAL CENTER
PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY
September 17, 1999
CALL TO ORDER
An Executive Committee meeting of the State Board of Higher Education was called to order by Vice President Christopher at 8:33 a.m.
The following Executive Committee members were present:
Ms. Diane Christopher
Ms. Gail McAllister
Ms. Phyllis Wustenberg
Absent: Dr. Herb Aschkenasy and Mr. Tom Imeson, who were both out of the country.
The Executive Committee, after agreeing to the reasons for an executive session as described in ORS 192.660(1)(a), for the purpose of discussing personnel matters, dismissed themselves between 8:35 and 10:50 a.m. The following presidents underwent their annual personnel reviews: Bernstine, Creighton, Dow, Frohnmayer, Reno, and Youngblood. The Executive Committee conducted its reviews of Chancellor Cox and President Risser on July 16, 1999. (Copies of the Chancellor's and presidents' goals for 1999-00 are on file in the Board's office.)
RECONVENE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Upon reconvening the open session of the Executive Committee meeting at 11:10 a.m., Ms. Christopher noted that Mr. Jim Lussier and Dr. Geri Richmond were present. Also in attendance was Board nominee Mr. Shawn Hempel, a student at OIT named to replace Ms. Katie Van Patten, whose term expired June 30.
Moving to the discussion of presidential goals for 1999-00, Ms. Christopher asked to keep questions to a minimum, as materials were received for review at an earlier date. She noted that Chancellor Cox would also be presenting his goals, since time ran short at the July meeting. In requesting that each president and the Chancellor single out their three top priorities for the year, Ms. Christopher called President Bernstine forward.1999-00
MR. DANIEL BERNSTINE, PSU
President Bernstine articulated his three main goals as 1) continuing growth of academic programs and improving quality, 2) focusing on the recommended actions described in the campus climate report, the thrust of which is to improve the quality of student life and the working environment for faculty and staff, and 3) working on refining the capital campaign. In terms of general priorities, President Bernstine said that he hoped to address some deferred maintenance issues, and to work to improve faculty recruitment and retention.
The Chancellor asked the president to comment on how he might balance his campus role to that which is expected of him in the community. President Bernstine did believe that his presence would shift more from on-campus to off, particularly more so as the capital campaign progresses.
Elaborating on the capital campaign, President Bernstine explained that PSU alumni and the Portland community as a whole seem prepared to commit to the institution financially. Departments are in the process of submitting their requests, which will ultimately determine a realistic campaign goal. "We see this touching all points of the University," President Bernstine said.
Complimenting the president on his goals relating to collaboration with other institutions, Mr. Lussier asked about the prospects for additional outreach. President Bernstine explained his ideas for dispelling the notion that PSU is simply the "City's University." "We are working hard to take our message beyond the borders of the community, and prove to citizens that we can help solve problems and address issues that are relevant to the state," he shared.
When asked how the Board might offer its support, the president said the Board has, in fact, been extremely supportive of PSU and him personally. He added that in the climate of PSU's time for change, he anticipates presenting some new challenges to the Board that will initiate discussions about how PSU grows.
DR. PHILLIP CREIGHTON, EOU
As outlined in July, President Creighton reiterated Eastern's goal to become the selective undergraduate institution in the state. In order to achieve that, he described his three goals for 1999-00 as 1) attracting quality faculty and staff, 2) maintaining and developing quality programs, and 3) recruiting quality students.
In further describing the means to achieve the three primary goals, President Creighton explained that attracting top-quality faculty in a rural environment is becoming increasingly challenging, yet one he feels is vital to the institution's success. Addressing the second goal of quality programs, President Creighton said the focus over the next year will be to completely revamp the general education program. The third goal, or that of attracting top-notch students, would be to make them feel comfortable and safe in a quality learning environment.
Ms. Christopher asked Dr. Creighton to articulate how he intends to recruit and retain students. Dr. Creighton explained that his message to students is they can receive a private school experience at a public school cost. "In our developing plans, we have built a rich educational program that includes internships, international experiences, service learning, undergraduate research, and the opportunity to be mentored by faculty in a very close one-to-one relationship," he shared.
Dr. Richmond asked why the general education program was pinpointed as an area requiring restructuring. President Creighton responded that a review of the program during the recent accreditation elicited comments that the program was very traditional, and characteristic of programs from the 1960s, which lacked integration. "We're now looking to put together a program that has relevance," concluded Dr. Creighton.
DR. MARTHA ANNE DOW, OIT
Dr. Dow explained that her goals for 1999-00 are very focused. Extending access, both statewide and regionally, through various delivery mechanisms was described as one of President Dow's primary goals. Collaboration with other institutions, including community colleges, was named secondly. Maintaining an optimum student learning environment with quality, professional faculty and facilities was identified as her third goal for the year.
Dr. Dow shared details on a possible collaborative program with PSU to bring a laser optics program to the Portland area, in an effort to expand access and increase OIT's presence in that region. Continuing, Dr. Dow described a partnership with SOU that works toward fulfilling the needs of the southern Oregon communities, Dr. Dow explained that programs would include collaboration with Rogue and Klamath Community Colleges.
Another key goal identified by President Dow related to managing a revenue cost model, which includes seeking adequate resources in an entrepreneurial way, with the expansion of OIT's foundation, as well as cultivating private and corporate partnerships. As a personal goal, Dr. Dow said she hoped to raise $500,000 within the next year.
In seeking a balance between OIT's presence in Klamath Falls and extending services statewide, Chancellor Cox asked President Dow how she might know when that balance is achieved. Admitting the challenge set forth, particularly in the geographic location of OIT, President Dow responded that the campus community desires to maintain a strong academic college environment, but to have that kind of environment extend itself into different modalities is difficult. The faculty, she surmised, has recognized the need to expand, particularly in the Portland area. She attributed the support and understanding of faculty of the opportunities created, and the overall relation to OIT's mission of expansion, to the work over the past year of the President's Advisory Council.
MR. DAVID FROHNMAYER, UO
President Frohnmayer identified access, quality, and specific programmatic development in the sciences and social studies as his three main priorities for 1999-00. He included a concern: that of how the System copes with the information age and the dramatic challenges it presents related to higher education.
Access, he said, is intimately tied to the new market model of funding. Issues of maintaining diversity goals (both student and faculty), and recruitment of Oregon's best and brightest in increasing numbers, are critically important to building the quality of the institution. Faculty salaries are also linked to the issue of maintaining quality, explained President Frohnmayer, noting that UO has lost several key faculty over the past year.
Restructuring the undergraduate curriculum was another priority named by President Frohnmayer, who likened information in UO's accreditation report from several years ago to that in Eastern's, which called for greater coherence in the program. Campus constituency submitted ideas for change, and now staff are in the process of implementing many of those concepts.
Moving to his third priority relating to programmatic change, President Frohnmayer highlighted the Brain, Biology, and Machine program, which he described as not only interdisciplinary, but hyperdisciplinary, involving everything from cognitive and decision sciences, molecular biology, neuroscience, and information technology. "This program enables people to interact with each other across disciplinary lines in a time when disciplines are increasingly being trapped in subspecialties," President Frohnmayer explained. He added that the prospects for federal funding for the pilot project are good, with eventual support coming from foundation and private sources.
Further explaining his concern over information technology, President Frohnmayer said he felt it was critically important for UO to keep up with advances nationwide. How distance learning programs are disseminated remains a huge issue. "The vision to see where this is going, how we preserve the core values of a residential institution, and how we afford it, are serious questions of mine," shared President Frohnmayer.
DR. STEPHEN RENO, SOU
President Reno concurred with President Frohnmayer's comments about the digital age, adding that the overall goal at Southern is to reconcile the digital with the communitarian. "To take the enormous doorway to information that the digital age offers and reconcile that with what we believe to be a continuing interest of students at the undergraduate level, remains an overarching goal," he observed.
President Reno outlined his three highest priority goals for the year as 1) improving faculty salaries, 2) strengthening the experience of students in undergraduate research, including their practica, internship, and capstone experiences, and 3) enhancing diversity, not only in terms of student minority representation, but also curriculum.
Turning back to the faculty salary issue, President Reno said he is committed to addressing the challenge and asked for flexibility to explore ideas that might be considered "outside of the box." Concepts the president identified were a "portable" tuition remission program for faculty/staff and their families, and exploration of a gain sharing or revenue sharing model, so that if certain agreed upon enrollment and retention revenue targets were met or exceeded, the institution would have the opportunity to share a portion of the additional revenue gain with faculty and staff responsible for the increase. He admitted that careful negotiations would be necessary to implement a program of this nature.
Explaining his second goal, President Reno said that evidence proves that students who work closely with faculty and/or who participate in internships feel better prepared upon graduation. While the programs are labor intensive and increasingly difficult to monitor, President Reno expressed his desire to continue to offer these kinds of experiences to students.
Regarding his third goal related to diversity, President Reno said that, following the Board's challenge, and based on conversations earlier in the year with faculty and staff, the campus is prepared to make diversification a higher priority. "We want the educational experience of students to reflect the diverse culture of our society," he shared, adding that a curriculum redesign would be part of the process to be successful. President Reno concluded his remarks by indicating that Southern staff would like to explore the possibility of shifting to a semester system.
Mr. Lussier asked for further clarification of the establishment of a Center for Teaching and Learning, as listed in President Reno's goals submitted to the Board. Funded by a Carnegie grant, President Reno explained that it brings together a mixture of some of the highest quality faculty at Southern and promising younger professors who want to learn from them. The group identifies best practices, how to modify them to specific circumstances at Southern, and then how to monitor them.
Dr. Richmond asked if there was some kind of coordination of internships available to students. President Reno responded that Dr. Mary Ellen Fleeger, executive assistant to the president, was in charge of the program. "It's extremely important that there are clear understandings between all parties, otherwise credibility is damaged, and those relationships are difficult to rebuild. We give this a lot of priority," said President Reno.
DR. BETTY YOUNGBLOOD, WOU
President Youngblood outlined her three goals as 1) improving academic growth and quality, 2) implementing some of the goals identified in Western's strategic initiative, and 3) increasing and diversifying resources.
Describing activities related to her first goal, Dr. Youngblood discussed a new initiative on the north coast as well as evolving new on-campus academic programs, including an assessment program for academic programs that would be analyzed to determine how programs could be improved.
The second goal, pertaining to Western's strategic planning initiative, said Dr. Youngblood, involves bringing some of the aspects in that plan to a new level over the next year.
Third, she highlighted budgetary issues. Over the coming year, an emphasis will be placed on increasing the number of scholarships and implementing the new budget model, making certain it is fully incorporated into the University culture. "We are trying in a number of ways to do what is necessary as quickly and efficiently as possible for the University to realize its full potential in OUS," she concluded.
Ms. Wustenberg remarked that all presidents should be commended for their support of the institutions.
DR. JOSEPH COX, CHANCELLOR
Chancellor Cox explained that his goals falls into two categories: 1) work that is finished and 2) work that must be initiated and carried forward.
Turning to the work that must be completed, the Chancellor reviewed governance changes, including taking the new Committee structure to its next level of development; defining autonomy and accountability; balancing competition and collaboration; initiating final discussions with the Governor on the advisory body issue; implementing the budget model; and meeting performance indicators.
The Chancellor further described new challenge areas he viewed as priorities, including relating to constituencies more effectively and setting 2001 legislative goals. "Identifying themes and building compelling concepts so that we continue to win support throughout the state are vital to our success," he said, adding that, "Access and quality must be central to our thinking and planning."
Concluding his remarks, Chancellor Cox said the System needs to work to "identify its strengths and weaknesses, address our short suits, and clearly see our opportunities."
Ms. Christopher complimented the Chancellor and the presidents for their commitment to the evaluation process and to setting goals. "This has been really important to our success, so that people understand that we're willing to be accountable. We commend you for your hard work."
Mr. Lussier remarked that two ways in which the Board can better support presidents would be to work toward specifying autonomy and systemization. "We need to relate those back to the goals of the institution. I think there's a lot of opportunity there," he said.
GRIEVANCE OF SANDRA ANDERSON, THOMAS GRAHAM, PAMELA MILLER, AND MATTHEW MODRCIN, PSU
This was a joint grievance brought for the Executive Committee's review (see July 1999 Board meeting minutes for delegation of authority) under the grievance and appeal procedure in the Board's Administrative Rule, OAR 580-021-0055. Four faculty members in the Graduate School of Social Work at Portland State University: Sandra Anderson, Thomas Graham, Pamela Miller, and Matthew Modrcin, filed a formal grievance related to their expectation of additional compensation each term for teaching off-campus classes in the Master's of Social Work Distance Learning Option. PSU treated the off-campus classes during 1998-99 as part of regular faculty load, replacing other on-campus classes within the faculty members' workload assignments. Last February the University Faculty Grievance Panel heard the grievance brought by the faculty members and recommended in March that two faculty members, Pamela Miller and Thomas Graham, who were teaching the 1998-99 courses, be compensated $2,500 additionally for each of the three terms of the academic year. The Panel also recommended that PSU reconsider its compensation policy, and agree to pay an additional $2,500 per term, so that two other faculty, Sandra Anderson and Matthew Modrcin, might still choose to teach off-campus classes in the Distance Learning Option during 1999-2000. In succession, Provost Reardon and President Bernstine responded to these recommendations by agreeing that there was some misunderstanding on the part of faculty and a need for clarification of the terms of compensation. In acknowledgment of this, they extended a previous offer of an additional $2,500 for the 1998-99 year to Professors Miller and Graham and $2,500 to Professors Anderson and Modrcin if they teach off-site practice courses in 1999-2000. President Bernstine further indicated that he would ask the PSU Advisory Council to review and make recommendations on off-site teaching policies University-wide.
Board President Imeson designated OUS Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Shirley Clark to review this matter on behalf of the Board and to make a report to the Board. That report was distributed to Board members separately.
Recommendation to the Executive Committee
Vice Chancellor Clark recommended that (1) the joint appeal of Professors Anderson, Graham, Miller, and Modrcin be denied; (2) $3,750 stipends be paid to Professors Graham and Miller for 1998-99 and, if Professors Anderson and Modrcin teach practice courses in the Distance Learning Option in 1999-2000, they likewise be paid stipends of $3,750 in addition to their salaries; and (3) President Bernstine's plan to review Portland State University's policies on off-site teaching and strengthen modes of communication concerning such policies be affirmed.
Executive Committee Discussion and Action
Assistant Attorney General Wendy Robinson explained the role of the Executive Committee in the grievance process.
Vice Chancellor Clark reviewed the grievance as submitted and her determination, as stated in her recommendation to the Executive Committee.
Dr. Pamela Miller, one of the faculty members involved, testified on behalf of all four grievants. In her summary, Dr. Miller submitted that the professors did not misunderstand the compensation involved in the distance learning program, and that lack of documentation from the University led to the proceedings.
Ms. Wustenberg asked to clarify if the practice faculty has a different load than that of on-site faculty. Dr. Miller responded that distance learning faculty who remained on campus did have more students, but it was the understanding of the grievants that they would be compensated for time away from home and family. Vice Chancellor Clark added that it was her understanding that the practice faculty taught off-site courses as a replacement for courses they would have taught on campus.
Ms. Wustenberg moved and Ms. McAllister seconded the motion to accept the recommendations of Vice Chancellor Clark as submitted. The following voted in favor: Directors Christopher, McAllister, and Wustenberg. Those voting no: none.
OAR 580-021-0028 TEMPORARY RULE, FELLOWSHIP LEAVE
Many fellowships, some quite prestigious, pay stipends directly to faculty member recipients. Faculty members who accept such fellowships are granted leave without pay during their fellowships. As a result of their status, these faculty members must pay the full cost of health insurance premiums and may not receive other personnel benefits. Other universities have programs that provide benefits to faculty on certain types of leave. Under the proposed rule, institution presidents who believe a faculty member's leave will benefit the institution as well as the individual faculty member, may grant the faculty member fellowship leave, authorizing payment of employer contributions for health care coverage and other personnel expenses. As in the Board's sabbatical leave policy, faculty members who do not return to the institution for at least one year's service on completion of the leave must repay the institution for the cost of benefits paid during the leave. So that the change will apply to faculty beginning leave fall term, staff proposes the rule be adopted as a temporary rule until permanent rulemaking procedures can be completed. The Board granted delegation of authority on this matter to the Executive Committee at its July 1999 meeting.
Recommendation to the Executive Committee
Staff recommended the Executive Committee adopt the following as a temporary rule, with the intent to adopt as a permanent rule after compliance with all notice procedures is completed.
OAR 580-021-0028, Fellowship Leave
(1) A fellowship leave is leave available to faculty who have received certain fellowships that support research, writing, advanced study or travel related to scholarly or professional activities, including, but not limited to, Fulbright, NEA, NEH, Guggenheim, or other comparable federal or private fellowships, payable only to the faculty member.
(2) Any unclassified employee appointed at .5 FTE or more may be granted a fellowship leave upon approval of an institution president or designee. In addition, an institution president or designee may authorize continuation of institutional health care coverage and payment of employer contribution toward health care or other personnel expenses during a fellowship leave.
(3) Each faculty member, in applying for a fellowship leave, shall sign an agreement to return to the institution for a period of at least one year's service on completion of the leave. If the faculty member fails to fulfill this obligation, the faculty member shall repay the full cost of benefits paid by the institution during the leave. This amount is due and payable three months following the date designated in the institution's fellowship leave agreement for the faculty member to return to the institution.
Executive Committee Discussion and Action
Following a brief review of the rule by Vice Chancellor Clark, Ms. McAllister moved and Ms. Wustenberg seconded the motion to accept the temporary rule as submitted. On roll call vote, the following voted in favor: Directors Christopher, McAllister, and Wustenberg. Those voting no: none.
The Executive Committee meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m.
Secretary of the Board
President of the Board