Good afternoon. Greetings, everyone. On
behalf of the Board of Trustees it’s my pleasure to welcome everyone to the
fifth meeting of the ETSU Board of Trustees. Before we move into our formal
agenda today a couple of items of interest that I’d like to share with you.
First, enrollment. As you recall, this past fall, we increased new student
enrollment by 10% while realizing the highest freshman retention
rate in the history of the university. That success has continued this spring.
Enrollment at the main campus is up 166 students and 90% (nine zero). Ninety percent of freshmen have continued from fall to
spring setting the foundation for another successful fall this year.
Applications for the fall of 2018 are encouraging with significant increases
in transfer student applications. Second, in terms of student success, we are all
aware of the governor’s drive to 55 in the initiatives that are related to that
goal like the Tennessee Promise. ETSU has received information from the Tennessee
Promise about Tennessee Promise students that enrolled at the University in the
fall of 2016 and 17. Today, we will receive a detailed report a little later in the
agenda, but it is important to acknowledge the effort required to have
enrolled 357 Tennessee Promise in the fall of 2017. This really demonstrates both the willingness to partner with other
institutions and further emphasizes ETSU’s commitment to Student Success. Let’s
keep up the great work that we’re doing. At this time, I’d like to recognize some individuals here
with us today. As you know, eyes from not only East Tennessee but all over the
world are looking towards South Korea and the Olympic Games that will conclude
this weekend. For some of the athletes competing in South Korea their journey
to the Olympics included a stop right here at ETSU. In 2012, East Tennessee State University received designation as an official US
Olympic training Site for weightlifting. This was a partnership between ETSU, the
USOC, and USA Weightlifting. Since then, we have had nearly 30 students receive
scholarships to attend ETSU where they participate in rigorous training programs with our staff in preparation to compete at this most elite
level. Many have gone on to participate in the Pan Am, Pan-American and World
Championship competitions. In fact, the number of our current students or at an
international meet today. We have also formed partnerships with U.S.
Bobsled and Skeleton Federation and with U.S.A. Canoe and Kayak to be an official
training site for elite athletes in these fields from around the globe. Over
50 men and women have spent days, weeks, and sometimes
months on our campus training with our staff and graduate students. Six of those
athletes are now in South Korea including Chris Mazder, who won a silver
medal two weeks ago, as well as our own Chris Kinny who is a graduate student
here at ETSU. Chris Kinny is a member of the four-man bobsled team and we’re
waiting to hear how the team does over the weekend. Several faculty, staff, and
graduate students from the Olympic Training Site are with us today
including two-time Olympian Meg Stone, who is director of the training site and
Dr. Greg Aloia the Dean of the Clemmer College of Education where the site is
posted. Will you please stand and be recognized? Well they’re already standing. Thank you very much. You make us very proud. I’ll now turn to the next item on the agenda and ask Dr. Linville to call the role.
Thank You, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Alsop? Present. Ms. Ayers? Present. Mr. DeCarlo? Mr. Farnor? Present. Mr. Golden? Present. Ms. Grisham? Present. Dr. Latimer? Present. Mr. Powell? Present. Mr. Ramsey? Present. Chairman Niswonger? Here. Mr. Chairman, you have the floor. Thank you. First, I’d like to present
a amendment to our meeting agenda today. The Executive Committee of the Board
held a specially called telephonic meeting this week to discuss a petition
for appeal submitted to the board. I would like now I would now ask for a
motion to amend today’s agenda to include a report of the executive
committee and a vote to ratify a decision from the committee. Mr. Chairman, I motion. Do I have a second? Second. All in favor? Aye. This agenda item will become item eight on the agenda after the report from the Audit
Committee. Next is the approval of the November minutes. The minutes from the
regular meeting in November are found behind to have one and your board
materials, do I have a motion to approve those minutes? Aye. And second? And second. Okay. Is there further discussion about the minutes? All in favor of accepting the
minutes as written, please signify by saying aye. Aye. Those like side. Cosset of the next item is the consent
agenda 10-2. It’s noted in your materials in tab two. Your agenda materials. Several
items have been reviewed board committees this morning. These items
include approval of committee meeting minutes, university policies, and
revisions to the university’s audit plan. Are there any items on the consent
agenda that members would like to pull for consideration by the full board? Seeing none then I do then do I have a
motion for the adoption of the consent agenda? So moved. Do I have a second? Second. All in favor? Aye. Opposed? Next is the report will be
our report from the finance administration committee. This morning
the finance administration committee was convened by Governor Ron Ramsey and Mr.
DeCarlos absence. Governor Ramsey will you provide us a brief overview of your
comments from this morning’s meetings? Absolutely. It’s an honor to do that, Chairman DeCarlos absence. We met this morning there are three items in particular I’d like
to present before the board today. First of all the committee approved the
anti-nepotism policy and the employment policy would recommend that the board
approve that as a whole. That will be on our consent agenda or was on our
consent agenda I suppose and with the second thing we discussed the salaries and fee
increases that will help in the budget process and BJ reminded us several
times that all this are contingent upon the salary and fee increases upon the governor’s budget passing he presented to the legislature on January the 29th and THEC’s binding fee limit which will be set in May. We preliminary looked at these
assuming both of those will happen and contingent upon those happening. And
thirdly, we reviewed the quarterly reports of agreements over $250,000. The committee all these purchases appear to be routine.
So with that I’ll submit the report to the board. Thank you. Next on our agenda is the report from the Academic and Student Affairs
Committee. This morning the academic and Student Affairs Committee convened with
Chairman Dr. Linda Latimore. Dr. Latimore, will you provide comments from
this morning’s meeting? The Academic and Student Affairs Committee have a very
full agenda that we voted for just a few minutes ago the consent agenda that our committee suggested unanimously We bring to the full board. In addition we had a number of information items ranging from
presentations and lobbying, quality assurance funding, academic programs, and lastly we had a very robust discussion on research opportunities in our area
that the merger has brought to fruition that we hope to be involved with. In
addition, in a couple of minutes, Dr. Bach is going to present one of our
action items regarding the tenure appointment and I think he’s going
to do that after the audit committee report. Okay. Thank you Now we’ll hear from the Audit Committee.
Chairman David Golden. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Audit Committee met just ahead of the Academic Affairs Committee and had a full agenda. We received, approved the
minutes, looked at the audit services that had been rendered since our meeting
in November of 2017. Audit plan is on schedule, slight modification that we
adopted in the consent agenda. A one audit and investigation of particular
interest when you look at the heat map involved an investigation relating to
parking services in the course of the investigation enter a lot of discover
that about $1325 of the collections in parking services had been removed by an attendant entering false data into the
tracking system. Commend audit for identifying it, correcting it, and the
university for taking prompt action and turning it over to a
digit to the authorities for additional processing. We also reviewed the the
recommendation log looking at past audits in where the university is and
correcting and everything was green and blue and which is a good thing. And that is my report. Thank you. Next will be a report from the executive
committee. With the affirmative vote to amend today’s agenda, I like to now review
most recent meetings meeting of the Executive Committee. The Board of
Trustees received an appeal from a tenured faculty member, Dr. David Champouilon, who was dismissed by this University in June 8, 2017. According to
policy, the petition for appeal was routed to the Executive Committee of the
board for review. The Executive Committee met on August the 1st, 2017 where the
committee met an executive decision with acting outside legal counsel from the
University of Memphis. After the meeting, the Executive Committee requested
additional information from both Dr. Champouilon and the University. The
Executive Committee convened again on February the 21st 2018 to discuss the
appeal. Upon review of the materials submitted for the appeal, the committee
voted that the petition for appeal should be denied. Are there any
members of the Executive Committee who would like to provide any additional
comments about the appeal? The Executive Committee decided the petition for
appeal be denied. As this decision is coming from the committee,
a motion and a second is not required by the board. Are there any trustees who wish to abstain from this vote to ratify the
committee’s decision? Mr. Chairman I wish to abstain. Thank you, Mr. Alsop. I will now
call for a voice vote from the trustees on this motion. All those in favor please say aye.
Any opposed? Thank you. The next item tenure appointment with the rank of
professor professor in the department of educational leadership and Policy
Analysis. This time I’d like to ask Dr. Bert Bach to come to the podium to
present a recommendation for a tenure appointment with the rank of professor
in the Clemmer College of Education’s department of Educational Leadership and Policy
Analysis. Of course the committee has had before it Dr. Nolan’s resumé indicating
his range of leadership positions, his publications, his professional
affiliations, and a summary of his teaching at ETSU and elsewhere, as well
as who of his particular role in the ETSU department of Educational
Leadership and Policy Analysis. To supplement that I would elaborate on the
background of policy and precedent that represent the context for this
recommendation that is before you. The ETSU policy on tenure that this board approved stipulates that quote
recommendations for or against tenure should originate from the department or
academic program unit in which the faculty member is assigned. It should
include appropriate participation in the recommendation by tenured faculty in the
department or academic program unit. The recommendation for Dr. Nolan’s tenure emerged from the faculty at Academic Department. That is
the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in a letter from its
Chair Dr. William Flora who’s in the audience this morning. The letter that
Dr. Flora wrote was sent to be along with the recommendation from the Dean of
the College. Those statements of support make the following points in elaborating
on the positive recommendation. They noted a unanimous vote of active
department members of members of the department in support of the
recommendation. They noted that Dr. Noland had been active in the
department in Educational Leadership Policy Analysis through teaching, through
serving on dissertation committees, through working with the Center for
Community College Leadership. They noted that discussion by the department which
had been ongoing indicated that it’s decision that Dr. Nolan’s experience in
university administration and leadership along with his work in the department
make the case for the appointment. The Dean further noted that Dr. Noland’s
statewide, regional, and national visibility in various professional forum
would serve the department well in terms of its affiliation within, specifically
referenced, for example, was the president’s role as a member of SACS, his
SACS COC is his membership on the American Council of Education Board,
perhaps the preeminent national board related to our education policy. With
respect to policy and precedent, it’s relevant to note that the board policy
that you would approve enumerates the number of steps relative to teaching,
service, and research the candidates for promotion and tenure normally meet.
Having said that, the judgment of the faculty in all cases has been given a heavyweight with respect to candidates,
resumé, and it’s worthiness for tenure and rank for which individuals are
being recommended. There have been numerous precedents in the past in which
the governing board, that is the Board of Regent as the Board of Regents, has
awarded tenure when the person being put forward has a distinctively strong
resume in support of the faculty and administration but has not technically
meant some of the normal specified expectations in rank and tenure. For
example, the most frequent ones time and rank in time in full-time teaching are
among those that are noted over the years. That is a case than the proposal
you have before you this morning or this afternoon. In this instance the
recommendation to recommend emerged from the faculty, it emerged by unanimous vote,
it was supported by the Chair, it was supported by the Dean, and it was
supported by me. Dr. Noland was not aware of the proposal
until I brought it to his attention and I was not aware that the proposal was
forthcoming until it emerged on my desk from the faculty, the department, and the
college. The faculty, Chair, and Dean made their recommendation with the assumption
that Dr. Nolan’s record, ongoing work in the department, and leadership warrant
the award of tenure and the rank of professor. I concur with that
recommendation. Thank you, Dr. Bach. As this recommendation has been
received by action of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee a motion to
approve is not necessary. With no further questions I will ask vote. All in favor
of this recommendation please signify by saying aye. Aye. Any opposed?
Congratulations. Chairman Niswonger, members of the board, and the faculty of the university, I want to thank you for this honor because this
truly is an honor. Each of us as we embark upon our graduate career dream of
the day of being elevated to the rank of full professor and it means a great deal to
myself and to my family, I’d have that opportunity and to officially be a
member of the faculty community at this institution. To Dr. Flora and to the faculty,
I look forward to working with you. I know we have a dissertation defense next
week so let’s get to work. The next item is our schedule for future more meetings of the Board of Trustees. Tab 4. Mr. Chairman, if I might just provide a
brief description of the calendar. So Trustees, as you are aware, you have
previously by your actions set the calendar through April for this academic year, April 27th of this year. We have proposed the
following dates that are listed in your board materials beginning in September
18 through November of 19 based on the ability to coordinate with other responsibilities of the trustees and
basically are ending on the same Fridays that we have met previously and so if
you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them but these appear to be the
best dates in terms of the schedule for the board moving forward, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you. Do I have a motion for approval of the meeting calendar as
present? So moved. Do I have a second? Second. All those in favor, please say aye. Aye. Opposed, likewise. Next is the impact of the Tennessee promise that I mentioned earlier. At this point I’d like this ask Dr. Mike Haff to come forward. Dr. Haff is an Associate Vice President Chief Planning
Officer at ETSU. He will provide us a brief presentation on the impact the
Tennessee Promise. Mike. Members of the board, Mr. Chairman, thank you for the
opportunity to present. This is some information that we just got actually a
couple of weeks ago right before the board deadline and we thought it was
important to share. So what I’m going to talk about today is a review of
Tennessee Promise, what happens with the Tennessee Promise enrollment patterns not just at ETSU but across the system, and then a summary of how ETSU has been able to handle that enrollment. So the
main features some people including some of my colleagues like to say that the
president’s goal for freshmen next year is 2300 and the governor’s goal of
freshmen at ETSU next year is zero and that’s because they provide quite an
opportunity for students in Tennessee to take advantage of as a last dollar
scholarship and you have five semesters of eligibility. That eligibility would be
important when I talk about at what point ETSU receives the bulk of those
students when they transfer. The other big piece and I think this is probably
the biggest piece and it translates into the way that we’ve tried to impact our
advising and that has to do with the mentors. The problem most often isn’t
that there isn’t a solution for a student who’s in trouble it’s they don’t
know who to ask and having a mentor and creating a relationship with somebody
that does know has a big impact on their ability to complete. The requirements are
though they must go full-time, be a recent high school graduate, participate
in eight hours of community service, which it might not seem like a lot but
if you think about the thousands of people who are eligible for Tennessee
Promise for the state to coordinate enough positions for eight hours a
semester for each of them, that’s quite an undertaking, and then of course
satisfactory academic progress. So this is what the world looked like fall 2015
enrollment relative to Tennessee Promise and these are important because this
sort of funnel is not all that different ETSU. You have an application period, you
have orientations, FAFSA, registration, and and then the community service deadline
here but that’s really our enrollment. And so you can see that each of those periods
you lose people and that’s really the main point of this slide. The the big
thing for Tennessee promise is that at most of the windows they were able to
maintain in both years, two years of a cycle relative robust progression. In
other words the funnel didn’t weed everybody out and that’s a big positive.
It also gives some indication I think Tennessee right now is leading the
nation in FAFSA completion and that’s a big deal, because when you talk about
increasing educational attainment the first thing you have to talk about is
college going. And what do we all know about college going is a little bit
expensive and so everybody needs to find a way to pay for it. Also want to talk a
little bit about what it was like before promise for recent high school graduates.
In the two charts on the left, you can see that 2014 and 2015 recent high
school graduates. If you look at the gray bar the same amount dropped out. However, if you look at the 2015 promise versus non promise we can see that the bulk of
those dropouts were non promise students. I’m sure that has something to do with
the mentorship that promise students receive and the kind of services those
institutions provide because those mentors that help that bridge that gap.
You can also see draw your attention to the two numbers down toward the bottom.
This is fall 2014 to 2016 its I transfer it out versus dropped out, stopped out and
that stopped out percent is 48.4. Then we move that over and you can see that
dropped out stopped out after promise for the promise population is 43.8. The move that dropped out stopped out number by 4 in a single cohort is pretty impactful and those are the kind of
initiatives and the kind of things that we need to be aware of because changing
the dynamic of education is part of what the mission of ETSU is for this region.
So, how have we done with the Tennessee Promise students that we’ve received? In
fall 2015, students that started at a community college at fall 2015, 59 of
those enrolled at ETSU the following fall and
81% of those students retained to fall 2017. Just for a little bit of a
comparison, for transfer students the graduated or retained rate for the
normal transfer population is about 75% for fall. That’s a significant
improvement. That means that mentorship is carrying on from the two-year college
to the University. And in total from the 2015 cohort by year to this past fall we
had 311 total Tennessee Promise students. That’s important because my biggest
worry about Tennessee Promise was it was going to encourage students to go to a
two-year school where they were gonna do things like get married and have
families and go you know what that four-year degree can wait. What we’re
seeing is that’s not the approach they took and that’s good, because as we all
know, if educate if if one degree is good twos got to be better. The other thing with the fall 2016 cohort, we only got 46 of those students in the year one
progression but we had a total of 357 Tennessee Promise students. The reason
that that’s important is that they’re enrolling after their second year and
credit accumulation in most studies once you break it down by economic status,
race, and all those factors, the one thing once students start college that
determines whether or not they’re going to make it is how many credits they’ve
accumulated and that’s why the funding formula focus is on progression and
that’s why we have the 15 to finish. So this is what each ETSU Promise students
at ETSU look like. Their average age is about 19.8 years which
makes sense given that they enroll the majority of them after their second year
at a community college, 55% female, and 92% percent, almost 93%, white and 97% full-time. Again, that full-time
number, that’s gonna keep coming up. I know I get to present a lot of data and
I’ve been lucky this year with the board into all of the things we’ve done have
had a big impact so it’s all been good data or positive data. Please give me the
same consideration when it’s not because my first few years here at ETSU were
were not like that. I’m in a very different scenario. But that full-time
number. At ETSU we’ve increased the average credit load four students in the fall by almost a full credit hour. I mean that’s a full
credit hour you can do the math on where to credit ever cost and if we can save
students a full year because of that one credit hour that’s almost a semesters
tuition. The Tennessee Promise at ETSU majors. You’re going to see some pre
programs which is natural because that’s sort of the way that you get into these
things pre-business, pre-nursing. And then you see some other ones psychology,
social work, computer science. When you look at this, I think you’ll get an idea
that the Tennessee Promise is producing the next people that are gonna help you
with your taxes, you know the nurse that’s gonna care for you in the
hospital, and the caseworker in case you fall on hard times, I mean that’s what
Tennessee Promise is doing and it’s giving people who have been who have had
to take advantage of those services an opportunity to provide them and I think
that’s pretty impactful too. So where do they come from? Well 54% come from Sullivan, Washington, Knox, Hamblen, and Hawkins County. That Knox County keeps
coming up, right? Our footprint is getting wide enough to be competitive in many
places and I think we would all like it if we were a little more competitive
down there in many things not just in enrollment. Transfer institutions 68%
come from four institutions: Northeast, Walter State, Pellissippi, and Roane State.
This is a big deal because when we look at what happens with the normal transfer
population it’s good that what we’ve been able to do so far is mirrored that,
right? What we’ve demonstrated is that we haven’t lost enrollment because of
Tennessee Promise but I think now it’s time for us to expand a little further,
right? We need to reach some institutions that are a little bit further away. We
need to reach some counties that are a little bit further away. I think we’d all
like to see those populations come to ETSU. So here’s… I’m surprises it’s not higher
than that 68% honestly. Where are the other 32% coming from? All over. Actually I have…that’s pretty good demographic if you don’t go to one of those 4. So when you look at ETSU as a whole
the community colleges that we get students from almost 594 of the 1046
population so 50% come from… well 4, there’s a 5th college but 4 out of 5 of those institutions are
represented. The other ones come from bordering states and then for the
Tennessee Promise it’s going to be some of the other institutions sprinkled out.
You get one or two, a lot of one-offs from that. There isn’t another sizable
represented institution. I mean it’s pretty much just a couple and in those
instances what you can assume, at least what I assume based on what we know, is a lot of that has to do with family or other circumstance. So you might get a
student from Southwest who’s going to come up nine hours but that has
something to do with family that you know that’s some other kind of an event
it’s it’s rare or it could be athletics or some other scholarship they’ve been
able to obtain. Because Tennessee Promise is a last dollar scholarship you can
still be competitive by offering scholarships to Tennessee Promise students and because of their academic eligibility a lot of times they qualify.
But as I described before the difference in the persistence for transfer students
the 81% for Tennessee Promise and the 75% for
the regular population, Tennessee Promise is having a positive impact. It’s also
been able to sort of encourage and increase the number of students who are
seeking a four-year degree, that full-time credit accumulation is a big
deal, but this last point and I think this is
important, I describe to you the demographics of the Tennessee Promise
populations roughly 93% white. That’s even whiter than ETSU is
currently. If we’re going to have this be something that changes the landscape
in this region we’re gonna have to do better with that. We’re gonna have to
find a way, and to be honest if we it’s like a tipping point, if you can just get
across the tipping point educational attainment in this region
will skyrocket and so that’s probably what I would leave you with if there’s
one sort of call to action or an encouragement is to find a way to
increase the diversity of the Tennessee Tennessee Promise population.
With that I’ll take your questions. I’d like to ask a question. Is the information
for Tennessee Promise distributed to every high school in the state? Do you
know? I don’t know. Okay. When it particularly when it comes to the
success of the program I’m not sure how that’s being discussed. It was haphazard that I was able to find out there was somebody I could ask for
our students and so hopefully in the next year has that program matures
that’ll be part of what’s provided as a scorecard for everybody to be able to
use so that it isn’t just Mike Haff’s view of what Tennessee Promise is done
in this region. Okay. Thank you. Next is the President’s report, Dr. Noland. Mr. Chairman, members of the board, good afternoon. To those who are here in the
audience and to those who are watching on the web we’ve moved through a great
deal of material in a brief period of time. I want to note that as we look
ahead to April the April meeting I think we’ll have slightly different dynamics
because your campus is preparing for all the materials that will come before you
in April: tuition, fees, tenure promotion, full approval of the budget. Those are
significant items that make their way through the board. But if we reflect back
a year, if you’ll recall, the first full meeting of the board was the meeting in
which we brought all of those items to you. So, hopefully, this year as you digest
that information we, as your staff, have done a little bit better job getting you
prepared for the bulk of that information that comes you away. And as
we look at things that are moving through campus in preparation, not only
for today’s meeting but for that significant meeting that will occur at
the tail end of April, there are a lot of things across campus in which we’re
continuing to work through the fact that we as an institution are moving in a new
paradigm with the board and you as a board are moving in a new paradigm with
us. I recognize that as staffed or some things
that we couldn’t should do to help enhance communication and I welcome your thoughts on ideas or initiatives that could help build communication and
engagement among the board with the institution because ultimately, this is
your institution. We are all here to ensure that under your leadership we’re
able to continue to carry forward the mission of East Tennessee State University. I think one of the key elements that will help build that broad understanding
of the moving parts of the institution relates to the opportunity for the board
to have a formal retreat and upon the conclusion of today’s meeting I’ll
resend to you some dates that we provided a couple of weeks ago with the
hope that we can finalize those dates and get that board retreat scheduled. For
those who had the chance to attend the Academic and Student Affairs Committee
this morning I think you’ll see that we are fortunate to have the members of
this board of trustees who bring their experiences to bear, they’ll help us make
better decisions particularly in a post merger environment, and that opportunity
to have a formal retreat to really engage as a board is not only going to
make the board stronger it will make our campus stronger as well. So look for that
email from me before the close of business today and if you all could get
back to me at some point next week around those preferred dates that will
allow us to get those items into sequence. I mentioned a conversation that
occurred at the Academic and Student Affairs Committee related to research. At
that committee staff under the leadership of Dr. Burt Bach presented a
white paper regarding the structure of research at our University. This is a
critical time in the history of ETSU. If you look back at moment at the time in
the late 1960s when we were having conversations about the creation of the
Quillen College of Medicine those conversations changed the future of our
University. Those were formative conversations.
Fast-forward a number of years when we are having conversations about the
establishment of the College of Public Health or the Gaiden College of Pharmacy,
formative conversations that change the future of this University and I feel
we’re at a similar point in time right now. Our time frames are tight, the work
that’s occurring around the merger is often moving at a pace that is A-typical for what we experienced here on our campus, but we are ready to move at
that pace. But, I also want to recognize that the communication that we discussed
in this morning’s meeting is in many respects two ways. For those of you who
have had the opportunity to see some things that at now Ballad, I keep
wanting to say Mountain States, but at Ballad it’s a little chaotic. So we’re
doing our best to try to keep up but I hope that as you have the opportunity to
converse with members of their leadership team were of their board we
could benefit from the chance to sit down with their leadership and really
frame a vision together because the last thing that I want is for our staff to
work at a hectic pace to put a plan together and they’ve moved in a
different direction. But we heard the board loud and clear
this morning and we will provide deliverables to you that outline our
vision for research. This is a once in a generation opportunity. A once a
generation opportunity to see 80, 90, 100 million dollars worth of externally
sponsored research focused on the healthcare needs of this region flow to
our faculty, flow to our staff, and ultimately allow research opportunities
for our students. We take that charge seriously and to Dr. Latimer and the
members of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee we’ll have that
information that you requested by the deadlines that you prescribed. I want to
switch gears, but before doing so I want to see if there are any questions from
the board around the topics that I just walked through related to communication,
potential board retreat, as well as the deliverables on research? All right. So
I’m now going to move to Mr. Powell’s domain which is construction. If you
noticed on the board agenda for the calendar that you just approved there
was no reference to location. We’ll work through the location of the board
meetings in the months to come. We’ll have one more meeting in this room and
then this room will no longer exist, because May 15th we closed the Culp
Center and begin the renovations of this facility. I want to just reflect upon the
importance of the period that’s in front of us and was really struck by this last
night in a conversation with Dr. Bishop. The last academic building that was
built on this campus was built more than 20 years ago. It was designed by a member
of our staff Mr. Jeremy Ross. The last academic
classroom building that opened on this campus was the dome. That’s how long it
has been since academic facilities were constructed on our campus. We’ve got a
lot of making up to do and a lot of that work is going to occur
in the next couple of years. You’ve had the opportunity to hear about the
planning work for Lamb Hall. Lamb Hall will provide in addition to Lamb Hall
for space for Clinical and Rehabilitation Health Sciences, as well
as the College of Public Health that work is in the design phase and will
move forward moving towards the construction phase in the next couple of
years. In the fall we broke ground on the Martin Center. For those of you who
really want to see something spectacular peer through the fence and look at the
work that has been done to date. We remain on target for the opening of that
building next year and it’s still something I’m trying to wrap my brain
around when we say we’ll open the Martin Center next year. But we are on time, on
schedule, and on budget for that facility. I mentioned the renovations to the Culp.
We’ve just recently finalized all of the office moves, more than 200
members of the staff call this building home, and we will distribute those
offices across the campus. In particular I want to thank Dr. Burt Bach, Dr. Wilsey
Bishop, Jeremy Ross, Pam Ritter, and Dr. Joe Shaw and for their patience. There’s
a lot of disruption that will occur across campus as we distribute these
offices but I commend the staff for keeping the following goal first. We’re
here to serve our students. So there are administrative offices that are moving
to ensure that we create a quasi one-stop shop in Dossett Hall for our
student. We’ll have admissions, financial aid, and student services and we look
forward to the ability to align those facilities in those offices as this
building comes online in a couple of years. The board at the last meeting
charged us to move forward with work on the Millennium Center. We remain in
active conversations with the city and hope in April to bring a more definitive
update to the board on progress but we’re active in conversations with the city
around the Millennium Center and those conversations on our end are being led
by Dr. David Collins, the University’s Former Chief Fiscal Officer who’s
working in a consultant capacity. Our hope is to move the program of Computer
Science to that facility. In the most recent event review that computer
science program which is the number one computer science program in the state of
Tennessee was noted that there were space limitations and we needed to
address those space limitations before the next ABET visit. So by moving that
program hopefully to the Millennium Center it ensures that we have the
facility that meets the talents of the faculty and staff who call that
department home. We had hoped last night to meet for a little bit of a work
session on the VA campus and give you all a tour of building 60, but Dr. Bishop
said let’s wait until the building open so that they can see it when it’s
complete rather than walking around in a muddy construction site. So we look
forward later this summer to having you present with us as we cut the ribbon on
building 60 which will be our state-of-the-art center for medical
simulation. Across disciplines, it is truly an interprofessional facility that
serves the needs of the academic Health Sciences Center. So let me pause to see
if there are any questions around the construction update. In total that’s
about 250 million dollars worth of capital construction,
the largest volume in a capital construction to move through this
institution at one time in its history. Next update, also relates to housing but
housing of a different sort. For those of you who follow articles in the Johnson
City Press you know that once a month there’s an article related to social
organizations that call the Tree Streets home. Under the leadership of Dr. Sherlyn,
we are working together to put a plan that will come before this body in the
spring that presents the opportunity for those fraternities to move to campus. It’s a proposal that I think will not only strengthen the system but it’s a
proposal that will strengthen the University as a whole so we look forward
to providing you updates on that here as we move into the spring. We’d like to shift gears now to staff. At a number of the meetings you the opportunity to hear from two members of the senior staff who bear interim
titles. I’ve mentioned my intent to the Executive Committee and want to share
this with the board today but unless there are objections from the board it
would be my intent within the next couple of weeks to have two individuals
who bear interim titles to have those items removed and to move Mr. Jeremy
Ross and to Dr. BJ King into permanent roles of Chief Operating Officer and
Chief Fiscal Officer, respectively. They do a lot of things behind the scenes
that never bubble to public attention. Quite often if there is a pending crisis
or a threat to the safety of our institution those individuals are up
night and day ensuring that this institution moves smoothly. In particular,
I want to thank Mr. Ross worsen things that he’s done here within the past 24
hours to ensure that things on this campus moved smoothly. They have moved] through a process of peer review, they have moved through a process of external
review. Mr. Chair, members the board, unless there are questions I would like
to move forward in the coming weeks to make their two positions permanent. Next
item with respect to staff and I want to thank several members of the board for
your help with this I want to thank Scott Carter for the
work that he has done to position a contract extension for Coach Forbes.
Members of the board we’ll have tickets tonight for those who want to attend the
Wofford game. We have two more games and then we head off to Asheville. I’d also
like to note that Coach Brittany Ezell has won her 200th game last night of her career
and we are in conversations with Coach Ezell that hopefully have a similar outcome
to those with Coach Forbes. We’re actively searching for a soccer coach.
Our soccer Coach Bo Oshanyi has gone on to lead the program at Dartmouth, but
those are just in the academic areas. Dr. Bach is leading a search for two Dean’s
one for the Dean of the Libraries and one for the Graduate School. So there’s a
lot of search activity that occurs on campus that doesn’t rise to the public
attention of that of a basketball coach but search activity that is critical for
the future of this institution. And our enrollment materials that we provided to
you at the last meeting, you saw record graduate enrollment. For those of you who had the opportunity to participate in
commencement, the largest class of graduate students in the history of the
university because of the work of Dr. Celia McIntosh, the Dean of the School of
Graduate Studies. So that position in finding someone to fill that role in
that search is as critical as any other search that’s occurring across campus
and I just wanted to take a moment to update the board on those two major
leadership positions for which we are having an active search. Would also like
to update the board on progress towards a task that you gave towards to me in
the fall. You requested that we bring a white paper to you outlining our Title IX plans by the April board meeting. That work is being led by dD. Richard
sander who is a faculty member in our Center for Global Sports Leadership,
former athletic director just as you tasked us to bring the white
paper on research to this meeting we’ll meet our benchmarks to bring that white
paper to you in terms of Title IX and the inclusion in addition of women’s
sports to our program to ensure that we remain in compliance with Title IX. Mr.
Chair, I have a few more updates and I thank you all for your patience but
there’s a lot that’s occurring on your campus. I want to take a moment to thank
two members of staff Dr. Bill Kirkwood and Dr. Angela Lewis. Within the past
couple of months we were selected to receive $100,000 tie grant from the
Tennessee Higher Education Commission. This grant will allow us to create a
Summer Bridge Program for African American students, an opportunity for
those students to come to campus early, to begin their experience early, to take
a credit bearing course during the summer, and then to transition into full
credit activity in the fall. That grant will provide a critical leadership for
us as we move forward diversity initiatives across campus. It’s the legislative session I could tell you I’m happy to be standing here
because it seems like every week I’m standing in Nashville. I stood at
Nashville in the well at the House Education Committee and the House Finance Committee and presented the university’s budget and then this Wednesday I had the
honor to present the university’s budget in front of the Senate Education
Committee. Those budget hearings have gone well. This is a strong budget year
for higher education. The governor has recommended a two and a half percent enhancement, funding for the formula,
funding for several deferred maintenance projects, but we’re also working on a
couple of items that did not make their way into the governor’s budget but we’re
hopeful we’ll make their way through the budget process. The first is support for
our Center for Opioid Treatment Prevention and Research. That’s a
$500,000 line-item request. For those of you who followed the legislative session
last year you know this is a request that we had up until the very last day
of session. We’re bringing that request for it again this year. It has been
favorably received and we’ll have a supplemental budget appropriation that
will move through the process here in the next couple of weeks. We also are moving forward at the direction of the board policy
conversations related to the Gatton College of Pharmacy. As you recall it the
last meeting we walk through the tuition discontinuity between what our students
pay to attend the Gatton College of Pharmacy and what out-of-state students
now pay to attend the University of Tennessee. About a $10,000 gap, so as a
refresh residents of Alabama pay $10,000 less to go to a UT College of Pharmacy
than a Tennesseean pays to go to Gatton. I have a hard time explaining
that to people and what we’re working through and the General Assembly is the
opportunity for two and a half million dollar financial aid program deposited
at THEC to help equalize that tuition and fee so that’s also moving its way
through the legislative process. In terms of legislation, the most significant
legislation impacting higher education is a proposal that is being put forward
to restructure the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees. That is
something for which we are just on the outside looking in. To date, there has not
been what I would consider to be disruptive legislation that has been
introduced that impacts this institution. There’s been some things around tuition
transparency, some proposals around dual enrollment. I want to thank Miss Bridget
Baird who’s here with us today. Bridget’s a rock star in Nashville, probably the
most popular person in Nashville as Lieutenant Governor Ramsey, but the
second most popular person is Bridget. She does an outstanding job representing
the University and she briefly she weekly briefs us on things that are
occurring there but at this point in time they’re still in
the early phases, and from my perspective, there’s not major legislation that
disrupts the operation of this campus. Talk a little bit about the merger and
will continue to be front and center with merger related activities. Mr. Chair,
before my last two points just want to see if there’s any questions on the
legislative session, governor’s budgets, hearings, or if anyone would like to know
where the police officers hide outside of Cookeville, I know that from the rapid
back-and-forth to Nashville. I want to close with two small stories that
kind of reflect the impact at the University. My wife, Donna, and I have the
honor to host students at children’s for events with frequency and this week we
had a number of students over to the house for dinner and we had the chance
to dialogue with those students about their favorite memories on campus, if
they were to come back what would be the things that would draw them back to
campus as alum, and just want to convey the work that you do to help me
scholarships available for our students. If it were not for you the students who
were in that room would have not have had the opportunity to major in music, would not have had the opportunity to study in Rome, would not have had the opportunity
to engage in undergraduate research. But there’s nothing more rewarding than
seeing a student come through this institution and preview an orientation to
watch them grow and develop and evolve and then to now see them just a few
months away from commencement. As we were talking with students it was all I could
do not to get teary reflecting upon how much several of the students had grown
in a very short period of time and there are folks in the room who have taken
students on study abroad trips that will create opportunities for those students
that are gonna carry with them for the rest of their life. So we are going to
attempt in the board meetings to come to give you that opportunity to dialogue
with students and we have that opportunity this afternoon. So this
afternoon you will have the chance to meet with students from Unicoi County
High School who are here because support of Trustee Ayers and the work
that she has done to open doors of post-secondary opportunities to students
from that County. So I hope, if your schedule affords, that you’ll be able to
join us and to ask them the questions that Donna and I had the opportunity to
ask the students the other night: what do you love about ETSU and how has ETSU
changed the way you view the world? And my close is a story of a faculty member.
I cannot thank this body and our faculty enough for the action that was taken
that impacts my family. When I started graduate school a long time ago
it was my dream to be a faculty member. It took me a long time, but I’m finally
here and I thank you for the trust that this body, but more importantly, our
faculty has placed in me to be a member of our faculty. But our faculty do
magical things. This morning, I had the chance to talk to faculty member at
eight o’clock in the morning and I talked to him throughout the morning.
This is a faculty member who literally and figuratively is a rock star. He’s got
hair down here, he plays the guitar, he’s probably the most one of the most
popular faculty members on our campus. He likes to draw attention to himself but
he doesn’t like to draw attention to his condition. Dr. Chris Dula is working through
recovery from brain cancer and he’s not missed a day of work and if you’d been in Brown Hall today at 12:30 you would have watched Dr. Dula
engage in something that’s magical and that’s passing along the gift of
learning that was conveyed to him. Dr. Dula stands in front of a class of
about 250 students and walks those students through the Life of the Mind. In
between he tells a lot of funny stories, in between he probably plays a lot of
rock music, but from point A to point B, what Dr. Dula does is he passes along
that gift. He cares about his students in ways that I can’t convey and today he
cared about this institution in a way that words can’t describe. We have 23 people 2,300 people who call this institution home. Those people are
what make this place special. Every institution’s special, but this place is different because of its people. It’s different because our people
put people first and our people believe in the mission of the university. Trustee
Ayers said earlier, “work quick and sell.” This is not my attempt to sell. This is
my attempt to try, in a brief moment, to give you a sense of what happens on this
campus. This is a campus that’s committed to its mission improving the quality of
life for the people of this region. Some days you see that in big ways, some days
you see that in little ways, and today I just want to say thank you to people who
have done some things behind the scenes to ensure that we have the ability to
continue to convey that mission forward. So Mr. Chair, thank you for the
opportunity to ramble on a little bit this afternoon and would be happy to
address questions about any of the items that I’ve walked through or anything
else that may be of concern for the board. Thank you, Dr. Noland. I think it’s always good to end the meetings with stories that bring us back to really why
we’re all here and that’s seeing students grow and you describe wonderful
stories for us that brought us to that point. Thank you. Is there other business to come before the board today? Since there’s no need for the board to convene an executive session, the Board of Trustees stands adjourned. Thank you. you you