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September 15, 2000


A meeting of the State Board of Higher Education Executive Committee was called to order by President VanLuvanee at 8:33 a.m.


On roll call, the following Executive Committee members answered present:

Mr. Jim Lussier
Mr. Tom Imeson (arrived at 8:34 a.m.)
Mr. Jim Willis
Mr. Don VanLuvanee
Absent: Ms. Leslie Lehmann (out of the country)

Other Board members present: Mr. Shawn Hempel, Dr. Geri Richmond, Mr. Bill Williams

Staff: Tom Anderes, Bob Bruce, Shirley Clark, Joe Cox, Grattan Kerans, Marilyn Lanier, Ben Rawlins, Lynda Rose, Lynda Swanson, Diane Vines, Lisa Zavala

Others: Ron Adams (OSU), George Fisher (attorney for Nella Lee), Lorraine Davis (UO), Wendy Robinson (DOJ), James Sink (Bend Bulletin), George Pernsteiner (PSU), Mary Kay Tetreault (PSU), Gary Tiedeman (IFS)


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 8:35-9:15 a.m. Upon reconvening the open session of the Executive Committee meeting at 9:22 a.m., President VanLuvanee reminded other Board members present that action items should be voted upon only by Executive Committee members. He encouraged full participation during the discussion items, including the work session with Dr. Nygren.


Staff Recommendation to the Executive Committee

Staff recommended that the Board's Executive Committee approve, and refer to the full Board for its final approval, construction of a new indoor practice facility at Oregon State University. Staff further recommended the Board authorize the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration to seek authorization from the Legislative Emergency Board for a new project expenditure limitation of $11 million for use of Other Funds to finance the project.

Executive Committee Discussion and Action

Lynda Swanson, OUS director of capital construction planning and budget, reviewed the proposed project. She noted that it would come back to the full Board for a final vote at its October 20 meeting.

Mr. Imeson moved and Mr. Lussier seconded the motion to approve the project proposal as submitted. The following voted in favor: Directors Imeson, Lussier, Willis, and VanLuvanee. Those voting no: none.

Chancellor Cox asked Ms. Swanson to describe the recent development at UO following Board approval of the 2001-2007 capital construction budget in July 2000. Explaining that UO raised $33 million for a new addition (tower) to the School of Business, as well as full renovation of two adjacent buildings and the Computing Center, Ms. Swanson said that the projects were included in the final capital project proposal recently submitted to the Department of Administrative Services. The Chancellor said that the adjustment would be presented for final consideration to the Board at its October meeting.


Chancellor Cox called on Vice Chancellor Anderes to update Board members on the process staff is undergoing in order to bring final engineering program recommendations to the Board in October.

Vice Chancellor Anderes highlighted activity to date, including work with consultants, MGT of America. The consultants, he said, are looking at several factors, including ranking and tiers, peers, and aspirational peers, as well as conducting public meetings to gather input. The intent behind using aspirational peers, explained Mr. Anderes, is to develop forecasts about where the institutions might see themselves in 7-10 years and beyond, not only individually, but in relation to the "grouping" of institutions. Financial projections will ultimately be a major focus, and using aspirational peers for comparative purposes will be quite useful, he indicated. Dr. Richmond said that she hoped to see opinions of highly regarded scientists and engineers in the final recommendations. "It's imperative that we go outside of the state for an evaluation of the recommendation from this group to make sure it's realistic," Dr. Richmond remarked.

Reminding Board members that the recommendations will be first considered by the Budget and Finance Committee, Chancellor Cox added that all Board members would have the opportunity to review the recommendations in advance of the meeting scheduled for the morning of October 20.

Mr. Williams expressed concern over not having enough time to "temper" the report if the first time the Committee discusses it is the day before the Board meeting. Agreeing with Mr. Williams, Mr. Imeson asked about the possibility of convening earlier in October to allow for adequate deliberation of the issues. In response to a question raised by Mr. Williams about the analysis taking place in a "black box," Mr. Imeson assured him and other members of the Board that the engineering question is not being taken in isolation at the executive level, but rather as part of the state budget planning process."I think it's partly a process of gathering a lot of information so people understand implications and decisions," noted Mr. Imeson. "You can't just say, 'we'll find the funding someplace.' You have to make policy decisions about what the level of state support is going to be for other state programs as well."

Following up on a comment made by Mr. Imeson, Mr. VanLuvanee said that he felt the new budget model was not as well understood as he had hoped, and felt that more "marketing" was necessary in order to foster broader understanding.

The gap analysis, as being prepared by the consultants, Mr. Williams felt, would go only so far in providing the answers to the engineering question. Of greater consequence, he said, was the overriding question of vision. "The final decision has to be a consensus among Board members that this is a good thing to do and that it's part of the vision for the state and for OUS," he pointed out.

Chancellor Cox indicated that his approach raises two fundamental questions: 1) "What's in it for Oregon?" and 2) What's the return on investment for the System?" Given that, he said that the gap analysis was a necessary component in arriving at the final answer.

Mr. VanLuvanee, noting that there wasn't enough information to make any judgments yet, pointed out that it seemed to be a strategic question that was being dealt with tactically. He added that he felt the front-end work was important information to have when making the final strategic decisions. Mr. Lussier urged full Board participation in the conversations leading up to the final Board vote. [Note: An additional Budget and Finance Committee meeting was scheduled for Monday, October 16. A joint Budget and Finance/System Strategic Planning Committeemeeting was scheduled for Thursday, October 19.]


Vice Chancellor Clark reviewed the final version of the branch campus RFP. She reported that both OSU and UO, along with other OUS campuses as partners, have been active since the pre-planning phases of the proposal, which has generated a good deal of energy about the project in Central Oregon.

Describing the excitement in Central Oregon as nothing short of "remarkable," Mr. Lussier indicated that the quality of the discussion generated throughout the process was most enlightening. He went on to compliment Vice Chancellor Clark for her work on developing the RFP, as well as the Chancellor for his leadership throughout the process.

When queried about the timeline for submission of the RFP's, Dr. Clark indicated that campuses will need to have them completed by the first of December. They will then be brought before the Board in January for final consideration. Continuing, she explained that all parts of the campus budget plan would need to fit within the allocations set forth in the biennial budget approved by the Board, or $7.2 million.


OUS Director of Legal Services Ben Rawlins explained the process for examining the grievance. Dr. Lorraine Davis, vice provost for Academic Affairs at UO, was selected by then-President Imeson as the designee to review the case.

Dr. Davis highlighted her findings of the appeal, which was related to a tenure decision made by the PSU provost. Indicating that, while it appeared to be a very difficult decision to deny tenure, Dr. Davis found no evidence of wrongdoing by the University, and thereby recommended that the Board uphold President Bernstine's decision to deny the appeal made by Dr. Lee (a copy of Dr. Davis' report is on file in the Board's office).

Mr. Imeson moved and Mr. Lussier seconded the decision to support the decision by President Bernstine. The following voted in favor: Directors Imeson, Lussier, Willis, and VanLuvanee. Those voting no: none.

Mr. Imeson extended his appreciation to Dr. Davis for her work on the grievance.


Responding to recent issues of interest/concern brought before the Board, President VanLuvanee asked the System Strategic Planning Committee to review campus safety and the Budget and Finance Committee to look into faculty compensation. Both, he said, should plan to report to the full Board on its findings by the December 15 meeting, if possible.


Dr. David Nygren, facilitator at the Board's 1999 renewal work session, returned for the special session of the Executive Committee, in order to begin developing the Board's strategic plan for the coming year. He intends to return again on October 20, where the plan can be further articulated and finalized with the full Board.

Several ideas were deliberated during the work session, and, from them, a set of priorities emerged, including:

1) Expanding the Board's role in leading social discourse on key issues related to the System's contribution to Oregon's future.

2) Creating a refined model of governance for the Oregon State Board of Higher Education.

Board members present agreed that more work was needed to create a specific plan for accomplishing the objectives prior to the October Board meeting. Staff agreed to collaborate with Board members to identify appropriate meeting times. (Copies of the draft outline are on file in the Board's office.)


The Executive Committee meeting adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

Diane Vines
Secretary of the Board

Don VanLuvanee
President of the Board