February 2013 Trustee Meeting Summary

February 8, 2013 | 3 p.m.

The second meeting of the Board of Trustees during the 2012-13 school year was held on Wednesday and Thursday, February 6 and 7, 2013. Thirty-three of 35 trustees were able to attend. The board heard reports from President Barnes and Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Kathleen Nelson regarding institutional finances and planning for next year. Senior Vice President for University Relations Pat Mazorol discussed planning for the next capital campaign and the restructuring of the development staff.

Financial issues were discussed in several sessions, including board committee meetings. The administration is monitoring revenue and expenditures, and will provide an update at the next Executive Committee meeting in March and a plan for 2013-14 at the May meeting of the full board. Trustees affirmed the administration’s efforts both to develop a plan and to pursue opportunities to permanently reduce costs and preserve institutional strength for the future. The trustees concurred with the immediate actions, which include continuation of current salaries through fiscal FY14 with no increases in base salaries for either faculty or staff, and a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program to be announced on Monday, February 11. The administration informed the trustees of other options under consideration, including changes to retirement plans and reductions in programming and personnel.

Board members participated in a strategic planning scenario workshop on Wednesday afternoon, evaluating four proposals the university administration has begun to consider as part of expanding operations. Each proposal is linked to elements of the university strategic plan and include:

  • A program to attract a student audience seldom reached at the college level
  • An opportunity to consolidate some instructional and administrative space at a location near campus
  • An opportunity to multiply and extend “partnership” relationships to provide programs to non-profit and corporate organizations in the area
  • Strategies to consider in strengthening the College of Arts & Sciences

In a plenary session on Thursday morning, trustees offered their perspectives on the merits of these proposals and suggested principles administrators should consider when evaluating them further.

The Board also took a number of actions:

  • The board ratified several employment actions for fall 2013.
  • The board affirmed Debra Harless as executive vice president and provost of the university, subject to confirmation by the Bethel Corporation in 2014.
  • Several faculty were approved for offers of an initial five-year term of tenure, to begin in fall 2013, pending final presidential review; a number of faculty members were approved for renewal of tenure, pending review by the provost.
  • Retiring and retired faculty members were approved for emeritus status, including seminary professor John Cionca and College of Arts & Sciences faculty members G.W. Carlson, Kevin Cragg, Dale Johnson, Gregg Johnson, Tom Johnson, Maureen Juarez, and Dan Taylor. Former university library director Robert Suderman was named emeritus director.
  • Trustees approved the posthumous award of a baccalaureate degree to Kaitlin Beske, College of Arts & Sciences student.