OREGON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Faculty-Administrator Meeting Minutes
February 24, 2009
Dr. Christopher Maples, president, called the meeting to order at 2:03 pm. He announced that items I and II will be omitted from the agenda since he is conducting the meetings informally.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS
NWCCU Accreditation- Charlie Jones
Charlie Jones, interim dean, School of Engineering, Technology and Management, detailed the new accreditation process for Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). An interim visit is scheduled for 2012; the current accreditation is valid until 2017. NWCCU is conducting a pilot study with two community colleges, a private faith-based college and the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. NWCCU plans to convert to the new accreditation process in the spring of 2011 which will supersede the interim visit scheduled for 2012. The process builds up by four chapters, similar to a dissertation (refer to handout). NWCCU is planning to complete a seven-year accreditation process within a two-year period.
The first standard identifies the mission, core themes, goals, and outcomes. Oregon Tech will revisit the mission statement and plans to resubmit a new mission to the Oregon University System Board of Higher Education for approval before the new accreditation process begins. For additional information regarding the new accreditation process, please contact Charlie Jones.
Sponsored and Pre-College programs presentation- Jennifer Wheeler and Tara Garlock
Jennifer Wheeler, coordinator, High School Transition Programs highlighted the I'm Going to College" event scheduled in April. This program provides opportunity for 6th grade students to visit the campus and participate in hands on activities in the classroom. Jennifer encouraged everyone to become involved with "I'm Going to College". Please send classroom activity ideas to Sponsored and Pre-College.
Approximately 200 students from Jackson and Josephine Counties will participate in the "Hands on Healthcare" event scheduled on April 24. This program will introduce students to the healthcare programs offered by Oregon Tech. Faculty members, students and professionals in the health care field will share their personal experiences and encourage students to pursue health-related careers.
Faculty Senate - Marla Miller
Marla Miller, president, reported that Faculty Senate is reviewing policy changes and recommendations including the tenure track selection, faculty merit pay, academic rank and promotion for instruction faculty.
Administrative Council - Greg Stewart
Greg Stewart reported that Administrative Council is in the process of reviewing and updating policies and procedures.
Lita Colligan volunteered to represent Portland on the Administrative Council.
Academic Council - Brad Burda
Brad Burda, acting provost, reported that the departmental profiles and program prioritization were discussed at the last Academic Council. Brad clarified that Anji Duchi will prepare the revenue side of the report, the departments and programs will assist with preparation of the cost page. The due date for the cost revenue spreadsheet is April 15.
Oregon Tech received stimulus package worth $7 million from the State of Oregon; these funds will be utilized for on-campus renovations. The Owens Hall will be closed for renovations beginning at 8 p.m., Friday, March 20 through Sunday, March 29. A total of $5 million will be dedicated to the Owens renovations. The remaining funds will be utilized for various renovations in the library, Semon Hall, and Boivin Hall.
Q & A WITH PRESIDENT MAPLES
Question: Is there any further progress on planning of the new mission statement?
Answer: A revised mission statement still needs to be put up before the board; we are still working under the old mission statement from 1999. There has been interim work done on the mission statement but it has never been taken to the Board of Higher Ed. A planning process has not been identified.
Q: What can you tell us about the budget?
A: We are looking at a 5% cut from the remainder of year for the total biennium budget. There are enough institutional reserves to deal with the bulk of that; however, that will take us below the recommended 5% cushion recommended by the Board of Higher Education. We are preparing for a 20% or higher cut. The unemployment rate in Oregon is particularly tough and a portion of income taxes are used to generate higher education. This is a recession that lotteries and gaming have not seemed to weathered very well, and lottery revenues are down 3%. There will be a tuition increase for Oregon Tech campuses, but I cannot tell you what it will be at this time. I am planning to send out budget updates every week to the entire campus.
Q: Is there any discussion about returning to the semester system?
A: There is discussion about returning to the semester system. This topic came up yesterday in Salem, and it received an odd push back from one of the Senators who felt that articulation agreements and dual enrollment agreements would be complicated by the community college and high school academic schedules. I personally feel that we should set the standard and move forward with a semester system. In theory semesters would cost less to operate than quarters. We are going to do what we can to minimize the impact on you, the students and community at large; we are in this together.
Q: How do budget difficulties affect the occupancy of the second wing of the Dow Center?
A: A decision was made to move the respiratory care program into the second wing. This move is a cost saving measure. As far as I know, the second wing is scheduled to open in the fall.
Q: How is the fundraising effort progressing for the second wing of the Dow Center?
A: Approximately 20 proposals are out requesting the Kresge match. We may receive assistance and advice from Kresge on how to get additional resources. Right now, fundraising is brutal and many of the fundraising organizations are having difficulty meeting their obligations. I am currently working on "friendraising," setting the stage to do some fundraising in a year or two or three, I think that will help us in the long run. In the meantime the one entity that seems to have money is the federal government; Oregon Tech has submitted 4 federal earmark requests for the next fiscal year. Senator Wyden's office is posting all earmark requests to their website and soliciting public comment; please feel free to public comment. I visited with our delegation before Obama was sworn in and reminded them that Oregon Tech has a few requests in the Omnibus bill. At the time of the visit there was a house version and a senate version, and they had a couple different amounts on those bills, there is now a unified version that came out of the senate and the house. I am hoping that the $1.5 million for the geothermal drilling and $283,000 for SIM lab survive this Omnibus package. I will be back in Washington D.C. on March 2-4 to discuss the next set of requests.
Q: Can you give us an update on the foundation meeting?
A: The Oregon Tech Foundation met last week; they were incredibly impressed with our faculty and student presentations. They, like everybody else, are reviewing the decreases in their bank accounts and various investments. They are looking into an investor change with one small fund. They are taking steps to make sure the foundation accounts are appropriately managed. I have changed the approach of dealing with the foundation; it is a lot more advisory, open discussions with less formal presentations. They are a good group of people that want to do well for Oregon Tech and our students. They are very focused on making sure that our students have scholarships and support.
Q: Could you please explain the action taken by the Oregon Tech Foundation regarding the underwater endowments?
A: The foundation took action on two proposals last Saturday. One proposal had to do with the spending of the endowments, which previously had a 4.5% spending policy. The board reviews the annual balance as of June 30 and allocates 4.5% for programs including scholarships, support for advancement, and the Shaw Historical Library. Oregon Tech has taken a hit on endowments and part of our role and responsibility is to maintain balances and corpuses of that fund. Part of the action to maintain that and continue spending was to reduce the rate of spending from 4.5% to 4%. We also took into account that the previous method of calculating spending was a four year trailing average. The board moved that to a 16 quarter to help account for more of the current market situations that have been taking place. These items were adopted on Saturday and changes were made to the policy. Changes to the regulation on endowments were also made to include an addition of a standard of prudence to manage the endowments. Previously if the fund ever went underwater the historical gift value was automatically suspended. The standard of prudence opened it up so that you could potentially spend from an underwater endowment fund, but the board felt that it was not prudent, so they voted to suspend payments for endowments that were underwater. This took effect on June 30, 2008, but what happened is that we are actually a year behind, so the 2008 balance will not be taken into account until this upcoming fiscal year.
Meeting adjourned at 2:57 p.m.