February 20, 2006
SC.06.09 Report of the Board of Trustees’ Meeting, UIC, January 19, 2006
In actions affecting this campus the Board:Named Linda P. B. Katehi (Engineering, Purdue), Provost; Sarah C. Mangelsdorf (Psychology), Dean of LAS; Robert B. Graves (Theatre), Interim Dean FAA · Approved Jazz Performance Major within the Bachelor of Music major · Adopted a policy for management of University endowed farms · Employed Architect/Engineer for construction services for campus recreation IMPE, for Phase I of Memorial Stadium, for Phase I of Roger Adams Lab · Other actions reported included funding to permit increased use of coal at Abbot Power Plant, a rebid campus recreation contract, and increased funding for new indoor golf facility.
The meeting began with a memorial to Dr. Kenneth Vista, Jr. Chair of the Board of the Alumni Assn. and reference to the death of Tom Murphy, former General Motors President, University supporter in a variety of roles. A UIC student group was honored. UIC Chancellor Manning welcomed the Board to the campus noting that campus slogan “Access to Excellence” combines its growth as a premier research university with access for a student body that is largely first generation college students. The chair later asked whether these two innovations of recognizing a student group and having a report on the campus should be continued at future meetings.
Public Comment: The only reference to the Chief issue during the meeting was by Roger Huddleston who said the NCAA edict is a surrender of sovereignty. We must continue our athletic success. We have an opportunity to seize the moment and resolve the problem. He seemed to suggest the Board reach a decision that could include accepting the NCAA mandate.
Election of Board officers: Chair Eppley was elected to a third term and Trustees Shaw and Vickrey reelected as the other members of the Executive Committee. Comptroller Rugg, University Counsel Bearrows and Secretary Thompson were reappointed.
Finance and Investment, Budget and Audit and Strategic Planning Joint Committee Meeting: The Board was updated on the University’s debt capacity given that many projects are being studied with more debt proposals to be presented for action. State law prohibits debt for academic facilities but permits bonded debt for the auxiliary system (dorms, unions, parking), and those that generate a stream of income to pay for the facilities such as some in health sciences, Chicago South Campus, research parks. The report was generally positive saying we were paying down some debt, unlike other states the pool of students attending college will grow, and another fundraising campaign is planned. However, our endowment is small compared to many of our peer institutions, we are more heavily leveraged, and we have lots of projects needing attention, and our operating margin is very close to zero thanks to the lack of state support including the lack of a state capital program. When one trustee expressed concern about our operating margin being close to zero, President White said that his major focus was on how to improve the level of University support. The Board will receive a plan in March and the goal is a compact utilizing multiple sources for the resources needed to enhance our quality.
Discussion of the Agenda: The various agenda items were described and briefly discussed without significant controversy
Other Committee Meetings: A building design for Chicago was approved and efforts to derive funds for a medical building Rockford reviewed and a committee appointed to study the issue. The status of the research parks was reviewed and a report shared on commercialization of technology.A draft policy on reemployment of retirees was distributed with a call for comment before action at the March meeting. Such employment will be time-limited and “in the best interest of the University.” Senior administrators will not be re-employed in roles held prior to retirement. Retirees may be hired as a result of an open, competitive search process
Action portion of the meeting: All the agenda items were approved with the exception of an item on the South Campus in Chicago that was withdrawn. President White said tuition recommendations will be made at the March meeting. Actions to improve student safety on the UIUC campus were noted. We are ramping up to a campaign announcement for a major campaign in 2007. A pilot program for the University to be a “school as lender” is to be offered at UIS. This protects our ability to have such a program should we decide to do so. Federal legislation set an immediate deadline barring any new programs of this type after April. The Board is considering a teleconference between meetings for updates with top university officials on various issues with no board action to be taken at the meetings. UIC students noted they were working on textbook cost issues.Finally, the chair announced that the date of the next Board meeting (March 9) will be rescheduled.