Minutes 03/03/2008

 B/R Special Meeting 03/03/08    Page 1 
  
  
SPECIAL VIDEOCONFERENCE MEETING


BOARD OF REGENTS 
NEVADA SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION 
System Administration Conference Rooms 
5550 West Flamingo Road, Suite C-1, Room C112, Las Vegas 
2601 Enterprise Road, Reno 
Berg Hall, Great Basin College, Elko 
Monday, March 3, 2008


Members Present:   Mr. Michael B. Wixom, Chair   {Las Vegas} 
Mr. Howard Rosenberg, Vice Chair   {Las Vegas} 
Mr. Cedric Crear   {Las Vegas} 
Dr. Thalia M. Dondero   {Las Vegas} 
Mrs. Dorothy S. Gallagher   {Reno} 
Dr. Jason Geddes   {Reno} 
Mr. Ron Knecht   {via telephone} 
Mr. James Dean Leavitt   {Las Vegas} 
Dr. Jack Lund Schofield   {Las Vegas} 
Mr. Steve Sisolak   {Las Vegas} 
Mr. Bret Whipple   {Las Vegas} 
Members Absent:  Mr. Mark Alden 
Dr. Stavros S. Anthony 
Others Present:   Executive Vice Chancellor Daniel Klaich 
Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs, Jane Nichols 
Chief Counsel Bart Patterson 
Chief Human Resources Officer Carla Henson 
Interim President Delores Sanford, TMCC 
Chief Executive Officer of the Board Scott Wasserman 
Chair Michael B. Wixom called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, March 3, 2008, with all members present except Regents Alden and Anthony. 
  
Regent Schofield led the pledge of allegiance. 
  
1.   Approved-Appointment, President, TMCC – The Board approved Regent Howard Rosenberg’s request, on behalf of the TMCC President Search Committee, for the appointment of Dr. Maria C. Sheehan, the individual recommended on February 29, 2008, by the Regents’ TMCC President Search Committee to be President of Truckee Meadows Community College. The proposed salary and terms of the contract were identified at the meeting. 
  
Regent Rosenberg reported that TMCC began an extensive national search in August 2007 using the assistance of Dr. Narcisa Polonio, Association of Community College Trustees, as the search consultant. The search yielded a field in excess of fifty highly qualified candidates. The Regents Committee met with the TMCC Institutional Advisory Committee, comprised of TMCC faculty, administrators, students and community 

1.   Approved-Appointment, President, TMCC – (Cont’d.) 
representatives, and closely reviewed the qualifications of the top eleven candidates. From that field the Committee unanimously agreed to invite the top candidates to interview for the position. Five candidates were interviewed. The Regents and Institutional Advisory Committees unanimously agreed upon the three finalist candidates to invite to the TMCC campus for campus forums. The Committee heard a report from the search consultant regarding the campus forums providing input from faculty, administrators, support staff and students. There was agreement among the Regents’ Committee and the Institutional Advisory Committee that the three finalists were all exceptional candidates. Upon review of the qualifications of each of the finalists, the Institutional Advisory Committee unanimously recommended to the Regents Committee the appointment of Dr. Maria C. Sheehan for the position of President of Truckee Meadows Community College. The Regents President Search Committee unanimously accepted this recommendation. 
  
Regent Rosenberg reported that Dr. Sheehan, who retired as Superintendent/President of Desert Community College District in Palm Desert, California, in August 2007, is an educator whose experience with community colleges spans over thirty years. She has been an instructor, a counselor and an administrator responsible for student services and instruction. She served as Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for the South Orange County Community College District and as one of the Vice Chancellors for the state office for California Community Colleges in Sacramento. Dr. Sheehan served as President of Modesto Junior College for six years. She is a founding member of the California Community College Latina Leadership Network. Dr. Sheehan was CEO of College of the Desert in California from 2001-2007. Her academic degrees include a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from California State University at Los Angeles, a master’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, and a doctorate degree in higher education from Pepperdine University. 
  
Regent Rosenberg then introduced Dr. Sheehan. 
  
Regent Rosenberg moved approval of the appointment of Dr. Maria C. Sheehan as the President of Truckee Meadows Community College. Regent Dondero seconded. 
  
Chair Wixom expressed the Board’s appreciation to Regent Rosenberg and the search committees for an excellent search. 
  
Dr. Sheehan related that it had been a journey. She expressed her appreciation for the warm reception, adding that she felt an immediate connection to TMCC. She said she looked forward to sharing in TMCC’s exciting future. She noted that TMCC offers a variety of programs and a commitment of faculty, administration and staff that she felt was extraordinarily good. She expressed her gratitude for the confidence the Board has demonstrated in her ability to lead the institution. 
  

1.   Approved-Appointment, President, TMCC – (Cont’d.) 
Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich provided the terms of the contract. He noted the provisions are consistent with the salary and benefits paid to former President Ringle. He recommended a base salary of $198,000, $12,000 housing allowance, $8,000 car allowance and a $5,000 institutional host account. He recommended a three-year contract beginning approximately June 23, 2008. He noted that Dr. Sheehan would like to spend time at TMCC between now and the contract start date to conduct meetings with key staff. He stated that it is typical to pay for moving expenses pursuant to obtaining bids and submitting them to the Chancellor. The System also typically flies Dr. Sheehan and her spouse to town to look for housing. He related that Chief Counsel Patterson and Chief Human Resources Officer Henson had reviewed the contract. Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich said that Dr. Sheehan is also eligible for other benefits as are typically granted to NSHE employees. 
  
Regent Sisolak observed the contract spans three years and one week. He expressed concern about the review that would occur in the next-to-the-last year of the contract and asked when it would occur. Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich clarified that Dr. Sheehan retired from her prior position at a salary that was virtually identical to the one offered in Nevada. Starting her service prior to July 1, 2008, allows her to take advantage of the COLA adjustment equivalent to $198,000 plus 4%. The first year of the contract will be July 1, 2008. Chief Counsel Patterson said the actual evaluation period is from the end of the contract, not from the beginning, (i.e., a year prior to June 30, 2011) . 
  
Regent Sisolak said the review would need to be conducted between June 30, 2009, and June 30, 2010. Chief Counsel Patterson agreed, noting that the President would have one year of time remaining on their contract if the contract were not renewed. 
  
Regent Sisolak asked whether $8,000 was the standard auto allowance. Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich assured him that it was. Regent Sisolak asked about a restriction concerning the housing allowance in terms of the home location. He noted that the purpose of the housing allowance was for entertainment. If the house is located a vast distance from the college as to be impractical it would defeat the purpose of the housing allowance. Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich acknowledged the Board’s expectation that the President live and maintain a primary residence at the site of the college. Chief Counsel Patterson offered to add a clause to the contract stipulating that the residence must be in the immediate geographic vicinity. 
  
Regents Rosenberg and Dondero accepted the friendly amendment providing that the housing allowance be used for housing in the general vicinity of the campus. 
  
Regent Crear shared the concern. He asked how to define the service area of the campus. Regent Sisolak stated that the housing allowance was explained to him as for the purpose of opening the home to entertain potential donors. If the house purchased is not in the proximity of the college it is not practical for entertainment purposes. He was concerned about clarifying the Board’s intent in the current contract. 

1.   Approved-Appointment, President, TMCC – (Cont’d.) 
  
Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich hoped that the sense of the amendment would also acknowledge that Dr. Sheehan does not currently have a house in Reno and will be looking for one and allow for a reasonable transition while she and her husband find the house as part of the scope of the amendment. Regent Sisolak agreed. 
  
Regent Sisolak felt the use of the terms “spouse”, “significant other” and “guest” should be consistent. He noted that the System would pay to bring Dr. Sheehan’s significant other to Nevada, but would not pay for the significant other with host expenditures. Chief Counsel Patterson said they could make that consistent throughout. He said the contract should not specify a spouse. Regent Sisolak said he was comfortable with the term “guest” and asked who would define “significant other.” 
  
The friendly amendment to consistently use the term “guest” throughout the contract was accepted by Regents Rosenberg and Dondero. 
  
Regent Sisolak requested that the full Board address the issue of professional leave for all NSHE employees. If the policy were to change, he wanted that change to be reflected in this contract. 
  
Regent Leavitt observed that four-year contracts are often granted since the periodic evaluation occurs in the third year of service. He asked about the justification for the three-year contract recommendation. Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich replied that he and Dr. Sheehan had discussed a three-year term and both were comfortable with the recommendation. He questioned whether two years would provide sufficient time for the Board to make an evaluation. Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich recalled there used to be three-year terms, adding that the Board has been struggling with the issue of three- vs. four-year terms. Regent Sisolak felt that if the review occurred during the beginning of the second year of service the Board would not know enough to make an adequate evaluation. Regent Leavitt said he favors four-year contracts for the Presidents, noting the amount of time spent locating one. He was curious about the Board’s feeling on the matter. 
  
Chief Counsel Patterson said the Board could appropriately discuss whether it prefers a four-year or three-year contract for this particular contract, recognizing that may have some implications for other contracts. He noted the Board’s tradition for conducting the evaluation reports in the geographic area of the campus site. He estimated the Board would likely conduct the evaluation in June 2010 and no earlier than April 2010. 
  
Regent Leavitt moved approval of amending the contract to a four year contract. 
  
Regent Sisolak and Chair Wixom expressed concern regarding the fairness to Dr. Sheehan and the contract she had negotiated. 
  
Dr. Sheehan said she was comfortable with the three-year contract. 
  

1.   Approved-Appointment, President, TMCC – (Cont’d.) 
Regent Sisolak said if the evaluation was conducted in June, it would be in the final year of the contract. Chief Counsel Patterson offered to clarify the matter in the contract. Regent Sisolak asked how long Dr. Sheehan will have served as President when the Board evaluates her. Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich replied it would be approximately one and two-thirds of a year to one and three-quarters of a year. Regent Sisolak said he accepted those terms. 
  
Chair Wixom noted that the candidate had indicated that she was comfortable with a three-year contract. 
  
Motion died due to lack of second. 
  
Regent Leavitt felt that four years demonstrated more of a commitment than three years, noting the amount of work that the committee puts into a search and past four-year contracts offered to Presidents. 
  
Regent Rosenberg acknowledged Regent Leavitt’s point, which he felt was part of a larger conversation that the Board needs to have separate and apart from consideration of this contract. 
  
Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich recalled conversations between him, the Chancellor and Regents Sisolak and Rosenberg regarding general terms of the contracts for the two searches. There were a number of issues with respect to the contract that were felt appropriate to include in those contracts (e.g., completion bonuses) . In the time table of these searches staff was unable to accomplish these inclusions. It is now intended for the Board Development Committee to perform these tasks. He felt that erring on the shorter term rather than the longer term was the better recommendation for this contract. 
  
Chair Wixom requested the general issue be brought before the Board Development Committee. 
  
Regent Crear said it was difficult for him to understand the process. He said it seemed like the Board was considering a lot of information in a short period of time, noting that he had only recently seen the contract. He found it difficult to make an educated decision on a matter that would have such an impact on the institution and System based on what he had seen in the past fifteen minutes. He was unsure whether the contract was consistent with other President contracts. He said he felt uncomfortable. 
  
Regent Gallagher felt it was unfair to expose the candidate to the fact that the Board has many things to work out, noting that Dr. Sheehan and Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich had agreed to a contract. She felt that should be sufficient. She agreed that the issue should be discussed at a future meeting. 
  
Chair Wixom noted that one of the challenges the Board faces is the relationship between Committee work and Board work. The Board has had great success in the past relying upon the Committees. 
  

1.   Approved-Appointment, President, TMCC – (Cont’d.) 
Regent Schofield left the meeting. 
  
Regent Wixom stated that in the past in an effort to involve other Board members, the candidates for President had been allowed to visit other Board members, which led to problems under the Open Meeting Law. The current process was developed to provide non-search Committee members an opportunity to meet the candidate without violating the Open Meeting Law. The balance of the Board becomes involved at this point and relies upon the recommendation of the Committee. 
  
Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich stated that Regent Crear raised a valid point, noting that it was an issue with which the Board struggles on a continual basis. The Board has previously expressed its displeasure with materials submitted at the last minute on a number of occasions. 
  
Regent Schofield entered the meeting. 
  
Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich related that two years ago, he, Chief Counsel Patterson and Chief Human Resources Officer Henson established a standard format for the President contracts from which they have not varied when Presidents are hired or their contracts are renewed. He assured the Board there are no varying terms from the standard contract in Dr. Sheehan’s contract. He and Dr. Sheehan only discussed base financial terms. He asked the Board to trust Chief Counsel Patterson, assuring the Board there were no material variations. 
  
Chief Counsel Patterson said it would be appropriate for the Board to consider the contract form. Chair Wixom requested that be done. 
  
Regent Sisolak observed that six Regents were involved in each President search and the Board must rely upon their recommendation. He suggested having Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich and the System lobbyists explore a means for amending the law or an alternative that would allow Regents to meet the candidate more than just fifteen minutes before the meeting. 
  
Executive Vice Chancellor Klaich said he would work with Board Development Committee Chair Leavitt to formulate a broad agenda item for discussion. 
  
Chair Wixom clarified that Dr. Sheehan’s contract was subject to the Board’s annual leave policy. 
  
Regent Schofield said that the Board tasked six Regents with providing a winning recommendation. He said the Committee interviewed very qualified candidates and that any one of the three finalists could have been recommended. The Advisory Committee recommended Dr. Sheehan unanimously. Even though the Regents’ Committee may have had other thoughts, they were swayed by the commitment of the Advisory Committee’s recommendation. He felt that Dr. Sheehan has the qualities that will take TMCC to the next level. He said it was not easy and the committees deliberated for quite some time in an effort to recommend the best candidate. 

1.   Approved-Appointment, President, TMCC – (Cont’d.) 
  
Upon a roll call vote the motion carried. Regents Crear, Dondero, Gallagher, Geddes, Knecht, Leavitt, Rosenberg, Schofield, Sisolak, Whipple and Wixom voted yes. Regents Alden and Anthony were absent. 
  
2.   Information Only-Public Comment – Chair Wixom expressed the Board’s appreciation to Interim President Delores Sanford for her efforts on behalf of the college serving as Interim President during the president search. 
  
3.   Information Only-New Business – None. 
  
The meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m. 
  
Prepared by:  Fini S. Dobyns 
Assistant Secretary of the Board of Regents 
  
Submitted for approval by:     Scott G. Wasserman 
Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Regents