Minutes 05/04/2004 *

WORKSHOP


BOARD OF REGENTS 
UNIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM OF NEVADA 
Marriott Courtyard 
2800 North Green Valley Parkway 
Henderson, Nevada 
Friday, May 7, 2004


Members Present:   Dr. Stavros Anthony, Chair 
 Mr. Mark Alden 
Ms. Marcia Bandera 
Dr. Jill Derby 
Mrs. Thalia Dondero 
Mr. Douglas Roman Hill 
Ms. Linda Howard 
Mr. Howard Rosenberg 
Dr. Jack Lund Schofield 
Mr. Douglas Seastrand 
Mr. Steve Sisolak 
Mr. Bret Whipple 
Members Absent:    Dr. Tom Kirkpatrick 
Others Present:     Interim Chancellor Jim Rogers 
General Counsel Tom Ray 
Chief Administrative Officer Suzanne Ernst 
Mr. Carl O. Rowe, President, Clarity Advisors to Management 
Ms. Valerie Miller, Las Vegas Business Press 
Board Development Committee Chair Thalia Dondero called the meeting to order at 1:36 p.m., on Friday, May 7, 2004, with all members present except Regent Kirkpatrick. 
  
1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning - The workshop was facilitated by Mr. Carl O. Rowe, President, Clarity Advisors to Management. 
  
Mr. Rowe related that he had spoken with each Board member. The issues that Board members wanted to address were fairly narrowly focused, which he felt indicated a degree of unity. He said that he intended to help the Board through the process with the Board selecting the issues upon which they wished to focus. He said he would review the interview results and discuss strategic planning. He then wanted the Board to discuss the issues, future plans, and progress tracking. He related that the outcome of the workshop would be determined by how hard they were willing to work. 
  
Positive Attributes of the System - Mr. Rowe had asked Regents to discuss what they believed to be the most positive attributes of the UCCSN and the Board of Regents. The interview results (on file in the Board office) included feedback from the eight institution presidents. 

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
Ø   Excellent presidents - Virtually everyone talked about the quality of the presidents, though four are currently interviewing for work elsewhere. Surprise was expressed by some Board members. 
  
Chancellor Rogers observed that they needed to distinguish between those who were looking and those who had been approached. Mr. Rowe agreed, adding that he did not know who were actively seeking employment and those who were being recruited. 
  
Regent Howard asked whether there was a predominant reason. Mr. Rowe replied there were a number of reasons that he would share with them later in the program. The perceptions of the presidents differ from those of the Board to some degree on certain issues. 
  
Positive Attributes of the System – (Cont’d.) 
Ø   Committed faculty and staff - There is an overwhelming feeling that the Board has committed faculty and staff. 
Ø   Affordable higher education - Everyone agrees that the System is providing affordable higher education to the citizens of Nevada. Quality and service to the citizens of Nevada was an underlying theme. 
  
Positive Attributes of the Board of Regents – 
Ø   Members are sincerely committed and dedicated. 
Ø   Members care about the State and the System - Individual differences aside, Board members see each other as dedicated. 
  
System Changes – 
Ø   Role and authority of the chancellor. 
Ø   Develop and operate according to a strategic plan. 
  
Board Changes - 
Ø   Makeup of the Board (i.e., elected vs. appointed and governance) – The structure, the powers of the Chairman, how the Board gets information, and Board meetings 
Ø   Forums for obtaining input - How Board members get information from their constituents (the public and the institutions) and how that information can be converted to issues that can be dealt with as a Board. Some suggestions were made to obtain information in a more formal fashion. 
  
Expectations of the Chancellor – 
Ø   Operate as a Chief Executive Officer – Connotes some authority. 
Ø   Serve as a buffer between the Regents and the presidents – Strong feeling expressed by Board members and presidents that there is too much interaction between individual presidents and Regents, which is felt to be disruptive. 
Ø   Serve as the principal advocate for higher education. 
Ø   Be the point person with the Legislature – All Regents expressed great concern for the upcoming legislative session due to the funding issue and how the Board is viewed by the Legislature. Strong feeling that the Board’s image with the legislature requires improvement. 

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
  
Issues - 
Ø   “Mission creep” of institutions (i.e., taking on new programs indiscriminately just to build the institution) – Institutions wanting to offer new programs that do not fit with their basic mission (i.e., community colleges wanting to offer baccalaureate programs, UNLV and UNR each wanting to duplicate programs) . 
Ø   System/Board leadership – There has been a lack of the kind of leadership that would carry the System forward as a unified body to offer services to the students of Nevada. It does not point to the leadership of the Board, but rather to the System having integrated leadership to ensure the students of Nevada are being served. 
Ø   Board member conduct – The press has been hard on the Board. All Board members indicate they would like Board members to conduct themselves better. This is a large issue for Board members and the presidents. 
Ø   Chain of command is not enforced – Most members want the chancellor to operate as the CEO, but so many Regents go directly to the presidents and to the institutions that there is no real chain of command. The chancellor is not treated as a CEO and does not have the ultimate authority to hire and fire. Many members feel that it is appropriate for the Board to do the hiring and firing with the approval of the chancellor. The chancellor’s position is not presently constituted as a CEO. 
Ø   Conflict among institutions – Common agreement that this is a problem. Hardly anyone offered ideas for resolution. Ties back to “mission creep”. 
Ø   North/South conflict. 
Ø   Time spent in meetings – A number of Board members and presidents are greatly disturbed by the time spent in meetings and the amount of travel involved. 
  
Most Pressing Issue/Need – in next fiscal year. 
Ø   Retaining sufficient funding – Great concern expressed for maintaining the level of funding, especially considering the Board’s image with the Legislature. 
Ø   Rebuilding the Board’s image, particularly in the eyes of the Legislature. 
Ø   Accommodating growth. 
  
Regent Alden observed that, in spite of the conflict, it appeared that every Board member was singing the same tune. Mr. Rowe agreed. Regent Alden felt that was a good starting point. The System has grown, but the Board governance/structure has not been modified. He felt the Board was involved in terrific micromanagement. Mr. Rowe said that micromanagement had been discussed. Regent Alden said he would like to see the Board move to a governance structure that does not involve evaluating, hiring, or firing the presidents. He would like to move to a General Motors structure where the CEO reports to the board and informs the Board of the current status. He suggested the presidential contracts should be approved on the Consent Agenda. He wanted the Board to get out of structural things on the campuses and only talk about the big stuff. He would like to see 4-5 meetings/year with 1-2 in the north and 3 in Las Vegas. He would like to see everything brought through committees, with 2-3 members on each committee. He noted that the Health Education Committee included Regents as well as members of the public. He said he would like to avoid conflict so that when the Board considers an item it only has to address a few public policy questions, with the main issues having been addressed 

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
by the committee. He wanted to see fewer Board meetings, brought through a committee structure comprised of Regents, System personnel, and people from the private sector. He said he wanted one-day Board meetings. The Board would still set policy, tuition, and the larger issues. He felt the meetings would become quite long if the Board continued with its current process. 
  
Regent Rosenberg did not feel that time was the issue, but the feeling that Board members left with after spending the time. Often the Board is frustrated and discouraged that they are in the same place after 5½ hours of discussion. He observed that only two of the fifty agenda items from the previous Board meeting had been time consuming. He felt it was how the time is used and suggested that, possibly, the committee structure is the best way and the Board needed to return to that structure. 
  
Chancellor Rogers said that he had spoken with the presidents. As the chairman of the board of a bank, he would have gone crazy if the presentation (UNLV Orthodontic Residency) had been made to him the way it was for the Board that day. When he knows that he has a meeting coming up, he tells his lawyers to have their work done well in advance of the meeting. He said that he could understand the Board’s frustration and why they ventured into micromanagement, if they felt they were not getting all of the information. He felt the Board needed to make a distinction between the line of authority and giving orders and the line of authority as it relates to gathering information. He said that Board members had a right to gather the information in any manner they see fit. He felt that Board members were frustrated about not getting all of the information, adding that he had seen that they are not. He felt that was inexcusable. He felt that the timing of the information was also important. Providing information just prior to the Board’s voting upon it cannot be tolerated. He felt that was something the chan cellor could fix. He felt it was his job to get the information for Board members and if he did not provide it, the Board would have the right to go around him. He said there was a difference between gathering information and using it to make a decision about something. The conduit for gathering information should come to one person and should be coordinated. He felt that the contract for UNLV’s coach should never have come to the Board in that manner. He felt the Board should not have been put in a position where the newspapers were criticizing the Board for voting upon a contract that had not been read. The president should have mandated that the contract be delivered on a certain date. He felt that the requirement for the coach to be recruiting should not have been an issue. He said that the Board’s frustrations were justified in many ways. 
  
Regent Bandera felt the problem was that the Board did not stick to its own rules. If there is a requirement for all information to be requested and in by a certain time, it becomes easy to sort out who did not provide the information, or the fact that people keep wanting more information right up until the item is heard. She felt that part of it was process and the Board should adhere to its rules. 
  
Regent Howard said that the Chair had set a rule about information and it was not followed. She wanted suggestions for how to make people follow the rules without micromanaging. 
  

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
Regent Derby observed that one of the Board’s biggest challenges is that it is the governing board for a system of eight institutions, which is unusual in the country. She related that nearly everywhere that there is a state board there are also individual boards of trustees for individual institutions. She noted that members were all frustrated by the length of the meetings. Spending extensive amounts of time on one issue makes it appear hopeless. This Board has not trusted one another well enough that committee decisions are perfunctory. Often the full Board must revisit all of the same issues that the committee has already addressed due to that lack of trust. She felt it was important for a 13-member board to have committees that were large enough so that at least five-six members have considered the issues, thereby increasing the level of confidence in the outcome. 
  
Regent Alden did not feel that five-six members were necessary since Board members know when there is a committee meeting and should show up if they are interested. To do a shanghai deal on a committee at a Board meeting is wrong. He felt it would be difficult to have 6-7 Regents on every committee. When it gets to the Board meeting only the broad public policy should be discussed. 
  
Mr. Rowe said that he had heard a lot about the committee structure. Generally, the committee structure seems to be fairly efficient and to function well. Conversely, the time spent in committees, in addition to the full Board meetings, is perceived as burdensome. 
  
Regent Whipple felt that the committees only work if Board members trust, respect and are patient with one another. Mr. Rowe conceded there was a lot of talk that the Board does not function well as a legislative board because certain members continue to work issues after it has been decided. Regent Whipple said the Board should try to bring the minority into the majority and bridge the gap to strengthen the Board as a whole. Mr. Rowe acknowledged that consensus building had been mentioned often. He said the chancellor largely functions as a consensus builder so as to avoid divisive situations that leave bad feelings. He agreed that trust was an overlying issue. Trust goes to individual behavior and the willingness to demonstrate character or not. A couple of Regents thought that Mr. Rowe was going to address conflict resolution. He said it was a legitimate issue to discuss because resolving or managing conflict depends upon trust. 
  
Regent Hill felt the orthodontic proposal was not competently prepared from a presentation point of view. The contract was not thought through or worked through. He contacted the institution and asked them to review it with him. He was ignored until the Tuesday before the meeting. He felt there is a real gap in the competence of the presentation of the issues. He said that public bodies have to sit and listen to the public express themselves in spite of the time it requires. He said they could put a time limit on it, but as elected officials, they needed to spend time listening to the public. 
  
Regent Howard said that she had some resentment about how this item (UNLV Orthodontic Residency) appeared on the agenda. This day had been set aside for the Board to have a workshop. She was not happy that it was included on the agenda because it took away 

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
some of the Board’s time to improve its own relations. She said she would like to know how that happened, adding that she had some resentment about how that item made it to this agenda. 
  
Regent Sisolak said that he takes this job seriously and reads every piece of paper sent to him. He did not have a chance to read the document that was passed out that morning. He said he did not have the same opportunity that Regent Hill did to review the contract. He said he wants information and they do not provide it, adding that the Board was just a rubber stamp. He noted that the Board already has a policy not to hand out material at the meeting, but nobody follows it. He noted that Regent Hill requested financial information on the item, which was presented on the overhead in print so small he could not read it, but the Board approved it anyway. He said he wanted to support these ideas. He felt that rushing these issues was what got the Board into trouble with the Fire Science Academy. He asked why a third version of the contract had to be released 10 minutes into the meeting. He said that none of the Regents read the material. 
  
Regent Hill disagreed, adding that Regent Sisolak was correct about receiving the information that day. Regent Sisolak said that the rule was that no handouts were allowed the day of the meeting. Regent Bandera agreed that it came back to the point that the rule is the rule. If the coach’s contract is completed the night before the meeting, the Board should not be voting on it the next day. She felt the same rules should apply to all items. Instead, it depends upon who wants what for whether it gets passed or not. She felt the rules should apply across the board. 
  
Chancellor Rogers said the Board needed a gatekeeper for that. It appeared to him that it is his job to tell the presidents that he won’t bring incomplete proposals to the Board. If the material is not complete, last minute additions will not be accepted. He said they could not continue to do that, adding that it made the Board appear to be obstructionists. He felt they were playing with the Board. He felt the Board should tell the chancellor the rules and he will tell the presidents. If they do not have complete information he will throw it away. 
  
Regent Rosenberg asked about exceptions (i.e., the coach you need to get today or you don’t get him) . Chancellor Rogers said that could have been handled. If the Board had said, “This is the rule, we don’t want it put in the mail at 5:05 on Friday afternoon, we want it hand delivered to everyone” , he would have told them that if they missed one of the 13 Regents the item would not be included on the agenda. 
  
Regent Bandera observed that people figure out whether they have seven votes and they don’t care who gets the material or not. Chancellor Rogers replied that seven votes would account for nothing if the item was not put on the agenda. He said that they needed to take a stand at some point. General agreement was expressed. 
  
Regent Alden stated that, if the Board had four quarterly meetings, the Board could have a preliminary agenda 60 days prior to the meeting. The cutoff would be 30 days prior to the meeting. He suggested that everything go through committee. Board members would have a discussion with the chancellor one hour prior to the start of each meeting. 

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
  
Chancellor Rogers said that he required different rules such as what the Board wants done and when they want to receive it. 
  
Ms. Ernst reminded the Board that the Board office requires the campuses to submit their agenda material one month prior to the meeting. The Board office mails the material to Board members two weeks prior to the meeting. Sometimes there are issues that require a special mailing. 
  
Chancellor Rogers said that if they did not stick to the deadlines it meant nothing. Ms. Ernst said this was done to accommodate Open Meeting Law requirements. Chancellor Rogers stated that, if there were no penalties, they had not stuck to anything. He said it was amazing how things were completed when threatened with a deadline. Ms. Ernst clarified that the Board was indicating that they were not receiving the material they wanted. She said that the Board office sends out the material they receive. Chancellor Rogers said that when he tells the presidents to deliver the material by a certain date he would follow through by removing the item from the agenda if they failed to meet the deadline. He said he would not put the Board in a position to make a decision on something they had not reviewed. He related that no board in the U.S. behaves in such a manner. He felt it would take a supreme act of embarrassment to correct this behavior, adding that they must stick to the rules. Ms. Ernst said that the chancellor’s office would need to review every reference that was submitted. The Board office only prepares the material for mailing, but does not review the material for accuracy. 
  
Regent Bandera said that the Board office did not need to decide whether the material was accurate. She said that every president knows what the pros and cons of an issue are. If they choose not to provide comprehensive information the first time out they will suffer for it. Regent Sisolak felt it would only take one episode. Regent Bandera said that they know what the issues are and would ensure that all of the material is provided. 
  
Regent Sisolak acknowledged that staff sends the material they receive. The problem is that additional material is provided at the meeting, which does not allow Board members an opportunity to review the material prior to voting and leads to bad decisions. He did not feel that a 60-day deadline was feasible. He said that he spends a minimum of 20 hours reading the material for a Board meeting and that it was frustrating when new material was presented at the meeting. Regent Howard agreed. Regent Sisolak observed that the presidents talk to the Regents individually until they get to seven. Regent Bandera said that they also claim to have mailed the material to her home and the material arrives while she is traveling to the meeting. 
  
Regent Howard said that no one seems to care when Regents say they have not seen the information, or it is the first time they have seen the information. She said that no one tries to address that concern. She said the Board was making a decision without having time to read the material. Chancellor Rogers said that the Board should not be asking the presidents for the information at the meeting. Instead, they should ask the chancellor where the information is, adding that it is the chancellor’s job to get the information from the presidents. He said the presidents had snookered the Board. They have set up a 

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
screen by telling the Board not to micromanage, and then they don’t provide the necessary information so the Board has to micromanage. He said he would not tolerate such behavior. 
  
Mr. Rowe said that this sounded like an issue that warranted discussion. He asked whether the issue would fit with the current committee structure. Board members agreed it did not and that it was an overall issue. Regent Dondero said that it was an overall issue and that it should be resolved in writing. 
  
Regent Sisolak recalled that when Regent Derby was Board chair, UNR proposed purchasing a piece of property and the backup material did not include an appraisal. The appraisal was faxed to the meeting during lunch. He said it was ridiculous and that it was always an emergency (i.e., the UNLV coach situation) . 
  
Chancellor Rogers assured Regent Sisolak that it had indeed been an emergency and needed to be done. The problem was that they had control over all of the facts and when all of the information was delivered to Board members. He said it could have been hand-delivered before 5:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon so Board members could have reviewed the material over the weekend. He agreed the Board should have had the material, adding that it was very distressing to him when it was not sent to the Board on time. Regent Sisolak agreed, adding that they know they can get away with that behavior. He related that the presidents count and know when they have enough votes to get their items passed. 
  
Regent Seastrand suggested that the issue was the flow of information to Board members. Mr. Rowe said that this tied to the large issue of the relationships between individual Board members and the presidents as well as the role of the chancellor. 
  
Mr. Rowe asked if there were other issues the Board wished to discuss. 
  
Regent Alden asked Regent Derby for suggestions regarding Board governance regarding the hiring and firing of presidents and the chancellor. Regent Derby suggested that the role of the chancellor would be a good topic for everyone to discuss. In this period of transition, the opportunity is present to revisit the topic of the role and authority of the chancellor, the relationship between the chancellor and the Board, and where the presidents fit in that. Last year, the Board had a former chancellor assist/consult with the UCCSN’s chancellor’s evaluation, who provided some recommendations in that regard. She felt that was an important topic for the Board to address. Mr. Rowe said that the Board would ultimately need to work on some of these issues in order to have an opportunity to have an open discussion. Then the Board could decide what it wanted to do in terms of Board policy. 
  
Chair Anthony said that one of the biggest issues is rebuilding the image of the Board. He said he constantly heard about the lack of respect for the Board and he felt hat needs to change if the Board intends to build higher education. He suggested developing a commitment or contract that all Board members would sign in agreement of what they will and will not do. 

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
  
Regent Whipple said that in order for people to respect the Board, Board members had to respect themselves, which related to the trust issue and the intent to work together. He felt that Board members should put the Board first and above personal issues/agendas. 
  
Chair Anthony said that, as a board, the majority should rule. When the Board makes a decision with a majority vote, those voting on the non-prevailing side should not be criticizing the Board’s decisions. He said there was no productive reason for such behavior and that everyone should learn to live with the majority decision. Mr. Rowe observed that it was difficult to hold members of an elected board to such a standard when they vociferously disagree with the decision. He felt there was an element of decorum that should be recognized by individuals who serve in a public forum. 
  
Regent Howard said there had been occasions when she had voted and been in the minority, but she felt it was the manner in which the Board arrived at its decisions that caused the bitter feelings and negative press. She said it was not difficult to be in the minority so long as the person is respected as an individual. She said the Board would be unable to improve its image without achieving the necessary respect. 
  
Regent Schofield agreed, adding that the young people of today exhibited a lack of respect. He said he saw it on the Board. 
  
Regent Alden felt the Board should look at the committee structure as a work group. He felt that items should flow through the committees prior to the Board meeting. 
  
Mr. Rowe said that the Board had been victimized and hung out to dry because they had not had the ability to operate without lots of input from outside sources(i.e., the presidents and the Board’s constituents) . That has led to some serious interpersonal issues among Board members. He said the Board had to try harder to achieve the level of respect and decorum. 
  
Regent Dondero recognized the necessity for having rules and procedures, but she did not want that to be the Board’s sole purpose. She wanted the Board to have good, new ideas and things to do and to move ahead. She also wanted the Board to review all of the good things that are occurring and that the Board does have a good exchange of ideas. 
  
Regent Sisolak stated that when presidents get involved in Regent races it causes dissention. When a president picks one opponent over another and the president’s selection loses, there are hard feelings. He said that was the case now with at least four Regents. He observed there had been a policy preventing presidents from doing that, but then it became a First Amendment issue. He acknowledged that Board members would not agree on everything. He said that respect has to be earned, adding that the Board damaged its own credibility and integrity and now had to change that. He said the Board needed to make some changes and earn respect. He said one had to give respect in order to get it. 
  
Regent Schofield said the Board needed to hold their own feet to the fire. 
  

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
Regent Bandera was not sure what each member meant by “respect”. Inadvertently someone could do something that may be disrespectful to another. She felt that Board members should discuss what they value in the definition of respect. 
  
Chancellor Rogers observed that in his discussions with Board members he realized their frustration over feeling that they are not getting all of the information and that they need to use alternative means for getting that information. He felt that was inexcusable. He said the Board had tolerated it and must now stop. 
  
Regent Rosenberg observed that this had been ongoing for a long time. The Board has never come to a decision as to how Regents deal with information problems. He suggested the Board might need a policy. Chancellor Rogers replied that he would tell Regents not to call the presidents unless he is unable to get the information for them. He asked Board members not to go around him because it would destroy his credibility. Regent Rosenberg asked whether Chancellor Rogers wanted the policy to be that requests come from the Regents to the chancellor and the chancellor will provide the information. Chancellor Rogers agreed. Regent Rosenberg asked whether that was agreeable to everyone. General agreement was expressed. 
  
Regent Derby observed that there are different levels of concern that come to Board members. Sometimes it involves small matters like a professor not showing up for a class. In the past, a Regent would call the president and notify them that they have a problem. Funneling such requests through the chancellor’s office was seen as overly burdensome. Regent Sisolak said he receives approximately 15 such complaints per week. Chancellor Rogers asked Board members to at least allow him the opportunity to decide whether a Regent should contact a president directly. Regent Sisolak warned that Chancellor Rogers would receive quite a few calls. Chancellor Rogers said he would like to have some semblance of control. Regent Sisolak said that many calls involved students unable to get into a class, parking tickets, late fees, contested grades, seats at a sporting event. He established that Chancellor Rogers wanted Board members to direct such call through him. Regent Sisolak said that he knew which vice presidents to approach for the various complaints. 
  
Mr. Rowe observed that such communication patterns regarding informal complaints had formed a network that was perceived as favoritism. Regents then come to meetings and are perceived to have preexisting agendas that favor one president or another. The relationships the Regents have with the presidents have caused a perception that Regents will be predisposed to be in favor of a particular president’s issues. He said it was likely not the case, but it was indeed the perception. It is also a large issue with Regents and presidents. 
  
Regent Schofield recalled that an orientation session had been held for new Regents and contact with the presidents was one of the most important issues addressed. Regents were told to observe the chain of command and to let the chancellor do the work. Regent Sisolak asked whether Regent Schofield had been approaching the chancellor directly. Regent Schofield replied that he was. Regent Sisolak asked whether he was the only Regent not going through the chancellor. Regent Howard said he was not. She felt that 

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
every Regent had gone around the chancellor at one point in time. Regents Howard and Sisolak admitted that they had on many occasions. Others agreed as well. Regent Schofield felt that Board members should all agree to go to the chancellor first. Chancellor Rogers said he would like to try this method and see how it works. Regent Sisolak said it was similar to providing information. When one Regent requests information, the information is sent to all of the Regents. He said he is receiving information that he does not know to what it relates, which was killing trees unnecessarily. 
  
Regent Hill requested clarification regarding the chancellor serving as a buffer between Regents and presidents. Mr. Rowe explained that the presidents love the idea of being able to call a Regent to get what they want. They also report feeling very vulnerable that there is no one to protect them. They feel that they do not have an advocate and that they are left to the devices of a political board that may or may not have the interests of higher education (i.e., their institutions) at heart. They want the chancellor to act as a buffer to protect them from the politics. Regent Hill said that he had difficulty relating to this information because he rarely spoke to the presidents (2-3 times/month) . Mr. Rowe related that it happens to a greater or lesser degree depending upon the chancellor, adding that it was enough of an issue to have included all of the Regents. 
  
Regent Howard said that some presidents acknowledged her calls while others did not even return them. She said that some presidents did not want to talk to Regents, while others were thrilled when Regents called. 
  
Regent Bandera felt it was ironic that the presidents desired a buffer, yet did not hesitate to contact Regents when they wanted something in particular. She said that she had observed many of the presidents contacting Regents. She said that she rarely calls anyone, choosing instead to communicate via e-mail. She forwards complaints to the appropriate president. She felt that the presidents could not have it both ways. Mr. Rowe agreed, adding that this was how the Board was getting whipsawed. 
  
Regent Sisolak left the meeting. 
  
Regent Derby observed that the role of the chancellor is difficult because the chancellor reports to the Board, while simultaneously, the presidents look to the chancellor as their advocate. She noted that the topics that had been identified were common for boards across the country. She explained that sending information to all Regents was the current practice, noting that when Regent Sisolak first came to the Board there had been a complaint that one Regent would request and receive information while the other Board members were not copied. The current system was devised in response to that incident. Ironically, now there is a feeling that too much information is being sent to Board members. 
  
Regent Rosenberg said the Board had discussed this and had decided it was better to provide too much information rather than not enough. 
  

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
Chancellor Rogers discussed the chancellor being an advocate for the presidents. He indicated that he had heard that even when a president has a great project and it was felt that the chancellor also thought it was a great project, the chancellor has not gone to bat enough for them. He said that he would support the projects that he felt were worthwhile and let the presidents handle other projects on their own that he does not feel are worthwhile. He said it would be incumbent upon him to bring such projects to the Board’s attention. He said that he would have to protect a president if the Board started to get on one of them. 
  
Regent Derby stated that, traditionally, the Board had requested that all agenda items that come before the Board do so with a recommendation from the chancellor, which provided the chancellor an opportunity to discuss the matter with a president. Chancellor Rogers observed that advocacy was even stronger then a recommendation. 
  
Regent Bandera asked whether Chancellor Rogers would nail a president if they tried to go around the chancellor after he indicated he would not support an issue. Chancellor Rogers said he would not. He would indicate that he does not believe in the project. Regent Rosenberg observed that Chancellor Rogers did not want to stop the flow of information. He would simply be telling a president that he could not advocate for the project. Regent Howard asked whether the briefing paper could include a statement providing the chancellor’s position. 
  
The meeting recessed at 3:05 pm and reconvened at 3:21 p.m. with all members present except Regent Kirkpatrick and Regent Sisolak. 
  
Chancellor Rogers suggested that if they could resolve the issue of information that Board members do not receive and how they are manipulated that it would have a great effect on the other issues under discussion. He suggested that he could outline the manner in which he would suggest to handle the problem of information going back and forth. He felt that if Board members received all of the information and they had some rules that they would not be manipulated and the press would be unable to attack. General agreement was expressed. Chancellor Rogers suggested the Board could meet periodically to discuss an issue with him. 
  
Mr. Rowe asked for other issues from Board members. The following list was compiled: 
Information Flow – What Does Not Work: 
·   Last-minute submissions; need a deadline cutoff that is adhered to. 
Solution: Chancellor’s decision. Chancellor Rogers asked Board members to allow him to make the decision regarding the amount of time required to review material. 
·   Need a balanced executive summary. 
Solution: Leave it up to the Chancellor when he reviews the submissions. Ms. Ernst related that Chancellor Rogers would provide the new rules to the presidents when he meets with them. He will inform them that if the items are not complete, the item will not move forward. 

1.   Information Only-Workshop: Strategic Planning – (Cont’d.) 
·   Regent agenda briefings with the Chancellor. 
General Counsel Ray clarified that private briefings of Board members by staff members are permitted so long as they only provide information to the individual Regent. It would be a violation for staff to inform Regents about their discussions with other members (walking quorum) . 
·   Send outside information to the Chancellor. 
·   Establish Public Information Officer. 
  
Chancellor Rogers said that Board members needed to know how to handle the media, feeling that the media only became frustrated when they think that Board members are hiding something. He said the Board could not hide anything from them, adding that they would be open and above-board about what is going on. If a mistake is made, we’ll own up to it. 
  
Regent Howard said that she liked the idea of a PIO and asked whether Board members could arrange for the media to contact the PIO instead of individual Board members. It was suggested that the PIO could arrange interviews with individual Regents. Ms. Ernst observed that Mr. John Kuhlman currently performs that function for the Board. 
  
Mr. Rowe established that Board members were happy with the list. 
  
2.  Public Comment – Regent Seastrand said that it was good to have Mr. Rogers on board, adding that he was glad to work with each Board member. 
  
3.  New Business – Regent Alden said he would like to have Mr. Rowe return at a future date. Regent Seastrand requested a to-do list from the session. 
  
The meeting adjourned at 3:58 p.m. 
  
Suzanne Ernst 
Chief Administrative Officer