10/21/2011*

Board of Regents Meeting Minutes from October 21, 2011, at UNR's 4-H Camp, Stateline, NV.

 
 
SPECIAL MEETING
BOARD OF REGENTS
NEVADA SYSTEM OF HIGHER EDUCATION
University of Nevada, Reno
Cooperative Extension 4-H Camp
1 4-H Road
Stateline, NV 89449
Friday, October 21, 2011, 10:00 a.m.
 
 
Members Present:        Dr. Jason Geddes, Chair
                                    Mr. Kevin J. Page, Vice Chair
                                    Mr. Mark Alden
                                    Dr. Andrea Anderson
                                    Mr. Cedric Crear
                                    Mr. Ron Knecht
                                    Mr. James Dean Leavitt
                                    Mr. Kevin C. Melcher
                                    Dr. Jack Lund Schofield
                                    Mr. Michael B. Wixom
 
Members Absent:        Mr. Robert Blakely
                                    Dr. Mark W. Doubrava
                                    Mr. Rick Trachok
 
Others Present:            Chancellor Daniel J. Klaich
                        Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs, Jane Nichols
                                    Vice Chancellor, Finance, Mark Stevens
                                    Vice Chancellor, Information Technology, Steven Zink
                                    Chief of Staff & Special Counsel to the Board, Scott Wasserman
                                    President Michael D. Richards, CSN
                                    President Stephen G. Wells, DRI
                                    Interim President Lynn Mahlberg, GBC
                                    Interim President Bart Patterson, NSC
                                    President Maria C. Sheehan, TMCC
                                    President Neal J. Smatresk, UNLV
                                    President Marc Johnson, UNR
                                    President Carol A. Lucey, WNC
 
Also present were faculty senate chairs Dr. Robin Herlands, NSC; Dr. Gregory S. Brown, UNLV; and Mr. Brad Summerhill, TMCC. 


 
Chair Geddes called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 21, 2011, with all members present except for Regents Anderson, Blakely, Doubrava and Trachok.
 
1.               Public Comment (Agenda Item #1)– Vice Chancellor Bart Patterson presented to the Board a Proclamation from Clark County Commissioners to the Board of Regents for a program being developed to enhance the NSHE’s work with small and disadvantaged businesses (Proclamation on file in the Board office).
 
Dr. Robin Herlands, Faculty Senate Chair, NSC, thanked Chair Geddes, Chancellor Klaich and Mr. Scott Wasserman for visiting with Nevada State College and for listening to input from the faculty. She was pleased with the Chancellor’s recommendation to nominate Vice Chancellor Patterson as Interim President of NSC. 
 
On behalf of the NSHE Council of Faculty Senate Chairs, Dr. Gregory S. Brown, Faculty Senate Chair, UNLV, read the following statement into the record:
 
“Thank you for welcoming the faculty senate chairs to today’s meeting in which the important topic of strategic planning for state higher education will take place.
So far, the system and the institutions have developed a number of goals, including, for example, the goal of more degree holders across the state. Strategic planning, as you know, addresses the issue of prioritizing and achieving goals. No one in the system is better placed to understand how to achieve these goals than the experts, Nevada’s capable and dedicated higher education faculty.
As chairs of the several institutions, we come before you today to say that we are here to be involved in the process of strategic planning. We are here to help. We might even go further and say that we are the only ones who can help in this situation. We are the people who will carry forward the vision of a better educated, more enlightened and more economically sound Nevada.
We might begin with differentiation. One cannot seriously hope to enhance the number of graduates or the quality and value of  degrees without a serious look at how to differentiate our institutions' respective missions to better serve our respective student populations; we are not all the same and too much standardized and centralized policy making will not serve the system’s or the citizens’ best interests.
We must discuss allocation of resources as a strategic principle, especially what portion system-wide and on each campus is spent on instruction and research versus student services or academic support functions. Faculty/student ratio is another important consideration. Can we expect to increase the number of graduates with our current faculty size? How do we assure quality, transparency, productivity and accountability across the system as well as in individual academic units.  System governance should be a central issue for strategic planning.
Finally if we are to improve student success we need to stabilize our situation with respect to employment rights of faculty in the context of program review and eliminations. Budget concerns and program review have taken and continue to take an inordinate amount of faculty time and energy. Faculty must drive this effort.


1.               Public Comment (Agenda Item #1)(Cont’d.)
Moreover, the state of Nevada must make a commitment to higher education. As senate chairs, we understand that the economic future of Nevada depends on the state’s dedication to and development of its higher education system. Further cuts to faculty pay and benefits run contrary to our mutual goals and to the best interests of the state. An energized faculty can carry forward your vision. A demoralized faculty will be unable to do so.’
 
Regent Anderson entered the meeting.
 
 
2.              Approved - Appointment, Interim President, GBC (Agenda Item #2)– The Board of Regents approved Ms. Lynn Mahlberg as interim President of Great Basin College. The terms and conditions of the appointment were provided at the meeting. (Handbook, Title 2, Chapter 1, Section 1.5.5 and NSHE Procedures & Guidelines Manual Chapter 2, Section 1)(Ref. BOR-2, Contract, Terms and Conditions and Chancellor’s Recommendation Memo on file in the Board office).
 
Regent Alden moved approval of the appointment of Ms. Lynn Mahlberg as interim President of Great Basin College. Regent Wixom seconded. 
 
Chancellor Klaich related that GBC specifically requested an interim president that was not going to be a candidate for the permanent position of President. In addition, there was much support for either one of the two current Vice Presidents. However, Chancellor Klaich stated that his recommendation was for Vice President Lynn Mahlberg.
 
Chancellor Klaich explained that it was not uncommon to add a 10% stipend to an incumbent’s salary. However, in this situation, there is the appointment of an interim president to a position that had been previously filled by an interim president. President Diekhans current salary was set as an interim president with the stipend and without subsequent adjustment. Chancellor Klaich felt that President Diekhans current salary was an appropriate level for a president of Great Basin College, adding that is why he was also recommending that salary level for Vice President Mahlberg.
 
Regent Knecht asked what President Diekhans salary had been before and after his appointment as interim president and what the salary recommendation was for Vice President Mahlberg. Chancellor Klaich replied that President Diekhans’ current salary is approximately $165,000. That is the same salary being recommended for Vice President Mahlberg as the interim president of GBC. Prior to being appointed as President, Mr. Diekhans salary was approximately $150,000. 
 
Regent Melcher related that there had been several different opinions on which vice president should be selected as interim president. However, upon making a decision, all parties had come together in full support.
 
Regent Crear asked if the interim president will be allowed to apply for the permanent position. Chancellor Klaich related that Vice President Mahlberg has indicated that she will not be a candidate for the permanent position. He added that he had specifically


2.        Approved - Appointment, Interim President, GBC (Agenda Item #2)(Cont’d.)
spoken with Vice President Mahlberg prior to making the recommendation due to the very strong feelings on campus that the interim president not be a candidate for the permanent position. He added that Vice President Mahlberg agreed with the feelings expressed by the campus.
 
Chancellor Klaich related that Dr. Sarah Negrete, Faculty Senate Chair, GBC would be submitting a statement for the record (statement on file in the Board office).
 
Motion carried.  Regents Blakely, Doubrava and Trachok were absent.
 
 
3.               Approved - Appointment, Interim President, NSC (Agenda Item #3) - The Board of Regents approved the appointment of Mr. Bart Patterson as Interim President of Nevada State College. The terms and conditions of the appointment were provided at the meeting.  (Handbook, Title 2, Chapter 1, Section 1.5.5 and NSHE Procedures & Guidelines Manual Chapter 2, Section 1) (Ref. BOR-3 on file in the Board office).
 
Regent Alden moved approval of the appointment of Mr. Bart Patterson as Interim President of Nevada State College. Regent Page seconded. 
 
Chancellor Klaich recommended Vice Chancellor Bart Patterson for the position of interim President of NSC. The salary recommendation was determined using similar logic to that used in developing the GBC interim President salary. Vice Chancellor Patterson’s salary will be approximately $217,000, similar to that of former NSC President, Dr. Lesley DiMare.
 
Chancellor Klaich related that Vice Chancellor Patterson will continue to be on call for System Administration in order to assist with the transition of critical functions. A portion of Vice Chancellor Patterson’s duties will be performed, on a part-time basis, by Ms. Brooke Nielsen.
 
Regent Alden stated that Dr. Lesley DiMare and Mr. Glenn Christensen were very helpful with the recommendation process. He felt that the Chancellor had made a great recommendation. Chancellor Klaich thanked Regent Alden for his comments. 
 
Regent Crear expressed concern for how Vice Chancellor Patterson’s position would be filled, adding that he did not want to see several of the programs that he and Vice Chancellor Patterson have worked on fall by the way side.  He asked Chancellor Klaich to elaborate on how Vice Chancellor Patterson’s absence will be filled. Chancellor Klaich indicated that a transition plan was still being developed.
 
Regent Crear asked if it was fair to request that the Chancellor report back to the Board with an official plan. Chancellor Klaich felt that Regent Crear’s concerns were felt by all.


3.        Approved - Appointment, Interim President, NSC (Agenda Item #3) (Cont’d.)
Regent Page expressed his support for the recommendation of Vice Chancellor Patterson but also concurred with Regent Crear’s concerns.
 
Regent Crear asked that succession planning be included as part of the strategic planning discussion, adding that the issue is not necessarily advancement but in having a strong “bench.”
 
Chancellor Klaich related that, in the context of Regents Crear and Page’s concerns, the Chancellor’s Cabinet will be meeting on October 31, 2011, to prioritize projects. He indicated that the results of that meeting would be part of his report to the Board at the December meeting.
 
Motion carried.  Regents Blakely, Doubrava and Trachok were absent. 
 
NSC President Bart Patterson expressed his appreciation to the Board for their support. He related that he had been the first general counsel at NSC and has watched the college grow over the years. He felt that the NSC faculty’s had tremendous spirit and he was excited to be part of that.
 
Chancellor Klaich indicated that the appointment of interim GBC President Lynn Mahlberg and interim NSC President Bart Patterson were recommended to become effective November 1, 2011.
 
 
4.               Approved - Evaluation Consultant for Chancellor’s Periodic Evaluation (Agenda Item #4)- The Board of Regents approved the recommendation of Board Chair Jason Geddes to engage the services of Dr. Cecelia Foxley to serve as the Evaluation Consultant to the Chancellor’s Periodic Evaluation Committee (Ref. BOR-4a and Ref. BOR-4b on file in the Board office).
 
Regent Page moved approval of engaging the services of Dr. Cecelia Foxley to serve as the Evaluation Consultant to the Chancellor’s Periodic Evaluation Committee. Regent Leavitt seconded. 
 
Regent Alden asked if Dr. Foxley was an independent consultant. Chancellor Klaich stated that he does not know, nor has ever met Dr. Foxley.
 
Chair Geddes elaborated that he had asked Vice Chancellor Bart Patterson to assist with locating an external consultant, adding that it was through Vice Chancellor Patterson’s efforts that the recommendation for Dr. Foxley had been made.
 
Motion carried. Regents Blakely, Doubrava and Trachok were absent.


5.               Approved - Search Consultant for President Search Committees (Agenda Item #5) - The Board of Regents anticipates simultaneously conducting three president searches within the System. Pursuant to Section 1(a) of Chapter 2 of the NSHE Procedures & Guidelines Manual, a President Search Committee shall determine if a search consultant will be hired. Initially, consideration was to be given to the potential engagement of one search firm for all three upcoming president searches (UNR, NSC and GBC)to be selected by a Regents’ ad hoc committee. However, the ad hoc UNR President Search Committee had met the previous week and clearly indicated that it wanted the ability to select its own search firm. A Request for Quotation (RFQ)was developed that included the option for any search firm to submit a proposal for one, two or all three searches. Based on the discussion, the Board determined to leave the decision to engage a search firm, and the selection of that search firm, to the individual search committees (Ref. BOR-5 on file in the Board office).
 
Regent Knecht asked Chair Geddes to elaborate on why a search consultant was needed and if affirmative Board action was taken that day, would that action still allow for the possibility that any one of the three search committees may decide against the hiring of a search firm.  Chair Geddes replied that per Board policy it remains the decision of each individual search committee to determine if they wish to engage in consulting services or not, adding that the ad hoc UNR President Search Committee has decided that it will engage with a search firm.
 
Mr. Wasserman explained the advantages for using a search firm includes being able to address concerns of the public nature of candidates name and being divulged too early in the process. Using a search consultant allows names of initial candidates to remain confidential longer. Also, a search firm can make the search process more efficient. However, a search consultant costs money and that cost is borne by the institution (typically between $75,000 and $100,000). However, even without the engagement of a search consultant, the institution will still incur some travel costs. In addition, Mr. Wasserman related that when using a search consultant, the search committee gives up some authority in selecting candidates although it can provide direction to that consultant. 
 
Chancellor Klaich added that having a seasoned professional who has knowledge of potential candidates and where those candidates are in their careers can be very helpful to the recruiting aspect of a president search.
 
Regent Knecht felt that a more transparent process was allowed by not using a search firm.  He also felt that a search firm's specific knowledge of recruitment may work against the institution in that the consultant may have personal preferences.  With those comments, he stated that he would support the Chair's recommendation.
 
Regent Alden felt that it was optimal to have one firm for all three searches but would respect the will of the individual search committees. He emphasized that it was critical to have a consultant, adding that in his experience, conducting a search without a professional search consultant could be disastrous.
 


5.        Approved - Search Consultant for President Search Committees (Agenda Item #5) (Cont’d.)
Regent Wixom expressed his support of the Chair's recommendation but cautioned the Board to be particularly aware of potential conflict of using the same search firm for GBC and NSC noting that there could be potential overlap in candidate pools. 
 
Regent Leavitt felt that any concern related to the how the delegation of authority gave away responsibility could be ameliorated by clearly stating to potential search firms what the Board and advisory committee members are looking for. He stated that the presidential prospectus will be a key factor in that. Secondly, he stated that although the cost of a search is borne by the respective institution, the UNR Institutional Advisory Committee clearly indicated that the cost would not outweigh the magnitude of the decision. Finally, he felt that the president search process is an opportunity for each institution to market itself throughout the country.
 
Chair Geddes clarified that a motion was only necessary if the Board wanted to have one search firm for all three institutions. Action would not be necessary if the Board decided to leave the selection of a search firm to the individual search committees.
 
Regent Crear questioned the efficiency of having one consultant simultaneously conducting two searches and what the savings would really be at the end of the process.
 
Regent Anderson felt it was important to engage with a consultant. She also felt that it was important to allow each search committee to select its consultant. She also felt that when considering what the state has done to higher education over the last few years, it was important to have all the help it could get in selecting the best candidate.
 
 
6.               Approved - Acceptance of Gift and Naming Opportunity, UNLV (Agenda Item #6) – The Board of Regents accepted a $15 million endowment to rename the UNLV College of Business to the Lee Business School (Ref. BOR-6 on file in the Board office).
 
Regent Alden moved approval of the acceptance of a $15 million endowment to rename the UNLV College of Business to the Lee Business School. Regent Knecht seconded.   Motion carried.  Regents Blakely, Doubrava and Trachok were absent. 
 
 
The meeting recessed at 11:00 a.m. and reconvened at 11:10 a.m. on Friday, October 21, 2011, with all members present except for Regents Blakely, Doubrava and Trachok.
 
Chancellor Klaich introduced Ms. Renee Yakira, newly appointed Director of Government Relations for the NSHE.
 


7.               Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)- The Board continued its discussion from the September 2011 meeting on the Board’s Master Plan with the goal of producing a new blueprint for the future of Nevada’s colleges and universities. The discussion is intended to outline a process for defining the Board’s vision of where higher education in Nevada should be headed in the future and its relationship to the goals and strategic vision for the State of Nevada and the role of the institutions (Ref. BOR-7a and Ref. BOR-7b on file in the Board office).
 
Chancellor Klaich emphasized that the blueprint is a work in progress with much more input from various constituencies yet to be solicited. He thanked the Board Chair and the Board for focusing the System back on a strategic planning process after four years of budget cutting. He expressed the importance of this process as it will be the foundation from which the System goes forward to rebuild higher education. He stated that the process is not going to replace the current 2005 Master Plan or the road map that the presidents brought to the Board last September which express the fundamental core values of the System.
 
Chancellor Klaich and System staff provided a presentation and history that summarized the System’s previously established goals (2005 Master Plan), strategic objectives from the 2011 legislative session, evaluated what goals have been accomplished since 2005 and what objectives need to be established in the 2011 road map including how to support the Student Success goal (BOR-7a on file in the Board office).
 
Dr. Jane Nichols, Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, related that the development of the 2005 Master Plan had been launched by the Board in 2001 in response to the anticipated increase in capacity caused by the then recently implemented Millennium Scholarship. Vice Chancellor Nichols elaborated on the history, premises of the plan, and its seven interrelated goals, principles and targets (slides 3-9 of Ref. BOR-7a).
 
Chancellor Klaich related that approximately one year ago, he worked with the presidents to focus on how the times have changed and to sharpen the focus on some of the goals, principles and targets of the Master Plan. That work created the 2011 Road Map. It was discovered during that process that the 2005 Master Plan and the 2011 Road Map shared the same underlying intent of student success. 
 
Regent Crear felt that it was important to understand which goals had been successful, which were unsuccessful and where the System may have fallen short of the 2005 Master Plan. Chancellor Klaich agreed that was important, adding that Ms. Crystal Abba, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, would review accomplishments later in the presentation.
 
Mr. Vic Redding, Budget Officer, NSHE, elaborated on the origins of the 2011 planning document and road map (A Statewide Plan for Higher Education), its context, purpose and six elements including state and student support, financial aid, measurable goals, efficiency and effectiveness efforts, partnerships and public accountability(slides 11-19 of Ref. BOR-7a).
 


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
Regent Knecht asked Mr. Redding to elaborate on a statement made that Nevada has very little need-based aid, particularly in light of Nevada’s Millennium Scholarship program. Ms. Abba related that the Millennium Scholarship is a merit-based program, not need-based. 
 
Regent Knecht asked for a side by side comparison of both need-based and merit-based financial aid in Nevada compared to other states. Ms. Abba indicated that such a report could be prepared.
 
Vice Chancellor Nichols added that the purpose of the NSHE setting aside 15 percent of tuition and fees is because the state of Nevada has invested its money in merit-based scholarship and not in need-based aid as other states do.  
 
Regent Knecht asked that the requested report also include comparisons of costs that are informative on all levels. Ms. Abba felt that Regent Knecht’s points articulated well the issues being reviewed by the Chancellor’s Committee on Access and Affordability which would soon be shared with the Board. 
 
Chancellor Klaich related that the four community colleges were just awarded a federal grant for workforce development that is being coordinated among all four institutions that will focus on getting Nevadans back to work.
 
Regent Wixom felt that various answers as to what graduation rates, matriculation rates and community college graduation rates mean among state and regional entities makes it difficult for those in positions of policy making. He asked if the System has determined those definitions. 
 
Chancellor Klaich felt Regent Wixom was asking what defines student success. Regent Wixom felt that student success was a large bucket of which he wanted to focus on graduation rates.
 
Ms. Abba related that the state of Nevada has been awarded a grant through the National Governor’s Association that will require a team of NSHE staff, the Governor’s staff and legislators to go to Atlanta, Georgia, to specifically address what performance matrix the state of Nevada needs. She added that there are a number of statistics that are brought to the Board in different reports but none are in a centralized format. She stated that within six months the Board will begin hearing information from that effort.
 
Vice Chancellor Nichols felt that the frustration and the goal behind the work that is going to be done is one reason why the NSHE is not concentrating on graduation rates, but instead on the actual number of graduates. Concentrating on the number of graduates changes the conversation for Nevada which has the highest part-time student body population in the country.
 


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
Regent Wixom felt that to the extent that aggregate numbers are focused on, he was concerned that there are costs to attrition rate that ignore facts such as starting a student who drops out and how policy is developed from that incomplete data.  Vice Chancellor Nichols stated that looking at the number of graduates will force the System to look at those things. She related that is much easier to graduate a student that has 60 or more credits than one that is just starting.
 
Regent Leavitt referred to slide 13 which reflected the underlying goal as being more graduates and expressed concern that there will not be enough jobs for graduates to go to in the future. It was important to him to ask the large question of will students that attain a baccalaureate degree attain a job that requires a baccalaureate degree as opposed to a job that does not. 
 
President Johnson related that he is frequently asked what he recommends to graduates in a low job opportunity climate or how he could justify spending state funds on higher education when there were low job possibilities. He related that his response is always the same, if a person is ready to go to college and prepare themselves for a forty year career, then the short-term job market is unremarkable. However, strategically, if it is known that the state is going to focus on a particular area of development then higher education can respond to those shortfalls.
 
President Richards explained that the methodology used to determine graduation rates is first time, full time degree seeking students. However, at CSN that number represents 1,400 out of 21,000 FTE. If student success is based on what happens to those 1,400 students, then the biggest population of students at CSN is overlooked.  Thankfully, on a national level, that is being given some attention. A second trap is to homogenize the performance of a system that contains different institutional missions. He explained that the differences between community colleges and universities needed to be recognized. Lastly, he cautioned against becoming more efficient in terms of completion and student success at the expense of academic rigor and content.
 
Regent Knecht hoped that measuring student success did not just mean the consideration of head count but also incorporates quality and academic rigor elements and that the System recognizes going forward that a proliferation of services (not just four year degrees) was needed to document achievement in student success. 
 
Regent Page agreed with President Richard that graduation could not be given priority over quality education. He asked Mr. Redding if data was available on out-of-state tuition revenue by institution and if the revenue was going up or down. Mr. Redding replied the data reflects that out-of-state revenues are generally flat or deteriorating.  
 
Regent Wixom asked if the evaluation of student success should include a value-added metric. Secondly, he cautioned the Board not to become so responsive to market forces that the mission of higher education, including the value of knowledge, culture and society, is lost. 


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
Regent Melcher also felt that President Richards’ comments were important with respect to quality and rigor. He cautioned against focusing on the data and forgetting the quality aspect.
 
Regent Crear felt that it was important to be cognizant that there are members of the business community, legislature and Governor’s office included in the discussion of determining graduation success. He emphasized that the System’s goal was more student success and graduation, not to make the data look like the System is doing better.
 
Regent Knecht hoped that in the spirit of accountability and transparency, that the results of the evaluation of low-yield programs and course redesign are published (refer to slide 16, Ref. BOR-7a).
 
In regard to quality assurance for the use of part-time faculty (slide 16, Ref. BOR-7a), Regent Knecht asked if it was true that each institution has to assure that the faculty for lower-division course work, particularly at the community colleges, has a degree in that specific area.  Chancellor Klaich did not think that was a System level policy. 
 
President Smatresk explained that national accreditation guidelines require that any four-year accredited university demonstrate that faculty members have terminal certification in the proper area. An exception can be made but it has to be logged and registered for exceptional practice or equivalent experience in the field as appropriate. 
 
Regent Knecht asked if the faculty member has an MBA with substantial classes in economics, will that qualify them to teach economics at the community college level. President Richards replied that it would, and that the faculty person’s experience would also be considered.
 
Regent Anderson felt that the issue of part-time faculty was significant.  President Smatresk related that every part-time faculty member at UNLV is evaluated (peer review) every year on their teaching performance. 
 
President Lucey felt that the weakness on heavy dependence of part-time faculty needs to be paid attention to as the System begins to focus on degree completion. She explained that degree completion does not occur without a lot of TLC and part-time faculty generally does not have the time or knowledge of the institution to be academic advisors. Due to the large numbers of part-time faculty, WNC has not developed a system that is heavily faculty dependent for advisement. 
 
The meeting recessed at 12:42 p.m. and reconvened at 1:19 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2011, with all members present except for Regents Blakely, Doubrava and Trachok.
 
 


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
Ms. Abba continued the presentation with a report on the progress made over the last decade in several areas including, but not limited to, public/private partnerships, routine review of academic programs, distance education courses, class sizes, measurable goals (Complete College America), diversity initiatives, “Go to College” campaign, college readiness standards, common course numbering, and remedial education (slides 20-24 of Ref. BOR-7a).
 
Regent Knecht referred to slide 20 and asked for a detailed report on the four measures listed (private/public partnerships; review of academic programs; distance education courses; and increased class sizes). Ms. Abba related that at its December meeting, the Academic, Research and Student Affairs Committee will hear a review of existing programs including recommendations from internal and external reviews, outcomes, resource issues and student recruiting.
 
Regent Knecht asked the Chair and the Chancellor to consider items such as that for the main Board meeting, and not just for committee meetings.
 
Regent Leavitt asked if it was possible to design a program through partnership with other institutions that allows 25% of class requirements to be taught in such a manner that lends itself to a format that does not need instructor feedback with all answers already being built into the online program. President Sheehan related that an initiative spearheaded by Vice Chancellor Nichols called “Traditional No More” was designed to take a person with life experience and move them through a compressed online program. Due to the compressed online program, the cost to the institution is limited. It was also found that older students who are more self-directed, do better with online programs. 
 
Dr. Herlands felt that the institutions were very interested in those types of initiative and in having course assessment and ensuring that programs are successfully training the student in the subject areas. She related that hybrid classes in controlled pilot programs are being conducted and that open mindedness was important.  However, she felt that there was an issue with intellectual property of the courses that also needs to be considered. 
 
Dr. Brown asked the Board to consider whether a course is one with its primary learning outcome that is supposed to be a discreet body of knowledge versus a series of competencies that are increasingly at the center of what a value-added undergraduate university degree should be. For example, in his department there is a test bank in addition to course objectives that are felt necessary to embed in the curriculum. There are some parts of education where it important to master the knowledge and be able to reproduce. However, there is a second aspect which cannot be taught in a one to one correspondence such as legal research and writing. He recommended starting with identifying criterion used to separate out the types or portions of courses that can be delivered and tested in a correspondence format, that which is taught versus that which is learned. 


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
Mr. Summerhill reinforced what President Sheehan had previously said that course assessment becomes very difficult with online education. He related that theoretically, the learning outcomes for History 101 taught online or in a traditional setting should be the same. However, in practice it is proven to be more difficult.  Whenever speaking of distance or online education there needs to be increased quality control. He added that although it seems that there should be cost savings with offering online courses those courses require significant resources to provide curriculum, delivery and assessment.
 
President Smatresk added that learning outcomes are being modified nationwide through accreditation agencies and are becoming far more substantive and objectively assessed than ever before. Every institution is in a continuous improvement cycle because accreditation agencies have demanded it. That is resulting in a culture change at the campus level and a fairly large paradigm shift occurring.
 
Regent Melcher related that having personal experience of participating in a hybrid distance Ph.D. program, he was able to see what that type of program could be. He felt that clarification was needed in defining distance education and that it was important to ensure that the quality of the education remains intact.
 
Regent Knecht felt that more than one method of instruction was sometimes appropriate for different course levels that may drive down education costs. He felt that there was a contingent of lower level courses that could be offered at a lower cost in two or three different formats than the traditional classroom interaction. 
 
President Sheehan related that per accreditation requirements, each online course, program and degree must have student learning outcomes and an assessment process for continuous improvement.  She felt that as graduation numbers increase, it will not have been at the risk of academic rigor as that is a responsibility of accreditation.
 
In regard to slide 23, Regent Knecht related that using the state of Nevada’s population growth of 1.8 percent, certificates have increased (on a compound basis) by 9.1 percent, associate degrees by 6.4 percent and bachelor degrees by 3.7 percent (total average 4.8 percent).  He agreed with Ms. Abba that a step function greater than 1.8 percent was needed in order to achieve improvement.
 
Ms. Abba referred the Board to page 33 of Ref. BOR-7b (Complete College America goals). President Smatresk added that in regard to the Complete College America goals, while the numbers are not adequate, he pointed out that enrollment numbers took a hit at all the institutions due to the loss of section offerings. The hole that creates reverberates throughout the System and he could not tell the Board that there will be improvement in the short term.
 
Regent Alden commended Ms. Abba for her presentation.
 


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
Regent Knecht asked what method was used for ascertaining the lack of sections and options and how those numbers could be disaggregated between people who decided not to apply and those that wanted to but could not get the opportunity. President Smatresk felt that explanation would vary among the institutions although there is fairly straightforward evidence that increased cost is driving down enrollment. He related that UNLV experienced its largest number of financial withdrawals in its history by a large factor. It is also known that in certain areas there is a lack of critical class sections (part-time instructors). There is also reputation loss which is harder to grasp. He was not defending bad productivity, but it is an uphill fight. 
 
President Richards added that underrepresented minorities also took a significant hit in enrollment this year. He related that CSN had been close to achieving the requirement for designation as a Hispanic institution. However, Hispanic enrollment dropped by 5 percentage points this year.
 
Regent Alden noted the tracking method that is done in European countries prior to graduation from high school (household, technical or college track). If a student is not ready for college, they do not go to college. He asked if perhaps that was something missing in the American education system. Ms. Abba did not know the answer to that. However, America is not doing well and data reflecting that is readily available. She added that the mechanisms for early alerts are in place but we do not use them. In the next year, the P-16 Council will look at the development of a statewide data system that will link the state’s educational systems together beginning with early childhood.
 
Regent Crear felt that one of the problems with tracking is that once placed in a track, it is difficult to get out of it. 
 
President Johnson felt that in regard to the concept of tracking, students need to be directed to the right institution for the greatest amount of success. He also felt that efficiency goals were met through the need to conduct business differently and not necessarily through outside forces.
 
Regent Anderson related that one of the challenges of career and technical education is the idea or stereotype of tracking. Parents do not want to be told where there child needs to be, adding that she was not sure that was a battle that could be overcome in education.
 
President Lucey related that much had been in the media recently about how young people deal with the economic crisis using education to make a living. Instead of using the term tracking, she preferred to think of it as career and technical education and felt that type of education and training has a place in America. As long as American culture suffers from the idea that every child has to go to college, it is doing a terrible disservice to its children. She felt that culture has not successfully changed because the funding is not put into vocational training or v-tech degrees, nor have the parents been given comfort that their student is not going to be dead-ended with a certificate or a two year degree. She felt that was the only way in which the problem will be solved.


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
Regent Crear asked President Lucey to clarify what she meant by "v-tech." President Lucey explained that v-tech is an upper division degree for students with a technical associate or certificate that may have an entrepreneurial, management or technological focus.
 
Regent Melcher felt that better mentoring of students was needed as an ongoing process beginning in K-12 and continuing through college. He felt that would help with tracking students.  
 
Regent Crear agreed with Regent Melcher, adding that the higher education system does not talk enough with the students. At the higher education level, there is an issue of self-motivation and not a lot of coddling. However, higher education does not do a good job of recognizing when there are issues, adding that the faculty is brilliant but they are not prepared to deal with students from all socio-economic backgrounds. 
 
Regent Schofield related that he is a product of Nevada’s education system through all levels.  The argument that Nevada has no money to fund education appropriately is a broken record. The System needs to find a way to get the citizens to invest in the children in this state.
 
 
The meeting recessed at 2:22 p.m. and reconvened at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2011, with all members present except for Regents Blakely, Doubrava and Melcher.
 
 
Chancellor Klaich continued the presentation in terms of student success and how that relates to strategic guidance, including alignment, affordability, innovative instruction and timely graduation, and accountability and transparency (slide 25-30 of Ref. BOR-7a).
 
Regent Knecht referred to slide 27 and requested some specificity or documentation to reflect what the economic goals of the state are and what career/technical and academic programs will be provided to support those goals.   Chancellor Klaich replied that there is a pre- and post-2011 answer. Pre-2011, his response would have been that any alignment was serendipitous. However, his post-2011 response is that through AB 449 those state goals will be set forth for the first time and the legislation includes a presence for higher education to be on the governing board as a non-voting member. 
 
Regent Knecht felt that although some initiatives have been adopted, he expressed skepticism that those initiatives will amount to anything. However, from the NSHE's perspective, he felt that the NSHE needed to be specific on the goals and how higher education contributed to those goals so that there was no lack of execution on the NSHE's part. Chancellor Klaich agreed that the NSHE has a responsibility to do its share as defined, adding that there are three parts to that alignment that includes higher education, the state and the business community with each having a part to play.


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
Chair Geddes asked President Sheehan to provide more clarity on how accreditation relates to strategic planning.  
 
President Sheehan indicated that there was a close relationship between the discussion that day and what the accreditation commissions are requiring. She related that the Northwest Commission on Community Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is requiring a continuous review and oversight of accredited institutions which creates a road map for governing boards to address institutional excellence and effectiveness in years 1, 3, 5 and 7 of accreditation (handout on file in the Board office).
 
President Lucey added that accreditation in the United States has adopted a peer review methodology which on one hand is good in that it focuses on continuous development and improvement. However, that same peer review methodology makes it difficult to test.
 
President Sheehan related that it was important to look at metrics to ensure that the institutions are meeting the goals and demonstrating that they are achieving the missions. Chair Geddes observed that, in turn, it was important for the Board to make sure that the metrics and data that it is requesting is in alignment with what the campuses need to accomplish to meet accreditation requirements.
 
President Lucey clarified that one of the standards for accreditation is a governance board that regularly evaluates the objectives that the institutions have set for themselves and the success of the institutions in meeting those objectives. The Board of Regents met that standard and provided that alignment with the discussions held that day.
 
Chair Geddes stated that the Board's discussion will continue at its December 2011 meeting. He asked each of the Regents to provide further input on any issues or topics that were not discussed that day.
 
Regent Wixom asked 1) the focus be placed on the iNtegrate project and how that project will help mine the System for information; 2) in terms of measures and graduation rates, is there a way to report that data and can it be used in terms of funding and the funding formula; 3) should the Board address value-added; and 4) how will performance metrics effect research functions at the research institutions.
 
Regent Knecht recommended that the document focus on three measures: excellence, innovation and responsiveness. In regard to excellence, he felt that the core curriculum of the B.A. and B.S. degrees should be strengthened in the areas of English and math and with the addition of economics because it is the study of how people use limited resources to maximize or satisfy unlimited demands. 
 
In regard to innovation, Regent Knecht felt that new programs and certificates should be developed in addition to the development of new methods of delivering instruction for v-tech and career/technical education for workforce oriented education and instruction to satisfy the needs for promoting economic development for the state. 


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
In terms of innovation and responsiveness, Regent Knecht felt that the System should tailor its instructional and research missions and recognize the difference between the two. It was not clear to him that the teaching standard at the universities (1:2 or 2:2) was optimal for every discipline or every department.  Contrary to instruction loads in disciplines such as engineering and biochemistry where the research component is very heavy and productive, he felt that it was time to discuss humanities and social sciences that may need to have more of an instruction focus and less of a research focus.
 
Regent Knecht’s final point was that the Board needs to focus on value-added and on the cost of education. He felt that saying Nevada has a productivity problem is not a criticism but rather a diagnosis and prescription for the future. He hoped that when this document is brought back to the Board in December, that it focuses less on the big picture concepts of changing Nevada’s culture and economy and focus more on excellence, innovation and responsiveness from which a change in Nevada’s culture and economy will be a happy outcome.
 
Regent Melcher felt that 1) as a System, consideration needs to be given on how to best serve Nevada including if there were communities and programs that should be involved across institutions and potential elimination or relocation of programs; 2) he referred to the booklet Presidential Compensation in Higher Education (AGB Press) and quoted from page viii, first sentence, which read “It was not original thought that the most important functions of a board in higher education are to hire and support the right president.” He felt that the Board needed to look at the periodic evaluation process for the chancellor and presidents to make sure that opportunities for input are provided to the faculty and the community. He also felt that the process was time intensive and costly and felt that other models could be more effective; 3) he indicated that he would like to see some administrative support in regards to contracts and suggested that a wellness program or physicals for leaders, presidents and the chancellor be considered to make sure stresses of the job are not impeding or causing issues; 4) he felt that it was important for the chancellor to consider having a chief of staff, adding that position may be created as a result of shifting current staff rather than a new hire; 5) he recommended that a human resources coordinate at the System-level be hired; and 6) succession planning needed to be considered. He felt that an NSHE leadership academy needed to be established where staff from any of the institutions could receive training, courses or experience at the System level.
 
Regent Crear concurred with much of what Regent Melcher commented on. He also wanted the Board to have a serious conversation on healthcare in Nevada.
 
Regent Anderson felt that the Board should consider a mechanism from which to conduct a self evaluation.
 
Regent Page agreed with Regent Crear that healthcare in Nevada needed to be discussed. He also felt that that it was important to consider the healthcare provided to employees and how healthcare effects recruiting.


7.        Action Taken - Strategic Planning for the Future of Higher Education (Agenda Item #7)(Cont’d.)
On behalf of Regent Trachok, Chair Geddes asked that the presidents come up with two to five issues that need to be focused on and that those issues be provided to staff prior to the December Board meeting.
 
Regent Schofield also felt that a healthcare system or program for the state of Nevada needed to be discussed.
 
Regent Knecht strongly endorsed pre- and post-testing as being a part of instructional excellence. He asked that discussions pertain more to educational aspects and less on administrative and organizational aspects.
 
Chancellor Klaich felt that a critical aspect of this type of discussion is to focus on what is doable. He hoped that part of the process will be to narrow down what is accomplishable with the staff available. 
 
Regent Wixom agreed with Chancellor Klaich, adding that the Regents needed to be extraordinarily careful of demands placed on staff. He felt that a conversation may be necessary to determine how to convey Regent requests to take advantage of the data and information but without monopolizing staff. 
 
 
8.               Information Only - New Business (Agenda Item #8)– President Smatresk requested a future agenda item to address how the System could reengage COLA and merit increases in the future.
 
 
9.               Information Only - Public Comment (Agenda Item #39) – None.
 
 
Meeting adjourned at 3:17 p.m.
 
 
Prepared by:                            Jessica C. McMullen
Administrative Assistant IV
 
Submitted by:                         Scott G. Wasserman
Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to the Board of Regents
 
 
 
Approved by the Board of Regents at the March 1-2, 2012, meeting.