July 2018 Meeting Minutes

JULY 20, 2018


Regents Present
Harris H. Simmons, Chair
Nina R. Barnes, Vice Chair
Jesselie B. Anderson
Wilford Clyde
Marlin K. Jensen
Ron Jibson
Jakell Larson
Robert S. Marquardt
Cristina Ortega
Robert W. Prince
Teresa L. Theurer

Regents Absent
Steven Lund
Patricia Jones
Steven Lund
Mark Stoddard
Thomas E. Wright

Office of the Commissioner
David L. Buhler, Commissioner of Higher Education
Kimberly L. Henrie, Associate Commissioner for Planning, Finance and Facilities
Elizabeth Hitch, Associate Commissioner of Academic Affairs

Institutional Presidents
Present Ruth V. Watkins, University of Utah
Noelle Cockett, Utah State University
Scott L Wyatt, Southern Utah University
Gary Carlston, Snow College
Jeff Olson, Utah Valley University
Richard B. Williams, Dixie State University
Deneece G. Huftalin, Salt Lake Community College
Norm Tarbox, Weber State University

Other Commissioner’s Office and institutional personnel were also present. The signed role is on file in the Commissioner’s Office.

Discussion – Review of Thursday’s Meeting, Completion of Annual Forms A discussion on success of Regent/Trustee Retreat. Regents signed annual Conflict of Interest forms.

Chair Harris Simmons called the Committee of Whole meeting to order at 10:49 a.m.

President’s Report

President Wyatt began stating Regents have asked him to report on the Regents’ Strategic Objectives of Timely Completion and Mental Health. Beginning with Timely Completion, the goal is to increase the percentage of students completing. SUU has not only met but exceeded the goal of 28 awards per 100 FTE, ahead of time and under budget. SUU has grown by about 24% over the last 10 years, but the awarding of degrees has grown by 61%. He said he is often asked how the selective admissions process impacts retention. From 1993 – 2006, the admission standard at SUU was 80. During which the highest annual retention rate was 70%. In 2007, the admission standard was increased to 85, and retention actually dropped. The highest retention rate during this period of time was 69%. In 2011 the standard was increased to 90, and the highest retention rate was 66%. In 2014, the university got serious about increasing retention rates and since then has seen more than a 10% increase in retention. SUU was highlighted last month in the Higher Education Chronical for the things they are doing to increase retention. It takes an all-encompassing campus working together in a coordinating effort to be engaged.

President Wyatt said he would like to highlight four strategies for Timely Completion, presented in two separate initiatives: 1) A collaboration with Southwest Tech and SUU. They have created a dual-enrollment program, which means every student at Southwest Tech will receive credit at SUU, and students from SUU will received credit at Southwest Tech, ultimately providing flexibility and cost savings to students. 2) SUU’s new three-year bachelor degree concept. The concept being if we can take students from four years to three; instead of the fourth year the students will take two summers, they will get the same amount of work in three years, saving the student money and time. SUU benefits because instead of hiring three faculty members with three offices, they can hire two faculty members with two offices.

The next issue is Mental Health. President Wyatt said this is a big challenge, but one that SUU welcomes. The industry standard is to have one senior full-time counselor for every 1000-1500 students. SUU now has a ratio of 1-1195; adding the three doctoral interns they have, who work full-time, the ratio becomes 1- 896. Even with this ratio, during peak times, there is still a wait time of 5-6 weeks. SUU will continue to work on this.

Oath of Office

Having been appointed to the Board of Regents, Jakell Larson took the Oath of Office, administered by Chair Simmons.


Regent Barnes shared comments regarding the resolution for Regent Valdez. She said Regent Valdez was a great contributor to the Board of Regents and has been very involved with issues concerning women and diversity. Regent Barnes made a motion to approve the resolution; the motion was seconded by Regent Theurer and the motion carried.

Consent Calendar (TAB A)

On a motion by Regent Prince and seconded by Regent Clyde the following items were approved on the Regents’ General Consent Calendar:

A. Minutes – Minutes of the Board meeting May 18, 2018 Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, Utah.
B. Grant Proposals
C. Awards
D. Academic items Received and Approved
E. Revision to wording of Policy R704, Disposal of Real Property

Adoption of Policy R250, Legislative Communications (TAB B)

Commissioner Buhler noted there has been a lot of discussion about how higher education institutions might appropriately engage with state legislators. The current executive order prevents any expenditures towards legislators. For example: if a legislator was invited to an event at an institution and a sweet roll was provided, the legislator was expected to pay for that. We did not feel this was the most workable way to approach this. Board leadership, presidents, and Commissioner’s staff met with the Governor’s staff to develop a new policy. This proposed policy includes: who may by policy represent an institution at the legislature; ties into policy the current state law that involves lobbyist’s disclosures and regulations, with some exceptions. These exceptions include: food and beverage may be provided at events as long as it does not exceed state per diem; allows items of nominal value may be provided; provides an exemption if there is an event where all legislators are invited; institutions may host legislators at events with the following limitations – legislators are limited to be invited to two institution sponsored men’s football or basketball events per calendar year; institutions provide an annual report of any expenditures on legislators. Regent Theurer made a motion to approve as outlined in TAB B; the motion was seconded by Regent Campbell and the motion carried.

Revision of Policy R714, Capital Facilities Community Impact (TAB C)

Associate Commissioner Jenkins said the Commissioner’s office was asked what USHE institutions are doing to inform students of their immunization opportunities. We found that several institutions notify students of this when they live on campus. This policy standardizes the requirements for all USHE institutions to notify students living on campus of their immunization opportunities. Regent Clyde made a motion to approve as outlined in TAB C; the motion was seconded by Regent Barnes and the motion carried.

USHE – Board of Regents Strategic Plan Update – 2018 Progress Report (TAB D)

Associate Commissioner Henrie stated in order to advance the Regents’ strategic metrics, we recognize the key component is to measure progress. The Board adopted its strategic plan in 2015 with two metrics; we are asking the Board to consider expanding these metrics to a list of eight. In addition to identifying and defining the metric, we have also identified benchmarks. These benchmarks are new and the goals should be considered a starting point for the Board. Regents can adjust these in the future, but we need a place to start. We expect this process to be reviewed annually to look at metrics, discuss whether they are effective and whether the goals should be adjusted. There are two metrics being advanced under Affordable Access: The current metric College Participation Rate of High School Graduates – which measures the percentage of Utah high school graduates who enroll within five years of high school graduation. Affordability is difficult to assess. A metric which helps display what that means for students may be a starting point to measure affordability. The metric selected is the percentage of full-time resident students who do not require loans, grants, or scholarship to pay for college; this represents 19% of our student population. The goal is to maintain this percentage as we grow. The next metric is Timely Completion. This metric will be adjusted to Time to Graduation by measuring the number of semesters needed to complete a college degree. Under Workforce, we have determined a metric is the Return on a Students’ Investment by measuring the wage premium a student experiences for every $1 they pay in tuition based on whether the student earns an associate or a bachelor’s degree. The final four metrics include: Total Cost per Award, Functional Cost per Full-time Student, Space Utilization, and Return on the State Tax Fund Investment. These metrics will begin to provide a baseline related to cost per award, cost per FTE, and space utilization, while measuring the impact higher education has on the economy through the return on investment realized by additional income tax paid by USHE graduates over a 30 year time frame.

President Cockett noted presidents have not seen this and would like time to review. She would like to see a break out for each benchmark per institution. Regent Clyde said he likes seeing the metrics, whether these are the right metrics or not, we should allow the presidents time to review. He also said it would be hard to adopt today just receiving the information and may be better to adopt in the September Board meeting. Chair Simmons said we need to figure it out, even if we don’t have the data by institution. Ultimately if we have a system wide goal, we need to break down the components for each institution and have a discussion on what that means for each institution. It would be helpful to take another step and say what does this look like by institution, have a discussion with the Council of Presidents on whether these the right metrics. President Huftalin agreed metrics are important, but would be nice to have some time, specifically for SLCC, she is concerned about the affordability metric. Commissioner Buhler stated these are intended to be system metrics. If the sense of the Board is to take more time we can do that. President Watkins stated on the Capacity and Growth section, there are some innovative ideas she would praise, particularly the ROI. She applauds the work done on this and in some ways this is a path breaking effort. Regent Campbell noted this is a situation where we won’t all end up where we want to be, but this is an important process. He agreed we are looking for system goals, but the institutions need to know how they contribute to the system goal and how they roll up in that number. He applauds the effort and said we are moving in the right direction. Chair Simmons said he would like the institutions to take this back to their Board of Trustees. President Wyatt said he thinks we can have a system metric that may only apply to a subset of schools. He encourages the effort, but feels we should divide it out because institutions are not all the same. Regent Clyde noted if something doesn’t work, the institutions should work to come up with a solution. Regent Larson said she would like to see metrics for each institution and then have a conversation on whether these are the right metrics. Regent Barnes asked the Regents if the work they did in their working groups is reflected in the document. Regent Prince stated this is an example where the discussion and conversation is as important as the resolution. Chair Simmons asked to table this item and revisit in the September Board meeting.

Open Meetings Training

Commissioner Buhler reminded Regents of the requirement to hold Open Meetings Training annually. The training was provided by showing a 12 minute video prepared by the state auditors.


Southern Utah University – Campus Master Plan Approval (TAB E)
Marvin Dodge, VP of Finance and Administration, SUU highlighted a couple of changes over the last few years. Regent Anderson moved to approve as outlined in TAB E; the motion was seconded by Regent Barnes and the motion carried.

Southern Utah University – Property Acquisition (TAB F)
Marvin Dodge, VP of Finance and Administration, SUU noted this property is across the street from the Southern Museum of Arts. The house is currently under contract; they were asking $650,000 and SUU is paying $575,000. This is a strategic purchase as SUU tries to purchase the entire block. Regent Anderson made a motion to approve as outlined in TAB F; the motion was seconded by Regent Campbell and the motion carried.

Utah State University – Horse Barn Non-state Funded Project (TAB G)
Dave Cowley, VP for Business and Finance, USU noted this property is necessary to accommodate the growing Equine Science and Management Program. This is a 1.8 million project; institutional funds will be used, with no state funds requested. Regent Anderson made a motion to approve as outlined in TAB G; the motion was seconded by Regent Clyde and the motion carried.

Snow College – Campus Master Plan Amendment (TAB H)
Jake Dettinger, Business VP, Snow noted this is for a proposed amendment to the Richfield campus. This is an updated location for student housing; there is no infrastructure at the current location. Regent Anderson made a motion to approve as outlined in TAB H; the motion was seconded by Regent Larson and the motion carried. Snow College – Non-Traditional Arrangement for Student Housing in Richfield (TAB I) Jake Dettinger, Business VP, noted the Snow College, Richfield campus is currently land-locked, and they have plateaued in enrollment. They are asking to move forward with an RFP to find a developer to partner with to develop and build student housing. Regent Anderson moved to approve as outlined in TAB I; the motion was seconded by Regent Prince and the motion carried.

USHE – FY20 Budgeted Development Process (BDP) Guidelines (TAB J)
Commissioner Buhler noted this outlines the BDP process and shows it will be constructed around the Regents’ strategic objectives, and we will be receiving input from the institutions. Associate Commissioner Henrie noted it’s pretty standard and straight forward, and highlighted the process. Regent Marquardt asked if any changes were made to the way the presentations would be made after questions were brought up by a few legislators and GOB about the format of the budget presentation. Henrie said they met with Kris Cox over the summer and noted most of her concerns were with the way the metrics were presented. They want to understand how they can evaluate higher education as compared to other state agencies. They have been working to find common ground and have a follow up meeting in a couple of weeks. Regent Anderson made a motion to approve as outlined in TAB J; the motion was seconded by Regent Jibson and the motion carried.

USHE – Review of Finance & Facilities Committee FY18 (TAB K)
Regent Anderson noted over the year, the committee took action on 34 different items including approval of budget and capital development guidelines, student fees, 6 policy related items, 2 campus mater plans, 5 non-state funded projects, and 6 property transactions. In addition, the committee received 30 information items highlighting the enrollment levels, debt managements, auxiliary operations, institutional residences, leases, the annual legislative session, intuition benefits and many other reports. This is an information item only; no action was taken.

USHE – Revenue Bond Results (TAB L)
Regent Anderson noted three institutions recently issued revenue bonds to construct facilities approved by the 2018 Utah State Legislature. SLCC closed on $11,735,000 of bonds on June 20, 2018 with an allinclusive interest cost of 2.83%. USU Closed on $32,210,000 of bonds on June 21, 2018 with an allinclusive interest cost of 3.54%. The U closed on $80,040,000 of bonds on July 17, 2018 with an allinclusive interest cost of 3.62%. This is an information item only; no action was taken.

USHE – 2018-19 Budget Initiatives Use of Funds Received (TAB M)
Regent Anderson noted each intuition has submitted detailed Student Growth & Capacity, Completion, and Workforce initiatives for fiscal year 2018-19. This information will be included in legislative budget item follow-up reports and other requests. This is an information item only; no action was taken.

USHE – 2018-19 Performance Based Funding Initiatives (TAB N)
Regent Anderson noted each institution has submitted detailed Performance Based funding initiatives for the $3,850,000 on-going appropriation in fiscal year 2018-19, with descriptions, rationale, justification, outcomes, assessment, and budgetary plan. This information will be included in legislative budget item follow-up reports and other requests. This is an information item only; no action was taken.

Regent Marquardt motioned to move into executive session on this date for the purpose of discussing the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of individuals, and discussion regarding deployment of security personnel, devices, or system. The motion was seconded by Regent Prince and the motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 1:56 p.m.