ETSU Board of Trustees 11-10-17

ETSU Board of Trustees 11-10-17


Good afternoon, everyone.
People go ahead it’s almost 1:15. We’ll go ahead and get started with our
meeting today. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, it’s my pleasure to welcome
everyone to the fourth meeting of the ETSU Board of Trustees. Before we move
into the formal agenda there are several items that I would like to spotlight and
review for you. The first one is our enrollment. I’d like to commend the staff
there were to realize significant increases in the size of our freshman
class for the 2017-18 academic year. This fall 2,050 freshmen began their
educational journey at ETSU which represents an increase of 10% over the
past year. The class is well-prepared academically with an average high school
GPA of 3.5. I encourage the staff to continue to work the plan that was
presented to the trustees during the September meeting. Remember, our strategic enrollment plan and the goal of 18,000 students is important to the board and
we commend the staff again for their work to realize that goal.
Secondly, Student Success. As Dr. Noland noted in his State of the University
Address, the fall to fall retention rate for this year is 75.9% which represents the highest retention rate in the history of the
university. Additionally, this measure of student success has increased 10%
since 2012-13 academic year. The board recognizes that no single
initiative or individual is responsible for this outcome. It has been a
collective campus endeavor. From the care that our grounds and custodial services
staff place into our facilities to the work of faculty, advisors, financial aid
counselors, and other support personnel the entire institution including your
board of trustees is committed to Student Success. On behalf of the
trustees, I extend our congratulations to the campus on this accomplishment.
However, I urge you to keep pushing because we expect to see similar results
this next fall. Thank you. Number three, mergers. Since our September meeting
there has been considerable action on behalf of staff, as well as trustees to
ensure the realization of the MSHA and Wilmont merge. The recognition by the state of Tennessee of the importance of the
merger was a critical piece in realizing the long term objectives. One of the
byproducts of this merger will be the investment in medical residences,
research, continued research in population health. It is critical that
the university review its existing structure, staffing, and operations so
that it is properly positioned to maximize the opportunities presented by
that upcoming merger. On behalf of the trustees, I would like to charge Dr.
Noland to present the board at our next meeting a report on staffing, structure,
and operations, as well as any recommendations regarding changes that
may need to be made to the aforementioned areas to ensure success
in the post merger environment. For athletics. Earlier today, in the academic
affairs committee, we heard the report from Scott Carter, the university’s
athletic director, regarding issues and opportunities impacting the athletic
department. Upon reflection of Scott’s comments, I recognized the need for ETSU
to review its title 9, as well as to begin preparations for the addition of
new women’s athletic programs. I would like to charge Dr. Noland to
work with Scott Carter and his staff to review the athletic department strategic
plan and outline steps to ensure the ETSU remain compliant with title 9. I would
like for Dr. Noland to provide a formal report to the trustees at our 2008
summer quarterly board meeting regarding recommendations that emerge from this
athletic review. Five, board activities. As I referred to earlier, this marks the
fourth meeting of the board of trustees. While I’m comfortable with the work that
we have done to date I recognize as does the rest of the board there is much that
remains to do. I welcome the comment and input from my fellow trustees regarding
opportunities for improvement and in our meetings schedules, operation,
and communications. I encourage you to call and share your ideas, as well. I look
forward to working with as we guide the university toward the
realization of its strategic planning objectives. I would now turn to the items on our agenda and ask Dr. Linville to call the
roll. Dr. Alsop? Present. Ms. Ayers? Mr. DeCarlo? Present. Mr. Farner? Present. Mr. Golden? Present. Ms. Grisham? Present. Dr. Latimer? Present. Mr. Pal? Present. Mr. Ramsey? Present. Chairman Nicewonder? Present. Mr. Chair, you have the floor.
Okay, thank you. First item of business today will be the approval of our
September 8 Minutes. Do I have those were found below tab
one. I’d like a motion please for approval. Do I have a second? Any further
discussion? All in favor of accepting the minutes as written please signify by
saying aye. Aye! All opposed like sign. No further questions, Dr. Linville or we’ve done that. I guess I’ll do it again. For consent agenda, are there any items from the
trustees can on the consent agenda that members would like to pull for a full
board consideration? Yes. I, Chairman Nicewonder, would like to
pull item F in the consent agenda for further discussion. Okay. Any others? Okay. We’ll go into discussion at this time. You can take a motion to accept the rest of the consent
agenda and then we can dismiss with item F. Okay. Okay. So, second in favor? Aye. Any opposed?
Okay. So, item F is the academic calendars for
18-19 and 19-20. Yes. I’m not, unfortunately, serving on the
finance administration committee. I was not able to participate in discussion
for the and the Student Affairs Committee earlier when this was discussed previously. I’m not directly opposed to neither
changes within the calendar; however, trusting and myself had the
opportunity being on campus we hear things and you know discussions and
people make remarks and comments and that sort of thing, and over the past few
weeks several faculty and staff and students have shown some concerns with
specifically regarding the calendar around the Fall Break decision. And I
think particularly not the length of Fall Break or anything in regards to
that, but I have heard some concerns that the month of November, as it currently is
and has been in the past, is one of the most strenuous months for a lot of
professors. That is the month right before finals take place, they’re trying
to wrap up, catch up from any classes they’ve missed, students who’ve missed, that sort
of thing. It’s an extremely busy portion of the school year and with this
proposed with the proposed changes as they are in this document there’s a
three week period within November where you experience six days of in-class
actual academic time that would be out of class. So, you would have fall break
for two days, for this upcoming year be November 1st and 2nd. You’d have a
few days off, you’re then off for Veterans Day, then you’re back for a week,
and then you’re off for Thanksgiving break. And several faculty members and
staff members have voiced some concerns regarding that and I just was hoping to
maybe have a little further discussion around that. I did have the opportunity
to speak with Dr. Noland previous to this meeting and trying to get a little
context around the process by which the decision was made. So, I’d love to invite
Dr. Noland if you’d like to share that a little bit more and maybe facilitate
discussion. As I mentioned, I’m not directly opposed to the changes but I do
think it’s worth noting some people have voiced some concerns. Okay. Mr. Chair,
members of the board, context on this item. As we were moving through a
reflection of the academic calendar put together a committee to
review the calendar and how the calendar aligns with the needs of East Tennessee
State University. The calendars that we’ve operated under to this date have
been developed by the Board of Trustees, I mean by the Board of Regents and in
many respects they were geared towards the needs of community colleges across
the state. So, this was the first opportunity in the history of our
university to really put together a calendar that aligned with the needs of
our institution rather than the needs of others. The recommendations that are
before you came from that committee, these recommendations were shared with
the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, they were shared with the Staff Senate
Executive Committee, they were also shared with the Executive
Committee of the Student Government Association, and none of those sessions
were concerns raised about the calendar and in fact I met with both faculty and
staff executive committees again yesterday. The chair of the Staff Senate
is here, the president of the Faculty Senate is here, so if there are questions
would look to Dr. Eps, Ms. Murphy, as well as Dr. Alsop, but these are the
only.. this is the only question that has been raised to me about the calendar and
the process has been inclusive and I have not received any concerns to date
around the breaks and the way that breaks are formulated. Out of curiosity is there,
how does this calendar compare to other LGI’s that have been proposed for or are
you aware? I have not had the chance to review their calendars. I did cross-reference for several members of the board how this calendar compares to
calendars for other institutions. It’s relatively consistent. We did move Spring
Break back a couple of weeks. I hadn’t received concerns that Spring Break
always was very early in the year but I recognize your question is around Fall
Break. Trustee Farrar, I do not know off the top of my head how our fall
break compares to others, but I know that there was a committee that reviewed this
for several months and I know that the Faculty Senate and the Staff Senate had reviewed this neither of whom addressed a concern. Any further
discussion on this item? Mr. Chairman, we need a vote because it came from
committee, there’s no need for a motion. Okay. All those in favor of item F as
written, please signify by saying aye. Aye. Opposed, like so. Thank you and thanks for your competence. Next, item five. Our report and finance
from the finance administration committee, Steve McConnell. Thank you. Good afternoon. This morning the, our committee meeting and if I could I’d like to take you through some of the points. So the committee approved the October budget revision has presented,
key word being the revisions it’s like the new increased enrollment numbers. It
will require a vote of the full board and Dr. King will have a report on that later
in the agenda. I just want to stop a second and thank the staff and Dr.
King for their hard work. They put up with a lot of questions that I know
sometimes, even I as an accountant get confused, but the staff does a great job
of keeping us informed and Dr. King does a great job of presenting that to us. Also,
the committee we present five policies as part of a continuing review
and of approval of finance and administrative policies. The policies
reduced financial and organizational risk by establishing adequate internal
controls for compliance with laws, regulations, and accepted business
practices. The policies we reviewed were delegation of authority, signature
authorization, disposal of surplus, personal property, equipment,
moveable property inventory control, something that I studied, Paul last night,
membership and subscriptions, and of course the all-important alcohol policy.
All were accepted and noted. The committee approved the reduction, key
word being reduction, in the college of medicine fees for the debt and
operations of the Student Center. The toll fee was reduced from $650 to $550 I
believe that begins July 1 of 2018. The death service portion was reduced by
$140 based on ten embers amortization schedules. The operations portion
was increased by forty dollars based on expense history. You reviewed the audited
financial statements as they were presented. The audited audit is not yet
complete and the audit report will not be released until sometime in the spring.
They also reviewed the composite financial index from these unaudited
statements. All ratios are trending positively. We focused on increasing
reserves and learned a great deal about primary reserves and validity ratios.
Increasing the reserves as part of the institutional strategic plan and
we did go into that in quite a bit of detail. The university is also preparing
implement a new budget model that is a more decentralized approach to budget
and management. Dr. King took us through that process since as it’s beginning and the
new model will be implemented this year. We reviewed the quarterly report of
expenditures greater than $250,000 and all purchases were routine. And the last
point is we kind of brief update and I mean brief update on the campus
construction after last quarter receiving an in-depth review. I didn’t
get the name of the building but everybody seemed to be excited that
there’s a potential opportunity that THAC will put us in their top 10 and I think as he explained it there was the first time he heard the term 84 million and East Tennessee State University ever in the same sentence. Am I allowed to talk about that? So with that I will conclude our part. Thank you, Steve. Next item is a report from our academic and student affairs. Chairman, Dr. Linda Latimer. It’s Ms. Ayers on the phone. Do we need to add her to our roll call? We’ll be fine. Okay. Wow. So, on top of the set agenda information that we’re going to go through again, we also had several information items which included Dr. Haff reviewing the ETSU performance within the THAC outcomes based funding formula, which we had an interesting discussion about the mark off change. We’ll continue this after today. Our new athletics director Mr. Scott Carter gave a great presentation of the athletics initiatives and success metrics. Scot Jeffers, the director of the Run Scholars Leadership Program gave a presentation and Dr. Bock gave the THEC program productivity report, but the majority of our time
was spent on the consent agenda items which I think will go into detail here in a few moments. Thank you, that was my report. Thank you, Linda.
Item 7: Report from Chairman of our Audit Committee, David Golden. This shows it’s tough follow Chairman Lattimer. That was a good concise report, so I’m going to do
my best. First, let me commend Rebecca Lewis and her team. Once again, a ver busy full quarter. Doing a lot of great work. In the audit committee
we covered several of the audits that she had finished, as well as a couple of
investigations. For this meeting, it serves us to highlight the
investigations. These are what I would call a bit of a knock-on effect from the
previous investigations around the 10 mens tennis program. Unlike the previous ones which involved expenses submitted for
services that had not been rendered these were expenses submitted for
services that had been rendered. However, the expense of middle process
that was followed was not consistent with University policy. In one instance,
invoices were submitted making it appear that an outside vendor had performed
services when the services and these services relate to restringing rackets,
but in fact one of the coaches had perform that service. But, it’s again
important to note the services were actually rendered. We also looked at the
completed audit heat-map. It’s a wonderful frame that Ms. Lewis has prepared to help
us as a committee understand the relative significance of the audits
performed. We looked and reviewed the recommendation log which is a
compilation of the mitigating steps that the oddities have committed to perform
to closeout action items. Happy to report everything was green except for one
yellow and that yellow was discussed and we were assured it would be green next
time. Ms. Lewis then talked about the quality
assurance and movement program and the Institute of
Internal Auditors guidance and according to state law every five years an
internal audit program at the university level has to go through quality assurance,
quality review of the actual audit program. These are the auditors getting
audited to make sure their audit process is consistent with IAA protocols. Ms.
Lewis indicated they’d be going through that the first half of next year. It’s a
wonderful exercise when the auditors get audited. With no other business we then
went into executive session and the discussion included a good discussion
around risk assessment and Enterprise Risk Management. Mr. Chair, that’s my
report. Thank you, David. This time I’d like to call along Dr. King, our acting
chief financial officer to present an overview of the amendments. Good
afternoon. I had the pleasure of reviewing the same set of slides with
the Finance Committee, so look forward to taking you through this process, as well
today. We submit two major budgets to through this board to the Tennessee
Board of Regents for debt coverage approval and then on to THEC and through THEC to the state. So, it’s a lengthy process and this is our October
revisions. We presented the July budget to you last spring, which you approved
and now we’ve got some more experience with what’s going to happen this year so
we do an October revision and we’ll submit it to the state, but today we’re
going to ask for approval on these revisions. As has been described already
today, we have good news this fall in that our enrollment was up. Not only was it
up, it was better than our budget because we had actually budgeted for enrollment
to be down. So, that was great news and with that we’re making an adjustment
to our tuition and fees of almost four million dollars, four million dollar
increase. The university is receiving additional money through the Tennessee
Consolidated Retirement System so we’re taking that state appropriation and
increasing that in the budget. The university school has expanded their
program and added an entire class into their school and with that we’re going
to receive some additional revenue from Washington County. During the fiscal year
end, we identified some issues with our revenue it’s correct in the 6/30
financial statements, but since the budget was prepared before the 6/30 financial statements were prepared we needed to adjust this
category sales and services other in our budget so we’re increasing it. And then
as I said, enrollment was up, housing was at near capacity, and we’ve had more
enrollments in our food service meal plans, so our auxiliary revenue is going to be up for the year so that is all reflected
in this additions to our revenue budget so the additions are slightly more than
seven million dollars. I have this slide in here to explain to you why my revenue
is going up seven million and my expenditures are going up fifteen
million. This is a little activity that we do in October and if you looked at
our July budgets, which you have and your materials from last spring, you’ll see
that our revenues and our expenditures are almost exactly matched. They’re very
very close across all units at the university. But, when we get to the fall
we have to do an adjustment for what we call carry forward funds. We have some
fees that we collect from students that are not fully expended in the prior, in
the prior year and with that we carry these funds forward into the next
years so that we can extend them for that same purpose. One in particular is
our technology access fee and we collect that fee over the year in student fees
and when we get to the year-end we look and see what we have not expended. It
still needs to be expended for that purpose, it will be expended this year, so
we carry those funds forward. In order to maintain budget control we have to put
these expenditures in our expenditure budget but they’re really being paid for
out of our fund balance because that’s where we park them at year end on our
financial statements. So, this is why every year when we get to October you
all are going to see that my revenue goes up a certain amount but my
expenditures will always go up by more because we’re counting for those carry
forward funds, so that’s just kind of an explanation. You’ll see on the
instruction line we’re showing that carry forward fees were almost eight
million dollars that are going back into the instruction function for the
university. The other item of note might be, I think in particular if you look at
the student services line, you’ll see that student services is going down by
3.1 million dollars. That is because in this budget preparation process we were
told to move athletic scholarships from student services down to the scholarship
and fellowship line. We had done what we’d always been told to in the past
which was put it in student services that’s where it’s always been,
but this go-round they wanted us to move it down to scholarships and fellowships
so we did. So scholarships and fellowships went down by 3.1 million
dollars but our student services went down. Scholarships and fellowships
went up by 6.2 million dollars, which includes that 3.1 million dollars plus
additional scholarship funds that we found that we needed for
this year going forward so we’ve adjusted that those two budget items.
Institutional support went up by a little bit over a million dollars
because of again, carry forward fees and that was the same thing that happened
with academic support. It’s primarily increasing with carry forward fees. So,
that is that explains I guess I hope the difference between the 7 million dollar
increase in revenue and the 15 million dollar increase in expenditures. So, if we
move to the next slide, it shows where we’re putting that money. This probably
requires an explanation, as well. So, if you look in there you’ll see that we
increased employee benefits. Again, the majority of that was driven by the
Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System increase that we were we received the
state appropriation for, but our operating expenses are the one that’s
significantly higher an increase of 10 million dollars and that is where we’re
putting those the majority of those carry forward funds. What will happen is
then budget managers in every budget area across campus has access to that
budget in operating expenses and if they choose to they can move some of that
money to travel or they can move some of that money to temporary support within
their unit to hire temporary staff to assist with whatever programs they have
going forward this year. So we just basically park the money and operating
expenses and then the budget managers will do budget adjustments throughout
the year to move that money around where the need is within the unit, and when we
get to our May time or April time period when we’re preparing our actual
budget for our May submittal you’ll actually see us true these numbers up,
so these will get trued up at point in time. So, I thought it was real
important to explain the difference between the revenue and expenditures
before we ever got to this slide. This is basically just a summary of what we’ve
already gone over. So, revenue we’re budgeting a 7.3 million dollar increase.
We’re expecting our expenditures to be budgeted at 15.5 more in
expenditures. I will explain that our debt service, we had bonds that were
refunded earlier this fall so some of our bond expense actually went down but
we also had two new facilities that were bonded this fall: that would be our
football stadium and also our family medicine Kingsport facility that had
waited on bond funding for two years. We have a 1 million dollar transfer and
non-mandatory transfers that’s in addition in the October revisions and that’s
where we’re putting money back into our reserves. And as I already said, auxiliary’s activity went up with food service and housing. With that recognition of
that additional revenue we’ve increased transfers from those operating dollars
to our renewal and replacement funds so that we can keep those facilities
updated with those fundings. Moving to the College of Medicine. Their revenues
up just slightly based on fee increases. They are showing decline in dollars that
will be going to instruction. Most of these adjustments and the expenditure
side are if their increases are related to carry forward funding. The decrease in
instruction was due to the fact that we’re down a few students in the College
of Medicine this fall. Nothing to be concerned about but it does reflect in
the instruction number. We also have non-mandatory transfers line a transfer
coming into the College of two million dollars. This is a transfer in order to
balance the budget. When we get to the spring time period you’re probably going
to see the same dollar amount or more going back out of these funds to RNR, renewal and replacement funds, for them to set aside for future projects, construction
projects and renovation projects. Family medicine is pretty straightforward. They
are expecting some increase in clinic revenue, so that’s the revenue side of
that activity and they basically allocated the expenditure side based on
history of those expenditures. So, revenue and expenditures went up about the same
amounts for family medicine budget. College of Pharmacy budget, we have a
little reduction in revenue this is due to a slight decline in student
enrollment. Nothing to be concerned about but you have to realize when students
are paying that dollar amount in tuition it impacts the revenue, so that’s what
that what that line is and the rest of the expenditure adjustments are
basically related to our carry-forward funds. So, revenue went down and
expenditures went up for College of Pharmacy. So, I hope I’ve explained
thoroughly enough for you how this works and about the carry-forward funding
putting it in the budget. We do that as a method of controlling those expenditures,
but for the carry-forward funds they are part of our fund balance that’s why our
revenues and expenditure increases are not going to match in October. Are there
any questions? Thank you, Dr. King. Thank you very much. David at this time I’d ask for a roll call vote since Ms.
Ayers has joined us. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Before I call the roll I just
want to make sure that Trustee Ayers can hear us well. Can you hear us well? I can.
Thank you very much and all the other trustees can hear Ms. Ayers, and are you
by yourself Ms. Ayers or is anyone in the room with a you? I’m by myself. Thank you and then just from a technical perspective, if you’re not talking and
you keep it on mute that’ll keep us from having feedback here, so that you can
hear very well. So to call the roll, I will… I’ve been on mute until right now.
Thank you very much. So, the roll call vote for the October
budget revision. Dr. Alsop? Yes. Ms. Ayers? Yes. Mr. DeCarlo? Yes. Mr. Golden?
Yes. Ms. Grisham? Yes. Dr. Latimer? Yes. Mr. Powell? Yes. Mr. Ramsey? Yes. Chairman Niswonger? Yes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Next on the agenda, item 9 Wilmont Memorandum of
Understanding, I’d like to Dr. Bishop. I know people who would like for me to come with a mute button periodically. Chairman Niswonger, distinguished Board of Trustees, I’m pleased to be back for you this afternoon to talk about the
Memorandum of Understanding with Wellmont Health System. You might recall that in
June I came before you to talk about the MOU that we were developing with
Mountain States Health Alliance. And at that time I said as soon as that MOU was
complete we would begin conversations with Wellmont Health System to
establish a similar MOU with them and we did and so that’s why we’re bringing it
before you today. Just in case you wonder who’s in the academic Health Sciences I
wanted to show you their pictures one more time. Those are our five colleges. We
affiliate with these health systems: Frontier Health, Mountain Home VA Healthcare System, Mountain States Health Alliance, and Wellmont
Health System. With the Wellmont Health System, we do over 8 million dollars
in contracts and residents salaries and services. This was their FY16 total and you can see that our students are significantly
involved in training experiences within their facilities. All of our colleges
place students in Wellmont facilities in both Kingsport and in Bristol and in
Greenville, and I wanted to give you a little more detail on our College of
Medicine activities with the Wellmont system because we do some things with
them that are a little different than those things would do with Mountain
States in relationship to the original MOUs that we had established with them
when the College of Medicine came into being in 1970s. Our residency program and
family medicine was established prior to the establishment of the College of
Medicine, I think we’ve talked about that before. But, at residences that we have
with the Wellmont system are family medicine, internal medicine, we do a
pulmonary and critical care fellowship with them, and we also have surgery. Our
surgery residents are at Holsten Valley Hospital and Medical Center. Staff, they’re a level one trauma center which has been very important to the education of our
medical students and residents. They rotate with the Surgical Associates of
Kingsport and they provide a surgical consultation to all departments in the
hospital there they are provide ICU coverage. At Bristol they rotate Bristol Surgical
Associates and the Wellmont Health System cardiothoracic surgeons. They
provide surgical consults in all departments and they also provide ICU
coverage. At Family Medicine Center in Kingsport and Bristol have been valuable
parts of those communities. They have rotations across the emergency
department, OB GYN, pedes, proma, surgery, and ICU. The residents are in-house 24/7 in Bristol and Kingsport, I’m sorry in Kingsport
not in Bristol, but they’re in the house 24/7 so that means they’re available for
codes, they are available for backup or OBGYN for deliveries, and they take
unattached on community calls. So, they have really ingratiated themselves to
the physicians in that community. They’re team-based, community care has been very
significant, the transitions of care, clinics that they hold, and the joint
projects between our College of Pharmacy and Family Medicine have gotten
significant recognition nationally and internationally. And also, family medicine
centers have achieved the highest level of patient centered medical home model 3.
And in internal medicine in Kingsport, also they provide significant continuity
between inpatient, ambulatory care, team-based care with interprofessional
teams. The residents serve on the number of the committees and boards within the
hospital and they provide coverage and service in the ER, in IUC, in neuro, and in palliative care. And at Bristol, our residents and fellows staff
the ICU is part of a multidisciplinary health team there. Our fellows perform
pulmonary consultation and they managed long-term ventilation care and
rehabilitative medicine. So, I think you get an idea of how important it is for
us to have an MOU with the Wellmont system. So, why is
this important? Well, as your board memo states: it affirms a mutual commitment to
providing health care in a professional education with the Wellmont Health System. The firm’s our commitment between the two institutions. We have developed
significantly over the 60 years that we have partnered with Wellmont Health
System. It provides an infrastructure for communication which has been it’s very
important for us, and it acknowledges the relationship that we have for providing
comprehensive care to the region. So, why a MOU with Wellmont Health System now when the Health System merger is on the horizon?
I think that may be a question some of you are asking yourselves. Well, this was
initiated prior to the approval of the COPA and the cooperative agreement. We
said that when we established the MOU with Mountain States we would also move
forward to do one with Wellmont. We’ve met with the Wellmont executives in
June, soon after the meeting with you all, and
got the approval of the MSHA MOU and we talked about the process. And
we brought together all the deans of the academic health center and a number of
the members of the leadership team of the Wellman Health System, and we found
that in that discussion there was a lot of things that each of us didn’t know
about the other. And so, as we began to talk we realized that we had grown and
we had outgrown some of the relationships that we’ve had over the
years and it was agreed that it would be appropriate for us to have the
conversations that we needed to have to talk about that relationship between our
institution and their health system so that when the ballot merger occurred and
we were moving forward with a ballot MOU that Wellmont would have had the same
discussions with us that Mountain States had and that was a very profitable
thing for us to do. So, we’ve developed an MOU is that you’ve had an opportunity to
review, which is similar to the one with Mountain States Health Alliance. It is
more focused on communication and coordination and less focused on
governance than the one that we have with Mountain States Health Alliance, but
it does have the provision for a Coordinating Council that includes a
representative from this board along with a representative from the Wellmont
Health System board. The Coordinating Council is larger but it takes the place
of the clinical Coordinating Council because we have somewhat of a committee of the whole of all the people involved in making decision about clinical
activities involved in the original Coordinating Council. We believe that this puts us in the best
position to move forward with both systems. Should something occur and the
merchant not happen then we have our relationships straight and clear and on
paper with the two systems. And when the merger does occur, notice I said when the
merger does occur, then we’re in the best position because we’ve had these
conversations now to move forward with the ballot MOU and it.. and I would anticipate in a few months I’ll be back before this
board with that MOU and it would look much more like the original MOU with
Mountain States that was much more governance focused. Okay. I’m open
for questions? Everyone clear? We’ll now have a roll call vote on the MOU
with Wellmont. Dr. Alsop? I vote yes. Ms. Ayers? Yes. Mr. DeCarlo? Yes. Mr. Golden? Yes. Ms. Grisham? Yes. Latimer? Yes. Mr. Powell? Yes. Mr. Ramsay? Yes. Chairman Niswonger? Yes. Okay, Item 10: Legislative Agenda. I’d like to ask Brigitte Berger our associate vice president for community
and government relations to report please. Good afternoon. Chairman Niswonger, distinguished members of the board and distinguished members of the
audience, before I get into explaining a little bit about our department I wanted
to let you know a little bit about my background. I know many of you but some
of you I don’t know as well. So, I wanted to let you know I grew up on a dairy
farm. I began my professional career at Duke Power, which became Duke Energy in
Charlotte, North Carolina, and then came back to Tennessee and worked for the
electric utility TVA which was a public utility. So, I saw quite a difference
between a private utility and a public utility. It was very interesting and a
very learning experience. I began my public service career back in
1997 working for Congressman Bill Jenkins and I still remember to this day
Congressman Jenkins looked at me and he said, “Bridget, I want you to be on my
staff.” And I said, “but, sir. I know nothing about politics.”
He said, “Bridget, I’ll teach you everything you need to know.” Famous last
words. And I learned from one of the best there.
I also worked for Senator Bob Corker. I worked in his first term and worked part
of his second term. Again, another one of the best. So, it’s been four and a half
years since I’ve been at ETSU and my hell time does fly and I’m working for
another one of the best. It’s an honor to work for ETSU and to work for Dr. Noland.
He wanted someone to come in and look at the big picture for government relations.
Not just one college, not just one area, but to look at the big picture
so that was my task. I came in and I act as the liaison between elected officials
in the local, state, and federal and sometimes that’s a big deal.
I really am encouraging them to engage at the university, to educate them on
what’s going on, and I forgot to flip my slide, to talk about what our
student, our staff, and our faculty are doing here which is really
exciting and get them engaged. I know in the summers right before recess I have
calls from their staffers to come down and learn about the university. Many of
them don’t know about ETSU. Some of them want to learn about the specific things
we are doing. For instance, members of the help committee came, staffers came down
to learn about the opioid crisis and the center for prescription drug abuse. Again,
at the federal level I have been able to go to DC once or twice a year to meet
with the delegation and meet with their staffs to tell them about things that
we’re doing here. This summer I took information about the opioid crisis and
the center for prescription drug abuse. That’s very I feel like we could do a
lot more in but we have been hesitant because we no longer have earmarks at
the federal level and quite certainly I don’t have a large staff. So again, the
whole idea is to engage with local, state, and federal elected officials. At the
local level, we’ve been able to engage quite frequently. I’m on all three
chamber, Tri-Cities chambers government relations councils. I chair the
government relations relations committee at the Kingsport chamber and I’m on the
Kingsport chamber board. We’ve also established local leadership meetings.
Dr. Noland and I meet with the mayors, the county mayor, the city managers, the
economic development folks to talk about some of the things that we can help them
with and they can help us with, and one of the items that came out of these
meetings and the beginnings of discussions about where the partnership
between Johnson City and ETSU and the use of Freedom Hall. And now, we have a
beautiful venue where we watch basketball and that was a result of
beginning conversations. We do the same thing in Kingsport and Bristol. In
Kingsport we were able to talk about moving the ETSU downtown offices to and
students to the academic village in the Higher Ed Center. We did that. We also
were able to work with Wellmont and the College of Nursing to establish more
nurses for Hostin Valley, which they felt like they had a nursing shortage. So
again, these are some of the things that have come out of those local informal
meetings with those elected officials. We also established a government relations
council and I’m really excited and proud of this. It’s made up of members, business
leaders in the community and the region, former elected officials, former
legislators, alumni and what they’re able to do is learn more about what’s going on
at ETSU, engage with our legislators and help advocate for the university. We have
a former congressman on that team, we have two former mayors, we have a
publisher of a newspaper, we have really strong business leaders, and we also have
strong alumni. So this has been a really really good thing I think for the
university. In at the state level I am during session, which is quite a bit of a
time, in Nashville and I’m interfacing with legislators, I am monitoring
legislation that’s going on, I’m listening in at hearings, I am attending
committee meetings, I’m working with state agencies so I’m down there again
quite a bit during session. You’ll notice in the left hand picture since I’ve been
here we started a legislative luncheon. We invited our delegation. We also
invited members of the General Assembly that attended ETSU or they graduated
from ETSU. We invited the governor, the two speakers, and the constitutional
officers. This past year, as you’ll see in the picture, we had Governor Haslam stop
by and say a few words, we had both speakers in attendance: Lieutenant
Governor McNally and speaker Harwell and many of the constitutional officers.
We also encourage students to interact with our legislators. We’ve had students
in the College of Medicine, we’ve had roan scholars, you’ve heard about them as
well, and we’ve had this past year pictured five of our interns who were
doing legislative internships with the general assembly. They were either
working for the Senate or the house or in the clerk’s office. And I’m happy to
say that two of those interns graduated from ETSU, they were seniors, and they’re
currently are working in House members offices in Nashville. So, I’d like to review the 2017
legislative agenda for the university. We appreciated and fully supported the
funding outcomes formula and salary enhancements. We supported all of the
deferred funding for deferred maintenance projects. We supported
funding for our capital projects, primarily the renovation for Lamb Hall. We
supported the focus implementation and of course the confirmation of you all
and the other trustees for the six public institutions for their boards. And
there were major policy changes that the legislature enacted impacting access,
veterans, The Strong Act which allows national guardsmen to come back to
school to get their education The Reconnect Act which allows older
students to come back and get their certificate or their associate’s degree
or degree, and also the legislature put new policies in line for free speech. And
I’m happy to say that we were really in compliance with free speech, we’ve
done a great job there and I’ve always complied with the law. So we, again, are
allowing the university to be the marketplace for ideas and to protect
those rights of the faculty, staff, and students with respect to free speech. We
also this session hosted the house drug opioid task force. Speaker Harwell came
with members of her task force we held a forum on campus. We invited members of
the community, elected officials, members of the medical field. Dr. Pack with
the college, with the Center for Prescription Drug Abuse led the
discussion. Alan Levine from Mountain States gave you a personal testimony
there at that event and the task force was very appreciative. It was the first
meeting outside of Nashville that they had held. So, we were a little disappointed. We had put $500,000 in the budget for a budget
amendment. It stayed in till the very end and it was on next to the last day and
it got cut, so we hope that with the recommendations from the task force that
in 2018 we might secure dollars for funding for that Center of Prescription
Drug Abuse. They are doing a fabulous job. Just about three weeks ago we had a
legislative luncheon at the grave fossil site. We invited the Tennessee delegate,
our Northeast Tennessee delegation, members of the advisory team and
leadership at ETSU. You can see Dr. Noland there, he’s presenting some charts
to the group. We talked about our legislative agenda. One of the reasons we
held the meeting at the grave fossil site was to show the strong
collaborative effort between the fossil site, the Center for Paleontology, and
Hands-on Museum. This is really turning to be turning out to be a great
partnership. We’re excited about it we wanted the legislators to be able to
tour the facility and also see the latest exhibit. If you haven’t seen it
you need to see it which is the mastodon exhibit. So, iId like to present the 2018
legislative agenda that Dr. Nolan presented at that meeting. We support and
appreciate funding for outcomes formula for this year, again. We support
scholarships for the Gatton School of Pharmacy. Dr. Berg presented last board
meeting and you unanimously approved her recommendation. What this does is level
the playing field for Tennessee taxpayers and closes the tuition gap
between the two state public colleges of Pharmacy. Chairman Niswonger alluded to
this or it was maybe member DeCarlo about the capital project for the habitual project for the humanities building. We’re excited about that, that’s
approximately 76 million dollars. We support, again, efforts that the Center
for Drug Abuse would help with the opioid epidemic. We support deferred
maintenance projects that would be HVAC systems, roofing, maintenance repairs,
water lines, code deficiencies, and if they’re dollars in the budget again for
Campus Safety we would like to have that money as well to do continue to replace
locks, doors, and to make our campus more safe. And then, you heard also about the
merger with Mountain States in Wellmont, we would appreciate funding there. Based
on that merger, for university research dollars. So, in closing I think we have a
fabulous opportunity to work together with you, the board, to work together with
our students, faculty, and staff, to work with our elected officials, our community
leaders, our Advisory Council, to make this a great place in a quality region
to live now and beyond. So, I thank you for your time. It’s been a privilege to speak to you and I would be happy to answer any
questions questions. Questions? If I could, just a little bit of context around the slide.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to present the budget on behalf of the
independent institutions to Governor Haslam. So, Joe DiPietro presented the
budget on behalf of the University of Tennessee system, for tiding a
Chancellor the Board of Regents presented the budget on behalf of TBR,
Mike Crouse framed everything within a policy perspective, and then I presented
on behalf of the six institutions that formerly were under the umbrella of the
Board of Regents. Within that conversation, I am hopeful that there
will be significant support for outcomes, essentially about a 5% increase in
outcomes funding is what THEC will recommend next week which hopefully will
go into Governor Haslam’s budget. At that Commission meeting next week, we will
present to THAC the proposal around scholarships that you
all discussed at the last meeting. There was reference, trustee DeCarlo talked
about the humanities building. This is a project that in the former system might
have made its way on to a list by the time Nathan was president of the
University, because that’s how long that process would take. For example, the
Martin Center went on to the list when I was a senior in high school and we broke
ground on the Martin Center several months ago, but within a new process in
which the Commission is independently scoring projects based upon their own
merits, we are very hopeful that that project will be in the top 10 capital
projects for the year which puts us in a position in which willing to receive
planning money or we may actually receive funding for the entire to the
building that’s something that’ll work its way through in the next couple of
months. And then on the final bullet, I’m very hopeful that there will be funding
for pediatric subspecialists included in the governor’s budget. There were
conversations in the governor’s budget hearing this week about the opportunity
to fund pediatric subspecialists right around $600,000 and change with 590,000
on a recurring basis, which would support for pediatric subspecialists at the Niswonger Children’s Hospital in conjunction with the College of Medicine. So, this is
very early in the game. Looking to Dr. Bach if this were a baseball analogy
we’re in the second inning, there’s a lot of game left to be played, but we have
the opportunity and I’m very hopeful and confident about the opportunity to
realize almost every single thing on this list, and if we were able to realize
the humanities building as well as the pediatric subspecialists at the bottom
to say this would be transformative for the university is an understatement.
I don’t… I saw Jeremy in here earlier. Just a little bit of light note: when Jeremy
presented presentation to the finance committee at the last meeting on this building there was a wonderful slide with
pictures of hallways and restrooms. Jeremy ended up presenting that slide with hallways and restrooms to THEC and it was a pretty powerful
presentation. So, if this project is funded I beg your permission to name a
portion of the restroom after Mr. Ross. I think it would only be fitting. Jeremy did a just an absolutely fantastic job in making the case and his ability to make that case
push this project into the top 10 which I never in a million years thought would have happened. (Chit chat, laughter, etc.) Well, we digress.Thank You Bridget. Item 11. I’d like to ask Dr. Hoff please to review
with us the enrollment projections in less than 20 minutes. Since I went long this morning, I’ll be
sure to make it up this afternoon. I want to thank you all for give me the opportunity to present
this. I know it’s after lunch, it’s the afternoon and most people don’t like to
get mathy that time of day. So, I’ll try to keep the numbers light and keep you
focused on the purpose of a projection. So, I arrived at ETSU in August of 2013.
And in September, Dr. Bach came to me and said, “the president would like to project
enrollment for next fall.” And I said, “how close do we have to get?” And he said, “how close do you think you can get?” And I said, “I don’t know. Probably within 80%.”
He says, “that sounds pretty good.” The next week he comes back and he said, “well, I talked to the president he said private school presidents know within 5%
what their enrollments going to be next fall.” I said, “so it’s 5% now instead of 80,
or 95 percent instead of 80%?” He said, “I think so.” And so we said about looking
for an enrollment projection that was a valid model and I’ll talk to you today about how we went about identifying that, how we
establish validity, how we used the projection and I also give you some
highlights. People don’t think a lot about it, but and I’m always reminded and
I know this isn’t higher education, but I’m always reminded of a scene from Days
of Thunder which was a racing movie. Right? Tom Cruise is trying to drive this
car and he keeps burning up the tires and he finally tells the crew chief he goes
I don’t know how to tell you what’s going wrong and then they figure out a
code, and they’re able to all of a sudden start winning races that’s what enrollment projections are like. People running an institution might
not be able to tell you why certain things are happening, but if we get
relatively good at knowing when and how them and how they’re gonna happen we can go about changing the direction. I think you’ve seen that at ETSU. So, the
background was what I described earlier that we had to get within 5% in order
for Dr. Noland to feel like we had something we could use we also don’t
talk about this a lot, but it allows us to test recruitment and retention
scenarios. So, if somebody says hey I think this year we ought to do this with
this scholarship. We can get some idea of how much impact we expect that
scholarship to have upon the projection. It also allows us to test some things in
markets when it comes to recruitment. Every year we try to expand the
projection in an area that it hasn’t been before. So, for the first couple of
years, I would project university level enrollment then we move down to the
college now we’ve moved down to the credit hour, and eventually, hopefully we
can get down to some market demographics that’ll allow us to have a little bit
more precise control over entering students both freshmen and transfer. We
also use them to set goals and we use them to inform the budget. So why, these
are the assumptions. I always forget these but these are important, because if
I’m ever wrong this is why. My assumptions didn’t work out and that’s how
assumptions work in a statistical analysis. So, the biggest assumption is a
consistent external environment. It also assumes that student behavior happens
about the same way it does every year. There’s a reason it happens about the
same way it does every year, we have a lot rules. We’re an institution with rules. People have to follow that pathway and
because of that they’re relatively predictable. We also assume medicine and
pharmacy enrollment is stable and it’s recognized as a known quality, quantity.
When you see the numbers, we don’t include medical residents. We just
calculate that as a total at the end of we report. So, why a Markov chain I think
is important. But first, we’ll talk about what it is and really if you saw it it’s
almost like rain. You take the current year’s enrollment and you stretch it out
across several columns in an Excel spreadsheet and then down along the side
you have what the next class levels are for the following year, and you watch the
students fall like rain. So you would expect that you start out with freshman
retention, right? So they go from freshman to sophomore. So, when I calculate the
freshmen for fall 16 there are no none of those people are freshmen again in
fall 17. Wrong. When I start out with freshmen none of those people are
seniors in fall 17. Wrong. There are a lot of pathways and people
can accumulate a lot of credit before they get here. The way that we process
people and because we use census dates to establish all this, that’s when we
start to get into why it’s important to project enrollment because if we assume
everybody just operated on the normal pattern and we had 100%
graduation at four years we wouldn’t need an enrollment projection. We could
just calculate about how many people were in the population and say that’s
how many people were going to have next year. And obviously, that doesn’t really
work out. So why did we choose it? There’s a person I have to give credit for Gary
Donhart was their director of institutional research for a long time
at the University of Memphis and a big participant in the Tennessee Association
of Institutional Researchers, which is where I learned about the Markov chain.
And so, the other thing is I tried a bunch of other stuff and I couldn’t get
that close. I went back three years and I kept trying to get close and we just
couldn’t. I tried a time series decomposition, I tried a population
analysis, I even got people that know math better than me and a statistical
analysis better than me and software tools made a run ARIMA models and SAS, and all of them took an incredibly long
time, they were very complicated to explain, and they still weren’t as
accurate as the Markov chain. Now will that be true next year? I don’t know
we’ll see. So, how did we validate it? So, banner was implemented at ETSU in
2008 so what we did is we started with that as the time frame, because what you
don’t want is a whole bunch of data system changes to start messing around
with your student progression rates, which is sort of what happened before
2008. And then we basically went back and I calculated enrollment periods up
through 2010. What did we find? 95% confidence interval
was at a 2% margin there, 99 was a 2.4%. What that means from a
statistical analysis perspective is 99% of the time, the number I tell you is
going to be within 2.4 percent unless we change or the external environment
changes, right. Unless. Remember those assumptions, the reasons why I’m not
wrong, the environment was just different? Those are important, especially to me. So
here it is. Now what I’ll tell you is you got to remember I came here in August
2013. In August 2013, they asked me to project enrollment and I did for 2014. We
made that presentation on October 25th, 2013. So, somebody who had come from a
community college that had been here less than six months was suddenly
telling everybody what was going to happen at ETSU next year. I wasn’t
invited to a lot of parties. And then, we calculated the enrollment and I was only
off by 4 students. I got invited to no parties, because people think you’re
weird when you can do stuff like that. Luckily, luckily for me
ETSU started to change and I became less accurate in my projection, because if I
had done something like that 3 years in a row you all would have called me a
wizard and asked me to leave. But, I do think it’s important. The reason I
classify that that way is because ETSU started to change and you can’t forget
about that. So, the headcount projection is 14,525. I’ll also take this this opportunity to tell you that
although this time was the biggest gap between projected enrollment and
actual enrollment, because we did project it and because we use a Markov chain
that looks at it by class level and because we use an induced course load
matrix to get down to the college level I can tell you something about why that
happened. And that’s important because it tells us that our scholarships worked
and some other things. We’ll also take this opportunity to tell you that we set
the budget on a much lower number and we’ll get into that a little bit later.
So the low end of the margin of error is 14,176 and the high end
is 14,874. Both those numbers exclude medical
residents which will be around 250. The reason those numbers are important is because of what I talked about for the validation. 99% of the time if we don’t change and the environment doesn’t
change enrollment is going to be somewhere between those two numbers and granted you might like it to be a little more specific but if anybody could stand
up here today and tell you exactly what your bank account is going to be next
year within 2% I think we’d all take it and that’s sort of what this is.
But, lower enrollment is possible we would mean a deviation in the norm and
what I mean is either from the internal or the external environment, the same
thing for higher enrollment. Then we project credit and FT enrollment and we
use an induced course load matrix for this that’s a fancy term for saying I
create a chart that looks at the headcount college of a student and the
credit hour college of the student. So, I look at biology majors who take classes
in public health and figure out what percent that happens. Remember I talked
about those rules before? Those rules apply to programs which is what allows
an induced course log matrix to work. I know what courses they’re supposed to be
taking if they are taking courses in the major they tell me they’re in which
isn’t always true. We find a lot of people all of a sudden switch their
major the day before graduation because they’ve been taking classes in something
else, but this is important because it makes it real for the colleges. We’ve
talked a lot about a decentralized budgeting model. What do you need to be
able to have an efficient decentralized budget model? You need to
good budget projections at the level you’re going to decentralize too. We need
to know how those numbers impact each other and that’s what an induced core
slope matrix allows you to do. It’s still in development but so far we’ve been
able to become as accurate with FTE as we were with the headcount. So, I’m going
to talk a little bit about how we use these. The first year I was here
everybody just kind of was like alright my projected enrollment and they were
like okay, that’s fine, whatever. The second year they were like Mike really
projected enrollment, they’re like yep, whatever he said that’s what’s going to
happen next year, and then by the third year they were like wait a minute we can
do something about this and so we started to have a lot of conversations
with the deans, with the department chairs and I started to get invited to a
lot more meetings to talk about how this operates and so that’s really how we use
it. We use it to determine staffing, we’ll use it to set budgets, and we use it to
drive actions on goals, we also use it to assess our effectiveness. If I expect
from the model that our enrollment is going to be 97% from X and it
turns out that’s not true we have an assessment variable at that point. It
allows us to be scientific in the way that we assess ourselves. It’s not just I
put in all this work it must be a good thing that we did, that doesn’t cut it
any more, especially not with an outcome-based funding formula. So, this:
I’m not going to read this to you but I bring it up because I like to rib Dr.
Bach a little bit about it. Disruptive initiatives were our big focus in the
third year of the enrollment projection and I like to point out that Dr. Bach
and I came up with this definition and I think if you read through it it will
look like an English professor and a statistician wrote it, but what it really
drove home was that for us to change enrollment you had to do something where
you had never done it before or you had to do something you do really well in a
place you’ve never done it before and you had to make sure that you didn’t
steal from the other college to make it happen. I think that’s important to
stress given where we’re headed now. You can’t, you can’t steal from the other
side. We have to find a way to make this grow together. So, were we disruptive? Yes.
Yes, we were. What does disruption look like? Online growth. Online growth. If you look at the arc of ETSU’s growth in online courses
it does not parallel nationally, it exceeds it a little bit. We’ve got some
work to do in programs and that’s how we’re going to be disruptive again is
we’re going to grow programs not just courses. Scholarship opportunities. I
don’t know of maybe of one or two other institutions that are looking as
seriously down to the level of scholarship opportunities that we are.
From the consent agenda that you all approved in the the committee meeting
this morning we’re talking about how it is we impact county level enrollment
decisions based on competing on price. County level enrollment decisions based
on how we compete on price. Ten years ago, nobody was talking about that. You just
offer a scholarship, kids like money, they’re going to come. That’s all you had to say. Athletics. I think we saw a presentation today that indicates that
we’re not only interested in meeting one of the standards were interested in
meeting all of them. Student Activities. The amount of activities and
opportunities that we have. The first year experience, the courses, all of that
play together. Undergraduate research. Then in this
morning’s meeting we talked a little bit about the Markov chain and trustee
Golden mentioned that he had read the 2015 paper. Well, what we don’t talk about is that that was an honors thesis. That there’s a 2015 paper from an honors
thesis that talks about using a discrete time series Markov chain for university
enrollment. We are not doing this for the sake of being able to talk in just
meetings like this about it. We’re doing it because everything we do provides an
opportunity to advance the lives of somebody that wants to advance this
region. We talk about capital projects in the buildings, you shouldn’t, forgive me
if I talk out of turn, but you shouldn’t start in a building that has a certain
quality at a two-year school and then transition to a lesser building at a
four-year school. Focus on employee needs. If we take care of our staff, our staff
will take care of our students, and everybody will be the better for it. And
then the new budget model and I do want to stress this because I presented the
strategic plan to you before. The new budget model, before we had basically an
annual budget. What is an annual budget? It’s a one-year plan. The reason
I’m excited about having a new budget model for is for the first time when we
talk about strategic planning we can mean it because you can budget for more
than one year. I mean think about that, think of you all of you had to run your
businesses where all you could do was budget on one year. I don’t think we’re going to get very far. I do want to give you some of the highlights that that disruption
yielded: 164 first-time freshmen more than we had
last year without sacrificing quality. Largest student FTE increase among
Tennessee public universities. Record graduate enrollment. You’ve all heard the
retention rate, but what we haven’t talked about but we will a little more
as we start to dig into this because we’re doing some studies later and I’m
sure that the president will talk about this, for a few years we’ve been doing
the great colleges to workforce survey and in the first year it came out and I
always tell a little story about how the president goes do you believe this and I
said yeah I believe it and he says I don’t know and then he goes to a meeting
he goes back and he goes yeah you’re right I believe it, and so what I mean to
say by that is the campus climate hasn’t always been as good as it is today at
ETSU. And what I think is important is, this year on the great colleges to work
for we were only a few points off from the Carnegie class average. A few years
ago we had a double-digit gap to fill. So, in four years we have made significant
progress on our enrollment, on the morale around campus, and on the impact that
ETSU is heaven on the region and I would like to think it’s all because I started
projecting enrollment with a Markov chain. I do want to remind you one more
time this is what the projection looks like and we’ll follow up on this and
start to break it down by credit hours using the induced course load matrix. I
also want to stress that when you see the number that we probably use for the
budget it will be a little less than this. Last year, we looked at an
enrollment decrease of 184 students and the margin of error being down 350, and
so we budgeted on a number in between the projected number and the bottom of
the margin of error which is always a good thing to do so that this year we
can talk about how difficult it is to give out money instead of next year
talking about trying to take it away. I thank you for your time and I’ll
answer any questions. Can I ask a quick question? I know this is mathematics, but last year you projected a decline, the number of rows
higher than you anticipated. Yeah. This year, if I’m reading this right, you’re
projecting an increase, and any part was changed? I mean they obviously did. Well… so the usually one thing changes and I
can try to mitigate that impact on the model. That didn’t happen this time.
Retention rate went up four points and enrollment grew by double digits. I, those
two things are both going to drive the model north, so what it expects, the model
does in any annual increase, is that the number of new students you recruited
you’re going to recruit about the same number of those. The percent of students
that became freshmen, that became sophomores, that became juniors about the same percent of that is going to happen. The problem is that that input number
and that retention rate are the highest we’ve ever had. So, we’re talking about
new territory for somebody who’s trying to project. A few years ago when promise
happened we mitigated the increase that we were seeing in the model because we
knew promise was coming and so we just we took out 7% of the
first-time full-time freshmen from Tennessee because we didn’t expect they
would be there. We were a little bit off on that I think it was 116 we thought
that we lost, but my point is we do try to adjust it when we can but I just have
to believe that what we’ve done is changed to paradigm and the recruitment
strategies and retention strategies that we have in place are going to continue
to push those percentages higher which is why the models today assuming that’s
going to happen. Thank you. Thank you. Mr. President. So, chair members of the board. Good
afternoon. I will do my best not to take the full allotted time to walk through
my comments this afternoon and for the first in a while I’m not going to have a
PowerPoint, I just would like to share some information with you around a
series of thematic areas, pause after each thematic area, see if you have
questions and hopefully have a little bit of a conversation. We’ve moved
through a broad range of information in today’s meeting from conversations
around enrollment projections in our ability to project enrollment, to
conversations around budgets, to conversations around the success of
student-athletes. But, I hope one thing that you’ll see is a theme that emerges
through this is we’re trying to be very prescriptive in the way in which we
approach the business operations of the institution and we’re doing our best to
tile that to data into research. If there is a variant in that projection and
enrollment that’s important for us to try to capture it because we’re building
our budgets around what we anticipate enrollment will be. This fall, as Mike
referenced and as the chair referenced, has been an outstanding year in terms of
enrollment, a year in which we surpassed expectations, a year in which we saw an
increase of students of more than 2.6%, and you’ve already heard the
information about the size of the freshman class. I like numbers and I
worked for a gentleman Rich Rota, who really loved fun facts. So, I want to
share a couple fun facts with you that show the depth of the impact of the
enrollment increase on the university. So in 2015, if you were to go into the
cafeteria, on average we served about 900 meals per day. This fall we are serving
3,212 meals per day. 2,200 more meals per day
are being served right down the hall. So, when Dr. Hoff talked about culture change things are changing we’re just having a hard time wrapping our arms around what those
changes are and how you predict those changes moving forward. In 2015 there was one food truck delivery per week to the cafeteria. Now
there are four. I had that as a little bit of a fun fact because it draws
attention to the essence of things that are moving across campus. Residence halls are at capacity, 2,050 freshmen, 10% increase in the size of the freshman
class. Our ability to continue this momentum is really a function of staying
focused on the plan, working that plan, and not stepping away from the gas pedal.
One of my extreme concerns is that we’ve had an outstanding year and everyone’s
going to relax a little bit and say it’s all going to be okay. But, if you look
around the horizon in the state of North Carolina they are launching their
version of promise. There’s a new president at an institution in
Greenville who I’m good friends with who is going to be aggressive in his
approach. I also think he’s going to be wonderful partner to work with, but I
know that other institutions across the state are looking at our playbook. So,
this is a year in which we have to gear up and push even harder so that we’re
positioned to come back before you next fall and share similar data around
enrollment, enrollment projections, and the size of the freshman class. I want to
thank the board for its approval of the scholarship pilot in Asheville and in
Hendersonville. As we look to things that are occurring in terms of growth markets
those are two growth markets that Dr. Hoff and Dr. Bach have identified and
that pilot will allow us to be aggressive in those two communities. Our
actions are working. Last Sunday in the Greensboro, North Carolina newspaper
there was a front page above the fold story on where students in North
Carolina are going to college and there was a little graphic of institutions the
institution at the top of that graphic was East Tennessee State University. So,
things are working when we’re reading about our policy initiatives in the
Greensboro, North Carolina newspaper. There’s been a lot of conversation
around enrollment and I’d be happy to pause and see if you have any questions
for me about enrollment, the Markov chain, or how we’re approaching things for the
Fall. The next is Student Success. As Dr. Hoff mentioned, our fall retention rate this year is 75.9% that’s the highest in the history of the university. It’s up
ten full percentage points over where that number found itself in 2012, in 2013.
Enrollment, from my perspective, is more than the things that are happening with
advising, they’re more than the things that are happening at undergraduate
research, it’s more than what’s happening in study abroad, enrollment is a complete
university initiative. Student Success is a complete university initiative. Every
person on this campus is involved in the enrollment initiative and the Student
Success Initiative. And I want to share a story with you from open house last
weekend and it’s a story that quite candidly happens with frequency, but last
weekend I had a parent who was here from Memphis who had brought their daughter
over to tour campus. They’ve never been to Johnson City before. And as I was
walking this family across campus, I overheard the mom say to the dad, “Look at
the grounds. If they take this good with care of the grass, they’re going to take
good care of our kid.” That attention to detail and the grounds is part of a
collective effort to focus on this institution and Student Success and it’s
every single one of us. Dr. Hoff talked a little bit about culture. That grounds crew Sean Morris,
Travis Watson have been out and their staff have been out for more than a
month and a half putting a holiday lights all across campus. Now at the end
of September when it was 90 degrees and you see folks stringing Christmas lights
it’s a little disconcerting, but if you have the time available I encourage you
to join us this coming Monday at 6:30 when student body president, Keyana Miller, flips the switch, Santa Claus emerges and for a little bit of time on
campus we celebrate the spectacular beauty that comes with turning on
holiday lights. Those little things create traditions and culture.
They also create connections. That’s an entire campus initiative involving the
university school all the way up to the College
of Medicine. Those little things create a culture of Student Success, so I can’t
point to any one thing and said that’s the Silver Bullet for why our retention
rates up 10%. I can say everybody across campus from custodial services to
grounds to advisers to faculty to staff to coaches in the athletic department
everyone is pushing as hard as they can to keep this momentum moving forward, but if you’re looking for something to do next Monday at 6:30, we’ll have hot
chocolate, we’ll have brownies, we’ll have hopefully a healthy Santa Clause. I was
Santa Claus three years ago. I’m a pretty anemic Santa Claus, so we’ll have a
better person. Who? A member of the grounds crew because they’ve really
wrapped their arms around this event. So, I’ve tried to lighten Student Success a
little bit by design, but I cannot highlight enough the significance of the
attention, the science, the research, in the data that’s gone into moving Student
Success on campus. That 79.5% number has captured
the attention of a lot of institutions across the state. I’d be happy to take
any questions that you have on Student Success. All right. Next relates to the merger.
Since we were last together, there has been a significant amount of energy
exerted by individuals in this room related to the merger. Would like to
thank the chair, would like to thank Linda Latimer, would like to thank David
Golden for your work in supporting myself, Dr. Bishop, and others as we’ve
worked with staff at Mountain States and Wellmont to help keep this moving along.
You affirmed the MOU today for Wellmont and I’m confident that by the time
we’re meeting this point in time next year that we’re talking about a merged
system and what that means. Mr. Chair, I thank you for charging me to bring back
to the board at the next meeting recommendations around changes to our
research corporation, changes to our Research Foundation in its activity with
respect to nature, staffing, structur,e and organization. The chance to realize
investments from the merger have the opportunity to change
the face of this institution. We have some work to do internally to ensure
that our structures are ready to on board those investments. We also need to
look down the field at opportunities to grow residences to grow research
opportunities and to bring faculty and staff to the campus to meet your
expectations and to meet the expectations of the healthcare system
and I look forward to presenting that information to you at our next meeting.
With respect to budgeting, you’ve heard a lot of comment today around budgets and
budgets on the college campus are confusing. There’s very few places that
you’re going to ever have the opportunity to be involved with where
you improve a budget in July they come back to you in October and want to
change all the numbers, then they come back to you in the spring we want to
change the numbers again, and then at the end of the year the budgets are
finalized but part of that is just a function of the way the systems are
organized. We build that budget in July based upon what we anticipate enrollment
will be and then on October we bring a budget back to you that includes carry
forward funding, as well as revenue generated from enrollment growth. This
year is in a unique year for us. In conversations with Dr. Stanton he has
shared with me: “Brian, I never remember a year when I was president when we had
discretionary revenue that wasn’t budgeted.” I remember conversations with
Governor Ramsey when we were going into legislative sessions in which there was
money available and he would always say, “Brian, the worst session of them all is a
session when there’s money to spend. The easiest session or sessions are when you’re making cuts.” So, this has been an interesting fall on campus as the
university community realizes their money, monies available to be invested.
There’s been a lot of conversation about how to best invest those resources. As
Dr. King shared with the Finance Committee this morning, we’re going to
put a portion of this new revenue into reserves because it’s incumbent upon the
institution to rebuild its reserves. Sooner or later it will rain. Sooner or
later there will be another downturn in state revenues and we must build our
reserves now for that inevitable rainy day. All in all we’ve had somewhere
around seven million dollars in reserves. The industry-standard rule of thumb is
10% of your unrestricted ENG operating. Our EnG operating, if you remember the
charters right, are around 250 million dollars which would be 25 million
dollars in reserves. We’ve booked money to go into reserves for this fall and
then we’ve incorporated into our budgets moving forward and annual $1 million, $1 million, $1 million payments into reserves. So, we recognize the need to
build reserves but we also recognize the need to reward those departments who
have grown. For the several decades on campus the amount of money I have this
year is equal to the amount of money that I had last year. If I grew my
revenue stayed the same, if I decline my revenue stayed the same. So, moving to a
decentralized model which we will implement this fall we will send
revenues back to those units that experienced enrollment growth but we’re
also going to retain some revenue at the university level to support things that
come as a result of changing landscapes around us. We need to invest in campus
security. All of us are paying attention to the things that are happening across
the country. The locks on these doors could not be lock from the inside and
Jeremy Ross and his team have done a complete inventory of classrooms across
campus and will begin to stall to install locks that allow you to lock
classrooms from the inside, something you cannot do now, but you’ll see us invest
in security, you’ll see us invest in a couple of positions that allow us to
continue to push on enrollment, but the bulk of the resource is 70% of the new
revenue from enrollment growth we’re going to send back to the colleges to
reward them for their efforts to make that enrollment growth possible after
we’ve invested in reserves. So, as you look at what is the next step in the
process I want to thank Dr. Larry Calhoun and James Bachelder who are here with us today who helped to build the model in the process and they’re now
working across the campus to educate individuals on what it’s like to have
the opportunity to manage your own resources and to carry some of those
resources forward from year to year. I just went through a great deal on
budgets in a short manner, let me pause and see if you have any questions for me
I thought about budgets. Could you remind the board what percentage of our total budget is
actually funded by the state? Mr. Chair, of the $250 million that’s
unrestricted for the operations at the campus less than 25 cents on the dollar
comes from the state of Tennessee. So the bulk of the resources that make this
university run are tuition, fees, grants, contracts, and externally sponsored
research. That’s why it’s so important that we model enrollment. When Dr.
Hoff has comment about private institutions, I’ve been pushing us to
begin to structure this institution, from a budget perspective, as if we were a
private university because that’s the direction that we’re headed. If we have
the best year ever from Nashville that probably equates to about a 250 or 300
student enrollment growth. So it’s just a direction that we’re headed, but 25 cents
on the dollar comes from the state. Other questions on budgets?
Next would be facilities. Much of what I had prepared in terms of my update on
facilities has already been covered but I do want to mention two items that are
significant. When the Tennessee Higher Education Commission meets this coming
Wednesday they will affirm a process that both Dr. King and Jeremy Ross and
their staff have been working on for months and that’s a process of severance.
We will be the first institution that was aligned with the Board of Regents to
be approved in the capital severance process which means we have the ability
for the first time in the history of the institution to manage our own capital
projects. There were other institutions that began the journey down the road
with us but we were the only institution that the state will approve at this
point in time. So that will allow us to select architects to select construction
designers to select project managers. One of the reasons why we’ve held on Lamb
Hall is to provide that opportunity for the severance process to be complete so
then as we begin the designer selection for Lamb Hall that does a designer
selection that we’re managing locally rather than it being managed at the
Board of Regents. And then likewise for procurement. We will be the first
institution to go through the procurement severance. Jeremy and his
staff and BJ and her staff have been back and forth to Nashville every other
week going through training. There’s a lot of work that’s going into the
preparation for this but I want to take a moment to thank the two of them and all
of their teams for the work that they’ve done to position us to be the first
institution to be officially severed, and that’s their language not ours, but
severed as it relates to capital, as well as procurement. I do want to just tamper
everyone’s expectations a little bit on capital. I had a little bit of fun with
Jeremy while he was out of the room, but if this project makes the top ten list
which I feel very confident that it will that doesn’t mean that it will open
tomorrow. It will take several years for that project to come to fruition but if
you were to close your eyes and dream of ETSU in 2023. In 2023 this building will
be completely renovated, we will have opened the Martin Center, we will have
opened a new humanities building, we will have renovated Roger Stout, we would
renovated Matheson..we will Mathis, we will have put an addition onto Lamb
Hall and we would have begun work on a new parking garage. That’s a lot of
activity in a six year time period and that’s what we’re set up for. Not only
are we set up for that, almost every single thing that I just mentioned to
you already has funding in place. The one that we did not anticipate but if it
arrives it changes the face of undergraduate education on this campus
which is the humanities building. We’ve never had a $74 million
project. We’ve had $20 million projects and $12 million
projects but a $74 million project is a game-changer for our
institution. We’d be happy to address any questions you may have for me on
facilities. It’s late in the afternoon, I will move with speed through the
remaining items. Next relates to athletics. Mr. Chair, I look forward to
working with Scott Carter and staff across campus as we bring to you that
Title 9 plan. It’s critical for the institution to begin that planning
process to ensure that we remain compliant with responsibilities and
regulations entailed within Title 9. I do not know what the new
sports will be but that will emerge through the conversations over the
course of the next year. I do know that for the sports that we have at the
institution this is an outstanding fall. Senior day for volleyball is this
Saturday. They’re positioned to win the conference championship and then move on to the NCAA tournament. Soccer is moving into the conference tournament on
the men’s side and hopefully Coach Ishani puts this once again back into
the instability tournament. For fall sports, women’s basketball begins tonight
so we take on the University of Cincinnati tonight seven o’clock in
Brooks gym for those of you who are looking for something to do on a Friday
evening. For those of you who have the ability to to tell a transport I look
forward to watching you on television in Cincinnati as the men’s team takes on
Northern Kentucky this evening. This time next week we’ll be preparing to take on
the University of Kentucky in Lexington as the men play UK up in Rupp Arena.
I want to thank many of you in this room for making some things that occurred
this fall possible. Shared with Dr. Latimer company in alumni magazine. It
was a wonderful fall on campus in Green Stadium and as the alumni magazine
arrives in your mailboxes over the course of the next few days you’ll see
pictures from the opening of that stadium, but thanks to you for what
you’ve done this fall and Lieutenant Governor Ramsey thanks to you for what
you’ve done as well to make that stadium a dream a reality. It’s hard to believe
that the season is almost over with but it sure was rewarding to open the season
and to close the season with a win. But the most important wins athletically
are the ones that Mr. Carter outlined in terms of the academic performance of our
student-athletes. 40 student-athletes with a perfect 4.0 GPA and the number of
student athletes on the dean’s list were beyond description. So, things are moving
well in that area and we’ll ensure that they continue to move well as we present
updated Title 9 plans to you in the next year. Bridget gave an update on legislative issues. We’re going to blink in the
legislative session is upon us. I do anticipate that we will see a
a lot of conversation in the General Assembly about issues related to Campus
Safety and look forward to briefing you at the next meeting the Board of
Trustees on what legislation has made its way into the hopper. This has been I
think a really unique time across American higher education this fall as
we’re seeing elements that are happening in the larger society playing their way
out on our campuses. We have had two major incidences that have really given
me concerned this fall both of which involved Campus Safety.
Last week the leadership of the institution was in Abington having a
senior leadership retreat where we were theoretically going to spend our time on
long-range planning, but at about 7:30 in the morning Jeremy Ross received a call
from the chief of police that there had been a threat of a shooting at the
university school and immediately a small team of us huddled in the
conference room and started to debrief on that threat. Moved through a series of
actions in which a student was detained questioned, parents were detained
question, that then spread to another school in Johnson City and for the
better part of four hours we ran through a real-life drill of the potential of an
active shooter in the university school. Two weeks prior, we ran through a
real-life drill in which there been a threat of an act of shooting at a
homecoming event in the dome and in the course of 15 minutes had to evacuate
1,800 people from the dome because there was a threat of a shooter. Never would I
have envisioned we would have that happen twice but that’s the world that
we find ourselves in, so I’ve directed Jeremy Ross to conduct a top-to-bottom
review of threat assessment and safety on campus and we’ll also bring that to
you within the next year. There’s not any one button that we can push to make
everyone on campus feel safe. I wish there was but there’s not. Locks aren’t
going to do it, more cameras aren’t going to do it, it’s just the world that we
live in but I wanted to share with you how seriously we take this as member
of your administrative team. We have made mistakes in each of those two incidents
but thankfully we’ve had the opportunity to learn from them and we’ll put process
improvements in place to ensure that God forbid that there ever was something on
our campus that we’re as prepared as we can possibly be. We pause to see if you
have any questions for me as it relates to those matters before discussing the
final item. I have one comment I think that would speak on behalf here of the
entire board. Do not wait on us on any issues involving safety. When you see it,
fix it. We’re sure you’ll do. Will do to the best of our ability, will do. If we could find a
way to put cameras everywhere we would and that maybe ultimately where we’re heading. Dr. Little’s share with me a story from the Memphis commercial appeal that UT
Health Sciences Center in Memphis is undergoing a $20 million safety
upgrade for the campus and they have the ability to handoff from camera to camera
to camera all across campus if something is happening and a lot of this eek’s of
George Orwell but that is where a lot of institutions are going from the safety
perspective. Mr. Chair, the last thing that I want to do is talk a little
bit about the operations of the board. I want to thank you for your willingness
to be flexible as it relates to the calendar for today. I know that was the
last-minute change but I hope that you enjoyed the opportunity to participate
in the Veterans Day celebration which brought together both the University
School, as well as the institution as a whole in our community members. We’ve
talked at length about a retreat and I’m going to send you some information next
week around retreat options, retreat dates, do we do it here, do we do it
off-site. We’ve also talked a lot with you about the opportunity for a deep
dive into aspects of the campus and I’m going to send you topics with the goal
of launching that activity in January. I joked to the governor in the budget
hearing on Tuesday that all of the institutions are still trying to get a
sense of what it means to have a board and you as board members are still
trying to get a sense of what it means to be aboard,
but to be at the point in time where we are for meeting number four I feel very
good about the operations of the board but would really welcome your comments,
your ideas, your suggestions because I know we have a lot of room for growth
and a lot of room for improvement as a staff. So, when I send you this email next
week that outlines topics, that outlines dates, that outlines themes that is a
proposal that’s not a final point and would welcome your comment and feedback on how you would like to see the professional development of the board in
2018 structured and engaged. Mr. Chair but before wrapping up I want to share
one little story with you. I promise I’ll keep it brie,f it’s three o’clock and I
hope an individual who is a member of the Board of Trustees doesn’t take
offense with the story that I’m about to tell, but it’s a story that really
conveys that the power of this institution. About a month ago, right
around homecoming, I had the honor to be a part of something that was truly
special, an opportunity for the University as a whole to say thank you
to an individual who has transformed the lives of thousands of students at this
institution. And there were about a thousand people gathered in Bunchie
Church downtown to be part of a birthday party, to be part of a birthday
celebration. But really, it wasn’t a celebration as much of a birthday as it
was a celebration of the mission of this institution. For about 45 minutes a group
of undergraduate students in the corral men’s and women’s course all sang and at
the conclusion of their performance, Dr. Matthew Patterson head of the chorus
program, chair of the music department asked how many of those students who had just
finished their performance had received Powell scholarships. Every single one of
them raised their hand. They then processed to the back of the room. They
were then replaced by an alumni choir, individuals who had been part of the
music department at East Tennessee State University from the mid-1970s all the
way through 2012. They were directed by Dr. Tom Jenrette, the
long-standing director of the course at our university and as Dr. Jenrette took
the podium to lead his alum in song people began to cry and for the next
hour it was among the most moving things I’ve ever been a part of. About halfway
through the performance Dr. Jenrette asked how many of you have received
scholarships from the Powell’s that made your education possible? 75% of them raised their hand and people continued to cry and then it got
moving. In 2012 which was Dr. Jenrette’s last year there was a group called The
BucsWorth and for those of you who are familiar with the BucsWorth there’s
been the 10 BucsWorth, the 8 BucsWorth worth but in 12 it was his last year
there was a 12 BucksWorth. There was a young man in the 12 BucsWorth
who about a year and a half ago had suffered an aneurysm almost passed away
and has really worked hard to bring himself back into the position that he’s
in. He stood and sang with the other 12 members of the BucsWorth that night. It
was among the most moving things that I’ve ever had a chance to see. But what
was powerful about this is that Dr. Tom Jenrette for two weeks prior to that
concert went over to this young man’s house and practiced with him to get him
ready for that night. I talk all the time about the mission of this university is
to improve the quality of life for the people whose region, but to see teaching
research and service come together that night people saying thank you to an
individual but really remembering what it was like to be 18 years old again and
to say thank you to a faculty member. To be 50 years old and still feel the
connection with a faculty member that I saw that night between the alum and Dr.
Tom Jenrette is something that happens a few institutions. I had the chance to sit
next to Dr. DiPietro the President of University of Tennessee that night I
guarantee you that doesn’t happen on his campus, it happens here. And it happens
here because of the generosity of individuals in this room, it happens here
because of the faculty who are committed to the mission, and when Dr. Hoff talked
about culture changing I hope we don’t lose that culture.
We may change, we may grow, we may get bigger, we could come more complex and
count things differently but I hope we don’t lose who we are which is an
institution that’s focused on people. So, Mr. Powell, I know you don’t like attention
to be drawn to you but that night was among the most powerful things I’ve ever
had a chance to be a part of and on behalf of the entire faculty and staff
of this institution I wanted to say thank you for allowing me and my family
to be a part of it. Mr. Chair that concludes my comments, I would be happy to take any questions. I don’t want to leave it there. How about a round of applause for them. Mr. Chair. Thank you, Mr. President. Well, we’re almost at the other business. Fred I believe we were talking about something
I’d like for you to go ahead and comment about. Thank you. I made a requests just before
this meeting started to make a request to the University and it’s been
highlighted by some of what I’ve heard here some of it involving Jeremy Ross
and his ability to make persuasive movements towards capital projects
particularly for this camera and his organization, but also something that Mike Hoff said about capital projects that we don’t want folks coming from two-year
institutions to our institution to find that they had better facilities at their
two-year institutions then they had here. I will raise case, a point. I’d like at
the University, I will request the University make a comparative review for the goal
of updating and modernizing our stem labs or math labs or biology labs or
chemistry labs or physics labs and nursing labs, as well. To look at the
physical aspects of some of those in the surrounding communities and their
technologies, materials and supplies that they have to provide to incoming
students. Another way, I think if we make a pilgrimage to Walter State at the
Northeast State and compare those laboratories to what we may have in
Brown Hall and some of the other buildings I think it will be instructive.
I also think if we look at some of the high schools around it will be
instructive. Our ability to recruit good students in stem and we have some
good students but to recruit more to engage and undergraduate research which
is extremely important in the department that I’m in but other stem areas, as well.
I think all of these kinds of things are something that we should look at and see
if we’re where we to be. Brown Hall that I work out of was
added to significantly in the 1960s. The laboratories in the freshman cite in
Biological Sciences haven’t changed since I got here in 72. Take a look at
what we are offering but also take a look at what we could offer and so this
I am making a request that we review those on a comparative basis. Thank you
for your time. Thank you. Any other business to come forward for? That I’ll ask for a motion of adjournment. All in favor? Okay, meeting adjourned. Those of you who are interested in bringing
grandchildren to the holiday lighting ceremony it’s 5:45 not 6:30. I gave the
wrong time so if you’re putting that on your calendar it’s 5:45 not 6:30.

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