March 23, 2010
Northwest Regents approve fee increases, hear policy changes
MARYVILLE, Mo. - The Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents met in open session Tuesday, March 16, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Board Room.
The meeting began with recognition of Patricia Wyatt for completing her master's degree in educational leadership; Assistant Professor Dr. Rochelle Hiatt, who recently was named the Northwest Missouri School Counselor Association's School Counseling Supervisor of the Year; and Dr. Gerald Wilmes, Northwest's director of Health Services, for his selection as an American College Health Association Fellow.
Deans Charles McAdams and Tom Billesbach gave a presentation about Northwest's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, highlighting its tenants, academic focus, outcomes and future. Opened in 2009, the CIE is a state-of-the-art facility that aims to provide opportunities for real-world experiences through research, internships, and employment for students. It also provides opportunities for collaborative research and grant opportunities for tenants, faculty, staff and students; and it provides an environment that nurtures young companies and promotes economic growth in the region.
The CIE consists of a 14,400-square-foot business incubator and a 16,400-square-foot academic wing. About 7,600 square feet of space in the incubator is currently leased to tenants with about 2,200 square feet in leasable space still available. Billesbach said the CIE aims to attract tenants that will have significant synergy with the University and a positive impact on the region while providing employment opportunities for students and research opportunities for faculty and staff.
The CIE is home to five tenants currently with 14 employees working at the facility. A grant is pending with Battle Command Battle Lab and four companies are in various stages of negotiations to become tenants. The CIE's lease income is $7,191 monthly and $86,313 annually. More than 50 new jobs have been created by tenants in their first eight months, including 15 students who are employed part-time. The CIE also has earned recognition in the St. Louis Business-Journal and has been awarded the Southern Growth Policies Board 2010 Innovator Award.
The CIE's academic wing is the primary home of Northwest's new nanoscale science bachelor's degree program, which prepares students for high-growth, high-tech careers in nanotechnology, biology and chemistry. McAdams also noted the academic wing features $3.1 million dollars of new state-of-the-art equipment.
Moving forward, the CIE is seeking to attract additional tenants with high economic growth and non-competitive focuses resulting in increased jobs and commerce, increase external funding for scientific and applied research, increase student opportunities for research and employment and increase partnerships.
The Board appointed a committee consisting of regents Bill Loch, Doug Wyckoff, Gary Panethiere and President John Jasinski to review its bylaws. Loch, noting the bylaws will be reviewed for interpretation and currency, said, "It is very, very important. It has been quite a while since these bylaws have been reviewed."
The Board unanimously approved a proposal allowing the geology/geography department to join with five other universities that offer master's degrees in geographic information science and technology. Member universities would agree to transfer a minimum of 10 graduate credit hours from each other's programs toward a master's degree in GIS&T. The agreement will allow Northwest to remain competitive in attracting a stream of applicants and certificate students from other member institutions, which include Pennsylvania State University, University of Minnesota, University of Southern California, University of Denver and University of Colorado-Denver.
The Board unanimously approved the FY 10-11 Room & Board Fee Schedule and miscellaneous fees that include raising room and board fees by $500 per year, with room increasing from $3,966 to $4,324, and board increasing from $2,824 to $2,966.
The Board listened to proposals to revise Northwest's sick leave and vacation policies. Under the sick leave revision proposal, Northwest would eliminate the cash-out compensation policy that currently allows eligible employees to be compensated in cash for one half of their unused sick leave accrual up to 500 hours when they retire. Mary Throener, vice president of human resources and organizational effectiveness, noted all unused sick leave balances are reported to MOSERS upon an employee's retirement and retirement benefits would not be affected by the proposed changes. The proposal, Throener noted, aims to limit a possible liability to Northwest of more than $800,000 should all of the 84 eligible employees retire with the current policy intact.
Under the proposed revision for the vacation leave policy, vacation leave balances would be limited to one year's accrual or 192 hours maximum. The proposal also would limit vacation payouts to 75 percent of the balance of one year's accrual when employment is discontinued. Throener said the proposal is meant to encourage the use of vacation and limit the potential cash liability by more than $600,000 in future vacation payouts; she said 182 employees currently have balances greater than 192 hours. The Board took no action on the sick leave and vacation policies to allow for additional review.
The Board also tabled proposed revisions to the University's alcohol policy. The proposed revisions would allow full-time University employees who are contracted to live on campus, and their guests, to possess and consume alcohol within their residences. The proposal also would permit alcohol during home football games in designated parking areas.
University Police Director Clarence Green said two parking lots west of Bearcat Stadium would be designated as tailgating lots where alcohol could be consumed. Fans would pay fees of $10 and $5, depending on the lot, for the privilege to park and tailgate. All other lots would remain free on game days, and alcohol would be prohibited in those free areas. The proposal would not affect stadium suite holders, whose contracts do not allow alcohol.
A task force charged with revising the policy found that - among 10 other MIAA schools, Grand Valley State and the University of North Alabama - six of the schools have alcohol policies that allow use while tailgating. Green said the proposed fees could generate as much as $17,000 per season, and pay for the staff needed to enforce parking issues and other violations that occur in the tailgating lots. Green said staffing the tailgating lots would cost about $4,200.
Among other items, the Board approved curriculum changes to courses in computer science/information systems, marketing/management and art; approved the 2012-2013 academic calendar; and approved a five-year lease extension for the KXCV-KRNW tower in Chillicothe with options that could extend the lease for up to 50 years.
Student Senate President Erin Holm, Faculty Senate President Max Fridell and Student Regent Bradley Gardner were attending the meeting for the last time in their roles, and each thanked the board for its leadership and support.
Holm noted Northwest
Week will be April 5-9, and Student Senate elections will be the week of
April 12. Fridell noted he will be handing the Faculty Senate gavel to President-Elect Rich Fulton.
The next Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, May 14 in the Board Room of the Student Union.
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Northwest Missouri State University
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