9:30 A.M., April 10, 2013
Presidents Conference Room
Members Present: Castille, Cobler, Dahlstrom, Di Leo, Ferguson, Lagal, Litton, Mehan, Neill, Rice, Smith, Tart, Thomas, Walyuchow, and West
Absent: Beran, Cass, Niroomand
Representatives: Andrea Dry, Annual Giving and Alumni Relations; Val Walden, Finance; and Rhiannon Smith, Business Administration
I. Organization Business
--Dean Tart moved and Dean Litton seconded to approve the minutes of March 13, 2013, as circulated.
A. President’s Report—Dr. Phil Castille
--Dr. Castille announced he had invited Randy Faulk, in his new role as director of Administrative Technology Services, to serve as a member of the President’s Cabinet.
--Dr. Castille reiterated the need for someone from each unit to be present for the Cabinet meetings. It is each member’s job to serve as a conduit to the unit you represent. If you are not communicating to your department on the content and nature of the discussions at President’s Cabinet, then you are undermining its shared governance purpose.
--Rhiannon Smith was recognized as the representative for Dean Niroomand/SBA and Val Walden represented VPAF Wayne Beran.
• Senate Finance Hearing
Dr. Castille said he had received word from the System office that he and the other UHS presidents will be testifying on April 11 in Austin at the Senate Finance Hearing on TRBs. UHV’s TRB request is an $88M package. He said Representative Geanie Morrison has been working with us on a $6M Special Item appropriation to continue the work of downward expansion.
• Four-Year Fixed Tuition Plan
Dr. Castille said the four-year fixed tuition bill is before the legislature. He explained that the plan doesn’t work well for most regional public universities, in Texas, like UHV, where students come and go. This tuition plan would require that universities offer a guaranteed tuition option for undergraduate students with a promise that prices will not go up once they are enrolled and maintain certain academic performance standards over four years. It would apply to both first-time freshmen and transfer students. There would also have to be a “non-fixed tuition” plan for students who are unable to take a certain minimum number of credits per semester, or who already know that they will not be able to attend every semester, and so on.
The largest external grant in the history of UHV was awarded to the School of Nursing by the Houston Endowment for $800,000 for the Family Nurse Practitioner MSN program. Hopefully, this grant opens other doors for us in requesting funding to support Nursing and possibly a future School of Allied Health.
The search has concluded for the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations position, and we’ve hired Dr. Charlie Alcorn from Victoria and formerly a UHV employee with the UHV/ABR Reading Series, who will start June 1.
B. First Year Experience—Dr. Keith Akins
Dr. Akins, as Director of First Year Experience, was asked to address Cabinet concerning student issues that had been brought to his attention. He addressed various topics but the two main topics of concern was the dorm company (American Campus Community) and continued technology issues in the dorm. The IT issues of spotty Wi-Fi service and printer malfunctions have been an ongoing issue since Jaguar Hall was opened. He indicated that students continue to feel they are being bombarded with UHV emails. When Dr. Akins told students they could “opt out” of certain email distribution lists they said they were unaware they could. Dr. Akins said since students were notified of this option by email, they probably never opened the email concerning the issue. Per Mr. Ferguson, all of the printers at the dorm have been replaced with new printers. The poor Wi-Fi connections continue to be a problem and IT is working on a solution but has found the Firewall inundated by pier-to-pier (p2p) traffic. There was a discussion on customer service and the need to find the preferred way to communicate with students. The second largest complaint by students is the dorm management company, American Campus Community (ACC). Students are unhappy due to discipline practices and processes set forth by ACC. Dr. Akins said the dorms are the students’ home for a year and they want a safe place to relax with their own belongings and currently they do not feel that way; due to ACC room searches by the RAs and imposing penalties on student discipline issues. He also said students feel there are more dorm activities in the fall semester than in the spring. In closing, Dr. Akins expressed concern that UHV’s student retention could be in jeopardy if we do not address and correct these issues.
Dr. Castille said UHV is doing many things right in growing our residential student population, but we do need to continue conversations with ACC and address customer service issues. UHV is very near the point in downward expansion where we will have to start reporting freshman retention and 4-year graduation rates, and student satisfaction will become of paramount concern to the institution. Student satisfaction with the residential experience is a leading factor in whether students persist through their freshman year, and whether they choose to return for their sophomore year and beyond. Although, student satisfaction often is expressed through word of mouth, as college freshmen return home and talk with their high school friends who are graduating seniors. We need to assure that our students report back well on us when they have conversations with their high school friends back home.
C. Academic Affairs Updates—Dr. Uppinder Mehan
In Dr. Cass’s absence, Dr. Mehan said the first Research Day was a good reminder that faculty are engaged in research at UHV. The idea is to continue having Research Days, alternating between Victoria and Sugar Land. He said decisions on faculty awards are being announced. Dr. Mehan announced that on April 18, Douglas Foster will be the speaker at the Provost’s Lecturer Series and will talk on his book “After Mandela: The Struggle for Freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa.”
D. Facilities & Finance Updates—Val Walden
In Mr. Beran’s absence, Ms. Walden reported the State Legislature should have their budget completed and a decision on UHV’s funding for the next biennium by the end of May. She said Jaguar Suites is on schedule and looking good, with a completion date of July 15 and move in by the beginning of August. She said the Kresta building is almost ready for Facilities Services. The move will begin in a couple of weeks, with a goal of having Athletics move into their new facilities by May 15. At which time the cafeteria remodel will begin in Jaguar Hall. There will also be a remodel in the back of the Totah Building for an Athletics Training facility. The Regional Center for Economic Development is still in the design phase. They are trying to work on ways to make it more economical. She said there is a lot going on right now. We are currently waiting on the May Board of Regents meeting to get approval to purchase the two apartment buildings across the street and Jaguar Court.
E. Enrollment Updates--Dr. Denee Thomas
Dr. Thomas said as of 4/10/13, compared to 2010 at this time the number of freshman applications received were 2,755 compared to 870. Of the applications submitted, 1,496 (54.3%) have been completed, with 1,298 (47.11%) having been accepted. The increase in applications from 2013 to 2012 is 30.6% with an increase of 37.9% in accepted applications.
At this time Jaguar Suites has 110 applications (not leasing yet), Jaguar Court has 57 applications (52 renewals and 5 new), and Jaguar Hall has 72 applications with 10 leased. She reported that Admissions was ready for the opening of the Fall semester on the 15th.
Dr. Thomas said two new employees have been hired; Scott Harkley is the Writing Coordinator and Cheryl Worley will fill the Disability Services and At-Risk Programs Manager position.
• American Disabilities Act
With the modification of the American Disabilities Act having been revised, UH System is modifying their policy to be in compliance. She reported the standard appeal process, a cumbersome policy, has been added, among other changes.
The retention area is working to centralize needed information in PeopleSoft for tracking and indicators. They will be resurrecting information not entered or recorded for earlier cohorts. She said the Student Affairs PeopleSoft/IT unit has been helping and believes all of this information can be put in PeopleSoft and a query pulled to provide information on cohort students. There will be a revamping of the ASR (Academic Success Referral) system to increase effectiveness and efficiency. Students and faculty will be consulted to help improve the process.
F. Other Items
Ms. Cobler shared a handout titled Celebrate GenTX Day. GenTX is Friday, May 3, 2013 and celebrates all students and their journey toward higher education. Everyone was encouraged to wear a UHV or other college T-shirt on this date to promote college completion and show our community’s united support for higher education and Generation TX.
Dean Tart said UHV deans met with Victoria College (VC) deans to discuss 2+2 agreements. The UHV deans are working on 2+2 plans and will be sending them to VC deans in the near future. This is still a work in progress.
--Dr. Castille said he and Regent Welder had met with Dr. Tom Butler and Mr. Ron Walker about developing several 2+2 agreements between UHV and VC. The Provost is working on the programs that would work best as 2+2 agreements; we’re looking at 4-5 possible programs, in addition to the RN + BSN program we already have.
She also thanked the Marketing Department for the transfer student brochure.
--Dr. Castille also expressed his appreciation for all the hard work involved in getting the new Transfer Student brochure completed—congratulations to the Office of Marketing & Communications under Interim Director Paula Cobler.
Dean Di Leo said the School of Arts & Sciences has two graduate programs on the agenda for the May Board of Regents’ meeting. The Master in Professional Science and an MFA in Creative Writing, which will be the first terminal degree at UHV. He thanked the Faculty Senate for their help in getting these new programs through. Also, a Bachelor of Political Science will be up for the first reading at the April 11 Provost Council meeting.
Dean Litton represented President Castille at the Raise Your Hand Texas event hosted by VISD. This is a non-profit education advocacy organization working in Texas to strengthen public education. The Raise Your Hand Texas organization trains public school leaders to lead effective change and advocate for public policies to make public schools better for our students. Dean Litton reported the School of Education and Human Development (SoEHD had a 92% increase in new teaching certificates—214 up from 107. He said the SoEHD has hosted three open houses with one more to go this summer at Houston Community College-Katy. jaX’s attendance at the last open house was a big hit.
Mr. Lagal said Staff Council will be hosting several jaX Giving Back community service events. The first of these events will be at The Food Bank of the Golden Crescent and hopes everyone will get involved; the event is open to all UHV staff and faculty. He said he will be disseminating the results of the Staff Morale Survey shortly.
Mr. Walyuchow said there will be a double header baseball game on Sunday against Huston-
Tillotson and a double header softball game against Northwood University. The upcoming baseball conference games will start May 1 with championship day on May 3. The golf conference tournament is scheduled for April 29-30.
Meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.
Submitted by: Kathy Walton
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