During Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Western Oklahoma State College Board of Regents Tricia Latham presented a proposal for an increase in funding for the previously approved construction of a new livestock feeding facility on the Agriculture and Rodeo property north of Altus. After contracting with GBA Architects for project planning, a call for bids was issued for 21 days. An initial bid from Heller Construction of Gotebo, OK proved higher than the initial proposed funding of $110,000. A base bid of $186.835 was proposed, with added projects to include Gutter and Downspouts for $3,855 and a Canopy Extension for $4,230 for a total contract price of $194,920 or $12.99 per square foot. Latham recommended that the project funding be split from the Infrastructure Fee in the 700 fund in the amount of $100,000 and all additional costs would be covered by the unrestricted 700 fund reserves. The regents approved the proposal for revised funding.
Latham also presented a request to contract with Select Force, an employment screening company in Oklahoma City. The contract will accomplish compliance with Department of Transportation drug testing for campus bus drivers. Under the contract, anyone applying for work at Western must comply with an initial drug screening test. After employment, quarterly and annual tests would also be required. The request was approved by the regents.
At the beginning of the meeting, President Dr. Phil Birdine introduced guests in attendance who included: Larry Duffy, Vice President for Development; Tricia Latham, Vice President for Business Affairs; Lisa Greenlee, Vice President for Academic and Student Support Services; Pia Bauer, IFA President; Timara Padgett, Shanna McBride, Joanna Neff, Doyle Jencks, Director of Physical Plant; Guy Smith and Emily Smith, Rodeo coaches; Kurt Russell, Head Baseball Coach; Bob Pearson, Athletic Director; Mike McBrayer, Head Softball Coach; Briar Jenkins, Secretary to the President and Judith Norton, Director of Public Information.
The meeting began with the administration of the oath of office for Dr. Randall Sheets. Regent Sheets was recently re-appointed for another term on Western Board of Regents.
Former Chairperson John Hester was recognized for serving as chair of the regents during the 2011-2012 year by this year’s regents chair, Steve Miller.
Members of Western’s athletic staff and faculty were next recognized for their team successes during the 2012 season. Kurt Russell, Mike McBrayer and Guy and Emily Smith received certificates of achievement from Chairman Steve Miller and Dr. Birdine.
Pia Bauer then delivered the Instructional Faculty Association report. Bauer stated that there was nothing new to report from the IFA. Bauer thanked the regents for approving a pay raise for faculty, as well as approving discretionary leave for full-time faculty.
The next items of business were the approval of the minutes from the May 29, 2012 and June 26, 2012 regular meetings and the monthly expenditure comparison report. Both items were unanimously approved by the regents.
Dr. Phil Birdine followed with the President’s Report and Recommendations. He introduced Larry Duffy who gave an update regarding the WOSC Foundations Inc.’s recent audit. He also updated the regents on recent activity in the foundation and the relocation of the foundation office and the Partner’s in Education Excellence wall. Mr. Duffy concluded his remarks by thanking the regents for their support of the 22nd Annual Jim Holland Memorial Golf Tournament and indicated that he would have additional information to report at the next regent’s meeting.
Lisa Greenlee addressed the board regarding enrollment. She reported that spring 2012 full-time equivalency (FTE) enrollment was down by 1% but headcount was up. Spring intersession enrollment was up 23.97%. Summer enrollment was up by 9%. July intersession was up 42%. End of summer intersession was up 33 %. Fall 2012 enrollment is currently up 2% when other institutions are down 3-4 % with metro institutions being down 9 %. Four week courses are growing incredibly fast and will be the next high enrollment growth area for Western. Greenlee concluded her remarks by informing the board that intersession enrollments are spilling over into 4 week courses and that students are transferring in to Western to finish their degrees.
Birdine next proposed a review of Western’s tenure policy that has been under moratorium since 2010. The board discussed the policy and its value to college faculty. The board approved another one year moratorium on tenure. The board also requested that during this one year period, a dialogue regarding reinstatement of the policy, which would include institutional expectations and faculty input regarding the tenure review process my begin.
Approval to move into the closed executive session was given at 8:21 p.m.
At 8:52 p.m. the board reconvened for the discussion of personnel matters. Shanna McBride, Child Development Scholars Coordinator; Amber Pascua, Child Development /Early Childhood Professional Coordinator; Jeanne Brandon; GEAR UP College Liason/Coach; Timara Padgett, Nursing Simulation Coordinator and Joanna Neff, Deans’ Secretary were all approved for employment.
The meeting adjourned at 8:53 p.m.