University of North Florida
Board of Trustees
Finance and Audit Committee
May 27, 2004
at 8:30 a.m.
Committee Members Present
O’Neal Douglas, Wanyonyi Kendrick, Judith Solano, and Kevin Twomey
Committee Members Absent
Wilfredo Gonzalez and Steve Halverson
Other Trustees Present
Edythe Abdullah, Bruce Taylor, Carol Thompson, and Jerry Watterson
Chair Twomey called the meeting to order and asked for a motion to approve the minutes. Trustee Douglas so moved and the motion was seconded by Trustee Kendrick. The minutes were approved unanimously.
Prompt Pay Rule
Chair Twomey asked Vice President Shuman to talk about the rule on prompt payment. Ms. Shuman stated that the devolution process required the university to adopt its own rule on payment of invoices, though it was acceptable to use a form of the original Florida statute if preferred. She summarized the rule stating that the main component was the requirement that invoices be paid within 40 days of receipt. She said the rule used language that was easier to understand than the previous rule. A hearing was held to discuss the rule but no one attended. Chair Twomey called for a motion to recommend the rule. Trustee Douglas offered the motion, it was seconded by Trustee Kendrick, and approved unanimously.
Resolution for Banking Agreement
Vice President Shuman went on to discuss the resolution for banking agreement stating that this item was also based on devolution. The university would have greater control over its own cash flow and assume responsibility for its own banking and investments. After researching possible banking partners, a decision was made to use Wachovia Bank. A corporate resolution was required to finalize the partnership. Ms. Shuman said Purchasing Card would be with Amsouth, and the UNF Foundation and TSI would stay with Bank America, though with lower rates than the DSO had previously received from the institution.
Chair Twomey said the control of the university’s banking and investments presented some interesting management challenges and asked Vice President Shuman to keep the committee posted on the institution’s progress. Ms. Shuman said the State would only disperse money twice a month, which would significantly alter the way the university conducted business. Trustee Solano offered a motion to recommend the resolution, it was seconded and approved.
Housing Rate Increases
Dr. Gonzalez requested approval of a 4.2 percent increase in housing rates and supplemental charges for 2005-06 based on the expected cost of living increase and the need to prepare for the principal payment of debt service. Chair Twomey asked about the process used to gain consensus on the increase. Dr. Gonzalez explained that Mr. Paul Riel, Director of Housing, monitored the financial climate throughout the year and tried to anticipate the impact on rental rates. The process culminated approximately one month prior to the increase request with several meetings with university budget staff, vice presidents, and the Auxiliary Oversight Committee to help prepare the documents for the public.
Chair Twomey asked if Trustee Watterson was involved in the process. Mr. Riel replied that the Resident Student Association, an internal group of students elected to represent their areas, provided student representation and opinion in developing the rate increase and fee schedule. He added that it was difficult to establish consensus with the impacted student population as the affected students would not be on campus for two more years.
Mr. Riel discussed the attachments, including rental history, and said he believed rates were commensurate with future demand. A quarterly market survey and demand and return rates indicated that UNF was above the national average at 43 percent. Chair Twomey noted that the requested increase was the lowest percentage of increase requested in the last five years.
Trustee Watterson said he was disappointed not to have been included in the process of determining the increase. He asked for a comparison with what was available locally. Chair Twomey noted that this was the same process that had been employed to determine fees last year. Vice President Gonzalez said that it was possible to include Trustee Watterson though the Student Resident Association had previously provided student representation. Trustee Kendrick said she would like to have one or two students from the association present for comment and would also like for Trustee Watterson as the Board’s student representative to be involved. Trustee Douglas added that he would also like to see Trustee Watterson included. Chair Twomey asked for a motion to recommend the increases subject to the inclusion of Trustee Watterson in the decision making process. He asked that Trustee Watterson bring any suggestions before the next board meeting. Trustee Kendrick motioned to recommend the increases and Trustee Douglas seconded the motion. It was approved unanimously.
Student Union Update
Vice President Shuman reported that none of the names for buildings were approved, thus there was not a name for the student union at this point. However, she said, the project was moving along. Approximately $30-35 million had been identified as potential funding for the union through various partnerships, including organizations on campus such as student government, campus housing, the University Center, and the campus bookstore. Monies would also be available through PECO dollars, CITF funds, and the student union fee. A university commitment was made to help with furniture, fixtures, and equipment. She said it was also possible that a new DSO would be created to assist with financing. A building committee was formed including Trustee Watterson and representatives from Administration and Finance, Student Affairs and Facilities Planning. The next step was to have Reynolds, Smith and Hills come to campus to help determine where the new union should be placed. Ms. Shuman expected to have a location for the union by the end of the day, June 16. She said she would have more to report at the next meeting.
Naming of the Police Building
Chair Twomey asked if there was a policy on the naming of buildings after distinguished leaders. He noted that this was the first such recommendation to come before the board and said that, though the merits in this instance appeared compelling, he was not sure what future ramifications would result from such action and was cautious about setting a precedent. He felt that this particular issue would be better presented to the full board rather than the FAC as he felt there should be a process in place to determine the next person to be named in such a manner. He then turned the floor over to Vice President Allaire to present the recommendation.
Dr. Allaire said that, barring any policy decisions to the contrary, the university community wished to name the police station after Martin P. Garris. The late Mr. Garris was police chief for UNF from 1975 to 1995. Dr. Allaire said one of his responsibilities was to look at naming opportunities on campus. There had been a couple of occasions when buildings had been named for individuals without the involvement of gifts, such as the library and the computing science building. As Mr. Garris was deceased, Dr. Allaire said it would not be necessary to take the naming of the police department before the legislature. Dr. Allaire said the current police chief was here to speak to the committee about honoring Mr. Garris.
Trustee Solano spoke in support of the recommendation, stating that faculty and staff felt best about this type of recommendation, considering Mr. Garris a member of the university community and essentially one of founding fathers of UNF. Chair Thompson said she would welcome an opportunity to discuss the naming of buildings after distinguished leaders. While she agreed with Trustee Solano that naming was a tribute, she thought it would be appropriate to establish a policy for future such occurrences. Trustee Douglas also agreed with Trustee Solano that it was very appropriate to award meritorious service, however, he too was concerned about setting a precedent and also felt that the matter should be put before the full board. Trustee Abdullah also wished to see the item brought before the full board. Trustee Taylor said he wished to reiterate Trustee Douglas’s comments. He felt it was very important to have an opportunity to recognize and honor and individuals who had impact on the university other than financial.
He said he would like for staff to look at a balanced approach to the issue.
President Delaney said he would draft a proposed policy for the BOT to consider. He noted that it was unlikely that there would be a naming opportunity associated with the police building that would include a gift to the university in the near future. He said he knew that the campus community had held particular affection for Chief Garris and that there was overwhelming support among faculty and staff for naming the police department in his honor.
Chair Twomey asked that the policy be presented to the BOT first, prior to bringing back this agenda item, rather than presenting both the policy and the naming opportunity at the same time.
Trustee Kendrick asked to hear Chief Foxworth’s comments about Mr. Garris. Mr. Foxworth said that Chief Garris had been ahead of his time. He spoke of Mr. Garris’s impact on the university and noted that Mr. Garris had also been a big supporter of UNF while working for the Jacksonville Police Department. He talked about Mr. Garris’s influence on him personally, stating that Mr. Garris believed that police work was about helping people, putting others before you through service to the community. Mr. Foxworth said he had asked Chief Garris to sponsor him in the police academy almost twenty-four years ago. He credited Mr. Garris with having responsibility for the majority of officers who went on to further their education and better themselves as a result of his encouragement. He commented on the high esteem in which Sheriff Glover had held Mr. Garris and spoke of Mr. Glover’s hiring of Mr. Garris for the position of chief of community affairs. He noted that many of the changes in the department over the last year had been modeled on projects the former chief had begun and been unable to finish.
Chair Twomey said he believed it was clear that the trustees would want to do something to honor Mr. Garris. He said he would not ask for a motion on the agenda item as the item would come before the full board.
Chair Twomey adjourned the meeting. He announced that the budget workshop would be held in the same room after a ten minute break