University of North Florida
Board of Trustees
Finance and Audit Committee
September 27, 2002
University Center at 12:00 noon
Mr. Steve Halverson (Chair), Mr. T. O’Neal Douglas, Mr. Wilfredo J. Gonzalez
Ms. Donna Harper Gibbs, Ms. Joan Wellhouse Newton, Mr. James Stalling
Item 1 Call to Order
Chair Halverson convened the meeting at 12:14 p.m.
Item 2 Approval of Minutes
The June 19, 2002, minutes were approved with the following exceptions:
Item 2A Approval of Minutes -- Parking Fees for 2002-2003
The parking system must generate a debt service coverage ratio of 1.25:1 on the outstanding bonds, meaning that revenues generated must cover operating expenditures and provide 1.25 times the debt service.
Trustee Douglas made a motion to approve the June 19, 2002, minutes with the above amendments. The motion was seconded by Trustee Gonzalez and passed unanimously.
Item 3 Change to Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) List
Mr. Phil Turner, Director of Facilities Planning, addressed the proposed changes to the PECO List.
Chair Halverson invited the FAC to tour all campus buildings to see their condition. Dr. Serwatka will schedule the tour and notify participants of the tour’s date and time.
Trustee Douglas inquired as to why we do not use developable space (the western ridge) adjacent to the parking lot by the University Police Department and the Child Development Resource Center. Mr. Turner noted that the previous Campus Master Plan had shown development in that area, but there was strong opposition not to develop the western ridge because of environmental issues. Faculty members have done ecological research on the western ridge and have found rare flora and fauna such as pitcher plants and gopher tortoises in this area. Presentation and further investigation/discussion of this item will be held in the future.
Trustee Gonzalez made a motion to approve the proposed PECO priority revision summary. The motion was seconded by Trustee Douglas and passed unanimously. This recommendation will be addressed by the full Board of Trustees’ conference call on September 30, 2002. Trustee Douglas is unable to participate in the conference call and requested that the minutes reflect that Trustee Halverson has proxy rights to vote in Trustee Douglas’ absence.
Item 4 Housing Rental Rates
Mr. Paul Riel, Director of Housing, requested approval of new housing rental rates for 2003-2004 allowing the University to use accurate rates in recruitment documents for students who will be entering that year. The suggestion to move up the date of approval of the rental rates was made by the FAC last year. The rental rates proposal reflects a 4.5% increase based on double occupancy. A gradual increase in rental rates each year is necessary to ensure we have sufficient funds to cover the debt service ratio.
Ms. Linda Anderson, Associate Vice President for Administration & Finance, explained the financing structure underlying the University’s housing operations. The former Board of Regents did not, except on rare occasions, allow the use of PECO funds for construction of auxiliary buildings. Therefore, the UNF Foundation leased the land from the State of Florida, issued bonds and constructed the housing facilities. The Foundation also executed leases with the University to operate and maintain the facilities. The operating lease requires the University to set housing fees at a level sufficient to cover the cost of housing operations and 1.20 times the cost of debt service. The housing revenue bonds are parity issues secured by the total revenue stream from the operation of housing. The bonds are variable rate and are credit enhanced by a non-recourse letter of credit rather than being fixed rate, insured bonds.
Chair Halverson thanked Ms. Anderson for her summary of UNF’s revenue bonds in relation to the University’s housing operations.
Mr. Riel then addressed revenue and expenditure projections for housing operations for 2003-2004, the proposed rental rates, and supplemental charges (see attached schedules). He noted that UNF’s housing rental rates are comparable to its sister institutions’ rates.
UNF’s Executive Board and Area Resident Student Association (RSA) is in agreement with the proposed rental rate changes based on their letter of September 27, 2002. The letter also states they are very appreciative that Mr. Riel has continued to include residents in the planning of campus housing.
Trustee Douglas made a motion to approve the new housing rental rates increase for 2003-2004. The motion was seconded by Trustee Gonzalez and passed unanimously.
Item 5 Purchasing Rules and Regulations
Ms. Judy Clausen, Associate General Counsel, addressed the proposed revised purchasing rule. The new purchasing rule is necessitated by devolution of powers and was vetted by legal counsel and by the UNF’s Purchasing Department and will replace the rule in the current Florida Administrative Code. In drafting the new rule, UNF collaborated with sister institutions and found we are all operating in a similar manner. The number of exemptions was questioned and Ms. Janet Owen explained that our bid exemptions were consistent with prior Chapter 287, BOR 6C-18 and/or community college rules. A rule development workshop will be held to seek the University community’s input. Approval of the new purchasing rule is not being sought at today’s FAC meeting; however, we are seeking the FAC’s recommendation to the BOT to adopt any changes with any further recommendations from the workshops subject to final approval.
Trustee Douglas made a motion to approve the recommendation and it was seconded by Trustee Gonzalez. The motion carried unanimously.
Item 6 Traffic and Parking Regulations Rule
The revised traffic and parking regulations rules were necessitated by the Board's
July 18, 2002 approval of a new schedule for fees and fines for the 2002-2003 fiscal year. The proposed rules have been reviewed and approved by the UNF Parking Committee, which consists of representatives from each area on campus. The proposed permanent rules will be reviewed further by the campus community and will be scheduled for final approval at the Board's October 17 meeting.
Item 7 Tuition and Fees Rule
The tuition and fees rules have been revised to incorporate the approved tuition and fees schedule for the 2002-03 fiscal year, and updates language to include UNF’s current procedures for establishing and collecting fees. At the Board’s June 20th meeting, the University brought forward a proposal for the Board to approve an emergency rule to allow and post the State and UNF-approved student tuition increases. The proposal passed unanimously at that meeting. The proposed permanent rules will be reviewed further by the campus community and will be scheduled for final approval at the Board's October 17 meeting.
Trustee Douglas made a motion to approve the Traffic and Parking Regulations and the Tuition and Fees Rules, subject to further revisions which may be recommended as a result of the internal campus rule development workshop process, and to be considered at the Board's October 17th meeting. The motion was seconded by Trustee Gonzalez and passed unanimously.
UNF Board of Trustees Finance and Audit Committee Discussion Paper
Chair Halverson requested that an internal group at UNF review the discussion paper and address it at the next FAC meeting.
Trustee Douglas commended Mr. Dan Dundon, Director of News & Publication, for the BOT Updates.
Item 8 Adjournment
There being no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 1:50 p.m.