May 8, 2009 The Board of Trustees convened at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, May 8, 2009, in the Old Main Room of the Bone Student Center, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois. Chairperson McCuskey called the meeting to order and Trustee Maitland called the roll.
The following members were present.
Trustee Jay Bergman
Trustee Anne Davis
Trustee Bob Dobski
Trustee Betty Kinser
Trustee Joanne Maitland
Trustee Mike McCuskey
Trustee Geno Bagnuolo
A quorum was declared. Also present for the public session were:
Vice President for University Advancement Dianne Ashby
Assistant to the President Jay Groves
Board Legal Counsel Jane Denes
Others in attendance included representatives of the media, faculty, staff and Mboka Mwilambwe of the Campus Communication Committee.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Chairperson McCuskey: I ask for a motion to approve the Agenda. Trustee Davis so moved and was seconded by Trustee Bagnuolo. Motion made, seconded and vote recorded with all members present voting aye.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Chairperson McCuskey: In your Board packet are Minutes of February 20, 2009. I ask for a motion for approval of these Minutes. Trustee Maitland so moved and was seconded by Trustee Dobski. Motion made, seconded and vote recorded as all members present voting aye.
Good morning everyone, and thank you for joining us for the May 8, 2009, Board of Trustees meeting. Today marks the beginning of a very exciting and fulfilling weekend for Illinois State University, and I hope everyone is making plans to attend the Commissioning ceremony and Commencement exercises today and tomorrow. The Commissioning ceremony begins today at 2:00 p.m. in the Center for the Performing Arts Theater and will feature remarks by Congresswoman Debbie Halverson. For those of you who haven’t attended, that ceremony is very interesting because each year it has a unique feature. Last year’s feature had people repelling from the ceiling, mock military exercise, a video and you might say smokes & mirrors, so it will be interesting to see what this year’s commissioning ceremony will be. They are very different, very personal, and I find them to be very moving. It is a standing room only event so get there early.
The Mennonite College of Nursing ceremony will be at 4:00 p.m. today in Braden Auditorium. The College of Arts and Sciences ceremony will be at 7:00 tonight in Redbird Arena. On Saturday in Redbird Arena, the College of Education ceremony will be at 9:00 a.m., the College of Applied Science and Technology ceremony will be at 12:30 p.m. and the College of Business will be at 4:00 p.m., and the College of Fine Arts at 7:00 p.m. in Braden Auditorium. Each ceremony has its own flavor and we certainly appreciate participating.
This is the University’s 150th Commencement, and more than 3,000 students are participating. Graduation is one the most important events for the University—it is not only important for students and their families—it is a wonderful experience for the faculty, staff and extended university family—so I hope you can make plans to attend at least some of the ceremonies.
I want to thank the Campus Communication Committee for sponsoring this morning’s discussion hour. Creating and maintaining a sustainable environment is obviously an important aspect of our teaching, research and service missions at Illinois State, and I know the entire Board was very impressed by the spectrum of activities the University undertakes to make our environment better for students, faculty, staff members and visitors.
I want to congratulate our Student Trustee, Geno Bagnuolo. Geno was reelected by his peers to serve a second term as Trustee, and that is the first time this has happened since public university governing boards became independent in 1996—so on behalf of the Board we want to congratulate you – we think it is outstanding. I also want to congratulate our new Student Body President Matt Spialek. Matt is with us today—could you please stand for recognition? We also want to thank Ted Mason, our outgoing Student Body President, for his excellent leadership for the students of Illinois State.
We are grateful for President and Linda Bowman for hosting the dinner last night for our current and past Trustees. It was an interesting event for those of us on the Board because we knew some of the names and some of the faces, but we certainly did not know the entire array of Trustees, and we had an outstanding turnout. I know some of the Trustees had not been here in years, and I don’t think the dinner is what caused some of the Board members to come all the way back from Florida or Arizona, I think it was the love of ISU.
I am going to turn to the Trustees and ask them to talk about the experiences they have had on campus since our last meeting. I do want to reflect on some of the things that I have been involved in. My Trustee-In-Residence was on April 15 and I started the day speaking to one of the political science classes that I enjoy talking to each year as a former political science major. I went to the Vice President of Student Affairs office and met with Steve Adams. I was really impressed with the staff and I got to see some things that I had no idea how they were evolving. While at the Bone Student Center and going through the Atrium, I was impressed that there is constant growth and change to try to meet the needs of the students and the community. Then I was absolutely awestruck in the change to Linkins Dining Center. We talked a little bit about sustainability and what they are doing in the food service area to improve it in all facets. I do want to thank Maureen Blair and Arlene Hosea and Roger Cann for all of the efforts they took to show me everything. I then met with some of the student leaders and, of course, we are always impressed when we meet with the student leaders. I want to thank Mike Schermer and Duane Sackman for taking me through the Student Services building – I was amazed at the whole array of doctors and nurses on staff and the wonderful facility.
The culmination of something that I have wanted for 40 years really struck home on May 2 when I witnessed the dedication of Duffy Bass Field and I do want to thank Sheahon Zenger and President Bowman for the ceremony and the pre-game festivities which brought a lot of people back to campus. I then found out we are using that facility for other groups to have pre-game festivities out in right field area. It really is a wonderful facility. I was also at the student athlete ceremonies, again a wonderful event.
Trustee Dobski: Well I just took my Trustee-In-Residence with Athletics. It was a very thorough tour of the athletic facilities and there are a lot of needs. We went up to the top of Hancock Stadium and saw the visiting athletic director’s space – I guess people were a lot smaller than they are now. One thing with practice facilities – a lot of need for using the facilities and I am not talking about big capital expenditures but practice gyms for the basketball team are occupied by other facilities so there is a definitely a concern there as far as making facilities more efficient as far as use. But I guess the most impressive thing was the athletics study hall that I got to tour and hearing the numbers and the grade point average and the extra tutoring and coaching that all the athletes are given. It is a very important facility. I think it is limited right now and I heard the need for 24 hour access to computers and hopefully there is something that the University can look at and rethink so that there is 24-hour access to computers.
Trustee Kinser – the first thing I want to do is to thank President Al Bowman for a wonderful year. The year personally for me has contained some bumps but I got over them because of Illinois State University and President Bowman. I really do appreciate the spirit that he has put into the staff, faculty and everyone at ISU.
First of all I have to say my husband and I were very fortunate to attend every home football game, every mens basketball home game, every women’s home basketball game as well as the men’s tournament. I have to say that I have really been enlightened by the athletic department and what is going on. The other part of the campus that I am very proud of is the College of Fine Arts, and their role in the State Farm event that we had at Redbird Arena as well as other activities – and when I saw the College of Fine Arts faculty walking across the gym floor at a basketball game, I was very impressed.
The other thing about President Bowman, which I find is totally amazing, I have been attending all of these events and it doesn’t matter whether I am at a basketball game, a football game or a style show, there is always a standing ovation cheering for President Bowman. I really feel that I have not seen that in all the years I have been at ISU so that is pretty remarkable. I think we are very fortunate to have not only that leadership, but the leadership in all the divisions that I have visited.
My Trustee-In-Residence was at Milner Library. If you go the Milner Library, please take an umbrella. Dean Elzy was kind enough to loan me an umbrella for that tour and I needed it. I am very impressed with the special collections with Maureen and what she is doing – if you haven’t seen that in the past five to six years, you need to go visit. Next week I am doing a tour, which I will talk with Dean Elzy about, but we are setting up with a couple of retired faculty members in print making and drawing of the College of Fine Arts to go over and look at some of the posters and the Abraham Lincoln prints that were just found. The student show in the College of Fine Arts was just great, the performances have really been outstanding this year, and I want to thank Dean Major for his role and what he is doing in the college. It’s a happy place to be – they had a celebration and I went to that and I was just so happy to see everyone so upbeat.
Trustee Bagnuolo – it’s been another positive spring semester from my point of view. I really got to enjoy my Trustee-In-Residence this semester with the College of Applied Science & Technology. I don’t think there are very many places that you can go around campus where in a day you are going to meet with fashion designers, the ROTC and play with robots. I had a really good time touring the facilities. I got to see a bio-diesel research lab and see some of the new renovations at the Ropp Agriculture Center, check out the body health research going on in the K & R department, and meet with people from the criminal justice sciences and other areas of the college. While all individual areas of the college were very impressive, I think what impressed me the most was how Dean Wood and his staff bring the various groups together. I think they do a great job in their community that is so diverse – it was really positive and I thought the atmosphere was great. I was unable to attend the fashion show with Tim Gunn but I heard nothing but good things about it, so I just want to commend them for their efforts. As was mentioned earlier I did get re-elected as a student trustee. I am really proud and excited to work with the Board for another year. I really want to commend Ted Mason for his efforts, even though he is not here, he did a really good job and I am confident that the next year’s group with Matt Spialek, Eric Fettner, Jackie Krug and the rest of the association will do a great job. For those who do not know, the new student government association is coming in with goals of working on communications with students, safety, sustainability and school pride, which is not just about athletics, but getting the students to be proud to be an ISU student whether it comes to athletics, the arts or just being happy to be on campus on the beautiful Quad. I think it is going to be another great year and I just want to thank everyone for a good semester.
Trustee Davis – I participated in several campus activities a couple of weeks ago and I would first like to thank Dean McGuire and the entire faculty and staff for planning and hosting my visit. The visit was very interesting and very impressive. It was the first time that I had visited our College of Business since the construction in 2005, so I was really impressed to see the facilities, the grounds, the building architecture, the total learning environment from the multi-facet classrooms. The state-of-the-art technology was just unbelievable - just a fantastic learning environment. I was also impressed with the breadth of their academic programs – programs that the faculty have placed on the cutting edge with instruction and preparing our students to become highly competitive. I would like again to thank the students who interacted very well with me during my visit. They spoke very positively and highly about the faculty. In fact, they ranked the faculty support and the accessibility of the faculty as the number one factor for having the positive experience they have here.
I also had the privilege of attending the dedication of the Marian Kneer Softball Stadium and the naming of the field in recognition of Dr. Kneer’s individual accomplishments as an athlete as well as her pioneering efforts for women’s participation in sports even before the passage of Title IX. It certainly deems her worth of that dedication and it is something that I can personally relate to because I must say as a freshman in college as well as in high school, I was not able to participate in any formal activities as far as athletics were concerned. We didn’t have a Title IX but we fought for it, so to have an individual who was ahead of the curve for Title IX to bring the participation of women to this university, I was just too proud to participate in those activities. I would like to thank Dr. Zenger for the work he is doing with our athletic department.
I ended the week attending something that certainly brought me back to my childhood and that was the Gamma Phi Circus. It was absolutely great. I savored every exciting act and performance. I don’t know why I had not attended any of the circus performances but I can certainly understand why the circus is continuing because it was a great experience and I look forward to attending next year.
Trustee Maitland – I want to first start out by saying that John and I were gone the month of March and so missed all the exciting basketball tournaments, but believe me everyone I could get over the Internet from WJBC, I listened to and I want to congratulate Sheahon and Robin and Tim and all the teams for a making us proud this year. To go along with that, I did attend the dedication of the Duffy Bass Baseball Field which was just overwhelming to see such a professional looking field here at ISU. I also attended the Cinco de Redbird fundraiser and I want to thank Leanna for putting that event together along with co-chairperson Linda Bowman and I understand you raised over $30,000 for women’s athletics. I attended the student athlete dinner honoring the students and that is always quite an honor to see how many students are top athletes and top students. I attended the Tim Gunn style show event and that was amazing to see the creations created out of used and recycled materials.
I had my Trustee-In-Residence visit with the College of Arts & Sciences and I want to thank Dean Payne and his faculty and staff for the enjoyable day. We started out at the English Language Institute, which I had no idea was even there and I was very impressed by the activities that take place there. The class that I was in, most of the students that were there were from South Korea. Most of them were pretty shy until we got to the last one and she just wanted to tell it all and she was one of the newer students and she could speak very well. Then I also attended the Department of Geography where they were working on mapping all the trees on the campus, their location and the type of trees and that was quite amazing when she pulled up the screen and showed me just the trees that were in one section. I also visited the biological sciences area and it was also very interesting. I looked at a worm under the microscope that has a lot in common with me. That was scary. I ended up in Professor Steve Hunt’s class when one of the groups were giving their presentation on the American Democracy Project and it was exciting to see how these young adults have become aware of community and how involved they are and how they are trying to get others involved – I was very impressed. I of course had to put my two cents worth in at the end and told them having been a volunteer for many, many years I really appreciated them starting at their age thinking about this and considering other people into their lives.
Trustee Bergman: I did my Trustee-In-Residence at the College of Arts & Sciences also. I have been around the University for many years and there are a lot of faculty members that I see from time to time, but it may be three or five years between times. I met a number of faculty that I hadn’t seen for a number of years and I felt good about that. I gained a lot out of my visit but the University is going to gain as I was talked into hiring an intern in Geology. So a young man that is going to graduate this weekend with a bachelor’s degree in Geology is going to come back and start working on a master’s degree in the fall but will work for my company this summer. From what I understand from the department chair, some of the work that he does with us may end up being in a research paper that he does when studying for his master’s degree. Also as I try to do and have done just about every year is attend two College of Fine Arts events. I went to one of the performances of Evita and it was outstanding. I say this year but every year I am very impressed with the College of Fine Arts. I go to some other fine art types of things at some small private universities in the area where I live and they can’t compare to what we do here. In addition to Evita I went to what I think was called the concert for the distinguished professor. It was related to Curt White being named a Distinguished Professor – had a dinner at the University residence and a concert in the Center for Performing Arts afterwards. It involved our symphony orchestra and some other readings and other things and they also had a guest conductor from MIT. During the break I said we either have a good orchestra or we have a lousy orchestra and excellent acoustics – which do you think it is? He assured me we had both an excellent orchestra and excellent acoustics.
News from the Illinois Board of Higher Education – I have indicated to you that a new master plan was being worked on that will affect ISU as well as all the other institutions of higher education in Illinois and the news I have is there is no news. We haven’t accomplished anything since our last meeting. As such time as we accomplish anything I will let everyone know.
I would like to thank my fellow Trustees for responding to my email request about a month ago – that they review their information on the Board’s information data base. I have been working in a small way with the Governor’s office on the data base in respect to higher education and basically they told me the records that Governor Quinn’s people have inherited on boards and commissions was so bad that they didn’t really have what they thought was a complete list of boards or who was on them. So it’s been about three months in getting that squared away and now they actually know how many boards they have and how many trustees they have right now.
Finally, ISU is playing Notre Dame in baseball this Tuesday evening. Both institutions have many alums in the southwest and western suburbs and I live in Joliet where the game is going to be played. Notre Dame’s information is maybe a little less that totally complete also because as a member of the IBHE the Notre Dame bigwigs invited me to join them in their suite – I don’t think they knew I was also an ISU Trustee. I responded on my ISU trustee letterhead that I would join them for part of the game. They then sent me a letter in return acknowledging my acceptance along with some Notre Dame letterhead and asking me if I communicated with them in the future to please use the Notre Dame letterhead. I threw it in the garbage.
Trustee Maitland – I just wanted to say I did attend the reception for Steve Bragg and it was one of the hardest things to attend and be happy about – we owe a lot of gratitude to Steve. He certainly was a strong pillar in our administration.
Chairperson McCuskey: I was there too and I think one of the neatest things to see was the bond between Steve and his brother who he didn’t know was coming from California who had everything that could go wrong with plan flights all day and finally got there in the middle of the evening and to watch the love between Steve and his wife and his brother was really unique because it’s the kind of love that Steve had for this University. Let’s give Steve a round of applause.
As you go around the table you see how engaged the Board is and we actually never remember everything so as Joanne mentioned I forgot to mention the basketball season – I went to the Men’s Missouri Valley Tournament when we came so close to going to the NCAA tournament – and then we were playing Sheahon’s alma mater Kansas State and I was surprised when WDWS, the station that broadcasts almost every U of I athletic event and they broadcast everything Illinois, carried the Illinois State/Kansas State game with the Kansas State feed. So I was able to listen to announcers that night who throughout the whole second half complained about the officiating and was just amazed at how good ISU was and of course it was just a miracle that they tied the game and lost in overtime. So it was interesting to listen to the U of I station broadcast an ISU basketball game. And then I attended the Indiana State/ISU women’s NIT game. One of the ushers put me in a seat next to the Indiana fans and they complained the whole game about the officiating, except we had a much better ending in that game. So at my next Rotary meeting a couple of days later I told that story to a big round of applause. There is nothing you can do to make people happier in Champaign/Urbana than talk about the misery of Indiana.
Then there was the event at Milner when Adlai Stevenson III came back to campus and Dean Elzy had him at the Library and I was able to take my Senior Judge Harold Baker who is turning 80 years old – Adlai Stevenson III talked President Carter into nominating him to be the judge that I still work with every day. He was thrilled to be on the ISU campus and to see Senator Stevenson again.
Also, I brought a copy of the Alumni Magazine, which obviously has a sports flavor in this month’s edition with Lou Cella on the front – he loves Illinois State and was just tickled to death to be here for the Will Robinson event where we are eventually going to see his sculpture of Doug Collins and Will Robinson. This is something you want to keep and have available to promote ISU because here is a guy who has done Harry Carey and Ernie Banks that millions of people see. It really brought home to me the Fine Arts program that has gone on here for years. John Malkovich’s uncle just passed away in Benton and his first cousin is a lawyer in Champaign/Urbana that I see all the time, and John Malkovich still carries a love of his time at ISU. I saw Suzie Bogus on TV recently talking about the jewelry that she makes and still wears that she learned how to do at ISU, and Lou Cella talks about his jewelry class. Next week Buzz Capra will be back on campus. He was an art major at ISU. He went on to play in the major leagues and lead the National League in earned run average, but he was an art major. The fine arts program has got people throughout the country and I am just scratching the surface as Betty knows, but what a magazine to point out to Cubs and White Sox fans and Harry Carey fans – here is the guy who sculpted the statue that millions of people will see.