DRAFT MINUTES SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE BOARD AT THE MARCH BOARD MEETING
Utah Board of Higher Education
Utah System of Higher Education
Friday, December 1, 2023
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Board Members Present Board Members Absent
Amanda Covington, Chair
Steve Neeleman, Vice Chair
Javier Chávez, Jr.
Tina Marriott Larson
Office of the Commissioner
Geoff Landward, Interim Commissioner
Nate Talley, Deputy Commissioner and CFO
Taylor Adams, Associate Commissioner of Student Affairs
Kris Coles, Assistant Commissioner for Student Affairs
Russ Galt, Senior Assistant Commissioner for Tech Education Finance
Richard Gonzales, Assistant Commissioner for Access
Jared Haines, Senior Advisor to the Commissioner
Julie Hartley, Associate Commissioner of Academic Education
Vic Hockett, Associate Commissioner of Talent Ready Utah
Jeff Johnson, Data Privacy Analyst
Carrie Mayne, Chief Economist
Loreen Olney, Administrative Assistant
David Pulsipher, Senior Assistant Commissioner
Brian Shuppy, Senior Assistant Commissioner for Budget and Planning
Melissa Van Hien, Office Manager / Executive Assistant to the Commissioner
Kim Ziebarth, Associate Commissioner of Technical Education
Institutional Presidents Present
Mindy Benson, Southern Utah University Brad Mortensen, Weber State University
Darin Brush, Davis Technical College Jordan Rushton, Dixie Technical College
Chad Campbell, Bridgerland Technical College Jim Taggart, Ogden-Weber Technical College
Elizabeth Cantwell, Utah State University Astrid Tuminez, Utah Valley University
Clay Christensen, Mountainland Technical College Aaron Weight, Uintah Basin Technical College
Paul Hacking, Tooele Technical College Richard Williams, Utah Tech University
Deneece Huftalin, Salt Lake Community College Brennan Wood, Southwest Technical College
Stacee McIff, Snow College
Cathy Anderson, Chief Financial Officer, University of Utah
Louisa Hunsaker, NCHEMS
Mitzi Montoya, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Utah
Marlo Oates, State Treasurer
Brian Prescott, NCHEMS
Vice Chair Neeleman called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m.
Committee of the Whole
President Huftalin shared initiatives between Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and the University of Utah (UU). An open house for the Herriman campus was held in August 2023. She thanked former University of Utah President Ruth Watkins for her help in moving this forward. SLCC will have 13 academic pathways in fields that are high-yield/high-demand. Currently, three bachelor’s degrees are available. Students save $12,000 on their bachelor’s degree by starting at SLCC and completing through the UU.
UU Senior Vice President Mitzi Montoya shared a new partnership with SLCC, which guarantees admissions through the pathway program. If denied at the UU, they can meet certain criteria through SLCC. Then, they are guaranteed back to the UU when they complete without additional admissions. Thirty-five students are currently in the program, but they are working to make it open to all students.
This was an information item only; no action was taken.
Community College Study
Brian Prescott and Louisa Hunsaker from NCHEMS presented the Community College Study. They reviewed the goals of the study and analyzed current community college services. They visited all institutions except the UU. They produced two reports covering many topics. The key findings included:
There was a discussion amongst the Board members and presidents regarding costs and Concurrent Enrollment.
The following recommendations were given:
Community college service:
Access and affordability:
Efficiency and other:
Recommendations for the legislature:
The group continued to discuss Concurrent Enrollment and the recommendations that came from the study. President McIff will chair the committee to work through the study and recommendations.
This is an information item only; no action was taken.
Interim Commissioner Landward provided an update on what is anticipated for the upcoming legislative session. This is an information item only; no action was taken.
November 3rd Board Meeting Follow-Up Items
Board member Tetro provided an update on the Admissions Application Task Force. Board Member Tetro moved to eliminate application fees for 2024 for all USHE institutions for in-state students beginning in January. Board member Skonnard seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
Sub-120 Bachelor’s Degrees – Internal Process Review
Julie Hartley presented the Sub-120 Bachelor’s Degrees. She provided credit standards for associate and bachelor degrees, which the accrediting agency determines. Currently, across the US, the state bachelor’s degrees must be 125 credit hours or higher (4 years); it also defines a bachelor’s as at least four years, but not more than five years. They only authorized pilot programs for the BYU Pathways Worldwide program for international students. They are not eligible for financial aid. The accreditor is not taking additional programs at this time.
We don’t know much about how shortened bachelor’s degrees will be perceived. We don’t know the impact on community colleges within our system. We don’t know what graduate programs will accept students. We don’t know the impact on institutional reputation.
There are multiple options the Board can consider, including:
There was a discussion amongst the group regarding the impacts of these degrees. Board member Skonnard will lead a workgroup for further research. This was an information item only; no action was taken.
Program Alignment Revisions
Kim Ziebarth presented the program alignment revision. The intent was to align tech colleges across the state. The Board asked for specific criteria. The presidents are asking for minimum education required for employment or as defined by a regulatory body. They also ask for flexibility for unique regional needs and allowance for justified exceptions. This was an information item only; no action was taken.
Corrections Council Report
Jared Haines presented the Corrections Council Report. The following recommendations were made to the Board:
Chair Covington made a motion that the Board of Higher Education adopt the Higher Education and Corrections Council’s four recommendations outlined in the Council’s 2023 report as the Board’s position on each issue to inform legislation, policy, and practices related to higher education in correctional facilities. Board member Skonnard seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
Free Speech Resolution
Interim Commissioner Landward presented the free speech resolution and reviewed several principles. Board Member Cox motioned to adopt the Resolution Establishing Expectations for Implementing Principles of Free Expression on Campus. Board member Ipson seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. Chair Covington was not present for the vote. The motion passed unanimously.
Endowment Report-Out and Policy Approvals
Nate Talley introduced the item and provided an overview as outlined in the agenda materials. MEMCO then presented as outlined in the agenda materials. Nate provided information on the endowment budget. Board member Chavez, Jr. asked about investment risk. Board Member Eubank made a motion to approve the Utah Office of State Treasurer Higher Education Student Success Endowment Investment Policy Statement, Board Policy R1100, Higher Education Student Success Endowment, endowment financial records, investments, and expenditures as of published dates in corresponding materials, and the proposed FY 2024 and Fy 2025 budget endowment estimates. Board member Larson seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
University of Utah Baseball Facilities Approval
Nate Talley provided background for the request and the policy process. He noted there has yet to be community consensus on this issue and read a letter from the community. Cathy Anderson said the University had several open meetings and has explored other options. This site is the most beneficial when looking at various options. Donated dollars, not statefunded will pay for this. Board Member Ipson made a motion to approve the University of Utah’s construction of the new baseball stadium on the site of the current practice field and refer to DFCM for final approval. Board member Tetro seconded the motion. Chair Covington abstained from the discussion and vote due to a professional conflict. All other Board members in attendances voted in favor of the motion and the motion passed.
University of Utah Biomedical Polymers Research Building Renovation
Nate Talley provided background as detailed in the agenda materials. Chair Covington made a motion to approve the University of Utah’s remodel of the Biomedical Polymers Research Building and refer to DFCM for final approval. Board member Larson seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
University of Utah 310 Wakara Way Renovation
Nate Talley provided background as detailed in the agenda materials. Vice Chair Neeleman made a motion to approve the University of Utah’s remodel of 310 Wakara Way for the Department of Family and Preventative Medicine and refer to DFCM for final approval. Board member Ipson seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
University of Utah Myriad Genetics Facility
Nate Talley provided background as detailed in the agenda materials. Board member Eubank made a motion to: approve the University of Utah’s purchase of the Myriad Genetics buildings 1, 11, and 111 subject to the appraisal and purchase price requirements of Board Policy R703-4; approve the University of Utah’s purchase of Myriad Genetic building V subject to the appraisal and purchase price requirements of Board Policy R703-4; and approve the University of Utah’s lease of the Myriad Genetics building VI under Board Policy R705. Board member Larson seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
Academic Policy Updates
Julie Hartley provided a breakdown of the changes being made to policies as outlined in the agenda. Changes to Board Policy R470 are the result of a legislative audit. The amendments cut the range of credit requirements from 39 to 27-30, clean up areas where general education requirements were not transferring well, and define responsibilities of faculty General Education curricular committees. Also, the amendments move curricular essential learning outcomes into an appendix to facilitate faculty updates.
Board Policy R471 moves language from the old R470 to the new R471. This still needs a lot of conversation and there will be more substantial changes later. These amendments allow for meaningful course-by-course or program-to-program transfer from tech colleges. The amendments also provide guidance on lower-division majors. Finally, the amendments recognize the USHE Transfer Council, created by a Board resolution in 2019, and reflect national changes in acknowledgement of accrediting bodies.
The only change to Board Policy R475 is the use of common course numbers in agreed-upon lower-division majors.
Vice Chair Neeleman motioned to approve Board Policies R470, R471, R475, and the Appendix to Board Policy R470 and further moved to rescind Board Policy R473. Board member Ipson seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
Data Privacy Items
Jeff Johnson presented as outlined in the agenda. The action required is to adopt the proposed Board policies defining a significant data breach and establishing standards for using student data by third-party contractors. Board Member Skonnard motioned to adopt proposed Board Policy R1010, Data Breaches, and proposed Board Policy R1011, Contractor Standards for Use of Personally Identifiable Student Data by Third-Party Contractors. Board member Eubank seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
Board Member Eubank motioned to approve the Consent Calendar. Chair Covington seconded the motion, and the Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
Chair Covington and Interim Commissioner Landward expressed their thoughts and appreciation to the Board members.
Vice Chair Neeleman moved to adjourn. Board member Eubank seconded the motion. The Board members in attendance voted unanimously in favor. The motion passed.
The meeting adjourned at 3:16 p.m.
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