August 26, 2002
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7:35 a.m.
Heywood, Holden, Jeffries, Patterson, Pelleran, Rasmusson
Trustee Canady arrived at 7:50 a.m.
Limited Public Comment Regarding Agenda
I am Lynn Savage and I represent the members of Lansing
Community College's Administrative Association.
We are here to address the Board on a matter concerning members
of our local. We have not
yet received any response to the letter we addressed to you as chair
on July 10, 2002. In that letter we demanded that the chair of the Board and
certain members of the Board (inaudible) follow its own policies and
issue an apology for the wrongs inflicted upon our members. We've not yet received that apology. Secondly, we are in support of the President of the College
who has initiated an independent investigation on the matter at hand.
Please understand that we believe that this should be the end
of the matter. Neither
the College auditors nor the State of Michigan performance audit have
ever found anything noteworthy of exception. We feel that is enough proof that nothing is wrong.
Thank you for your time.
Actually, I have another issue.
Sorry to take up so much time.
This is also a matter of the most urgent attention, needing
your attention, and that is health care.
I urge you as members of the Board to establish parameters
within which we can come to a speedy conclusion with health care
negotiations. As you
know, our contract expires very soon.
We went back to the table this morning and I urge you to
establish parameters within which we can work comfortably, safely and
solve this dilemma. Thank you.
Chairperson Jeffries stated that the Board
received a letter from attorney Henry Nirenberg.
He requested the letter be read into the record.
Chairperson Jeffries asked Norma Mendez to read the letter.
Dear LCC Board of Trustees, I request that this letter be read
into the record at your Monday, August 26th meeting of the
Lansing Community College (LCC) Board of Trustees during public
comment in regards to agenda item IV Chairperson?s Report, A.
Fact-Finding Investigation 2. Board Update - Consideration of
Resolutions A&B. This
letter is written on behalf of my client, Glenn Cerny, an LCC
executive who has been accused of improper actions in the handling of
a certain purchase. This
accusation by its nature is, related to your consideration of a
general Board investigation into LCC purchasing policy.
As context for my comments, I want to establish that Mr. Cerny
has an impeccable reputation and has submitted full documentation
establishing beyond any reasonable doubt that he was involved in no
wrongdoing. See letter
dated June 1, 2002 to Paula Cunningham, also previously submitted to
the LCC Board. Further,
the accusations brought against him were accompanied by no evidence
whatever, that is the accusations were simply hearsay.
Because of these unsubstantiated accusations, Mr. Cerny has
been put through considerable stress and ultimately is having his
career endangered. The accusing LCC Board member, David Patterson, has unfairly
persisted in his crusade against Mr. Cerny, further, Mr. Patterson has
made certain remarks to the Executive Assistant to the President/Board
Liaison pertaining to Mr. Cerny?s character and reputation that were
not only distasteful but are also threatening and retaliatory to the
extent they have impugned the character and reputation of my client.
The action the LCC Board is considering under the agenda item I
am addressing may result in a Board investigation of LCC purchasing
policies, despite the fact there is an independent and neutral
investigation initiative into this matter by the College president,
and a state audit that has been successfully passed.
Nevertheless, because of the accusations of David Patterson,
Mr. Cerny will in all likelihood be drawn into this matter, further
endangering his reputation and adding to the antagonistic work
environment he now endures. It
is my understanding that the general accusations against LCC
Purchasing Department mirror the allegations against Mr. Cerny again
without evidence and totally predicated on hearsay.
It seems impossible for this Board to miss the implications of
going forth with yet another investigation.
In addition to adding to the already substantial legal costs,
you have potentially put forward causes of action by my client as well
as by any of a number of employees.
Lastly, because an individual of this Board, in regard to this
mater, may have raised issues as to LCC Board bylaw 1.7.7 Conflict of
Interest, and the related accusations by Mr. Patterson against Mr.
Cerny, plus a related union grievance, this Board puts itself in the
precarious position of ordering an investigation that is, in effect,
policing itself. I
respectfully request that you consider carefully the long-term
ramifications for my client, who is blameless, other involved LCC
employees, this College, its Board, and the community it serves before
taking action. Very truly
yours, Seyburn, Kahn, Ginn, Bess and Serlin, P.C.
Henry M. Nirenberg
I have something that is not directly related to the agenda.
It is a personnel issue. I
can speak to that now or wait to the end.
Chairperson Jeffries asked Mr. Stearns if it
pertained to any item on the agenda.
Mr. Stearns indicated it did not.
He was asked to wait until public comment at
the end of the meeting.
Chairperson Jeffries pointed out that Mr.
Greg McClelland was present; he is the attorney for Ms. Beard.
Chairperson Jeffries asked if he wished to comment on anything.
I really don't have anything to say.
I think we have made our position clear.
We do appreciate the response of the President to our request
for the investigation.
Trustee Heywood indicated he would like to
make a point of order regarding 1.7.7 on this section of the agenda. He stated he thought there was a conflict of interest, in
terms of ethics. He asked
Trustee Patterson to recuse himself from the dialogue when they
discussed this section of the agenda.
Trustee Patterson stated that he would not
Trustee Heywood then distributed a copy of a
resolution that he offered. (A
copy of this resolution is on file with the official Board materials.)
Trustee Pelleran asked if it was appropriate
to offer a resolution at this time.
She stated the last time she wanted to offer a resolution
Trustee Heywood told her it was not appropriate.
Trustee Heywood stated that he drafted the
resolution the night before the meeting.
He read the resolution for the record:
facts have been established to indicate that Paul Covert and S.O.S.
are vendors of Lansing Community College; and
Whereas, by his own admission, C. David
Patterson has admitted to having received free office design work from
Whereas, by his own
admission, C. David Patterson has admitted to taking the side of Mr.
Covert in an advocacy position;
By-Law 1.7.7 (B) clearly states:
?Except in certain circumstances where the Board is selecting
a consultant for its own purposes, Board members shall not normally
communicate with vendors regarding the provision of products and
services to the College, and shall refer any inquiries to the
President. Board members
shall avoid involvement in vendor-College relationship; any advocacy
of individual vendors shall be regarded as a substantial conflict of
Be it therefore
resolved, as provided under 1.7.7, the Board imposes the point of
order forcing C. David Patterson to (b) absent himself from discussion
regarding any issue which involves his role as a Board member and his
outside activity and (c) refrain from voting on any such issue, namely
in this case, the independent investigation into allegations of
wrong-doing in the College's purchasing department.?
Trustee Heywood indicated that (b) & (c)
both came from policy 1.7.7.
Chairperson Jeffries asked if there were any
discussions or questions.
Trustee Patterson stated he wanted to
respond and say that there had been a very organized effort to
discredit him. He stated
his relationship with Mr. Covert is one of absolutely nothing.
He has never accepted anything that wouldn?t be offered to
anyone in the room. He
has never paid him a dollar. He
stated that he has acted with total integrity to bring issues forth to
people in the College. He
stated because of these reasons he would not excuse himself.
He stated that he is doing the job of those who have elected
him. He further mentioned that he thought Trustee Heywood had been
put up to this.
Trustee Rasmusson asked if there was a
second on the motion.
Chairperson Jeffries asked Trustee Heywood
if it was a motion.
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Heywood and
supported by Trustee Holden to accept the resolution presented by
Trustee Heywood as written and read above.
Trustee Rasmusson said that he had concerns
regarding the Board's authority to interfere with discharging the
duties of an elected official. He
stated that he felt Mr. Cerny is a very high quality person, and he is
very impressed with him. He
is also very impressed with Purchasing and the people there, and has
no complaints. He wants
to make sure the Board is doing the right thing.
Chairperson Jeffries pointed out that in
December the Board reviewed and adopted a set of bylaws that
specifically regulate Board member conduct in almost every facet of
what it is they do. One of the provisions that the Board worked on was the
conflict of interest provision. They
did that so they could police themselves in situations that may arise
from time to time. He
stated this specific bylaw is very clear in terms of what a conflict
of interest is, and if one is being found, then it also is very clear
on what has to happen. He
further stated that the College attorneys were present at the meeting
and furthermore he thought the bylaw speaks for itself.
Thomas Hustoles of Miller, Canfield said
from his experience the statute gives the Board the power to regulate
itself. Conflicts of
interest come before public boards from time to time in the course of
doing business. If the
Board didn?t have the authority to adopt bylaws and regulate
conflicts of interest based upon the fact that officials were elected,
than who could? He
further stated that he was familiar with numerous instances over the
past twenty-five years where elected boards, including the elected
Board at the University of Michigan, and the elected Board of Wayne
State University, where Board members either recused themselves or
there were motions before the Board regarding conflicts of interest
having a particular Board member recused themselves because of a
perceived or alleged conflict of interest.
It was his opinion that there were no legal questions in terms
of interfering with the Board's elected ability.
Trustee Pelleran stated that if Trustee
Rasmusson?s concern was strictly regarding conflict of interest then
there was another issue and that is that the Chairperson of the Board
has a conflict of interest with the entire scenario, which is
politically motivated. She further stated if the Board were going to ask Trustee
Patterson to recuse himself from the conversation, she would like to
ask the chairman to recuse himself and to stop the politics that are
interfering with Board action at Lansing Community College.
She stated she agreed with Trustee Patterson that much of what
is going on is contrived, and that she was tired of the smear campaign
that is going on against her colleague.
She said she would stand behind his right to speak and to serve
on behalf of the constituents who have elected him to do so.
She stated that is why she has never asked Chairperson Jeffries
to step down as chairman, because he?s involved in a campaign that
is a perceived conflict of interest, and from her perspective, it has
been a conflict and has been motivated to do other activities that
interfere with the Board and the College's work.
Chairperson Jeffries said he had absolutely
no idea what Trustee Pelleran what was talking about.
Trustee Pelleran stated she thought he did
know what she was talking about.
Chairperson Jeffries stated that no, he did
not. He asked her to
point out the conflict that she was referring to.
The Board has a conflict with an allegation that there has been
some work with a vendor by Trustee Patterson.
In terms of initial interviews that have occurred with regards
to the Glenn Cerny matter in particular, there was a particular
discussion with a vendor, and the vendor actually indicated that there
has been ongoing work between Trustee Patterson and that vendor.
He stated the bylaw is very clear, if there is that type of
interaction, there isn?t supposed to be.
The other thing that Chairperson Jeffries wanted to point out
is that in the exit interviews that were done, particularly with
Hewlett Packard, there were some discussions with one of the vendors
that did not receive that bid. He
read information that the Board received. He stated that he did not want to identify by name the
individual from IBM; the person indicated that Trustee Patterson
contacted him on numerous occasions around the 13th to
establish whether the purchasing process was fair to IBM.
This individual made it very clear to Trustee Patterson that
Mr. Cerny?s office had acted professionally and conducted the
process in a fair and open manner.
During conversations it became evident to Mr. Cerny that
Trustee Patterson, through persistent questioning, was trying to
persuade this person to question the process and protest the bid.
Trustee Pelleran stated that she found it
curious that Chairperson Jeffries would have no trouble using someone
else?s name, read off statements that are also alleged, and yet,
protect the person?s name who has alleged to have made a mistake
Chairperson Jeffries stated that the
documents have already been made public; they are part of all of the
investigative material the Board has received
Trustee Pelleran stated that one of the
things that Beckie Beard?s attorney had asked for was an
informational review. That
is one of the things that the Board has discussed and she finds it
curious that each time the Board is asked to do something in closed
session, it is under attorney/client privileged advice.
So, the Board can't talk about it.
But, in the letter from Henry Nirenberg, attorney for Mr. Cerny,
he has information that was handled in closed session under
She stated that one of the trustees must have shared the
information, and it wasn't her.
Trustee Holden asked Trustee Pelleran which
part of the letter she was referring to.
Trustee Pelleran said it deals with the
President entering into an investigation.
That was discussed in private session.
Trustee Holden stated that the information
has been part of the Board packet since Friday.
The Board packet is made public at that point.
Trustee Pelleran said she didn?t receive
her packet until Friday after 7:00 p.m.
Trustee Canady stated that in looking at the
bylaws, the provision in the last sentence that says advocacy of
individual vendors shall be regarded as conflict of interest.
He doesn?t feel Trustee Patterson has been advocating for any
specific vendor or potential vendor.
He felt Mr. Patterson should participate in the discussion, and
the mere fact that he brought the complaints to the Board's
attention should in no way disqualify him from participating in the
Trustee Pelleran agreed that when the Board
receives complaints it is imperative to bring those complaints forward
and follow through with the President's Office and Board Chair.
Trustee Patterson asked for clarification as
to whether the motion was dealing with only the Paul Covert issue or
did it also include the Glenn Cerny issue.
Chairperson Jeffries stated that what was
being discussed was the investigation process and purchasing policies.
Trustee Patterson stated for the record that
his involvement with a designer at SOS was about a ten minute
conversation before her computer screen to look at the size of a room
that he has in a home to design some furniture for that room.
He didn?t call Mr. Covert, didn?t talk to Mr. Covert.
The designer would do the same thing for anyone.
He didn?t speak to Mr. Covert until he was ready to leave and
Mr. Covert asked Trustee Patterson to go to lunch.
They used to be in a CEO group and hadn?t seen each other for
three years. Trustee
Patterson feels this has been trumped up into something that
absolutely is nothing. He
reported Mr. Covert?s complaint immediately upon leaving Mr.
Covert?s office. He
called the Board Liaison, Rich Howard, the person he feels he should
have reported it to. At that point he requested, very innocently, to have the
complaint reported to Beckie Beard.
He stated he was denied that.
Rich Howard told him that Mr. Howard had gone to the President
and she said that he couldn?t do that; it should be reported to Vice
President Barbara Larson. Ms.
Larson was on vacation or away. He
stated the long and short of it is that he partook as a private
citizen and never purchased anything from Mr. Covert or SOS.
Trustee Pelleran wanted to point out,
referring back to the letter from Henry Nirenberg; the letter was
dated August 23rd, which was Friday.
She stated that she felt there was attorney/client privileged
information that was divulged to Mr. Cerny and his attorney in order
to prepare this letter.
Trustee Holden responded to what Trustee
Patterson called an attack. She
felt from the very beginning of the Covert issue, which she feels has
expanded to a chaotic, out of control situation, she maintains the
position that the normal procedures would have been to report it to
the President and then back out.
The Board has seventy pages of materials, all of which they
have received in the past, and as part of the current Board packet
that indicate on-going advocacy, on-going concern.
She believes there have been on-going discussions, dialogues,
and concerns on Trustee Patterson?s part.
Trustee Heywood stated to Trustee Patterson
that the resolution is about ethics and it is about trying to calm the
situation down. He
felt that there is an ethical violation.
Trustee Patterson stated all he has ever
wanted was good, factual, timely, information so that he can make good
solid decisions. He feels
if given good information and he can make what he thinks are good
decisions. He feels that
over the past year and a half there has been a roadblock on getting
information that he wants, needs and requests.
He further stated that he has numerous e-mails and faxes to the
Chair?s office and home that the Chair has never responded to.
He also said the first question asked of Mr. Covert when he met
with the College was a question from Mr. Howard regarding the fact
that he was doing work for Trustee Patterson.
The first letter that Paul Covert wrote to the Board sat in the
President's office for almost two weeks before it was distributed.
Mr. Covert called Trustee Patterson and asked him if he had
received the letter. Trustee
Patterson called and asked the Board Secretary if there was a letter
and she said yes. He finally got the letter.
Trustee Patterson stated that he does not feel the Board gets
Trustee Patterson presented a resolution
that the Board meeting information is sent out at least three college
business days to give the Board time to respond to information given. He stated that he did not get his information
until Friday night at 5:30 p.m. via fax.
The College is closed on Friday at 5:30 p.m.
They are closed on Saturday.
They are closed on Sunday.
He felt that it put the trustees in a position to not be able
to present questions or obtain information since the meeting was held
on Monday at 7:30 a.m.
Trustee Canady stated that in looking at the
bylaws, and looking at the last sentence it states, ?advocacy of
individual vendors can be regarded as a substantial conflict of
interest.? He further stated that Trustee Patterson has never said that
Mr. Covert should get a contract.
He said Mr. Covert has complaints about the process.
If the Board were to invoke this provision now they would be
telling trustees to put on blinders and wear earplugs and not to speak
with the public. That is
not the charge on this Board, and it's
perplexing to him how we can advocate a position where someone
raised a legitimate complaint, or at least what that person believes
to be a legitimate complaint, to the attention of the Board and then
the Board says it's unethical. He stated that for him it is about the process and he would
not be supporting the motion.
Trustee Heywood stated if what Trustee
Canady was stating was true then he would agree.
But, what was sent to the Lansing State Journal contains
letters and information that makes it clear that there is a
significant on-going relationship between Mr. Paul Covert and Trustee
Patterson. There is plenty of information in here that indicates that
even after things were handed off to the President's office and
Barbara Larson, Trustee Patterson continued to deal with it and
continued to get in the middle of it.
Chairperson Jeffries responded to a couple
of points that Trustee Patterson raised, in particular information
going out to Board members and the timeliness and completeness of that
information. He stated
that since he has been chair of the Board and ever since President
Cunningham has been president of LCC, it is the Board's practice to
bring action items forward for consideration at least one Board
meeting before the next in which action will be taken.
The purpose for doing that is to make sure that there is
sufficient information and enough time to ask questions and get all
the information that one needs in order to make an informed decision.
He further stated that for Trustee Patterson to say that he is
not being heard and that information is being withheld, is simply not
true. The current Board
packet contains a lot of information; most of it is attachments that
the Board has already seen, and clearly all of it within ample time
for Board members to raise any questions.
He stated again that he wanted to be clear on this point;
information is given out way in advance.
Trustee Pelleran stated that she has also
had a question on that issue. She
also had concerns regarding a resolution that she wanted to bring
forth and was told it was inappropriate, yet another Board member is
bringing forth a resolution and not being told it's inappropriate.
She stated that the Board wants information in a timely manner.
She further stated that she didn?t want to see one of her
colleagues smeared for no apparent reason, except just to make him
Chairperson Jeffries stated that he was
unsure about what Trustee Pelleran was talking about but wanted to
address her issue that she brought up about her purchasing policy
resolution. He stated that the issue was discussed at the Board dinner,
which is an open meeting, and the Board, at that time, decided that
the policy bylaws committee would meet throughout the summer and would
bring the issue back in the fall, and it is on the current agenda for
Trustee Pelleran stated that she disagreed
with Chairperson Jeffries regarding the discussion at the Board
dinner. She recalled that
when she said she wanted to offer a resolution to deal with the
purchasing issues, and at that point Chairperson Jeffries told her
that there was a Board policy committee and her issue would be
referred to the committee. She didn?t feel there was much
Chairperson Jeffries stated that Trustee
Pelleran was not shy, and he was sure that if he had done what Trustee
Pelleran accused him of she would have spoken out against it.
Trustee Heywood wanted to clarify to Trustee
Pelleran that at the time that she was preparing to present that
resolution in the last meeting and he mentioned that it might be a
violation of the open meetings act, he was under the understanding
that there had been several trustees that had been involved, in a
round robin process, of putting that together.
Trustee Pelleran stated that it was not
part of a round robin process. She
had prepared the resolution herself. (Added to the minutes per
Trustee Pelleran?s request at October 21, 2002 Board of Trustees
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Heywood, Holden, Jeffries
Nays: Canady, Patterson, Pelleran, Rasmusson
Motion failed due to lack of support.
President Cunningham wanted to submit a
response for the record, and respond to two statements that were made. The first was that although Beckie Beard has not received a
written response, President Cunningham met with Ms. Beard and her
representative to let them know the status of their request.
That meeting was on behalf of the Board Chairperson.
So even though the College hasn?t submitted a written
response that was our response to the letter.
The second issue is a factual issue:
the first communication that the College received from Mr.
Covert was dated June 3rd.
The College responded on June 10th.
That can be proven as a factual issue.
President Cunningham went on to discuss
LCC's Purchasing Department. They
have averaged more than $20 million annually in the purchasing of
goods and services for college operations.
She reviewed how events have gotten to this point, and what her
office has done as far as reviewing the College's purchasing
policies, practices and procedures.
The average number of purchase orders issued over the last
three fiscal years is 5,570 per year. There are five full time employees who perform this work and
one part-time support staff. The
purchasing department adheres to procedures that are developed and
codified since January of 1998 when Rebecca Beard began with the
College as director of Purchasing.
Prior to that time, some procedures had not been committed to
writing, and all of the procedures are now listed in the vendor guide
on our College's website. Throughout
its 45-year history, a committed, dedicated staff has managed
purchasing. However, it
was not until Ms. Beard was hired in 1998 that purchasing at LCC
obtained the level of professionalism that exists today.
Ms. Beard brought eleven years of procurement and contract
administration experience from the United States Air Force as well as
an additional four years as a manager in private industry.
She has a Masters in Business Administration and she holds many
certifications in her profession.
Anyone who would like to appeal or get more information on
LCC's purchasing policy is encouraged to do so from the website, and
also in the College's vendor guides.
In reviewing purchasing records for the last seven years, which
the President asked to have done, staff could find only three written
complaints from suppliers regarding purchasing practices.
In one of those cases, an incumbent supplier lost a bid to
continue to provide service to the College.
The service had never been previously bid out.
The State of Michigan performance audit conducted at the
College eleven years ago, in 1991, had two findings related to
purchasing practices. However,
the State of Michigan performance audit conducted in 2001 did not have
any comments, findings, or recommendations related to college
purchasing. In addition,
to the periodic state performance audit, the College financial audit
by Maner, Costerisan & Ellis are conducted every year, and they
review purchasing in the content of a larger financial audit.
Auditors use a checklist to sample purchases from beginning to
end. They review
requisitions, purchasing, receiving, and invoicing to verify that
internal controls are in place and that the College's purchasing
policies were followed. This audit will be conducted again this September.
As part of the commitment to continuous quality improvement in
October 2001, the purchasing department requested to be included in
the ISO 9000 certification. Pursuing
ISO 9000 certification is complimentary to the LCC's AQIP or
Academic Quality Improvement Process.
This replicates the Malcolm Baldridge model of quality
improvement. For those
who may not be familiar with ISO 9000, it is a standard of best
practices which describes best practices and functions as benchmarks
against which organizations can measure their systems and practices.
As such, it facilitates an external review to assess whether
accepted best practice has been followed in a particular instance.
Some of the requirements for the ISO 9000 include external
audits by ISO 9000 examiners, detail work instruction, key to
procedures where appropriate, regular internal audits to discover
non-compliance and pursue continuous improvement, and the list goes
on. In addition to the
College audit we're looking now at ISO and also the performance
audit in less than a year. The
purchasing staff participates in the activities and events each year
that promotes LCC's supplier diversity program.
Some of the activities they have participated in the last year
have been the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the LCC office of equal
opportunity luncheon for suppliers, State of Michigan suppliers fairs,
Lansing School District?s Supplier Diversity Fair, Michigan Minority
Business Development Executive Roundtable, the chair of the Lansing
Area Public Purchasing Group, member of the Lansing Regional Chamber
of Commerce diversity task force, Small Business Development Center,
State of Michigan and the list goes on.
For this work Ms. Beard was the 2001 recipient of the United
States Small Business Administration advocate of the year for the
State of Michigan. In
addition, I am proud to say that Lansing Community College's
purchasing department has also recently been nominated for the
Michigan Minority Business Development Council?s Corporation of the
Year Education Sector Award. On
June 3rd we received a written communication from a vendor
indicating his concerns with not being awarded a bid for furniture.
The vendor?s letter of complaint came fifty-four days after
he received notification by the College that the bid was not
successful. I have
distributed for your review timelines of subsequent communication
following the June 3rd complaint for those who might argue
that this office has not done anything.
Executive Office, the Purchasing Department, Information
Services, and our finance office have been thorough, diligent, and
attentive to all of the issues surrounding purchasing.
The College respects, listens and responds to all of our
suppliers, vendors, and customers with the ultimate purpose of
providing financially sound, equitable, and responsible services and
products that we have for the taxpayers. At the request of Ms. Beckie Beard, concerns by some Board
members, and others, a thorough review will be conducted of all
allegations brought forward to date, as well as the review of past and
present practices of the purchasing department.
This report will review, assess, and detail the actual
practices of the College's purchasing department, determine whether
the practices support the College policies and bylaws, and whether or
not conform to standards generally applicable to community colleges,
nonprofits, municipalities and other public agencies.
These reports will also determine if the College has complied
with all the laws and ordinances imposed on the State of Michigan.
In addition, the report will provide any recommendations in
response to any perceived deficiencies or procedures relative to the
College's purchasing department or otherwise.
The report will be made public.
To this end Mr. Fred Todd, of 21st Century Public
Consultants, will be hired to conduct the review of the allegations,
charges and perceptions that have recently surfaced.
Mr. Todd received his Doctorate, his Juris Doctorate from
Cooley Law School, his Masters of Public Administration from the
University of Michigan, his other Masters in Business Administration
from Indiana Northern University and his Bachelors in Accounting from
the Detroit College of Business and a Diploma in Accountancy and
Financial Administration from Walsh College.
He graduated from all of these institutions with honors.
He has served as Controller and Chief Administrative Officer
for Saginaw County, Chief Financial Officer for Wayne County,
Controller for Ingham County, Finance Director for the City of Novi,
and Auditor for several other organizations.
Mr. Todd was in the audience and President Cunningham thanked
him for being there. She
stated that he would be contacting Board members and others to follow
up on this investigation. In
addition, the services of Mr. Steve Harvey, of BDO Seidman, will be
used. BDO Seidman is a
national professional services firm providing audit, tax, financial
advising and consulting services to a wide range of local, state,
national and international businesses and nonprofit organizations.
BDO Seidman has been in business for more than ninety years.
They have more than thirty-five offices and one hundred and
seventy five alliance firms? locations nationwide.
Mr. Harvey is a Certified Public Accountant.
He has a Bachelor?s Degree in Accounting from Ferris State
University, and has more than twenty years of public accounting
experience. He sits on a
State Department of Education subcommittee charged with improving the
quality of simple audits. Mr.
Harvey is National Coordinator of BDO?s Governmental practice and
chairs the Government Specialty Group of West Michigan.
He works with cities, nonprofit school districts, and
foundations. Mr. Harvey
was not able to be present. President
Cunningham has requested that both of these organizations report
directly to Miller, Canfield in order to avoid any appearance of bias
or tampering with the investigation and/or the audit.
However, their final reports will be made by each independent
organization, not by Miller, Canfield, to the entire Board and to the
public. It is anticipated
that both reviews will be completed by the end of September.
Chairperson Jeffries asked what the cost
President Cunningham responded that the cost
is estimated to be $10 to $15 thousand.
Board Update - Considerations of
Resolutions A& B and Review of Investigation Protocol
Chairperson Jeffries stated that both of the
items on this part of the agenda are items that have been discussed in
two prior Board meetings. He
believes that Resolution A was drafted and distributed to the Board at
the end of July, and Resolution B was drafted and distributed to the
Board in the beginning of August.
These resolutions were prepared by Trustee Rasmusson and had
input from Trustee Canady as well.
Trustee Holden stated that the first time
she saw Resolution B was in the current Board packet.
Trustees Pelleran and Heywood also said it was the first time
they saw it as well.
Chairperson Jeffries stated that they had
been distributed. He
asked Norma Mendez to make and distribute copies of the e-mails where
the resolutions were distributed.
Trustee Patterson wanted to know if he could
see a copy of the draft proposal for the new purchasing policy.
Chairperson Jeffries indicated that the
Board would not be looking at the draft proposal of the new purchasing
policy. There was
discussion and Chairperson Jeffries indicated that the item on the
agenda dealing with Purchasing Policy Update was on the existing
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Rasmusson and
supported by Trustee Canady that the Board adopt Resolution B as
submitted in the Board packet.
Trustee Canady stated that his support for
Resolution B is due to his reviewing the matter and finding that the
Board has never performed an operational review of policies or
procedures. He thinks the President does a fine job and he looks forward
to the investigation. However,
he feels that at the very least a broad operational review is
warranted by the Board and feels that it is the Board's fiduciary
duty to the public. He
was in support of Resolution B and wanted to add a friendly amendment
that would remove the first ?whereas? paragraph so that the
resolution would read as follows:
Whereas, the College has an on-going program
of continuous quality improvement; It is resolved that the Chair is
authorized to contract on behalf of the College with Kenneth McIntyre,
former assistant U.S. Attorney and an experienced attorney with
investigative background, and Jan Lazar, a C.P.A., to perform an
operational review of Lansing Community College's policies,
procedures, and practices regarding all purchasing at Lansing
Community College. Sixty
hours of services are authorized.
CPA Lazar shall serve at the direction of Mr. McIntyre.
The Chair shall follow the existing College purchasing
personnel are expected to assist in this inquiry and shall cooperate
with this operational review.
Trustee Pelleran supported Trustee
Canady?s friendly amendment.
Trustee Rasmusson said that he had no
objection to the friendly amendment.
Trustee Holden wanted clarification on the
two independent reviewers that President Cunningham is bringing in to
conduct the review. She
wanted to know whom they would be reporting to.
President Cunningham asked Mr. Cliff Flood,
of Miller, Canfield, to explain.
Mr. Flood stated that it was their
understanding that the Board wants an independent review, and let the
consultant?s perform their own investigation.
The arrangement that they have, based on discussions is that
each of the consultants will prepare an independent report signed by
them. The report will
come to Miller, Canfield for the purpose of attorney/client privilege
and will be drafted to the President's office without any input from
the College's legal council on the reports.
Trustee Holden said that she would not
support the resolution. She
thinks that it is the Board's responsibility to hold the President
accountable for conducting and proceeding on this matter.
She said that this process is consistent with past practice of
handing this off to the President and letting her conduct the
investigation. She felt the credentials clearly show that President
Cunningham has chosen two individuals and two companies that will
approach this from the directions that concern the Board.
Trustee Holden stated that she has a larger concern, and that
is unsubstantiated allegations coming before the Board or members of
the Board, and then the Board members supporting the allegations that
are unfounded. She is
very concerned when people?s reputations are involved, Vice
President Cerny and Purchasing Director Beckie Beard, and beyond.
She thinks that the Board will find that retaining and
recruiting employees in this kind of environment will be difficult.
Trustee Pelleran said she would be
supporting the resolution in part on Beckie Beard, who has asked
through her attorney that the Board do an informational review.
She believes that it is in the best interest of the employees
at Lansing Community College to know that they have support through an
informational and operational review that is absolutely an independent
Board operational review.
There was discussion as to whether Beckie
Beard, through her attorney, asked for a separate review on behalf of
the Board or if the request was that the College perform an
independent review of purchasing policies and procedures.
President Cunningham read a statement from
Mr. McClelland on behalf of Ms. Beard, and it states, ?therefore we
are requesting that an independent firm be engaged by LCC to review
the purchasing policies and practices of the LCC purchasing department
during the relevant time period.?
The letter was addressed to President Cunningham and
Trustee Pelleran continued to question the
intent and then Chairperson Jeffries asked Mr. McClelland if he would
Mr. McClelland indicated to the Board that
he wasn't splitting hairs that fine.
He basically wanted an investigation to clear his client?s
name and to make himself, as a member of this community, comfortable
with the eight allegations.
Chairperson Jeffries thanked Mr. McClelland
for his clarification.
Trustee Patterson said that he would support
Resolution B with the friendly amendment.
He also wanted to say that he supports the President's
actions to do her office?s investigation.
Trustee Patterson also wanted to address how
the Board and College got to its current state.
He felt that it was based on some very minor things being
mismanaged to the point that they are now in.
Trustee Patterson stated that he went to Rich Howard on
numerous occasions and said that he didn?t think that they were
moving in the right direction, and he thought it could be handled a
lot differently. He
thought that someone should meet with the Mr. Covert and talk with
him. Every letter that
was written was another stick in the eye for Mr. Covert.
All Mr. Covert wanted was the ability to do business with the
Patterson stated that he never advocated that Mr. Covert deserved it.
He advocated that Mr. Covert is a stakeholder, and lives in
this community, he pays taxes in this community.
When somebody brings an allegation to them, he thinks it is his
duty to pass it on, and that is exactly what he did.
The second issue he wanted to state to the public was that he
has absolutely nothing against Ms. Beard.
Trustee Patterson said as to the issues of
Mr. Cerny that he has absolutely nothing against him personally, and
felt the allegations have been blown up into a situation where it
looks like he (Trustee Patterson) is on some kind of witch-hunt for
Mr. Cerny. He said that
he brought the allegations that he had heard, on two different
occasions, to the Chair and nobody else. He stated it was Chairperson Jeffries? decision to bring
the allegations and issues forth in a meeting that Rich Howard,
President Cunningham, Chairperson Jeffries, Trustee Patterson, and
Glenn Cerny were participating in.
He stated that he took a lot of abuse in that meeting, but he
did what he felt was his duty to bring that forth and have it handled
in a professional manner. Trustee
Patterson said that he asked Mr. Cerny if he had heard a rumor going
around campus and Mr. Cerny stated that he had heard it.
Trustee Holden stated to Trustee Patterson
that she thought he should be real careful about some of the verbiage
he used with regards to Mr. Covert feeling the information he received
from the College in response to his inquiries were like a stick in his
eye. She stated that she
had read all dialogue and communication between Mr. Covert and Barbara
Larson?s office and invited the public to do so.
She stated that she could only imagine the amount of staff time
spent on pulling the supporting documentation together, and she felt
it was done in a respectful and fashionable manner.
Trustee Patterson wanted to give Trustee
Holden an example of what he was referring to. He
stated that Mr. Covert contacted the LCC Purchasing Department in May.
He was told that they could not meet with him until July.
LaVene and Company is the College's major supplier of office
equipment, and at that point the College did not have a purchase
agreement with LaVene, which is in Kalamazoo.
However, the College was too busy to meet with Mr. Covert in
June. Trustee Patterson
stated that Mr. Covert is a taxpayer in the district and doesn?t
live in Kalamazoo, he is a stakeholder in the City and he took the
College not meeting with him poorly.
Trustee Heywood stated that Trustee
Patterson had just proven his point on the ethics issue.
He said that Trustee Patterson clearly believes that Mr. Covert
has been abused somehow. He
also wanted to clarify for the record, that Mr. Covert has done
business with the College in the last year.
He feels Mr. Covert is attempting to try and manipulate so that
he can take over an entire order for all furniture.
Trustee Heywood also asked Trustee Patterson
if he had a conversation with Rich Howard on Monday, August 12th
regarding the City Pulse Freedom of Information Act request as
well as issues dealing with Mr. Cerny.
Trustee Patterson answered that he did.
He said that Mr. Howard brought Mr. Cerny into the conversation
and Trustee Patterson said that if it came up he would take action
because at that point he was a little hot under the collar.
Trustee Patterson said he said something to the effect that he
would bring him in or cut him to bits or something like that.
Trustee Heywood asked if Trustee Patterson
said he would - Tear him apart??
Trustee Patterson said that he probably said
Trustee Canady stated that he thought the
Board was getting away from the issue at hand.
Trustee Heywood disagreed and stated he
thought the Board was dealing with a situation where Ms. Beard and her
attorney made it clear that they're accepting the President and her
Heywood stated that he was pleased with the basis of the President's
investigation, and would not be supporting the motion.
Trustee Pelleran stated for the record that
she believes it's inappropriate for the Board to accuse anyone or to
allege someone who has communications with this college has some overt
desire to ?manipulate to take over the entire order?.
She stated that Trustee Heywood, of course, is entitled to his
remarks, but she wanted to make the remark in support of any
constituent who wishes to come to Lansing Community College to do
business that the College will treat them with respect and courtesy
and not act in a defensive manner, and not suggest that they are
trying to manipulate and take over the orders.
President Cunningham stated for the record,
that currently there is a performance audit that's done for
purchasing in September/October, and that is an annual audit.
There is the ISO 9000 certification process that is going to be
happening in September, which the College just asked to have done
about a year ago, and also the two investigations by Fred Todd and Mr.
Steve Harvey, as well as the State audit.
Trustee Heywood asked if President
Cunningham was talking about five audit-type situations would be
President Cunningham answered that was
Chairperson Jeffries said he wanted to
address some of the issues that have been raised.
Regarding the concerns that Trustee Patterson raised regarding
the Mr. Cerny matter and the allegations that Trustee Patterson made
regarding Mr. Cerny, and to clarify what happened and what went on
there. He stated that
Trustee Patterson raised very serious allegations about misconduct to
him (Chairperson Jeffries) and indicated to him that he was getting
set up and he should check it out.
Chairperson Jeffries said he indicated to Trustee Patterson how
serious those allegations were and that he would follow through on
asking that question. He
said that Trustee Patterson indicated that he received some abuse in a
meeting, a meeting where Chairperson Jeffries was in attendance.
Chairperson Jeffries stated that Trustee Patterson did not
receive abuse during the time he was present at the meeting.
The meeting was a routine leadership meeting where the Board
agenda is discussed.
Chairperson Jeffries also wanted to state in
regards to the S.O.S. matter that he feels Mr. Covert was treated with
respect and courtesy. He
further stated that he could not think of anytime that a constituent,
vendor or anyone in the LCC district has been treated with disrespect
by this institution or the members that work here.
With regards to the resolution, Chairperson
Jeffries said that the Board has adopted policies and bylaws that
clearly state that under these situations the Board would defer these
matters to the President for a review or recommendation.
He said he would not be supporting the resolution and he had
some question in terms of the breadth of the operational review and
what it will encompass.
Trustee Canady responded that it is sixty
hours for each of the individuals for a total of 120 hours.
It's an operational review, a broad operational review; there
are no limits on the operational review.
If the consultants need more than sixty hours, they can come
back to the Board at that time. Trustee
Canady was not sure of Mr. McIntyre?s hourly rate.
Ms. Lazar?s hourly rate is $150 per hour
Chairperson Jeffries wanted to know how the
operational review would address the allegations or issues raised
within Trustee Rasmusson?s letter.
Trustee Canady stated that they are not
specifically addressed by this resolution.
This is a broad review. If
something should happen to crop up during the operational review then
the Board would be advised of it.
They are not being specifically charged to review any
Chairperson Jeffries was still concerned
that in terms of the request from Beckie Beard and her attorney for
exoneration, the Board's operational review will not exonerate the
Trustee Canady said he thought it would, and
that request is what triggered what is happening now.
It brought to light that perhaps the Board needs an operational
review so the Board can get a handle on what's going on, whatever it
Chairperson Jeffries raised an additional
concern that if the Board has one grievance that has been filed, and
the Board now has two others from opposing counsel raising serious
issues and yet they (the Board) are moving forward with their own
investigation, he wanted to know if the results of the Board's
operational review would then be attorney/client privileged
information. He asked
that a friendly amendment be added to the Resolution that states that,
as with the President's investigation, the Board's operational
review be made public.
Trustee Canady agreed to the friendly
amendment and said it should read as follows as a last sentence to the
All findings of the operational review shall
be made public record.
Trustee Holden asked if there was a
purchasing policy that states this operational review needs to be bid
Chairperson Jeffries responded that in order
to comply with purchasing policies there must be a sole source
document filled out and submitted.
Trustee Canady stated that Ms. Lazar had
been a faculty member at LCC, and she currently is teaching one course
in finance. Ms. Lazar?s
husband also filed a grievance regarding an anti-Semitic reference in
a book and the issue was resolved.
He wanted to disclose that information.
He said that he doesn?t think it is a problem. Ms. Lazar is
an independent thinker and is very good at her job.
Trustee Patterson wanted to state for the
record that the meeting that he referenced, was a meeting called by
the Chair. His
recollection of the conversation, when reporting the rumor to
Chairperson Jeffries, that he made absolutely no inference to
Chairperson Jeffries being set up. He stated that Chairperson Jeffries brought up the fact that
he thought he might be being set up.
The Chair brought it up at the same meeting and in the middle
of the meeting, approximately 9:15; Chairperson Jeffries grabbed his
briefcase and said, ?I see where this meeting is going?, and then
left in the middle of the meeting.
Trustee Patterson further stated that Chairperson Jeffries had
said that he wanted to stay and finish the meeting.
Trustee Patterson said he could?ve stayed, and could have
heard the whole thing, but he got up and left.
Chairperson Jeffries disputed what Trustee
Patterson said. He said he recalled exactly what it was Trustee
Patterson said to him and the meeting that was called that day had
been scheduled days before this issue had come up.
Trustee Pelleran wanted everyone to
understand that what the Board was discussing regarding the request by
Mr. Cerny does not deal with S.O.S.
It deals with another issue of purchasing at the College.
Earlier she referenced a bylaw that said any purchase over
$100,000 has to have the authorization of the Board of Trustees.
The particular issue that is being discussed in relation to Mr.
Cerny?s question here, by his attorney, Mr. Nirenberg, is the fact
that a declaration of an emergency was ordered, or requested by the
administration and the Board Chair authorized the purchase of $1.2
million single handedly without Board approval.
She stated that many of the members of the Board believe that
all purchases above $100,000 should get Board approval, whether that
is by a telephone poll of the Board or by a special meeting.
The request was over three months ago and they have been
struggling over a purchasing policy loophole that they would like
resolved at this point. That
is what is driving some of the discussion.
Chairperson Jeffries responded to clarify
the facts. The emergency
purchase was made under the College's purchasing policy, which the
Board approved in March. He
stated that Trustee Pelleran voted and approved that policy.
Trustee Pelleran responded that she approved
the policy with reservation.
Chairperson Jeffries responded that she did
not raise any issues at the time of the meeting.
He stated that the attorneys have reviewed the emergency
provision and in their legal opinion the purchase for the software was
valid and appropriate. Chairperson
Jeffries stated that there was no opportunity to call a special
meeting. Had the
emergency purchase not been approved, the implementation of the
application would have been delayed for three to six months.
It would have cost the College approximately $500,000 in
additional costs. This
issue had been reviewed and approved on two prior occasions by the
Board through the budget process the previous year, and then at a
special meeting in February. He
said that Trustee Pelleran was absent at the special meeting in
Jeffries continued that the only thing that was approved by signing
the emergency purchase was selecting the vendor.
The Board was aware of what the software was and approved the
appropriation for the purchase. Under the purchasing policy it provides for that and it also
provides for notification of the Board, which was done.
Since that time, the Board could have rescinded the decision;
however, they?ve not done that.
Now it comes up as an issue.
Trustee Pelleran stated that the Board had
not had an open meeting since then.
Chairperson Jeffries stated that the Board
had an open meeting in June.
Trustee Pelleran reiterated the bylaw,
?Unless otherwise subject to a specific college policy or
specifically approved by the Board, purchase, lease or otherwise
acquired purchase of personal property for the College on college
premises provided that all transactions of $100,000 or more shall
first be approved by the Board.?
Chairperson Jeffries stated that was
correct. There is a
college policy that exists.
Trustee Pelleran stated that she does not
approve of that college policy, and would like to have the loophole
closed. She thinks it is
in the best interest of the public that the Board does so.
Chairperson Jeffries asked Trustee Pelleran
not to say that policies and procedures were not followed when they
Trustee Pelleran said that she has not said
that policies and procedures were not followed.
She said that she disagreed with the decision made and wanted
to close the loophole.
Trustee Canady stated that the Board did
indeed vote on the Purchasing policy and he voted for it, and respects
the emergency provision. However,
he felt that the Board was wrong.
He said that the Board needs a definition of an emergency and
that is one of the reasons driving his desire for the operational
review. The Board needs
to know where the problems are. Trustee
Canady agreed that the college procedures were followed; however,
feels the purchasing policy is a poor one.
Trustee Pelleran agreed with Trustee Canady.
She said that the procedures were followed; however, it is a
poor policy and feels it should be changed.
Trustee Heywood raised questions regarding
the resolution and the friendly amendment, as well as the
President's investigation. He
said that there are other issues that the Board is not discussing,
including the allegations that there has been a hostile work
environment created, allegations against Ms. Beard by Board members.
He doesn?t see under this resolution that these issues are
being addressed, and is concerned about that.
Trustee Canady responded that the resolution
requests having a broad operational review and things such as the
emergency purchasing policy might be flagged.
Trustee Canady stated from what he?s seen, the idea of a
hostile work environment has no legal implications whatsoever with
respect to the allegations that were made.
He doesn?t see a reason to investigate it.
Trustee Patterson said that he has taken it
upon himself to review several other purchasing plans, policies, etc. He thinks the purchasing policy needs some work.
He agreed with Trustee Canady that the Board made a mistake.
The lack of planning does not make an emergency.
The Board should include that in their thinking as they move
Chairperson Jeffries asked for a roll call
vote on the amended resolution.
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Canady, Patterson,
Nays: Heywood, Holden,
Bylaws and Policy Subcommittee
to Academic Records (FERPA) Policy & Release of Student
Jeffries presented the recommended changes to the Academic Records and
Release of Student Information policies.
He stated that the changes include defining who educational
officers are, and it also identifies who is the appropriate person to
direct these requests to. The
committee is also recommending the Release of Student Information
policy be eliminated because it is redundant.
He said that these are further amendments that were offered by
the legal counsel and staff. The
Bylaws and Policy committee met twice over the summer to consider
this. The committee is
proposing those changes and recommends this to the Board in a
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Heywood and
supported by Trustee Holden to accept the Bylaws and Policy
committee?s recommended changes to the Academic Records and Release
of Student Information policies.
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Canady, Heywood,
Holden, Jeffries, Patterson,
Purchasing Policy Update
Chairperson Jeffries provided an update
regarding the purchasing policy.
He said that Trustee Rasmusson presented changes to the policy
and the committee discussed them. At this point in time, the committee
unanimously agreed not to forward any changes because of the
investigations by both the Board and the President.
Amendments will come forward as a result of the investigations.
Remaining Policies for Board Approval
Chairperson Jeffries provided an updated
regarding the following policies:
Drug Free Workplace; Employee Personnel Files; Employment of
Relative - Nepotism and Workplace Consensual Relationships; Health,
Safety, and Safe Work Environment; and Working From Home.
He indicated that the Board had not approved these remaining
policies because labor had to review them first.
Chairperson Jeffries said that a letter from the Labor
Coalition was provided in the Board packet.
The letter states that the Unions have not been able to review
them as of yet. When they do, the policies will be forwarded to the Board.
Review of Bylaw Sections 1.5.1 and 1.7.4.A
Chairperson Jeffries stated that Trustee
Patterson recommended changes to bylaw sections 1.5.1 and 1.7.4.A.
With regards to 1.5.1 the committee looked at the
three-business day notice requirement that Trustee Patterson
recommended changing. There
was a proposal of looking at trying to amend and inserting language
that the staff and the Board would endeavor to get the packets out
within three business days. The
dilemma really came down between two choices.
The packets can be distributed earlier, but the information
wouldn?t be as accurate. In the past, in trying to get the packets out early was not
conducive to getting the most up to date information to the Board.
When Board members arrived at the meeting, there was additional
informational on the table which was updated from what was inserted in
the Board packet. There
is a one week or two week requirement to get the information in for
the Board packets, but a lot of time there's last minute stuff that
occurs so the committee felt that it should be left as is.
The committee approved that there be no recommendation in terms
of bringing it back to the Board.
He asked Trustee Patterson if he had any questions.
Trustee Patterson distributed a motion (the
motion is on file with the official Board materials) to amend bylaw
1.5.1, which changes ?3 business days? to ?3 college business
days.? He stated that
other supporting materials may be supplied at the meeting provided,
however, that all materials available or reasonably available at the
time of the furnishing of the agenda shall be furnished with the
agenda. He strongly
believed that this is an improvement in the Board's ability to look
at the information in a timely fashion.
Trustee Patterson withdrew his recommendation to bylaw 1.7.4
and would like to reserve the right to bring that forward at another
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Patterson and
supported by Trustee Canady that bylaw section 1.5.1 be amended.
Trustee Canady stated that he did not have a
problem with the way information has been provided.
He said that Trustee Patterson makes a good point when there is
a 7:30 a.m. meeting on Monday and the Board receives its packet on
5:30 p.m. on Friday and the College is closed and even when this
meeting started it was closed. He
said that there would be no way for Board members to get any type of
supplemental information. Trustee
Canady understood that information will always be available and
sometimes there are last minute items, and he supported Trustee
Trustee Pelleran also supported Trustee
Patterson?s motion. She
said that getting the packet with a little bit ahead of time gives the
Board opportunity to contact the President's Office and see if
additional information is available even if it has to be presented at
the Board meeting.
Trustee Heywood stated that he wouldn?t
have a problem supporting it, and certainly wouldn?t have a problem
not supporting it either. He
addressed Trustee Patterson. He
said that he (Trustee Patterson) had some questions in an e-mail that
he sent out at approximately 7:00 or 5:30ish on Friday, but he
didn?t ask those questions in the e-mail and Rich Howard responded
to his e-mail on Sunday. Trustee
Heywood stated that the Trustees do have access to staff even over the
Trustee Patterson stated that he did try to
reach staff on Friday afternoon immediately upon receiving the agenda.
However, was unable to reach anyone, so he sent an e-mail.
He said that he received a message from Mr. Howard on Sunday
afternoon. He got voice
mail and received no response. Trustee
Patterson stated that staff deserve their down time, and appreciated
Mr. Howard offering to communicate with him on Sunday.
President Cunningham stated that this was an
unusual circumstance. The
policy committee met Wednesday evening, and the information had to be
drafted and incorporated into the Board policy and into the Board
book. This is the
exception, not the rule. There
is no reason whatsoever that staff does not want to get information to
the Board in a timely fashion. However,
staff wants to provide accurate information to Board members.
As recently as Friday, late afternoon, additional information
surfaced regarding health care and other issues that also could have
prevented staff from getting the information out to the Board.
On the agenda there are very few items that the Board needs to
take action on and these are items that have previously been seen.
She said the staff works very, very hard.
They were here until 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening putting
packets together. Not
only does the Board receive the packet, but the public and the
executive team receive it as well.
If the phones were not being answered after 5:00 p.m. it was
because she and staff were working on getting Board packets out.
President Cunningham indicated that both she and Mr. Howard
checked their messages at the office.
There were no messages from Board members.
Again, it is a matter of record.
Had there been any message, they would have responded.
Trustee Holden stated that she would not
support Trustee Patterson?s motion based on the fact that the she
sits on the Policy Committee and it was unanimous that the current
bylaw not change.
Chairperson Jeffries clarified that the
reason today?s meeting was set at 7:30 a.m. is at 11:00 a.m. the
Board's negotiating team would be meeting with labor?s team.
They will be getting together for the final meeting on health
care negotiations. The
driving force behind this meeting was the closed session, which will
be dealing with health care in order to set the final parameters.
Chairperson Jeffries stated that it wasn't until late
Wednesday afternoon, that the Policy Committee was able to conclude
their work and it required additional time to get the information
together to make it a part of the packets.
He said that he would be voting against the motion.
He is concerned that with the level of distrust that has
developed on the Board relative to certain aspects of its operations,
this opens the Board up to criticism and that certain people withheld
information and didn?t get it to the Board until the day of the
meeting. He believes that
will be the next complaint. Chairperson
Jeffries felt that the policy the Board has now works well.
He said that every effort is being done to get the information
to the Board in a timely fashion.
Chairperson reiterated that when the Board is asked to vote on
substantive issues, the Trustees see the information at least two or
three meetings prior to taking action. This gives Trustees ample time and opportunity to discuss
these issues with other Board members, to meet with necessary staff,
and to get the information needed.
Trustee Patterson stated that he is not
questioning the staff?s hard work.
What he is asking for is time, time to discuss and ask
Trustee Canady wanted to clarify for the
record that his earlier comments about this meeting being at 7:30 a.m.
did not suggest that there was some ulterior motive.
He said that he raised it as an example of Trustee Patterson
having a point. The Board
received the materials and all they could do was read it.
President Cunningham stated that there seems
to be an implication that staff is not responsive.
She clarified that whether staff is in a meeting or wherever
they are, they do respond to Board member requests.
They always have and they always will.
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Canady, Patterson,
Nays: Heywood, Holden,
Motion failed due to lack of support.
Chairperson Jeffries presented the
recommendation from the Policy Committee regarding amending bylaw
section 1.7.4.A (the recommendation is on file with the official Board
materials.) He asked if there were any questions.
There was discussion regarding the amendment
and submitting requests in writing
Heywood, Holden, Jeffries, Patterson, Pelleran, Rasmusson
The Board returned to discussing the
Trustee Pelleran distributed a memo dated
June 5, 2002 from her to all of the Trustees.
In the memo was a motion to amend the purchasing policy (the
memo is on file with the official Board materials.)
Trustee Rasmusson requested that Trustee
Pelleran consider withdrawing her motion until after the Policy
Committee has considered his recommendations, which addresses
situations, which are emergencies.
Chairperson Jeffries stated that he has
asked the President to inform the Board of any purchases that become
due immediately, that exceed or hit $100,000 and the Board will have a
meeting immediately to deal with those purchases.
Trustee Pelleran stated that if the Board
will be meeting to approve all future purchases that exceed $100,000,
she would then withdraw her motion.
The motion was withdrawn.
Zeller, Director, Labor Relations, Executive Office Human Resource
Sheila Semler, Program Director, Dental,
Health and Human Public Services
Kay Berke, Assessment Center Director,
Assessment Center, Student and
Blair Svendsen, Accounting/AP Supervisor,
Accounting and Payroll,
Marschall, Faculty Member - Biology, Science Department,
Liberal Studies Division
James O. Luke,
Faculty Member - Economics, Social Science Department,
Liberal Studies Division
Faculty Member - Writing, Communications Department,
Liberal Studies Division
Faculty Member - Developmental Writing, Language Skills Department,
Student and Academic Support Division
Faculty Member - CIS, Computer Information Systems Dept., Business
and Media Careers Division
Faculty Member - Math, Math and Computer Science Department, Liberal
Faculty Member - Architecture, Construction and Maintenance
Technologies, Construction, Manufacturing and Transportation Division
of Authority to Police and Public Safety
President Cunningham stated that the
resolution presented is for information and discussion.
She asked Vice President Barbara Larson to address this agenda
Vice President Barbara Larson stated that
Lansing Community College has had a small, but very well qualified
cadre of police officers since 1974.
The College had been granted authority through the Ingham
County Sheriff?s Department. In
1998 the community college act was amended through PA 281, which
granted Board's of Trustees of community colleges the right to
empower police officers directly.
Now there are several situations that bring this matter to the
Board's attention. One
is that the College will be expanding into Eaton County with the Delta
site and decisions need to be made about how to provide security and
safety at that site. She
said that more importantly is that Michigan Commission of Law
Enforcement standards (MCOLES), the governing agency for police
officers in the State of Michigan, has stated that they will no longer
provide certification for individuals affiliated with other
organizations that are not established by statute, which is the
College's case. Four of
the other community colleges that have sworn police officers on campus
have already had their Board of Trustees take action, and take the
necessary steps to empower their police departments.
There was discussion regarding jurisdiction,
how this would impact policing the Delta site, liabilities, and mutual
President Cunningham stated that this item
would be on the agenda again next month if the Board should have any
questions between now and then.
President Cunningham announced that there
would be a major press conference on August 27 at 10:30 a.m. in TLC
127. She encouraged the
Board members and the audience to attend.
President Cunningham asked Mr. Rich Howard
to provide the enrollment update.
Mr. Howard reported the three different
areas of headcount, credit, and seat count. In terms of head count
there are 19,092 students registered; however, those numbers can vary
as students drop. In
terms of credits the College is at 160,000, which is about a 10%
increase. In terms of
credits, there is a 10% increase as well.
of Minutes- June 4, 2002 Special Meeting; July 11, 2002 Special
Meeting; July 26, 2002 Special Meeting
President Cunningham presented the meeting
minutes for the Board's approval.
Trustee Pelleran asked that the June 4th
meeting minutes reflect her statements regarding whether the
facilities subcommittee was still in place.
Approval of Bids - There was one bid
presented for the Board's approval.
The proposal was for a bid for metal roof replacement services
for GVT. Architectural Metals, Incorporated of Portland, Michigan was
the lowest bidder and was awarded the proposal.
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and
supported by Trustee Patterson to approve the President's report as
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Canady, Heywood,
Patterson, Pelleran, Rasmusson
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Canady and supported
by Trustee Patterson for the Board to go into closed session for the
purpose of discussing health care negotiations.
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Canady, Heywood,
Holden, Jeffries, Patterson, Pelleran, Rasmusson
The Board entered into closed session at
IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Holden and supported
by Trustee Canady that the Board return to open session.
Roll call vote:
Ayes: Canady, Heywood,
Holden, Jeffries, Patterson, Pelleran, Rasmusson
The Board returned to open session at 10:37
Present: Canady, Heywood,
Holden, Jeffries, Patterson, Pelleran, Rasmusson
There were no comments from the public.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:40 a.m.