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Adopted Minutes
March 13, 2006
Special Meeting

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 5:01 p.m.

Roll Call

Present: Brannan, Canady, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Smith
Absent: Rasmusson

Trustee Rasmusson arrived at 5:03 p.m.

Trustee Canady departed at 6:44 p.m.

Limited Public Comment Regarding Agenda Items

Addie Morrow - I have to apologize for reading my comments - and I have problems with my throat today - reading my comments, but I want to respect and adhere to your timeline. I'm sorry my name is Addie Morrow and I'm somewhat sad as I come here. I am here in response to Trustee Mark Canady?s move at the last Board of Trustee?s meeting to delay the appointment of a Dean until further investigation of denied appointments of ?Blacks? that were dismissed as failed searches. The Board dismissed Trustee Canady?s concern and moved to appoint Jan Danford as Dean despite his call for delay. However, previously the Board had tabled the selection committee appointment of Redecka Appiah Padi, a black, for three Board meetings, and three months before accepting her appointment. Obviously, the Board felt that the appointment of Jan Danford was more critical and warranted. I am tired of concerns of African Americans dismissed to get on with business as usual. I was stunned to hear my name mentioned at the last Board meeting and was unaware that Trustee Mark Canady knew of the unjust selection process that occurred in the SAS division regarding an appointment of Director of Student Success which was lead by Dr. Judith Cardenas. Trustee Canady?s response that the three individuals were afraid of retaliation was inaccurate in my regard. My decision not to file a grievance or suit was based on my decision to not take time from student needs to engage in a laborious grievance process or suit. Also, I unequivocally felt that it would be deceptive for me to serve and support questionable divisional leadership. The outcome was a blessing in disguise and I have the greatest respect and regards for the previous Director of Student Success, Dr. Rebekah Woods, currently serving as the interim Dean of SAS. However, but, my brief time as co-interim chair of counseling made me question the ethics and integrity of Dr. Judith Cardenas. Furthermore, after not being a candidate for the permanent position, there were rumors of concern that I was going to sue the College for mishandling of the selection process. If everything was properly done, I am not sure why this concern surfaced. I addressed my concerns in writing about discrediting rumors and implications about my professionalism which seem to come from Judith Cardenas. I hand delivered the letter to both Judith Cardenas and Dr. Gary VanKempen. I was open, not anonymous or backbiting. I must say this was the first time in my 25 year tenure at the College, I felt compelled to address such a messy situation. Instead of a response from Judith and Gary regarding my letter, I received a call from Human Resources, Tim Zeller and Jan Stuart. Mr. Zeller and Ms. Stuart alleged they were concerned for me. However, after a series of recent questionable evolvements: President Cunningham?s dismissal, the rise of Judith Cardenas to the Interim Presidency and Tim Zeller?s new responsibilities, in retrospect, I am not sure the concern was for my professional existence. Also, my past experience with the SAS division under C?denas leadership makes me question many of the recent fiascos and what actually went wrong in terms of students? financial aid. From my perspective, the SAS Division was in chaos - please let me respectfully go on - although the SAS staff is one of he hardest working and committed staff in the College who volunteer long hours of overwork to try to meet student needs. I along with many in our division question the Oracle technology and raised concerns of moving forward too quickly, so not to inconvenience students. Yet in the division, under Dr. Cardenas we implemented new procedures that limited the ability for Counseling to assist students, and we had full time responsibilities combined and crammed under one or two individuals that appeared to limit expertise. We experienced under Dr. Cardenas leadership the dismantling of the Multicultural Center, and various other questionable changes which now none appear to support that fast implementation of a new technology system. If technology was not intuitive to student needs, it appeared that the SAS division needed to enhance the current supportive services, instead of diluting the support services by overloading individuals with multiple responsibilities. It makes me wonder if Judith Cardenas accurately reported and courageously addressed the current concerns of the division to the executive administration. It makes me wonder if in Dean?s and Executive Leadership Team meetings, Dr. Cardenas openly communicated the need to slow down or stop the continue evolvement of Oracle and aggressively convey the concerns that financial aid and others in the division express. It is ironic that technology and student services were reported as the fault of the so called alleged trauma of 1900 students? financial aid failure; yet the technology leaders are dismissed, the president is dismissed and the student service leader and her supporters move on despite the many complaints, long lines, and student frustration that occurred under Cardenas leadership of the SAS division. I cannot understand why the Deans, the union and staff sit silently as though every thing is business as usual when we all must know there is something seriously wrong with this picture. My concern is what future impact this can have on students. In summary, I am asking that you delay and thoroughly investigate any future leadership appointments, confirmations and hiring power until you properly investigate this concern. I feel that Dr. Cardenas certainly has the potential to be a competent leader. I am concerned that she needs more time before a presidential appointment. Mr. Laverty, you mentioned in yesterday?s Lansing State Journal and I quote: ?Trustees also found a college administration in deep denial of the problem.? Yet you appoint a purchasing director that you claim had no contract to purchase the Oracle systems with no budget, no outcome and no deliverance to the position of Vice President and Finance and a former Dean to interim President who led a division that was experiencing challenging issues that resulted in a financial aid disaster. This appears to be denial in the fullest. In summary, I leave you with the following: ?It is not my enemy?s words that are so hurtful, it is the silence of my friends that is so painful.? Thank you for your patience.

Chairperson Laverty - This item that you just discussed was not on our agenda tonight. This would have been more appropriate for our meeting this following Monday on the 20th. Tonight we're talking about audit reports, financial aid presentation, interim President's contract. Are you able to provide us with your presentation in writing? If not now, later. Let?s keep it to three minutes and to the agenda, please. Anybody else under public comment?

Sally Pierce - Hi. Just a minute. I'm Sally Pierce. I'm the President of the faculty association. I'm working without notes tonight.

Chairperson Laverty - Is this to do with something on the agenda?

Sally Pierce - Well, auditing is on the agenda and one of our concerns as we sit at the table, has to do with how much money is being allocated to faculty contracts. So, I don't know Chris you can?

Chairperson Laverty - Well, that's a stretch, but go ahead. We do have a regular meeting next Monday the 20th.

Sally Pierce - Well, we plan to be here for that one too. So, all I wanted to say is that when you look at the finances tonight and we're glad that you are looking at the finances, we want you to think about the priority that you?ve placed on faculty who are your front line folks interacting with the students and remember your priorities as an institution. that's all I wanted to say.

Trustee Smith - Mr. Chair, even though the first comments you stated by Addie Morrow are not directly related to the Interim President's contract they do relate to the President and I feel that it is public comment and at that time if she wants to voice?

Chairperson Laverty - Well, if this Board wants to change our guidelines as far as how we handle public comment?

Trustee Smith - Well, I think that the issue for me is that with the other individual you said that they were taking some latitude and if you were going to extend that to the next one then I don't think you should ridicule her because?

Chairperson Laverty - I did not ridicule anybody. Trustee Canady.

Trustee Canady - While I don't necessarily endorse all the comments that were made, I do concur with Trustee Smith that the comments were within the bounds of what we're discussing here today.

Chairperson Laverty - We have public comment towards the end of the meeting which is a longer period of time and it doesn?t have to be limited to the agenda items either.

AUDIT REPORTS

Chairperson Laverty introduced the speakers and asked that questions be asked after the presentations.

Maner, Costerisan and Ellis

Mr. Bruce Dunn presented his report, which is on file with the official Board materials.

BDO Seidman

Mr. Frank Massotta presented his report, which is on file with the official Board materials.

Plante Moran

Ms. Vicky VanDenBerg presented her report, which is on file with the official Board materials.

There was a question and answer period after the presentations.

AUDIT COMMITTEE REPORT

No report was given.

Trustee Rasmusson explained that Ms. Michelle Gallagher has not completed her report.

ISCD AND FINANCIAL AID PRESENTATION

President Cardenas introduced Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt and Dr. Rebekah Woods.

Drs. Shanblatt and Woods provided PowerPoint presentations regarding what ISCD and Financial Aid are doing to address the issues and recommendations provided in the audits and prior reports. (The presentations are on file with the official Board materials.) Dr. Shanblatt introduced Mr. Dan Stockwell who is the Director of Higher Education Practice of Millennium Technical Consultants.

Mr. Stockwell provided a PowerPoint presentation on the Oracle Student System project success plan. (The presentation is on file with the official Board materials.)

There was a question and answer period after the presentations.

INTERIM President's CONTRACT

Chairperson Laverty presented the Interim President's contract. He stated that it was sent via email to the Trustees (the contract is on file with the official Board materials.)

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Brannan and supported by Trustee Pelleran to accept the President's contract

Minimal changes were made to the contract and legal counsel present made note of those changes.

Trustee Proctor offered a friendly amendment that all changes be incorporated into the contract.

Trustee Brannan accepted the friendly amendment.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Nays: None
Absent: Canady

Motion carried.

Chairperson Laverty announced that work is continuing on the request for proposal for a search firm. The request for proposal may be presented for the Board's approval at the March 20 meeting.

Chairperson Laverty offered the audience the opportunity to address the Board on the agenda items prior to going into closed session.

Cathy Kallioinen - My name is Cathy Kallioinen and I just would like to provide one clarification from my perspective, if I could from what I have heard this evening. From what I have heard it appears that all of the staff here at the College that are working on the Oracle system are doing it without any documentation, without any training, and we've just been kind of winging it. I have been involved in multiple functions of the Oracle system here across the College as an administrator and I can tell you that I was not allowed to have any of my securities, which are quite high, without going through the training and without having the training materials. I have a notebook in my office that I refer to daily. Yes, we had training. Yes, we do have documentation. I can't speak for all the (inaudible) functions for the institution, but I can speak for the ones that I'm involved in. Thank you.

Trustee Pelleran - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wanted to respond to a prior?I wanted to make a couple of observations on a prior?on comments made by a prior speaker. There were comments that I took deference with that we dismissed technical staff; that we dismissed the president. In no way shape or form did this Board dismiss the technical staff or the president. And I want to make that clear and if anyone wants to talk with me privately, I?d be happy to do so, but this has to stop. The other thing about racial accusations about the Board. I would like to have everyone know that Paula Cunningham when she was president was very fair. And I take deference to accusations while under her administration that there was any racial issues that took place at this college. She would not tolerate it nor would the Board. And I just wanted to go on record with that.

Trustee Rasmusson - The first thing I said to Paula when she was made president back in 2000. I said, ?the courts have gutted affirmative action, but I think you know the Board supports affirmative action as a vital part of the education process.? I think she always followed that.

CLOSED SESSION

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Smith and supported by Trustee Pelleran that the Board go into closed session for the purpose of discussing privileged confidential information from legal counsel.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Nays: None
Absent: Canady

Motion carried.

The Board entered into closed session at 7:11 p.m.

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Smith and supported by Trustee Rasmusson for the Board to return to open session.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Nays: None
Absent: Canady

Motion carried.

The Board returned to open session at 8:01 p.m.

Chairperson Laverty stated that there were some concerns about the Deans? and Vice Presidents? employment contracts. He felt that there is not enough information in the contracts. He?s requested legal counsel to review the contracts and review severance agreements. Legal counsel has done some work on them already; however, the templates used have been in place for a long time and need some work. Chairperson Laverty stated that the Board may not have to approve this, but he would like the Trustees to see the information at some point in time.

Trustee Pelleran felt that the Board needs to restore some of the powers of the President and let her deal with the administration of the College. She believes that if it is a contract situation, the Board will vote on it.

Mr. Tim Zeller agreed that the contracts and agreements need a lot of work; however, he recommended meeting with the President and legal counsel first. This will help in ensuring standardization with other community colleges and it will also help as a recruiting tool.

There was no objection from the Board to Mr. Zeller?s recommendation.

There was discussion regarding improving the Board bylaws to ensure future longevity that will allow a balance between the administration and the Board in order to work toward moving the College forward. There was also discussion about bringing the bylaws more in line with Policy Governance.

The Board briefly evaluated the meeting. There was a consensus that having had the auditors available for questions was helpful for the Board and the public. It was encouraging to have had the presentations regarding ISCD and SAS because the College is on the right track in moving forward. The Board should also have regular evaluations of the meetings and self evaluations.

The Board briefly discussed the President's evaluation process and the hiring policy. The Board cannot do it all and needs the assistance from external consultants, the President or staff. The Board would like to see a presidential evaluation process in place before the next president is hired.

PUBLIC COMMENT

There were no comments from the public.

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.

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