Board of Regents discusses UMore Park, conduct code

The University has owned the 12-square-mile UMore Park since the late 1940s.

Elizabeth Cook

The University’s Board of Regents will convene Thursday and Friday at the McNamara Alumni Center for its monthly meeting.

Regents will decide whether to approve President Bob Bruininks’ $192.3 million biennial budget request, and will discuss the future of UMore Park, the student conduct code and public safety.

UMore Park’s future

On Thursday, Bruininks and Charles Muscoplat, the vice president for statewide strategic resource development, will present recommendations to the Board about what should be done with UMore Park.

The University has owned the 12- quare miles property in Rosemount since the late 1940s, Muscoplat said.

Currently, he said, the property is used for University research into agriculture, natural resources and veterinary medicine.

Approximately two and a half years ago, University officials started to discuss what more could be done with the area, Muscoplat said.

In February, the University hired Boston-based Sasaki and Associates, a consulting firm which works with land planning, to help decide what to do with the land, he said.

These findings are slated to be presented at the Thursday meeting.

In spring, the University transferred 2,840 acres of the approximately 8,000-acre UMore Park to the state to help fund TCF Bank Stadium.

“In 25 years, it will be sold when the state finishes paying the bonds,” Muscoplat said.

Attitudes and well-being

Regent Patricia Simmons said the Faculty, Staff and Student Affairs Committee will discuss faculty recruitment and retention issues.

In order to attract high quality students, there needs to be high-quality professors, Simmons said.

“That’s of keen interest to the Board,” she said. “We want policies (to get and keep faculty) in place.”

The Board will also consider changes to the Student Conduct Code, Simmons said.

By expanding the jurisdiction of the student code to include off-campus activity, students could be disciplined for offenses such as hazing or rioting.

If passed, possible sanctions for breaking the code would include “revocation of admission or degree and withholding of diploma or degree,” according to the conduct code draft.

Simmons said the Board has a responsibility to maintain “the health and safety of students” and provide a “good environment for students and staff.”

University police Chief Greg Hestness said he will present a public safety overview to the Board on Thursday.

First, there will be a discussion of how the University Police Department, Central Security and Emergency Management work together.

Hestness said Regents will look at safety goals, such as enhancing communication with student groups on campus, having more training opportunities for staff and strengthening technological investments – security cameras and police dispatch systems, for example.