Regents to discuss funding

The board will also analyze the University “report card” and vote on an agreement with the Teamsters union next week.

Ahnalese Rushmann

Even though next week’s Board of Regents meetings are scheduled at the University’s Morris campus, there are plenty of Twin Cities issues on the discussion table.

The regents will conduct a work session Thursday to look at how to fund the University over an extended period of time, as well as trends in sponsored funding.

Richard Pfutzenreuter, vice president and chief financial officer for the University, said sponsored funding, or money provided to the University by external sources for a specific purpose, will be an important topic.

All the researchers and institutions in the country compete for those grants so it’s highly competitive, Pfutzenreuter said.

He said the University is awarded more than $500 million per year in sponsored funding.

Revisiting past discussions helps refresh the newer board members, Pfutzenreuter said.

The regents will also vote on the collective bargaining agreement with the Teamsters union Thursday afternoon.

Lori Ann Vicich, communications director for the Office of Human Resources, said this is part of a standard process. A tentative agreement was already reached Aug. 31.

on the web

To see a complete meeting agenda and docket for this meeting and future meetings, go to the Regents’ Web site

Sue Mauren, secretary treasurer of Teamsters union Local 320, said Teamsters recently voted to ratify the contract with the University, and she expects the regents will vote to ratify the agreement.

The Friday board meeting will also let regents review the University Plan, Performance and Accountability Report.

Ann Cieslak, executive director of the Board of Regents, said the report is like a report card for the University.

Some of the items addressed in the report include national test scores for incoming students, student diversity statistics, faculty satisfaction and overall graduation rates.

The report also uses those areas to provide rankings comparing the University to other Big Ten schools, such as the University of Wisconsin and the University of Michigan, as well as schools like UCLA and the University of Florida.

The 2008 State Capital Request will also be reviewed at the board meeting and pending approval, will be passed on to the governor and state legislature.

The accountability report and State Capital Request are both items carried over from last September’s regents meeting, which was adjourned early due to AFSCME strike protesters.

Regent Chairwoman Patricia Simmons said the board convenes on each coordinate campus once a year and the trips prove to be highly informative for the regents.

“You can read lots of reports and have conversation,” she said. “Real time on the campus is quite helpful to the regents.”

Simmons also said the coordinate campus meetings allow the regents to meet with students, faculty and Morris community members.

“It’s a good way of understanding the life of campus, but it’s also just really enjoyable,” Simmons said.