Regents off-site meeting under way

The less formal meetings will address top-three placement determinants.

Matt Graham

The Board of Regents is heading south on Interstate 35W today for its October meeting at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

The board typically holds one off-campus meeting a year. Usually it is at one of the coordinate campuses, but this year it’s at the arboretum, said Ann Cieslak, executive director and corporate secretary of the Board of Regents.

“The agenda (for the meeting) is a little bit shorter because it’s off site,” Regent Dallas Bohnsack said.

Only two of the board’s committees will meet today, but there will also be two work sessions. The first will be about measuring realignment goals. The second will detail strategies for marketing University-developed intellectual properties.

Tom Zearley, a student representative to the board, said work sessions are meetings of the entire board, but with less formality than the official Friday meetings. They discuss issues that would normally go before a committee, but were deemed important enough to be heard by all 12 members.

Zearley said he looks forward to the realignment work group, which will address the question of how to determine when the University is considered a top-three research institution.

Vice President of System Administration Al Sullivan, who oversees the metrics and measurement task force, will present. The task force is charged with determining how to measure progress toward the University’s goal of becoming one of the world’s top three public research institutions.

“Any time you make changes, you have to kind of benchmark,” Bohnsack said. “Where are we at, and where do we want to be in the future?”

Vice President for Research Tim Mulcahy will lead the discussion at the second work group, which will look at how the University can see more revenue from the technology it develops.

Zearley said finding other sources of revenue is important, as they can help to keep tuition from rising as rapidly as it has in recent years.

Regent Dave Metzen said University President Bob Bruininks will present the board with an update on the 33 task forces working on the realignment plan.

University Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter will present the board with the preliminary 2006 capital bonding request. The report will detail upcoming projects the University hopes to receive state funding for.

Board members expect it to be a fairly uneventful round of meetings this month, centering mostly on review.

“It’s going to be a slow-moving couple of days,” Metzen said.