Regents to vote on Fairview, Vikings

President Eric Kaler will also discuss his recommendations for the 2014 capital improvement budget.

Alexi Gusso

 

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents will meet Thursday and Friday for its final meeting of the academic year.

The regents will take action on a proposal to create a single, shared governance structure for the University of Minnesota, Fairview Health Services and University of Minnesota Physicians.

The board will also approve an agreement to allow the Minnesota Vikings to play in TCF Bank Stadium for two years while a new stadium is built in downtown Minneapolis. 

President Eric Kaler will present his preliminary capital budget recommendations for upcoming years, and the student representatives to the board will also present their spring recommendation report.

Integrated health care

The regents will vote to approve an agreement to create a shared governance structure of the University, Fairview and University Physicians.

According to a news release, a shared governance structure will “integrate the operations and finances of the organizations without merging them.”

The new structure will result in greater operational and cost efficiency as well as better patient experience, according to the release.

The agreement would also increase funding to the University’s Medical School. According to docket materials, the agreement is a five-year term with potential for a five-year renewal. The Medical School will receive $7 million annually for the first two years, $8 million for the second two and $10 million in the following six years.

Approval by the regents is the final step in the completion of the integration.

Vikings stadium

The regents will also vote to approve an agreement to allow the Minnesota Vikings to use TCF Bank Stadium in 2014 and 2015 while a new stadium is built.

The board’s Facilities and Operations Committee will review the agreement Thursday morning, and the full board will act Friday.

A letter of intent last May set a tentative deal for the Vikings to pay the University $3 million a season for up to four seasons, plus revenue sharing, according to The Associated Press. 

Officials will release further details on the agreement Thursday following the Facilities and Operations Committee meeting.

Capital budget

Kaler will present his recommendations for the 2014 capital improvement budget, which allocates state and University funds to building and construction projects.

The 2014 budget calls for nearly $290 million for construction projects over the next year, with about 60 percent of funding coming from the state, according to docket materials.

The highest-priced project on the budget is a new facility for the Ambulatory Care Clinic. According to the docket, the facility, at a cost of $22.5 million, will house ambulatory surgery and specialty clinics, among others.

Other items include a $1.5 million update to the University’s Raptor Center and a $2.5 million remodel of the second floor of Coffman Union to accommodate more student groups.

The regents will vote on the budget next month.

Student rep report

The student representatives to the Board of Regents will present their report of recommendations from the spring semester.

Cody Mikl, chair of the student representatives, said the report reflects a “potpourri of input” from students throughout the school year.

Mikl will present the report, which centers around three main points: implementing a smoke-free campus, increasing transparency of teaching evaluations and expanding the University’s open textbook catalog.

Meghan Mason, a doctoral candidate and student representative, researched and compiled benefits of a tobacco-free campus for the report.

“We wanted to get behind it because it’s an area that our University has done a lot of research on,” Mason said. “It’s a really great thing to see moving forward.”

The student representatives will also recommend  greater transparency of the Student Rating of Teaching forms students are required to fill out for each of their classes.

Legally, teachers have the option to opt-out of publicizing personal reviews such as approachability and creating worthwhile assignments.

The representatives want to publicize the questions dealing with the course difficulty, time spent on homework and whether or not a student would recommend the course to others.

“We feel this solution is win-win for our entire University community,” the representatives wrote. “By changing the SRT policy to only release data from 1 through 4, professor data is still protected in a legal way.”

Finally, the representatives are highlighting the Open Textbook Catalog, a collection of complete, openly licensed textbooks that instructors can utilize to effectively customize course content, according to the College of Education and Human Development website. 

By utilizing the Open Textbook Catalog, students can save costs, and professors can select parts of textbooks and arrange them to best suit their curriculum.