Regents hold first meeting of new academic year

Matt Graham

The Board of Regents will meet to discuss University realignment plans and relief for student-victims of Hurricane Katrina when it meets today and Friday.

University President Bob Bruininks will present a timeline to the board detailing realignment changes for the coming year.

In August 2004, Bruininks proposed the plan to move the University into the ranks of the top three public research universities in the world.

Regents approved the plan by an 11-1 vote in June.

Strategic positioning, which will realign departments and create several new colleges, caused controversy last year because it includes a plan to eliminate the General College and integrate it as a department in the new College of Education and Human Development.

The General College has traditionally been seen as a gateway to higher education for poor and minority students in the state.

Regent Steven Hunter, who cast the sole dissenting vote in June, said he expects to have a clearer picture of the plan after Friday, but doesn’t expect any battles.

“I don’t expect any controversy at this meeting,” he said.

In a last-minute addition to the schedule, the board’s Educational Planning and Policy Committee will also hear a resolution aimed at aiding students left without a college to attend after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast last week.

The presentation will center on a plan for tuition waivers for the roughly two dozen students being admitted to the University following the hurricane, said University News Service Director Dan Wolter.

Other items

Associate Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart will discuss combining student academic opportunities with work experience at the Faculty, Staff and Student Affairs Committee meeting.

University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg will give the regents his office’s annual report on legal matters, detailing the past year of activity for the University in the courts system.

The board will also hear the quarterly report on grant and contract activity. Chairman Tony Baraga will present the quarterly report on expenditures by the Office of the Board of Regents, the Office of the President and Eastcliff operations and maintenance.