December 10, 2009
BLUEFIELD STATE COLLEGE
Board of Governors
December 10, 2009
Members Present: Mr. Larry Morhous, Mr. Roger Topping, Ms. Anne Taylor, Mr. James Palmer, III, Mr. Richard Bezjek, Ms. Lisa Neel, Mr. Craig Cardwell, Ms. Angie Lambert, Mr. Larry Ratliff
Members Absent: Ms. Gloria Stephens, Mr. Sylvester Myers, Mr. Robert Perkinson, Jr.
Guests/Staff Present: Dr. Albert Walker, Mr. John Cardwell, Mr. Jim Nelson, Dr. Tom Blevins, Dr. Don Smith, Ms. Shelia Johnson, Dr. Tracey Anderson, Dr. Sapphire Cureg, Ms. Karen Harvey, Ms. Christina Brogdon, Mr. Roger Owensby, Ms. Anita Barilla, Ms. Deirdre Guyton, Mr. Erik Guyton, Mr. Curtis Cole (Curtex Construction), Mr. Joe Lewis (President of the National Alumni Association), Ms. Lois Manns and Mr. Russell Manns (members of the Alumni Association)
Welcome and Call to Order
Chairman James Palmer called the meeting to order at 7:20 p.m. in the Othello Harris-Jefferson Student Center Private Dining Room and welcomed the members of the Bluefield State College Alumni Association.
Approval of the Consent Agenda
A motion was made (LMorhous/ATaylor) to approve the Consent Agenda. Motion carried.
Annual Audit Report
Ms. Johnson discussed the Annual Audit Report and informed the group that the Finance Committee along with Dr. Walker and Mr. Palmer participated in the exit conference with Suttle and Stalnaker, PLLC.
Student Housing Presentation – National Alumni Association
Mr. Palmer reminded the group that the BOG felt it was wise to have someone come in who could share additional information concerning on-campus student housing. Obviously all are aware of the various constraints in which the college operates, not the least of which is the contractural arrangement that is already in place with regard to the housing that we now have.
Mr. Orlando Henderson stated that in order for this town and college to grow we need both…the town needs BSC and BSC needs the town. To grow as a college we need traditional students and those students will come only if there are dormitories on the campus. Mr. Orlando Henderson introduced Mr. Curtis Cole, Curtex Construction, and expressed the Alumni Association’s concern for the growth of traditional students at BSC and the need for dormitories to facilitate that growth. Mr. Cole reviewed his credentials for the group and discussed various projects upon which he served as a consultant and the funding arrangements that may be available. Mr. Cole stated that the first question is “if the Board really does want campus housing.” He stated that at other colleges, the institution’s Foundation went out and bought the property and then rented the property out. He stated that his company is prepared to work through the Foundation and finance the project and would rent it back to the institution. The institution would have to guarantee the students to occupy the units. All pre-development would be done by Mr. Cole’s company. He stated that BSC has three potential sites, chosen because they are populized sites which would not require a lot of design or run-off. The institution would be losing parking since the sites are on the present parking lots, so the building would be put on stilts. The project would start out with three stories that could be expanded in the future to allow for growth.
Mr. Palmer stated that there are current constraints that will expire in approximately three years or so. He was asked how the “you build it, lease back” sort of concept would work. Mr. Cole explained that a contract would be arranged with a number of options. A buy back – where the college would buy the building or the institution could continue to lease it. His company would finance it and if there is a three year contract, that would probably be the amount of time before the keys could be handed over due to pre-development studies and foundation studies, etc., and after that would be designs and building the actual building. The time span would be from 18 months to 2 years for completion. Mr. Palmer asked if we have a facility already, and then end up with another facility, obviously we would not want a situation of a mere migration -- those housed in one place migrating to another. Without any appreciable increase in a headcount, do you have any feedback on how to assess the likely increase in enrollments based upon the inclusion of campus housing? Mr. Cole explained that most of the projects he had been involved with, there was always a shortage of housing, so they were welcoming of a new facility. He stated that if the enrollment is to increase and the college is to survive and grow, on-campus housing is needed. He stated that on-campus housing would cause a ripple effect on the community as well as the college.
Mr. Ratliff asked how many lease-back projects Curtex Construction has been involved in. Mr. Cole informed the group that he has been a consultant to a lot of different schools and non-profit organizations, but has not done a development for dormitories. Mr. Ratliff stated that Mr. Cole has been a consultant and there is probably information on how well this has worked at other institutions. Mr. Cole agreed to get that information for the Board.
Mr. Palmer thanked Mr. Cole for his presentation, but the Board has not constructed any master plan in regards to housing. Perhaps at the time we entered into the arrangement with MountianView it may have been incremental. He assured the group that the Board will be giving the information thorough consideration.
Mr. Joe Lewis, President of the National Alumni Association, asked that a committee be set up consisting of alumni, students, and members of the Board of Governors and others. Mr. Lewis stated that it’s time to say to the Alumni Association that ‘we’re not interested’ or ‘not going to do this’…and now say you don’t know what you’re going to do. He said it was disappointing to bring someone in from Washington, DC and now hear the Board say they don’t know what they want to do. Mr. Palmer stated that the Board felt it was wise to be hospitable and accommodating in hearing the information with respect to any possible alternatives that the college can consider that will enable the college to operate within the existing constraints and to bring to the Board’s attention anything that might be helpful. Beyond that, there is not much by specific commitment at this point. He stated that if the Alumni Association wants to spearhead a committee to research the options, that that would be acceptable.
Ms. Lois Manns, 1969 graduate of BSC in Education, and Mr. Russell Manns, 1964 graduate of BSC, spoke concerning the growth and prosperity of BSC and the need for on-campus student housing.
Mr. Henderson spoke of the need for growth of traditional students on the campus. Chairman Palmer stated that nobody would dispute that the presence of on-campus housing would create a worthwhile campus community that would benefit the students, the city, etc. Mr. Henderson informed the group that while he was recruiting in Cincinnati, parents of traditional students want to know where the dormitories are. Parents do not want to send to BSC because of lack of housing. He asked the college to look at the Strategic Plan and move forward and decide if campus housing is wanted.
Dr. Walker reported to the group that at least one other company has expressed a desire to make a presentation to the Board and should be allowed to do so. He expressed a desire to be fair and impartial in working with all who wish to make a presentation. Dr. Walker asked for a chance to hear others out before developing a position. The Board is trying to be totally neutral and will be hearing every interested party. Another construction company will probably be making a presentation at the February 18 meeting. They have been referred to the Alumni Association for coordination.
Dr. Walker agreed to work with the Board Chair and Ms. Guyton, Director of Alumni Affairs to coordinate visits from any interested party.
Mr. Palmer informed the group that no specific commitment can be made at this time but the Board will be open to any information. He reminded the group that the BOG may have some legal constraints in relation to the MountainView facility. He stated that the Alumni Association is free to spearhead a committee to review and analyze information concerning on-campus housing. The suggestion was made to include the Vice President for Student Affairs and the Chief Financial Officer as ex-officio members, with Dr. Walker and Ms. Deirdre Guyton, Director of Alumni Affairs, assisting in the coordination of the groups, if such a committee is formed.
Finance Committee Report - Mr. Larry Morhous, Mr. Larry Ratliff, and Ms. Anne Taylor
- Mr. Ratliff reported that the Financial Committee met with the auditors via conference call to review the audit. Mr. Morhous informed the group that the auditors were very complimentary of the BSC financial staff and the internal audit done by Brown, Edwards and Company, and encouraged BSC to continue with that process.
- Legislative Audit Update – a statewide audit was done on fleet management and Fleet Management Policies. Ms. Johnson reviewed various issues included in the report. She informed the group that BSC’s policy will be reviewed and updated.
Next Meeting Date - February 18, 2010
With no further business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.