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MINUTES: December 13, 2018
Summary notes from Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education
Meeting on December 13
Members participating (all by phone): Mr. Becker; President Boggess; Delegate Boggs; Ms. Cappellanti; Dr. Courts; Delegate Espinosa; Mr. Farrell; President Gee; President Gilbert; President Jenkins; Mr. Lee; President Martin; Mr. Payne
President Gee convened the meeting at 3:03 p.m. and asked Amy Garbrick to call the roll. He then asked if there were any changes or corrections to the summary of the November 27 meeting. Hearing none, President Gilbert moved and the commission voted to approve the summary.
President Gee called on Mr. Payne for an update from the governance subcommittee.
Mr. Payne began by thanking those who provided feedback on the governance subcommittee’s draft proposal. He thanked President Martin and the regional presidents, in particular, for their detailed spreadsheet about the HEPC services they would like to see continued, modified, or vacated. Based on comments from some commission members that they would like more time to review the full draft bill, Mr. Payne said the subcommittee would not seek the commission’s endorsement at this time. Instead, he asked the commission to endorse a continuation of the subcommittee’s work, to include an open “work session” to go over the regional presidents’ input and the draft proposal, as well as working with the Governor’s Office in anticipation of the start of the legislation session on January 9, 2019.
Mr. Payne moved that the commission endorse the subcommittee’s plan as presented.
President Gee thanked Mr. Payne for this update and expressed his support for an open work session as a next step. He asked if there were any discussion on Mr. Payne’s motion.
Mr. Lee said he felt that the work session should be face-to-face to facilitate communication and achieve a better result.
Mr. Payne said Mr. Lee’s suggestion was a friendly amendment and revised his motion accordingly.
President Martin said she did not think the subcommittee’s deliberations were public and that she was surprised and offended to find that Shepherd University was included among the exempt institutions in the draft proposal, while Fairmont State University was not.
President Gee said the work session would go over all issues line-by-line to ensure all perspectives were heard.
President Martin asked for the work session date to be vetted to take into account the upcoming holidays and travel plans.
President Boggess suggested that the work session be held in a more central location, perhaps Charleston.
President Gee said that Amy Garbrick would begin working on finding a date and a location right away.
President Martin reminded the commission that the regional presidents had already spent approximately 20 hours on their collective feedback, and that a work session to go over their feedback and the draft proposal would take a long time. She suggested allowing a full day, to include a working lunch, for this session.
Ms. Cappellanti offered the use of space in Jackson and Kelly’s Charleston office for the work session.
Dr. Katherine Cox (confirm identity) from Blue Ridge Community and Technical College asked if this work session would be open to representatives from the two-year institutions.
President Gee responded that now was the time to bring the community and technical colleges to the table.
Mr. Farrell said that it was necessary for the community and technical colleges to be at the table to ensure understanding of their issues. He also asked for HEPC staff to be invited to participate. He said the question of structure was a very substantial issue that can not be concluded quickly.
President Gee reiterated that the commission needs to be thorough in its review of the subcommittee’s work, and a work session should allow for that.
President Gilbert commented that the draft proposal does not include a timeline or provide a sense of when transitions between structures will occur, and that this needs to be included to be complete.
President Gee agreed. He reminded the commission that Mr. Payne’s motion for the governance subcommittee to continue its work was pending. The commission voted to approve.
President Martin said again that she was offended Shepherd University was included as exempt and the other regional institutions were not given this opportunity.
President Gee asked Mr. Farrell for an update on the collaboration subcommittee.
Mr. Farrell provided a recap of the subcommittee’s work to date and its final report.
A motion was made to accept the collaboration subcommittee’s report and the commission voted in favor.
President Gee adjourned the meeting at 3:42 p.m.