Cabinet Highlights: May 5, 2009

H1N1 (Swine Flu) Update
B. Applebee reviewed the efforts made recently to deal with the threat of an outbreak of Swine Flu. Dr. Fleming described the cyclic nature of influenza. He also shared a document outlining the steps in testing and treatment for the H1N1 virus.

Federal Stimulus Update
The president reported that there will be federal stimulus money but we need to remember that it is one-time money. C. Farley noted that the amount of money to be received by the universities remains unknown at this time. The president indicated that between the stimulus money and the recently passed tuition surcharge, the university’s fiscal picture was more encouraging. Application must still be made for the stimulus funds but that can’t be done until the state has finalized both the FY09 and FY10 budgets.

The president distributed a copy of the governor’s 5 point recovery plan. The Board voted to support the plan. At the Board meeting, the governor called for the universities to reform their business model and expects to see plans in the fall. The state cannot afford to educate every student in a research university. The president also distributed copies of a newspaper editorial written by Regent Duval describing different models of higher education.

The presidents have been charged with developing a paper on system architecture. The first draft is due Friday.

Capital Projects Update
J. Kuhn described the projects in progress. HRM—Includes remodeling, infrastructure, new roof. Liberal Arts—restroom and elevator upgrades to be ADA compliant, roof replacement. Scheduled to start in June and be completed in August 2010. The project will be phased to accommodate the academic calendar. The North Union renovation will include infrastructure upgrades, fire suppression, roof replacement, etc. Nothing will be done to the interior of the building.

The Native American Cultural Center will be located east of Distance Learning. This is not a SPEED project. The hope is to start in early March of 2010.

The Skydome project includes a lot of fire, life, safety, ADA compliance. It will include reseating the stadium which will result in reduced occupancy.  This is a large, long-term project.   A completion date of October 2010 is targeted. Construction will be phased around events.

There will be a lot of infrastructure projects taking place on north campus over the next 18 months.
J. Kuhn reported that the first field complex will be open in early in June.

Retirement Incentives
D. Verkest reported that a group had been brought together to look at the possibility of retirement incentives as a way to save money. The group has met and conducted its research. Their recommendation to the president is that the university not implement a retirement incentive program at this time. Such a program would not lead to any cost savings for the university. Human Resources will, however, promote more aggressively the phased retirement program approved last year by the Board of Regents.

Proposed Holiday Schedule for 2010 and 2011
D. Verkest presented the proposed holiday dates as well as proposed dates for the winter holiday closure.

ACTION: Hearing no concerns from the Cabinet, the president approved the dates as proposed.

Changing Role of the Strategic Planning Council
The president indicated his plan to add a few more academic representatives to the council and charge the council to develop recommendations for strategic priorities for planning as well as budgeting. The council will be looking at medium as well as long-range priorities.

ABOT Meeting Update
The president noted that higher education in Arizona was really going to change in the near future. The Regents are now more heavily invested in the universities as a system and in system architecture. P. Haeuser noted that the Regents also are very interested in program costs. Their goal is to drive down costs on the main campuses.

Affiliate Policy
F. Estrella provided an overview of the affiliate policy. There are more than one thousand people affiliated with the university who desire services. The rewrite of the policy is designed to help automate the provision of services. R. Roberts summarized the policy changes. An online application form has been implemented.

The president reminded that Cabinet that commencement is this week and traffic will be challenging.
F. Estrella reminded the Cabinet that a new voice mail system will be installed in early June.