Cabinet Highlights: Nov. 10, 2009

President’s Cabinet Report
L. Jones presented the report with M. Gerety providing more details about the Advancement data.

Transfer Advisors and Centralized Transfer Unit 
The president indicated that the transfer experience is a hot button for many legislators. More transfer students are needed if the university is to meet the Board’s goal of increasing the number of baccalaureate degrees awarded. The president asked F. Hurst and others to look at the transfer process to get more students through the community college pipeline. F. Hurst indicated that a proposal was in the works to shift the transfer business process to EMSA. His goal is for the university to be able to make an offer of admission to a transfer student and have the evaluation of the transfer work already in place. This would be a distinct competitive advantage for the university. E. Putzova described the community college to NAU program. She said advising is important to get students on a four-year track. K. Pugliesi noted that the delay in the evaluation of transfer credit is widely seen as a problem but requested more specificity about the proposal. The president expressed a need to reunite the functional areas of the registrar’s office that were split apart when PeopleSoft was implemented. K. Pugliesi asked to be part of the discussion.

Retention Initiative UpdateK. Pugliesi and R. St. Laurent presented the results of a detailed analysis they had conducted into factors affecting retention. Their report underscores the importance of students’ academic success in the first year. Their research indicates that students should be encouraged to take a mathematics course in the first year. It also seems important to enhance opportunities for students to meet with advisors in the first year.

Grade Performance Status Report 
M. Star gave a presentation about the Grade Performance Status (GPS) program developed by the Gateway Student Success Center. A pilot project of the program was undertaken this summer. The program provides a way for faculty to easily provide feedback to students at key points during the semester and help keep them on track to graduation. Both students and faculty have given the program positive reviews. M. Star indicated that a few challenges have been identified which are being worked on before the program is expanded to more faculty.

Innovation Fund
The president noted that ideas for the innovation fund can come from any division but he is looking for ideas that will truly transform the university. The funds set aside for this purpose are from the stimulus money and therefore are one-time. He indicated that the university needs to be in a better position for fiscal years 2011 and 2012. He believes the university has about a year and a half to figure out how to operate on a budget that is less than what it is today. A subset of the Strategic Planning and Budget Council will conduct the initial review of proposals and make recommendations to him. He foresees retention rates and D, F, W rates becoming a federal accountability measure in the near future.

Academic Policy and Practice Audit, Business Policy and Practice Audit
The president said that D. Bousquet would chair the Business Policy and Practice Audit committee and would look at practices across all divisions. The group will be charged to look at technical solutions. L. Grobsmith will chair the Academic Policy and Practice Audit committee.

One-Time Budget Expenditures 
P. Haeuser distributed a list of projects which have been approved for expenditure from about half of the stimulus funds. She also provided a list of items that are under consideration for the remaining stimulus funds. Some of the funds will be held in reserve.

Leadership Retreat Planning
The president indicated that he was planning a leadership retreat and was looking at January 15 as the date. The High Country Conference Center is available that day. He asked Cabinet members to see if there were any problems with the January 15 date.

Workforce PlanningD. Verkest reported that the president had approved a scaled back workforce planning process. She distributed copies of the proposal shared with the Cabinet previously and said that Option 2 on the proposal had been approved. The exact timeline has not been finalized but will be close to what is listed in the proposal.

Upcoming ABOR Meeting
The president noted that there is a Board meeting in the next few weeks and that the Executive Director of the Board has indicated his intention to retire. The Board has hired a search firm to help them decide what kind of person and position they want. Some may want to remain with an executive director; others may think a chancellor is needed. The president doesn’t know what the Board will decide. There also will be two new regents appointed in January as the terms of Regents Bulla and Boice expire this year.


The president announced that he would be looking for a new Faculty Athletic Representative (FAR). He will issue an invitation for faculty to apply for this very important position. Although the current FAR will not be retiring until June, the president hopes to fill the position by January so that there will be sufficient time for training.

M.J. McMahon noted that several audits are underway.

R. Norton said the university’s financial audit would be released to the State Auditor General this afternoon. It was a good audit with no items to work on. He also noted that the Health and Learning Center bond issuance is on track.

F. Estrella said he will be sending a list of people who have completed the security training to managers who then will need to follow up with those who have not completed the training.