Trustees Approve Amended Policy, Discuss University Planning

The University of Northern Colorado Board of Trustees met Jan. 24 and welcomed a new trustee, elected board officers, and approved a Faculty Senate change to sabbatical leave policy to reflect current practices.

Recently appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, Christine Scanlan joined the board for her first meeting. Scanlan is president and CEO of the Keystone Center. The board introduced her and elected officers, who will continue in their previous positions from the last year: Dick Monfort, chairman; Jim Chavez, vice chairman; Michelle Quinn, treasurer; and Dan Satriana, secretary.

The board's lone action item was approving a Faculty Senate change to clarify the sabbatical leave policy in the Board Policy Manual. The update reflects current practices for determining when eligibility begins. According to the policy, consideration is counted from the beginning of the first full academic year of the faculty member's employment, beginning of the academic year following completion of a previous sabbatical leave, or the date established according to postponement provisions.

Quinn, UNC's chief financial officer, presented an overview of the 2012-13 annual financial report and the university's Composite Financial Index. The CFI calculates four ratios to provide a financial snapshot to help the university understand and monitor financial performance.

"We're engaged in long-term financial planning linked to strategic planning," UNC President Kay Norton said. "We're confident about our direction and (trustees') direction of the university."

Quinn noted that Standard & Poor's recently gave UNC an A financial rating, projecting a stable outlook for the university.

In enrollment planning, Provost Robbyn Wacker discussed fall 2014 goals for recruiting and retaining undergraduate and graduate students. The dual-pronged focus will be on access and success with emphasis on matching students with the university and providing support through graduation.

In other planning news:

  • Marketing and Communication: Vice President of University Relations, Chuck Leonhardt, discussed the university's integrated marketing plan that includes marketing strategies developed for individual academic programs that have been identified in tandem with the enrollment management plan and academic portfolio. One such program, Theatre Arts Design Tech, has the capacity to double its growth (one of the criteria used to identify specific programs to market) without changing infrastructure.
  • Community Relations: Leonhardt introduced Assistant City Manager and UNC graduate Becky Safarik, who elaborated on partnerships between the city of Greeley and university. Among them, the University District (comprising the six neighborhoods surrounding campus), pedestrian-friendly entryway developments along 8th Avenue to connect campus with downtown, and a host of co-sponsored events. The Milken Institute recently ranked Greeley among the top 10 best-performing cities. UNC is among Greeley's largest employers.
  • Athletics: Athletic Director Darren Dunn, who just completed his third official week on the job, shared his vision for the department, focusing on the student-athlete experience (building champions for life), engaging the region (including students, faculty, staff, Greeley, Weld County and Denver), compliance in following NCAA rules, and a culture of excellence.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for March 7.