Friday, September 18, 2009

Board of Trustees Meets September 22-23

The CSU Board of Trustees meets Tuesday and Wednesday, September 22-23, 2009.

The Trustees begin in closed session to cover presidential evaluations and litigation. The litigation is the Donselman vs. CSU Board of Trustees case, in which students are suing the CSU for increasing fees, and billing students again, after students had already registered and paid for classes.

The Committee on Collective Bargaining meets in closed session for a status report, then kicks off the open committee meetings at (approximately) 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

2009-2010 Budget

From the 2009-2010 Budget report in the agenda:

[A]ctions by the Legislature and Governor resulted in a revised revenue shortfall of $564 million. In addition, the CSU faces mandatory costs for 2009-10 of approximately $40 million, resulting in a total budget gap of $604 million. The actions taken by the Board and Chancellor in July address this gap as follows:

  • Furloughs $273 million (45 percent of gap)
  • Additional increase in State University Fee $157 million ( 26 percent)
  • Increase in nonresident tuition $11 million (2 percent)
  • Campus-directed cuts $163 million (27 percent)

Notwithstanding the revision of the 2009-10 budget act, the condition of the State General Fund remains precarious. The reserve built into the State budget is extraordinarily small and could be wiped out by any number of events, including State expenditures to fight fires. The budget’s balance is also at risk on the basis of various assumptions that may prove to be unrealistic. Most importantly, State revenues could fall short of projections by billions of dollars due to the extreme sensitivity of the State’s tax structure to the course of the State’s economy.

Select Agenda Items

  • Ratification of a collective bargaining agreement for Unit 6 with the State Employees’ Trades Council-United (SETC). SETC recently ratified this contract and voted to reject furloughs in favor of layoffs.
  • Review of vice presidential compensation (See page 5 of the Committee on University and Faculty Personnel agenda for a table)
  • Report on relocation expenses for Benjamin Quillian, appointed Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer in September 2008: $41,176.11 for relocation of household ($39,758 authorized) and $52,660.00 for home sale fees and expenses ($67,500 authorized).
  • The legislative report lists 7 pages of bills. Here are some of the bills of interest to the CSU:
    • AB 1222: Removes the 2011 sunset date on the CSU and UC's ability to release (rent) alumni personal information, without consent, for affinity marketing campaigns
    • AB 24: Requires CSU to conduct a feasibility study on a CSU campus in Chula Vista (San Diego County)
    • AB 220: Would put a bond for a unspecified amount on the ballot, for Kindergarten-University public education. The CSU supports this bill.
    • AB 656 (Oil and Gas Severance Tax): The CSU has no official position on this bill, but says Of ultimate concern is the impact this measure could have on the state’s commitment to higher education including very weak language regarding supplementing versus supplanting our General Fund budget support.
    • AB 690: Would allow an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees to send a designee to attend Trustee meetings in his/her absence. The CSU opposes this bill.
    • SB 218: Makes campus foundation/auxiliary entities subject to the public records act. This bill has passed both houses and is on its way to the governor. The CSU opposes this bill.
  • Issuance of bonds of up to $60,985,000 for:
    • Arecreation center at CSU East Bay, $27,385,000
    • Purchase and renovation of apartments for CSULA, $6,850,000
    • Purchase of an apartment complex for a CSU San Diego auxiliary organization, $24,500,000
  • Approval of the CSU Identity Theft Prevention Implementation Plan, required by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA). Potential Covered Accounts listed in the appendix include payroll, campus billing and accounts receivable, university corporate credit card, employee and staff health insurance planse, faculty rental and for sale housing (no mention of staff housing), and employee and staff loans. (See Agenda Item 1 for the Committee of the Whole, beginning on page 9 of the PDF)
  • Litigation report from CSU General Council Christine Helwick. Some excerpts:
    • Block v. CSU, et al.
      Joel Block, a systemwide HR manager in the Chancellor's Office, was nonretained in January 2008 for performance reasons. He alleges that a pattern of adverse treatment, including a demotion, salary freeze and suspension, culminating in his non-retention, constituted discrimination and retaliation based upon his age, disability, efforts to redress grievances, and protests over the award of a no-bid contract to consultants. The case is in the pleading stage. CSU's motion to dismiss certain claims and defendants from the lawsuit is pending.
    • Verellen v. CSU, et al.
      Paul Verellen, a systemwide HR manager in the Chancellor's Office, was nonretained in March 2008 for performance reasons. In September 2007, immediately after learning informally of his supervisor's dissatisfaction with his performance, Verellen filed a whistleblower complaint that a labor relations consultant was improperly retained by the CSU. After he was formally advised a few days later that he would not receive a merit salary increase because of his performance, he filed a whistleblower retaliation complaint and a complaint of age discrimination. He filed a second retaliation complaint after he was nonretained. His retaliation and age discrimination complaints were investigated and rejected. Verellen then filed a petition for writ of mandate claiming the retaliation investigative outcomes are wrong and requesting reinstatement. The court denied Verellen's petition for writ of mandate, thereby precluding him from filing a lawsuit for damages under the California Whistleblower Protection Act. Verellen also filed a complaint for damages for whistleblower retaliation (under other statutes) and age discrimination. He is 58 years old. This separate damages action is stayed but will likely proceed now that the ruling in the writ proceeding has been entered.
    • Donselman v. CSU
      This is a purported class action filed by two students from San Francisco State University and CSU San Bernardino, challenging the July 2009 student university fee increase and the May 2009 Graduate Business Professional fee, both of which are to be imposed in the Fall 2009 term. Plaintiffs' application for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction were denied. The case is in the pleading stage.
    • Mattiuzzi v. CSUS, et al.
      Cici Mattiuzzi is a career counselor in College of Engineering and Computer Science at CSU Sacramento. She alleges that she was unlawfully retaliated against for complaining about the activities of a faculty member who she says treated students and employees in a threatening and discriminatory manner. She also claims that this same faculty member assaulted her. The case is in the pleading stage.
    • Bale v. CSU
      Courtney Bale, a strength and conditioning coach at SDSU, complains that an unfavorable performance evaluation, being denied the opportunity to work with the football and basketball teams, and being given a computer with pornography are sex discrimination and retaliation for reporting that she was treated differently from a male strength and conditioning coach. The case is in the discovery stage. On August 24, 2009, CSU filed a motion for summary judgment. Trial is set for November 13, 2009.
    • Additional cases alleging sexual harassment, gender and age discrimination, and/or retaliation for whisteblowing. See Agenda Item 2 for the Committee of the Whole, beginning on page 28 of the PDF.
  • Proposed changes to Title 5 regarding residency reclassification of students dependent on out-of-state parents (information item): CSU students have often been able to achieve California residency after their first year of enrollment in CSU, notwithstanding their financial dependence on nonresident parents or others. It is time to tighten up what has become this loophole.

About Trustees Meetings

For the most part, the discussion happens in the Committee meetings, and then the full Board meets in plenary session and approves whatever is before it. The Board seldom says no to the CSU.

The open sessions are open to anyone at all, and there is no sign-in or identification requirement. You can just sit in the audience and watch if you're interested.

The (as yet unapproved) minutes of the previous meetings are in the agendas for the current meetings.

Anyone can address the Board of Trustees, or write to them. To write, use the mailing address on the second page of the current meeting schedule.


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