Trustees discuss decision packages, other items at meetings April 12 and 13

Western Today staff

[ Editor’s Note: After each Board of Trustees meeting, Western Today provides a recap of decisions and discussion. ]

Western’s Board of Trustees heard presentations on possible Decision Packages to present to the Legislature for the 2013-15 biennium. The trustees heard presentations from:

While there has been little or no state funding in recent years for new programs, the trustees discussed the fact that Western must be prepared and ready to respond to and address critical and evolving state needs, such as the need for more engineers, science and math teachers and audiologists.

In other business, the trustees:

  • Engaged in a dialogue on the various ways the University and community could better collaborate with Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville and Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws. The discussion included ideas such as increasing the number of Western students doing internships and service-learning with the city and county; utilizing more faculty expertise on some city and county efforts; and more closely collaborating on economic development that benefits the community.
  • Approved a renewal of the employment contract for President Bruce Shepard. Under terms of the new contract, the president has no increase in base salary and retention incentives are included if he remains at Western for the next three years, and then the three years after that.
  • Approved a resolution honoring Western’s national championship winning men’s basketball team. They congratulated Coach Brad Jackson, national coach of the year. Several trustees expressed appreciation for the team’s demonstrations of character in the face of adversity and as wonderful ambassadors for Western. They noted that the excellence of Western’s student-athletes is indicative of the excellence that can be found throughout campus.
  • Recognized the exceptional community efforts of music professor Roger Briggs.
  • Discussed the fact that the Legislature approved a supplemental budget with no cuts for Western and public higher education. President Shepard and the trustees thanked Sherry Burkey, associate vice president for University Relations, for her efforts in Olympia on behalf of the University. And Burkey noted the efforts by many of the Western community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and many others who successfully advocated on behalf of Western and higher education.
  • Approved housing and dining rates.
  • Approved a preconstruction contract for the Carver renovation; approved a construction contract for the Mathes Hall renovation; and approved a construction contract for classroom and lab upgrades.

Board of Trustees meetings are audiocast live online and archived for later listening. Part one and part two of the April 12 meeting and part one and part two of the April 13 meeting are now available.

Meeting documents are available at the Board of Trustees website at

Monday, April 16, 2012