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K-State Today Student Edition

January 18, 2017



Kansas Board of Regents January meeting agenda items

By Cindy Bontrager

Dear Campus Community,

The Kansas Board of Regents will meet Jan. 18 at the Curtis State Office Building in Topeka. The board will consider the following agenda items during the meeting.

The Regents will act on a request for nine additional courses to be recognized for transfer across the Kansas Board of Regents system in the systemwide course transfer matrix. The additional courses recommended for approval are anatomy and physiology, biology II and lab for majors, contemporary math/essential math, first aid and CPR, general calculus/business calculus, introduction to business, introduction to education, introduction to gender, women, and sexuality studies and medical terminology.

Kansas State University requests approval to raze a concrete block and steel barn and a metal shed at the Purebred Beef Unit location. The Purebred Beef Unit is currently being relocated from the site adjacent to the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility. Following demolition, the site will be seeded to grass. The cost of razing the barn and clearing the site is estimated at $65,000 and will be financed from funds appropriated by the Legislature to relocate the Purebred Beef Unit.

Kansas State University requests approval to amend the fiscal year 2017 capital improvement project plan and to accept the program statement for the Agronomy Education Center. The training and education center will enhance undergraduate teaching, technology sharing with research partners and extension offices, and related research programs. The center will adjacent to the Ag Research Center on Kimball Avenue. The total project cost is estimated at $1.2 million and will be financed from private funds. Operations and maintenance costs will be financed from departmental funds.

The Regents will appoint a new member to the Retirement Plan Committee to serve the remainder of the three-year term of the position held by Mirta Martin, former Fort Hays State University president. The Council of Presidents recommends Allison Garrett, Emporia State University president, serve as its representative on the committee. The committee is composed of representatives from the board, Council of Presidents, Council of Business Officers and Advisory Committee on Retirement and Benefits.

The Regents will act on recommended Kansas Board of Regents student health insurance benefit and premium rates for plan year 2017-2018. The annual premium rate will increase by 5.17 percent from the prior plan year. The student only premium will be $1,464, which is an increase of $72. No changes to the plan's benefits are proposed.

The Regents will receive the annual Foresight 2020 progress report. Foresight 2020 sets long-range achievement goals to ensure the state's higher education system meets Kansans' expectations. The three strategic goals of the plan are to increase higher education attainment among Kansans, improve alignment of the state's higher education system with the needs of the economy and ensure state university excellence.

The Regents will receive a report on the inventory of physical facilities and space utilization. The report is prepared every two years and includes building information related to area and replacement costs, age, room usage and utilization of classrooms and laboratories.

The Regents will receive a report on state university deferred and annual maintenance. The report is prepared every two years and provides an overview of the maintenance needs based on audits performed on all buildings and infrastructure at each state educational institution.

Kansas State University requests authorization to proceed with an energy performance contract with Energy Solutions Professionals totaling approximately $2.8 million. The project will include energy conservation and facility improvements at Kansas State University Polytechnic such as lighting retrofit to LED technology, water conservation, building infiltration improvements, communicating programmable thermostats and new boilers and chillers in Harbin and Schilling halls. A campuswide energy conservation education program also will be implemented on the Polytechnic campus. The university requests the Regents adopt a resolution approving the procurement of long-term financing by the Kansas Development Finance Authority to finance the projects.

The Regents will act on proposed amendments to the board's weapon policy. The Governance Committee recommends the policy be amended to allow universities to permit storage of lawfully possessed concealed carry handguns in additional secure places and to allow possession of stun guns for self-defense purposes. Taser-like weapons will remain prohibited. The Regents approved K-State's weapons policy in December. Read the approved policy.

The Regents will receive an update on the University Engineering Initiative Act, or UEIA. Under the UEIA, the Kansas Legislature appropriated $1 million in 2011 to expand the state's professional engineering training programs at Kansas State University, the University of Kansas and Wichita State University to address needs for engineers in industries that were not being met with the current levels of graduating students. The appropriation was enhanced by a commitment of $3.5 million per year for 10 years with a 1:1 dollar match for each of the three colleges of engineering to continue the expansion and produce a combined total of 1,365 engineering graduates per year by 2022. The combined number of engineering graduates in 2016 was 1,285.

Kansas State University requests approval to award an honorary doctorate degree during the spring 2017 Graduate School commencement ceremony. Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals who have attained distinction as a scholar and/or for service to society. The intended recipient of the honorary doctorate degree will be announced during the board meeting.

The Regents will act on proposed J-1 visa legislation to modify state statute to allow state universities to self-insure only those employees who do not meet federal requirements due to changing state health insurance plans. Changes to Plan A of the State Employee Health Plan for the 2017 plan year prevent benefits-eligible visiting scholars from obtaining employer-provided health insurance that meets the requirements of federal law. The proposed statue modifications would authorize the board to administer a Health Reimbursement Account to bridge the gap between the requirements of federal regulations and the deductible for the State Employee Health Plan.

The Regents will receive an update on the budget and other higher education-related issues for this Legislative session.

If you have any questions about these agenda items, please contact me at cab@k-state.edu or 785-532-6226. The meeting will be streamed live online. For live updates on all Kansas Board of Regents meetings follow @ksregents on Twitter. Agendas and complete meeting minutes also are available online.

Sincerely,

Cindy Bontrager
Vice president for administration and finance