Harper, Heard contracts delayed at Regents; registration numbers up for fall

Cameron Koch

The Board of Regents met for its second quarterly meeting today, though with an altered agenda.

Both the contracts for men’s basketball head coach Ray Harper and women’s basketball head coach Michelle Clark-Heard were delayed by President Gary Ransdell.

“Frankly, both of those coaches are fully engaged in recruiting right now, and (interim athletics director) Todd Stewart and I didn’t want to pull them off the road to sit down and go through these contracts, get signatures and so forth,” Ransdell said.

The contracts will instead be up for approval at the third quarterly board meeting on July 27.

A slew of new academic items were all approved unanimously. Items approved were a Health Information Management Baccalaureate program, a graduate certificate in Facility and Event Management, and an Undergraduate minor in Leadership Studies.

Brian Meredith, vice president for enrollment management, delivered an enrollment report that gave regents a heads up on the upcoming fall semester.

“We are up in the fall right now in regards to registration,” Meredith said.

Registration is up 62 students from the same time last year, he said. Meredith also said that in terms of students accepted for the fall semester numbers were also up from the same time last year.

Ransdell did bring up a caution flag in Meredith’s report — a lower-than-expected number of freshman.

“I do not think it’s a matter of pricing,” he said.

Ransdell said though he didn’t know for certain, he suspected the economic environment as the reason for the low numbers.

Another important issue revolved around the renovation of the Downing University Center.

Approved at the meeting was a resolution to use the funds generated from the Student Centers and DUC renovation fees for this year only to go towards construction costs rather than debt payment, the original agreed upon use of the fees.

Ann Mead, vice president for finance and administration, said that around $2.1 million accumulated from the fees would go towards the construction costs.

Ransdell also recommended another Board of Regents meeting before the scheduled Special Budget Meeting on June 22.

Ransdell explained that the Council of Postsecondary Education meets June 21, the day before the board meeting, to approve the budget and tuition for 2012-2013. He said that CPE would prefer for the university to have reached a committee agreement in terms of tuition rate before CPE approves it.

The Board will meet again on June 1 at a finance committee meeting to approve the tuition rate before seeking further approval from CPE, as well as further discuss the university budget.