President Brown gave a brief update on several aspects of the campus to the KSU Board of Regents:
- President Brown introduced new hires and recently promoted employees: Dr. Crystal deGregory (Director of the Atwood Institue), Lisa K. Lang (General Counsel), Dr. Gus T. Ridgel (Senior Advisor to the President), Sonia Sanders (Assistant Vice President for Public Engagement and Community Outreach), Cheryl Dunn (Confidential Assistant to the President) and Monica King (Office Manager for the Office of the President).
- President Brown noted that a new campus master plan is needed and a request for proposals will be forthcoming. The last master plan was created during former President Mary Sias’ administration.
- An audit of the land grant programs resulted in re-purposing $2 million that had been dormant. A project to renovate Hunter Hall is waiting on approval from the state.
- KSU has a relatively low level of debt and a declining threshold of service, opening the possibility for new bonds for renovation or new construction.
- President Brown requested from the state auditor a five-year forensic audit to be conducted in certain areas of campus. Doing so will aid in the upcoming SACSCOC reaffirmation, he said. Board Chair Farris said it will show KSU stakeholders that the board is serious about being good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
Board of Regents ratifies Academic Affairs Administrative Structure
The Board of Regents ratified the Academic Affairs Administrative Structure presented by KSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Debbie Thomas.
The proposed move would add positions at the provost and dean level, creating leadership at a level between faculty and the provost.
President Brown noted that under the current structure, faculty input was not always able to be acted upon quickly enough, causing a delay in resolving pertinent issues.
He also noted the proposed structure would create a net savings of around $185,000, which he said would go toward faculty and staff raises and attracting new faculty.
Finance and administration action items
Several action items were approved relating to finance and administration of the University.
- KSU has entered into an agreement to lease the gift shop space in the Capital Plaza. Renovations are underway for the soon-to-open Thorobred Shop.
- Contracts or interim letters of agreement with the Capital Plaza Hotel, Sodexo, Paul Miller Ford, Crowe Horwath were approved. President Brown noted that any contract over $50,000 would be brought to the board for approval moving forward.
- The board approved the 2017-2018 audit plan submitted by former KSU Internal Auditor Ingram Quick. KSU Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Kevin Appleton said the audit plan was very reasonable. Quick was recently rehired by the City of Louisville and submitted his resignation at KSU. The position of internal auditor is currently posted.
- The board approved hiring Crowe Horwath as the new external auditor, replacing Dean Dorton. Dean Dorton will remain in a consulting role for the University.
- The board approved a policy allowing third-parties with proper licensure that are renting space on campus to serve alcohol. President Brown noted that with the convention center closing, inquiries for renting space on campus has gone up. He added that KSU is the only public university in the state without such a policy.