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BOT approves executive search firm, more during June 7 meeting

BOT approves executive search firm, more during June 7 meeting
EN Photo / Rachel Iacovone

FGCU’s campus is slower during the summer. Dorms are empty. Starbucks closes at 11 a.m., and there’s only a handful of classes offered during each term. The Board of Trustees, however, isn’t taking a break.

On Tuesday, June 7, FGCU’s BOT met to discuss the Presidential Search Advisory Committee’s recommendation for an executive search firm, the Strategic Plan and more.

The trustees dove right into their regularly scheduled agenda, skipping out on holding an executive session. Trustee Ken Smith, who doubles as the chair of the PSAC, presented his committee’s update, informing his colleagues and those in attendance of the committee’s decision to appoint Witt/Kieffer as the executive search firm responsible for finding a replacement for university president Wilson G. Bradshaw come next spring. The Executive Search Firm Sub-Committee held a meeting on May 17 and interviewed three possible firms before deciding on Witt/Kieffer.

“It was a long day for us,” said Robbie Roepstorff, a trustee and chair of the ESFSC. “We did a very thorough, thorough interview process that day.”

Smith went into detail describing the process and the qualifications of each firm that was presented to them during the May 17 meeting. He was impressed with their ability to work with laws that resemble Sunshine Law in other states. Ultimately, Witt/Kieffer was deemed most qualified.

“Their firm in my opinion had the most resources,” Smith said. “We want someone that will be a leader first and foremost.”

The Board approved the appointment of the firm 11-0.

The FGCU Strategic Plan was discussed next and was presented by trustee and Faculty Senate president Shawn Felton.

“There’s work to continue,” Felton said. “What we’re approving here today, if the board sees fit, is the overall layout of the plan.”

The plan was first brought up during the May 20 Special Committees meeting. Its four pillars — academic excellence, entrepreneurship, health sciences and emerging pre-eminence — have stirred some controversy. During the May 20 meeting, Smith and Whitaker College of Engineering Dean Richard Behr disagreed about FGCU’s role in entrepreneurship.

Roepstorff expressed her concerns with the fourth pillar, stating that the criteria for eminence and emerging pre-eminence are more for research universities.

“I think pre-eminence and eminence is a constraint of thinking,” Bradshaw said.

After a lengthy conversation, trustee Christian Spilker motioned to approve the plan, which passed 11-0. The 2016 Board of Governors Work Plan was approved 11-0 as well.

Spilker then led the presentation of the Academic/Student/Faculty Affairs Committee. Degree Works was discussed along with a new section of the online program called the Student Education Planner. The planner is a template that will be given to incoming freshmen during orientation, designed to keep them on their major track to graduate in four years.

The Status of Current Construction Projects was presented by Steve Magiera, the vice president for Administration Services and Finance, and Tom Mayo, the director of Facilities Planning. The south access road, which will connect Ben Hill Griffin Parkway to South Village housing, will have an estimated budget of $4 million. Construction will begin in late 2017.

The Student Health and Life Fitness Center was discussed as well. The building will be located in the wetlands behind SoVi. Academic Building 9 was also mentioned, which was originally intended to be the School of Water Quality and Resource Management.

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