Washburn University’s Board of Regents held a meeting this past Friday, Sept. 25, to assess committee reports as well as review certain actions and policies moving forward for the university.
The Board of Regents consists of nine members that govern the university, including Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast, three appointees chosen by the Mayor, three appointees chosen by the governor, Shawnee County Commission appointee Terry Beck and Kansas Board of Regents appointee Bill Feuerborn.
Blake Porter, Washburn Student Government Association President, was present at the meeting, and encouraged the student body to become further educated on the board and its decisions at Washburn.
“I think a lot of people are familiar with [the] Kansas Board of Regents, and I hope students know we actually have our own Board of Regents. The decisions made by the Washburn Board of Regents have a direct impact on Washburn. I encourage students to attend their meetings and to be informed. Something that happened at the past meeting was [choosing] a new marketing place,” Porter said.
As Porter recalled, replacing the marketing and advertising agency that Washburn previously worked with, Jones Huyett Partners, was discussed at the meeting. The Board of Regents is currently contemplating replacing the jhP agency with the Frank Agency, based out of Johnson County.
Along with the marketing agency decision, the Board also held the public hearing and final adoption of the university budget at the meeting. According to the Public Budget form in the Board of Regents’ agenda, the university estimates a total of $81,569,270 in expenditures this year, and projects next years’ revenue will give the school $97,194,557 in resources available for the 2016 school year.
The Board also discussed a request by the Residential Living department to purchase specialized housing software, which will serve various purposes, such as assisting in developing housing contracts, room assignment, meal plan selection and hiring of residential assistants. A company named StarRez Incorporated based out of Colorado will be contracted to develop the software.
Washburn University President Jerry Farley who sat in the center between the nine members of the Board of Regents, commented on the importance of the board.
“The structure in Washburn gives a great deal of authority to and responsibility to the Board of Regents. They have to oversee the entire institution, and make decisions about policy that the institution will follow. They are very diligent about exercising that authority and that responsibility. We’ve been very fortunate; we’ve got a board that works well together. There are no conflicts back and forth. They know Washburn very well, for the most part they were in school here… They have a real passion to make the university better,” Farley said.
Anyone interested in reviewing the Board of Regents’s meeting in full detail can find the meeting minutes at http://www.washburn.edu/about/leadership/board-regents/index.html.