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Tri-campus Steering Committee Notes
February 28th Meeting
South Campus Center

Fred Campbell began by saying the daylong meeting was a focused planning session, the object of which was to come up with a work plan, a timeline, and a division of labor. Structuring the committee's planning would be a discussion of what the final product would be, i.e. what kind of document, and how it would be structured. It was determined that both ideal-types of university systems and issues affected such systems would be presented. More than likely, the product would be a PowerPoint presentation.

Some comments were made about the different external factors for each campus. Bothell and Tacoma, while having relatively similar missions, have already evolved into distinct campuses. In addition, the population on each campus is more and more composed "traditional" college students, rather than the older, place-bound students the campuses were started to serve. A further driving force are political and demographic pressures: political in the sense that the Legislature funds undergraduate education in particular and desires more bachelor degree production out of the public baccalaureates; and demographic in the sense that there will be increasing demand for higher education until at least 2008.

The committee began its substantive work by considering various grids that would show who would have authority over what issues in particular types of university systems. Sue Hegyvary drew a theoretical grid of models vs. issues (such as governance, academic programs, budget, etc.) in which a diagonal line rose from the bottom to the top, with it the highest for the most loosely bound system. [This grid is available on a flip chart produced at the meeting.]

Once this was done, the committee spent time brainstorming what the actual models of university systems were. The committee began systems of national governance, including "federated," "coordinated" (such as the Commonwealth of Independent States) and "autonomous." These adjectives led to more specific models of university governance, which were graphically represented by Meszaros. This done, the committee composed another grid, determining whether authority on issues was shared or separate. This grid ended up resembling Hegyvary's theoretical model of governance. During this period of the meeting, the committee also produced graphic symbols representing how authority is distributed under each model. [The symbols, along with the names for the systems and the ensuing grid are available on the website, with copies of the actual flip charts in the Faculty Senate office.]

The next issue taken up by the committee was the document that would be produced. It was determined that the first draft should be a working paper that members of the committee can take to various constituencies. The structure had become apparent from the preceding discussion. The paper would begin with a short history, first of how Tacoma and Bothell were planned by the HECB, in accord with the wishes of the Legislature. Then Bothell and Tacoma would provide short histories of their own development. [It remained unresolved as to whether there would an equivalent history of the Seattle campus during the same period. While budget cuts and the focus on undergraduate education have changed nature of the campus, writing a history of Seattle involves the history of the various units. Seattle itself is a federation within a coordinated system. ] Then the paper would lay out external forces, including HECB proposals for the newer campuses in the Interim Master Plan and demographic factor. The next chapter of the report will lay out the issues that would be affected by changes in the university system. Finally, there will be a section on the ideal-types of systems, and examples from different states and possibly those of British Columbia. There will be no "fifth" chapter in the working paper, since that would presumably be recommendations. The aim of the working paper is to start discussion, but also to assure that that discussion is well-informed. One metaphor for the working paper used by Hegyvary was "environmental assessment."

With a clearer idea of the information that they wanted to present and a proposed structure for the working paper on ideal-types and their structure, the committee had done their work for they day. They ended by noting what the next steps were: 1) The ideal-types or models needed to be passed around to assure that there was agreement on what the possibilities were; 2) background work for the working paper needed to be done; and 3) a list of people to talk to flesh the pros and cons needed to be drawn up. These tasks will be taken up by the March 26th meeting of the Steering committee.

Committee notes and summary by Robert Corbett.