November 20, 2018
The NC-SARA Board met in Memphis, Tennessee on November 1. Eighteen of the 22 Board members attended the meeting and three others participated via telephone. Draft minutes of the meeting will be released in early December.
This was the first meeting for two new presidents of the regional education compacts: Susan Heegaard, President of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, and Stephen Pruitt, President of the Southern Regional Education Board. Both attended the meeting. Dr. Heegaard has succeeded Larry Isaac as President of MHEC and now represents MHEC on the NC-SARA Board. Mr. Isaac served on the NC-SARA Board since its inception in late 2013, and his advocacy of the SARA initiative in the MHEC region led to rapid adoption of SARA by midwestern states and rapid growth in the participation of midwestern institutions.
Dr. Pruitt has succeeded Dave Spence as President of SREB. Dr. Spence served on the NC-SARA Board from its beginnings in late 2013 until May, 2018. He represented SREB states and strongly supported and influenced the growth of SARA in the SREB region.
The November 1 meeting was the last meeting for Dave Longanecker, currently Interim President of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Dr. Longanecker previously served on the NC-SARA Board from its inception and returned following the departure of Joe Garcia, who succeeded Dr. Longanecker as President of WICHE and served on the NC-SARA Board for approximately two years. Dr. Longanecker was an early and strongly influential leader of the SARA initiative and his early advocacy led to rapid growth in the WICHE region. He will be succeeded on the NC-SARA Board by Dr. Demi Michelau, who has been named to succeed Dr. Longanecker as President of WICHE on January 1, 2019.
The November 1 meeting was also the last for M. Peter McPherson, President of the Associate of Public and Land-grant Universities. Mr. McPherson served for four years as Vice Chair of the NC-SARA Board and was co-convener of the Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education, whose work and report supported the development and implementation of SARA.
The Board elected Ed Ray, President of Oregon State University, to a three-year term on the Board. Dr. Ray’s term began at the conclusion of the November 1 meeting. The Board also re-elected Barbara Ballard, Dianne Harrison, Teresa Lubbers, Leah Matthews, Patricia O’Brien, George E. Ross, Paul Shiffman, Larry Tremblay and Belle Wheelan to additional three-year terms. A list of board members is available HERE.
Board members received and approved an audit of NC-SARA’s FY 2018 financial statements. The auditor reported that: “In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of NC-SARA as of June 30, 2018 and 2017 and the changes in its net assets and its cash flows for the years then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.”
The Board considered two possible modifications to the SARA Manual; both proposed modifications are available HERE. The first proposed modification stipulated a set of circumstances that would require a particular issue or concern to be brought to the Board for consideration. The Board tabled that proposal and directed the staff to work with the SARA community and bring back a revision for consideration at the Board’s next meeting (May 9, 2019).
The second proposed modification affects institutions approved by their Home State to participate in SARA on a provisional basis. Previously, institutions could participate on a provisional basis for a maximum of one year. The modification approved by the Board allows for a possible extension of that period for an additional year if certain circumstances are met. The text of the proposed modification is available through the previous link. With one amendment – substituting in Section 3.2 d, 4 the required approval of the President of the regional compact, instead of the SARA director of the regional compact – the modification passed unanimously. Now in effect, it will be included in the next version of the SARA Manual, to be issued by the end of 2018. The text of the modification as passed is available HERE.
Finally, because I had previously told the Board that I intend to leave my position with NC-SARA at the end of June, 2019, the Board met in executive session to discuss its search for my successor. During that session the Board changed my title from Executive Director to President and Chief Executive Officer.
Marshall A. Hill
President and Chief Executive Officer