ASURA Board Special Meeting - March 24, 2010

Board Members Present: Joyce Hartman Diaz, Elmer Gooding, Connie McNeill, William Moor, Bill Stasi, Mary Stevens. Absent: Gary Anderson, Bob Barnhill, Jim Fordemwalt, Doug Johnson, Jo Madonna, Rose Minetti, Carolyn Minner, Val Peterson, Lou Weschler

Guests: Sue Blumer, Chair of the ASURA Scholarship Committee, Patricia Brody, Financial Aid Manager, Student Financial Assistance; Alan Johnson, member of the ASURA Scholarship Committee; Mary Wheeler, Asst. VP for Business Services Support, ASU Foundation; Hal White, former ASURA president and Board member

I. CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by President Mary Stevens at 10:15 a.m. It was recognized that the meeting lacked a quorum, so that there could be no official votes taken.

A quick review of an on-line article on Roberts Rules of Order, 10th Edition, revealed that e-mail voting can be a suitable method of voting by mail. Therefore, it was agreed that those in attendance would move forward to develop a recommendation to the Board, and that President Stevens would submit the recommendation to the Board for e-mail voting. It is important that this piece of business be completed before a new Board is seated, which will take place after the April 17 Annual Meeting. There is no regular Board meeting scheduled prior to that time.

II. SPECIAL TOPIC

Mary explained that this special meeting is limited to discussion and action on criteria for selecting recipients of ASURA scholarships. In 1997, the ASURA Board established a scholarship endowment account, developed criteria and articulated the goal/purpose of ASURA scholarships. No endowment agreement was executed. Prior to executing an endowment agreement with the Foundation, the Board will consider the following in this special meeting:

  1. Current criteria as stated in the ASU Retirees Association Scholarship Criteria Checklist dated May 15, 1997.
  2. Criteria factors presented at the March 10, 2010 Board meeting.
  3. Comments of Hal White regarding the original intent of the Board regarding the establishment of the scholarship account.

This information had been distributed to the Board prior to this meeting.

III. DETERMINATION OF SCHOLARSHIP CRITERIA

The group discussed first some proposed wording for the “Spirit and Intent of Donor”. There was major discussion about two specific criteria:

    1. Should the recipient be required to be an Arizona resident?

      Alan Johnson referred to the Scholarship Committee’s report as recorded in the minutes of the May 1996 Board meeting. This included an announcement of the newly-established scholarship. Although minutes of earlier meetings suggested limiting the scholarship to Arizona residents, the criteria as announced in Spring 1996 did not include a requirement for residency. Hal White confirmed that he did not recall that Arizona residency was an issue.

      It was pointed out by several people that if we are silent on the residency question in our criteria, that does not preclude the Scholarship Committee from considering it either in announcements or in selection of recipients. Several argued in favor of allowing non-residents to apply because they have greater need, there are fewer scholarships available to them than to residents, and they are an important component of a diverse ASU student body.

      There was discussion about the advantage of restricting the scholarship to Arizona residents from the standpoint of addressing a greater portion of an individual’s need, since in-state tuition is substantially less than is out-of-state tuition. To help with our thinking on this matter, Pat Brodt explained that Student Business Services has priorities that are applied to all cash awards. Such awards may apply to any item on a student’s bill, typically with tuition taking first priority, then housing a meal plans, etc. If a student has another means of paying tuition, then our award might apply to another item on his/her bill.

      The group agreed to recommend to the full Board that we not restrict our scholarship to Arizona residents.

    2. How much of an absence from academic pursuits must recipients have?

      All of the materials available to us make it clear that the original intent was for a recipient to be new to university studies, with a break of at least five years since completing high school. Criteria that have been used in selecting recipients for the past many years have specified that students must have had such a break, but that attendance at community college does not disqualify applicants.

      The group present was in agreement that we should stay with the “returning student” concept, and that we should be as clear as possible about what that means in our statement of the “Spirit and Intent of Donor” that guides the Foundation in distribution of funds from our Scholarship Endowment fund. There was also agreement that we want to permit community college attendees to apply, since very often these are the most motivated and needy students entering ASU.

      At length, the group agreed to recommend the following for the “Spirit and Intent of Donor”. It is understood that the final document will not use bullets, but will convert the criteria into sentences:

      “The Donor established this scholarship to support students with financial need who:

      • Have not attended high school for at least five years;
      • Have not attended a university in the past five years (but may have completed one semester at ASU);
      • May have attended a community college.”

      The group also agreed on the following criteria statements and selection process. These are as recommended by the Finance Committee with the exception that the Finance Committee included a recommendation that the criteria include Arizona residency. It is understood that the second point is not optional, since the money in the Endowment Scholarship fund has been given to the Foundation, and is now the responsibility of the Foundation. There was brief discussion on the 4th point, but no real objection to allowing an existing recipient to be the recipient for a second year, since it is hard for a student to find a new source of financial aid every year:

      1. Recipients are students with financial need who have not attended high school for at least five years and have not attended a university in the past five years (but may have completed one semester at ASU and may have attended community college).
      2. The number and amount of awards are at the discretion of the Administrator in consultation with the ASU Retirees Association.
      3. The award will be paid in two installments, half for the fall semester and half in the spring semester.
      4. The award may be renewed for a second year if the recipient meets the minimum GPA requirements as defined in the selection process.
      5. Applicants will demonstrate financial need as defined by the ASU Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Selection Process: The Administrator will identify students who meet the requirements for this scholarship, and share the pool with a selection committee consisting of members of the ASU Retirees Association or their designee, for selection of the recipients.

III. MEETING ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at noon.