5/14 BoT Special Meeting Post 5

DIscussion of IT contracts is concluded and voting us unanimously in favor.

Chair Hamilton:I would like to  change the order of the agenda. I would like to postpone Item 8A2 to the next meeting. This is on Strategic Planning.

I would like to discuss 8B5 first and then 8B1 last.

Hamllton: Any new business?

Mazzochi: There are things that stem from the financial report that came in the BoT financial reports that we need to have some discussion on. From the March and April financial reports we have some invoices that reflect over 50,000 in postage costs.  Some are discussed as a post card for COD as fiscally responsible, a PULSE postcard, IMPACT volumes 3 and 4.  I would like clarification on this. IMPACT is only supposed to be published 3 times a year.

Hamilton: I believe Joe Moore is prepared to talk about the extra mailings.

Moore presents the 4 cards in question. I will discuss how they were requested of my office, when, the timing of the mailings and the costs.

First week of March, we were asked by President Breuder asked Marketing for a postcard that would be sent to households in the District that would show why COD is the best value and the fastest growing CC. We sent out bids. That same week, we got a request for a second card that would talk about COD’s fiscal health.  That same week, we received a request for a 3rd card that would inform the public about our PULSE survey. Then, two other cards were requested on academic reputation and students opinions.  They were to include WDCB.

The last 2 were rescinded by Chairman Hamilton and no one has asked us for any postcards since.

Each card cost approximately 41,000 to print sort and mail.  Marketing had the budget for one card but not more. I told Dr. Breuder that. He then went to the Foundation for further funding.

We were able to afford the first postcard by expanding IMPACT that goes to 377,000 households. IT was expanded to 12 pages form the usual 8, and so we did not have the funds for the next issue of IMPACT as it now cost more than budgeted. That is how we had the funds for the first postcard.

Bernstein: Is the timing of these publications and mailings usual?

Moore: No, it is not usual. Not a sequence over a month and a half.

Bernstein: Do you have any idea why this timing?

Moore: I do not want to read Breuder’s mind. I know that there was a lot of negativity about the college at the time.

Hamilton: How divergent were these from normal marketing schemes?

Moore: These were not like other publications we had been sending out.

Hamilton: So we don’t normally try to attract students by sending out mailings comparing us to the state and to the country?

Moore: No

Hamilton: IS there anything that was messaged out, stray messaging outside of our overall marketing plan?

Moore: It has not been typical for us to send out information about a community survey.

Hamilton: Especially not one that changes surveys from one year to another. I understand that statisticians do not trust the validity of that data.

Mazzochi: IMPACT was expanded from 8 pages to 12. Did those pages that were added discuss the Waterleaf?

Moore: That was included.

Mazz: When were those 4 pages planned?

Moore: The entire issue was planned at the end of December, beginning of January.

Mazz: Was it originally slated to be 8 pages?

Moore: Dr Breuder decided by the end of December to make it go from 8 to 12 pages.

Mazzochi: Who gave you the guidance on these extra pages?

Moore: Dr. Breuder

Hamilton: Wouldn’t this normally originate from Marketing?

Moore: We always did get a fair amount of advising and input form Breduer. It was not normal to have these number of maiings in a row,

Mazz: You had funds available for one. How did you get the extra funds?

Moore: I explained to Breuder that we needed additional funds to be able to pay for the postcards.

Mazzochi: Who initiated the transfer of those funds?

Moore: Breuder

Mazz: How did that happen?

Moore: The funding became available but I am not the best person to say how that happened.

Mazz asks about the bidding process and Precise Printing

Moore: These cards were given to us one at a time. We did not see it as a series so we didn’t know that we needed to go to the BoT. When it became apparent, we went to the BoT. That’s when they were removed form the agenda.

Hamilton: The initial cards were done without the Board’s knowledge.

Moore: I am not the one in contact with the BoT. Breuder had that. He would have been the one to tell the BoT.

Hamilton: When we have variance with normal procedure we have to go to the BoT. Is that what you are saying?

Moore: IT came up to the 20,000 threshold. When it became apparent it was multiple cards and it was a series, we saw that we had to take it to the BoT.

Hamilton: I am trying to show that when you take a project apart and approve individual parts it can fly under the radar of the 25,000. Budget transfers are reviewed quarterly. If you have a project that is brought into pieces it can go by the BoT. We must have policies that prevent the transferring of monies of this magnitude. We need a policy that requires more frequent review. So we can show ourselves, our students, our administration, the public that we are fiscally responsible.

Napolitano: But each card is more than 25,000. Each one is above that threshold.

Moore: Postage, I was told, is not part of that, and the postage is what took it above that threshold. Greg Doty is I think the one who would have been responsible.

Moore: I had the budget to do one. Almost immediately the other requests came in. We had to go back and say we didn’t have the budget.

Napolitano: Were you told you needed to go to the Board?

Moore: The first seemed okay. Then it became apparent with the subsequent requests, that we would need to go to the BoT to approve funding.

Napolitano: Counsel, could you find out if there is indeed an exception for postage?

Counsel: I don’t know. I will have to look into it.

Napolitano: And what about the Foundation transferring money to cover it?

Counsel: I will find that out.

Mazzochi: I don’t want to ask Mr Moore about this because I don’t think he is the one to know how. I’d like to ask Mr. Glaser.

Glaser comes up to the podium

Mazzochi: Were you aware of this need to transfer the money from one budget?

Glaser: Yes I knew. Breuder asked me to replenish a line item in Marketing that did not have enough money.

Mazzochi: did Breuder tell you to transfer?

Glaser: It came through in the form of a note.

Glaser: It was a spreadsheet with a handwritten note.To use COD contingency fun d to transfer money to marketing.

Mazz: Isn’t contingency to be used for emergency?

Glaser: Not exactly

Mazz: do you prepare the annual budget?

Glaser: Yes

Mazz: The budget defines what an emergency or unexpected, non foreseen expenditure. Is that transfer noted anywhere? Where in the report is that transfer?

Mazz: Who on the Board did you inform of ths 150,00 transfer of money from contingency to marketing? This was in March? You didn’t think to alert anyone? What if the Board didn’t approve of it? The funds would have been spent and you would not have been able to retrieve them.

Hamilton: Vice Chair Mazz, this is what I was talking about. We have a policy that only allows for review of these trasnfers on a quarterly basis. We need to do these more frequently. In my opinion this is something that should not happen again. as a board we have to have a tighter control of these types of “emergencies.”  Next week we will bring forth a new policy.

Mazz: But I want to understand what would have happened if the BoT had not approved?

Glaser: They would have been put back

Mazzocchi: but how?

The chair gives the floor to the attorney who explains that there is no policy to allow the administration to just remove money from the contingency fund and to transfer it. But the policy is unclear.

Hamilton: I will take the floor and state that this is the problem and this is very serious. This is why we need new policy.

Bernstein: how many transfers occur a year?

Glaser; from contingency?

Bernstein: from anywhere to anywhere.

Sapyta: a couple hundred over the course of the year.

Bernstein: it would be easy to make it available to the Board, on the website.

Sapyta: sure, if IT can do it.

Mazzochi: how many transfers out of contingency this year?

Sapyta: 3

Mazzocchi: how many, in your tenure, were done for a mailer?

Glaser: none.

Mazzocchi: the grounds for the transfer must be documented as need. What were the grounds? What was the documentation? Who told you this was going to be adequate?

Sapyta: chain of command. The president tells you it’s adequate. You do it.

Mazzocchi: did you personally ask any BOT member to see if they were ok? Did you ask for a special BOT meeting?

Glaser: no.

Mazzocchi: because dr Breuder told you this was ok?

Glaser: yes.

Mazzocchi: did you ask anyone else?

Glaser: no.

Napolitano: so, this was an unauthorized expenditure. Are there any emails documenting this?

Hamilton: anyone else has questions regarding the transfer.

Break for 10 minutes.