BOT December 7 Meeting: What to Expect

trusteesVia FIU Flickr

Alexander Luzula | Assistant News Director

The Board of Trustees will be meeting for the last time this semester on Dec. 7th at 9 a.m. in the Graham Center Ballrooms. 

After an eventful semester, the Board will be meeting to discuss progress made on a variety of topics, including the Baptist-Wertheim College affiliation, audits in progress and development, and many others. Ahead of the time of the meeting, the board has publicly released its agenda of topics being discussed at the meeting.

The Audit and Compliance Committee will be discussing reports from the Office of Internal Audit and the Office of University Compliance and Integrity. 

The Office of Internal Audit has completed two major audits regarding natural disaster preparedness and payment to separated employees, with another seven audits and three investigations in progress. It is also recommending new professional standards and training for employees, most notably regarding cybersecurity. 

The Compliance Office has also submitted its quarterly status report, along with recommendations on handling civil discourse within the university in compliance with the Board of Governors’ Freedom of Expression Statement.

The Finance and Facilities Committee will be reviewing audits regarding several university organizations, including the FIU Foundation, the FIU Research Foundation, and the FIU Healthcare Network, and recommend the board take action. 

The committee will also be discussing the proposal to raise the competitive solicitation threshold for outside contractors from $75,000 to $150,000, as well as negotiating and approving contracts with outside vendors Aramak Landscaping, CTEK Security, and Triumvirate Environmental Services. 

The committee will also be discussing its findings regarding student housing, which has been a pressing issue throughout the semester. The committee also recommends integrating student housing into the Campus Master Plan, as well as adjusting housing rates to be more in line with student affordability and maintaining minimal increases.

The Academic Policy and Student Affairs Committee will be discussing Dr. Saurabh Aggarwal of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who has been nominated as a future employee with the condition of tenure. If confirmed, Aggarwal would join the Wertheim College of Medicine’s Department of Cellular Biology and Pharmacology as a tenured associate professor. 

Aggarwal’s work specializes in pulmonology, examining how the lungs can affect the body, especially with chronic pain and diseases such as HIV. 

The committee will also be discussing a proposed amendment to admissions policy, allowing the Classics Learning Test to be used as a standardized test score. The CLT was the standardized test recommended by Gov. DeSantis earlier this year, after controversy with the College Board. 

The committee will also be discussing allowing high school students who can earn an associate’s degree while in high school applying to FIU to be considered first-time students.

The Strategic Planning Committee will be discussing updates regarding the Campus Master Plan and student housing, as well as the 2030 Strategic Plan, which aims to significantly strengthen FIU regarding environmental resiliency, community health, and technological innovation, with goals outlined from 2025 to 2030.

The Governance Committee will be voting on endorsing the Board of Governors’s Statement of Free Expression, as well as amending the bylaws of the FIU Foundation. Most notable is the Foundation’s newest committee, the Foundation Enterprise Growth Committee and its Ventures Subcommittee, aimed at managing the foundation’s investments and corporate growth. 

The committee will also be voting on approving new board members for the FIU Foundation and the FIU Healthcare Network. 

After lunch, the Full Board will reconvene to discuss the issues at hand, as well as status reports from each committee, as well as recommendations on what to approve and reject.

The first meeting of the spring semester is scheduled for Feb. 29, 2024, at the Graham Center.

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