Board members break ground for new building

Business and pleasure were both on the Fresno Pacific University Board of Trustees agenda during regular meetings October 26-27. In addition to approving a new benefit for employees and a new method to evaluate the president, members participated in special events ranging from a groundbreaking to a prayer breakfast.

While trustees regularly discuss issues with faculty, administrators and staff in particular areas during sessions of the academic, advancement, budget and finance, facilities and services and student life commissions, time was scheduled for more informal conversations and Homecoming weekend activities. On Friday, board members took part in such special events as the groundbreaking for Steinert Campus Center, dinner with former student body presidents and an athletics hall of fame induction dessert. Saturday’s options included a prayer breakfast for alumni, faculty, retired faculty and trustees as well as a post-game gathering with the women's volleyball team, volleyball boosters and President’s circle donors.

The events strengthened relationships between trustees and others in the university community. “Board members told me they felt a heightened awareness of the life of the institution,” said Mark Deffenbacher, vice president for advancement and university relations.

In regular session the board approved a system where trustees appoint two outside people with extensive experience in Christian higher education to conduct presidential evaluations. The two report to an advisory committee made up of representatives from different university groups. The evaluators present their findings to the board executive committee, and a report of those findings is made to the university. The proposal is designed to increase the board role and responsibility in evaluating the president. Formerly the president was evaluated by a committee assembled by the Human Resources Office. Evaluations will be made one year and three years into presidential terms, and at five-year intervals thereafter.

The dental plan becomes effective January 1 and is available to all faculty and staff. The policy offers two options: 1) preferred care where individuals or families may choose from a large number of dentists and 2) a HMO that offers less choice but less cost. The university will cover employee coverage and employees may pay a fee to include families.

In other action, the board:

  • Selected an executive committee. John Regier was appointed as assistant treasurer as Max Steinert completes his term. Other positions were reappointments: Peter Klassen, chair; John Thiesen, vice chair; Velma Dyck, secretary; Patrick L. Evans, assistant secretary; and David Beckenhaur, treasurer.
  • Welcomed Joe Taylor as faculty representative and Larkin Hand as student representative, replacing Greg Camp and Cathy Taylor, respectively.