Light was shed on sexual harassment policies, risk management issues and future construction projects at Board of Regents meetings this week.
In the off-campus, relaxed clubhouse of the Frances E. Miller Memorial Golf Course, Regents, administration and staff gave their input on various Murray State projects Wednesday.
Risk management was an important topic for the Regents. There is no office or director in charge of risk management at Murray State and no committee formed to review risk management strategies.
One area of risk on which Regents focused was data and online protection for the Murray State campus and Paducah Regional Campus.
“We have had a few breaches over the years, but nothing that has severely hurt our data,” said Jackie Dudley, interim vice president of Finance and Administrative Services. “We have a strong IT security team along with a safety officer who is heavily involved with that.”
The board would like to see a committee whose purpose is to establish an annual report with risks to the University – whether those risks be fiscal, IT or facilities management.
After discussing risk management, the board moved on to addressing Title IX issues on campus. Title IX, a federal law passed in 1972, says no one can be excluded from any University activity or program on the basis of his or her gender. It also prohibits sexual harassment and violence, making schools responsible in addressing these occurrences.
“The worst situation for the University would be to know about the problem and not respond,” President Bob Davies said. “I think the University has made strides with this, but we have a long way to go.”
Regent Harry Lee Waterfield II touched on the subject again at the quarterly meeting Thursday after updating the board on policies.
“We want the public to know we really do have an interest in these policies,” he said.
Camisha Duffy has temporarily filled the position as Title IX coordinator at Murray State. Emphasis was put on sexual harassment and violence, whether it occurs off or on campus.
The board went on to discuss annual goals and staffing at Murray State. After lunch, Athletics Director Allen Ward brought up new legislation from the NCAA.
The legislation would help athletes offset the cost of school and Ward said the OVC plans to adopt it.
The cost would be an additional $3,300 per athlete per year, which would add up to an extra $95,000 in athletic scholarships for men’s and women’s basketball players.
Basketball would be the only sport affected by the legislation, since Murray State and other OVC schools would not be able to afford the additional scholarships for other University sports.
Construction projects were next on the agenda, beginning with a new $28.2 million building on the Hopkinsville Regional Campus.
The new engineering building on Murray State’s main campus will cost $36.9 million and construction on a new Franklin Residential College will cost approximately $28.9 million.
Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, discussed new housing for the six social sororities at Murray State.
He said the buildings women currently use are too small, and the University is considering building structures that would house 20 women per organization.
The following topics were also discussed at Thursday’s quarterly meeting in Pogue Library:
• The University is seeing an anticipated $1 million drop in tuition from last year.
• Murray State’s budget has an excess of $3.8 million, which according to the Regents, is tied to several different projects and “isn’t money free for the University to spend how it wants.”
• Jackie Dudley was named vice president of Finance and Administrative Services.
• Tim Miller was designated as president emeritus of Murray State.
• An unofficial enrollment number was given of 10,751 students. Those numbers won’t be official until October and “are changing day by day.”