March 13, 2012
Board of Directors Meeting
March 13, 2013
Steve Deutsch L. David Rooney
Corinna Caracci Niza Cardona
L. David Eaton Kevin Saunders
Rachel Rigolino Beth King
Rose Faber Josh Simpson
Manuel Tejada Lara Russo
Others Present: Donald A. Diamond, Jr. Anita Pelletier, Esq.
Rob White, Envisions Evelyn Gezo, Dietitian
Ralph Perez-Rogers, Sodexo Steve O’Reilly, Sodexo
Daisha Lahey, Chartwells
Numerous unidentified students
Recording Secretary: Janet M. Cosh
Call to Order: 10:00 a.m.
Steve introduced Anita to the Board and confirmed that everyone had received the materials needed for today’s meeting; he asked for approval of today’s Agenda. Kevin made a motion to approve the Agenda; seconded by Beth. Roberto made a motion to add 10 minutes to the Public Comment section of the Agenda; seconded by Josh. Anita noted that this was a secondary motion and as such, was not up for debate. There was no discussion. The vote was 4 in favor and 5 opposed; the motion failed.
Steve sought approval of the Minutes from the February 6, 2013 meeting. Dave Rooney made a motion to approve the Minutes; seconded by Kevin. There was no discussion; the Minutes were unanimously approved by way of a show of hands.
Student Senator Annie Cortez referenced the vendor interviews on Feb. 11th expressing her dissatisfaction with the fact that the meetings were closed to students other than student Board Members and a reporter from the Oracle. She feels it is unreasonable for the Board to expect 4 representatives to be able to relay information to 8,000 other students. She also referenced a failed attempt to add additional student seats to the Board last semester. Annie stated that since the vendor selection decision directly affects student, the final decision should be made by students. She stated her opinion that students want New Paltz to strive to provide more local food and restrict the presence of national brands on campus.
Rebecca, a Student Senator, stated that she was disappointed CAS had paid someone a substantial amount of money to solicit robust proposals yet only received 3 proposals, and are now left to choose from the lesser of 3 evils. She noted that this decision affects the health and lives of students on campus, as well as student workers; adding that they want to know and have a say in this decision. She stated that there is a huge problem of poor food quality and having national brands, which some students want but others don’t, is likely to make this problem worse as it is more difficult to elicit change from a national brand. She asked for strong language in the contract for procurement of local food and protection of worker’s rights, adding that Sodexo has a horrible reputation when it comes to human rights. She also asked non-student Board Members to listen to the student Board Members.
Student Association Vice President Manuel Tejada asked for strong wording in the contract regarding local food, sustainability measures, and the protection of workers union rights, wages, and benefits. He also asked the Board to consider the scope and type of effect national brands would have on campus, adding that they might disconnect students from the community by dissuading them from exploring the local area. He reminded the Board that this is a 10 year commitment and asked them to consider and honor the students’ wishes.
An unidentified student stated that New Paltz is at a crossroads; the campus is a huge contributor to the Hudson Valley and New York State economy; students are looking for more local and sustainable food options, and this can only happen if the Board listens to the students.
Donald distributed copies of the Budget and reviewed the same, noting the following:
- The space and utility charges listed on page 2 are based on square footage; they have increased by $34K this year.
- Meal plan commissions on page 3 and 4 are based on the existing food service contract using historical figures, and meal plan details are established during the budgeting process.
- A 3% increase has been budgeted for meal plan pricing.
- Composting costs are expected to increase slightly as we work towards post-consumer composting. We do not have the necessary space and resources for on-site composting but continue to investigate service providers and other options.
- Repairs and maintenance decreased from $120K to $73K, but are projected to be at $120K again next year.
- Sodexo pricing on residential meal plans is increasing by 2.75%; this is reported as an expense under Contract Services.
- The bottom line on page 4 shows $624K revenue in excess of Food Service operations expenses; $176K of this is from meal plan service operations.
- Gross sales of books and general merchandise in the Bookstore are not CAS revenue, and have no impact on the Bookstore’s cost center excess.
- Bookstore commissions are down from last year due to a renegotiated commission guarantee.
- The $11K decrease in the Bookstore’s bottom line from $70K to $59K is attributed to a $6K decrease in commissions and a $4K increase in rent.
- Gross vending sales listed on page 8 are not our revenue; they belong to Pepsi.
- Commissions paid by Pepsi are CAS revenue.
- There is a guaranteed commission rate on all traditional vending on campus.
- Pepsi’s revenue is expected to increase as a result of the installation and anticipated sales from the Shop24 unit.
- The miscellaneous expense of $10K on page 8 is for promotional expenses for Shop24.
- The increase in Vending Operations excess on page 8 from $44K to $52 is driven by commissions which are offset by the depreciation of the Shop24 unit.
- It will take approximately 6 to 7 years to recoup the $200K cost of the Shop24 unit which will be depreciated over its anticipated lifespan of 10 years.
- We will receive a 25% commission from Shop24 sales.
- The Shop24 unit was installed to provide a service to students; any profit generated from the same is simply an added bonus.
- We entered into a new laundry service contract with MacGray at a rate increase of $6K per year; this included the installation of upgraded equipment and a new laundry view system.
- There is a deficit on laundry operations which is driven primarily by rent and utilities; this is being discussed with administration to see if it can be reduced down to a level which would allow the program to break even.
- The first 5 line items on page 12 are related to monies allocated to other cost centers by Central Services.
- Interest and dividend income shown on page 12 is generated by money in the bank and our portfolio.
- Gains and losses on investments are tied to the economy and cannot be predicted for budgeting purposes.
- Major items related to Public Relations and Contract Services are outlined on page 11.
- A substantial increase in revenue is expected this year from OAS conferences.
- Conference Services typically operates at a deficit; CAS is not reimbursement for many services provided by OAS such as ID cards and room access.
Roberto raised a point of order indicating that we were exceeding the allocated time frame for this issue; Steve agreed.
Lara inquired why Women’s Gender and Studies was not included on the Programming list on page 18; Steve replied that the Programming Committee just met and the forms are going to be distributed later today or tomorrow. Don noted that the list on page 18 referenced programs which received funding this fiscal year not programs which were asking for funds for next year. David Eaton advised her that Programming is done through the Deans’ offices, adding that the program in question could have been funded through Liberal Arts & Sciences. Anita reminded them of the point of order which was raised and advised the Board to save this discussion for a later date.
Steve thanked Donald for his presentation and advised the Board that we could not proceed with Programming until a Budget was passed. A motion was made by Corinna to adopt the 2013-14 Budget as presented; seconded by Kevin. There was no discussion. The vote was 6 in favor; 1 opposed; and 3 abstentions. The Budget was adopted as presented.
Vendor Selection, Food Service:
Steve asked for a motion to go into Executive Session to discuss the food service vendor selection process. David Eaton made a motion to go into Executive Session for purposes of discussing financial details of the proposals as well as the history and credentials of the vendor selection finalists; seconded by Corinna.
Steve told the Board that he felt this was necessary since some of the vendor representatives and current employees were in attendance and he felt their presence might hinder frank, robust and collegial discussion. He reiterated the fact that the students concerns had been heard and addressed; there was sufficient student representation on the Board; and the Board had maintained a high level of transparency during the entire selection process to the point of videotaping and posting each and every meeting on the website, along with the Minutes from the same.
David Eaton stated his belief that a public discussion of this matter in front of company representatives and employees would have a chilling effect on people’s willingness to discuss ideas. Roberto questioned the need to go into Executive Session, stating that it should only be done when hiring or firing an individual or when financial harm may be caused to a specific company or individual; adding that doing so is a terrible idea which sends the worse message possible to the students and workers who were present to watch the debate. He also questioned why the Board was not notified of this request prior to the meeting, and asked Steve to reconsider allowing the public to bear witness to the dialogue given that the university is a public institution and all information and discussions should be public information. Anita clarified that the reasons for going into Executive Session do not just apply to specific individuals but apply to corporations as well. Roberto stated that just because we are allowed to go into Executive Session doesn’t mean we have to or should, and Lara stated that she felt it sends a clear message that the Board doesn’t care about workers or students voices and does not want to be held accountable for its actions. Dave Rooney stated that his reasons for wanting to go into Executive Session were not because he did not want students to hear his opinions or to hide anything from them, but were due to the fact that he would be discussing his personal opinion on personal matters concerning people he works with or may work with in the future, and he does not feel that anyone outside of the Board needs to hear or record his thoughts. Corinna stated that she was not comfortable being videotaped and having her thoughts and opinions randomly distributed across the world wide web, and would likely not participate in the discussion if it continued outside of an Executive Session. David Eaton noted that Sodexo and Chartwells representatives were in attendance. He stated that some Board Members had spent a significant amount of time travelling to numerous vendor sites and if the Board wanted candid responses and candid opinions about what they saw, what they liked, and what they did not like, it was preposterous to think this could be accomplished with vendors and food service workers in the room. He added that it is the industrial standard for making this type of a decision, and going into Executive Session is the only way to ensure a robust discussion regarding the same.
Steve noted that during the open comment section there were a lot of really well crafted, thoughtful, and passionate things said; none of which have not already been said by the student Board representatives, and all of which had been responded to and had shaped this process. He stated that there is full student representation on the Board that is listened to, and not getting everything you want does not mean you have not been heard or are not represented. He added that the 4 student Board Members represent student concerns very well, and assured those Members that nothing would be hidden from them. He stated that after the meeting they would be free to report to the rest of the students in any way they chose; his only concern was ensuring a really good and robust discussion.
David Eaton called the question. The vote was 5 in favor and 4 opposed. The motion passed by way of a majority vote.
The Board entered into Executive Session at 11:36 am.
Steve noted that there was 35 minutes left in the meeting and asked if the Board wanted to stay longer or postpone the vendor selection vote. Roberto made a motion to adjourn the meeting; seconded by Lara. The vote was 4 in favor and 5 opposed. The motion failed.
Kevin made a motion to go into a committee of the whole; seconded by Beth. The vote was 7 in favor. The motion passed.
Dave Rooney made a motion to come out of the committee of the whole; seconded by Corinna. The vote was unanimous. The motion carried.
The Board came out of Executive Session at 11:59 am.
A motion was made by Dave Rooney to adjourn the meeting; seconded by Niza. There was no discussion. Motion passed by a unanimous show of hands.
Meeting adjourned at 12:00 p.m.