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Board of Regents update | Feb. 2019

Highlights from each Board of Regents meeting will be reported in the Pacific Insider to inform the campus community of the Board's actions and major discussions. The board plays an important role as the governing body of the university, responsible for the quality and integrity of the education provided to students and the financial sustainability of the university. The chair and chair-elect of the Academic Council, the president and president-elect of the Pacific Alumni Association and the president and vice president of the Associated Students of the University of the Pacific are recognized as non-voting liaison representatives to the board and provide a report at each meeting.

Major highlights from the Jan. 31-Feb. 1, 2019 meeting:

WSCUC reaccreditation site visit preparation
President Pamela Eibeck and Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Maria Pallavicini provided the board with an overview of the reaccreditation process, as well as preparation activities for the WSCUC site visits. They reviewed WSCUC's commendations and lines of inquiry in response to our institutional self-study report submitted last June (PacificNet login required). 

WSCUC is now performing a series of site visits to Pacific's three campuses: San Francisco was the first on Jan. 31; the next visits are in Sacramento on Feb. 13, and in Stockton March 5-7. Faculty, staff and students will be able to share their Pacific experience with the WSCUC team through a series of open forums and via comments to a confidential email address. Learn more at the WSCUC/Reaccreditation SharePoint site (PacificNet login required).  

Parking solar-shades project update
The Board of Regents received an update on the installation of solar arrays in the large parking lots on Pacific's Stockton Campus. Solar parking is expected to save the university money by providing about 35 percent of its electricity.   This project is based on a Power Purchase Agreement, which means that a third party installs, owns and operates the arrays. Pacific then pays the third-party for electricity generated by the panels and consumed by the university, like paying a utility provider.   System components will include battery storage and electric vehicle charging. The system will not take away parking post-installation. We will announce more details closer to installation, which is dependent upon permitting.  

Cybersecurity program approved for closure
The Board of Regents approved closure of the Master of Science in Cybersecurity program offered by the School of Engineering and Computer Science (SOECS), following the Board's Academic and Student Affairs Committee recommendation. In making its recommendation, the committee cited continued low enrollments and poor enrollment projections. Dean Steven Howell and SOECS faculty have developed a teach-out plan, and the final class of students is expected to graduate in summer 2019.  

New health school update; programs proposed
Provost Pallavicini gave the board an update on progress toward the university's strategic plan priority to build a new health school.   Health care jobs are expected to continue to grow 18.1 percent between 2016-2026, outpacing growth in all other employment sectors. An estimated 11.6 million health care workers will be needed, creating career opportunities for Pacific graduates. This landscape offers Pacific an opportunity to leverage its reputation in health education to grow enrollments in existing programs and add new health-related programs.   

To support the development of new academic health care programs, provost office staff is working collaboratively with faculty from the School of Dentistry, the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the College of the Pacific in their proposals for three new graduate programs and one undergraduate program with a goal of bringing them to the board for consideration at its April 2019 meeting.  

  • Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition
  • Master of Science in Nursing (post-licensure)
  • Master of Social Work
  • Health Studies undergraduate degree program housed in College of the Pacific 

Two regents re-elected
The board voted to re-elect regents Clark Gustafson and Connie X. Rishwain to new three-year terms. They have served on the board since 2013 and 2016, respectively. Gustafson is an alumnus of the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health and serves on the Dean's Leadership Council. He is the founder and retired chairman of the board of Optimal Health Services. Rishwain is an alumna of College of the Pacific and was a featured speaker at Pacific's Advancing Women's Leadership Forum in 2015. She is president of Vionic Group LLC and past president of UGG Australia.   

Tuition-pricing strategies explored
At its Oct. 2018 meeting, the board committed to working closely with the administration to evaluate alternatives to the university's current tuition practices and financial aid strategies in response to students' concerns about tuition increases. President Pamela Eibeck led an exploratory discussion on tuition-pricing strategies, including information on trends in tuition pricing, such as tuition guarantees, tuition freezes, and fixed cohort pricing,  and comparisons of tuition and discount rates across institutional sectors. The board will continue to study these options.