Southern Administrative Heads Winter Meeting Minutes
San Antonio, TX
February, 8, 2016


Participants: Alan Grant (chair), Mark Hussey, Mark Cochran, Bob Godfrey, Nancy Cox, Larry Arrington, Greg Bohach, and Eric Young

  1. President’s FY2017 Budget Request for AFRI
    1. A NIFA press release last week announced that the President’s FY2017 budget request will contain the full authorized funding amount for AFRI, $700 M
      1. At least one university president has requested talking points to help support this with his Congressional delegation.
      2. Cornerstone is currently working on the usual one-pagers for the AHS/CARET Hill visits, but until those are released it’s best to contact Jim Richards at Cornerstone for talking points on this budget item
    2. The BAC will meet Feb 16 to settle on BAA budget priorities and funding request levels and the PBD will have a conference call soon after to vote on those recommendations.
  2. Spring Joint Meeting Draft Schedule (see handout)
    1. The draft schedule was reviewed for the joint ASRED, SAAESD, S-AHS, S-CARET meeting this April in St. Thomas, VI, and the following suggestions were made.
      1. The list of reports and updates in the Tuesday 2-hour joint session seems too long to cover in that time frame, particularly with CARET delegates not being very familiar with most of the items.
      2. The AHS would like to meet jointly with CARET before meeting separately and then come back together to wrap up joint business.
      3. The joint tour Tuesday afternoon will leave the hotel by 1:30, after lunch served in the hotel.
      4. To accommodate the above three items, it was suggested that the joint session Tuesday morning be extended to go from 8:00 to 11:00, with a break from 9:30 to 10:00.
      5. The joint AHS/CARET session will be from 11:00 to noon, as well as separate ASRED and SAAESD sessions.
      6. On Wednesday morning, AHS and CARET will meet separately from 8:00 to 9:00 and jointly from 9:00 to 10:00.  ASRED and SAAESD will meet separately from 8:00 to 10:00.
      7. There will be a joint session for everyone Wednesday morning from 10:30 to noon with the following components.
        1. The VI agricultural commissioner and the developer of the Senepol cattle line will speak from 10:30 to 11:00
        2. A best practices session will be held from 11:00 to noon on one of the following topics.  An email poll will be sent out to decide.
          1. Fostering a culture of innovation
          2. Managing facilities and infrastructure costs, particularly on outlying research/Extension centers
    2. Eric Young and Greg Bohach will work with Eddie Gouge and Jerry Harris (S-CARET chair) on the specific agenda for the AHS and CARET sessions.
    3. Future meetings
      1. S-AHS and S-CARET will meet in August as usual in 2017 and 2018
      2. The next possible joint meeting with ASRED and SAAESD will be in spring 2019, whether or not that will occur will be determined after evaluation of this spring’s meeting and discussion at the S-AHS meeting Feb, 2017.
  3. S-AHS Consultant Arrangement with Eric Young
    1. The service contract paperwork for Eric with Univ of Arkansas Division of Agriculture has been completed and approved, effective Jan 1, 2016.
    2. Mark Cochran will invoice the southern region 1862 administrative heads equally for the total annual cost, $30,000.
    3. Eric will invoice UAK Division of Ag monthly for his consultant fee (annual total $20,000).  Also, an invoice from NCSU/SAAESD will be sent for the $5,000 annual expense portion to cover travel, conference calls, secretarial assistance, etc.  Travel reimbursements and other expenses will be handled thru the NCSU/CALS Business Office’s normal processes.
  4. S-AHS Secretary Selection
    1. Tom Coon (OK State) was nominated for secretary, Alan Grant will contact Tom to see if he’s willing to serve in that position.  Subsequent to the meeting, Tom accepted the nomination
    2. Vote for the secretary will take place during a S-AHS session at the spring meeting.
  5. Item’s from SAAS Executive Board Meeting
    1. Next year’s SAAS meeting will be in Mobile, AL, on Feb 4 – 7.  The S-AHS meeting will be on Monday, Feb 6.
    2. The animal science group has decided to meet separate from SAAS for two years (2017 & 18) and then evaluate whether or not to continue separately or re-join SAAS.
  6. Efforts to Develop a Unified Message to Support Agriculture Research and Extension <
    1. Greg Bohach described the work by the Riley Foundation, Iowa State, MS State, and others to justify and begin developing a unified message.
    2. See handouts for summaries of the justification document and the university and stakeholder listening sessions.
    3. SoAR (Supporters of Agricultural Research) is also working on this type of unifying message, but concentrating primarily on competitive funding for research.
    4. SoAR and the Riley group may form some type of alliance in the future.
    5. AGree is a diverse group of agricultural stakeholders who have come together to influence agricultural policy and are generally in agreement with the PCAST recommendations.  They are also working on a unified message relative to policy.
    6. All three organizations want to increase funding for agriculture research in multiple federal agencies, not just USDA.
    7. As far as we know, so far nothing specific from any of these groups has been used by Cornerstone, kglobal, or APLU to support the BAA legislative agenda.
  7. Expansion of Land-grant Universities    
    1. See handouts for statements opposing the addition of anymore 1890 or 1862 LGU’s by the 1890 President’s Council and the BAA.
    2. BAA statement was initially drafted to be a definition of a Land-grant University (see handout), but on Cornerstone’s advice it will not be used externally.
    3. A brief statement has been drafted that simply states the BAA’s position of opposing any further expansion of the Land-grant University system.  This draft will be reviewed by the AHS Executive Committee during the AHS/CARET meeting and submitted to the PBD for approval at their March 22 meeting.
  8. S-AHS Web Site
    1. The old web site at MS State is still active, but hasn’t been updated since 2007.
    2. Greg Bohach will send Eric Young the link and an IT contact person to work with to update and improve the web site.
    3. The site should be primarily for use by the S-AHS and their assistants, and those in the system who need specific information on the S-AHS group.
    4. Directory should include administrative assistants’ name, phone, and email, and a link to the appropriate homepage for each institution.
  9. Effective Use of CARET
    1. CARET delegates are most effective when they have good interaction and guidance from their AHS.
    2. The current CARET model may be outdated and it would probably be worth exploring different models that are more effective and less costly.
    3. Some institutions have shifted to a meal event for their delegation rather than office visits during the AHS/CARET meeting in March.
  10. Managing Outlying Research/Extension Centers
    1. This may be a best practices topic for the spring meeting, so the discussion was limited.
    2. UT AgResearch, VA Tech, and NCSU have all had recent reviews of their outlying research/Extension Centers.
    3. A primary common issues in TN and VA are facilities’ costs, both renovation and new construction.  New construction cost is magnified by state and institutional requirements for university construction.
    4. Some institutions are looking at new funding models for high cost facilities, many of which involved private partnerships of various types.
  11. Last Year’s Salary Increases
    1. Univ AK – 2%
    2. MS State – 3%
    3. VA Tech –
    4. UT Institute for Ag – 3%
    5. UKY – 3%
    6. UVI – 0
    7. TX A&M AgriLife – 3%
    8. Most did not have a good idea of next year’s raises yet.
  12. FSLA Rule Change on Overtime Exemption
    1. The President’s executive order to raise the overtime exemption to $50,000 may go into effect July 1 in spite of a huge number of comments against it
    2. Exemptions from the minimum will likely only be given for K-12 teachers, some emergency workers, and a few other small groups, not university or Extension employees.
    3. Institutions will handle this change through raising salaries above the minimum, tracking and paying overtime, and/or position attrition.
  13. New Chair and Chair-elect
    1. Greg Bohach became the S-AHS Chair and Nancy Cox the Chair-elect at the end of this meeting.  Tom Coon agreed to become Secretary, assuming a positive vote at the spring meeting in St. Thomas
    2. This leadership change time will continue in the future so that it coincides with the change in SAAS President and President-elect.