Notes

Southern Administrative Heads Winter Meeting

Riverboat Suite, Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel
Mobile, AL
Monday, February 6, 2017, 11:00 a.m – 3:00 p.m.

Attendees:
Greg Bohach, chair, Mississippi State
Nancy Cox, vice chair, U. Kentucky
Mark Cochran, U. Arkansas
Mark Hussey, Texas A&M
Gary Lemme, Alabama Cooperative Extension
Paul Patterson, Auburn
Eric Young, Exec. Director
Alan Grant, Virginia Tech
Ted Whitwell, Clemson
Tom Coon, recording, Oklahoma State
Tim Cross, U. Tennessee
Bill Richardson, LSU
Mark Legendre, LSU

  1. Welcome and introductions – Greg Bohach
    1. Very good meeting arrangements for the SAAS conference

  2. Joint Southern Region meeting in Spring 2019 with ARD, AEA, ASRED, SAAESD, S-APS, and S-CARET – Greg Bohach and Eric Young
    1. Eric reported on possible arrangements for a joint meeting – Southern mini land grant
      1. Southern Executive Directors see it as being a good idea if it could also include one of their association’s normal meetings.
      2. Alton Thompson and L. Washington Lyons appreciated the inclusion of 1890 deans/directors/administrators
      3. Wendy Fink for academic programs felt it would be valuable. The joint meetings with Experiment Station directors over the past five years have been helpful
    2. Feedback from Southern AHS
      1. M. Hussey – would be valuable on about a four year cycle to focus on issues of common interest across missions
    3. Timing and host state
      1. Have the joint day on Wednesday so groups can schedule before and or after that day for associations’ meeting if they choose to do so
    4. Initial logistics planning committee and future program committee
      1. Make it the joint day a substantive discussion around issues of common interest, not just talking heads and reports
      2. Desire to have some common social activity at the end of the joint day.
      3. Alton is discussing it with his 1890 research administrators on Wednesday, other EDs will follow up with their groups
      4. Need to form a planning group to focus on logistics
      5. Florida is scheduled to be the host for the joint ASRED and SAAESD meeting in spring 2019, so Jack Payne had offered that UFL/IFAS would host
      6. Some discussion about the pros and cons of connecting this to the SAAS meeting. Because the audiences aren't in common, in other words, the participants in this joint administrative conference would not normally attend SAAS. Concluded that it's best to keep this joint administrative meeting separate from SAAS and aim for it being in April.
      7. Eric would like to have a small steering committee begin working on logistics for the joint meeting. If the meeting is to be in Florida, it would seem best for Florida colleagues to staff that, along with EDs for Extension (Ron Brown & L. Washington Lyons), Research (Eric Young & Alton Thompson), and Academic Programs (Wendy Fink). Add people as needed. Eric will chair the effort.
      8. Subsequently the EDs, Robert Taylor (Florida A&M dean), and Jack Payne all agreed to participate.  A representative from UFL conference planning office will also assist.

  3. Issues from Sunday's SAAS Board meeting and/or for Tuesday's Board meeting – Greg Bohach
    1. Mark Legendre reported conference is going well, participation is even with past for the different groups, though overall it is down because the animal science group is meeting separate from SAAS this year.
    2. Budget is in better shape, in part because they did not host a super bowl party last year in San Antonio.
    3. Next year SAAS will be in Jacksonville on the riverfront at the Hyatt Regency
    4. Searching for locations for 2019 and 2020. Would like to go to western edge of the southern region, T. Coon suggested possibility of Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Others suggested a few cities in Texas
    5. Also, Savannah and Chattanooga were suggested for future locations

  4. Nomination of New S-AHS Secretary/Chair-elect to follow Tom Coon (vote on nominee will be held at meeting in NC) – Greg Bohach
    1. G. Bohach nominated Paul Patterson, seconded by N. Cox; approved by unanimous vote.
  5. BAA’s federal appropriations "single ask" strategy
    1. Background and update – Alan Grant
      1. Discussion began with BAC at joint COPS in July, 2016
      2. Consolidate the funding ask into a single number to propose rather than a separate number for the six lines we have used previously.
      3. The six lines would still be featured in communication materials, but the number would be singular, e.g. ~20% increase in each line
      4. Still waiting for discussion among some of the other interest groups
      5. BAC Conference call in the next two weeks at which we will need to decide if this will be the advocacy approach. Cornerstone says that it will be more productive strategy
      6. Academic programs section has been less supportive, as they don't see any benefit in this for their interests.
      7. 1890’s are having discussions about whether the distribution should be reconsidered. Suggestion to distribute 2% off the top for 1890’s research and extension and then treat the other 96% by current formulas.
      8. Some debate about whether this is trying to change too much in the first attempt at this. Others articulate that it would be best to advocate for the one number with equal distribution on the first effort, and then consider redistribution at a later date if this effort is successful.
      9. Also, those who have already considered this, did so with the assumption and expectation that there would NOT be a redistribution in this effort.
      10. 1994 institutions are on their own now, having withdrawn from APLU. Not sure what they will do in this congressional session.
      11. M. Hussey – should we be discussing this with the academic programs group?
      12. M. Cochran – NIFA could resolve the academic program issue by expanding the framing of academic missions in the AFRI RFP.
    2. How will you handle this with your delegation, on the Hill visits in March and subsequently? – All 
      1. A. Grant – strategy will be discussed at CARET/AHS meeting based on BAC recommendation and the PBD decision with respect to approval
      2. Some states focus on staff rather than members
      3. M. Hussey will scale back during CARET this year cause of delays in staff appointments and the appropriations process
    3. Update on other advocacy efforts (Riley Foundation, SoAR, AGree) – Greg Bohach
      1. Very active the past few months – preparing for Farm Bill, some discussion about combining Riley Foundation and SoAR efforts on farm bill. Soar has proposed some restructuring – reduce scope of undersecretary to be within NIFA, move ERS and NASS to office of the chief economist – presentations so far, nothing written; some argue this makes it more like NIH
      2. AGree had large panel discussion last week, five initiatives: immigration, research, working landscapes, nutrition and one more Greg can't recall. White papers are being developed on each topic.
      3. G. Bohach favors Riley because it's emphasis is on growing the pie for everyone, not restructuring
    4. T. Cross - Question about capacity fund surveys – E. Young said it is scheduled to be delivered to NIFA in February but not likely to be available publicly for several months, after NIFA internal review and analysis

  6. Update on Farm Bill and Committee on Legislation & Policy – Greg Bohach
    1. Committee met in October to go over the farm bill survey.
    2. Top 15 lines received consensus agreement for renewal.
    3. Other 45 lines still to be discussed
    4. Some confusion at APLU due to a Senator’s request to add an item to the Farm Bill. G. Bohach intervened and asked to make sure all requests are directed through CLP.
    5. E. Young – some confusion about how to incorporating the Health Food Systems, Healthy People initiative funding into Farm Bill – again, needs to be done with CLP.
    6. M. Hussey – challenge is that the HFSHP initiative should go beyond Agriculture, yet Cornerstone’s contract is only in agriculture. APLU can work with other agency connections.
    7. Farm Bill on hold until after BAC work gets done.

  7. National Academies' proposal to create a Research Roundtable in response to the PCAST's 2012 report – All 
    1. NAREEE 2014 Rebalance Report – research round table called for in this report, which led to an invitation-only meeting in DC in November, 2016. Only two land grant university people were in attendance – Brett Hess, representing ESCOP, and Steve Lommel, associate dean and associate VP for research at NCSU, were only attendees from LGU colleges of ag. Round table was set up by National Academy of Sciences.
    2. Discussion around how to voice our concern about lack of LGU representation. E. Young will reach out to Ann Marie Thro (on assignment at OCS) to learn who at NAS is organizing this, and then possibly follow up with Mark McLellan at Utah State.
    3. National Academies Research Roundtable Background
      1. M. Hussey will contact Kim Green at OCS
      2. E. Young will contact Ann Marie Thro and Mark McLellan
      3. T. Coon will call Brett Hess

  8. Other agenda items – All 
    1. G. Bohach: web site for S-AHS is much better, and now findable by search engines.
    2. Let E. Young know of any other information or links to include.

  9. Updates on current situation at home institutions – All (if time allows)
    1. M. Cochran – U. Arkansas
      1. 9th year of flat state budgets
      2. Rather than increases to base salary, used one time bonus payments
      3. Student enrollment has increased, but at a slower rate than rest of campus. Challenge to remain at 10% of overall undergraduate enrollment.
      4. Now administration wants to increase graduate enrollment, hold steady on undergraduate, not sure how.
      5. New proposal from governor to implement a new formula for the academic appropriations.
      6. Lots of concerns with United Soybean Board and Beef Council funding for expectations of no indirect costs and demanding higher level of scrutiny on expenditures.
      7. Weed scientists from U. Arkansas have been very involved in the dicamba drift issue. Still under way. Reporting to the state plant board.
    2. N. Cox – U. Kentucky
      1. Kentucky House became majority Republican in November. Governor has been targeting higher education to cut budgets – settled on 4.5% reduction for current year (Gov. proposed 9%).
      2. Planting 13,000 acres of hemp for fiber and oil this year. Challenges the definition of industrial hemp. Conference in Kentucky in September at tri society meetings.
      3. Horse industry is picking back up, cattle industry levied another $1 check off
    3. M. Hussey – Texas A&M AgriLife
      1. Legislature meets 140 days every other years. Budget due by August 31.
      2. Two different budget bills, one has A&M up but Extension and Ag research funds are proposed down
      3. $2 billion shortfall but $11 billion rainy day fund. Voters elected to take $5 billion out of the budget and put into transportation. This is a cash issue, not a structural deficit.
      4. Governor declared hiring freeze until Aug. 31.
      5. No merit increases this year.
      6. Enrollment growing. Now 62,000 enrolled, 58,000 in College Station. College of Ag at 7,900. Implemented extra tuition cost for college to make up for reductions from central administration.
      7. Mark is not standing for a third term as VC and will serve until new position filled.
      8. Prairie View and Texas A&M Kingsville dean positions are open – very attractive positions.
      9. Dicamba 2,4-D issues important – impact on grapes
      10. Fever tick in Live Oak county 40,000 acres quarantine – some trace backs of cattle moved from there to Oklahoma
      11. Voluntary separation program – provost allows each college to do their own. Ag has done two in which they received a year’s salary plus cash put annual leave and allowed to be hired back for 1-3 years at full salary. Gives more budget flexibility.
    4. G. Lemme – Alabama Coop Extension
      1. Legislature begins tomorrow
      2. Educational trust fund in good shape but general fund is not - so concerns about possible reallocation
      3. Alcorn extension administrator position open
      4. Partnership meeting
      5. Concerns about dicamba and 2,4-D – e.g. Watermelon impacts, peaches
      6. Converted family and child development and financial management into a new unified effort on employability – targeting 17-30 year olds, working with unemployment centers
      7. Integrated nutrition and health programs – all nutrition linked
      8. 4-H now in 690 schools, previously 50; took five years to achieve, and this represents 2/3 of schools – had to get all curricula approved by department of education; in half of schools, the teacher serves as 4-H volunteer, have 2,000. Increased from16 to 42 4-H agents. Reallocation of funds paid for this plus a new $1,000,000 annual allocation from their 4-H Foundation.
    5. B. Richardson, LSU
      1. New governor last year, budget shortfalls, added some new revenue sources, but they weren't adequate. New special session next week to fill a $310 million shortfall plus revenue projection down $300-400 million for new year.
      2. Medical marijuana – Tuesday releasing a $250 million RFD for growers to produce it for 1241 patients in first year – expect to begin production in 2018 – will be a revenue source for Ag Center; 5,000 sq ft warehouse, also doing the extraction, packaging and distribution.
      3. Tuition has increased to replace budget cuts, now 20% state funding, 80% tuition
    6. T. Cross – U. Tennessee
      1. Emphasis on education and higher ed in governor’s messages.
      2. Community college is now free to graduating high school seniors. Two year trial has now been extended to anyone, including adults with coursework completed doing degree completion – and it is funded. Free education for veterans. Drive to 55 – get 55% of the work force with post high school degree or certificate.
      3. Admissions have held steady.
      4. Economy doing well - $1 billion surplus last year, $1.5 billion expected next year. Some salary increases.
      5. Transferred livestock welfare investigations to Dept. of Agriculture.
      6. Outsourcing facility management – not sure if it will apply to Ag centers.
      7. Open carry firearms now permitted on campus
    7. T. Coon – OK State
      1. Enrollment is continuing to increase, with 10% increases in freshman and transfer enrollment from 2015 to 2016.
      2. 19% state budget reduction over last two years, and next fiscal year is facing a $900 million shortfall.
      3. New dairy facility and foundation seeds warehouse under construction.
      4. Master planning process completed, with four major capital projects in the next five years: replacing Agricultural Hall with two buildings, new greenhouses for teaching on campus, renovating the large animal controlled environment laboratory, and upgrading the facilities at the agronomy farm.
    8. T. Whitwell – Clemson
      1. Budget cuts three years ago are being fixed over the past few years.
      2. Reorganized – new college of science, pulled half of students and about half of faculty out of agriculture.
      3. Research and extension brought in with academics under one dean a few years ago, but still in process of getting better.
      4. Two faculty members staging a fast on the presidential immigration ban – just started today.
      5. New study – cost of college is $15,000 per student per year.
    9. P. Patterson – Auburn
      1. State budget – Stable funding for education, but for extension and experiment station this is a problem for raises 4-6% but increases are averaging 2% per year.
      2.  Building new poultry research farm, next to new feed mill finished in 2012. Private funding $5 million so far and need to raise another $5-$10 million.
      3. New research building – expect $40-45 million, can raise about $20-25 million outside the university. 100,000 sq. feet.
      4. Hired 40 new faculty over past few years. 17 in new year.
      5. Hiring new president – expect by July.
      6. New budget model – RCM model
    10. A. Grant – Virginia Tech
      1. Implementing new budget model. Says it's not an RCM model, but seems like it.
      2. Last year took 7.5% budget cut in the first year of biennium, but revenue improved in the fall, so it was improved to 5% and they made an argument for relieving extension and experiment station because of the federal match.
      3. Governor in final year of his one term limit. Supportive of agriculture and exports through their ports.
      4. Capital projects –
        1. Dairy science relocation
        2. Large livestock and poultry project for upgrades, $22 million all state funded.
    11. G. Bohach- Mississippi State
      1. Started FY2016 with highest budget ever, but have taken 3.5% so far and may take a few more percent.
      2. State flag – president said he won't take them down, but allows units to do so and the veterinary dean did that – some negative feedback from legislators.
      3. Capital projects – dairy, beef facilities – enrollment up 70% since 2009. But that doesn't apply to his agencies, which causes problems with raises for faculty dictated from central administration
      4. Dicamba, 2,4-D working with plant industry board – their twining on use will be required.