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Adopted Meeting Minutes
February 9, 2006
Special Meeting

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 4:06 p.m.

Roll Call

Present: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Absent: Canady

Trustee Canady arrived at 4:19 p.m.

Limited Public Comment Regarding Agenda Items

There were no comments from the public.


Chairperson Laverty stated that the Ad Hoc Committee conducted an intensive inquiry into the student system. He thanked Trustees Brannan, Rasmusson, and Pelleran for their work. The inquiry began when students suffered from problems with the Oracle student system and many were denied financial aid last fall. Students' lives were disrupted and computer problems continued. The only answer the Board continuously received is that the computer problems have been fixed as mentioned in a newspaper article on Monday. He felt that many people at the College are in denial about the facts and the truth about this system. The Board of Trustees has a fiduciary responsibility to the community and the students and its most important responsibility is student success. The inquiry from the Ad Hoc Committee and the full report completed by hi-tech experts is the truth. Collegis supplies computer services to 66 campuses across America. The report today will document that the College still has serious computer issues yet to be resolved that have cost the College millions of dollars. A solution is needed now, and today is about the truth and complete disclosure. We will also focus on the future and moving forward and fixing problems that face us in the future. He introduced Mr. Steve Lasher from Foster, Swift, Collins and Smith who will introduce the expert guests for the presentation.

Mr. Lasher shared that they were retained in November 2005 by the Board of Trustees to review the February 2002 Oracle contracts and respond to the following questions: Did a valid contract exist with Oracle? If one exists, what are Oracle's obligations under the contract? What are the College's remedies if Oracle fails to perform? After an extensive review of approximately two boxes of documents, they concluded that they have not been provided one single, executed, enforceable Oracle contract. Numerous purchase orders issued by the College reference an Oracle agreement with the State of Michigan; however, they have not received a copy of said agreement. He further stated that the position has been taken that the State of Michigan contract with Oracle is the controlling document. He knows that it's been amended more than 20 times and they have yet to receive the amendments. Mr. Lasher said whether there is a contract or not, they are concerned that the documents they have seen do not hold Oracle accountable in anyway to the College. The request for proposal issued by the College in February 2002 provided that the final contract documents would be the request for proposal, the proposal from the vendor, and the purchase order. No mention was made of the State of Michigan contract with Oracle at any time in the process. However, the request for proposal provided minimal contractual language and provided no substantial protection to the College. More importantly, Oracle's response to the request for proposal said the following: whatever attempt was made by the College in its request for proposal to impose contract terms or conditions on Oracle did not apply; Oracle stated that it expects that only the terms and conditions set forth in a final agreement negotiated between the customer and Oracle would be applicable. Mr. Lasher was concerned with a disclaimer that Oracle included in its request for proposal response and read it aloud: -The information presented in this proposal is based upon current information available regarding the development direction of the Oracle Student System. Oracle reserves the right to determine in its sole discretion whether or not to develop or market the functionality identified in the next release of the Oracle Student System program. Oracle hereby disclaims any warranty and does not warrant that the functionality presented in this proposal will be available in its next release of the Oracle Student System program- Oracle can make no assurances that the functionality identified in this proposal will meet any business requirement or need of the customer.- Typical items in a contract such as timelines, a scope of work, or detailed mile stones were not found. With the approval of the Board, they retained the services of Collegis, which was asked to perform an assessment of the information technology functions at the College with a particular focus on Oracle. He introduced Mr. Bill Parsons from Collegis.

Mr. Parsons thanked the Board of Trustees for the opportunity of having spent time on campus and with College staff. He stated staff were very cooperative and helpful and expressed appreciation for their efforts. Mr. Parsons shared that the process began on December 13 and has continued in terms of information flow and analysis up until last week. The Collegis team came on site with 14 higher education specialists that represented over 200 years of higher education expertise in areas of Oracle, financial administrative areas, financial aid, networking, help desk, infrastructure design, operation security, desktop technology management, and user support. He stated that the team conducted 59 interviews with 63 different people that included trustees, administrators, technology staff, faculty, and students. An on-line survey was also provided and 289 responses were received. He further stated that an analysis was conducted of the documentation provided by college staff both before and after the on-site assessment visit and Collegis received most of the information requested in its standard pre-assessment questionnaire. Mr. Parsons introduced Dr. Kenneth Wittig who will provide a more detailed analysis of their findings.

Dr. Wittig stated that Collegis is part of a larger group called SunGard Higher Education and that includes the people that make and sell the software called Banner. It includes the separate group called Collegis which offers only services and does not sell software or hardware. Collegis is the largest higher education technology services provider in the world. They support every major software product in higher education whether it's Oracle, Banner, PeopleSoft, etc., and are vendor neutral. He further stated that they are experts in their field and they are a vendor neutral services organization. Dr. Wittig provided a PowerPoint presentation on the findings of the technology assessment. (The presentation is on file with the official Board materials.)

There was a question and answer period throughout the presentation.

Trustee Canady expressed concern with the way the Ad Hoc Committee operated. They never had an open meeting. They hired someone without going through an open bid process particularly by something that is not covered by the exceptions of the Open Meetings Act.

Trustee Pelleran responded that College was hired by the Board's attorney and not by the Ad Hoc Committee.

Chairperson Laverty stated that the approval for the attorneys and all consultants were approved by the Board by a resolution.

Trustee Canady responded that he was never told that the College was hiring a company that is a subsidiary of a company that owned a competitor.

Trustee Pelleran stated that if Trustee Canady had been at the meeting in 2005, he may have been better informed on this issue.

Trustee Canady responded that he was at that meeting where Collegis was hired; he voted for it.

Trustee Smith expressed concern that no comparisons were provided in terms of other industries regarding startup challenges and costs. She also expressed concern that the report attacked the leadership and the vision. The College has stated that it wanted to be the state-of-the-art institution and that states vision and if you're trying to carry the institution to that point that takes time. Trustee Smith did not feel that this was the appropriate way of presenting their findings. She felt the report should have been given to the department and not in this setting. She was troubled that College staff were not given a chance to respond prior to today. The Board has talked about the leadership of the institution, but the Board should also look at the leadership they are offering.

Chairperson Laverty felt that whether we like what we're doing here or not is not the point. The public demanded full and complete disclosure and this is the result.

There was discussion regarding the Board and the administration not having received a copy of the report. The Board did receive information in Closed Session at its January 13 special meeting, but no hard copies were ever given to the Trustees.

Trustee Canady felt that this was a one-sided presentation because the administration did not receive this prior to today and were not given the opportunity to respond.

There was discussion regarding the contract with the State of Michigan and Oracle. It was stated again that no signed contract between the College and Oracle has been furnished.


Trustee Rasmusson introduced Ms. Beverly Baligad and Mr. Thomas Hirsbrunner who assisted the Ad Hoc Committee.

Ms. Baligad presented the Ad Hoc Committee report (it is on file with the official Board materials.)

Mr. Thomas Hirsbrunner read aloud a statement from a concerned student, Ms. April Kenney, who gave permission to read her statement. (The statement is on file with the official Board materials.)

There was a question and answer period after the presentation.

Chairperson Laverty thanked everyone for their participation. He requested that both reports be placed on the web page immediately.

Trustee Smith requested that staff be given an opportunity at the February 20 Board meeting to respond to these reports.


IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and supported by Trustee Proctor to appoint Dr. Judith Cardenas as interim president of Lansing Community College until the Board appoints a new president. Since 2003 Dr. Cardenas has served as Dean of Student and Academic Support and Quality at Lansing Community College. She earned a Doctorate in Education Administration from Baylor University and is currently completing a second doctorate in Training and Performance Improvement. Dr. Cardenas holds two Masters degrees and earned her undergraduate degree from St. Mary's University. She completed certificate training in leadership management from Harvard University and earned a certificate in E-Learning Management from the University of Phoenix. She has served as Vice President of Teaching and Learning at Mountain View College in Dallas, Texas. She served as an Executive to the President and later as the Director of Corporate and Community Development at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Cardenas was a tenured Assistant Professor of Biology and served as the Chair of the Science and Engineering Department at Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas.

Trustee Canady stated that he has nothing against Dr. Cardenas, but he is opposed to the process. He would have preferred to have had an application process.

Trustee Pelleran recommended having a national search for the next president.

Trustee Smith also would have preferred a search for the interim president; however, she respects Dr. Cardenas and feels she is qualified. She shared that the Association of Community College Trustees provides assistance with interim searches as well as presidential searches.

Chairperson Laverty stated that in the past an interim president has been selected quite rapidly. He assured the Board and the public that a national search for the permanent presidency will be conducted and it will be an open process.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson
Nays: None
Absent: None

Trustee Canady abstained from voting.

Trustee Smith abstained from voting.

Motion carried.

IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Proctor and supported by Trustee Brannan for President Cardenas to bring a proposal to the Board to recognize and celebrate the many contributions of President Paula Diane Cunningham during her tenure at Lansing Community College, up to and including the naming of an appropriate building in her honor.

Trustee Pelleran felt that the motion is fitting and proper. She would be delighted for the Interim President to make that one of her first priorities.

Roll call vote:
Ayes: Brannan, Canady, Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson, Smith
Nays: None
Absent: None

Motion carried.

There was brief discussion regarding the presidential search process. The process will include trustees, students, staff, and community members.


Rich Howard - Good Evening. Rich Howard, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Lansing Community College. Been a couple of times this evening that an article in the Lansing State Journal was referenced by Chairperson Laverty then Ms. Baligad on behalf of the Ad hoc Committee. I want to clarify a couple of things. It was not stated-Matt Miller is in the front row, he can verify this I believe-it was not stated by myself or by Vice President Borger that the system is fixed. It has not been stated that way at all. What we have attempted to communicate is that the process by which students receive their financial aid in a timely manner is working. I want to clarify that because that's a very important point. Nobody is saying it's fixed because when you have folks on the front line dealing with students that are having issues it's disrespectful to them. Nobody has indicated that the system is fixed. We'll continue to make advances. It was the process that we were referring to. I wanted to clarify that. Also it was stated by Trustee Rasmusson yesterday to me as well as Ms. Baligad on behalf of the Ad hoc committee that some of those statements in the article were untrue. And that it is not in the College's best interest to continue to mislead the public. I take exception to the word "untrue" and to "continue to mislead the public". You are welcome to question the accuracy of statements that I've made or that Vice President Borger has made. You are not welcome to question the integrity of this administration. Thank you.

Ava Mills - My name is Ava Mills and I have been at the institution since we did it with paper and pencil. This has been a difficult implementation there's no doubt about it. I think that for some reason the institution in attempting to ride the middle of the road and not point fingers in any direction as stated has inadvertently dropped the ball on top of those that sit on the front line and deal with students on a day to day basis. When we talk about inaccuracies that students are told. Being accurate with information with a system that is constantly evolving and growing and changing, it's very tough to hit a moving target. One day we say something is going to happen because we've been told it will happen. The next day it isn't happening because there's difficulties with the implementation. That isn't necessarily anyone's fault. It's implementation, but I think by not saying those things publicly it puts a bad light on our IT staff, on our financial aid staff, on all staff at this campus. The IT staff here has always been wonderful. I've worked with them for years. I helped implement several systems at this institution and they are very good at what they do, but I think there are many staff pushed into situations that were not appropriate, were not at a level that they were able to handle and what do you do? Do you walk away from your job? No. You do what you can. And do our financial aid staff walk away from their jobs at the end of the day because they haven't you know been able to do it? No. They have sacrificed their families, their heart and soul goes into serving students at this institution. As well as the accounting staff, the Cashiers staff, our Registrars staff, our Admissions staff. And to continually walk the middle of the road with a system that is making it difficult for us to serve our students and to serve other staff has not done us justice. And I don't think it's fair to those of us who have worked here for years and have done nothing but support this institution. I haven't said anything and that's unusual for me because I have done this institution apt and to be quiet but I don't think that you have done a justice to this institution, to the staff and to the students by staying quiet.

Barbara Larson - Good evening I'm Barbara Larson, Vice President for Administrative Services. Those who work with me know how much I love data, so I'm concerned when data in the reports, some of which I provided has been, I think presented in a way that could lead to false perceptions. So, I want to just clarify some information in the Collegis report. One is that the report acknowledges that Information Services and College Development at this campus is much broader than that we normally see in a central IT shop. It has included functions such as institutional research, organizational development. And so then when it goes on to compare FTE's to the 40-60 FTE's that you see in a central IT shop at an institution this size to 110 FTE's. I think that that leads to a false impression. We also provided information to Collegis from the State of Michigan compiled community college data that shows that our operational expenditures on IT at 7.8% of the budget were very much in line with the other 28 community colleges. Second, the $20 million transfer that is on page 8 is the transfer for all technology replacement expenditures as well as major software expenditures. I provided that information to Mr. Moser from Collegis and he asked for details on what was in that 20 million of Board approved budget and so in that he, I'm sure saw that that included many expenditures that were outside of Oracle. It includes the replacement of all PC's in the computer lab; it includes the additional PC's as we create new computer classrooms in new construction. And finally I was just asked that the enrollment data be checked in terms of the 2% drop at the main campus. That refers to spring of 2005 and that was the first semester when we were fully operational with the West Campus. So we would expect a drop in enrollment at the downtown campus as 3,000 students moved to the West Campus so I might ask that that be clarified for the report. Thank you.

Evelyn Green - My name is Evelyn Green. I don't want to minimize the effect that the implementation of this Oracle system has had on the students and on the staff, but it appears to me that the Board is attempting to politicize the search for the questions and the answers to the problem. Or the solutions to the Oracle system. I'm very uncomfortable with this report. Now it may not be fair, but the perception out there is that this company that you hired was not totally independent. I have a ton of questions, but the first one that I would like to address is the one that relates to finances. And it's in the report, page 11. Oracle implementation has cost LCC between $10 million and $37 million over the past 5 years. Now, if my arithmetic is correct that's a $27 million difference. I know LCC can find out how much money they paid for Oracle in five years. So, I think they could have done a better job giving us more exact and precise figures. We are tax payers, I'm a tax payer I taught here, but I'm a tax payer. And $27 million is not chump change to me. So, how much did LCC pay over the last five years for Oracle? How much money was actually paid?

Chairperson LLaverty - The Board would like to know the answer to that question also. That's something we've been asking for for months. There was no budget?

Evelyn Green - This should not have been issued until that question was answered. Also, when I read on page 12, "these and very likely a number of other issues we did not uncover." You did not uncover the issues, will likely cost LCC an excess of $1 million. Well, since you did not uncover the issues, since you don't know exactly how much they're going to cost, since you didn't give me a breakdown, why just $1 million? They might cost $2 million. Where is the data to support this? We are tax payers. A million dollars is not chump change. So, a company that was hired to talk about the financial-maybe it would have been better to leave this out altogether, since you didn't have the answers. But to put this in here and then to give people the perception that all they're swarmed with money here at LCC - it's $40 million, $10 million - we deserve better data. The survey, just lots of things about the survey and I'm going through it with a fine tooth comb, so I'll have lots of questions. Survey population. The survey design accepts only anonymous responses. Why? If I have a problem with Oracle, if I have a problem with a staff, if I have a problem with the management, I can say it. I can talk to them. I can say it publicly. Maybe that's a nice way to hide behind some other exterior motive by being anonymous. Also, the organizational structure. I didn't see anything about the prior organizational structure in terms of Banner and in terms of Oracle. I think we would be able to better interpret if we had that information. Maybe some people think they can do this without having that information, but I need to know, I want to know what happened, why it happened, and how much it cost. And this report that I heard from the representative I still haven't found the answers. And you just told me that the Board couldn't find out how much it cost. There was no budget. We got to have better answers than that. One last question I want to know, are we going to get a copy of the report from Oracle? This is Oracle system. We paid them almost $40 million according to this. Somewhere between $10 million and $37 million I'm going to round it off and say we paid them $40 million. If it didn't work-did they give a report? Do we have a report from Oracle telling us why it didn't work? What they needed to do? A company I paid $40 million to, almost. Did we? Did we talk to Oracle? Am I going to get a copy of Oracle's report?

Chairperson Laverty - We've only got what the College provided us with.

Evelyn Green - Do we have that? I'll take the College's. But I think Oracle-you should have given Oracle a chance to respond. I'll take the College's Oracle report.

Lyle Laylin - Hi, my name is Lyle Laylin, I'm an employee here at the College. I would agree with what Evelyn just said. You guys went out and hired another firm; you managed to get information from somebody else. Did anybody call Oracle? No. Nobody called Oracle. Why haven't we heard from them what went wrong? That's all I got to say. It's the only question you need.

Linda Uhler - My name is Linda Uhler. I don't even know where to begin. I just am so appalled at the report, but it goes far beyond this report. It has started a long time ago. There's obviously something very deeper going on than a financial aid problem that happened in the fall. I'm not minimalizing the financial aid. I've worked with students for 21 years before I switched over to IT and I've been there for four years. And I want to tell you all start asking questions of this Board. What goes beyond the financial aid of fall? What is the axe that somebody on-who's already left so I can't even look at him and ask him. What's the axe he's has to grind? What is your goal? It's far beyond this. And I am so terribly disappointed in you.

Chairperson Laverty - Lansing Community College must move forward. Our students deserve the best possible service from the administration of the College and the best possible education from our faculty. Lansing Community College and the Board have a lot of work to do. No more excuses. No more denial. No more blaming others. Let's get the job of education done together.


IT WAS MOVED by Trustee Pelleran and supported by Trustee Rasmusson for the meeting to adjourn.

Ayes: Laverty, Pelleran, Proctor, Rasmusson
Nays: None
Absent: None

Motion carried.

Trustee Brannan left at 5:51 p.m.

Trustee Smith left at 5:52 p.m.

Trustee Canady left at 5:55 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 6:08 p.m.

Lansing Community College Trustees

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Phone: (517) 483-5252
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