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Meeting Minutes – February 6, 2013


Dr. Mark Sothmann, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost; and Dr. Darlene Shaw, Associate Provost for Education and Student Life:  Thank you for inviting me to come and have an opportunity to have a conversation with you.  First of all, I would like to thank Brandon for his leadership of the organization.  We ask him to come in to the Board of Trustees to report on the activities of the SGA.  The Board of Trustees is really interested in the students.   The students and the educational programs really define the Medical University of South Carolina. The variety of the programs also defines it as well. We are not just a Medical College, but a Medical University with a wide range of disciplines.  I would also like to thank you for your leadership and taking the time out of your busy schedules.  There is that extra level of engagement when you take on a leadership position and we appreciate the work that you do.  I want to discuss with you a couple of things that are important to us that may impact you in different ways.  First, the University has been engaged in something called Funds Flow, a program to control revenue and cost at MUSC.  State appropriations are diminishing.  Only 6% of our support comes from the state.  The rest comes from tuition raises, leaving more debt on our students.  We are acutely aware that we are at the ceiling with our tuition.  We are working diligently to identify where we have costs that we may mitigate or figure out alternative ways to keep our cost down.  We are also examining new avenues to grow revenue.  There are costs that are unavoidable so I don’t think we can get away from raising tuition completely.  We have several programs in place that will help us get to good endpoints.  One includes International degree programs in places such as China.  Second is accreditation.  There is increasing scrutiny on the quality of education in our nation.  We have great pass rates at MUSC, but it takes a lot of work on the part of the faculty.  We have recently been successful with the LCME for the COM.  Those are 2 things that are being looked at to get to good endpoints.  Now I would like to open it up for questions and dialogue.

Ashekia Pinckney:  Is there a way to know where our tuition is going?  Can we get a breakdown so we can understand what we are actually paying for?  Where is this money really going?

Dr. Sothmann:  This is what Funds Flow is all about.  We have been working at this for 3 years.  I had the same question.  I couldn’t track the money.  The system we have put into place is Responsibility Centered Management.  Each college is its own responsibility center.  None of the money from each College’s tuition dollars goes to central administration.  There used to be a tuition matrix and every College would take a cut out of it.  In this system, money got moved all over the place.  Now, all revenue goes to the respective Colleges.  Central administration has allocations for each College.   This allows Colleges to have conversations between their deans and faculty to see where they can grow revenue and control cost.  It also causes a dialogue to occur between the Colleges and central services.  In summary, the tuition for each College goes to that respective College.

Layne Madden:  A recurring conversation between my peers is whether there is a way to get more transparency to where the money is going.  Are you suggesting we have that conversation with our College Deans?

Dr. Sothmann:  Yes.  Please appreciate that we are in our first year.  Everyone is working there way to transparency, but that is one of the basic tenants of the budget model.  Each Dean is having a conversation at the departmental level.  There are town hall meetings that are open to everyone where this kind of information can be discussed.  You should have a conversation with your Associate Dean for Student Affairs.  I’m sure they will talk to you about general categories.  They are working out the specifics at this time.  There is also the problem of how to fund the basic sciences.  Allocations from each College are being made in order to alleviate the national cuts in funding. 

Stephen Thompson:  What impact do you see with Greenville coming on with a medical school?

D. Sothmann:  There is a concern at the state level whether there would be appropriate review of it.  The medical school came on board.  MUSC could have protested it, but I don’t think it would have made much of a difference.  People might question whether we can support all of our programs.  Other medical schools in the country are also looking to expand their classes.  All of that is going to put a strain on infrastructure and clinical rotations in different ways.  As this growth occurs, we need to look at different ways of instruction.  The days of bringing class into buildings are over.  We might need to tighten the curriculum so that students aren’t in for 5 years, but maybe 4 years.

Ashley Rogers:  How does the 6% state funding deviate between Colleges?

Dr. Sothmann:  We brought in a consulting firm called Heron.  In moving to a new model we new we would have to look at state appropriations.  We decided to allocate state appropriations out on the basis of a formula that involves student head count, research infrastructure, and in state and out of state tuition in each College.  For example, COM gets more state appropriations than CHP because it has a larger research infrastructure than CHP that has more tuition based and student head count numbers.  We also have a Hold Harmless period.  This 2-3 year period is case specific to each college.  In this period we put money in the College to grow itself to a point where they are fiscally solvent.  Overall we want to grow revenue and reduce costs to keep tuition rates at reasonable levels.  We are proud of you and your leadership.  Thank you for letting me have a conversation with you.

Dr. Tom Basler, Director of Libraries; Nancy McKeehan, Assistant Director of Libraries; and Bob Poyer, Assistant Director for Public Services and Education:  We want to update you on what is going on in the library.  We are currently aiming at solving the problem of freezing to death on the third floor.  We got the funding to re-engineer and redesign the heating and air conditioning systems on the 3rd and 4th floors.  This has been one of the loudest, most continuous student complaints.  The result should allow better control over the temperature in both small spaces and the large open areas to produce a more balanced and comfortable environment throughout. If you are graduating in May or June, you won’t see the advantages of this.  While they are working on the air in the ceiling, they will also work on the lighting.  Good lighting does not mean more lighting, but the quality of lighting and removing the glare.  To minimize disruption to students we have scheduled work on the 3rd floor in the mornings and 4th floor in the afternoons.  The first phase began this week.  Engineers in teams of 2 will get above the ceilings to draw schematics, take pictures, and measure the existing ductwork on both floors.  They will be using ladders and other equipment.  This project could last as long as a year, with periods of on-site work and periods of nothing happening in the building. 

We also have some new furniture coming in on the 2nd floor. CON is redoing all of their stuff and we are taking some of their nice furniture.  We have some new computers that have been added as well.

Still to come:

The historical 1860s medicinal garden is finished and the website is up at  It showcases natural remedies that soldiers in the low country used to treat themselves off the land.  A committee chose the plants that will be in our garden.  There were a number of plants we were not allowed to plant.  They may be good for medicinal purposes and for money as well, but that wouldn’t work out in our garden.   There will be a medicinal garden dedication by Dr. Michael Flannery from UAB on Dr. Porcher and his book, Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests.  There will be a celebration for Dr. Curtis Worthington, who also received the South Carolina Governor’s Order of the Silver Crescent (the state’s highest award for community service), and his 30th year at the Waring library.  The Worthington Prize Papers competition for original research in the history of the health sciences is offering a $1500 prize and publication in the Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association.  The paper must be submitted by May 31st at  There are also several website exhibits on the Waring Page including:

Finally I want to say thank you to any students who were escorts or tour guides for the LCME visitors reviewing the library for the COM and we would like to thank you for making the 24/7 library work.  No one has been hurt or bothered.  Nothing has been stolen.  It helps cut the budget down since we do not need staff in there all night.

Stephen Thompson:  Is having the 4th floor open 24/7 a possibility?

Tom Basler:  We are working on it.  Our goal is to open up much of the 4th floor.  We cannot open the computer classes because they need to be ready to go in the morning.  It is a matter of how to do it.  I would like to promise you that it would happen within this coming year.  How many of you study at College of Charleston library?

Regina Brown:  Some of the printers are more expensive to print and others have discounts for front and back printing?

Nancy McKeehan:  There have been some issues with the computers printing and I think we have figured it out.  If you get overcharged go to the 4th floor desk and let them know. 

Holly Berry:  Can you update us on the blinds on the second floor?  They were broken and taken down, but they haven’t been replaced.

Tom Basler:  The blinds are really tough because you can’t replace them.  They are full of dust and if you hit it you will die.  If you try to replace it is really expensive.  We don’t have an answer for it.  Fixing them doesn’t fix them. 

Nancy McKeehan:  We used to have a source for repairing them and now that they are gone we don’t have anyone to do that anymore.  It’s a cost issue.  We haven’t given up but it’s going to take a lot of time. 

Sumeen Maur:  Can you update us with the progress from the Art Institute?

Tom Basler:  The project went really well.  They graduated and did a wonderful job laying it all out.  It was a situation where they did a great job but the patient died.  What they responded with was something we were not able to respond with.  In the end, it triggered new furniture and getting the stacks out of the way. The result of the bigger project was a smaller project that you saw the benefit of.  They made us think things through differently than we would have.

James Atkison:  Is there a way to get more chairs on the first floor?

Tom Basler:  We aren’t responsible for the first floor.  What you need to do is talk to Darlene Shaw. 

Stephen Thompson:  Thank you for electrifying the carrels on the 4th floor.

Tom Basler:  You know I would love to have a time motion camera in the library.  There will be a chair on the 3rd floor that moves to the 4th floor at night.  Students say they need everything flexible.  The old timers say this place is a mess because things aren’t all lined up.  They’re the ones that put the hedges in. Thank you for your time and input!

Taylor Stukes and Lauren Benner:  The COM Charity ball is open to anyone and everyone.  Please tell your colleges.  The event will take place on February 16th from 7-11pm at the Memminger Auditorium.  Student tickets are $20.  The cost of the ticket includes fantastic food with grilled cheese bar, dessert bar, etc.  We did a walkthrough of the event and it looks phenomenal.  There is a silent auction component with great items.  There are things for high rollers like alumni.  There are also local restaurants, boutiques, etc.  There is a wide gamut of options to bid on.  Proceeds will benefit several charities.  Our annual charities include Crisis Ministries, CARES clinic, and Fight for S.I.G.H.T.  We want to give them some funding to further their mission.  This year we have also selected Charleston Area children’s Garden project, Operation Home, which builds wheelchair ramps for families in need, and the Low country Pregnancy Center with their program called Fearless Fathers.  This is a curriculum for fathers to have a bigger role in their child’s life.  In the end, the reward is diapers.  Finally, the event will also benefit Junior Girls Day Out, a curriculum that identifies at risk young ladies with low self-esteem or body image issues.  In the end, the girls will run the Cooper River Bridge Run.  These 4 charities were selected out of 20.  The event is Black tie optional.  Alumni will usually wear tuxes, but you all can wear suits.  Ladies, short or long dresses are appropriate.

Liz Sheridan:  Where can you purchase tickets?

Taylor Stukes:  They can be purchased in the COM Deans office.  We will also be selling tickets in the library lobby on Tuesday and Thursday, February 12th and 14th from 11am-1pm.

Liz Sheridan:  Is there a cash bar?  Will there be parking?

Taylor Stukes:  You don’t have to pay for parking at the garage on Wentworth.  There will be a cash bar.

PRESIDENT:  Brandon Hagan

Old Business

Reading of the January 23rd minutes:  Approved

New Business

Introduction of New Members:
Ashley Vosh – CHP, anesthesia for nurses, VCU and Elon
Sarah Guberman – CHP, healthcare administration, Auburn
On Behalf of SGA, we would like to welcome you all to the family.  We are happy to have you as part of our team. 

SGA 2013 Election Info:  The elections for SGA officers are coming up in March.  Applications are now available.  They are due on February 22nd by 5pm in the Student Programs Office.  Please send an electronic picture to Nancy along with your statement.  Her email is included in the packet.  Feel free to ask us any questions about our position or sit in on an exec meeting. 

Reps (2) to clean up after meeting:   Marty Covington and Igor Alvarez


Old Business

Improv Comedy Night evaluation and expense report:  There was a good turnout for both events.  We spent $2058.  We were $58 over budget.  138 people attended.

MUSC Night at Halsey Gallery Evaluation and expense report:  We spent $5500.  We were $438 under budget, so we made up for the Comedy Night.  Evaluations are being passed around for both events.

New Business

Make your own Valentine:  From February 1st through February 14th, 8:30am – 4:30pm, crafts will be provided to make your own valentine in the Student Programs Office.  The poster for this event says we provide the crafts, you supply the love. 

Fat Tuesday: Tuesday, February 12th 11:30am – 1:15pm will be Fat Tuesday in the Horseshoe.  Music by Wanda Johnson, food vendors, and free beads will be provided.  You will receive specialty beads if you donate 2 or more canned goods or $2.  13 worker spots will send out tonight. 

Jostens:  Jostens will be on campus February 11th and 12th at Fat Tuesday for those who are graduating to look at graduation rings, invitations, and announcements.  There will be a 15% discount. Library lobby

Valentine’s Piano Concert:  On Wednesday February 13th at noon there will be a free piano concert in the Hollings Cancer Center lobby.  Armine Ghazaryan from Armenia will be playing classical music from the romantic period.  Chamber music will also be playing on February 15th.

Programs Committee Meeting


Old Business


New Business



Old Business


New Business

Upcoming Spring Service Hour Opportunities: 

Double check and note the time you are signed up for.  Also check your email and make sure that it is correct.  I will be sending reminder emails out for the event.  There are also purple post it notes for other spring events coming up after spring break.  Look at that so you can make sure you get your hours for the semester!


Old Business


New Business

Website Update:  The website has been updated with your worker spots from this semester thus far.  Please let me know if you see any errors. 

Intramurals - Kevin Smuniewski:  

2012-2013 Volleyball Champions: Ace in the Face won the volleyball championship.  Will Wonager was the captain. The team was 8th seed and barely made the playoffs and they came back for the big win.

I also want to remind everyone about bringing in ineligible players.  We now require ID, student, employee or wellness center photo ID.  Anyone that is not a member of the wellness center has to pay the daily use fee for intramurals, including spouses, etc.  It has become an auxiliary service due to budget changes. 

Congratulate Rhonda Walters!  She is ecstatic that her son signed on at Johns Hopkins as their running back.

College and Organizational Reports

MUSC Gives Back – Liz Sheridan: 

MUSC Student Blood Drive Challenge:  The participants of the winning College will be entered in a drawing for 4 free MUSC SGA Alhambra tickets (4-13-13).  Please set your appointment at  Search by zip code (29403) or by date/drive location.  The dates are below:

The fixed site has expanded their hours to accommodate students. 

Student Programs – Nadia Mariutto:  If you are interested in running for an SGA officer position.  You will be paid $2500 a semester for President and $1500 for all other positions.  Remember that it is due 2 weeks from this Friday.  Our next exec meeting will be Tuesday, February 19th if you want to come see how any thing is done. 

Work study students are needed in Student Programs Office.  Students need to be available 10-20 hours a week to work in a fun, interactive environment.  We are looking to hire 3-4 students.  Perks include 2 free admission tickets to events if they work that day and a lenient schedule.  MUSC Gives Back is also looking for 1 student worker as well.  Flyers are posted up around campus.  They don’t include the MUSC Gives Back information but direct any student interest to me and I will get them in contact with Liz Sheridan.  You can contact me for more information at 792-2693.

University wide Committees

Dental Medicine

Graduate Studies

Health Professions – Cacey Black: 

Tomorrow is the OT chili cook-off from 11am-1pm.  It is $5 to try 6 chilis and $1 to try each additional chili. 

The College Community Coalition is hosting and Movie and Mingle night at the Mark Clark Hall at the Citadel at 6pm.  “O brother where art thou” will be playing.  This is a free event.  Popcorn, pizza, and prizes will be provided. 

PA program will be hosting Mr. MUSC pageant on February 22nd.

MUSC T-shirts will be on sale on February 21st from 1-5pm in the library lobby!

James Atkison:  Who is the contact for Mr. MUSC?

Igor Alvarez:  I forwarded your email.

International Student Association

Medicine –Thomas Tyner: The Clash of Classes will be held on March 1 and 2nd.  This is a 2 day event with athletic competitions.  If you are interested, the contact is

Stephen Holzhouser:  What are the events for swimming like?  Where will it be at? Do we use blocks?

Thomas Tyner:  They are in the gym.  No blocks will be used. 

Multicultural Student Advisory Board – Omici Colquitt:   MSAB is hosting their annual Black History Month lectures every Wednesday at noon in BSB302.  Lunch will be provided for the first 50 students.


Pharmacy – Kathryn Holt:  On February 15th from 11am – 1pm there will be a Chicken Bog (chicken, rice and sausage) in the horseshoe.  It will be $5 dollars or 5 can foods for low country food bank. 

Kristen Long:  PT is having a bake sale on Monday and Tuesday at lunch in the library.  Bring cash.

Igor Alvarez:  Mr. MUSC will have only 250 tickets and we have already sold 50.  We are selling tickets at the CHP atrium.  Class presidents were supposed to get a tally of how many tickets your college wanted.  COP and CGS if you are interested, let us know.