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SCCC Board Evaluates Year-End Goals, Programs

KSCB News - May 11, 2016 10:16 am

The Seward County Community College Board of Trustees handled a light agenda at the regular meeting May 2. The meeting served as a test run for board members who will transition to the computerized Board Docs system to reduce paper use and streamline reports and voting. It also provide a quick run-through of commencement duties, for the college ceremony that took place the following Saturday.

More than 300 student certificates and degrees were scheduled to be conferred, said SCCC Registrar Alaina Rice.

“It’s not the largest graduating class in our history, but it’s close, with 353 on the program to walk,” she said. “The faculty have done a really good job this year of encouraging students to let us know if they won’t be here.”

Several SCCC team members brought reports about the ongoing “Movers” projects developed as part of the Moving Seward Forward initiative. As the current academic year closes, some completed projects will be sidelined for 2016-17.

“They have achieved their goal and have become part of our everyday existence,” said Trzaska. “Our thought is to look at our five key directions every year and ask ourselves if our initiatives support those priorities. Several of our Movers fall under more than one of the five directions.”

Trzaska briefly outlined the five key directions, or priorities set by the executive team to drive the college’s decision-making process:

  • Enhance financial and organizational vitality
  • Invest in teaching, learning, and curriculum development
  • Expect high outcomes in recruitment, retention, and graduation
  • Broaden community education and business & industry collaboration
  • Promote a safe and healthy campus


“We’ll ask every year, ‘has the environment changed? Are these Mover projects still goals we should pursue, based on the overall directions we have set?’ This is going to direct our future, how we invest our time, energy, and resources,” Trzaska said.

Three Movers project leaders presented to the board.

Director of IT J.J. Widener spoke about the ongoing effort to make the best possible use of the college’s internal computer network, BANNER.

“BANNER is our database system that houses finance, student, classes, and inside it, we have different ways of accessing that information,” said Widener. “Priorities for the group include accessing outside expertise through social networking communities, and accessing training on campus.”

Providing better, more complete data helps students and advisors to make better decisions, Widener said.

“You want to be able to key in the name or number, and Boom, you have a page with the student’s picture, ID, their GPA, their major area of interest, their attendance – it’s very helpful,” he said.

Travis Combs, director of the Colvin Adult Learning Center, heads up the Community Involvement team, which has chosen to address four areas, he said:
“We want to encourage more collaboration and involvement on campus, within Liberal, and — our third goal — develop a tracking system or dashboard that can be like an electronic message board to match needs with volunteers,” he said. “Finally, we want to educate the local community about how Seward gives back.”

It all boils down to one simple idea, he noted: “The goal is to get people enthused about going out and getting engaged with the community. We have a lot of brainstorming at our meetings, but it does result in action. On March 8, we painted windows downtown to support the Redskins basketball team going to state. April 15, we hosted a trash pickup for areas of Liberal. And we grew from 10 people at the first event, to 30 at the second one. We hope to make an impact, slowly but surely.”

Adam Borth, Director of Data and Research, reported about the Mover team for Program Feasibility and Potential, which plans to wrap up at the end of the academic year.

“We started at the beginning of this semester, and Dr. Carter had outlined a process so that we could move forward with hard data reviews of our programs, and not just by the seat of our pants or our feelings about the programs,” he said. “This is a complicated process, and we’ve made great progress in outlining how programs can be reviewed in an orderly way.

“I have to give all the credit to these nine chief movers who,you have had a chance to hear from over the past three months,” said Trzaska. “They have made tremendous progress very fast. I’m very proud of everyone in this room. I want the board to know that it’s everyone working really hard every day.”

Director of Multimedia Technology Doug Browne presented an update about the new website in progress. The changeover has been a “boots-on-the-ground” process focused on the background details before tackling the overall appearance of the site, he said. One major improvement will be the responsive design, which allows the site to adjust to the viewing platform, whether that is a cell phone, tablet, or computer screen.

Board member Dustin Ormiston expressed concern that the site be one that is easy to update.

“We want things to be current when visitors come to the website,” he said.

“With the new system, I think it will be easier to update,” said Browne. “We’re making headway.”

Dr. Todd Carter, Vice President of Academic Affairs, presented a program feasibility study of seven of the college’s 45 programs of study.

“Based on our review, we recommend ending the medical assistant program,” Carter said. The MA’s high instruction cost, low wages for graduates, and low projected job growth were key factors in the decision.

“You have to make a judgement call, and it’s not easy,” he said. “We are hoping to help our students in Allied Health who have been following the Medical Assistant track to consider their options in other certificate and degree programs that would be more lucrative for them as professionals.”

Carter’s committee also recommended continuance of the nursing, surgical technology, corrosion technology, and natural gas compression programs,” Carter said. “Respiratory therapy and medical laboratory technology programs are recommended for revitalization.”

“Enrollments in those last two programs are actually coming up this spring, thanks in part to much stronger industry advisory support,” Carter said. In respiratory therapy, a new articulation agreement with the University of Kansas, as well as partnerships with Garden City and Dodge City community colleges offer a broad array of options for potential students.

“We have not addressed the opportunities we offer students, and we feel like we can do more with that,” said Carter.

Trustees voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the committee.

President Trzaska submitted further changes to the college’s organizational structure, which the board approved unanimously.

“We’ve taken a hard look at organizational structure and made the determination on a number of positions on campus, that the titles should align with our peer institutions,” said Trzaska. “Quite frankly, from a competitive perspective, it’s best to consider how titles affect the individual interacting in the real world. Opening the door in various situations is much easier with the appropriate title.”

The board approved changes to the following position titles:

  • Director of Marketing and Public Relations changes to Executive Director of Marking and Public Relations
  • Director of Development changes to Executive Director of Development
  • Associate Director of Institutional Advancement changes to Executive Director of Alumni Engagement and Grant Development
  • Athletic Director changes to Director of Athletics
  • Assistant to the Athletic Director changes to Assistant Athletic Director
  • Director of Building, Grounds, Security changes to Director of Facilities
  • Safety and Security Supervisor changes to Director of Safety and begins to report directly to the president’s Office
  • Division Chair of Ag, Business and Personal Services changes to Dean of Ag, Business & Personal Services
  • Division Chair, Humanities, changes to Dean of Humanities
  • Division Chair of Industrial Technology changes to Dean of Industrial Technology
  • Math, Science, and HPERD Division Chair changes to Dean of Math, Science, and HPERD
  • Respiratory Therapy Coordinator changes to Director of Respiratory Therapy
  • Surgical Technology Coordinator changes to Director of Surgical Technology
  • Medical Laboratory Technology Coordinator changes to Director of Medical Laboratory Technology

In other business, the board:

* Unanimously approved the personnel report. This included the resignation of criminal justice instructor Cristy Mulanax, who has accepted a position in the community corrections program operated by Seward County, and of welding instructor John Massey, who has accepted a job at Johnson County Community College. USD 480 head counselor Mariah Cline has accepted the job of SCCC Director of Counseling, Advisement and Career Services, and will start work June 20.

* Unanimously approved the recommendation that professional faculty members who will not be renewed for continued employment in the coming year must be notified no later than May 20, 2016.

  • Voted 6-0 to purchase a new library security gate, for the low bid price of $15,965, from Bibiolotheca of Borcross, Ga.
  • Voted 6-0 to purchase equipment and supplies for the Food Science and Safety Student Laboratory, for the low bid price of $62,430, from Fisher Scientific of Houston. Funding for the equipment came from the STEM grant.
  • Voted 6-0 to purchase an updated computer/server backup system from Eagle Technologies of Salina, for the low (and only) bid price of $41,410.76. Cloud backup data will be stored within Eagle Technologies rack space in limestone mines at Kansas City. Widener explained to board members that he was able to obtain only one bid for the job due to the specifications. Vice-chair Marvin Chance requested that future single-bidder prices include more information about why other vendors were unable to compete. After discussion, Trustee Ormiston thanked Widener for providing additional information that addressed the board’s concerns.
  • Heard reports from Vice President of Finance and Operations Dennis Sander, Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Todd Carter, and President, Dr. Ken Trzaska.

The next SCCC Board of Trustees meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. June 20, in the Hobble Academic Building board room.


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