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SCCC Board Renews Contracts for President, VPs

KSCB News - April 6, 2016 8:07 am

He’s going to keep moving Seward forward. That’s the result of a routine agenda item with long-term advantages for Seward County Community College.

In their regular April meeting Monday night, SCCC trustees affirmed decisions made in executive session from the March meeting, in which they voted to offer a three-year, rolling contract to SCCC President, Dr. Ken Trzaska. Trzaska came on board as College president in August 2015.

In the same executive session, the board also approved continued employment of the College Executive Team, including Dr. Todd Carter, Vice President of Academic Affairs; Celeste Donovan, Vice President of Student Services; and Dennis Sander, Vice President of Finance and Operations.

The entire executive team has done an excellent job making thoughtful changes and energizing the College for positive change, trustees said. Consensus was that forward motion should continue, with the Board’s full support. Both contract renewals stipulate that salary adjustments are to be determined at a later date.

At the April meeting, the Board handled a light agenda. This included reports from three “Mover” teams that will address alumni relations, advising, and team development. The Board voted unanimously to accept the personnel report, which welcomed Darshaya Gallard as assistant volleyball coach, starting April 8, developmental English Instructor Bret Swanson, starting Aug. 6, and promotion of respiratory therapy instructor Janae Zachary, who has worked as a clinical instructor in Allied Health since January 2016. Kansas Small Business Development associate regional director Mike O’Kane will retire at the end of May.

Several positions remain open: adjunct humanities instructors and adjunct marketing/management instructors, adult basic education instructors for the AOK program in Liberal and GED in Hugoton (the preceding all are part-time positions); and the following full-time positions: industrial technology instructors in diesel, HVAC, drafting and design, truck driving, and welding; allied health instructor in respiratory therapy; director of research and assessment; SDBDC Dodge City business consultant; and a maintenance/custodial position.

For information about the open positions, visit the college website at and click on the “employment” tab for details and application instructions.

Dr. Adam John, CEO of EduKan, brought a report reviewing a recent audit and his thoughts about the future of the six-college consortium.

“When I started just about a year ago, the six community college presidents seemed like they would have rather been anywhere else than working together,” he said. “Since that time, I feel a lot better about the consortium. We hope to grow enrollment over the next year and improve the student experience.” John said the group has already made significant progress and thanked the SCCC Executive Team for its continued support.

The board voted 6-0 to accept John’s report and audit information. In another vote, the board approved revision of all Board policies to reflect the new titles of Vice President.

VP Sander presented a recommendation to hold the facilities use fees level for the coming fiscal year, as outlined in Policy 509. Use of the SCCC buildings continues to grow, and the rental rates currently in use are considered reasonable by the public, Sander noted. The board approved the policy 6-0.

Director of Information Technology JJ Widener, brought information to the Board about the College’s annual computer purchase. The board approved (6-0) the low bid of $102,386 by Zones, Inc., to purchase 113 Micro Form Factor computers, 18 Small Form Factor computers, seven laptops, and six Rugged Laptops.

“These are standard computers, nothing fancy,” said Widener. “We will purchase them through the bookstore.”

The computers will be used as replacements for office computers and other smaller lab settings across campus.

Vice President Carter noted in his report that the Allied Health nursing program received accreditation through 2021. Recent events of note were the Xtreme Challenge event for high school students from nine area districts, which brought nearly 300 students to campus, and the Regional Science Fair, from which the top two science projects went on to win top honors in the state.

Carter expressed thanks to Math and Science Division Chair Luke Dowell for his leadership in organizing the memorial service for science instructor Greg Gardner.

“It was a good opportunity for students and staff to share their memories with the family, and they appreciated that. We want to express our sadness again at Greg’s death,” said Carter.

Enrollment for the summer and fall sessions opened Monday, and graduate assessments are scheduled for April 14 and 16.

Vice President Donovan presented information about Sexual Violence Awareness activities that take place in April. Federal law requires the College to schedule information sessions. The first will be screening of the documentary film “The Hunting Ground,” at 6 p.m. Monday, April 11, in room AA138 of the Hobble Building. A “Lunch and Learn” program is also scheduled for noon Wednesday, April 13, at the SCCC Student Union, in room 214. The College will also conduct a survey about the campus climate in regard to sexual assault and safety.

Other items of note included the arrival of the new ID camera, which will enable the College to generate ID cards, as well as work with face-recognition technology applications. Voting is underway for the instructor of the year and outstanding student awards for the academic year.

Vice President Sander gave the board an update about the Connection Pathway, currently under construction and 99 percent complete.

“The deadline for that is May 1, so we are in great shape,” he said. Remaining phases of the project include concrete pads for bench placement, tree planting, and, eventually installment of solar lighting.

Sander also noted upcoming changes to Great Western Dining’s healthy food options, with the company agreeing to purchase locally-grown vegetables from the College’s sustainable agriculture program, when such produce is in season.

In his report, President Trzaska noted end-of-semester achievements, notably progress on the Mover projects, and the Connections pathway.

“I want to express my gratitude for everyone who has helped facilitate that process,” he said. “Last month, we talked about how quickly we hoped the project would progress, and it’s amazing to see it unfold. Next is the landscaping, and the bigger vision is for the pathway to connect the college to the community.”

Trzaska noted plans to plan a tree in memory of former science instructor Gardner “so that the tree will forever be there, representing his good work and all he did.”


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