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Board meets Presidential Scholars, Approves Emergency Repair Payment

Joe Denoyer - March 5, 2021 3:13 pm

LIBERAL, Kan.  — The Seward County Community College Board of Trustees met Monday, March 1, with an unusually full conference room as Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan introduced the 2020-21 cohort of Presidential Scholars to the board. Vice-chair Marvin Chance Jr., officiating in the absence of board chair Ron Oliver, welcomed the nine students able to attend. Recipients of the College’s most comprehensive scholarship, Presidential Scholars complete leadership training and typically meet with the board at the beginning of the academic year. Although pandemic precautions have altered the usual roster of activities, Donovan said, “we are so proud of this group of young people who are high achievers and committed to their education and service to others.”

With six members in attendance (trustee Casey Mein participated via Zoom), the board moved quickly through a light agenda. Looking ahead to the end of the fiscal year, the board approved date changes to the monthly meetings from Monday, June 7, 2021 to Monday, June 28, 2021, and from Monday, July 5, 2021, to Monday July 19, 2021, respectively. To work around the Labor Day holiday, the board also moved its September meeting to Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. Finally, the annual board retreat was set for 6 p.m. Monday, April 26, 2021. The non-action planning and work session enables the President and the Board of Trustees discuss annual goals, direction, and strategies for the overall success of the College.

In a procedural item related to emergency purchases, the board authorized the purchase and replacement of an air handler unit and coil in the student union building above the cafeteria. The repairs took place Feb. 8-10 after Roger Scheib, Director of Facilities, received a call from security about a water leak in the cafeteria. “The leaking was severe enough to cease cafeteria operations until mid-day the following day,” Scheib noted in his report. “This was considered an emergency purchase, as the main unit heats the cafeteria serving area, office, food storage and restroom. The coils are special made to fit each unit, so time was of the essence. We are running electric heaters which are over loading circuits and causing breakers to blow. This could develop into a health and safety issue if prolonged.”  Johnson Controls have service repair techs that live in Liberal and was able to inspect, quote, and complete the job quickly, he added. Total cost was $23,285.00.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Luke Dowell presented proposed changes to the curriculum for two Industrial Technology programs. The Diesel Technology Program proposes removing Alternative Fuels and Preventive Maintenance as a standalone courses; the necessary knowledge and skills are taught in other courses. The HVAC course is being reduced from 4 credit hours to 2 credit hours.

“These changes are in line with expectations for NATEF accreditation as the instructors work toward the goal of becoming NATEF certified again,” Dowell noted. The AAS degree will change from 68 to 60 total credit hours while the Cert will change from 53 to 45 hours.

In the Drafting and Design Technology Program, changes include removing four drafting courses and replacing them with four courses from other disciplines. The Academic Affairs Council (AAC) has approved the proposed revisions.

“The program advisory committee felt adding courses that include other trades skills to their drafting knowledge and skills will better meet the needs of regional industry,” Dowell said. “The new courses include Trade Basics, OSHA 10, Principles of Quality, and Intro to Computer Concepts. These courses provide skills and knowledge that students need on the job.” The changes do not change the total credit hours of either the AAS degree or either certificate.

Following the board’s unanimous approval of the proposal, the changes to both courses will be submitted to the Kansas Board of Regents for review.   

The board heard the following reports:

  • Athletic Director Dan Artamenko reported that with all seven teams in action, athletics has been focused on COVID protocols, both internally and externally, “and also battling the weather,” he said. “We are still optimistic in completing all the seasons this semester. We are currently in a stretch with a team playing 45 out of 48 days.” On campus, improvements to the Greenhouse west entrance continue, while the “All American” room has been upgraded.
  • Chief Development Officer Kyle Woodrow announced dates for the Foundation’s fundraising activies. The Annual Auction, which will occur entirely online, is set for May 15. The tentative date for the live event next year is Sept. 25, 2021.  In the development office, the coordinator position has been filled by Sherelle Shuck, with reviews of the Alumni & Giving Coordinator and Association Director of Annual Giving positions under review.  The date for the SCCC Foundation Annual Meeting was moved to Wednesday, March 31.
  • Chief Information Officer Louie Lemert noted the IT department is keeping up with the level of work submitted through email, phone and the ticketing system.“We are continuing to work with contractors to test and modify the wireless network before completing the installation in other buildings,” he stated.
  • Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan reported the college received another $367,280 of CARES Act money to distribute to students.  The executive team and the financial aid ffice have met to discuss a plan for distribution. The funds will need to begin distribution no later than mid-April or SCCC will have to return the money. Plans are underway for graduation, which is expected to be live but broken into multiple ceremonies to keep the numbers down in the gymnasium. All Saints Day, which will be limited to 30 individuals per session, are set with four ASDs in April, one in May and three in June. “The times and dates for the July and August will be determined as we get closer to graduation,” she stated.
  • Vice President of Academic Affairs Luke Dowell said spring semester classes are moving along relatively smoothly, “except for weather issues. Instructors were allowed to hold classes remotely Feb. 15 and 17 and students were notified to look for communication from their instructors about class details. Aside from grumbling for ruining snow days, this went well.”
  • Vice President of Finance & Operation Dennis Sander announced completion of the Annual Federal Report (through December 31, 2020) for CARES funds has been submitted, with the funds allocated for student aid spent.  “The first round of institutional aid is roughly 2/3 spent, leaving $118,461 to allocate or spend.  We have until July to fully spend this set of funds,” he noted. The College is in the process of interpreting accepted use of the second round of stimulus funds.  At this time, that includes allocations of $250,000 in SPARK funds, $367,280 in student CARES funds, and $1,168,097 in CARES institutional funds.
  • President Brad Bennett reported the majority of SCCC employees received their first dose of the vaccine Feb. 24. The next KACCT meeting is March 6 (a Saturday), the Council of Presidents is set to meet April 9 at Cowley College, and the Jayhawk Conference Meeting is set for March 1.

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