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Moree Selected to Fill SCCC Board Vacancy

Joe Denoyer - January 11, 2022 4:10 pm

LIBERAL, Kan. The Seward County Community College Board of Trustees opened 2022 with twice its usual energy — a special work session at 5:30 p.m. followed by the regular monthly meeting at 7:30. Following interviews with four applicants, the board selected Keeley Moree of Liberal as its seventh board member, effective at the February meeting. Moree will complete the unexpired term of former trustee Sharon Hobble, who resigned in July 2021. The board had tabled finding a replacement for Hobble because of the then-active search for a new college president.

“We interviewed several strong candidates,” said Board Chair Ron Oliver. “Our new member, Keeley Moree, is excited to get started, and we are excited to welcome some young blood to the board.” Moree, who is vice president, practice management, at Southwest Medical Center, will be sworn in at the next board meeting on Monday, February 7.

As they do each January, the trustees conducted the annual organization of officers and committee work. The board voted unanimously to reappoint Oliver as chair (with Oliver abstaining). Trustee Dustin Ormiston moved to retain the roster of officers as in 2021, and the group voted 6-0 in favor. Additionally, John Engel will remain as voting delegate for the Association of Community College Trustees. Vice Chair Marvin Chance Jr. moved to table committee assignments pending the appointment of Moree in February, and the board passed the motion.

Looking ahead to the next academic year that begins in August 2022, the board voted to increase tuition and fees for the 2022-23 academic year by $3 per credit hour for all non-local students. Seward County residents will continue to be billed at the current tuition rate through 2022-23, with a $1 fee increase to offset technology costs. The board also voted to increase housing rates, which include meals at the cafeteria, by $100 per semester. The change is designed to offset anticipated increases in utility and food costs in the coming year.

Vice President of Finance and Operations Dennis Sander noted that setting tuition, housing, and meal rates early in the year benefits college-bound high school students and their families, who appreciate knowing the actual cost of attendance. SCCC offers one of the lowest cost higher-education options for county residents in the region, thanks to the Seward County Tuition Grant.

The board approved first steps to dispose of unused real estate property in Liberal. At the Sept. 7 board meeting, trustees requested administration to re-evaluate the property at 930 North Kansas Avenue (the former Colvin Adult Learning Center) and the adjacent lot at 1001 North Lincoln Avenue, and provide a recommendation for use or for sale.

After examination of the building, administration determined it does not have any viable immediate or near-term need for the building or the adjacent lot. Proceeds from the sale of the Colvin-donated properties will be designated to the scholarship restrictions of the donor, within the SCCC Foundation’s scholarship accounts.

In addition, the executive team determined that the vacant lot on Apollo Street does not have any viable immediate or near-term need. This property was acquired in the Tech School merger in 2008. Proceeds from the sale of the Apollo property will be designated to the college’s general fund.

Trustee Kay Burtzloff moved that the board obtain an appraisal of the value of the properties in order to list them for sale, with selection of the realtor at the discretion of the administration. Engel seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

The college’s outdoor sports venues will soon sport an updated look. Both the softball and baseball scoreboards are currently past their expected lives and require repeated maintenance during the seasons, and collaboration between local organizations and college entities has offered a solution

Athletics determined the scoreboard model for SCCC at this time would be the Nevco scoreboard, with a cost of $86,398.50 including installation.

Working with the Liberal Bee Jays, the SCCC Foundation, and existing baseball fund monies, the college will contribute $25,398.50 to the total cost. The SCCC Foundation, with a pledge from the Liberal Bee Jays semi-pro baseball team, will fund the remaining $61,000 Efforts are underway to solicit in-kind donations for removal of the old and installation of the new score boards.

Ormiston proposed that revenues from sponsor advertising be used to repay the college’s initial investment, to offset future service costs, and incorporated the requirement in his motion. Burtzloff seconded the motion, and the board voted 6-0 in favor.

The board voted to approve the review and update of board policies in the 200 series, which address legal requirements to comply with state regulations for community colleges, public transparency, and conflict of interest issues.

The board approved an update to the welding program and its definition of what constitutes completion of the course. Because of high demand for workers in the industry, many students have opted to enter the workforce after completing the first phase of the curriculum.

The Academic Affairs Committee approved revisions to the Welding Technology Program, adding an 18-hour entry level certificate A and a 35-hour certificate B option. As part of the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) program revision proposal submission requirements, all program revision proposals must be approved by the College Board of Trustees prior to submitting the official new program request to KBOR. A copy of the minutes indicating Board approval must accompany the proposal as documentation that the request has been approved by the Board.

“The college and the city should be awfully proud that our students are able to get out and be employed before they finish the program as it was originally set up,” said President Gunderson. “This is something that exemplifies student success. They are finishing the program with less debt in less time to earn higher wages.”

The board also approved purchase of a MAC Scanning Tool and Toolbox to scan current diesel and gas engines for troubleshooting and repair class projects in the industrial technology diesel program. The current scanner program is at least six years out of date and can only be used on light-duty trucks. No other diesel or gas equipment or vehicles can use the old tool. MAC enables service to a myriad of vehicles and equipment in hands-on learning labs. The low bid from Thompson Tool Supply, for $10,199.98, was approved.

In other matters, the board received the following reports:

• Athletic Director Dan Artamenko brought news of the Saints Athletics academic performance in the fall semester, with 19 student-athletes earning 4.0 GPAs. The AD Honor Roll recognized 83 students with a 3.0 or higher GPA.

• Chief Development Officer Kyle Woodrow reported a slight delay in the Sharp Family Champions Center Phase 2A due to a mixup in materials deliveries. Meanwhile, the SCCC Foundation annual meeting is planned for March 30, 2022, at 11:30 a.m.

• Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan said the semester is off to a strong start after two years of pandemic protocols. “When it comes down to it, our students want to be here, in the classroom, and see their friends. It’s great to see them here on campus,” she said.

Enrollment reports show a 38 percent enrollment increase from a year ago, and “a huge growth in EduKan hours, because students have learned how to succeed in online classes,” she noted. High school concurrent enrollments are up 66 percent from 2021.

“It’s encouraging,” Donovan said. “We’re still a little bit behind where we were two years ago, but we’re pleased.” The SCCC Enrollment Management Committee meets monthly and will bring reports to the Board of Trustees’ regular meetings.

• Vice President of Academic Affairs Luke Dowell reported that classes started Monday, with SCCC allowing full classes for the spring semester. “We will monitor the numbers of positive classes on campus to determine whether any protocols campus wide need to be reintroduced,” he noted. “Faculty still have the option of limiting seating in their classes and using a hybrid or remote model to maintain spacing if they choose. They will also have the option of requiring use of masks in their classes.” Four faculty members have opted to limit in-person class size through staggered attendance and Blendflex delivery, and require masks. Dowell emphasized that such classes must permit full enrollment in total.

• Vice President of Finance & Operations Dennis Sander reported that exterior signs around campus are being updated. Upgraded lighting in the swimming pool to LED, “and we have received several positive comments from users regarding the improvement,” he noted. The lighting in the Ag Arena is also being updated to LED.

• Graduation regalia pre-order has begun at the Saints Bookstore. All students must pre-order before Jan. 21 to have regalia and walk at graduation ceremonies. While numbers were slightly down last year, “we look forward to more participation in this year’s ceremonies,” Sander said.

• Audit work continues, and budget planning processes have begun. Standard & Poor conducted a credit review for SCCC’s certificate of participation (COP) debt. S&P affirmed its ‘A+’ long-term rating on the college’s outstanding COP debt, stating that its financial outlook is stable.

• President Gunderson reported that he continues to visit as many parts of Liberal “that we can walk across, see, or talk about,” and is enjoying getting to know the community. On campus, he aims to create a master list of deferred maintenance needs. “I’m not just talking about physical plans,” he noted. “Our website will be part of that, as it is our forward-facing portions of the business model. If we can develop a long-term view of that, it will help the college tremendously.”

• Gunderson also described the creation of a working database for student success, using input from multiple departments. By looking at students’ GPAs, aid packages, when they graduate, transfer, what happens to them next, “we have a good basis for how we allocate our resources,” he told the board.

 

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