SCCC Adopts Budget for 2019

Joe Denoyer - August 7, 2018 12:44 pm

Colvin Allied Health building construction nears

The Seward County Community College Board of Trustees approved the 2019 budget and handled a light agenda Monday. They also received a report about progress on the Colvin Family Center for Allied Health, which is slated to begin construction this fall. 

At the conclusion of the meeting, vice chair Marvin Chance Jr. declared the budget hearing was closed. Trustee Casey Mein moved to make a resolution to adopt the annual budget for SCCC. The 2019 budget does not increase the current mill levy for local taxpayers. The motion was seconded by trustee Stacy Johnson. The board voted 5-0, with chair Ron Oliver absent, to adopt the resolution. 

Vice President of finance and operations Dennis Sander and Scott Gales of Architect One presented a report on progress on the Colvin Family Allied Health Center. The engineering team has made good progress towards wrapping up the construction documents and specifications, Sander noted in his report. Structural engineering and mechanical engineering plans will be finalized within the next three weeks, after which architectural plans and specs will be completed. 

“If you know of contractors and bidders who might be interested, it’s good to get the word out early, starting as soon as possible,” Gale said. The goal will be to have a general contractor selected from the bidding procedure and recommended to the Board for a contract on Oct. 10. With a two-week lead time to start work, the project should take around nine months to complete on or around June 15, 2019. The college would then have about 60 days to outfit the facility with furnishings, fixtures, and equipment, Gale noted. 

In reviewing the specs, Gale pointed out changes to trim the total cost. 

“We’re still a one-story design, but we’ve designed it intentionally to be able to expand. We’re not building on an island, we’re thinking long term,” he said. The design makes use of existing utilities, which further streamlines the total cost. 

Board welcomes new AD Mike Davidson

Introductions to the board included Mike Davidson in his new role of director of athletics, softball coach Ryan Wondrasek, and director of student housing Jennifer Malin. 

Malin “doesn’t seem terrified at all to be taking over the reins of the dorm,” joked vice president of student services Celeste Donovan. “She’s been doing great work already, and we are so glad to have her.”

Davidson presented a short report and thanked coworkers and the board for support during his transition to a dual coaching and AD role. 

“It’s been an exciting week on my part, coming fast and furious,” he said. “I appreciate everyone keeping me up to speed. 

The college is preparing for students to arrive on campus Aug. 18, and will kick off employee training and orientation Thursday. Volleyball players have already arrived and are settling in to campus housing and daily practices. 

New employees listed in the personnel report include volleyball coach Tanio Trifonov, Assistant Softball Coach Jessica Nelson, and a new position for Sports Information Director Ian Applegate, who moves to the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications position.  

College president Dr. Ken Trzaska reminded the board that open positions often mean that SCCC employers are stepping up to “fill the gaps” as the hiring process unfolds. 

Trustee Casey Mein complimented the executive team and SCCC employees for navigating significant changes over the summer. 

“We’ve had a lot of changeover in a short time, and it’s a tribute to the team that everyone’s handled it so well,” Mein said. “With so much going on, I appreciate the dedication.”

Positions currently open include Adult Basic Education/A-OK instructor, instructional designer, diesel technology instructor, automotive technology instructor, chief development officer, KSBDC Dodge City and Liberal business consultants, writing lab coordinator, admissions and recruiting coordinator, maintenance II/vehicle service, math resource center coordinator, respiratory therapy director of clinical education, and social science instructor, all full time; and part-time positions of security office, GED/ESL instructor, and data and student scholarship coordinator. 

Enrollment numbers up, future plans presented

With enrollment numbers for the new year looking good, the board heard a review of the updated Enrollment Management Plan from Dean of Students Annette Hackbarth-Onson. The enrollment management plan was a collaborative effort between the VP of Student Services, the Dean of Students, and multiple departments including Admissions, Public Relations and Marketing, Outreach, and the Retention Committee. 

Starting with the college’s philosophy, values and vision, the team looked at the risks, looked at the data, and put together some specific strategies, Hackbarth-Onson told the board. 

“Enrollment is not just an issue of one person or one office on campus,” she said. “This plan provides a structure, the bones of what we want to do, when we want to do it, and tasks to keep ourselves organized and moving forward.” Strategies in the plan focus on adult populations, high school concurrent students, the Hispanic population, GED completion leading to college work, different retention strategies, and first-generation students.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a change in the organizational structure of SCCC, removing Safety and Security from under the President’s umbrella in order to report to the Director of Facilities and the VP of Finance and Operations. This change was made with the addition of the Security Supervisor/Assistant Director of Facilities position, currently held by Wendell Wehmeier. 
  • Heard a report from Chief Information Officer JJ Widener. He noted the college is still preparing to upgrade to the Banner 9 system, and is completing security upgrades. “We’re getting ready for the onslaught of password resets, and the problem of ‘I can’t get into my portal’ from our new students,” Widener noted. “I’m planning to be on campus on Aug. 18 on the day the students move in to help with that.”
  • Heard a report from student services vice president Celeste Donovan. With 23 employees hired since last year and more soon to arrive, she has structured orientation sessions and ongoing training to get everyone on the same page, she said. She also updated the board on upcoming events to welcome students and their families to campus, including the traditional back-to-school picnic Aug. 18. 
  • Heard a report from vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Todd Carter. He told the board about new opportunities for partnership with the Kansas Humanities Council, resulting from summer work performed by journalism students of instructor Sue Sprenkle. “That was a really good experience for the students, who really impressed the Humanities Council,” Carter said. “Now, KHC has asked us to host the Hispanic Heritage Month events in the western half of the state.“ Plans include a September panel discussion with Hispanic journalists, and a storytelling activity for the public in October. 
  • Heard a report from vice president of finance and operations Dennis Sander, who summarized a visit with the insurance management consultants IMA. Through visits with the Human Resources staff, the group developed a timeline for the year, and began plans for an informational brochure listing SCCC employee benefits. 
  • Heard a report from president, Dr. Ken Trzaska. He highlighted long-term goals and aspirations discussed by the SCCC executive team, and expressed appreciation to Hackbarth-Onson for her leadership in creating the Enrollment Management Plan, Widener for analyzing the college’s needs for computer network efficiency and upgrades, and Carter for his work preparing for accreditation requirements. Trzaska also presented updates about the campus pathway system and proposed pedestrian crossing on Kansas Ave. In partnership with the City of Liberal, SCCC is submitting a grant proposal to fund the project.  

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