SCCC Board Accepts Combs, Tovilla Resignations
Joe Denoyer - October 9, 2019 4:47 pm
SCCC Board provides boost to multiple departments
Scholarships easier to access thanks to software upgrade
Several departments and programs will receive work- and time-saving improvements following the regular meeting of the Seward County Community College Trustees Oct. 7.
Better practice for CDL students
The SCCC truck driving course will get a smooth upgrade, as dirt-surface practice grounds for parallel parking and alley docking will soon be paved with concrete. The board voted 5-0 (board member Casey Mein absent) to accept the low bid of $17,700 from Monarrez Construction o f Liberal.
Quick-matching scholarship software
Financial Aid Director Amy Bridenstine brought details about a new software package, Scholarship Manager and Dynamic Forms, that will assist employees in her office in matching students to available scholarship funds.
With more than 800 scholarship application forms to process each year, the financial aid office scrambles to transfer information from handwritten forms submitted by students to the college’s computer system.
“With this software, the student inputs the information online, and the program filters students to groups of scholarships they qualify for,” Bridenstine said. “It follows all our policies, FERPA, financial guidelines, and can be used campus-wide.”
The program will streamline the scholarship award process, noted trustee John Engel, who also serves on the SCCC Foundation Board.
“It’s going to save a lot of time,” he said.
The board voted unanimously to purchase the software for a first-year cost of $15,000 with a continued annual cost of $13,500.
Enhancements to Allied Health building
As programs move into the Colvin Family Center for Allied Health, naming opportunities are helping furnish and equip specific areas in the building. The Board approved two more designated areas: The Shook Family Meeting Room/Break Room and the Scantlin Family Allied Health Secretary Office.
Further naming opportunities are still available for the building as noted in the attached graphic.
Resignations open two key positions
The board briefly discussed and approved the personnel report, which included the resignation of Chief Development Officer Tano Tovilla, effective Oct. 4, and the resignation of IT network administrator Doug Browne. Truck Driving Instructor David Hormig also resigned at the end of September.
Dean of Dean of Technology and Adult Education Travis Combs submitted his resignation in order to accept a job in Washington, D.C., as part of a Career Tech Education group. Combs’ last day at SCCC will be Oct. 31.
“Anytime a team member leaves the college, we’re always sorry to see them go, but wish them the very best. We want them to remember they had a significant impact on the college during their time here,” said Trzaska.
Other items on the personnel report included employment of Shandon Classen, who joins the Student Support Services/Advising Office as Transfer Coordinator.
Open positions at SCCC include instructors for chemistry and mathematics, microbiology, automotive technology, welding technology, accounts payable clerk, and director of human resources. All are full-time jobs.
Security camera bargain expands coverage
Chief Information Officer Louie Lemert provided an update on campus security technology and opportunities created by smart shopping.
“You approved $119,000 for the dorm security camera system, and I was hoping to achieve savings,” he noted. “We did … and it came to $70,000.”
Lemert proposed that the college apply the savings to install cameras “on every single outside door,” which would not only enhance campus safety, it would still not deplete the entire original amount approved.
“I’m OK with it as long as there’s not a more pressing need out there,” said vice-chair Marvin Chance Jr.
Trustee Stacy Johnson observed the cameras would assist with any law enforcement and insurance claim situations, as well as covering the parking lots.
The board voted unanimously to give Lemert permission to access the remaining funds to complete the campus security camera upgrade.
Enrollment numbers steady despite statewide drop
Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan brought a detailed presentation about enrollment numbers recently released by the Kansas Board of Regents. While overall enrollment at SCCC was down very slightly, by one percent, the numbers stood in contrast to much of the state, where the majority of SCCC’s two-year counterparts weathered more significant declines. Most four-year public institutions also recorded sizable decreases in enrollment.
“Our online credit hours are increasing, and we actually saw an 11 percent increase in new freshmen,” Donovan said. “Next month, I will bring a report to you about some of our strategies to grow the gains. Our financial aid and registrar’s offices have set goals to enroll and retain more students.”
Exploration of Physical Therapy Assistant program
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Joe McCann, presented information to the board regarding the feasibility of adding a Physical Therapy Assistant Program at SCCC. Such jobs are circumscribed by the number of practicing, certified physical therapists, he said, “and with a population base of around a quarter-million people in the five-state region, there is a need, but it is limited and there are five such programs in this area already.”
Trustee Johnson said he had been approached by a community member who believed there is a need for such a program.
Trustee Dustin Ormiston expressed doubt that the need for PT assistants is high enough to justify an expansion.
“The Kansas Department of Labor says we will need around 159 statewide, per year,” he said. “That sounds pretty minimal to me.”
Though the board discussed the impact of meat processing plants on the injury rate of workers and the need for subsequent physical therapy, it did not reach a conclusion.
Construction wrapping up, more on the way
Vice President of Finance and Operations Dennis Sander reported that move-in has begun at the Colvin Family Center for Allied Helath.
“The building is substantially complete, we’ve gone through the punch list. I’m going to guess that by the beginning of November, we will be completely functional,” he said.
At the Sharp Family Champions Center, construction workers are adding more sand and will begin installing turf in the next week. Sander said he expects the building to be functional by November 1.
As the Allied Health Division vacates the former Epworth Hospital Building at 520 N. Washington, Sander said he has begun to explore options for the property.
“I’ve been consulting a couple realtors and hope to have valuations and suggestions soon,” he said.
On campus, renovations in the Student Union Building include removal of the old ticket booth on the west side of the gymnasium, a coffee bar expansion in the Saints Bookstore, and remodeling of the All-American Room used by athletics recruiting and the Saints Booster Club.
“We’re also taking a look at the grounds, and preparing to complete the sidewalk around the Circle Drive, and maybe add some more lighting along the path,” Sander said.
Early College discussions with USD 480, KBOR
Dr. Trzaska reported that he has been in discussion with Dr. Todd Carter at USD 480 to explore Early College options for the two entities.
“This is something that kind of connects to conversations happening at the state level about helping high school students get those first 15 college credits,” he said. “Early college models are very much the same. If we have an infrastructure in place locally, we would be ahead of the statewide trend.”
Trzaska outlined his upcoming travel plans, including a meeting with the KBOR chair and KCC executive director Heather Morgan.
“We’ll be asking KBOR for a better definition of their budget proposals, and advocating for more local control,” he said.
In other business, the Board:
Approved the naming of the circle drive as “Jo Ann Sharp Drive” for the 2019-2020 fiscal year as requested by Sharp and according to Board Policy 113.
Received a written report from Charity Horinek, Executive Director of Grant Development. In addition to applying for and overseeing current grants, Horinek has also started to work with department chairs, deans, directors, to understand what their needs are, noted Trzaska. At some point, he said, a part-time employee might be needed in the grants office.
Accepted a truck by donated by Black Hills Energy to the SCCC Foundation, with a donor estimated value of $10,000, to be used in the SCCC Maintenance Department. The Compressed Natural Gas-fueled vehicle can be filled at the campus CNG station.
Approved a title change from Dean of Students to Dean of Student Success and Enrollment for Annette Hackbarth-Onson.
Tabled a job change proposal that would recategorize Chandler Kirkhart from the Associate Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Engagement to Director of Advancement.
Approved minor updates and grammatical corrections to Board Policy Manual Series 400: Student Services, Policy No. 418: Academic Probation Dismissal and Reinstatement.
Approved a proposal to upgrade the BoardDocs software package to a ProPlus subscription level. The upgrade will provide increased efficiency in the areas of document and policy management as well as the ability to track goals. The SCCC Foundation has agreed to contribute $2,000 toward the subscription cost.The board agreed to set aside an additional $8,000 to upgrade the system currently in use, with the caveat that follow-up information about how it is used should be submitted next year,
Heard reports from Athletic Director Dan Artamenko, Inclusiveness & Civility Mover Team leader Rachel Coleman, and Dean of Instruction Luke Dowell.