SCCC Board Sets Student Housing Costs for 23-24, Adopts New Banking Model
Joe Denoyer - January 11, 2023 10:07 am
LIBERAL, Kan. — The Seward County Community College Board of Trustees opened the new calendar year with election of officers and committee assignments at its regular meeting Monday. By unanimous vote, the trustees opted to retain Ron Oliver and Marvin Chance Jr. as chair and vice-chair respectively, and reappointed SCCC President Brad Bennett as clerk. The board also voted to remove the vice-treasurer position and named SCCC Vice President of Finance Madalen Day as board treasurer.
Board committee assignments remained in place, as did the appointment of trustee John Engel as voting representative to the American Association of Community Colleges.
President Bennett summarized the personnel report, which included an early retirement request from Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan. While administration recommended approval of the personnel report, Bennett noted it was done with reluctance.
“Her departure will leave a big void at our college, and we can’t replace her,” Bennett said. “We’re going to miss her.”
Board chair Ron Oliver added, “We do appreciate everything you’ve done for us.”
The personnel report listed the employment of Amanda Poor as director of adult education, and the appointment of Maddie Day as vice president of business and finance.
Looking to the new year, the board heard reports from SCCC Athletic Director Dan Artamenko and SCCC Chief Development Officer Kyle Woodrow.
Artamenko described the impact of Southwest Airlines’ cancelled flights on the SCCC men’s and women’s basketball teams, which had planned on travel and competition over the holiday break. Despite the unexpected turn of events, “they made it through and even found some games to replace cancelled tournaments,” he said.
The SCCC athletic department has received a plethora of applications for the fledgling soccer program, as well as quality applicants for the esports team. Interviews for the head volleyball coaching position will begin this week.
Woodrow reported on progress at the Sharp Family Champions Center, Phase 2a, where “most major work is done,” he said. The SCCC Foundation continues to seek funding for lockers in the locker rooms.
Plans are underway for an alumni speaker to visit campus during Homecoming week, as well as a “Giving Day” in the spring 2023 semester. Woodrow noted his office has filled its open position, with the addition of Magdalena Rivera as assistant director of development.
The board approved small grammatical changes to board policies in the 200 series, relating to conflict of interest issues for board members and clarity about the location of board meetings. While the board currently holds its monthly meetings in the 214 E/W room on the second level of the student union, any changes will be noted in the published agenda prior to each meeting.
In new business, the board approved student housing rates for the 2023-24 academic year with an increase of 8.8 percent. Bennett said the adjustment was necessary because of rising food cost. However, SCCC’s housing rates are lower than peer institutions in Dodge City and Garden City, and comparable to Pratt and Colby.
Bid approvals occupied the second half of the meeting.
• Clean Catalog won the bid for the Syllabus, Catalog and Curriculum Management Solution at a price of $23,000. If a five-year contract is signed the first five years will be a lower cost of $20,700. Vice President of Academic Affairs Luke Dowell said the new software will ensure changes to the schedule will be consistent across the syllabus, catalog, and curriculum, save staff time, and create consistency.
• Multiple financial institutions won bids for the college’s banking services. Equity Bank was awarded a 5-year contract to provide and monitor SCCC’s checking account and investment account. The Bank of Beaver City and Community Bank were also selected to (each) hold a maximum of $5 Million in an investment account. Commerce Bank will provide merchant services to the college, following its successful bid, including commercial credit card services. SCCC will also purchase six new processing machines from First Data in the amount of $1,095.
“It’s just good business to spread our banking business out amongst three local banks instead of having it all in one place,” said President Bennett. “We thank all the banks that participated in this bidding process.”
The vote for banking services adjustments passed unanimously, with trustee Dustin Ormiston abstaining.
• Abbott Construction won the bid for installation of a concrete pad for trucks at the Grain Elevator Operator lab site. The project carries a price tag of $12,657.
Administration reports to the board wrapped up the evening.
Chief Information Officer Louie Lemert requested board support for the upcoming negotiations with Ellucian, the company that provides operating software and support to the college. Rather than continuing to store data with on-site servers, technology requirements will move data to a cloud storage model. “There’s a cost of $1 million to do this, which I don’t love,” said Lemert. Board member Dustin Ormiston volunteered to assist Lemert in the negotiating sessions with Ellucian. “I don’t think the bid is outside the normal parameters, but there is some room in there for us to negotiate,” Lemert said.
Vice President of Student Affairs Celeste Donovan reported that new washing machines and clothes dryers have been installed in the dorms, which will dramatically improve student life. She alerted the board to an areawide FAFSA fraud ring working its way through Kansas community colleges. Financial Aid Director Amy Bridenstine has identified two fraudulent FAFSA applications and reported them to the inspector general. Reports on the college’s reorganized Title IX / Civil Rights team and policies and the enrollment management plan will be presented at the February meeting.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Luke Dowell provided an update about the college’s “test flight” of four classes during the holiday term Dec. 12-30. A total of 13 students took advantage of the courses, Dowell noted, and all but one passed. “Although the number of students was low, we are working to learn from the experience and determine how to offer more classes in the future. All the instructors who took part are interested in offering the same courses next year,” he said.
Vice President of Business Affairs Madalen Day listed several changes to the college’s everyday business processes, including the way write-off accounts for unpaid tuition are recorded and tracked, and the purchase order process for campus department transactions. The December audit concluded successfully. “They were happy when they left, so I think that is a great sign,” she said.
President Brad Bennett reported that progress is accelerating for the establishment of an Esports team. With CIO Lemert, he toured the Garden City Community College Esport facilities, identified a promising location for the SCCC campus, and has begun to develop a budget and plan. The same process is underway with the expansion of the SCCC truck driving program. “We’re getting traction with National Carriers and Seaboard, and will host some representatives on campus this year,” he said.