Liberal, KS

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SCCC Trustees Meet Welcomes New SCCC Presidential Scholars

Joe Denoyer - September 12, 2018 11:31 am

by Rachel Coleman

The Seward County Community College Board of Trustees met earlier than usual Monday, starting the evening with a formal dinner with the 2018-19 Presidential Scholars. Thirteen incoming freshmen from SCCC’s service area attended the banquet, met administrators and trustees, and took in an art exhibit at Baker Arts Center. 

Presidential Scholars are high-performing students recommended by their high school counselors throughout the five-state region served by SCCC. Upon enrollment at the college, they receive scholarships to cover tuition and fees, and, if they apply to work as student ambassadors, the cost of books. 

“The Presidential Scholar program is designed to affirm and celebrate your achievements, and encourage leadership through your college career,” said SCCC President Dr. Ken Trzaska. “We appreciate you and look forward to your success.”

Following the dinner, the board relocated to the SCCC Board Room and held its regular meeting, with Chair Ron Oliver and Trustee Dustin Ormiston absent. Vice Chair Marvin Chance conducted the members through a light agenda. 

In action items, the board:

  • Approved the low bid for continuation of the Connections Pathway system, phase three, which came from French Construction of Liberal. Eighty percent of the total cost of $68,040 will be funded through a Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism grant, and SCCC will pay $13,608 from the general fund for land improvement. 
  • Approved an emergency expenditure for roof repair of damage from hailstorms on May 18 and June 12, performed by Wray Roofing of Wichita. The college deductible of $25,000 will be applied against the total cost of $848,122.50. Pursuant to Board Policy 505, Section III, President Trzaska, after consultation with Board Chair Oliver, authorized that it was in the best interest of the College not to bid the repair of the College’s roofs. The repairs are already underway. 
  • Accepted the priority goals and Mover projects for 2018-19 as recommended by administration: digital transformation, academic transformation, enrollment management, inclusivity and civility, and safety and security. The College Executive Team recommends that the Strategic Priority Goals and Mover Team Updates be every two years versus annually. The Board will continue to receive regular updates on mover team progress at regular board meetings. 
  • Accepted the personnel report, which included the resignation of JJ Widener as full-time Chief Information Officer to be recategorized as part-time for the duration of this calendar year; the resignation of Alex Widener as TRiO/Student Support Services Director, effective Dec. 20; and retroactively, the resignations of Surgical Technology Director and Instructor Ashley Davis and Auto Tech Instructor Kelly Malwitz. 
  • Approved the hiring of Melissa HIlditch as Writing Lab Coordinator, Lexi Honey-Ayer as Surgical Technology Instructor/Director, and Jeff Olson as Social Science Instructor. 

CIO JJ Widener shared appreciation with the board for the positive work experience he has enjoyed at SCCC. His move to the Kansas City area is prompted by the need to be near his children, who live there. Widener has arranged to work one week per month at SCCC, and will be available via phone and computer for 10 hours each week through December. This will enable him to help the college with ongoing, long-term projects until a new person can be hired for the CIO position. 

Vice president Celeste Donovan reported that early numbers indicate enrollment will be slightly up form the previous year, pending certification day reports. The college currently shows a 4 percent increase in credit hours, 9 percent increase in head count, and 203 residents in the Student Living Center. 

Vice president Dennis Sander updated the board about the Colvin Family Allied Health Center construction project, which is poised to open bids for contractors. Sander expects the architect to begin soliciting by the end of the week. 

Vice president Todd Carter was absent from the meeting, as Monday marked the final deadline for the college to submit its portfolio report to the Higher Learning Commission, and he was overseeing the final stages.

President Ken Trzaska reported about the Capital Campaign’s process, reminded the board of the 24th Annual SCCC Foundation Party Auction scheduled for Saturday, and listed upcoming meetings at the state level which he will attend. 


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