The Seward County Community College/Area Technical School Board of Trustees met Monday following a student/board dinner. Board Chair Ron Oliver reported that he continues to be impressed with “the quality of our students.”
Overall, the board indicated the students are impressed with the quality of instruction and support they receive from SCCC/ATS.
John Engel, board member, reported that the student phonathon raised more than $36,000 for scholarships, exceeding its $35,000 goal.
The board approved the program review for the Marketing /Admissions Office, which has increased its social media presence over the past few years through Facebook, YouTube, blogging and tweeting.
In addition, the department has implemented an All Saints Days enrollment site, special event registration and online registration forms for athlete recruits.
These changes have improved the college’s ability to communicate with prospective students, parents and the community, Dunn said.
The board approved the program review for the Nursing program. Both the one-year Licensed Practical Nursing program and the two-year Associate Degree Program just completed a formal review with the Kansas State Board of Nursing and the ADN program completed an accreditation review with the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
Not only were the teams who visited campus impressed with the college, its personnel and its policies but they were also very impressed with the hospital affiliation as well, said Veda King, director of nursing.
Another strength is the community support that provides reduced tuition rates for Seward County residents. Other strengths of the nursing program include strong community support, impressive clinical sites, consistency in pass rates, simulation training incorporated throughout the entire curriculum and a flexible and creative faculty.
King said the NLNAC committee recommended continued accreditation with the next site visit in eight years. The college will be formally notified in August.
The committee did note that the Epworth Allied Health Education Center that houses the nursing and other allied health programs is out of space.
Dr. Duane Dunn, SCCC/ATS president, gave an overview of the budgeting process and some key areas important to the growth of the college. Even with an increase in tuition for the 2013-14 school year, the college will face a possible reduction in state aid.
Currently, the governor is recommending no reduction in higher education funds, while the Kansas Senate is recommending a 2 percent reduction and the Kansas House a 4 percent reduction.
Dennis Sander, dean of finance and operations, provided the Board with information on the current assessed valuation of Seward County and the resulting impact on budget planning.
Dunn reported that Gov. Sam Brownback will sign legislation that would allow concealed weapons on college campuses. The bill provides the opportunity for colleges to request an exemption for up to four years, but the exemption must be approved by the Attorney General and provide justification for that exemption.
Following the four-year exemption, individuals with concealed weapons permits would be allowed to bring those to campus unless certain security measures are implemented including metal detectors at building entrances. Additionally, the college could designate certain employees to be authorized to carry weapons in designated buildings.
President Dunn explained that the cost to place metal detectors at each entrance with personnel at each of those detectors could cost in excess of $1 million.
Additionally, he explained that the logistics of students and staff moving among buildings for classes and work requirements would make the metal detectors extremely difficult to initiate. Dunn also expressed concern with the college’s liability insurance if employees are allowed to bring weapons to campus with no designated training beyond the concealed carry permit.
Because of the broad implications of the bill, the legislature has allowed for colleges to request the exemption in order to fully investigate and implement the requirements of the legislation.
A decision will be made in June after the board has fully investigated all the details and costs involved.
Kevin Brungardt, who is leaving this month as the interim dean of Career and Technical Education, told the board, “congratulations on what you have built here. You should be proud of this institution and for how smooth it has run.”
In other action, the board:
• Hired Dr. Janese Thatcher-Buzzell as the new dean of Career and Technical Education beginning July 1;
• Hired Christopher Guyer, biology instructor, as the Food Science and Safety program specialist beginning June 1;
• Accepted the resignation of Sandy Mead, Nursing instructor; and Molly Woods-Otto, Title V Activity and Career Services coordinator;
• Accepted the bid of $137,950 from Knudsen Enterprises, Liberal, for to renovate the microbiology lab with STEM grant funds;
• Accepted the sole bid of six B-540 solid wood microbiology workstations in the amount of $17,037 from Kansas Contract Design of Wichita using STEM Grant funds;
• Accepted the low bid of $25,395 and $7,618 in contingency funds from Performance Enhancements of Boulder, Colo., to upgrade the Microsoft Active Directory Services and Microsoft Exchange Server; and
• Approved a 1.5 percent salary/wage increase for non-faculty employees for FY2014.
The board will meet from 6 to 9 p.m., Monday, May 20, for a board planning retreat.
May events include Student Art Exhibit, May 9-14, Shank Humanities Building; Nursing Capping/Pinning ceremony, 7:30, Friday, May 10; Graduation, 10 a.m., Saturday, May 11; GED Graduation, 3 p.m., Saturday, May 11; Acting class performance “Never the Sinner,” 7:30 p.m., May 11; theater; Moonlight finals breakfast for all students, 8:30-10 p.m., Monday, May 13, cafeteria; Telolith reception, 12:30-2:30 p.m., May 14, H101; Service Awards and employee retirement reception, 8 a.m., Monday, May 20; All Saints Day, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., May 21.
Campus will begin summer hours Monday, May 20, with offices being open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. and closed on Fridays. Campus will close May 27 for Memorial Day. The first 2013 summer session begins May 28.