NCMC Board of Trustees set tax levy, hear reports on various matters, and hire new employees

North Central Missouri College Website V2 (NCMC)

The North Central Missouri College Board of Trustees heard reports on housing and other matters on August 24.

Resident Life Director Donnie Hillerman reported one new residence hall is open, and he hopes the other new residence hall will open September 1st. There are some displaced students currently staying in Selby Hall in the wing previously set aside for students in quarantine for COVID-19. He said he hopes those students will be able to move into the new residence hall September 1st, so the wing in Selby Hall can once again be set aside for quarantining students.

One hundred forty-two total students are expected to reside on campus this year.

Residence Life Coordinator Taylor Lavery reported the residence halls hosted representatives from Tonga, Upward Bound, and NCMC athletes for camps this summer. Move-in day was August 21st.

Vice President of Student Affairs Doctor Kristen Alley called move-in day successful. She praised the resident assistants for doing work like painting and putting together furniture.

RAs introduced themselves.

Alley reported there were 65 more applications for fall this year than fall of 2020. About 110 students attended the annual hypnotist. Twenty-eight students were suspended from financial aid, which was a drop from last year.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Doctor Tristan Londre reported the number of canceled classes is down. The North Belt Center looked similar, and only one class there got moved to the main campus.

Five new full-time instructors went through orientation last week. Londre noted that was the biggest class of instructors in several years.

The Higher Learning Commission assurance argument is locked, and NCMC has started to communicate with the visit team chair. More information is to come soon on scheduling.

Londre reported the college has received good feedback on the Brightspace learning management platform. He said instructors did a good job of switching over during other challenges in the last year. Information Technology played a role in what he called a success. He thinks staff is fully adapted now.

Chief Information Jennifer Triplett submitted a written report, which included information on NCMC’s infrastructure refresh. It said progress in August included continued tuning of data center and network technologies, working with VMware to apply upgraded licensing. It also included installation of a redundant link between the Frey and Barton data centers, creating improved throughput and stability.

NCMC President Doctor Lenny Klaver said IT Services is making good progress on the infrastructure refresh.

Klaver reported fall headcount and credit hours for the first day of school are up compared to last year. Headcount is up 2.32%, and credit hours are up 1.68%. That excludes high school students.

Klaver noted NCMC is one of the few community colleges in Missouri that has seen an increase in enrollment.

He reported there are varying approaches to and numbers for COVID-19 at Missouri’s community colleges. Some community colleges are requiring masks, but many, including NCMC, are starting the year as normal and seeing what happens. He added there were three COVID-19 cases among NCMC students, and he believed they were quarantining at home.

NCMC, Missouri Western State University, and the Saint Joseph School District are working to present a unified front and present a plan to the public involving curricular alignments. Klaver said they are asking businesses what they want and focusing on getting students ready for jobs. He said the key is to present a positive outlook.

Klaver went over a growth agenda. In regards to the Trenton campus, he wants to add new programming and amenities to attract enrollment growth. He also talked about adding new residence halls and a student center, which he commented students have said would make NCMC more like other colleges. He also believes COVID-19 has made more students want to stay closer to home.

Klaver wants to extend NCMC’s reach within its 16-county service region. That will include the combining of the three small centers at Maryville, Bethany, and North Belt into one satellite campus at Savannah. He noted there will also be a benefit of adding Buchanan County to the service region because Buchanan County’s population is 87,500. It will also add three public high schools with enrollments larger than any others in the service region currently.

Klaver commented that his stepson is a coach at Lafayette in Saint Joseph, and he said there is a buzz among students about going to NCMC.

Klaver reported there are a few rumors that are not true. One is that the Savannah Satellite Campus and the addition of Buchanan County will mean NCMC will move everything there. Another rumor is that the revenue from those two places will only go to them.

He said the college will not leave Trenton, and the moves are strategic to cover the entire service region. They are part of Plan 2025, which is designed to grow and sustain NCMC. NCMC is one college, and all business and programs are managed by one business office. He said all of NCMC will benefit.

Director of Development Alicia Endicott submitted a written report. It said the NCMC Foundation and Alumni Office is in a new location in Frey Building Room 101.

The Foundation will hold a quarterly meeting August 26th. Officers will be voted on, and consultant Rich Gross will attend to meet members.

A dinner to honor Mike Arbuckle has been scheduled for October 15th. The Alumni Baseball Game is October 16th, and the Alumni Basketball Game is October 23rd.

The North Central Missouri College Board of Trustees set the tax levy and took action on other matters at an August 24 meeting.

The tax levy was set at $.399 per $100 of assessed valuation, which is $.001 less than last year. It was noted that was the maximum that could be assessed. At a collection rate of 100%, the levy would generate about $381,267 in local tax revenue.

A request from Information Technology Services was approved to pay invoices from Ellucian for products and services that comprise NCMC’s student information system. The total cost of the licenses and services is about $68,500 ($68,470) and will be funded from the Computer Operations Budget.

The trustees approved the Green Hills Head Start Annual Program Report. Directors Janet Gott and Sue Ewigman said they use the information from the Annual Program Report and program data to make informed decisions about the program moving into the next fiscal year.

Ewigman noted all the funding for 2020-2021 was expended. There were no Head Start findings in an audit. Green Hills Head Start plans to reinstate family days and provide full comprehensive services.

Gott reported children started back at the eight centers August 17th with 186 enrolled. The Unionville Center is the only one not full, as there is one open slot.

The trustees waived the first reading and approved a revision to the Board Policy Manual involving Prohibited Activities and Alcohol or Illegal Drugs concerning notification standards. The policy says, in part, that an employee convicted for a violation of a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace should notify the human resources office within five calendar days after the conviction. The revision was a recommendation from the Standards of Excellence Audit.

There were multiple employees hired. Alyssa Kosse of Columbia will be a full-time Trio Administrative Assistant on the classified staff salary schedule at 5B-1 and will start September 1st. Kaylee Wood of Trenton will be a full-time Admissions Recruiter on the classified staff salary schedule at 4B-2 and was to begin August 25th.

Ruma De of Maryville, Vu Nguyen of Columbia, Lorinda Ross of Troy, Kansas, Ashley Smith of Cameron, Stan Scott of Trenton, and Linda Cowling of Trenton were hired as adjunct instructors for courses beginning this fall. De will teach Physics courses, Nguyen will teach Exercise Science, Ross will teach Rad Tech, Smith will teach Diagnostic Medical Sonography, Scott will teach Technology, and Cowling will teach English courses.

Chey Long of Kansas City was hired as a part-time clinical adjunct instructor at the current clinical rate.

The board approved the creation of a new full-time classified staff position called Learning Services Specialist. The position will combine the current part-time Library Assistant and part-time Test Proctor positions. The new position will be funded through those existing budgeted items. The position had been vetted and approved by all levels of supervision and the cabinet.

Chief of Staff Kristi Harris said there is a need for a full-time role in NCMC’s testing services offered in the library. She noted there are numerous protocol and procedural requirements that require heavy staff attention, and a full-time person with dedicated duties and responsibilities centered around those services will better assist students and their learning needs.

The board approved the employment of Annett Lumsden as a full-time cook at the Milan Head Start Center. She started August 3rd.

Kimberly Stallo’s resignation was accepted as a full-time Head Start Teacher Aide at Brookfield A. The resignation was effective August 9th.

The board moved into an executive session to discuss real estate.

Jennifer Thies

Jennifer’s interest in radio began at a young age. She started as a news reporter at KTTN in January 2017, but previously worked almost a year and a half as an on-air announcer and with news at the NPR affiliate KXCV/KRNW, which serves Northwest Missouri. Jennifer was born and raised in St. Joseph, Missouri. She received a Bachelor of Science in Mass Media: Broadcast Production with an Emphasis in Audio Production from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.

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