Multiple reports were given at the North Central Missouri College Board of Trustees meeting October 26th.
President Doctor Lenny Klaver gave updates on what are considered three key strategies for success in the college’s Plan 2025: accreditation, expansion, and funding.
Regarding accreditation, Klaver called the Higher Learning Commission’s 10-year review last month a “major milestone.” He reported criteria for accreditation was met, there was no sanction, NCMC is eligible to choose its pathway, the college does not require monitoring for federal compliance, and no interim monitoring is recommended.
Klaver said that review was about as good as a college can get from the Higher Learning Commission. He noted he has been through reviews before in his career with higher education, and NCMC’s review was the best he has seen.
He commented there was one more step to go with the review with a high level board of the HLC.
For expansion, Klaver reported the two new suite-style residence halls on the campus in Trenton look good and are functioning well. The college hopes to construct a student center to be used for dining, gathering, and shopping. Klaver said the Savannah campus is filling a need in that area, and NCMC was not serving that area the way it should have been. Offering instruction in Buchanan County, he believes, will meet unmet industry needs in the county and community.
Involving funding, Klaver reported grants have been acquired for the Savannah campus. There have also been state appropriations to go toward the Savannah campus and deferred maintenance. He believes fundraising enhances revenue, is an investment in meeting current and future needs, and is an efficient and effective use of funding.
Klaver talked about continued planning for facilities.
He reported the Savannah bid will hopefully be in November. Savannah Phase 1 renovation and construction is estimated to be complete in late summer of 2022, so classes can be there in the fall. Savannah Phase 2 construction is estimated to be complete late in the summer of 2023, so more classes can be held there that fall.
Planning continues on the student center. Klaver noted it will be a major thrust of the major gifts campaign.
He said fundraising will also continue with reporting of feasibility results, donor cultivation, additional donor identification and qualification, proposals, solicitations, and hopefully a lot of closings on gifts.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Doctor Tristan Londre reported a couple with connections to the Kingdom of Tonga is relocating to Trenton in preparation to support students from the island who are beginning to apply and enroll at NCMC.
He said NCMC is into its second eight weeks. He and Vice President of Student Affairs Doctor Kristen Alley noted spring advisement has started.
Alley reported an audit went well, and there were no findings for the financial aid department.
Chief Information Officer Jennifer Triplett reported on the Information Technology Services Department’s recent work.
She said IT Services and the Business Office completed the Dynamics GP upgrade and migration, which started in July. She noted the system was mission critical for NCMC.
IT Services also upgraded PowerCampus and PowerFaids to current supported versions. Triplett commented planning, testing, and validation were completed in collaboration with multiple departments.
IT Services updated NCMC’s phone system to permit 10-digit dialing before the deadline of October 24th. Ten-digit dialing is now required in Trenton in preparation for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Triplett also reported IT Services implemented improved security configurations for student accounts.
Director of Marketing and Admissions Megan Pester and Enrollment Marketing Specialist Amanda Steinman reported on admissions and marketing.
Steinman said tours of NCMC are now more personalized. Postcards are sent to potential students after they tour the campus. There are brochures about different degrees, and NCMC is increasing social media engagement.
Steinman noted there has been an increase in the number of campus visits.
Pester reported there is a newsletter students and parents can opt into.
She would like to implement a customer relationship management system and have more student ambassadors. She noted there are currently four student ambassadors. Pester would also like to have an admissions welcome center some day.
Trio Director Janet Pultz reported on Student Support Services, Upward Bound, and Talent Search. She explained Student Support Services is for college students, Upward Bound is for high school students, and Talent Search is for sixth through 12th grade students. Trio helps increase the post-secondary completion rate for low-income students.
Pultz said each program is on a grant on a five-year cycle. The Student Support Services cycle started in 2020, and this is the last year on the Upward Bound cycle. She is writing an Upward Bound grant for Savannah and Cameron.
The Trio funds can not be used to recruit for NCMC.
Pultz reported Trio exceeded its objective expectations for Upward Bound for three years in a row in most areas. Trio met or exceeded all objectives for Student Support Services for three years.
When Talent Search is fully implemented, Pultz said 710 students will be served through NCMC’s Trio program.
She noted online activities were done last year, and students went to Chicago this past summer.
She commented she has worked in multiple places, and she does not think she has been someplace as collaborative as NCMC.
A resignation was approved from Green Hills Head Start Trenton Teacher Aide Hannah Dailey effective October 12th. Resignations for NCMC employees were approved from Admissions Recruiter Kaylee Wood effective October 22nd, System Administrator Nathan Vandevender effective of October 29th, and Lead Custodian Jeffrey Hale effective of October 29th.
Hirings approved were for Kaitlyn Coleman of Barnard as the Nursing and Health Sciences Administrative Specialist at Maryville on the classified staff salary schedule at 5B-2 starting November 8th, Lyle Wheelbarger of Trenton as a custodian on the classified staff salary schedule at 1B-9 starting today (Wednesday, October 27th), and John Cool of Saint Joseph as an adjunct instructor for business courses beginning this fall.
Revised job descriptions and contractual changes were approved for the Upward Bound and Student Support Services assistant directors. The changes included the contracts going from 11 months to 12 months.
An updated job description and a classification change were approved for the admissions recruiter. The changes included the position going from classified to administrative professional exempt status and increasing its salary.
The board approved the new position of counselor/emergency preparedness. Chief of Staff Kristi Harris reported the position would be full time and accessible on campus. It would be funded with COVID-19 funds for the first year. Harris noted NCMC is seeing an increase in mental health needs of students.
Another new position approved was a full-time agriculture equipment technology instructor. Vice President of Academic Affairs Doctor Tristan Londre said the position would be filled in early spring and allow training and curriculum development to prepare for new courses next fall. He noted the position is needed to successfully launch the new certificate and related Kubota certification program. The position will be paid through the federal Perkins grant for the remainder of fiscal year 2022.
A new assistant director of facilities position was also approved. Vice President of Business and Finance Tyson Otto reported NCMC has a significant amount of capital project funding that has spurred major building projects: the Savannah campus and athletic practice facility. The college was also allotted $1.5 million in deferred maintenance state funding this year, which is for smaller capital projects, and the money can be used to fund half of the position. The position will be funded 50/50 through the state deferred maintenance money and college operational funds. Otto said the director of facilities is working on larger capital projects, and there is a need for another individual to oversee the smaller deferred maintenance projects. He noted another factor is the likely retirement of two maintenance employees in the next year.
In other action, the board approved salary adjustments for the Missouri minimum wage increase for Green Hills Head Start. The adjustments ensure all Green Hills staff members receive at minimum $10.30 per hour. Head Start Director Sue Ewigman reported the change would affect 11 employees.
A request was approved from Information Technology Services for NCMC to purchase replacement door hardware form TouchNet due to the existing hardware reaching the end of life in January. The total cost of the hardware and support will be $29,056, and it will be funded through the Computer Operations Budget.
A recommendation from IT Services was approved for items to be declared as surplus property. The items include laptops, CPUs, printers, monitors, keyboards, a camcorder, a scanner, and a cassette copier. Chief Information Officer Jennifer Triplett said the items were not usable and defunct. They will be disposed of in accordance with NCMC Board policy.
The board approved a Pregnant and Parenting Student Policy. Vice President of Student Affairs Doctor Kristen Alley reported NCMC implemented protocol related to pregnant and parenting students as part of Title 9. After the Standards of Excellence audit, annual Consumer Information review, and best practices review, it was determined a formal policy was warranted. Alley said she took the protocol and put it in the form of a policy. The policy follows Title 9 guidelines as well as non-discrimination and ADA requirements.
The board voted to remove the flexible schedule proposal for Student Affairs. Alley presented a proposal at the September meeting, but it was reported October 26th she no longer wanted to pursue the flex schedule agenda further.
A special meeting request and meeting changes were approved. The NCMC Foundation will hold a joint meeting with the Board of Trustees in Cross Hall Room 107 November 18th at 5:30 in the evening to have a major gifts campaign orientation with Consultant Doctor Rich Gross. Dinner will be served in the lobby at 5 o’clock. Next month’s regular Board of Trustees meeting was moved to also be held in Cross Hall November 18th at 4:30 in the afternoon. A specific room for the regular meeting will be announced later. The December meeting was moved to December 21st at 5:30 in the evening in the Frey Administrative Center.
The trustees entered into an executive session to discuss personnel and student matters.