North Central Missouri College Board of Trustees address lengthy agenda at Tuesday meeting

NCMC Geyer Hall

The North Central Missouri College Board of Trustees approved informational technology purchases on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

One purchase was for replacement data centers, wired/wireless/firewall networking equipment, video surveillance equipment, and professional services from CDWG for $1,184,899 as part of an IT Infrastructure Refresh project. Proposals were received from four vendors. Chief Information Officer Jennifer Triplett noted IT Services determined CDWG’s proposed technologies and services to be the most complete solution for NCMC’s current state and need to refresh.

Another purchase approved was for a generator from Cummins for $37,526. The generator will be bought on a state-approved purchasing contract and did not require sealed bids. Future purchases for power installation related to the IT refresh are to be made in accordance with board policy.

Triplett said the purchases from CDWG and Cummins are anticipated to be covered partially by state and federal COVID-19 funding, partially by redirected Computer Operations funds, and the remainder as NCMC capital expense.

The IT Infrastructure Refresh project is estimated to require 12 months to fully complete. It is aimed at making the college more effective in providing remote learning.

The board also approved the purchase of IT equipment to be used by Career and Technical Education academic programs from SHI for $49,250.67. Eight bids were received, and SHI’s was the lowest. The purchase will be covered by Enhancement Grant funding.

The board approved personnel items, including the retirement of Registrar Linda Brown effective October 31st. Chief of Staff Kristi Harris said Brown had 35 years of service with NCMC. A tree is to be planted on campus in her honor, and another tree is to be planted at her home.

Resignations were approved for Residence Life Coordinator and Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Brandon Gossett effective September 11th and PC Specialist 2 Jacob Tabbert effective September 25th.

Job description changes were approved for IT positions. The Technical Support Engineer’s job description and responsibilities were changed. The PC Technician 2 changed its title to the IT Helpdesk Specialist. The job description and responsibilities were also changed for the position of becoming IT Helpdesk Specialist. The placement on the salary scale or classification will remain the same for the Technical Support Engineer and IT Helpdesk Specialist.

The board approved the internal transfer of Nathan Vandevender of Trenton from IT Technical Support Engineer to IT Systems Administrator with an annual salary of $38,000. Another internal transfer was approved for Rickiann Hoskins of Hale from IT Systems Administrator to Technical Support Engineer with an annual salary of $36,553. They will begin their positions on October 1st.

Taylor Lavery of Dyer, Indiana was approved to be hired as the Residence Life Coordinator and Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at $36,000 annually. The compensation includes the Residence Life Coordinator salary and assistant coach stipend. He will also be provided the Ellsworth Residence Coordinator apartment and a meal plan for the duration of the academic year. Lavery began his position on September 18th.

The board approved Martha Goedert of Omaha as an adjunct instructor for Nursing beginning this fall. Trustee Christopher Hoffman abstained from the vote. It was noted Goedert is temporarily residing in Trenton.

Other adjunct instructors were approved, including Bethany Holland of Columbia for Sociology and Sharon Weiser of Saint Joseph for Behavioral Health and Science, both beginning this fall. Rachel Arnold of Trenton and Megan Urton of Chillicothe were approved as clinical adjunct instructors at the current clinical rate.

The board approved Green Hills Head Start personnel matters, including the resignations of Kelli Adams as Trenton Teacher Aide effective September 11th and Theresa Lance as Chillicothe B Teacher Aide effective September 25th. Kelli Cowell was approved as a Head Start Teacher Aide for Bethany, and her first day in the position was August 24th.

A contract with Trauma Smart was approved for $57,896 for Green Hills Head Start. Trauma Smart is a year-long program, which will include coaching and training for staff and parents. After completion of the plan, Green Hills Head Start will have the right to include the program at no additional cost indefinitely. Director Sue Ewigman noted Head Start anticipates COVID-19 funding will pay for Trauma Smart.

Other Head Start items approved included the Training and Technical Assistance Plan, Wage Comparability and Cost Allocation Plan, and grant application approval for Year 2 of the five-year grant application.

North Central Missouri College President Doctor Lenny Klaver reported on enrollment at the Board of Trustees meeting the evening of Tuesday, September 22nd.

He said, excluding high school students, headcount is down by 7.8% compared to this time last year. Credit hours and full-time equivalent is down by 4.6%. Full-time students increased by 1.6%, but part-time students is down by 20.4%. Freshmen are down by 4.4%, and sophomores are down by 11.5%. New students increased by 3.7%, but transfers were flat. Returning students went down by 14.9%.

Klaver noted that NCMC graduated its two largest classes in the last two years. He said it looks like adult students, particularly part-time adults, dropped for reasons possibly related to having school-age children and the uncertainty of public schools status of going virtual.

Out of state students decreased by 41%, and international students decreased by 30%. Those decreases were possibly related to COVID-19 restrictions and high numbers in other states and countries.

From a revenue standpoint, Klaver said NCMC is slightly down form budgeted figures. However, the college planned for fewer students.

He believes it will be important to retain this year’s fall class and attempt to convince part-time adult students to come back and perhaps increase course loads as NCMC works on enrollment for the spring term and next year’s incoming class of freshmen and transfers.

Klaver reported task forces of initiatives for the college’s strategic planning process began meeting to review initial goals and objectives. There are five initiatives for PLAN 2025, which include Academic Excellence, Student Success, Enrollment Management, Campus and Community, and Culture of Responsibility. Sessions are planned to be complete by the end of October to present to the board as a first reading draft at the November meeting. Each task force’s co-chairs or tri-chairs will update board member liaisons assigned to their initiative as the process moves forward.

Vice President for Student Affairs Doctor Kristen Alley reported there have been 19 positive cases of COVID-19 and 52 close contacts total at NCMC’s locations. The college is working with multiple counties with contact tracing.

NCMC is entering into a memorandum of understanding agreement with the Missouri Department of Social Services to provide a social worker on campus. The agreement will last three years.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Doctor Tristan Londre reported NCMC is finishing a project with the Dana Center of Texas regarding a Math Pathways grant. He said NCMC will work with other colleges and universities to discuss math curriculum. He plans for the project to be done by the end of the year.

Londre and Dean of Instruction Mitch Holder presented the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Excellence in Teaching Award to Life Sciences Instructor Susan Stull.

Green Hills Head Start Director Janet Gott reported there is a plan regarding COVID-19 in which a center might have to be closed for a short period of time. However, Head Start plans to continue to teach virtually.

In a written update, Director of Development Alicia Endicott reported Financial Advisor Ryan Tepen with Edward Jones will speak at an estate planning seminar to be held by the NCMC Foundation on the evening of October 20th at 6 o’clock. Social distancing guidelines will be followed. RSVP is required.

A donor wall for the Geyer Hall restoration is being commissioned. It is expected to be installed in late October or early November.

The board entered into an executive session to discuss employees and real estate.