Last week’s Higher Learning Commission’s visit was discussed at the North Central Missouri College Board of Trustees meeting on September 28.
NCMC President Doctor Lenny Klaver called it a “good visit” and said sessions were well attended by faculty, staff, and trustees. He also said a “great team” came for the visit, and it was a good experience for everyone.
Klaver reported the HLC team was pleased with NCMC’s collaboration, transparency, awareness of the need for continuous improvement, student responses, friendliness and hospitality, and the nice, clean campus. The team also liked that the college was student-focused and student-centered.
Klaver commented he is sure the report will show a few things NCMC could work on, as no one is perfect. However, he expects it to be a good report.
Chief Information Officer Jennifer Triplett reported Information Technology Services supported the HLC visit by provisioning visitor accounts, providing necessary visitor access, creating a workspace with phone and printing capabilities, and assisting with audiovisual set up around campus.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Doctor Tristan Londre thanked everyone who helped welcome the visitors and talked about things happening at the college. He especially thanked the trustees for coming to meet with the visiting team. He noted the results are expected within 90 days.
Trustee Doctor John Holcomb thanked Londre and his team for a good argument for the HLC visit. Chief of Staff Kristi Harris praised the board for its work for the visit.
Klaver reported on enrollment. He said headcount is up 3.8% from a year ago, and credit hours are up 4.6%. Students with a full-time enrollment status are up 3.6%, and those with a part-time enrollment status are up 3.9%. Klaver considers the increase a positive indicator and noted people on campus seem more upbeat this year, too.
He reported NCMC is working on a collaborative MoExcels 3 project with Missouri Western State University of Saint Joseph that involves advanced manufacturing. An application has been submitted for funding, and 10 letters of support were written from area manufacturers. Klaver said NCMC and Missouri Western are keeping the project “under wraps” to see what the state says.
Klaver reported Sarah Bird with Business Management will be NCMC’s faculty athletic representative. She will act as a liaison and make sure eligibility requirements are being met.
Klaver talked about a letter from the City of Trenton regarding the closing of 12th Street where there is a brick street. He said he is not opposed. He explained he thinks the idea is to allow for the Grundy County Museum to have more room for items.
A Missouri Community College Association Presidents and Chancellors Zoom meeting will be on October 1. The legislative agenda will be set at that time. Klaver noted the MCCA wants to go for more core money and other items regarding community colleges.
The MCCA Leadership Conference will be from September 29 through October 1. Klaver said Marketing and Admissions Director Megan Pester will be NCMC’s participant in the academy this year.
Harris presented the Annual Employee Retention Report. It showed there were 16 employees who either resigned or retired in the 2020-2021 year. That was an increase of eight compared to 2019-2020. Resignations for 2020-2021 included three administrative professionals, five classified staff members, and one faculty member. There were seven retirements. Harris noted NCMC expects the next five years to be heavy on retirements.
Londre reported the Savannah campus is moving closer to becoming a reality. The architect is gathering final pieces of input from employees to prepare plans for bidding purposes. NCMC plans to have the bid process completed by November to allow for a January start on renovation and construction.
Londre let Education Faculty Member Cassie Cordray give an update on faculty. Cordray said there was a lot of preparation before the first day of classes, and faculty members are communicators.
She had Education students introduce themselves and share how teachers had helped them.
Vice President of Student Affairs Doctor Kristen Alley praised Cordray for her leadership.
Alley reported there will be a dual credit scholarship through the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development. She said the scholarship would open in the spring and create dual credit opportunities.
Alley reported NCMC’s cohort default rate dropped from 15 to 10.6.
There are 19 financial aid nights planned in the college’s service area.
Students have moved into the new residence halls, and bricks should be done on the outside soon. Alley noted the fire alarms are working well.
Triplett reported IT Services installed technology hardware for the new residence halls. IT Services worked with AT and T to migrate NCMC’s telephony system to a new circuit. She explained the upgrade was required due to the legacy technology in use by NCMC’s old circuit being sunsetted. IT Services also advanced the upgrade Dynamics GP, which is the college’s enterprise resource planning system. The system’s go-live date is planned for October 4. Triplett said the upgrade was needed to ensure business office software remained current.
Head Start Director Janet Gott reported the children Head Start is serving include 13 in foster care, four who are homeless, and 11 who are receiving public assistance.
Director of Development Alicia Endicott submitted a written report. It said Chris Hoffman, Phyllis Jackson, and Endicott herself attended the Savannah Chamber of Commerce luncheon on September 1. They went as representatives of the college, board of trustees, and Foundation.
NCMC coaches and alumni participated in the Savannah Chamber of Commerce golf tournament on September 10.
Endicott said tables are still available for the dinner to honor Mike Arbuckle, which is scheduled for October 15th. The alumni baseball game will be on October 16.
The Holiday Hoops Committee is meeting monthly to prepare for the annual event in December.
The North Central Missouri College Board of Trustees approved purchases and took action on personnel matters on September 28, 2021.
One purchase was a Kubota B26TLB loader tractor for $36,367.48. Vice President of Academic Affairs Doctor Tristan Londre reported the bid amount is a national bid provided directly from Kubota national accounts only to National Coalition of Certification Centers members, and NCMC is a member of the coalition. The tractor is a sole source purchase and will be 100% funded through the state’s Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Excels grant award. The tractor will be used as instructional equipment for a new agricultural equipment service technician program.
Another purchase approved was a Mechatronics Trainer from Aidex. The trainer includes a FANUC robot, PLC/HMI trainer, conveyor system, and other features. The purchase price is $76,500 ($76,510) and will be funded through the state’s GEER Excels grant award. Aidex is the only source or distributor available. The instructional equipment will be part of the Industrial Technology program. The equipment is consistent with NCMC’s existing training equipment within the Industrial Technology program.
The board accepted the resignation of Bethany Head Start Teacher Aide Kelli Cowell effective August 26th, Nursing and Health Sciences Administrative Specialist Bailey Weese effective September 13th, and Marketing and Inter-Loan Library Assistant Ronna Owens effective October 6th.
Hirings included Abigail Oneal of Trenton as a learning services specialist on the classified staff salary schedule at 5B-2 starting today (September 29th), Susan McMillan of Holt as an adjunct instructor for Surgical Tech courses beginning this fall, and Autumn Thomsen of Eagleville and Addison Frazier of Gilman City as clinical adjunct instructors at the current clinical rate beginning this fall.
A proposed contractual change was approved for Nursing Instructor and Practical Nursing to Associate’s Degree in Nursing Director Kelly Claycomb. The change involves her contract being adjusted from an 11 month to a 10 month beginning September 1st.
A proposed employment classification and job description change were approved for Extended Campus Operations Specialist Tobi Crippen. The change involves moving her from a classified hourly position to an administrative professional salaried position. The change is due to increased responsibility, additional duties, and changes in a job description and responsibilities. The change will take effect on October 1st.
The board approved recommendations for the revision of job descriptions to rename positions. One of the positions included diagnostic imaging coordinator being changed to radiologic technology instructor and program director. Londre noted the existing position has already been filled, and the title is more accurate based on the planned structure of the allied health programs. The duties have been revised to align better with accreditor standards. The English instructor job description was revised to become an English/speech instructor. That is an existing position that was vacated by the retirement of Linda Cowling, and the position is intended to assist with staffing needs in both departments.
The creation was approved of three new full-time faculty positions: radiologic technology and clinical coordinator, surgical technology program director, and surgical technology and clinical coordinator. Londre said the first two positions would be filled before January to prepare for offering the new programs in the summer, and they will be paid through the federal Perkins grant for the remainder of the fiscal year 2022. The third position is expected to be filled at the end of spring 2022. He explained the positions are needed to launch the radiologic technology and surgical technology programs.
The board tabled a decision on implementing flexible scheduling for Student Affairs. Vice President of Student Affairs Doctor Kristen Alley said the Student Affairs office would still be open from 8 o’clock to 4:30, and not every staff member in the department would participate. Times staff members worked could be staggered, and some could come in early, stay late, or not take a lunch break. She said something similar is done in the summer.
Trustee Doctor John Holcomb said he was worried about a domino effect. He thinks that if one department was granted flexible scheduling, others would ask for it. He said he would vote against the matter unless it was done on a trial basis.
Board President Diane Lowrey asked Vice President of Business and Finance Tyson Otto if he thought his office would be interested in flexible scheduling. Otto said he did not think so.
Trustee Don Dalrymple said he would like to know how it would affect student services.
Trustee Rob Maloney said it would be nice to see how the matter was being received at other schools. He applauded the efforts to enrich the lives of employees. He wanted to treat the matter in the best way and fairly.
Lowrey said she saw both sides. She commented that maybe the board should look at implementing flexible scheduling for everyone instead of one department at a time. She asked for more information on the matter to be presented at the October meeting.
Items were declared surplus. They included a 1989 MCI Motor Coach purchased in 2003 and the entire contents of the Savannah car dealership building to allow for renovations. Otto said the items would be listed on the Big Iron Auctions website. Multiple Information Technology items were also declared as surplus property. Those items are to be disposed of in accordance with NCMC Board policy.
The board approved a request regarding turning over the funds from the Russ and Elna Derry Scholarship to the NCMC Foundation to continue a scholarship and assist with the funding of the new Russ Derry Practice Facility. The request was made from a Derry family member. The scholarship had been administered by NCMC. The funds will be invested in accordance with the Foundation’s investment policy, so the scholarship can be awarded in perpetuity. The remaining funds will be added to those currently held by the Foundation to be used for the construction of the practice facility that was temporarily postponed due to high construction costs.
The board approved the Head Start Certificate of Compensation Cap and Wage Comparability Study and the Certificate of Cost Allocation Plan as well as the Training and Technical Assistance Plan. Head Start Director Sue Ewigman reported a lot of goals were continued mainly because of COVID-19. Head Start wants to focus on succession planning because of retirements.
Year 3 of the Five-Year Grant Application was also approved for Head Start. Ewigman reported the application includes total funding of $2,458,677. That includes funding for Head Start of $2,026,316 with $23,295 for training technical assistance. It also includes funding for Early Head Start of $402,114 with $6,952 for training and technical assistance. The primary focus for year three will be to return to full comprehensive services in the safest and least restrictive way possible. Head Start will continue to work with local public schools, the Office of Head Start, local health departments, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make the transition.
The board went into an executive session for legal matters.