The Board of Trustees of Seward County Community College/Area Technical School met Monday to approve the 2008-09 budget for publication and hear reports about the fall 2008 semester. The college is now using its new name for promotional and informational purposes and will seek statutory recognition of the name during the 2009 Legislative Session.
Cynthia Rapp, dean of instruction, announced that the Higher Learning Commission will be on campus Feb. 20 to review the merger to see if the college has accomplished its goals in regards to the merger and the accrediting process.
The board authorized publication of the budget with a decrease in the mill levy of approximately ¾ of 1 mill. This decrease was possible due to the planned financial management in anticipation of the merger of the technical school, balance of cash reserves and increased county assessed valuation. The college has increased its operational budgeted costs to cover the addition of the technical school campus and estimated increases in utilities, supplies, and gasoline and diesel. The college has utilized state bond program funds to offset the cost of deferred facility maintenance projects, which has resulted in an opportunity to provide facility improvements without a significant increase in the annual budget. The budget does include a new line for capital outlay which includes funds designated for technical school equipment, the state bond program for deferred maintenance projects, and anticipated revenue and expenditure for a tax credit program recently authorized by the Kansas legislature.
The 2008-09 budget will be $24,405,592 of budgeted expenses and transfers. The budget includes a local tax increase of approximately $10,000. Dr. Dunn provided information from the governor’s budget office indicating that each public entity should plan for reduced state appropriations of 2% in 2009 and possible further reductions in 2010. Dean Williams and Dr. Dunn indicated that the recommended budget of the college should allow for those reductions for 2009.
The board elected the following officers for the 2008-09 school year: board chair, Jo Ann Sharp; board vice chair, Ron Oliver; board clerk/secretary, Dr. Duane Dunn; college treasurer, Tina Call; and assistant treasurer, Mike Brond.
Representation on board committees will include: Association of Community College Trustees, Sharp; Alumni Association, Oliver; AQIP Steering Team, Dr. Steve Cauble; Board Policy, Oliver, Sharp, Human Resources Director Deb Weilert, and legal counsel; Budget/Finance, Leo Riley and Marvin Chance Jr.; Foundation Representative, Sharon Hobble and Sharp as alternate; Insurance, Leo Riley, Hobble, and legal counsel; Interim Board, Chance and Cauble; KACCT delegates, Chance and Cauble and Sharp as alternates; Seward County Council of Governments, Cauble.
Early enrollment clinics for new students to campus in the fall are under way. Student Services has added special clinics for students enrolling in one of the 12 technical school programs that have been added to the college curriculum. The Admissions Office also is conducting a telephone campaign to encourage students to enroll early for the fall semester.
Tom Williams, dean of administrative services, informed the board that the tennis courts have been resurfaced and the nets will be installed Thursday. Other summer projects include installation of new seating, new carpet and stage drape for the theater, a new entrance on the northwest corner of the Student Activities Center including automatic doors, a new boiler and chiller to cool and heat the original buildings on campus. Fall projects will include concrete replacement and a wash rack addition for the agricultural building. On the tech campus, the college has installed new doors on campus and maintenance is in the process of removing debris and other unused materials. The majority of these projects have been funded through a bond project with the Kansas Department of Revenue and Kansas Board of Regents.
Dr. Duane Dunn, president, told the board about the possibility of adding a small business development center on the technical school campus. The outreach center would be operated in coordination with the Kansas Small Business Development Center and provide services to the Seward County area. The college would be required to provide office space and match salary.
As the college begins a new chapter in its life with 12 new technical programs, the administration will take a close look at its past accomplishments in relation to its 2004 strategic plan and begin plans to develop a new plan that will require community input as well.
In other action, the board
1. approved the employment of Sherry Farrell as Health Information and Business Instructor; Elizabeth Nosbisch as athletic trainer; and Justin Roberts, as Automotive Technology instructor;
2. approved the continuation of the Policy on Nondiscrimination with the addition of the name Seward County Community College/Area Technical School; the notice will be published in the local newspapers;
3. adopted changes to the Policy on Professional Development Grants that clarifies the use of the grants for courses/degree completion and emphasizes that the grants should be used to improve the employees’ contribution to the mission of SCCC/ATS;
4. approved the fee schedule for use of college facilities and a conference room and student union on the technical school campus at 2215 N. Kansas; and
5. approved the 2008-09 agreement to employ the firm of Sharp, McQueen, P.A., as the attorneys to represent the board with a monthly retainer rate changing from $1,800 to $1,875;
Kids College is under way on campus with a variety of opportunities for children in grades 1-6. The fall 2008 semester begins with Welcome Day for new freshmen and evening classes, Monday, Aug. 18. Area businesses will be invited to campus from 5-7 p.m. to welcome new students to Liberal. Day classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 19.
The board changed the next board meeting to 12 noon, Tuesday, Aug. 5, in the Hobble Academic Building Board Room. The September board meeting will be at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 2 due to the Labor Day holiday.