August 2020 Meeting Minutes

August 2020 Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees

13 August 2020


The North Arkansas College Board of Trustees met in regular session on Thursday, 13 August 2020 in the JPH Conference Room /zoom call on the South Campus. Chair R.G. Earnest called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. Trustees Kevin Cheri, Bill Lovell, David Evans, Chris McNew, Sarah Newman, and Scott Miller were present.

North Arkansas College personnel attending included Richard Stipe, Dr. Laura Berry, Tavonda Brown, Dr. Rodney Arnold, Micki Somers, Kevin Somers, Jessica Butterfield, Kris Greening, Jennifer Haddock, Brittney Riff, Ricci Dillon, Rick Massengale, and guest James White with Harrison Daily Times.

Approval of Agenda

Chair Earnest asked if there were any changes to the agenda as presented. There being none a motion was made, unanimously approved.

Regular Reports

Finance Report—Richard Stipe shared unrestricted E&G and Auxiliary budget activities through July 30, 2020.

Enrollment Impact on Tuition and Fee Revenue: Richard Stipe started with an overview of the potential decline of enrollment and the impact it may have on the budget. He reviewed the enrollment at this time is down 3.5% with a change in revenue at -$66,321, however this is a positive to what was predicted. Richard Stipe discussed the Spring semester if enrollment continued to decline or stay at 3.5%. He finished with the full year combined of percentage changes and the change in net revenue.

In the E&G fund, Richard Stipe mentioned that he will not be giving the regular report for the month of August due to year end accounting has not been gathered and would not be accurate.  He preceded with the unrestricted fund for the E & G budget activity for July 2020. Richard Stipe stated the Tuition Y-T-D is at $14,419,466 and with the fees, state appropriations, and other revenues the total Y-T-D is at $3,123.776. The Expenditures of salaries & wages are at $771.937. With the employee benefits, operational, capital, scholarships, and transfers out the net revenue totals $1,536,183.  Richard ended with the totals are trending from the prior year-to date.

Auxiliary: Book sales are doing well with July finishing at $19,362 in revenues and the expenditures at $96,349. Richard mentioned tax free weekend was August 1, 2020. The revenue was about $95,000 in the college store and will be added to next month’s report.

Richard discussed the Audit report was received early this year and was pleased with the audit findings and praised Don Sugg for his work.


President’s Report—Dr. Esters stated North Arkansas College will hold the Commencement ceremony on August 22nd with the plan approved by ADH. Dr. Esters mentioned few events; Jebaraj will be speaking at the August 26 Economic Update Breakfast and the Foundation’s golf tournament is scheduled for September 14th.

Dr. Esters discussed the Healthy Campus Plan. The major components to this plan are mask will be required, seating will be six feet apart, direction signs in the halls, plexiglass installed, treating surfaces, temperature screenings, isolation room, rapid tests (not finalized), computers and hotspots available for check-out, and tracing protocols established. The three options for the fall semester are the following; move forward with HCP as modified to date, extend plan to move general education to virtual, and move all instruction to virtual. Dr. Esters reviewed the benefits of the second option. The Healthy Campus Plan task force made the following recommendations. Increasing the number of virtual offerings to include most general education courses and maintain the HCP provisions as written and publicly available.

Dr. Esters discussed the Operational Changes due to Natural Disasters, Catastrophes, Epidemics and Pandemics policy and listed the request for Board approval and ratification of the following items: The healthy campus plan, require all individuals to wear face masks or other approved face coverings while in the building and six feet distancing cannot be assured, allow screening of individuals to be permitted on campus, classes that are cross curricular to be delivered virtually unless an exception is made by the president or designee, and allow the president to discontinue all or part of the Healthy Campus Plan at his discretion.

Dr. Esters finished with the potential site of the Advanced Manufacturing Center. The area would be up from the west lot and green house on south campus. It would be two story with access on both levels.

Monitoring Report

Kris Greening presented the Increase Employee Satisfaction report.  Kris mentioned the report is based on 2019 survey and employee satisfaction was at 4.11 with national average at 3.77.

Recent Improvements:

  • Hardship brings new challenges, which brings us closer
  • Safety and Security –
  • COVID 19 – campus lockdown, remote work, new laws, new policies and procedures, virtual meetings, changes to scheduling, campus reopening, scheduled appointments for students/visitors, offices, classrooms, plastic barriers, masks, laptop computers, etc.
  • Facilities-
  • Center Campus employees finally settled
  • Benefits improvement with Blue Cross Blue Shield, with new portal for quick look up, single point of contact.
  • Annual events: Christmas Party is always popular, and Day of Service this last fall had 68 employee volunteers with 8 local agencies


Planned Improvements:

Communication: the way we do our work will continue to evolve, including more remote work environments.

Professional Development - Delivery of Pioneer Making Tracks courses is changing to all virtual for the next year, and will be recorded for delivery online, allowing more to participate.


Consent Agenda

The Consent Agenda included the July Regular Meeting Minutes; Acceptance of FY 2018-2019 Legislative Joint Audit Report Policy; Operational Changes Due to Natural Disasters, Catastrophes, Epidemics and Pandemics. Chair Earnest asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. A motion was made by Trustee Lovell, seconded by Trustee Evans, and unanimously approved.

New Business

The New Business included the Commencement Award Recommendation and Heathy Campus Plan Recommendations Fall 2020. Chair Earnest asked for a motion to approve the New Business Agenda item, Commencement Award Recommendation. A motion was made by Trustee Evans, seconded by Trustee Miller, and unanimously approved.

Chair Earnest asked for a motion to approve the Heathy Campus Plan Recommendations Fall 2020. A motion was made by Trustee Lovell, seconded by Trustee Newman, and unanimously approved.

Board Comments

Trustee Newman thanked everyone on their hard work to serve Northark employees and students. Chair Earnest announced the three new trustees Linda Pledger, Pam Henry, and Debbie Johnson who will replace Trustees Lovell, Evans, and Fendley in January 2021. Trustee Cheri spoke about the recent viral video and asked if it had any effect on the College. Dr. Esters stated two minority students reached out to him with frustration of the video because it does not represent their hometown. He stated that he is not aware of any effect on Northark enrollment.


Trustee Lovell moved to adjourn the meeting. Trustee Newman seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved.