December 2016 Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

December 8, 2016

The Northark Board of Trustees met in regular session Thursday, December 8, 2016 in the Bennie Ellis Board Room on the South Campus. Chair Scott Miller called the meeting to order at 3 p.m. Trustees Jane Adair, David Evans, Bill Lovell, Matt Miller, Kirk Campbell, Jim Milum, and Dr. Marcus Jones were present.  Trustee Sara Jo Fendley was absent.

Northark personnel attending included Dr. Randy Esters, Dr. Donna Wood, Don Sugg, Dr. Rodney Arnold, Tavonda Brown, Katie Vaughn, Cindy Mayo, Micki Somers, Kris Greening, Laura Berry, Charla Jennings, Chad Hathaway, David Zirkle, Nell Bonds, Iris Roe, Emilee Tucker, Cheryl Keymer, Kim Brecklein, Nikki Davidson, Randy Scaggs, Stacie Klott, Michelle Palmer, Travis Harris, Wesley Crow, Ricci Dillon, Trish Villines, and Rick Williams.  Chair Miller recognized newly elected board members R.G. Earnest, Chris McNew, and Don Tomlinson. He also welcomed former Trustee Wayne Thompson. Russell Larimore was also in attendance. David Holsted and Lee Dunlap represented the Harrison Daily Times.


Approval of Agenda: Chair Scott Miller asked if there were any changes to the agenda and there were none.  

Regular Reports:

Finance Report:  Don Sugg provided the finance report which indicated that Education and General Revenues were trending at approximately 2.5% above the planned budget. The Education and General expenses were trending at 43% of the year-to-date budget. It was discussed that the College received approximately $20,000 in unexpected state funding as part of the Educational Excellence Trust Fund. The year-to-date revenue and expense trends for the Auxiliary Budget were reported. 


President’s Report:  Dr. Esters reviewed pre-enrollment numbers for the Spring 2017 semester as of December 7, 2016 compared to pre-enrollment for the Spring 2016. The preliminary data showed a potential increase of 40 student semester credit hours but a slight decline in headcount. Dr. Esters reminded the board that the budget and revenue are based student semester credit hours. Dr. Esters reviewed recent college activities including the Day of Service, John Paul Hammerschmidt Lecture Series, and Christmas events. It was noted that the College recently received notice that it had been awarded the Great Lake Career Ready Internship Grant for $96,000 and the Blue & You Foundation Grant of $123,000. The status of the feasibility study for campus housing was reported and Trustees were invited to the upcoming signing of the Northark, Buffalo National River, and University of Central Arkansas Memorandum of Understanding. The Trustees were reminded of the College Policy Revision process.


Approval of Consent Agenda: Chair Scott Miller requested a motion to approve the Consent Agenda, as presented. The December Consent Agenda included the November Regular Meeting minutes, the November Special Meeting minutes, and the annual Certification of Solvency.

The Consent Agenda also included Employee Policy section and corresponding sub-sections. The Benefits sub-section included the Workers’ Compensation, Wellness, and General Benefit Provision Policies. The Classification and Compensation sub-section included the Workforce Classification, Compensation, Fair Labor Standards Act, and Overtime/Compensatory Time policies. The Employee Relations sub-section included the Attendance, Standards of Ethical and Professional Conduct, Personal Appearance, Whistle-Blowers Act, Employee Recognition, Personnel Records, Political Activity, Employee Grievance, and Death Acknowledgement policies. The Employment sub-section included the Concurrent & Outside Employment, Conflict of Interest, Employee References, Drug & Alcohol Free Workplace, Employment Restrictions, Hiring, Volunteer, Equal Opportunity, and Employee Separation policies. The Employee Leave sub-section include the FMLA Leave of Absence and the Non-FMLA Personal Leave of Absence policies. The Performance Management sub-section included the Professional Development and Performance Management policies. The Consent Agenda also included the recommendation of Amber Harris for the replacement position of a grant funded Student Support Services Academic advisor. Trustee Campbell made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda as presented, which was seconded by Trustee Evans and passed unanimously.


New Business:

Mid-year Budget Adjustments – Health Insurance Expenses, Part-time faculty rate, Full-time bonuses: Vice President Sugg presented the revenue increases including state funding and the increase in fall enrollment tuition, which totaled approximately $126,000. It was noted that if spring enrollment trends comparatively to fall, the College has the potential to experience about $232,000 in unplanned revenue. Trustees were informed that the expense increase for health insurance was $62,233. Of the $62,233, the Northark portion based on current premium percentages was $46,717 and the employee portion was $15,516. As part of the mid-year budget adjustment, the College proposed absorbing the entire $62,233. It was reviewed that the faculty had requested a raise to part-time course hour rates during 2016-2017 budget planning. To fulfill the request, it was proposed that the per-course hour rate be raised from $525 to $550. The total cost for the remainder of the year equaled $13,000. Historical information on awarding cost-of-living adjustments and bonuses to employees was provided. It was proposed that all full-time employees be awarded a $400 bonus on December 13, 2016. The total cost of the bonuses was $69,784. All of the components both revenue and expenses for the mid-year budget adjustments were summarized and it was noted that if approved, the College would still potentially experience an $87,824 net gain. There was discussion about future health insurance increases and that a plan is being developed to split future expenses between the College and employees. Trustee Jones made a motion to approve the budget adjustments as presented, which was seconded by Trustee Evans and passed unanimous.

Recommendation of Nominating Committee: Chair Miller asked the nominating committee—comprised of Trustees Milum, Jones, and Matt Miller—for a recommendation of 2017 officers. Trustee Jones recommended Trustee Jane Adair as 2017 Chair, Trustee David Evans as 2017 Vice Chair, and Trustee Bill Lovell as 2017 Secretary/Treasurer. Chair Miller requested nominations from the floor. There being none, Trustee Campbell made a motion to approve the 2017 officers as presented. The motion was seconded by Trustee Milum and passed unanimously.


Board Comments:

Before passing the gavel to 2017 Chair Jane Adair, Chair Miller recognized Trustees Matt Miller, Dr. Marcus Jones, and Jim Milum for their service on the Board. He presented each Trustee with a plaque made at the North Campus. Dr. Esters then recognized Chair Miller for his service as 2016 Chair.

There being no further business, 2017 Chair Adair noted the upcoming board events and requested a motion to adjourn. A motion was made by Trustee Jones, seconded by Trustee Lovell, and passed. The meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

Chair Miller                                                                    Submitted by Trish Villines