March 2019 Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

March 14, 2019

The North Arkansas College Board of Trustees met in regular session on Thursday, 14 March 2019, in the Bennie Ellis room on the South Campus. Chair Bill Lovell called the meeting to order at 3 p.m. Trustees Kevin Cheri, R.G. Earnest, David Evans, Sara Jo Fendley, Chris McNew, Scott Miller, Sarah Newman, and Don Tomlinson were present.

North Arkansas College personnel attending included Dr. Randy Esters, Dr. Rodney Arnold, Dr. Laura Berry, Micki Somers, Tavonda Brown, Don Sugg, Paul Edmondson, Cheri Conner, Brandon Cone, Jacquline Cheek, Nell Bonds, Cindy Mayo, and Mandy Kilbourn. Also in attendance was James L. White of the Harrison Daily Times.

Approval of Agenda

Chair Lovell asked if there were any changes to the agenda. There being none, the agenda stood approved.

Regular Reports

Finance Report—Don Sugg reported revenue and expenses through 28 February 2019 compared to previous years. He reported that revenues are at 103% of this point last year, with a possible projection of ending the fiscal year $90,000 ahead of revenue. For expenses, the college is currently at 67% of the annual budget with 75% of the fiscal year over. If the trend continues, the College could end the fiscal year under budget. The Auxiliary expenses are at 78% of budget. Revenue is ~5% below last year, due in large part to a decrease in book sales and rentals. Trustee Fendley asked if this was because of ebooks, to which Don Sugg replied that e-commerce is the main reason. He pointed out that the College and bookstore are looking at other possible sources of income. He pointed out that while purchases for resale are lower than this point last year, sales are at $101,000 over expenses.

President’s Report—Dr. Esters began by thanking Kris Greening and Joe Berry for their roles in the selection of the new Harrison Chamber of Commerce CEO, Bob Largent. Joe Berry pointed out that Trustee Miller also served on the search committee. Trustee Miller seconded Dr. Esters comments, saying that Kris Greening did an excellent job. Dr. Esters mentioned the Civil Conversation series, noting that the purpose of the talks is to create opportunities for open discussion. He said he has been pleased by the turnout of students and staff, and invited everyone to attend the final talk by Jeff Corwin which will be open to the general public. He gave background information on the naming of the Marion S. Carlson Health Professions Center, saying that Ms. Carlson’s nurses had been trained at North Arkansas College and she had wanted to honor them through her trust by providing scholarships to nursing students.

Dr. Esters talked about the recent Career Fair, which hosted 42 employers and at least 250 job seekers. He pointed out that it was one way for North Arkansas College to become the hub of the area. He also gave an update on transfer and partnership programs with 4-year institutions, pointing out that North Arkansas College is the beginning and not an ending for students who pursue a 4-year degree. Along those lines, Adult Education has been working with Tyson in Berryville and Green Forest to provide more than 4,000 hours of courses to plant employees. Dr. Esters showed the new “hot spots” that have been made available to students through the LRC, pointing out that they were just received on Monday and have all been checked out. These devices allow students internet access anywhere with cell service.

Dr. Esters mentioned some upcoming issues, including the ongoing research for the Housing Committee, the employee compensation plan, and the budget. He also updated the Board on how his time has been spent lately: trips to Little Rock to discuss legislation, “Snack Chats” with the students, the upcoming National Tournament, the Lead Hill Chamber Banquet, Local Pastors’ Meeting, and KHOZ radio interviews.

Consent Agenda

The Consent Agenda included the February Regular Meeting Minutes, the Naming of the Allied Health Wing, and a Curriculum Changes Notification. Chair Lovell requested a motion for approval, which was made by Trustee Evans and seconded by Trustee Cheri. It was passed unanimously.

Monitoring Report

Tavonda Brown gave the monitoring report on Enhancing Service Offerings. She pointed out that the main goal of everyone in the College is to see students succeed, and that one way to check progress toward that goal is through the results of the CCSSE. The survey is administered every two years, but the questions differ. She reported that she worked with Katie Vaughn, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, to equate the questions of the two most recent surveys. The results show the College low in Career Counseling and Job Placement, both of which are possibly explained by the fact that those are combined with Academic Advising. Dr. Wood pointed out that the new LRC will impact those services as well as Tutoring.

Trustee Miller asked about the sampling pool and the meaning of the percentages on the charts. Dr. Laura Berry answered that CCSSE determines the sampling size for statistical purposes, then tells each College how many students to survey and which courses in which to carry out the surveys. Tavonda Brown said she would get the sample size from Katie Vaughn and send the data. Trustee Fendley pointed out that Service Satisfaction for North Arkansas College students was close to or above the cohort across all topics covered.

Tavonda Brown noted that since CPI’s move, they have seen usage quadruple. She also pointed out that services are available online 24/7 now for students, and that there will be an updated and restructured first-year course for all students. Trustee Fendley asked if the new course would still be one hour and was told it will now be a three hour course which will incorporate financial and literacy components. Tavonda Brown also pointed out that all students will now be required to schedule an advising appointment before registering for classes. When Trustee Fendley asked what would happen if students fail to schedule an appointment, she was told that the students will not be able to register without one.

New Business

Committee Members—Chair Lovell announced that as per Board policy, it was time to appoint the Presidential Evaluation Committee and the Commencement Award Committee. For the former, he appointed Trustees Miller and Newman, with Trustee Evans serving as Chair. For the latter, he appointed Trustees Fendley and McNew, with Trustee Tomlinson serving as Chair. Trustee Earnest moved to accept the committees as appointed, which was seconded by Trustee McNew and unanimously approved.

Exterior Insulation Finish System (EIFS) Contract—Chair Lovell recognized Don Sugg to present background information on the bids and contract. Don Sugg said that the preliminary projection for the project was $15,000, but that bids in December 2018 came in with a low bid of $332,000 and the College chose to defer. The project was opened for bids again, with the low bid coming from Davis at $184,000. The only other bid was $5,000 higher from Butch May. He noted that approval of this bid would bring the total expense to approximately $805,000. Dr. Esters added that there was a cheaper option of simply addressing the outside, but the expectation was that it would only last 1-2 years and then require more work. The full job included a warranty, so it was his recommendation to do the full job. Trustee Fendley asked the length of the warranty and was told that it includes a 10-year warranty. Chair Lovell asked for a move to accept the bid from Davis, which was given by Trustee Cheri and seconded by Trustee Miller. The measure was passed unanimously.

Funds Transfer—Don Sugg told the Board that the library project would require a transfer of $400,000. Chair Lovell asked for a motion to approve the transfer, which was provided by Trustee Evans and seconded by Trustee Tomlinson.

Board Comments

Trustee Fendley asked if the library was warmer, and Don Sugg answered that it had simply been a lack of communication between the library and maintenance and the issue had been resolved. Chair Lovell reminded everyone that there will be 10 teams participating in the National Tournament who had never been to Harrison, and asked that everyone make an effort to show North Arkansas College in its best light. Trustee Cheri added the importance of everyone in the community making an extra effort next week, noting that it has made a difference and teams have been surprised by how welcoming the College and community have been.

Chair Lovell requested a motion to adjourn. It was so moved by Trustee Newman and seconded by unanimous affirmation. The meeting adjourned at 4 p.m.