May 2018 Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

May 17, 2018

The Northark Board of Trustees met in regular session Thursday, May 17, 2018 in the Bennie Ellis Board Room on the South Campus. Chair David Evans called the meeting to order at 3 p.m. Trustees Scott Miller, Jane Adair, R.G. Earnest, Don Tomlinson, Chris McNew, Kirk Campbell and Bill Lovell were present. Trustee Sara Jo Fendley was absent.


Northark personnel attending included Dr. Randy Esters, Dr. Rodney Arnold, Don Sugg, Tavonda Brown, Ricci Dillon, Joe Berry, Dr. Donna Wood, Dr. Laura Berry, Cindy Mayo, Cheryl Keymer, Kris Greening, Charla Jennings, Micki Somers, Kristin Griffin, Julia Angel, Natosha Beaver, and Trish Villines. George Holcomb was also present.


Approval of Agenda: Chair Evans asked if there were any changes to the agenda. There being none, the agenda stood approved.


Regular Reports:
Foundation Report: Dr. Arnold gave an update on the student housing project. This project has been a year and half in the making. He thanked the board and the committee members for their involvement in the research. In December 2016, Anderson Strickler did a feasibility study that resulted in positive findings. Their recommendations were presented to the taskforce assembled by the Northark Foundation Board. Further research determined that a three-story building with 108 beds and a 3,000 square foot student center would be the best fit for Northark. Bluffstone, LLC of Iowa is the company that will develop and manage the $5.2 million project. It is estimated that the combination of two and four bedroom suites will rent for between $450-$550 monthly with a 10-month lease. Dr. Arnold revealed that construction would be set to start in the fall of 2018 if the project continues through completion. As the project evolves, construction bids and other items may require Board of Trustee approval in line with College and state policies. Trustee Earnest asked if Northark would have the option to purchase the property from Bluffstone in the future if desired. Dr. Arnold explained that negotiations are still underway and that a clause regarding this type of request was already part of the negotiation conversations. Conversations are continuing to finalize the Pioneer Villas.


Finance Report: Don Sugg reported the financials through April 2018. He stated that the college will exceed year-end gain projections in the E&G fund. The benefit to salary ratio is at 35% and continues to decrease. Expenses are trending at 80% of the annual budget. Auxiliary expenses are above expenses through April 2017 because of the purchase for resale investment of new rental books. It will take three years to make a profit on them. Don reported a 12.5% year to date gross profit and an 8.2% profit margin. The college anticipates a savings of $15,000 next year as a result of equipment expenses in the copy center.


President’s Report: Dr. Esters discussed Evening on the Plaza and its success thanks to the participants. He spoke about the North Campus Technical Center Awards for 2018 given to 91 area high school students and the great successes of the SkillsUSA team. Five of them are headed to nationals to compete in their fields. Dr. Esters mentioned that Spring Fest and graduation went well and the students enjoyed both. The Little River Band was entertaining and great for our community as was Charlotte’s Web. Northark drama put on a wonderful show. He recognized the retiring employees. He updated the board on the new entrance into the library and the renovations happening. Northark was among other colleges in Arkansas recognized as one of the most popular STEM institutes. Finally, he discussed the policies listed in the consent agenda.


Approval of Consent Agenda: Chair Evans requested a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. The Consent Agenda included the April Regular Meeting Minutes. The Consent Agenda also included the recommendation for John Graves as the Surgical Technology Program Director, Eric Osner as the Head Baseball Coach/Instructor, and Melanie King as the new Business Faculty. In addition, the academic and institutional policies of Prior Learning, State Minimum Core Curriculum, Student Load, Title IX Rights of Pregnant and Parenting Students, Transfer Curriculum, and Animals on Campus were on the Consent Agenda. Finally, the endorsement of the campus housing plan was also part of the Consent Agenda. Trustee Lovell made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda as presented, which was seconded by Trustee Miller and passed unanimously.


Monitoring Reports: Tavonda Brown reviewed the Board ENDS Climate in relation to Engagement to Increase Student. She noted that the CCSSE report was from 2016 and the survey results for the 2018 report will be available in August 2018. The question was presented to 26 participants asking would they recommend Northark to a friend or family member. The goal was 96% and the report shows in 2016 we were at 95.7% of students saying yes they would recommend Northark. Some of the recent improvements include and expanded lending library, online tutoring, CPI fuel card disbursement updates, and an improved Title IX training. Planned improvements are to convert multiple forms to an online format, implement the new SIS, and to increase the number of student activities offered.

Dr. Laura Berry discussed some of the faculty efforts to improve student relations. Some of which included off campus trips to engage students in the community and abroad.


New Business: Don Sugg explained the land purchase of 1.01 acre of land that adjoins the college. The acre is located on the southwest corner of the South Campus and is valued at $25,000. It is for purchase at $18,000 and the President’s cabinet recommends purchasing adjoining land to the college whenever possible. A motion was made by Trustee Lovell and seconded by Trustee Earnest and passed.

Executive Session: Chair Evans made a motion to move into executive session. A motion was made by Trustee Adair and seconded by Trustee Lovell. The Trustees met in executive session. A motion was made by Trustee Tomlinson to reconvene in regular session and seconded by Trustee Lovell. No action was taken. Trustee Adair followed with comments indicating how the committee that was charged with President’s Evaluation. Trustee Adair presented the committee recommendation to increase the president’s salary by a total of 12.5% to his base salary with the College’s budget for salary and benefits for fiscal year 2018-2019 being adjusted accordingly. The committee also recommended to extend his current contract by one year through June 30, 2021. Trustee Miller made a motion to affirm the specific recommendations of the committee. The motion was seconded by Trustee Campbell and passed unanimously.


Board Comments: There being no further business, Chair Evans requested a motion to adjourn. Trustee Lovell made a motion, which was seconded by Trustee Tomlinson and passed. The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.