May 2019 Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees

May 9, 2019

The North Arkansas College Board of Trustees met in regular session on Thursday, 9 May 2019, in the Bennie Ellis Board Room on the South Campus. Before the meeting, those in attendance observed a moment of silence for Northark student Allen Buberwa. Chair Bill Lovell called the meeting to order at 3:07 p.m. Trustees Kevin Cheri, David Evans, Sara Jo Fendley, Scott Miller, Sarah Newman, and Don Tomlinson were present.

North Arkansas College personnel attending included Brandon Cone, Jennifer Marshall, Tavonda Brown, Micki Somers, Kris Greening, Dr. Laura Berry, Valerie Martin, Carla Jacobs, Ricci Dillon, Rick Williams, Mandy Kilbourn, Dr. Donna Wood, and Dr. Randy Esters.

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 presented current revenues and expenses through 30 April 2019, which is ten months through the fiscal year. He pointed out that revenue is at 90.8% of budget while expenses are at 82.9% of budget. Current revenues are trending above previous years. However, expenses are up some. This was expected due to raises and inflation. The Auxiliary Fund revenue is currently at 85.5% of budget while expenses are at 87.3%. Mr. Sugg pointed out that although there is currently a $4,640 loss it is hard to predict how the fund will trend at this time of the year.

President’s Report—Dr. Randy Esters said that Jeff Corwin’s talk was a great way to wrap up the Civil Conversations series, with 400 community members in attendance. The Civil Conversation series allowed for great conversations about controversial topics and was well received by the college community. He shared that early enrollment for high school seniors was a great success, and numbers are up for the upcoming semesters.

The Learning Resource Center held “Superhero Days” to bring students into the LRC. They served students snacks all week as well as offering games and a hot dog lunch. It was a great way to make students feel welcome in the new center.

Northark employees recently graduated from the LEAD program. It is a great opportunity for internal networking and gives employees an overview of how various departments operate. Brandon Cone, one of the graduates, said that the time investment was well worth it.

Dr. Esters commended the welding class, which recently installed new bulldozer grousers for a local businessman. He also introduced student James Lea, who recently won 1st in the SkillsUSA competition for his welding sculpture, “Bubble Box.” Mr. Lea and his sculpture were present.

The Boone County Leadership group was recently on campus. Dr. Esters met with them to give them a report on the college and an overview of the impact the college has on the community. Another recent community event was the Evening on the Plaza, which Dr. Esters said was a great evening. He pointed out that it is always great to get to honor community members, and thanked Dr. Rodney Arnold for all his work for the event.

This has been finals week for the students, and Dr. Esters mentioned that college employees made a breakfast of French toast and sausage for students on Monday and Tuesday. He pointed out that the college had received word that one student was deathly allergic to cinnamon, so the French toast was prepared without cinnamon.

A signing was recently held for four students who have received scholarships with Pace Industries. Those students will be studying Automation and Systems Integration on the North Campus and will have all tuition and books paid through the scholarship.

Another great opportunity for Northark students has come through the recent partnership with the University of Arkansas Walton College of Business. A recently signed MOU will allow for students to seamlessly transfer an Associate’s in Business from North Arkansas College to fulfill the first two years of a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at the University of Arkansas. The signing was attended by many from the University, including the Chancellor from the Fayetteville campus and the U of A system president, Dr. Bobbitt. Dr. Esters commended Dr. Laura Berry and her team for all their hard work. Trustee Fendley asked who initiated the partnership, and Dr. Donna Wood said that Dr. Berry started the process.

At the end of the President’s Report, Trustee Miller asked James Lea about his career plans. Mr. Lea replied that he will be opening his own welding shop this summer before returning to classes in the fall. Trustee Miller commended Mr. Lea as one of the most respectful, hardworking young men he had met and wished him all the best in his future endeavors.

Consent Agenda

The Consent Agenda included the April Regular Meeting Minutes, Curriculum Changes Notification, Policies (Academic Advising, Apple System Distribution, Credit to Clock Hour Conversion, Definition of a Credit Hour, First Year Experience Course, Student Involuntary Medical Withdrawal, Withdrawing from Class(es)), and the Replacement Position—Life Science Faculty. Chair Lovell pointed out that Dr. Copeland’s resume hadn’t been discussed at the Board breakfast with the rest of the Consent Agenda items but had been given to all Trustees for review. He then asked for any further questions or comments from the Board; there being none, Chair Lovell asked for a motion to approve. Trustee Cheri moved to approve, which was seconded by Trustee Fendley and unanimously approved.

Monitoring Report

Tavonda Brown gave the Monitoring Report on Increasing Student Satisfaction. The CCSSE survey provides data with the question, “Would you recommend this college to a friend or family member?” She shared that Northark has hit the 96% target; for comparison, the cohort is currently at 93.4%. Recent improvements to increase student satisfaction include the Learning Resource Center, which offers students both a fun atmosphere and academic support. She pointed out that the nursing program has instituted coaching, which has led to a 19% increase in retention in the LPN track and a 28% increase in the LPN to RN track. She also said that she hopes mandatory advising will help, noting that students will be able to “meet” with advisors in person, over the phone, via Zoom, or through email. Also, Financial Aid has been moved to a more private location which should help students feel more comfortable discussing personal matters.

Future improvements include a new SIS which will include tracking of risk indicators. Within this new system, students will be able to see a map to completion based on their current transcript and degree plan. Mrs. Brown pointed out that learning the new system will take a lot of work, but we are ready to put forth the effort to make things better for our students.

New Business

No new business.

Board Comments

Chair Lovell reminded everyone of the Allied Health Pinning Friday at 4 p.m., Commencement Saturday morning at 10 o’clock, and the GED Graduation at 3 p.m. Trustee Fendley asked if there would be parking on the soccer field again, pointing out that there have been problems in the past with ruts. Dr. Wood answered that Sam Martin of the Campus Police will be working with local law enforcement to make sure parking is safe and in designated areas. Trustee Evans mentioned Raven Leggett, a Northark GED student who recently received the highest score in Arkansas. Dr. Esters added that the College had three GED students whose scores placed them in the top 25 in the state. In closing, Chair Lovell thanked all the faculty and administration for how they handled the last week. He asked for a motion to adjourn, which was made by Trustee Newman and seconded by Trustee Evans. The meeting adjourned at 3:30 p.m.