May 2021 Meeting Minutes

May 2021 Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees

May 13, 2021

The North Arkansas College Board of Trustees met in regular session on Thursday, 08, April in JPH conference center. Chair Miller called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m. Trustees Debbie Johnson, Linda Pledger, Pam Henry, Chris McNew, Kevin Cheri, R.G. Earnest, and Sarah Newman were present.

North Arkansas College personnel attending included Richard Stipe, Micki Somers, Ricci Dillon, Dr. Josephine Kershaw, Kris Greening, Don Sugg, Tavonda Brown, Dr. Rodney Arnold, Rick Massengale, Brandon Cone, and Dr. Laura Berry.


Approval of Agenda

Chair Miller 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 E&G and Auxiliary budget activities through April 2021.

In the E&G fund, Richard Stipe noted the operating budget revenue was at $12,734,258 and 93% of the budget for this year. Year-to-date expenditures were $11,280,252 of expenses. Richard stated the revenue and expenditures are trending a similar pattern at this time last year. Richard said, “we are feeling pretty good about the overall position of the college financially, in terms of the budget.”

Auxiliary: Revenue for year-to-date was at $1,271,670 and Expenditures was at $1,126,602.  Auxiliary net operating gain year-to-date totaled $145,068.

President’s Report—Dr. Esters stated the enrollment is bouncing back with the student semester credit hours at 7,759 and headcount at 688 for Fall 2021. Clinical/ Medial Laboratory Science associate degrees Schools, Precision Production Schools, and Transportation & Materials Moving Undergraduate Certificate Schools in Arkansas and Southeast Region ranked first in Best Value in Arkansas ranking. Dr. Esters acknowledged the Radiology Technology were awarded accreditation for the maxed time of eight years. He praised Suzanne Woods and the team for this accomplishment. Northark’s Agricultural department’s hydroponics trailer visited the Strawberry festival in Marshall, AR to inform others about the future of agriculture and the growth of agriculture. North Arkansas College held two commencements this year. Dr. Esters said, “It was the highlight of the past two years and to see everyone walking and families in the gym.” He then proceeded to acknowledge the Board of Trustees award recipient; Bill Lovell and the Presidential Citation award recipient, NARMC.  

The Northark family contributed 2,136 volunteer hours to the community clinics held to date, 97 employees and RN students worked the clinics with a total of 19 clinics and 8,886 Covid-19 vaccines, which includes first and second doses for Pfizer and Moderna.

Dr. Esters ended his report with the words Safari Nzuri Sana meaning have a very wonderful journey and knows the college will go on a great journey with the future changes.  Chair Miller said “ one of the things I am impressed with is how you champion the college and bring out so many good aspects from day one you have a knack for bringing out those good things that is going on at the college.” Trustee McNew appreciated him always stating “we and us” in his reports.

Consent Agenda

The Consent Agenda included the April Regular Meeting Minutes, April 15, 19, 29 Special Board minutes, replacement position: Life Science Instructor, and Provisional (grant-funded) Position Continuation Request.  Chair Miller asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. A motion was made by Trustee Cherie seconded by Trustee Johnson, and unanimously approved.


Monitoring Report

Tavonda Brown presented the Enhance service offerings; ensure quality report. Tavonda reported on North Arkansas College’s participation with the 2020 Real College survey. She stated 58 % students at Northark experienced at least one form of basic needs insecurity. Tavonda discussed the Fall 2020 student responses compared to other community colleges and reasons why students did not use supports. The total amount of emergency financial aid grants (CARES ACT) distributed was $722,402 and 1,059 unduplicated students received the emergency financial grant. She reported recent improvements; check out options for laptops/hot spots, CARES Act, student resource mail outs, student check-in via email, text, and phone conversations, online tutoring, and electronic documents. Tavonda ended her report discussing planned improvements; Northark HELP form, courses offered in four modalities, Instructors offering office hours in learning resource center, student focus groups, two ACC peer coaches, mental health option, distribute additional CARES act student grant, and communication.

Trustee Johnson asked, “what mental help options are you looking into?” Tavonda replied they are looking into working with community organizations and Northark providing someone on campus that can help during a crisis. They are looking into possibly hiring a mental health counselor. Dr. Esters stated Northark does have a Telehealth station.


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