November 2018 Meeting Minutes

November 2018 Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

November 29, 2018


The Northark Board of Trustees met in regular session Thursday, November 29, 2018 at the Bennie Ellis Board Room on the South Campus.  Chair David Evans called the meeting to order at 3 p.m. Trustees Don Tomlinson, R.G. Earnest, Sara Jo Fendley, Chris McNew, Kirk Campbell, Jane Adair and Bill Lovell were present.  Trustee Scott Miller was absent.

Northark personnel attending included Dr. Randy Esters, Dr. Rodney Arnold, Kristin Griffin, Don Sugg, Dr. Donna Wood, Brandon Cone, Joe Berry, and Trish Villines.  Community members Kevin Cherie and Sarah Newman were also present.  In addition, Yassin Mbugi, a Northark student, and George Holcomb from the Harrison Daily Times attended.


Approval of Agenda: Chair Evans 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 October 30, 2018 compared to the previous year.  In the E & G fund revenue is up to 52.8%. Salaries and benefits expenses are around 32%.  Year to date Northark’s net operating gain is $515,000.  Bookstore book sales account for 50% of the auxiliary budget.  Book rentals are showing a slight decrease over 2017.  The auxiliary budget is at a projected net gain of $132,000.  Don expressed the College is on trend for the year.


President’s Report: Dr. Esters reported on the JPH lecture series and this year’s speaker Elizabeth Smart.  He spoke about Northark employee’s being recognized on state and national levels at the ACC and ACCT conferences.  The Harrison Daily Times hosted the Men of Distinction event honoring many friends of the College.  Northark employee’s, along with Roger Turner and his team, participated in a day of service in the community.  Eleven agencies and one veteran were part of this event.  BEST Robotics, Northark athletic events, a HESC simulation, mayoral forum, and a night of trick or treating fun were some of the happenings going on around the campus in the last month.  The drama club is involved in the production of Grease at the Lyric Theater.  Dr. Esters encouraged everyone to go watch Grease.  The Cave Region Review music and arts festival was a huge success this year and well received by the community.  It is beginning to look like Christmas as the College erected the tree on Center Campus and prepares for the Northark Christmas event held on December 3.  Yassin Mbugi, an exchange student from Tanzania, was invited to speak to the board.  Yassin shared his unexpected delight with Northark and the community.  He referred to Harrison as kind and welcoming.  While, he recognizes there are many cultural differences between the United States and his country.  He has adjusted nicely and says he encourages his friends and family to follow his example and attend Northark.  Finally, he thanked Dr. Esters for the opportunity to be part of the exchange program.  Dr. Esters asked Dr. Arnold to give a brief campus housing update. Dr. Arnold reported that continued discussion with Bluffstone over the avenue have delayed the presentation of a final contract.  The Foundation board meets in early December and they are hopeful to have a contract to review at that time. 

Approval of Consent Agenda: Chair Evans requested a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. The Consent Agenda included the October Regular Meeting Minutes and Academic Policies including Academic Integrity, Academic Program Quality, Credit to Clock Hour Conversion, Distance Education, Incomplete Grade, and Short Term Study Abroad.  Institutional Policies including Marketing/Advertising & Promotional Materials, Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, Inclement Weather, Protection of Human Subjects, Media Relations & Official College Statements, Political Activity, Signage, and Web Standards.  In addition, Student Policies including Student Transcripts, Email as Official Student Communication, Graduation, New Student Orientation, Student Success, Tuition: Residency Classification, and Behavioral Intervention Team.  Trustee Campbell made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda as presented, which was seconded by Trustee Lovell and passed unanimously.

Monitoring Reports: Don Sugg gave the monitoring report on Climate and Affordability: Operational Excellence Increasing Reserves and Improving Efficiencies.  On affordability, the Northark fund balance without GASB is well above the target of 14.5%.  The expenditures per FTE with and without GASB are down slightly.  Expenditures in academic support have remained well above the cohorts over the last four years while student services expenditures have stayed much lower than the comparable cohorts have.  Physical plant experienced an increased in expenses in 2017-2018. Trustee Campbell asked if the rise in cost was caused by the HVAC unit in the science building not operating correctly.  Trustee Evans commented on the need to look at replacing the HVAC unit in the future.  Don verified that the utilities accounted for the increase in expenses.  Don also shared that Northark is continuing to keep tuition and fees at a noticeably more affordable rate than other two-year colleges in the state.  Northark ranked third in the district on affordability.  In conclusion, Don reported the College received $4.9M in program grants and awards in 2017-2018.

New Business: There was no new business

Board Comments:


Chair Evans requested a motion to adjourn. Trustee Campbell made a motion, which was seconded by Trustee Lovell and passed. The meeting adjourned at 3:50 p.m.