October 2016 Minutes

Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

October 13, 2016


The Northark Board of Trustees met in regular session Thursday, October 13, 2016, at the Carroll County Center in Berryville. Chair Scott Miller called the meeting to order at 3 p.m. Trustees Jane Adair, David Evans, Bill Lovell, Matt Miller, Kirk Campbell, Sara Jo Fendley, and Dr. Marcus Jones were present. Trustee Jim Milum was absent.

Northark personnel attending included Dr. Randy Esters, Dr. Gwen Gresham, Don Sugg, Dr. Rodney Arnold, Tavonda Brown, Katie Vaughn,

Kevin Somers, Nell Bonds, Cynthia Faverty, Trish Villines, and Ryan Hoffman. Chair Miller recognized Board candidates Don Tomlinson, Chris McNew, and R.G. Earnest who were also in attendance.

Approval of Agenda: Chair Scott Miller requested approval of the agenda, which passed unanimously.

Regular Reports:

Finance Report:  Don Sugg provided the finance report which indicated that total revenue was at about 34% of budget and that tuition and mandatory fees were trending at about 55% of planned budget. He also noted that expenses were at about 28% of total budget and that salaries and benefits were slightly higher compared to the previous year because of the timing of an extra payroll in September. He reported that the Auxiliary Fund revenue was at about 44% of budget and 42% in expenses. He also reported that the potential Bond Issue refinancing effort had been suspended.  It was explained that, due to raising interest rates, the tentative lending party had increased the interest rate offer to a level where refinancing only produced marginal savings.  All work-to-date has been tabled but the process may be resumed if the interest rates should drop again.   

Foundation Report: Dr. Arnold provided the quarterly North Arkansas College Foundation report. He stated that the Foundation closed the previous fiscal year with net assets of about $6.3 million. He noted that a committee is in the process of conducting a feasibility study for the viability of campus housing. He also invited the Trustees to the November 18 scholarship luncheon.

President’s Report:  Dr. Esters acknowledged that it was Dr. Gresham’s last meeting as Interim Vice President and thanked her for her service.  He discussed recent visits with area superintendents, with students, and elected officials. He reported on the beginning stages of a partnership between Northark, the University of Central Arkansas, and the National Park Service. Dr. Esters provided an overview of the planned process for updating all institutional policies. He reviewed the Institutional Governance Policy. Don Sugg to provided a brief explanation of the Finance Policies being recommended for approval.

Approval of Consent Agenda: Chair Scott Miller requested a motion to approve the Consent Agenda, which included the September Regular and Special Meeting minutes, one Institutional Policy, Governance, and the Finance Polices in the Student Accounts, Procurement, Financial, Payroll & Time Reporting, Travel, Cash & Investments, Budgeting, Capital Construction, and Fraud Prevention sub-sections.  The Student Accounts policies included Tuition & Fees, Delinquent Student Accounts & Collection, Disputed Charges Adjustment, Student Drop for Non-Payment, and Bookstore Student Credit. The Procurement policies included Financial Interest in Contracts & Acquisitions, Procurement of Goods & Services, and Property Inventory & Management. The Financial policies included Employer Identification Number/Tax I.D., Financial Reporting, Allowance for Doubtful Accounts Receivable, Program Grants, and Financial Record Retention. The Payroll/Time Reporting policies included Time Reporting, Payroll-General, and Payroll-Direct Deposit Payment. The Travel policies included Travel-Employees & Guests and Travel-Candidate Interview Expense. The Cash & Investments policies included Cash/Funds Receipts, Petty Cash, Investments, Operational Bank Accounts, and Financial Activity of College Clubs & Related Agency Operations. The Budgeting policy included Annual Budget. The Capital Construction policy included Capital Construction Projects. The Fraud Prevention policy included Fraud Prevention & Reporting.

Trustee Campbell made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda as present, which was seconded by Trustee Miller and passed unanimously.

Monitoring Reports:

Retention: Tavonda Brown reported that student retention had increased from 50% to 56% from 2014-2015 to 2015-2016. She reported the Guided Pathways and Northark HELP grant activities have contributed to the increase in retention. Additional activities including FAFSA Help Days and Tax Preparation are planned for continued student support.

Service Area Enrollment: Tavonda Brown reported on the number of college-going high school graduates in Northark’s six-county service area who enroll at Northark. The College has consistently enrolled nearly 50% of all service area college-going high school students. It was reported that improved recruitment materials and increased high school outreach are strategies that assist with high school enrollments.

Board Comments:

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

Chair Miller                                                                     Submitted by Trish Villines