October 2019 Meeting Minutes

October 2019 Meeting Minutes

Board of Trustees

10 October 2019


The North Arkansas College Board of Trustees met in regular session on Thursday, 10 October 2019, in the Bennie Ellis Board Room on the South Campus. Chair Bill Lovell called the meeting to order at 2:58 p.m. Trustees Kevin Cheri, R.G. Earnest, David Evans, Chris McNew, Sarah Newman, and Don Tomlinson were present.

North Arkansas College personnel attending included Cheryl Keymer, , Don Sugg, Meagan Isaacs, Jo Adams, John Gripka, Kim Brooks, Dr. Rick Massengale, Rick Williams, Micki Somers, Dr. Rodney Arnold, Sarah Bing, Kris Greening, Dan Dillard, Sharla Hellen, Joe Berry, Dr. Laura Berry, Mandy Kilbourn, and Dr. Randy Esters. Also in attendance were Kevin Faught of Stephens Inc. and Jim Hathaway of Kutak Rock LLP.

Before moving into official business, Chair Lovell informed everyone that Trustee Scott Miller’s brother passed away over the weekend and asked everyone to keep him and his family in mind.

Approval of Agenda

Chair Lovell asked if there were any changes to the agenda as presented. There being none, the agenda stood approved.

Regular Reports

Finance Report—Don Sugg shared financials through 30 September 2019. He said that Finance is gaining on the adoption of Colleague, with Ricci Dillon and Uriel Harp both doing well with the new system.

In the E&G fund, tuition revenue was at 51% of budget. This is due in part to an increase of $3 per credit hour and partly due to a lowered target during budgeting. Compared to the previous year to date, E&G other revenues are up approximately $712,000, which is due to the sale of the Center Campus to Crockett Properties. This revenue is already spoken for and will likely be used on the HVAC in the Science building.

Expenses are on target for salary and benefits. As a whole, expenses are always slightly higher at the beginning of the academic year due to start-up costs. Overall, revenue is ahead of previous years and expenses are trending in line with previous years.

Auxiliary is not as positive, but is still doing well. The College Store had a net profit gain of 9% last year, but they cannot carry expenses on their own. They recently discontinued rentals to avoid obsolete inventory and are currently doing will at 63% of the budget in sales. Expenses are on trend, mostly coming from purchases for resale.

Title III—Sarah Bing shared the Year 2 final report. Since the opening of the LRC on February 14th, 590 individual students utilized tutoring with 3,342 combined visits. This surpassed the year-end goal of 540 students. In Year 1, 294 students were served in tutoring with 1,850 combined visits. She thanked Sharla Hellen and her crew for all their hard work. Currently, 100% of the intake forms are mapped to import to Colleague, but they will not be implemented until March. 100% of identified department leaders have been trained in student tracking. All Year 2 goals have been met.

Year 3 goals include 940 students utilizing tutoring, 3 cross-curricular courses, 80% of students identified as at-risk receiving tutoring, and increasing retention by 3%.

Trustee Newman recognized the team for their good work.

President’s Report—Dr. Esters shared that the Student Government Association recently hosted a legislative update in the LRC. Local representatives and senators were available to answer questions and discuss current legislation; they asked to do it again in the future. Enrollment numbers are down slightly, which will have an impact on the budget but not as much as previously thought. To try to combat this, Northark is promoting 29 8-week “Fast Track” courses. Most of these will be offered in the evenings due to community requests.

We are reaching out to our students more, recently hosting a MarioKart tournament and kickball tournament. We also recently reached out to future students through Manufacturing Days, which saw 650 students from 17 schools connect with 7 local industries. Thanks to Joe Berry, Nell Bonds, the North Campus, Monica Faught, and Mary Beth Hatch for all their work.

Northark wants to increase our focus on the arts, and the recent Battle of the Bands was a step in that direction. Sound Pilot won, a local band with a lead singer from Alpena. The event was a success and we hope to try and host it again next year.

Recently, a student who works in our IT department was recognized. Cary Hill received the “Future Man of Distinction” scholarship. He is a young man with a bright future.

Kim Brooks shared about the First Year Experience (FYE) Course that has started this year. The goal is to help fill missing pieces for our students, both personally and academically. All incoming associate’s degree-seeking students are required to take the FYE course, and it was started with zero budgetary impact with faculty, staff, and administration stepping in to teach.

Consent Agenda

The Consent Agenda included the September Regular Meeting Minutes; Policies: Return of Department of Defense Tuition Assistance, Satisfactory Academic Progress for Title IV Financial Aid; Provisional Position: Project Coordinator (NAPHE); New Position—Project Coordinator; Replacement Positions—Network/Systems Administration Faculty, Director of Institutional Effectiveness. Chair Lovell reminded the Board that the items were discussed in depth at the breakfast last week and asked for any clarification. Chair Lovell asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda. A motion was made by Trustee Earnest, seconded by Trustee Newman, and unanimously approved.

New Business

New Business items included Approve Refunding Bonds, Series 2019, Resolution; and Reconfiguration of the existing Associate of Science in Agriculture to an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Turf Management.

Jim Hathaway and Kevin Faught approached Don Sugg in August saying they thought they could save the college some money on the bonds. In September, the Board approved hiring them. Currently, there is a presale savings of approximately $363,000 showing and a 5.28% benefit. The gentlemen were present and willing to answer any questions. There being none, Chair Lovell asked for a motion to approve the refunding. A motion was made by Trustee Cheri, seconded by Trustee McNew, and unanimously approved.

Dr. Esters shared that the program reconfiguration would add three courses to the existing Agricultural degree to become the only 2-year college in Arkansas to offer a Turf Management program. Joe Berry added that the program has support from Bass Pro. Chair Lovell asked for a motion, which was provided by Trustee Newman. It was seconded by Trustee Evans and unanimously approved.

Board Comments

Trustee Evans shared that he had recently heard from a family with a son in the robotics program who was facing financial difficulties following his father’s medical emergency.  He called the College, and Dr. Esters and his team had it worked out within days. The student’s mother was touched that Northark cared enough to help. Trustee Evans said that it was another great example of the family atmosphere of Northark.

Trustee Newman said that as a former teacher, she could relate to Kim Brooks’ excitement and enthusiasm about the FYE course.

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