The Wilkes Community College (WCC) Board of Trustees met on Thursday, January 13 in the John A. Walker Center.

Prior to the start of the business session, WCC President, Dr. Jeff Cox; Nicole Fogle, Executive Director-Institutional Research, Planning & Effectiveness, and Jody Call, Executive Director-Strategy; gave a presentation on enrollment trends at WCC, neighboring colleges, and the state over the last several years.

The business session began with the approval of the minutes from the December 9, 2021, Board of Trustees meeting.

Jay Vannoy, chair of the WCC Board of Trustees, announced the next trustee orientation/education session scheduled for March 30 – April 1, 2022, in Raleigh.

College President’s Report

Dr. Cox recognized the 2021 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Faculty-Staff Award recipients. The 2021 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Faculty Award went to Keith Casey, lead instructor of Robotics, Automation and Mechatronics Technology. The 2021 Abby and Gordon Burns Distinguished Staff Member of the Year went to Wanda Shore, admissions and placement testing coordinator.

Dr. Cox and Jody Call presented the 2021 Annual Progress report and the 2021-2022 Implementation Plan.

Personnel Committee

The Personnel Committee  reviewed and approved the following policy revisions for WCC.

Policy 1.2 Trustee Legal Status; Policy 2.1.10 Communicable Disease; Policy 3.1.1 Equal Employment Opportunity; Policy 3.1.2 Employment; Policy 3.1.5 Re-Employment Opportunity; Policy 3.1.9 President-Hiring and Duties; Policy 3.2.2 Longevity Pay; Policy 3.2.15 Military Leave; Policy 3.2.19 Employee Work and State of Emergency Leave (this policy is being removed); Policy 3.3.4 Discipline Action, Suspension, and Dismissal; Policy 3.3.5 Contract Nonrenewal and Resignations; Policy 3.3.6 Right of Appeal; Policy 3.3.9 Reductions in Force; Policy 3.4.5 Communicable Diseases and Occupational Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens; Procedure Customized Training Program; Policy 3.1.4 Compensatory Time; Policy 3.2.8 Civil Leave; Policy 3.3.2 Evaluations; Policy 4.2.4 Instructional Personnel Qualifications; Policy 4.2.5 Field Trips; Policy 5.1.2 Acceptance of Transfer Students/Credit; Policy 7.2 Internet and Acceptable Use; Policy 7.3 Electronic Records and Disposition; Procedure 7.3.1 Electronic Records Retention (new procedure); Policy 7.6 Peer to Peer File Sharing; Policy 7.8 VPN Acceptable Use; Policy 4.1.4 Instructional Service Agreements; Policy 5.2.7 Curriculum Prerequisite.

The trustees reviewed biographical narratives on new employees who began work since the board last met. New employees are Natasha Evans as WCC Community Resource Development Specialist effective November 3, 2021; Wendy as Student Life Coordinator effective, November 15, 2021; V. Earl Byrd as Campus Police Captain, effective December 1, 2021; Bob Ritchie as Instructor of English for Wilkes and Ashe campuses, effective January 4, 2022; Laura Shumate as Instructor of English effective January 4, 2022; Blaine Johnson as Events Operations Specialist effective, January 4. 2022.

Retirements announced since the last board meeting include R. Darrell Finney, Dean of Arts and Sciences, effective November 30, 2021; Keith Casey, Lead Instructor, Computer Engineering and Robotics effective December 21, 2021; Lora Davis, Academic Advisor, Fine Arts Instructor effective December 31, 2021; and Lisa Muir, Instructor, English effective December 31, 2021.

Buildings and Grounds Committee

State Construction is reviewing the latest architectural drawings for the renovation of a portion of the ground floor of Herring Hall for the Wilkes cosmetology program. When the review is complete (likely late February), State Construction will authorize the college to advertise for construction bids on the project. Depending on the timing of authorization to bid, the selection of the contractor may need to occur before the April meeting. Therefore, to expedite the project, the board gave the Building and Grounds Committee authority to select the contractor for the project so the construction contract can be finalized.

The addition of four accessible restrooms (two in Thompson Hall and two in Hayes Hall) was approved at the December 2021 meeting. Final architectural drawings for the project are expected to be received in February. While the work will not occur until the summer, bidding is expected for the project in February to lock in pricing and hopefully avoid supply chain delays for materials. To expedite the project, the board of trustees gave the Building and Grounds Committee the authority to approve a contractor for the accessible restroom renovation project.

 Finance Committee

The 2021-2022 WCC Annual Fund drive began July 1, 2021, with the faculty, staff, and foundation/trustee board members. The goal is $70,000 for the campaign. As of December 17, 2021, $34,941.00 had been contributed. Priorities for this year are the Doc Watson Student Emergency Fund, Food Pantry, GED/HiSET Scholarships, Study Abroad, WCC SkillsUSA, and unrestricted funds.

MerleFest 2022 is scheduled for April 28-May 1, 2022.

Program and Planning Committee

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) Annual Meeting was held December 2-9, 2021.  WCC was represented at the meeting by Dr. Jeff Cox, President; Dr. Yolanda Wilson, Vice President of Instruction; Kim Faw, Vice President of Instruction Support and Student Services; Nicole Fogle, Executive Director of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness and SACSCOC accreditation liaison along with several other faculty and staff.

The Office of Institutional Research, Planning and Effectiveness submitted The Fifth-Year Interim Report and the Impact Report of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Report onbehalf of Wilkes Community College on September 15, 2021.

Employability services conducted a number of workshops and participated in numerous activities during 2021 to help students develop employability and job search skills to prepare for the workforce. A total of 266 group sessions/workshops were held with 385 participants.

During 2021 WCC Career Coaches provided 3,144 individual sessions (includes developing academic plans and individual meetings) reaching 1,390 high school students. The six Career Coaches combined conducted 245 group information sessions, reaching 5,467 students.

The WCC Board of Trustees will meet again on April 7, 2022, at the John A. Walker Community Center.