The Wilkes Community College Board of Trustees met on Thursday, April 12, at the John A. Walker Community Center on the Wilkes Campus. Prior to the start of the business session, Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC president gave an update of the Strategic Plan. The business session began with approval of the minutes from the January 2018 Board of Trustees meeting.

Buildings and Grounds Committee

With full board authority, the building and grounds committee approved an open-end design agreement with LS3P Associates Ltd. in June 2017. Due to ongoing small projects that need architect input, it was recommended that the open-end design agreement be extended as permitted. The board of trustees approved extending the open-end design agreement with LS3P Associates Ltd. through June 2019.

Alleghany Project Update: The architects are continuing to prepare the plans for the new welding and diesel lab building at the Alleghany Center. It is estimated that plans will be completed, and the project will be ready for construction bidding this summer. The building is expected to be completed in late winter or early spring 2019.

Ashe Capital Project Update: The property transfer from Ashe County Schools and the construction project was approved by the State Board of Community Colleges on January 19. The building and grounds committee met and interviewed three potential project architects on March 22. LS3P Associates Ltd. was selected as the project designer. Design meetings with the architect and Ashe Campus representatives began in early April. An advertisement for a construction manager at risk (CMR) was posted on March 26 with qualification packets to be received by April 25. It is anticipated that the CMR will be selected by mid-May. Early estimates call for the design and State Construction approval process to continue through spring 2019, with groundbreaking occurring in summer 2019 and project completion in spring/summer 2021.

Culinary Lab Building Project Update: MBI Builders, LLC from North Wilkesboro was chosen as the builder. The building and grounds committee has approved the contract with MBI Builders LLC in the amount of $2,190,000. Construction is set to begin on April 30 with completion in late March 2019.

Finance Committee

The board approved the 2018-2019 local budget requests for Wilkes, Ashe, and Alleghany counties. The board approved the schedule of fees for 2018-2019 year. Changes from the 2017-18 fee schedule include a new course fee of $15.00 for seated biology courses with lab hours and a change in the fee structure for career readiness certificate testing based on fees charged by the 3rd party test provider.

Program and Planning Committee

Trustees reviewed the 2018-2019 college calendar, which has been developed with no shortfall days. (There are 16 class meeting days for each day of the week.) To provide faculty with more time for preparation, a required workday is scheduled between late registration and the first day of classes for both fall and spring semesters. Professional development days have been scheduled following Labor Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Due to the April 22 date for Easter in 2019, which is also the week of MerleFest, students will be on break and employees will have that week as optional work/vacation days after the Easter Monday holiday. The board approved the calendar.

Personnel Committee

The board gave authority to the Personnel Committee to approve salaries and other personnel matters for the 2018-2019 year. The committee will approve changes and other personnel matters once the State Board of Community Colleges issues sufficient salary and benefit information for 2018-2019. In such case, the personnel committee will report these findings at the next meeting of the board.

The board approved revisions to Policy 2.20 Leave for Full-Time Employees. The amendment is to avoid potential inequities between community college and State employees in the number of days of holiday leave. The calendar committee reviewed the academic and staff calendars and recommended that Easter Monday be eliminated as a paid holiday to comply with the State Board Code amendment. This amendment is in response to the State Board of Community Colleges amending the State Board Code 200.94 – Holiday Leave

Courtney Lackey has been employed as radiography program clinical coordinator effective January 9, 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Science from UNC, Chapel Hill. Courtney served as an ultrasound technologist for CaroMont Regional Medical Center prior to accepting the position.

Malisha Henson has accepted the position of bookstore clerk, Ashe Campus, effective February 16, 2018. She holds an Associate in Applied Science in Office Systems Technology from Wilkes Community College. Prior to accepting the position, Malisha served as the services coordinator for Ashe Services for Aging.

Mary Beth Knight, Instructor, Arts and Sciences, Ashe Campus, has assumed the position of Faculty Chair, Ashe Campus effective January 1, 2018. Rebekah Gardner, Coordinator, College GEAR UP, has assumed the position of Lead Career Coach.

Retirements announced since the last board meeting are Kimrey Jordan, Lead Instructor, Culinary Arts, effective July 1, 2018 and Patsy Church, Chef, John A. Walker Community Center, effective August 1, 2018.

After a brief closed session during which the WCC Board of Trustees discussed its evaluation of Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC president, the personnel committee congratulated Dr. Cox on another outstanding year and on his successful four-year tenure as president of the college. The board voted unanimously to extend Dr. Cox’s contract for another four-year term.

Chairperson’s Report

Terry Bumgarner, chair of the WCC Board of Trustees, shared with the board that the terms of four trustees will expire on June 30. They are J. Terry Bumgarner, appointed by the Wilkes County Commissioners; Bert Hall, appointed by the Board of Education; Sylvia Robinson, appointed by the Governor; Joshua D. Roten, appointed by the Ashe County Commissioners; and Bob Hege who passed away on January 14, appointed by the Governor. Mr. Bumgarner appointed the personnel committee to serve as the nominating committee to recommend a slate of officers for 2018-2019 for the board’s consideration at its August meeting.

College President’s Report

Dr. Cox and Chairman Bumgarner presented a plaque and resolution to June Hege, Bob Hege’s wife, in honor of Bob’s service to the board. Mr. Hege served on the WCC Board of Trustees from July 15, 2016 until he passed away on January 14, 2018. Mr. Hege served with great dedication and pride in the college.

Dr. Cox provided updated information on activity in the North Carolina General Assembly related to the state’s community colleges. Senate Bill 420 that was introduced in the legislative session in 2017 will likely pass at the next legislative session. If passed, the only change that will impact WCC operations is the new requirement that all boards meet at least every two months, instead of every three months.

Academic Excellence Award

The 2018 recipient of the Academic Excellence Award is Vernon Earl Byrd. Earl earned his AAS in Criminal Justice Technology in December 2017 and will complete his Associate in Arts degree in May 2018. To enhance his degree work, Earl has taken additional EMS courses. He also has plans to attend Lees McRae College where he wants to work toward a bachelor’s in criminal justice degree. Earl has been an active member of SAGE and has served as a mentor to many students at WCC. While attending WCC as a full-time student, Earl also works second shift for a local law enforcement office.

Dallas Herring Achievement Award Nominee

The 2018 Dallas Herring Achievement Award nominee is Tracey Daughtry. Tracey had foregone employment to stay at home to provide better care for one of her daughters who has cerebral palsy. Through unforeseen life events Tracey found herself as a displaced homeworker and single parent. As a result, she found it difficult to return to the workforce. To make herself more employable and develop needed job skills, Tracey began her journey at WCC. She has since earned an Associate Degree in Human Services and will earn an Associate in Arts degree this May. Tracey plans to continue her education at ASU and obtain a degree in social work. She has been active in the human services club and is a member of Phi Theta Kapa (PTK). Currently, Tracey works as a peer tutor with the SAGE program and serves on the Board of Directors for the Child Abuse Prevention Team/Our House, where she has taught parenting classes.

Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Nominee

The 2018 Governor Robert W. Scott Student Leadership Nominee is Zion Boggess. Zion is the VP for the WCC Student Government Association and has participated in many WCC student activities such as blood drives, welcome back lunches, domestic violence awareness, and voter registration drives, just to name a few. He serves on the WCC Web and Technology Committee and is a member of the Student Leadership Development Program. Outside WCC he is active in the local 4H Club. Zion works as a freelance photographer and does work for the Wilkes Journal Patriot. Zion will graduate in May with his Associate in Arts degree and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Western Carolina University.

The WCC Board of Trustees will meet again on August 9, 2018, at the WCC Ashe Campus.

L-R: Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC president presents plaque to June Hege and her son Brian Hege in honor of the late Bob Hege’s service to the board.