The Wilkes Community College Board of Trustees met on Thursday, December 09, at John A. Walker Center for a holiday luncheon.

The business session began with the approval of the minutes from the October 21, 2021, Board of Trustees meeting.

College President’s Report

Dr. Cox gave an update on enrollment, budget projections and staffing implications, and the WCC Education Promise scholarship fund raising campaign.

Chairperson’s Report

Jay Vannoy, chair of the Board of Trustees, announced the NCACCT Leadership Seminar for the trustees is scheduled for March 30 – April 1, Raleigh, NC.

Program and Planning Committee

The board approved the Preferred or Non-Legal Name Policy as presented by Program and Planning committee. A brief summary of the policy is as follows.

While a person’s legal name is used by default, WCC recognizes a student’s need or choice to refer to themselves by a first name other than their legal first name. This may include individuals who use:
• A middle name or a version of their first name instead of their legal first name.
• A frequently used nickname.
• A first name that an individual is in the process of legally changing; or
• A first name that better represents an individual’s gender identity or expression.

Individuals are free to determine the preferred names by which they want to be known within
the college community. However, inappropriate use of preferred name by an individual will result in removal of the preferred name from that individual’s record. Inappropriate use includes repeated preferred name changes; preferred names used for the purpose of avoiding legal obligations or for misrepresentation or fraud; preferred names that harass, threaten or are
otherwise objectionable; or preferred names used in any other manner that violate college policy or federal, state, or local law.

Buildings and Grounds Committee

Accessible Restrooms Renovation Project – The college participated in a monitoring visit in 2013 with representatives of the US Office of Civil Rights to review campus accessibility. The monitoring visit report identified a significant number of modifications needed to meet accessibility standards. Many of these were minor, were corrected prior to 2016.

Due to the age of the buildings and the building code at the time of the original construction,
there are no accessible restrooms in Thompson Hall and Hayes Hall. Since the buildings have
been altered, upgrades to accessibility standards are required. Accessible restrooms are necessary for both the first and second floor of these buildings. When discussing options with architects, it was determined that the most cost-effective project is to add single use accessible restrooms on each floor rather than renovating existing restrooms.

Space has been identified that is both near existing restrooms and requires only minor disruption of current space use. The estimated cost of the project is $300,000 with funding provided from institutional funds or state capital funds.

The building and grounds committee requested approval of the accessible restrooms project for Thompson Hall and Hayes Hall.

Motion made, duly seconded, and carried unanimously to approve the accessible restrooms project for Thompson Hall and Hayes Hall as recommended by the building and grounds committee.

Finance Committee

The 2021-2023 biennial state budget bill was passed by the NC Legislature and signed into law by the governor on November 18. Allocations to colleges will occur after the State Board of Community Colleges approves the system budget and related policies. Some of the highlights of the budget include the following:

• Budget stabilization funds (nonrecurring) to reduce the financial impact of enrollment declines resulting from COVID-19
• Salary increases of 2.5% for each year of the biennium for faculty and staff
• Bonuses of $1,500 for employees with annual salaries under $75,000 or $1,000 for employees with annual salaries over $75,000, payable in January 2022
• Establishes a minimum hourly rate of $13 for state-funded part-time employees for 21/22and $15 for 22/23Funding to assist colleges in recruiting and retaining faculty in high-demand fields
• State capital funding for WCC of $5,514,320 to be used for new construction, repairs, and renovations (timing of availability unknown)
• Capital project limit for State Construction monitoring increases from $500,000 to $2,000,000

The WCC Board of Trustees will meet again on January 06, 2022, at the John A. Walker Center Lakey Ballroom.