The Wilkes Community College Board of Trustees met on Thursday, October 11, at the John A. Walker Community Center located on the Wilkes Campus. Prior to the start of the business session, Kelly Pipes and Dr. Cox gave an overview of WCC’s 2018 Community College Survey of Student Engagement. A comparison was also conducted with the 2018 Aspen Prize finalist colleges who conducted the CCSSE survey in 2018, a total of five college’s and their branch campuses. The college also compared favorably to this cohort in all five of the general areas and exceeded this cohort’s scores in student-faculty interaction, student effort, active and collaborative learning, academic challenge, and support for learners.

The business session began with approval of the minutes from the August 2018 Board of Trustees meeting.

College President’s Report

Dr. Cox introduced the following two students, Joshua Knapp and Elva Swibold, who each shared their personal success story and their experience at Wilkes Community College.

After the students shared their stories, Dr. Cox gave a brief update on the progress the faculty and staff are making toward implementing the strategic plan.

Dr. Cox presented the following proposed schedule with the additional meetings required under the updated SB420 law that the state legislature approved. The main change for WCC is that the board of trustees will be required to meet six times per year instead of quarterly.

The dates agreed upon were:

  • Thursday, October 11, 2018 Walker Center
  • Friday, December 14, 2018 (lunch meeting/Christmas event for trustees) Walker Center.
  • Thursday, January 17, 2019 Walker Center
  • Wednesday, March 6, 2019 (lunch meeting) Walker Center
  • Tuesday, May 14, 2019 Walker Center
  • Thursday, August 8, 2019 Ashe Campus

Dr. Cox informed the trustees that he will be traveling to Wharton, Texas, as a member of a SACSCOC Onsite Visitation team that will make a recommendation to SACSCOC Board of Trustees regarding Wharton County Junior College’s reaffirmation. The accreditation and reaffirmation process that WCC undergoes every 10 years (every five years when accounting for the Quality Enhancement Plan that’s completed at the midpoint of the 10 years) is a peer-review system, where teams are made up by college faculty and staff from colleges not in the same state as the college seeking reaffirmation.

Dr. Cox said that he will be attending a State Policy Retreat in Minneapolis, MN from October 22-24 with folks from My Future NC Commission, on behalf of NCCS System President Peter Hans who is unable to attend.

Chairperson’s Report

Terry Bumgarner, chair of the WCC Board of Trustees, acknowledged the passing of former trustee Bob Strickland. Mr. Strickland passed away on September 21, 2018. Bob was also a founding member of the WCC Board of Trustees and served as a trustee from 1964-1973. The trustees wish to publicly extend deepest sympathies to the Strickland family.

Mr. Bumgarner announced membership of the 2018-2019 Standing Committees. Terry Bumgarner will serve as the ex-officio member of each committee. The Buildings and Grounds Committee comprises Arnold Lakey, Chair, Bill Davis, Mike Inscore, and Josh Roten. The Finance Committee includes Katrina Miller, Chair, Keith Elmore, Josh Roten, Connie Cox, and Larry Stone. The Personnel Committee comprises Gerald Lankford, Chair, Tracy Walker, Bert Hall and Gene Faile. The Program and Planning Committee includes Sylvia Robinson, Chair, Susan Murphy, and Duane Davis. And the Investment Committee includes Katrina Miller, Chair, William Watts, Susan Whittington, and Jim Smoak.

Mr. Bumgarner, chair of the Board of Trustees, announced the next trustee orientation/education session, scheduled for April in Raleigh, N.C.

Buildings and Grounds Committee

The donor recognition task force, comprised of Terry Bumgarner, Arnold Lakey, Connie Cox, Connie McNeil, Morgan Francis, and Kim Faw made the recommendation to rename Beacon Hall in honor of Nancy Church and Hilda Kendrick to Kendrick/Church Hall.

Mr. Arnold Lakey made a motion to rename Beacon Hall facility to Kendrick/Church Hall. Mr. Gerald Lanford seconded the motion and a unanimous vote followed.

Trustees reviewed the Annual Security Report (ASR), which provides three calendar years of select crime statistics for all campus locations and facilities. Additionally, it includes safety and security programs and procedures as required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. Colleges and universities are required to collect and publish the ASR by October 1 of each year.

In accordance with WCC Policy 7.06, Campus Security and Crime Awareness, data has been compiled for the required ASR for year 2018. The data is reported by location, and no major violent crimes were reported at any of the campus or non-campus locations during the 2017 calendar year. However, there were two Clery reportable incidents that occurred on the Wilkes Campus including one arrest for a drug law violation and one reported case of domestic violence. Additionally, there was one “unfounded” case of an attempted sexual assault that also was reported on the Wilkes Campus. There were no other Clery reportable crimes reported from any of the other campus or non-campus locations.

Morgan Francis, Senior VP of Finance and Administration provided the board with an update for the new culinary lab facility.

Finance Committee

A course fee of $35.00 for ART 285 is currently approved for students enrolling in ART 283 (Ceramics I) and ART 284 (Ceramics II) to help cover the high cost of instructional supplies for these courses. Plans are being made to offer ART 285 (Ceramics III), and the request was made to extend the fee to students enrolling in that course. The administration recommended adding a course fee of $35.00 to students enrolling in ART 285 (Ceramics III).

The trustees voted unanimously to approve a course fee of $35 for ART 285 (Ceramics III).

The 2018-2019 Annual Fund Drive began July 1, 2018, with the WCC faculty and staff and the foundation members. This year’s goal is $63,000.00 with current funding at $15,480. The administrative council and WCC Foundation have set the following priorities for this year’s annual fund: WCC SkillsUSA Club, Prowler Food Pantry, Doc Watson Student Emergency Fund, GED & HiSET Testing Scholarship, and Study Abroad. Each trustee is asked to consider a gift, in any amount, to the annual fund.

Personnel Committee

The trustees reviewed biographical narratives on new employees who began work since the board last met. They are Haley Campbell, Administrative Assistant, Health Sciences Division; Tathel Miller, Career Coach, Wilkes County; Amanda Handy, LEIS/HSE Data Assessment Specialist/Receptionist; Devonne Gaddy, Career Coach, Wilkes County; and Jonathan Howle, Director, Faculty and Staff Development.

Employees assuming new roles at WCC are Shane Allen who has assumed the position of lead Instructor, Building Construction effective September 10, 2018 and Jenny Webb who has assumed the role of SAGE program academic specialist effective October 1, 2018.

Resignations received since the last board meeting are John Canty, director of SAGE effective August 31, 2018 and Kirsten Seatz, SAGE academic specialist effective August 31, 2018. Mrs. Seatz will continue to work part-time at the Ashe Campus.

Trustees received copies of the 2018-2019 WCC Standing Committees and Task Forces rosters, along with information on how to access the organizational charts for college.

Program and Planning Committee

Trustees reviewed the 2018 Enrollment and FTE Report. In summary, Curriculum FTE 2016-2017 increased by 2.68% in comparison with 2015-2016. Summer 2017 FTE for Occupational Extension and Basic Skills declined slightly. Comparison charts from academic year 2016-2017 vs. academic year 2017-2018 were also provided to the board members.

The Student Government Association (SGA) at the Wilkes Campus has named the following officers to serve for the 2018-2019 school year: President, Michael Davis; Vice President, Kaitlyn Murphy; Secretary, Gregorio Rosales- Navarro; Public Information Officer, John W. Johnson; Parliamentarian, Nikki Carlton; Sophomore Senators, Alyssa Nguyen and Christopher Zeidner; and Freshman Senators, Trenton Taylor, Taylor Dixon, and Jose Renteria Cruz.

An update was given about the college fair held on Wednesday, September 12. The college sponsored and hosted this event in collaboration with Wilkes County Schools. All members of the public were invited to attend. Representatives from 52 colleges and universities were available to speak with students and parents. The College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) was also present to answer questions. CFNC is a free service of the State of North Carolina that helps students plan, apply, and pay for college. This was a great opportunity to gather information about programs of study, admissions, and other college-related questions

The WCC Board of Trustees will meet again on December 14, 2018, at the John A. Walker Center Lakey Ballroom.