Mar 13, 2012

Highlights from FVCC Board of Trustees February Meeting

The Flathead Valley Community College Board of Trustees met February 28 for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

FVCC was awarded a $60,126 Acce$$ Grant from the Student Assistance Foundation.  FVCC President Jane Karas, Ph.D., Director, Financial Aid Cindy Kiefer and Associate Director, Financial Aid Danelle Whitten accepted the check presented by Student Assistance Foundation Outreach Manager Liz Foster.

Student Government President Anna Wendt introduced herself as the new president this spring.  She announced that Student Government meetings take place every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. in the Board Room, and the meetings are open to the campus community and the public.

Faculty Senate Vice President Janice Alexander, Ph.D., reported that Ceramics Instructor David Smith’s most recent article will be published in Pottery Making Illustrated, a leading worldwide ceramic art magazine.  Surveying Instructor Dave Dorsett, along with six of his current students, attended the annual Montana Association of Registered Land Surveyors Conference.  Of the 225 surveyors in attendance, 52 were graduates of the FVCC surveying program.  Mathematics Instructor Don Hickethier, Ph.D., and Alexander were accepted to the Montana NASA EPSCoR Faculty Connections Program.  Each will receive travel fellowships to spend up to a week at a NASA research center.

Corey Johnson and David Koel of CTA Architects presented the preliminary designs for the college’s new $5 million Rebecca Chaney Broussard Nursing and Health Sciences Center.  The call for bids to construct the building is scheduled to be announced in mid-April.  The college has raised $630,000 of the remaining $1 million needed to complete the project following a $4 million gift from the Broussard family to construct the building.  The facility will house classrooms and labs for the college’s growing nursing programs and other health science programs as well as a student health clinic.

Director, Communications and Marketing Tara Roth and Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Katie Fries presented an update on college marketing initiatives.  New initiatives include rebranding the culinary institute program to the Culinary Institute of Montana and promoting the program to targeted Montana high schools that offer the ProStart culinary program, revamping the college’s promotional publications and utilizing social media for outreach.

Executive Director, Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning Brad Eldredge, Ph.D., presented an update on the college’s spring enrollment.  Full-time equivalent enrollment decreased 7.7 percent from last spring, and unduplicated headcount declined by 2.4 percent.  Eldredge attributed the drop to the large number of Trade Adjustment Assistance students who graduated last spring and said that the slight decrease in headcount was influenced by a large increase in Running Start students this spring.  Eldredge noted that the college’s enrollment is up 33 percent from spring 2008.

In action items, the Board approved a resolution calling for a trustee election to take place in conjunction with the regular school elections on May 8.  Two Board positions, one in the Flathead/Glacier High School District and one in the Columbia Falls, Bigfork and Whitefish High School Districts beginning in May 2012 and expiring in May 2015, will be on the ballot.  The Board also approved a resolution to dispose surplus property no longer suitable for use by the heavy equipment operator program.

Trustees Robert A. Nystuen, Thomas K. Harding, Ralene Sliter and Mark Holston presented information on their experiences at the Association of Community College Trustees National Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C.  The trustees shared that Montana’s United States senators and representative and their staffs were receptive to visiting with the trustees.  They noted that educating veterans has been identified as a worthwhile initiative in which the community needs to be involved.  They also commented on the common vision that community colleges are the life vest for the national economy in getting citizens trained and into the workforce.

President Karas recognized Eldredge for his excellent economic work that was presented at the 2012 Economic Outlook Seminar.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will take place March 19 at 3:45 p.m.  For more information regarding specific items included in this report or regarding college activities, contact Tara Roth at 756-3912.  For more information on board meetings, contact Monica Settles at 756-3801.