Dec 1, 2011

Highlights from FVCC Board of Trustees November Meeting

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

Faculty Senate Vice President Janice Alexander reported that Theatre Instructor Craig Naylor served as guest composer at San Jose State University as the wind ensemble prepares his latest composition, “Kiai!” Naylor also is directing FVCC Theatre’s upcoming production of “Annie:  The Musical” which will be performed the first two weekends in December.  Health Instructor Dr. Linda Hunt’s article, “Understanding and Helping Drivers with Alzheimer’s Disease,” was published in the November 2011 issue of “Police Chief Magazine”, the official publication of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  In addition, she will be providing educational workshops that will address communication and process for assisting drivers with dementia who have committed traffic violations, had accidents, or become lost, to law enforcement personnel throughout Washington County, Ore.

Student Government Freshman Senator Breezy McKessick announced that the FVCC Renewable Resources Club has hosted a number of recycling events, including its second aluminum can drive, a One Warm Coat drive and a clothing swap.  The FVCC Logger Sports team recently cleaned up a three-mile stretch on Highway 82 through Montana’s Adopt a Highway program.  Members of the team annually contribute hundreds of hours through volunteer efforts to give back to the community.

Deputy Commissioner for Two-Year and Community College Education John Cech joined the meeting via conference call.  He reported on the new All-Montana program spearheaded in part by FVCC President Jane Karas, Ph.D.  Established to celebrate the achievements of the top associate degree students attending Montana colleges beginning in 2012, the program is a component of the All-USA and Coca-Cola Community College Academic Teams.  The program, in partnership with Phi Theta Kappa, will help recognize student success at all Montana institutions and raise awareness of two-year colleges across the state.

Professor Emeritus Tom Jay presented an update on the college’s Poplar Garden established in 2009 to test which poplar clones survive and thrive in Northwest Montana.  The farm is one of 14 poplar test sites in the western United States and the sole test site in Montana.  This summer, with the help of an FVCC Foundation grant, an experimental garden was planted including 24 fruit trees, vegetables and vineyard wine grapes.  The harvested produce was donated to the Flathead Food Bank and the college’s Eagle’s Nest Café, Culinary Arts program and Early Childhood Center.

Director, Financial Aid Cynthia Kiefer presented the fiscal year 2011 financial aid year-end report.  Kiefer reported that the increase in Pell Grants and student loans were results of the economy and the increase in student enrollment.  Overall, $15,822, 757 in financial assistance was awarded to 2,290 students.  Of the 2,801 degree or certificate-seeking students, 74 percent received some type of financial assistance.
In action items, the Board granted tenure to Ceramics Instructor David Smith.  The Board voted to the delete the Plumbing Technology Certificate of Applied Science degree due to the lack of interest in the program from students and the community.  The Board voted to lift the Administrative Assistant program out of moratorium and change the title to Support Professional.  The new program will include courses on social networking and writing for the Web.  In addition, the Board voted to change the Medical Coding Certificate of Applied Science to an Associate of Applied Science degree.

President Karas announced that the FVCC Foundation hosted its annual Scholarship Luncheon October 27 and welcomed a record crowd of 250 guests.  Donors were recognized for contributing over $420,800 in private donor scholarship awards helping 287 students attend college, both records for FVCC.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will take place December 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.