Oct 31, 2011

Highlights from FVCC Board of Trustees October Meeting

The Flathead Valley Community College Board of Trustees met October 24 for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

Student Government Activity Director Cord Thompson announced that the college will hold Multicultural Day November 3.  Student organizations will host tables representing various countries around the world, providing students an opportunity to tour the world without leaving campus.  Phi Theta Kappa held its fall induction ceremony October 24.

Faculty Senate Vice President Janice Alexander reported that an article from Mathematics Instructor Don Hickethier’s 2010 doctorate dissertation, “Covariant Derivatives on Null Submanifolds,” will be published this fall in the journal, “General Relativity and Gravitation.”  Dr. Hickethier was selected as a 2011-2012 Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching) Fellow. Project NExT is a professional development program for professionals who recently earned doctoral degrees in the field of mathematical sciences.  Dr. Hickethier is one of 73 chosen for this year’s program and the only fellow selected from a community college.

Two FVCC students were awarded two $750 undergraduate research scholarships.  Under the direction of Physics Instructor Jim Boger, the students will work on FVCC’s All-sky Camera Network, the only one in Montana and outside the state of New Mexico, and will present their results at the April Symposium at Montana State University.

Theatre Instructor Joe Legate reported on his sabbatical this past spring.  In addition to attending a number of theatre productions in Seattle and New York, Legate explored new technologies and reconnected with one of his former students who now owns and operates a successful set design company in New York.

Early Childhood Center Director Laurie Peiffer presented an update on the center.  Currently, the center has 54 children enrolled.  The center has reached two-star rating, the highest child care rating achieved in Montana.  The Center is working toward applying for candidacy of accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Executive Director, Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning Brad Eldredge, Ph.D., Interim Director, Career and Technical Education Pete Wade and Executive Director, Economic Development and Continuing Education Susie Burch reported on the Business LEADS Retreat they attended in Seattle on September 26.  Sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Competitive Workforce, the retreat hosted delegations from eight states across the country for an intensive day of information exchange and planning to improve education for workforce competitiveness.  Topics of discussion included the development of clear pathways from high school to college through career clusters initiatives, the universal importance of soft skills, the Office of Public Instruction’s Graduation Matters initiative and ways to help students be successful in math.

In action items, the Trustees approved the draft strategic framework areas for the college’s strategic plan.  The Trustees approved piloting a new tuition program for the Running Start program, effective spring semester 2012.  The program involves providing all eligible in-district high school students the first six Running Start credits at no cost in tuition and fees.  Running Start credits beyond the first six will cost half of the current in-district tuition.  This program will provide local juniors and seniors interested in the Running Start program but who cannot afford the cost the opportunity to participate in the program.

President Jane Karas, Ph.D., announced that the FVCC Foundation’s Festival of Flavors event is estimated to have raised a record $60,000 for student scholarships and programs.  The college produced its own Pink Glove Dance video as an effort to raise breast cancer awareness.  The video is available to view on the college’s Facebook page and on

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will take place November 28 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.