Nov 9, 2012

Highlights from FVCC Board of Trustees October Meeting

The Flathead Valley Community College Board of Trustees met October 22 for its regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

Student Government President Anna Wendt reported that FVCC’s AmeriCorps Office provided 107 car washes and 71 fuel cards to local veterans in honor of September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.  Student Government hosted a free Halloween Party for kids, and the event was well attended.

Faculty Senate Vice President Janice Alexander, Ph.D., announced that Goldsmithing and Jewelry Arts student Deanna Campsall won an international jewelry design contest sponsored by Gemvision.  Mechanical engineering student Tanner Morrison was awarded a $1,500 NASA scholarship.  The second edition of Early Childhood Education Instructor Marlyn James’s book, “Focused Observations, How to Observe Children for Assessment and Curriculum Planning,” is due to be released in January 2013.  Mathematics Instructor Don Hickethier, Ph.D., has been elected to the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics board of directors.

Chemistry students Matthew Long, Colter Mumford and Laurel Sugden reported on their poster presentation at the Montana Section of the American Chemical Society fall meeting at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Mont.  They presented a summary of their project titled, “Comparative Analysis of Anodes for Metal-Air Fuel Cells.”

Early Childhood Center Director Laurie Peiffer announced the center recently received a Best Beginnings Stars to Quality Star 3 rating, the highest rating achieved in the state.  In addition to FVCC, Salish Kootenai College, Glacier High School, Flathead High School, Blackfeet Community College utilize the center as an observation learning lab for their students.   Peiffer added that the first group of infants to go through the center graduated this summer and are now attending kindergarten.

In action items, the Board approved the first reading of the Tobacco Free Campus Policy.  The policy would become effective July 2013 and would move designated smoking areas to the perimeter of campus.

The Board approved the updated master plan draft following the presentation of the plan by Tom Oslund of Oslund and Associates.  FVCC President Jane Karas, Ph.D., will share the draft with college employees, students and the community served by FVCC and will collect comments prior to the Board taking action on the final master plan.

President Karas commented on the college’s financial quarterly report, noting that fall semester enrollment was projected to be down slightly more than it is, resulting in a slight increase in revenue in tuition.  She noted that that this reflects only present data and does not take into account the spring 2013 semester.

“Right now, things are very positive,” she said.  “We are in a good place for the end of the first quarter.”

Trustees Shannon Lund, Mark Holston, Tom McElwain, Thomas K. Harding and Robert A. Nystuen reported on the Association of Community College Trustees conference they attended.  Topics covered included student success—how to quantify and maximize it; private and public partnerships; the role of manufacturing and the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) initiative; and fundraising.  McElwain said the presentations about best practices came from community colleges across the United States.  He complimented FVCC for being ahead of the game.

“We do so many of them that they talked about, and we do them very well,” he said.

Holston emphasized the popularity of community colleges and how financial resources available to students are not being maximized.

“Community colleges right now are the hottest thing in the country for their high quality, low cost and efficiency,” he said.  “Last year, there was $65 billion in student aid that went untapped.”

Nystuen noted that education is represented by 3 percent of the federal budget and commended the college for the job it is doing.

“I came away from the conference so thankful and proud to be affiliated with such a great community college,” he said.  “We certainly do the best around the country as far as I can tell.”

President Karas announced that Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labor Jane Oates met with a group of employers and educators at FVCC about the TAACCCT initiative.  Karas recognized Physics Instructor Jim Boger for being appointed to the Montana Space Grant Consortium board.  She announced that the FVCC Foundation Festival of Flavors fundraiser generated a record net of over $100,000 to support student scholarships and programs.  Karas reported the Halt Cancer at X fundraiser from The Event at Rebecca Farm, in which FVCC partnered, raised $65,000 to support cancer research, $15,000 of which was donated to two local projects to help patients in the Flathead Valley.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will take place November 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.