>>Chair Jerry Cook: Good afternoon. I’d like
to call the July 19th board meeting of the Johnson County Community College trustees
to order. Would you please stand me and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance.
>>I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic
for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for
all.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you for being here.
At this time, we’ll have the roll call and recognition of visitors.
>>Ms. Terri Schlicht: This evening’s visitors include Tom Lester, Brian Batliner, Dennis
Batliner, Jalisa White, Anne Pescia, Cheryl Batliner, Katie Meserko, Blake Koger and Tammy
Baltzeu.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you. Awards and
recognitions?>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Dr. Cook, we have no awards
or recognitions this evening.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you very much.
The next item is the Open Forum. The Open Forum section of the board agenda is a time
for members of the community to provide comments to the board. There will be one Open Forum
period during each regularly scheduled board meeting. Comments are limited to five minutes
unless a significant number of people plan to speak. In that instance, the Chair may
limit a person’s comments to less than 5 minutes. In order to be recognized, individuals must
register at the door at each board meeting prior to the Open Forum agenda item. When
addressing the board, registered speakers are asked to remain at the podium, should
be respectful and civil, and are encouraged to address individual personnel or student
matters directly with the appropriate college department. As a practice, the college does
not respond in this setting when the matter concerns personnel or student issues or matters
that are being addressed through established grievance or suggestion processes or are otherwise
subject to review by the college or board. There are five registered speakers this evening.
You will be called to the podium in order of the registration. Prior to beginning comments
we ask you to state your name, address, city and state. Many of you have spoken on this
topic before, and with the number of five, I’m going to limit your remarks to four minutes
tonight rather than five. So, Tom, I think you’re the first speaker. Please come to the
podium.>>Thank you.
Good evening. My name is Tom Lester. I live in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. I’m a former employee
of Johnson County Community College. I was an employee here from 2012 ’til 2016. It’s
quite ironic the last time I was in front of the board I was here to honor a women’s
track team that did a feat that they’d never been done in the school’s history, winning
the triple crown. What you may ask is the triple crown in track and field and cross
country? The girl’s team won the regional title, both cross country, indoor and outdoor
traffic. That was in the fall of 2011, spring of 2012. Am I right with that? Never been
done before and we were in front of the board. The same feat we did two years later in 2014.
So it’s quite ironic I’m standing here for only the second time on the dismissal or disbandment
of the track team. Twenty-three years ago I was at another junior college and the same
thing happened to their track team and I was asked by the president not to come and speak
in front of the board. I was the head coach at that time. No such request was made by
anyone on this board this time. So I felt that I should come here and just say how I’m
confused how Johnson County — I’m a Jackson County resident. I understand some of the
things over there that don’t get done. But I always took pride in when I drove across
the state line I entered Johnson County, my daughters went to school here, go to KU, went
to Emporia State. Things got done over here. Things got accomplished over here. And I was
totally taken aback when I left here to go to take another coaching job, for whatever
reason, that this track program had many accomplishments, one of them — many of them, and I wasn’t
even — I even brought it up when I was on staff here. I brought an Olympian to our program
that helped us coach for a year, Maurice Mitchell. He ran for me at Ray South, went to Florida
State, came here, so we had an Olympian on staff and it was quite an experience for our
student athletes to have an Olympian part of our track and field staff. So it just concerns
me, once again, track and field, a sport that probably genders more participation our high
school throughout this area than any other sport, men and women combined, why we’re getting
rid of that program. And it just concerns me that Johnson County, one of the most affluent
communities in the United States, there’s not a vision for the athletic department to
sort — or have resources to fund all programs. Seven programs, athletic programs now have
been cut from this college in the last six, seven years. I cannot understand why. The
vision, where’s the vision in the athletic department to find people that can fund these
programs in this community? I know there are people in this community that would love to
help these programs out; golf, tennis, track and field. These are all sports that men and
women, they may not be — they’re not going to want to be professionals, but they enjoyed
the college experience. Now where does a young man, young woman go if he wants to run track
in Kansas City? Kansas City Kansas Community College, they disbanded. I guess Johnson County
didn’t have a solution. They didn’t have a solution over there, I guess Johnson County
said, well, if they did it, we’re gonna do it. I don’t know if that was the reason. But
I always thought Johnson County was the beacon of light in junior colleges throughout the
nation. One quick story before I leave. In 2012 Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon, I went
to have a pizza at the Pizza Town, one of the most famous places to eat pizza in Eugene,
Oregon. I was working at Johnson County at the time. I had a Johnson County shirt on.
And I had a gentleman from Cornell University say, “You coach at Johnson County?” I said,
“Yes, I do.” He goes, “I hear that’s the number one academic junior college in the United
States.” I felt very proud at that time representing Johnson County. Today I don’t know how proud
I feel. Thank you very much.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you, Tom. And thank
you for the service you’ve given to this college in the past and you certainly did have some
very, very good teams and athletes. Appreciate it. Next is Brian Batliner.
>>I have some handouts here. Start them down here. I hope I have enough. I have ten of
them. Some numbers that I’ll let you all look at. Brian Batliner. 11420 West 104th Street,
Overland Park, Kansas, 66214. I apologize ahead of time if I speak quickly. I’ve got
a lot to say in a short period of time.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Please proceed.
>>Okay. I’m really excited to be here. I recently moved back to this community after
four years away. I’m excited to finally have the opportunity to come here and share my
perspective on the choice to cut the track and cross country programs and more importantly
how that choice pertains to the very important budget discussions you all will be having
this evening. I grew up in this community. I graduated from Shawnee Mission South High
School, where I was admittedly a very below average student, yet by the grace of God had
a talent for distance running. And what that meant for me was that JCCC was by far my best
option to continue my education. And I’m grateful beyond measure for the opportunity I received
here. The coaches and the professors who inspired me and everything good that unfolded in my
life since then, I cannot be grateful enough for. Now, as you all might know from the e-mails
I’ve sent you, after spending six years here at JCCC as an assistant coach, I went to Phoenix,
Arizona, to take an opportunity in the Maricopa Community College District at a school by
the name of Paradise Valley Community College. There I served a role as coed track coach
and student athlete academic coordinator. My decision to leave here was a tough one.
I have a huge heart for this city and this college, but ultimately my decision to go
to Phoenix provided invaluable lessons and perspectives which ultimately strengthened
by belief in the exceptionalism of this campus and this community.
In Maricopa, my athletics colleagues would often refer to our programs as the have-nots
of the community college athletics world while the colleges such as JCCC were the haves.
This was due to the substantial financial disparity which existed with regards to supporting
our students. It is for this reason that when I heard in March of 2016 that JCCC was cutting
the track program, I was utterly dumbfounded. I remember calling Dr. Weber in an effort
to understand the mechanics behind the decision, and after I heard him out I told him then
what I will tell all of you now, which is, this decision has nothing to do with funding
and everything to do with culture. And that’s sad because eliminating track and
field and allocating that money to other programs does nothing to change the culture and thought
process which led to this decision. In Maricopa we were forced to be creative with our programs
in order to maintain a winning culture in the face of meager budgets. Tonight I provided
you with these numbers. I’m happy to go over any of them with you anytime where I got those
from. Those are the Paradise Valley Community College
numbers. I don’t need to go through all of them, but roughly, to sum it up for the public,
this college is spending five times what peer institutions in Maricopa are spending on its
athletics programs. Five times. And that hasn’t changed. Despite this exorbitant difference
in spending, Paradise Valley Community College, for example, has won 11 national championships.
JCCC has also won 11. However, five of those were in sports which we no longer maintain
here. I provide these numbers as a clear evidence
of the fact that this college is beyond capable of maintaining all of its athletics programs
and still competing at a high level. To that point, I refuse to stand idly by and say nothing
as we cut seven programs, as Tom mentioned, over a five-year period and cite a lack of
funding when I know beyond a doubt that we can do better than that.
The point that we have all been on a mission to get across all along is that cutting the
track and cross country programs leaves an irrevocable hole in the fabric of this campus
and this community. You cannot calculate the impact that will be lost. And no amount of
increased enrollment or facility improvements or wayfinding structures, as valuable as they
are, they are valuable, none of that’s going to bring back the unique opportunity that
this program provided. We’re not saying that everything you embarked on with the Facilities
Master Plan does not paint a bright future for the college. We believe it does. What
we’re asking is that you stop and give serious, serious thought to what we are all losing
in the process. The fact is that these programs provided a unique avenue to an education for
one of this campus’s most diverse student groups. They drew athletes from all over the
metro and the state and the country and even the world to this unique campus, to this most
exceptional of campuses and communities. That is what we’re here fighting to maintain.
I’ve seen the impact of these programs with my own eyes and you’re going to hear a great
story about — from one of those athletes later. I’ve seen it as a coach and as an athlete,
and I can tell you without a doubt that reinstating them is a pretty worthwhile venture to undertake.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Brian, if you could bring closure. You’re over four, but please —
>>Okay. I leave you with a question, a couple questions. Just how innovative are we here?
This is a challenge. Is there a way to reinstate track and maintain these programs for future
generations? Is there a way? Thank you.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thanks, Brian. Next is
Jalisa? Jalina White. Sorry.>>Hi, everyone. I’m just here to tell you
my atypical story here at Johnson County.>>Chair Jerry Cook: If you could give your
address, that would be great.>>I live in Paola, Kansas now. When I was
here I was in Gardner. I am the first person in my family to go to college. The plan was
to go to Wichita. Had a full scholarship there. And things happened and I ended up becoming
pregnant with my beautiful daughter, Maia. So track was done. I was done. Johnson County
was the next best option. Nursing was the next best option. And I called Coach Batliner
and I was like, you know, is there any possibility that I could join the team? To which he stated
it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be hard, but you can do it if you stick your mind to
it. And due to that, I was able to stay on the track team and I was able to go to regionals,
go to nationals, place in nationals. I also competed while in nursing school. This school
is an atypical school. You guys see so many different, diverse and different athletes,
students, and I think the track team gave me that ability to succeed. If not for that,
I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now. I would have just been another student, another number.
I could very easily have just been another statistic, another young African American
woman who ended up knocked up, in layman’s terms. But I didn’t. And that’s because of
this school. And that’s because of this program. I am now a NICU nurse, proudly. I am on the
transport team. I love what I do. I love this community. I love this college. And I love
the impact that this college had on not only my life, but others. I have others that come
up to me and say you did it. You drive me to be able to do it. I’m married. I have two
beautiful children. And if not for their ability to drive me, they called me to check on me.
D-I colleges don’t really care about what happens to me. If I would have dropped out,
I would have dropped out. I would have been just another statistic, again. Coach Lester
called me up. Hey, are you okay? I’m like my daughter’s sick, I’m sorry, I’ve been out
for an entire week. And he said, okay, get better, get your daughter better and we’ll
see you. Pushed me to make it. And because of that I was able to compete and place nationally,
twice. I am currently the indoor stadium champion in the triple jump and blessed to be able
to say I did that. But if not for this community, if not for this team, I would not have been
able to drive myself to get there and drive others to get there. The team has impacted
many people’s lives, not just my own. And I just think that the community itself thrives
on this culture and I think these coaches and this community would just be so much better
if we all just kind of came together and realized that it’s more than just the numbers. That’s
it. Thank you.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you very much.
Appreciate it. Blake Koger.>>Blake Koger. 24853 148th Court, Olathe,
Kansas. At the end of the May meeting, in one of the few statements anyone from the
board has really made, Trustee Cook said that he was scheduled to be at the meeting along
with Trustee Musil that we tried to set up, and it ended up canceling. He said, quote,
I felt badly about that, but that was a decision that evidently the track group did not want
to hear all of the decisions that went into that process, end quote. He went on to state
that he thinks the board made the decision in the best interest of the college moving
50 years ahead, talked about the front door of the college, all of that as if that really
had anything to do with our — our efforts, because there are numerous doors to the college,
and really the location of the track doesn’t matter.
But he was right, we didn’t want to talk — we didn’t want to hear about all of the decisions
that went into the process. We wanted to have a meaningful discussion. That’s not asking
for much really. We’ve heard ad nauseam the reasons for the decisions, and literally none
of it adds up. So that doesn’t help anything. At the behest of the board, we’ve — in addition
to other meeting requests we had, we requested this additional meeting. In planning that,
we went out of our way to arrange a meeting with some highly influential community stakeholders
who have unparalleled experience and perspective to provide their insight on the importance
of these programs and the many possibilities to maintain them. As of March 21st, we had
the following lined up: a local high school — a local coach in the Shawnee Mission School
District with over 30 years of experience and one of the absolute most successful and
influential educators in our community; a local coach and former head of the Kansas
High School Coaches Association; a local coach in the Olathe School District with over three
decades as an educator in our community; a local educator from a neighboring high school;
and a local coach of one of the largest youth clubs in Johnson County.
While all of these people are coaches, you shouldn’t continue to fall into the trap of
thinking that these are just track people, as — as Trustee Musil as stated, or however
else we have phrased this. These are educators of young lives in our community. They have
had positive influence on thousands of youth in our community. And their voices should
be heard on this issue. One of those coaches who had planned to take a half day off work
and attend this meeting told us that the day before the meeting, he was talking to another
coach planning on meeting, and they wanted to know if the meeting will be, quote, “we
hear you and we are considering,” or a “shut-the-hell-up and we’re done with you” type of meeting,
end quote. On March 21st, Dr. Weber got back to us and said the meeting would be arranged,
but stated that, quote, it is our hope that miscommunications about the decision can be
cleared up at this meeting. Please note that we do not plan to entertain future program
considerations as part of this meeting. As we’ve stated publicly in previous conversations,
the decision has been made by the college, and the college has already moved forward
with resource allocations as a result of the decision. End quote.
With that, we had our answer for the coach’s question of what this meeting was designed
to be. From there, the discussions toward the meeting devolved quickly and for good
reason. We are trying to go out of our way to do the due diligence the administration
didn’t do to involve voices that should have been involved from the beginning. And you
are all clear, you don’t have any interest in discussing this. You never have, not with
alumni, coaches, community members, no one. I’ve been beating this drum for months now.
It’s clear to me that the administration has made this decision on their own and only considered
viewpoints that match their own. All we wanted is open dialogue. And it’s clear that’s one-sided.
As evidenced in the e-mail sent to the Board of Trustees before the March meeting whereby
Chris Gray provided the verbatim speech that Dr. Cook delivered to us after the Walk The
Track event, Gray stated that, quote, we will have a statement for the board meeting Thursday
for Dr. Cook and President Sopcich, provide some information and fact to some misleading
statements that may have circulated and also to close the door on this topic. End quote.
Close the door? I mean we’ve been trying like crazy to keep that door open because it matters.
It matters to a lot of people, including all of those willing to attend that meeting. Again,
not because of our own self-interest, as President Sopcich so ridiculously claimed, but because
we genuinely care about the education and experiences of our youth. It would be nice
if you all saw that, looking out from your ivory towers. Thank you.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you, Blake. Next speaker is Dennis Batliner.
>>Kind of narrow aisleways back there. Dennis Batliner. 10000 Perry Drive, Overland Park,
Kansas, 66212. I’m here to again address your decision to end the track and field and cross
country programs and remove the outdoor track. Many times I’ve heard that the decision has
been made, dollars have been reallocated, and the college is moving forward for the
next 50 years. I agree with long range planning. But I also believe in flexibility. We can’t
be sure what will happen next week, much less what education will look like over the next
50 years. Yet repeatedly, I have heard and read statements by you that indicate a lack
of flexibility and reassessment of decisions. From an internal e-mail by President Sopcich
to the board concerning the track issue, he states, quote, we will increase student fees,
in other words, raise tuition on 19,000 students to fund track scholarships for approximately
50 students and the track program. Please note that this added expense will go on perpetually
and grow as the competitive nature or arms race in collegiate sports gains further momentum.
Additionally, we will have to increase the General Fund to cover unbudgeted costs. Likewise,
this increase will also go on perpetually and grow equally as fast.
Now, I have a number of issues with that statement, but I’ll only say that I can not imagine that
the faculty at this institution teaches students that making a decision is for perpetuity that
things cannot be altered, that a rate of change should be extrapolated to infinity. That’s
why we have education, to learn when and how to change things for the better. JCCC has
now eliminated somewhere around nine sports, track and field, cross country, golf, men’s,
women’s, all that, with track and field being the largest. So you’ve eliminated the potential
students on campus, the students that market JCCC nationwide, students that are mentored
daily by coaches. But over that same period of time, enrollment here has decreased and
it’s budgeted down again 2% this year, while the county population has gone up, quite a
bit. Certainly there are multiple reasons for the decreased enrollment, some not controllable
by you, but some are. If the trend in managing community colleges is to a corporate model,
these decisions seem odd. Corporations having decreasing customers and rising budget expenditures
typically have longevity problems. JCCC has declining customers and rising budget expenditures.
But this is not a for-profit corporation. This is a community college, funded by 80%
of which by those of us in the community, not those directly paying tuition for their
education. And that’s fine. We want everyone to have opportunities. So spending $110 million
on a new front door and a bunch of buildings may be a great thing, and in 50 years other
decisions like eliminating sports programs may look good equally as well. But nothing
that I’ve seen or heard from you indicates that will necessarily be true. Just as you
found somehow magically $7.4 million a while back to further enhance the Student Center,
the budget can be altered to fund track and field and cross country and a new track. It
just takes some flexibility in your decision making process. Thank you.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you, Dennis. Appreciate your time. That concludes the Open Forum session
and I hereby close the Open Forum. I will just — I will just say I guess in a comment,
Tom, this is your first presentation here. Several of you have spoke several months.
There’s no doubt that the history of the track and program has been exceptional. I just came
back from a national ACCT meeting with representations from all over the country and as we talk about
their ongoing commitment to sports, in some states where you’d think they have a lot of
activity, they’ve eliminated their programs in community colleges. Some have — don’t
have — have any sports but intramural. Now, that doesn’t support your case or support
our case of being flexible and putting track back in the program. I would just say that
one of you made the comment that was an administrative decision. The Board of Trustees made that
decision. We stand by that decision in terms of how we look at all the programs we offer
for all of our students and all of our programs, and we have felt that that was the appropriate
decision at this time going forward. You have deep passion. You’ve been here several times.
I appreciate your commitment to the sport. We’ve had people talk about our own relatives
and friends that have been in the track program and athletics, and we understand your passion
for that. College Lobbyist Report. Mr. Carter is not
here tonight.>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Mr. Carter is not here
tonight. Members of the Board have received his written statement. Any questions to that?
>>No.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Trustee Musil?
>>Trustee Greg Musil: Could I just mention something in response to the Open Forum since
my name was invoked during that? I disagree with the comment, I think it was Blake made,
that the board hasn’t made any statements on this. I spoke to it in January. I spoke
to it in March. I spoke to it in April, at length. I’ve responded to all the e-mails.
The issue here is whether there can be agreement with the priorities of the campus as established
by this board. It’s not a funding issue in that Johnson County can’t afford whatever
we want to afford. I’ve said that before on this topic. Of all the things we could do,
what should we do for all of the students so that they have an ability to afford this
and not pay student fees for other students to succeed? And I agree about the issue about
the not advantage overarching idea about the athletic program because the more I learn
about this, and I’m as avid a sports fan as there is in the world, particularly around
K-State sports, all of them, I watched the high jumper in the NCAA championships because
there’s a K-State guy in there. But we spend an inordinate amount of money on students
in certain programs that aren’t academic and those are good programs and they help kids
get better, but we have decided as a board and, you know, to say we look out from our
ivory tower, everybody on this board works in this community, volunteers in this community,
serves on charities in this community, have had kids go through school in this community,
so I — I don’t really appreciate that kind of comment that there’s been some lack of
thought. It’s a difference of opinion on priorities and judgments, and you have every right to
come up and disagree with my priorities and my judgments. That’s absolutely what you have
the right to do and you’ve done it effectively. But I think I’ve spoken on this, I think the
board has acted on it and I guess that’s enough said.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you. Back to the College Lobbyist Report, I really appreciate
the e-mail regarding the process for the debate held last week for candidates for the governor’s
position on the Republican side. And I just think it’s important for us to know in case
you hear why did that happen on campus, they rented the facilities, like any other group
can rent the facilities. And so I appreciated the detail of that report.
Anything else on lobbyist report? Committee reports and recommendations. Trustee
Lindstrom. Management.>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Thank you. Just
one second here. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The Management Committee met at 8 a.m. on
Tuesday, July 3rd, here in the board room. Information related to that meeting begins
on Page 1 and runs through Page 17 of the board packet. The Management Committee received
several presentations from staff. Barbara Larson, Executive Vice President for Finance
and Administrative Services, presented information on an agreement with Basehor-Linwood School
District regarding driver’s education training. This agreement can be found in the Consent
Agenda on Page 35 of the board packet. Tom Clayton, Director of Insurance and Risk Management,
presented his semiannual property and liability insurance program update. Tom does a wonderful
job with that. Tom provided updates on our risk management program to the Management
Committee each year and it’s clear that he does an excellent job in serving the campus
and in controlling costs. Rachel Lierz, Associate Vice President of
Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer, gave an update on Johnson County’s assessed
valuation, the final determination of the college’s ad valorem tax revenue. Jim Feickert,
Director of Procurement Services, presented the the Sole Source Report, as well as the
summary of awarded — awarded bids between 25,000 and $100,000. That summary is on Page
7 of the board packet. Rex Hays, Associate Vice President of Campus Services and Facility
Planning, gave a Monthly Update on Capital Infrastructure, and this report is on Page
13 of the packet. He also reviewed a report on financial status of Facilities Master Plan
projects, and that is on Page 14 of the packet. Tom Pagano, Vice President of Information
Services and Chief –>>Dr. Barbara Larson: Information.
>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Information, thank you.
— Information Officer introduced Sandra Warner, Deputy Chief Information Officer and Director
of Administration and Computer Services. Sandra provided a quarterly update on projects in
Information Services. This report begins on Page 15 of the packet. Next, Ms. Warner gave
a review of the access control responsibilities, responsibilities and activities for this past
year, and discussed plans for future improvements. The Management Committee has several recommendations
to present this evening. The first, Barbara Larson presented a draft of the 2018-2019
Management Committee working agenda as presented on Pages 2 and 3 of your packet, and the recommendation
is the recommendation of the Management Committee that the Board of Trustees approve the 2018-2019
Working Agenda, and I will make that motion.>>Trustee Greg Musil: Second.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: We have a motion and a second. Any discussion? All in favor signify
by saying aye. (Ayes.)
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Opposed? Motion carries.>>Trustee David Lindstrom: The second recommendation
tonight from the Management Committee came from Rachel Lierz. She presented recommendations
related to the college’s fiscal 2018-2019 budget. The Notice of Public Hearing is on
Page 4 of the board packet and states that the board will hold its public hearing on
the budget in August. And therefore, is it the recommendation of the Management Committee
that the Board of Trustees accept the recommendation of the college administration to authorize
publication of the Notice of Public Hearing form for the 2018-2019 budget subject to the
adjustment of actual expenditure figures, which are available. Furthermore, is it the
recommendation of the Management Committee that the Board of Trustees accept the recommendation
of the college administration to authorize the publication of Notice of Vote for the
2018-2019 budget at a later date, and I would make that motion.
>>Trustee Greg Musil: I’ll second.>>Chair Jerry Cook: We have a motion and
a second. Any discussion?>>Trustee Lee Cross: Why the need, Mr. Chair,
to separate the Notice of Vote for a later date?
>>Trustee Greg Musil: The second one is a statutory requirement. I think anytime you
accept any more than assessed in revenues than the prior year, you have to vote separately
on that.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Okay. Thank you.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Good question. Any other questions or comments? All in favor signify
by saying aye. (Ayes).
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Opposed? Motion carries.>>Trustee David Lindstrom: The third recommendation
was one based on Request for Proposal and it was the recommendation for the athletic
team charter bus service. Therefore, it is the recommendation of the Management Committee
that the Board of Trustees accept the recommendation of the college administration to approve the
annual contract with Crossroad Tours for the regular season athletic team charter bus in
the amount not to exceed 85,000 — or in the amount of $85,867 post-season athletic charter
bus service as needed based on the amount not to exceed $40,608, and an additional $12,647.50
to allow for contingencies, possible unforeseen costs, for a total expenditure not to exceed
$139,122.50 for athletic team charter bus services, and I would make that motion.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Second.>>Chair Jerry Cook: We have a motion and
a second. Any discussion? Any discussion? All in favor signify by saying aye.
(Ayes).>>Chair Jerry Cook: Opposed? Motion carries.
>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Before I continue I would ask if Trustee Musil or Trustee Snider
have anything to add that relates to Management Committee.
>>Trustee Greg Musil: I do not.>>Trustee Paul Snider: I was not at the meeting,
so I appreciate your update.>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Finally, before
I conclude my report, I want to acknowledge the retirement in this month’s board packet.
Mitch Borchers, College Associate Vice President for Business Services, will be retiring at
the end of this month. He has — Mitch, I know you’re there. Oh, there you are. He has
admirably served the college for nearly 27 years. As someone who has gotten to know Mitch
through his work on the Management Committee, Mitch, I want to thank you for your professionalism
and your tremendous work and service to the college. Thank you very much. If we had a
vote, I would vote no. (Laughter.)
(Applause.)>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Dave, could I just say
something?>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Yes.
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Mitch, on behalf of the college, want to thank you for your years
of exemplary service. I mean over all the years that I’ve known you and all the years
that you’ve supervised, they just run in prime shape. Any issues we ever had you addressed
them so professionally and with so much empathy for anyone who might have raised any issues
at all. So I just want to thank you. It was a pleasure to serve with you, and probably
the highest compliment is that you have the respect and admiration of everyone who works
here, anyone you’ve ever worked with. So thank you so much.
>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Mitch, we will miss you. And, Mr. Chairman, that concludes
my report.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you, Trustee Lindstrom.
Mitch, I don’t really have anything to add to what’s been said except this: When your
predecessors left, I think there were some saying oh my goodness, what are we going to
do now. And then you came along. And now I’m sure we’re sitting here saying now what do
we do next month? But you came along and you’ve trained people very, very well. And so your
footprint and legacy were on this campus prior to your current position and will be here
thereafter. So thank you very much for everything you’ve done. You’ve always been steady-ready
and we appreciate that very much. Wish you the best, my friend.
President’s Recommendations. First item is the Treasurer’s Report. Trustee Cross.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Thank you, Mr. Chair. The board packet contains the Treasurer’s
Report for the month ended May 31st, 2018. Some items of note include Page 1 of the Treasurer’s
Report is the General Post-Secondary Technical Education Fund summary. May was the 11th month
of the college’s 2017-2018 fiscal year. And during the month of May, the college made
scheduled payments on the Series 2011, 2012, and 2015 revenue bonds totaling $237,225,
which are reflected in the Revenue Bond Debt Service Fund in the Treasurer’s Report. An
ad valorem tax distribution of 39.5 million was received from Johnson County — excuse
me, from the Johnson County Treasurer during June and will be included in next month’s
report. The college’s unencumbered cash balance as of May 31st, 2018, in all funds was 93.4
million, which is approximately 1.6 million higher than at the same time last year. Expenditures
in the Primary Operating Funds are within the approved budgetary limits and it is, therefore,
Mr. Chair, the recommendation of the college administration that the Board of Trustees
approve the Treasurer’s Report for the month ended May 31st, 2018, subject to audit.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: We have a motion. Is there a second?
>>Second.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Ingram seconds. Any discussion?
All in favor signify by saying aye. (Ayes.)
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Yes.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Opposed? Motion carries.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Mr. Chair, that concludes my report.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you, Trustee Cross. Monthly Report to the Board, Dr. Sopcich.
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Thank you, Dr. Cook. You’ve all received the President’s Report here,
a rather lengthy document that kind of details a lot of what’s happening on campus in all
the various departments. I’m just going to cover a few things. First of all, the Council
of Presidents for the Community Colleges in Kansas got together, kind of like almost a
near spontaneous meeting to discuss some key issues. I want to share some of those issues
with you. The first thing is concurrent enrollment. About, oh, 20 to 25% of our enrollment here
is concurrent, which means classes that are taught in the high schools by high school
faculty but who have the proper credentials. It’s a big part of what we do. There was an
effort last year in the legislature to make that more accessible across the state. And
to do that, the issue is, it falls on the backs of the community colleges to get it
done, but how would community colleges be reimbursed? So that’s the big topic of discussion
among community colleges. In general, through a lot of calculations,
the community colleges believe that they should receive $183 per credit hour, which would
be $550 per student per course. It’s a little bit different for us because we’re able to
use high school faculty, whereas other schools don’t have that luxury throughout Kansas.
So it’s much more expensive when they use full-time faculty for this. So it is an issue.
We’re on record of saying that how we are set up here, that we could do it in the neighborhood
of $60 a credit hour. So you see the discussion that’s going on across the state. That’s concurrent.
Who knows if that issue is ever going to be — going to be resolved.
Property tax relief. Among the community colleges across Kansas, a big issue is property tax
relief as their local mill levies are extremely high. Back in ’99, when SB 345 was enacted,
they eliminated out-of-county reimbursement. So for some schools, we do charge a premium
for students who come from outside of Johnson County. A lot of community colleges across
Kansas do not. There are other opportunities for increased revenue that they don’t take
advantage of because of their interest in growing enrollment that way. So that’s another
issue. Property tax relief will always be a big deal.
General education funding hasn’t been looked at for many years while the focus has been
technical education funding, so those schools that are reliant upon general ed, they’re
in need of greater revenue. And also, another issue is called re-centering. Currently we
are reimbursed by the state the same amount every year, regardless if our enrollment goes
up or down. Our enrollment has slid while other enrollments in about five schools have
grown. So you have — if you look at all the community colleges in Kansas, you have five
states — or five schools with growing enrollment, and that would be 14 schools with declining
enrollment. The challenge is to re-center that so now everyone would be reimbursed accordingly.
During the recession, our enrollment jumped 10%. So the way it was set up is that we were
getting less money per individual students at that time. Now we’re getting more money
per individual student than we were, but some of these other schools are not. That would
cost us about $900,000 that we would have to basically redistribute to another school.
So it will be an interesting debate over the time ahead.
Service areas are always discussed as other schools are — are critical — critically
looking to expand their programming. The bottom line is that when it comes to a position for
the community colleges, we have one vote. We just have one vote, despite — regardless
of how big we are. We do a third of concurrent across the state, yet on these issues we just
have one vote. So that’s a part of being — that’s what we get for being a part of the statewide
organization. So I just wanted to share that with you.
Also want to introduce Dr. Leroy Cox. Dr. Cox, you might want to wave. Dr. Cox is our
new Dean of Business. We welcome Leroy. We’re glad to have you on board. So thank you for
coming out to the meeting tonight. I want to read to you a letter that I received
from Gretchen Thum. This was a letter she received from a student. I won’t say his name.
Gretchen is our Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Communications. She does all kinds
of great things. She brings VML here on campus. John Cook, their CEO, speaks to our students.
If you ever get a chance when they’re on campus, you should stop by. They do a great job. They’ll
bring about 10 or 12 staffers as well. So here’s the letter. It’s — the subject
is “Just Wanted To Say Thanks.” Odds are you probably don’t remember me because
we didn’t have much real-life interaction. You helped me get an internship at 610 Sports
Radio in 2014. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go, but
I knew sports was my passion. I got hired within a couple of months after I started
my internship. Fast-forward a few years later after countless hours of work on and off the
clock, I’m now a full-time radio producer and personality at 610. Without that first
step that you made possible, I wouldn’t have made it to this point and I just wanted to
say thank you for helping me when I needed some direction to find the passion in my life.
I’m highly focused on my career, but I’m trying to carve out time to help other young people
break into the business because I know how hard it can be and what it takes. Even in
my busy day-to-day life, I try to remember the hardship I’ve gone through to make it
here and appreciate the accomplishments that I’ve made so far. I just wanted to remember
to thank you because you were one of the first people who made this possible for me.
This is what we do here. And this is how members of our faculty and our staff shape the lives
of many of our students. So I wanted to thank Gretchen for forwarding this and thank the
faculty and staff that are a part of these types of things every day, because we do inspire
students to learn and succeed here at Johnson County Community College.
So thank you, Dr. Cook.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you. Any questions
of Dr. Sopcich? Reports from Board Liaisons. I don’t think we have any old business or
new business. So reports from board liaisons. Faculty Association, Dr. Harvey.
>>Dr. Melanie Harvey: Hello. I just want to start by saying that I really appreciate
the NICU nurse that shared her story of being a student here. You know, this is a very special
place and we have a lot of very special students and faculty and staff, and I love hearing
about how people were able to, you know, just better their lives through this institution.
So thank you so much for sharing that. We have not yet reached a contract agreement.
Of course that is a very important thing to the faculty. We are still willing to continue
to negotiate, so that’s where we are. My report today is somewhat inspired by an
article that I read. It’s from last summer. It’s in a publication put out by the National
Education Association’s Higher Ed Journal. And it’s an article entitled — it’s by John
Messier entitled Shared Governance and Academic Freedom: Yes, This is Union Work. And it seemed
appropriate to talk about those two items and especially their relevance to a union,
a faculty union. Shared governance is a complex partnership. It promotes collaboration, shared
decision-making and accountability, and in the whole operation of the college. Everyone
has a role to play and some groups are given primary authority over specific areas, but
there has to be a mutual inter-dependence among all the stakeholders because decisions
impact more than just one area. They impact a lot of others as well. And those — those
that are involved in a lot of different things realize that of course, all those connections.
Typically, faculty are given primary responsibility and authority over curriculum, pedagogy, faculty
status and scholarship, but it’s also critical that the faculty can make recommendations
on financial matters and decisions that impact academic programs and our students. This is
a complicated balance, of course, of who is ultimately responsible for decisions and,
you know, what does it look like for faculty to give input into decision-making? That’s
the million dollar question, right? I would say that the primary role of the FA is definitely
advocacy, and within that, our role on campus has a number of features that support shared
governance. We’re invited to speak here, like I am tonight. We’re regularly asked to select
faculty to serve on — on most of the really important committees at this institution,
ranging from planning to policy, to hiring. In the role of FA president, I’m given a seat
at the table to ask questions and comment on all sorts of decisions. I was in one just
today where we talked about the policy of naming buildings and rooms on campus. And
so that’s part of shared governance, right? In each of these instances, I do my best to
think about what my colleagues would want, what would be in the best interests of the
students that we teach in our classrooms. Now, I’ve also been hearing over the past
several years from various people at various times that the FA is not able to adequately
deal with academic freedom issues. This was something I heard actually from other faculty
from time to time, and it’s an idea that was promoted and perpetuated on our campus. And
I can tell you I’ve been in this position for exactly two months and I don’t believe
that we have an academic freedom problem at this institution. However, I will tell you
that I have already had two completely different situations with completely different faculty
in different areas on this campus where I found myself advocating for issues directly
related to academic freedom on their behalf. And the reason I say that we don’t have a
problem here is just because we received immediately a tremendous amount of support from the administrators
that we took our problem to. So they were in full agreement that, yes, in fact this
was not okay and but I do know that this is very much union work. Academic freedom and
promoting that is very much an integral part of what we do, because like I said, I’ve already
had two instances just in the last two months. So shared governance is union work, and academic
freedom is also union work. They are both directly connected to working conditions and
they’re both hallmarks of quality institutions of higher ed. And I think the reason that
you’ve seen our faculty express a desire to negotiate items that involve both of these
is because we do have a desire to solidify our rights and our responsibilities and our
role in these areas in more official ways instead of them just being sort of understood,
but to actually document some of those. And when it comes to morale, certainly appropriate
compensation for work is very, very important. But working conditions is also important and
anytime rights and responsibilities of employees are dismissed or there’s a perception that
they’re not fully valued, it does seem like a loss to those employees, and that impacts
morale, too. So these are items that are also very near and dear to us as faculty and they’re
very much a part of the work of our union, and so I just wanted to share that with you
tonight, and that concludes my report.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you, Dr. Harvey.
Appreciate that very much. Comments? Questions? Trustee Musil?
>>Trustee Greg Musil: Did I get a bathroom named after me or anything?
(Laughter.)>>Dr. Melanie Harvey: It’s going to cost
you. (Laughter.)
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Good answer.>>Trustee Greg Musil: I just want to say,
I mean Dr. McCloud is not here and I think the fact that we now have an academic freedom
statement on campus, it’s the official policy is helpful. I agree, I don’t think we’ve seen
an academic freedom issue that hasn’t been able to be resolved. Because of that effort,
I learned when I was Chair and Collegial Steering that they’re about the AAUP’s academic freedom
statement, which I think was first 1940 and updated in 1972, and I read it and I agreed
with it 100%. As with other topics that have come up here tonight, the problem is that
it involves judgment calls, like other things we do here, and I appreciate the fact that
I’ve always felt like I could have a dialogue with you and a discussion, and if we disagreed
we still smiled at each other and we didn’t hit each other or anything else. I think academic
freedom is everyone’s job. It may be union work, but it’s all our work, and I hope — I’m
glad to hear that in the recent things you had to advocate for that those — that right
was recognized and the balance and consensus was reached on those. I think that’s a good
start in your first two months.>>Dr. Melanie Harvey: Good. I also want to
add, though, that there has been an interest in — from the Faculty Association — in having
an academic freedom part in our Master Agreement as well, and that’s not uncommon. A lot of
unions across the country have had sections in their Master Agreements that have — that
speak to academic freedom. And it’s just more of, you know, our academic dean can put — our
Vice President of Academic Affairs can put a statement on a website, but that is a top-down
statement declaration. When something goes in to our contract, it is a mutual agreement
that we have both agreed upon that it’s important. And so it has a different kind of existence.
>>Trustee Greg Musil: I appreciate that. I hope faculty acknowledges that we have a
statement and that we haven’t had, to my knowledge, huge issues with academic freedom.
>>Dr. Melanie Harvey: I don’t –>>Trustee Greg Musil: It will constantly
be a problem — constantly be a topic of discussion.>>Dr. Melanie Harvey: Right. And that’s kind
of what I wanted to establish, that it is part of what we do. We deal with academic
freedom. But we’ve also had a very positive — I’ve had very positive interactions; any
time there is a small issue that comes up, it’s immediately recognized that, you know,
that it was a problem and that it wasn’t okay. And so in that sense I don’t feel like this
institution has an overall academic freedom problem, not that I’ve seen. But I have witnessed,
just individual issues that come up from time to time and — and people that need to be
reminded.>>Trustee Greg Musil: I appreciate your attitude.
I do.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Any other comments or
questions? Thank you, Melanie, appreciate it very much. Johnson County Research Triangle,
Trustee Lindstrom.>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Mr. Chairman,
I have a very brief report tonight. Just want to remind everyone the last time J-CERT met
was on Monday, May 7th, at KU campus, and then the next meeting is at — on November
7th at Kansas State Olathe campus and that’s just FYI. But the good news is that June sales
tax receipts in Johnson County for J-CERT were $1,500,057.15, which is almost 11.5%
more than 2017. That concludes my report.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Any questions of Trustee
Lindstrom? Trustee Snider?>>Trustee Paul Snider: Trustee, my recollection
is the college does not get any J-CERT funds, is that correct?
>>Trustee David Lindstrom: That’s true.>>Trustee Paul Snider: We’re just part of
the Steering Committee because we’re part of the community and forward thinking on education
issues?>>Trustee David Lindstrom: (Inaudible).
>>Trustee Paul Snider: Thank you.>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Yes.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Good question. We have a seat at the table, but no revenue. (Inaudible).
Kansas Association of Community College Trustees, that should now be Ms. Ingram, as she’s the
official representation. If you’ll make that change on the agenda that she’ll be giving
the report. So do you have a report?>>Trustee Greg Musil: Thank God.
(Laughter.)>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: Thank you very much.
While the meeting was going on, he leaned over and said there will be an orientation
and it will be a week, but anyway, no, I don’t have a report this evening. We do meet again
in September at Highland Community College, so I will be there at that time and appreciate
the opportunity to take over where you have left. Several of us have had the opportunity
to attend those meetings in the past and I think we all understand the respect that Johnson
County Community College has. And so likewise, when you were changing your position, it was
Dr. Cook who nominated me for the secretary position, and Greg Musil looked at me and
said, did you know about what? I did. But anyway, they have a lot of respect for you,
so I know that they’re looking forward to that transition being very smooth.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: And for those of you that missed the last meeting, she was elected
secretary of KACCT, so she is an official officer of the organization.
>>Trustee Greg Musil: Mr. Chairman, she also shared with me that coming back from Colorado,
she stopped — or going out she stopped at Colby to drive around the campus and ran into
the president and so she has already started her ambassadorship because I’m sure that went
around the campus very quickly that a Johnson County Community College trustee member cared
enough to stop and look at Colby Community College, so. She’ll do a great job.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: That is impressive to be way out there and make that stop. Foundation,
Ms. Ingram?>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: The Foundation did
not meet this month, so I do not have a report.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you. The next item
is the Consent Agenda. It’s an item where we deal with a lot of routine items. If anybody
has any item to pull off, and I will get to you, Becky, in a second, I would entertain
a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.>>Trustee Greg Musil: So moved.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Do we have a second?>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: Second.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: We have one item that Becky needs to clarify on the item before
we vote and approve. So, Becky, if you would address that issue.
>>Becky Centlivre: Sure. On the bottom of Page 4 and the top of Page 5, there’s six
entries that show a thousand plus dollars per hour. The clarification is that should
be a thousand plus dollars per credit hour. Sign stead of just per hour. And those are
six — six people starting with Tai Edwards and ending with Dianna Rottinghaus. So just
understand that those are credit hours.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Give that page again,
Becky.>>Becky Centlivre: Bottom of Page 4, there’s
two entries and the top of Page 5 there’s four entries.
>>Trustee Greg Musil: Page 40 and 41 of the board packet.
>>Becky Centlivre: Oh, okay. Of the HR report.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Any questions about that?
It should read credit hour rather than hour. Any questions or comments? All in favor signify
by saying aye. (Ayes).
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Opposed? Motion carries. We do have an Executive Session tonight. I
would like to entertain a motion to go into Executive Session for the purpose of reviewing
annual legal guidance related to trustee policies and consultation with legal counsel pursuant
to the Kansas Open Meetings Act, exception relating to matters determined privileged
in the attorney-client relationship. The session will last 20 minutes. We would like to invite
Joe Sopcich, Barbara Larson, Chris Gray, Terri Schlicht and Tanya Wilson. I would like a
motion to do so.>>Trustee David Lindstrom: So moved.
>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: Second.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Have a motion and a second.
All in favor signify by saying aye. (Ayes.)
>>Chair Jerry Cook: Opposed? Motion carries. We’ll start at — need 10 minutes or 5-minute
break? What do you need? 5-minute break. We’ll start at 6:05.
(Executive Session.)>>Chair Jerry Cook: We out of Executive Session,
back in Open Session. No action was taken. Before we adjourn, Trustee Snider, any closing
comments for tonight?>>Trustee Paul Snider: No. But thank you
for the opportunity.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Trustee Lawson?
>>Trustee Angeliina Lawson: No.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Trustee Musil?
>>Trustee Greg Musil: Beautifully run meeting.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Trustee Lindstrom?
>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Happy summer.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Trustee Cross?
>>Trustee Lee Cross: No, thank you.>>Chair Jerry Cook: And Trustee Ingram?
>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: No, thank you.>>Chair Jerry Cook: Thank you all for attending.
Have a great August and I would entertain a motion to adjourn.
>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: So moved.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Second.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: We have a motion and a second. All in favor signify by saying aye.
(Ayes).>>Trustee Lee Cross: Yes.
>>Chair Jerry Cook: We are adjourned.