>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: I’d like to call the October 26th board meeting of the
Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees to order. If you’d all please join
me with 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.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you. And welcome, everyone. We now move to roll
call and recognition of visitors.>>Ms. Terri Schlict: This evening’s visitors
include Dick Carter, Kate Racelin, Jeanine Matthews, Lynn McClennon, Judy Nagle, Paul
Schneider, Roberta Eveslage, and Linda Maskell.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Great. We do
have a handful of visitors for 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, which I don’t see.
In that instance, the Chair may limit a person’s comments to less than five minutes. We do
have a handful of people, so please limit your comments to five minutes, but I won’t
restrict further than that. 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 are
encouraged to address individual personnel or student matters directly with the appropriate
college department and not before the Board. 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 our established grievance process — grievance processes or are otherwise
the subject of review by the College or the Board. The first speaker I would invite to
the podium is Brenda Edmonds.>>Ms. Edmonds: I’m sorry. I have a cold,
so I’m glad there’s a microphone. Hello. My name is Brenda Edmonds. I’m a math professor
here at JCCC. In my 23rd year here at the college teaching math. While at JCCC, I also
helped to found the office of outcomes assessment, which has now become the Office of Assessment
Evaluation and Institutional Outcomes. With Dr. Lori Slavin in 2010. As co-directors of
that office, Lori and I worked with both faculty and administrators across the college to address
items related to outcomes assessment — everyone’s favorite issue — that were listed as outstanding
opportunities in the college’s last AQUIP Systems Portfolio feedback report. This experience
helped me to better understand the challenges faced by administrators at JCCC, but it also
helped me to see that any decision made at a college-wide level can have many consequences,
and it helped me to understand the importance of engaging stakeholders in conversations
to be sure those consequences are considered, understood, as clearly as possible, and addressed
in a way that mitigates concerns while also fulfilling requirements of the college’s external
stakeholders. I’m here today to speak specifically about the cabinet’s recent decision to remove
any prerequisites for enrollment in College Now math and science courses. As I begin to
speak specifically on this issue, I would like to quote Dr. Sopcich in an e-mail that
went out on info list on October 12th. He said, We are a community college and I will
always advocate for students, especially those who live with great adversity, to be able
to experience all the benefits that a college degree, be it from a university or community
college, can provide. That’s why I’m here, too, to advocate for
students. I’m concerned that cabinet has made an arbitrary hasty decision about a situation
they did not fully understand without investigation of appropriate data, relevant policies, possible
consequences of their decision, and alternative solutions. I’m also concerned that the e-mail
message from Dr. Sopcich about this decision gave as a rationale for the decision factors
such as parents’ conversations with him, challenges faced by local high schools, declining enrollment,
and competition from other colleges. There was no mention of the use of appropriate data,
consideration of possible consequences of the action, engagement with those involved
in the affected academic programs, or discussion of alternative solutions. The only mention
of relevant policies was this: We feel confident after discussing this with our institutional
research and assessment staff, who are very familiar with the HLC and their processes,
that considering the nature of numerous factors that played into this decision, our accreditation
will not be at risk. As someone that worked with HLC and spent
a lot of time reading HLC documents, I would say that’s 100% true. College will not lose
its accreditation over one violation of HLC policies without being given the opportunity
to correct course. If the bar for appropriate decision-making is whether or not we will
lose accreditation, that is the wrong standard. We are an institution of higher education,
and while as a community college we are about access and affordability, we are also about
quality. This compromise of academic quality is, to quote, summarize Dennis Arjo in an
e-mail from the Faculty Association, not a viable solution to decreases in enrollment
or parent pressure. It is also not acceptable to accept nearly $500 of tuition money per
class from a student that is not prepared to take that class. It is not acceptable to
ask a high school teacher to make a decision about possibly giving a low grade to that
student that is just beginning to build his or her college transcript. It is also not
acceptable for that high school teacher to feel sorry for that student and give that
student a passing grade when he or she hasn’t learned the course content at a passing level.
It is not acceptable for us to allow that student to transfer that credit that may have
been granted under questionable circumstances to a university where it satisfies a degree
requirement. It is not acceptable to let that student walk into a Calculus II class at KU
with their Calculus I credit earned via a compromised process at JCCC, and that student
has no chance of success in the $2,000 Calculus II class they’re taking at KU. That student
in that class at KU has wasted money and time, and he or she is now going to take a hit on
GPA and chances of earning that engineering degree when they fail or drop that class at
KU through no fault of their own. I want to advocate for that student. I would say that
this kind of decision making seems to be a trend at JCCC. Is that my time?
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Sorry.>>Ms. Edmonds: Okay. Our AQUIP report mentioned
things about not using data in informed decision making and problems with communication vertically
at the college, and I would say that this is a clear indication of that. I would ask
that the Board please request that there are policies put in place to avoid things happening
like this in the future. Thank you.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you,
Brenda. Melanie Harvey.>>Ms. Harvey: My name is Melanie Harvey and
I’m a professor of chemistry here at Johnson County Community College. One of our strategic
goals at Johnson County includes increasing student success by improving retention. In
general chemistry I and college physics I, we require students to demonstrate college
reading readiness and that they be ready to enroll in college algebra. It is commonly
accepted and I’m sure you would all agree that both chemistry and physics are relatively
challenging courses. As faculty, we work very hard to make sure that as many students as
possible are successful in our courses. We do this without lowering our standards in
any way because we take our job of preparing students to transfer very seriously. We pride
ourselves in having a reputation for being academically rigorous while continuing to
be accessible to as many as possible in our community. We have these math prerequisites
in place to make sure students are set up to have the greatest chance of being successful
in our courses as possible. Most students that are not successful in chemistry and physics
struggle to apply mathematics to the scientific problems. I’m very concerned that this decision
to immediately lower our academic standards was seen as a reasonable solution to a decrease
in enrollment or to pressure from community partners. I’m a parent of a high school student
currently enrolled in algebra II. So I’ve given a lot of thought to this from other
directions. The reality is that the students that didn’t place into these courses were
not able to demonstrate that they had the math skills necessary to take these courses.
They did not answer the math questions correctly. I’m concerned about the environment that’s
created for high school teachers teaching our courses to students that are not prepared
with the added pressure from parents to award passing grades for high school courses. I’m
concerned about the more advanced students that are going to suffer by not being challenged
to the level that they deserve because they’re in a class with under-prepared students. Finally,
we as faculty are tasked with the responsibility of curriculum and establishing academic standards
for the institution. The reality is that the faculty that work to set these scores and
policies based on their expertise were not included in the decision-making process. One
of the AQUIP categories for accreditation is category 3, valuing employees. This action
shows a disappointing level of disrespect for faculty and the contributions that they
make to this college.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you,
Dr. Harvey. Next, Matthew Schmeer.>>Mr. Schmeer: Hello. My name is Matthew
Schmeer and I am a professor of English here at the college. Fortunately, I do not need
my glasses to read. I’m kind of the opposite of many people. I serve as the chair of the
English and Journalism Curriculum Committee. I also am chair of the English Department
Curriculum Committee. I’m an Educational Affairs committee representative for my division.
I’m a at-large Faculty Senator and I’m proud to say I’ve been a Faculty Association member
since my first day working here at the college. But I don’t want to talk to you about my expertise
in those areas. I want to address you today as a parent, as a parent of a College Now
student. Our daughter is currently enrolled in a College Now math course through her high
school. Like many of our high school partners, the way College Now works at her school fits
the needs of that school. In some — in some cases it’s a special section that’s only for
college credit; in other places students are allowed to sit in that course because they’ve
met the high school requirements for the course, but they also must meet the JCCC requirements
in order to earn college credit for that course. We love College Now. My daughter has earned
almost 30 hours of credit through our College Now offerings. It’s a benefit to our students.
It’s a benefit to the schools. It’s a benefit to the community. However, in this case, with
this decision that the Executive Cabinet made, we have sullied the good name of College Now.
My daughter earned the right to take that math course. She earned it through her hard
work, through satisfying the prerequisites that have been put in place by our college
faculty for the college credit, and so did every single one of her classmates who worked
hard and placed there by the same methods. But because some administrator made the decision
to waive these placement scores, many students who did not earn the right to take these courses
for college credit are now able to take them, and that devalues what we offer as a college.
Put yourself in the place of my daughter. You worked hard. You studied hard. You did
the work. And now there’s someone sitting next to you who skates by, who doesn’t really
care, who is sitting there in that class because they met the high school requirement, but
now they can earn college credit for the exact same course that you worked hard to get the
college credit for. What are we telling our students about the value of hard work and
about the value of earning college credit, or even the value of a degree when we waive
our standards simply because they are too inconvenient? Thank you.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you, Mr. Schmeer. Donna Helgeson?
>>Ms. Helgeson: Good afternoon. My name is Donna Helgeson. I’m a math professor here
at JCCC. I’ve been here since 1999. I was an adjunct for 11 years and I’ve been full-time,
this is my 7th year. I recently volunteered to be the College Now liaison for Math 181,
statistics. This is one of the courses affected by the President’s Cabinet’s decision, recent
decision to remove the requirement of demonstration of any standards for College Now high school
students to earn in these four JCCC math classes. These classes are Math 173, pre-calculus;
Math 181, statistics; Math 241, engineering, sometimes called Calculus I; Math 242, Calculus
II. As a member also of the Math Department Placement and Assessment Committee, I am very
discouraged that the meticulous and tremendous work that went into setting these Accuplacer
scores was completely disregarded. As a liaison, I am very concerned for my high school partners
teaching as adjuncts in these College Now classes. What if that teacher needs to assign
a grade below a C to a student who should have never been in the class in the first
place because the student does not have the prerequisite skills necessary to be successful
in the course? Our own administration eliminated any placement criteria this semester by, in
my opinion, caving in to pressure from high school parents and administrators. How is
a high school teacher supposed to stand up to this same pressure at the end of their
College Now course next May when he or she needs to assign an earned D or an earned F
to a student’s JCCC — College Now course — I’m sorry, to their JCCC college transcript?
These teachers will be under enormous pressure, and the pressure will be just as strong for
them as it was for the JCCC administration. Should the teacher inflate the student’s grade
to avoid any backlash from the student’s parents and perhaps from their own administrator?
Or should he or she assign the grade that was earned? If the teacher decides to assign
the low grade that is earned, the backlash that he or she will encounter will probably
be quite severe. Our administration’s decision to rescind any placement criteria has placed
these high school partners in a very precarious position when it comes time to assign grades
in these courses next year. Secondly, as a liaison, how can I deliver the message to
the college’s high school — my college — high school partners that JCCC does not view College
Now high school students and their parents as deserving of special treatment that is
not also afforded to our native students on this campus? That — the message was delivered
through this decision by the President’s Cabinet and that, yes, College Now students are deserving
of special treatment. JCCC students on this campus do still have to earn the determined
placement score to take what has been deemed to be an equivalent course taken here on this
campus. One of the versions of the e-mail that was sent out to all College Now students
and instructors in the wake of this decision very much implied that the Math Department’s
Placement and Assessment Committee, of which I am a member, messed up when we very meticulously
and carefully worked to set the Accuplacer cut scores. I would argue that we did not
mess up. When we set those cut scores as had been previously documented by my mathematics
chair of the department at various other collegewide meetings that have already occurred prior
to this — tonight’s meeting. So in conclusion, I am very concerned that our College Now math
students’ first impression of JCCC and of the college — and of college in general is
that, one, the college does not have their act together, it had not figured out appropriate
placement processes and, two, every policy at JCCC and maybe every college is now negotiable.
A very dangerous impression has been set from this hasty decision by the President’s Cabinet.
I am part of a concerned group of math faculty on this campus who have already met several
times in the wake of this decision. We are now going to be spending many, many hours
meeting and planning our next steps forward to try to mediate what has happened here in
hopes of backing up our College Now high school teachers, as well as working to maintain academic
standards in these College Now courses. This is time that I now will not have to spend
with my own students in my own classes during this school year. I beg the board, as my colleague
did, to please put policies in place to keep this from happening again.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you. And our last speaker is Janette Finaro.
>>Ms. Finaro: Students, faculty, staff, administrators, and board members. I am addressing you today
as the Vice President of the Faculty Senate. At its meeting one week ago, the Faculty Senate
passed overwhelmingly a resolution regarding the Executive Cabinet’s decision to suspend
College Now math placement scores. The resolution was sent to all members of the Executive Cabinet,
to all members of the Board of Trustees and to all faculty members. I would like to summarize
that resolution for you here. In its resolution, the Senate recognized that when the Executive
Cabinet made the decision to suspend placement scores to allow College Now students to enroll
in some math, chemistry, and physics classes, the cabinet did so without consulting with
faculty on what is one of the central roles of the faculty; namely, to develop all aspects
of the curriculum, including measuring student readiness through placement scores, prerequisite
determinations, and course sequencing. This action by the cabinet subverted the faculty-led
curriculum process. It violated KBOR policies, HLC guidelines, NACP standards and Best Practice
guidelines regarding the academic rigor of dual credit courses. The Executive Cabinet
placed community relationships and public perception ahead of faculty-led processes
that ensure that fair and accurate measurements and methods are used to gauge student readiness.
This action undermined the authority and expertise of subject area faculty. The Senate recognized
further that the Executive Cabinet’s action on this matter is just one of many decisions
affecting faculty that have bypassed or ignored faculty consultation. This action set a dangerous
precedent in which mutually agreed upon policies and processes of the college can be suspended,
changed, or amended based solely on public outcry. The decision bears serious consequences,
including the loss of integrity, trust, and respect. The decision violated the trust of
the college faculty. In light of this decision, the Faculty Senate resolved to censure the
Executive Cabinet and to condemn its wrongful decision in the strongest terms. The Senate
recognized the gravity of this resolution and declared that the resolution should stand
until such time as the Executive Cabinet admits its error and rescinds or rectifies this decision
in a manner that is satisfactory to the faculty. Finally, the Senate resolved to affirm and
support the math faculty and the hundreds of hours of work and considered process that
led to the stated placement prerequisite scores. Thank you.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you. We have no further speakers. I’d like to thank
everyone for being here and for sharing their thoughts on this really important issue. I
believe that Trustee Chair in absentia Musil has some comments he wanted to add. Greg.
>>Chair Greg Musil: Stephanie, can everybody hear me?
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Yep. We’re good.
>>Chair Greg Musil: I did — I did want to respond to this because the issue has bubbled
up to the surface and has roiled the waters at the college. I think due to a number of
unusual circumstances, and one thing I did not hear from all the comments, and I apologize,
I could not hear distinctly on several of the speakers, the fact that this was created
by the use of a new placement test, different from past placement tests, with — which yielded
significantly different results. Had that new test yielded results consistent with the
past tests, we wouldn’t be here today talking about this, but the results were dramatically
different. Now, like most issues that become — come to this level at the college, it involves
multiple stakeholders. I’ve heard some of those discussed tonight. This is not administration
versus faculty versus students versus the board. It’s about our core mission of providing
affordable and accessible education to citizens of Johnson County and beyond. This affected
high school faculty, as has been mentioned, counselors, principals, parents, high school
students, all of whom were seeking a reasonable opportunity to take tests to take for college
credit, courses they would have taken in the past and likely would have qualified for based
on the percentages. This one — this issue needed to be resolved quickly. Now, I will
be the first to acknowledge, and I think Dr. Sopcich has already done so, at Collegial
Steering and at Learning Quality, that the process was not perfect and was not adequate.
The judgment calls and prompt decisions that were made didn’t fully include the faculty
of math or other faculty, and that has been made clear by Dr. Sopcich, and I — he and
his cabinet have committed to learning from that mistake. That’s a process error. Substantively,
I did not hear from any speaker the number — the factual numbers that I’m aware of with
respect to college placement scores and qualifications for the precalculus courses in high school.
My understanding is that historically 12% of those high school students in those high
school classes who took a placement test for college credit, 12% historically did not place.
This year, 42% did not place. I don’t think those 30% of the students increase over historical
numbers are students who necessarily didn’t work hard, work smart enough, hadn’t satisfied
prerequisites, or didn’t try hard enough to get accessible to college credit. Those 30%
more likely, based on historical numbers, did work hard and did expect that they would
place. I think the results — the numbers going from 12% to 42% should have raised alerts
and should have required the discussion that started and the decision that was made. Now,
whether there was time for more research and — in the decision making process I assume
is arguable. But the amount of vitriol and harsh language expressed by some has been
disappointing to me. What the decision did essentially for the — for the math department
in that class was to tell 12% of the people who would historically not have placed that
they were going to get to seek college credit, and once they do, we will find out if those
folks were capable of the class rigor or not. What it also did was let the 30% that historically
would have placed get an opportunity like prior fall semester classes have allowed.
Under all the circumstances, I don’t find that decision reprehensible or unreasonable
or so extraordinary as to justify the language I’ve heard in e-mails and in resolutions.
I agree, the process and the communication was inadequate. I believe that this has identified
an issue we need to look at. Most of us had very little sense of what placement scores
were being used at our college, at least I did not; I won’t speak for the rest of the
board. I think we need to review those placement scores because there may be places we are
too low and they need to be increased, there may be places that are too high and we need
to make sure scores are fully aligned with our mission as a community college. I really
appreciate the passion of our faculty. I appreciated it when we went through the due process issue
a couple years ago. I appreciate it today. What I am less appreciative of is the position
that says you must publicly apologize and humiliate yourself in order to get our approval;
you must restructure the Executive Cabinet in order to get our approval; you must rescind
a decision, and on that we are not willing to compromise. Those are all phrases that
I’ve read on behalf of faculty members, both associations, Senate, the Educational Affairs
Committee, and individual e-mails. I don’t think that language was necessary. I think
it’s over-the-top for this decision. The dangerous precedent that has been alleged here isn’t
much of a precedent and isn’t as dangerous as suggested. It didn’t threaten academic
freedom or undermine our commitment to quality standards for our academic role. I really
hope we’ll think long and hard before choosing paths that are more likely to end in division
and criticism than on unity and improvement, at all levels, including communication by
the administration to faculty and the board as well. But on the mission to the college,
my goal is to empower the administration, the faculty, the staff, and students and our
community to perform our mission in an environment that is challenging and changing and at times
controversial. But I’m comfortable that this decision was motivated by a desire to put
students first, something that I didn’t hear a lot of in the comments, and that there was
no evil motive, intent, or otherwise with respect to this decision. So though I appreciate
everybody’s passion on this, I left Collegial Steering meeting earlier this month believing
that we could find a way to move forward. I’m going to leave this meeting today, even
though I regret that I couldn’t be there in person, hoping the same thing. But if we continue
to turn up the temperature with the language that we use, it will be harder to focus on
the things we need to do to improve. Thank you, Madam Chair.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Trustee Cross?
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Thank you, Madam Chair. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I think I agree — I
concur that this was a failure of process. I’m still a little bit beside myself how the
faculty were not consulted in this decision making process. I think I understand some
of the logistics involved, but frankly I’m going to take the I think what’s a first to
me — for me to express my disappointment in all involved, because I still don’t understand,
having held a brief discussion on this in Learning Quality and having had numerous phone
conversations and communications about this, I still don’t understand why the gap existed.
I understand it was a difference in test — testing. I understand there was various factors involved,
and as a student of social science, I get that the answer lies in the complexity of
any situation. I still just don’t understand why it is. I think there are numerous reasons
for that. As to the substantive response, I’m not sure what I would have done as an
administrator. I certainly understand the faculty’s position on it. I invite any of
the speakers here that would want to enter their statements into the board record to
do so, please, just so that there is a proper record. As an attorney, I know that that is
critical in any discussion and analysis. As to whether or not this sets a bad precedent,
I do worry about that. I have enough trust and confidence in our administration, I do
believe there was some contrition at the Learning Quality meeting that I and Trustee Sandate
were present at. I was not at learning — Collegial Steering. I haven’t been in many other meetings.
But I do feel the administration has expressed and as Trustee Musil just said, though we
disagree on some parts, it’s my nature and relationship with Trustee Musil that I agree
with him more than I don’t, but at a minimum, I wish that there had been faculty involvement,
that they had been considered in the process, and that we absolutely must look at establishing
policies and standards so that we avoid this in the future, please. It has dominated my
time in the last month. It has led to numerous tense conversations with everyone involved,
and I would rather avoid such circumstances. And again, I still don’t even understand what
happened, which is my disappointment to all involved. And maybe it’s my slow uptake. As
to whether or not the faculty care about our students, I do believe I heard many of our
professors express that they take great pride and joy in preparing our students for transfer.
They did when I attended here, and I believe that that is what this was all about, was
whether or not our students have been accurately assessed, placed, and set up for success in
the classroom. I do believe that everyone involved has that concern as their top priority.
So I wanted to express my concern, disappointment in all, support for all, and you can call
that a politician’s answers, but I think I’ve said enough here tonight, so.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you, Trustee Cross. Trustee Dr. Cook.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Thank you, Madam Chair. You are running for office, right? So I understand
the politician –>>Trustee Lee Cross: (Inaudible).
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: I just want to say that I want to thank each of you for coming
and speaking and I want to thank each of you that are here in support of your colleagues.
I really, as I listen to this, and as I’ve kept up to speed on what’s been going on the
last month, I — I’ve often felt we should never fear difference of opinion. We should
fear our lack of ability to resolve difference of opinion. We make a lot of decisions every
day, and not everybody is going to be pleased with the decision that’s made. But I applaud
passion for your feelings. I applaud passion for what everybody stands for. I — I’m not
going to repeat any comments that my colleagues Trustee Cross and Trustee Musil have made,
but I think being on this board, I believe you know me enough to know that I’m very concerned
about the process. That has been acknowledged. The president has acknowledged that there
were some — there were some errors in the process. When I think back of how a course
is defined, a faculty member has an idea — this is my understanding of the process, and maybe
I’m wrong. A faculty member has an idea, goes to the department. The department head in
that department blesses it, edits it or whatever. It goes on to the dean. It goes on to Academic
Affairs. It goes through a process of review. It comes to the administration, the trustees
approve, it ends up in the hands of Kansas Board of Regents and it’s a very long process
to get to a point for a course. Like Trustee Musil and Trustee Cross, I’m not sure that
— I failed you in understanding what those placement requirements are by department,
and I applaud you for having a standard of professionalism that’s at a level. I think
I heard in the testimony that it’s an issue we’ve talked about and been discussing before
at College Now, what qualifications do high school teachers have to teach a course for
College Now, and is that acceptable. I think I heard the comment we have students who aren’t
qualified to take a course. My question would be, well, who judges the qualifications a
student should have for a course, because if I’m going to take a course for higher learning,
I’m there to learn higher standards. And so this whole issue of who decides the qualification
factor is an interesting one. I sense some deeper issues that need to be discussed, and
I hope that through our Collegial Steering, through our Learning Quality, through that
whole Academic Affairs process, that we are — that we are all of emotion and stature
to have good discussions about — about our differences to find resolve. But I thank you
all for being here and I thank — I thank all of the thought that’s gone into this.
I guess I’m going to be critical of myself and the board, and I’m always reminded of
“Mr. Holland’s Opus” when Richard Dreyfuss went in front of the board of education when
they were going to cut out the — when they were going to cut out the orchestra program
and the board president said, “We’re doing the best we can.” And if you saw the movie,
you’ll remember Mr. Holland’s response is, “Your best isn’t good enough.” So I’m not
sure our collective best, faculty, staff, high school superintendents, everybody involved
with College Now, administration, Board of Trustees, maybe our best isn’t good enough
and we just have to get better at understanding differences and understanding what’s, excuse
me, what’s best for students of a community college that says we’re accessible to all
students. So thank you, Madam Chair.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you,
Dr. Cook. Again, I do want to thank everyone. Did anyone else have comments? Oh, Henry.
I’m sorry. Trustee Sandate. Sorry.>>Trustee Henry Sandate: Chairwoman Sharp,
thank you very much. I just want to applaud the faculty for their sincere interest and
concern. But equally, I want to applaud the leadership here for, I believe what they did,
the best that they could with the true intentions of what’s best for the students. And I think
ultimately that’s what this is all about, what’s best for the students and for our community.
And so with that being said, I just want to make it very clear that there was no malintent.
There was no intention of a power play or eliminating or going through a process without
the faculty in mind. I think this was a sincere attempt to correct the problem that occurred
that a lot of us didn’t foresee coming, to be honest with you. And the reality is, is
that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to correct such problems. And such problems will
occur again in the future, I assure you. But what I’m grateful for is that we’re all here
together trying to figure this all out to move forward the best that we can to do what’s
best for the students. So that’s the intent. Nobody’s trying to supercede or pull a quick
one, if you will, over the employees and the faculty of the community college here. So
with that being said, I just want to express my gratitude for your intent, your sincerity,
and — to the faculty, and I want to express my gratitude to the leadership for doing the
best they could. And I assure you through all this, we will move forward, we will be
better for it. And I thank you very much.>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: Absolutely. There’s
really been two things that kind of drive my perspective on all of this, and awhile
back, this was brought to my attention that there were some concerns about Accuplacer
and scoring and this kind of thing. So I was made aware of that and actually had visited
with Dr. McCloud about that and just made the suggestion that, you know, we’re doing
the right thing and was reassured that we were and I — I am concerned primarily because
the two things that really drive my perspective on all of this are the data that went into
the conversation. I wasn’t at Collegial Steering, I many times enjoy going to Learning Quality
because I learn a lot there, but I wasn’t there as well. So I haven’t been a part of
those discussions. But the other piece is just really being transparent, and I think
any of us who have run for this position talk about the transparency that we need to have.
So I look forward, I think it’s been a very unfortunate thing that has occurred, but I
do believe that as we move forward, we will resolve this and we’ll come out stronger.
But you all are passionate about what you do, and we appreciate that. Likewise, administration
is passionate about what they do, too. So I think there’s a lot of room to move forward
here together, but there have been concerns about this. I have not had the conversations
that some of my fellow board members have had. I have seen some of the e-mails that
have gone out. I do believe, you know, moving forward constructively is going to be important.
But we’re listening. I think as a board, you know, I’m very proud to work with these people
up front. I think you’re got a good, strong board. We come with different perspectives.
But we will move forward with this, and I think it’s important that we do so quickly,
but that we remain at the table with you and listening to — to both sides. So thank you.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you both. Anybody else? Okay. I just want to wrap up.
And again, thank you all for coming here because I’m saddened by the unfortunate events that
brought all of you here, but this is why we’re here, to listen to you, not only because you’re
faculty, but because you’re voters and that — this is why I ran for this board eight
years ago is I missed that voter interaction. And so I’m sorry that it’s a bad situation
that brought you all out, but I love to see your smiling faces participating in the process
and — and giving us an earful. That’s — that is why we’re here, constituent relations and
here to represent the voters. So it’s really important. Please come back sometime, other
It’s not always boring, I promise. At this point, we’ll move on to awards and recognitions.
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: I’d like to ask Karen Gerety Folk to take the podium.
>>Ms. Garety Folk: Thank you. I’m very honored to be here. This is kind of a change in tone.
We’re going to go towards a celebratory feeling now. Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of
the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. I’ve worked here on campus for 12 years, however,
as curator of education, and when I was hired the museum was under construction. Of course
I was excited about that, but I was thrilled to work here with the amazing art on campus.
That accessibility, I had never seen before on a campus where we had sculptures outside,
the hallways filled with photographs and paintings, and we started our volunteer program very
shortly after I was hired. So since the museum opened ten years ago, we’ve had dozens of
individuals donate their time to leading tours, assisting with visitor services, and helping
with children’s programs. And collectively our volunteers have contributed over 24,000
hours of their time working with us. And it makes what we do possible. We have thousands
of schoolchildren visit us every year on field trips. We have thousands of college students
visit us, too. People might be surprised to know that the majority of the college students
that come on tours of the museum are not the art students, it’s the English students, it’s
the English language learners, it’s the nursing students, it is the science, technology, engineering,
and math students as well. So our humanities professors have been great about bringing
students over, and art history professors bring people over. And we’re contemporary
art, so all the artists they’re studying from 300 years ago are long dead and we can see
connections with living artists. So what we do when we lead tours is not an easy thing,
it’s not the same tour every time. Not only do we work with a variety of learners from
the pre-school children to elementary and high school and the adults in the community,
we make sure that our programs are very interactive, very learner-based, and that we don’t know
what people are going to ask, we don’t know what they’re going to say when they make observation,
and we really welcome that, that everyone has an opinion, everyone has observations
and they’re demonstrating their critical thinking skills. That’s why being a docent is so hard,
and when we have a training class, my retention rates have been a little better the last few
years, but I’ll share with you our first docent training class of 25 people, not many of them
lasted until the opening because — because I’m such a hard teacher, right! It’s a lot
of content to learn. Many of our docents had a background in teaching, perhaps they had
been a schoolteacher, they had retired. Some of them still teach. We have faculty members,
former faculty members and we have people who just love culture and they want to contribute
to the college. So I have a few people here who I wanted to recognize. Again, we’re very
fortunate to have a few individuals who were in that very first group still actively volunteering
with us, but we decided a few years ago that we need to give people a graceful transition
if they need to retire, if they need to devote more time to other things in their lives or
if they’re moving, so we developed the emeritus status so people who have been volunteering
giving tours with us for over five years can retire with grace and honor, and tonight we
have five of those ten individuals here with us. I want to mention the people who weren’t
able to make it tonight. Dorine Marandy, John Murphy, Sue Nerman, Jim Sikner and Bobby Tip.
They had been volunteering with us before we opened, so more than ten years ago. And
with us tonight we have Jean Hunter, who contributed over 453 hours as a docent. If you would stand,
Jean. Thank you. And Linda Maskell, who is also in that class of 2006, 568 hours of volunteer
service. Thank you. Jeanine Matthews, class of 2007, right before we opened, over 500
hours, and she was working at the Information Desk and I grabbed her to come over here.
She’s continuing to volunteer with us. Thank you, Jeanine. Lynn McClennon, who joined our
2009 training group, 464 hours of volunteer work. And Judy Nagle, who is also continuing
to actively volunteer with us, class of 2006, and has volunteered over a thousand hours.
So thank you all so much for your… (Applause.)
You can tell they love what they do, and they brought so much of that love to our programs.
We hope to think that those first graders that are coming out here next week for their
— they’re seeing their performance of “My Father’s Dragon” and they’re coming on museum
tours for an all arts day experience, we’d like to think that in 12 years they’re going
to be thinking about going to college here. So it’s all connected and we’re very grateful
for your service and we appreciate everything you do. Thanks.
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Karen, thank you for what you do as far as the — as hard as this — I
mean they make a huge difference when people visit the Nerman. Jean, you were — don’t
you have a lot of history in this room?>>Oh yes! (Inaudible).
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Yeah.>>Yes. I was here from about 1975 to — ’78
to 95 (Inaudible).>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: You were —
>>And I hired groups.>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Hired groups?
>>And one day I said to him, if you ever get a museum built I’ll be your first docent.
Well, guess what he did! (Laughter.)
And it’s been a delightful experience and it’s amazing. I knew nothing about contemporary
art really. I mean — (Inaudible).>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Jean, if you add that
experience along with your trustee experience, how many years have you been working — doing
stuff here?>>Well, 16 and 10.
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Yeah, 26. Quarter of a century.
>>And I pay attention, too. (Laughter.)
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Thank you. Thank you, Jean.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thanks. That was awesome. We are going to move to the Student
Senate report. Mr. Rowe.>>Mr. Alex Rowe: Good evening. My name is
Alex Rowe. I’m a pre-medicine student who is currently serving as JCCC Student Senate
President for the 2017-2018 academic year. I wanted to thank the board for granting me
the opportunity to speak before you and provide this update on the work recently undertaken
by our student government. As always, an initial goal of the Student Senate has been to fill
all of our vacant seats as the new term gets underway, and although I had long taken it
for granted, it is my understanding that in years past our Senate had rarely achieved
maximum capacity, which is why I’m repeating what my two immediate predecessors have about
how motivating it is to learn that we’ve come so far in inecreasing our student body’s presence
and influence in our student government. This has of course resulted in a good problem to
have, which is that an overwhelming plethora of pursuits and objectives have come from
our various voices, and that we’ve had to work towards narrowing down those objectives
into more specific and quantifiable goals. The one aspect for our membership that I regret
is that we have yet to overcome the persistent problem of failure to recruit students from
a few of our most prominent departments on campus, including, for example, the athletics
and computer sciences. Nonetheless, the Student Senate is in the process of putting forward
initiatives to amend that lack of representation and I hope to provide the board with positive
progress on that front in the future. Among the Student Senate’s active projects are the
continuation of the long-standing sponsorship and guidance of two of the most successful
student-led events here on campus, JCCC Gives and Trick or Treat For Kids, the latter of
which is occurring this Friday evening, so tomorrow. These two programs are somewhat
unique in their ability to connect so many different clubs, organizations, and departments
on campus, and both have been immensely successful in the past, and in particular, JCCC Gives
reached an enormous milestone last year in having successfully raised more than $2,000
in cash donations for charitable giving aimed at leaving poverty and hardships faced by
an unfortunately large members of our JCCC family. Although last year I was skeptical
that raising our goal from 500 to $100 was at all feasible. I’m happy to say the fact
that we raised more than double that amount in addition to direct presents donations,
which don’t even go into that figure, proved me wrong. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to
attain an equal or greater success this year. One of the sources of our successes was a
really interesting idea presented by two of our officers, which was to reach out to small
businesses in the area who were willing to sponsor our charity, and this is a strategy
that we intend to continue this holiday season. And it didn’t hurt to have Dr. Sopcich agree
to dye his hair green in order to raise money for our cause.
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Terrific. Loved it. I wish I would have done that for tonight. It
might have added some humor to the…>>Mr. Rowe: It’s my understanding that you
or one of your colleagues actually had to go to like a Chamber of Commerce meeting shortly
after having dyed it. So that was interesting. Individuals and/or families of JCCC students,
faculty, and staff who are in need can be nominated to receive aid until November 3rd,
and that will be the deadline. I’d humbly ask that the board extend the same support
they have in the past years for this trademark program of the Student Senate. Trick or Treat
For Kids is by no means the only ways in which Student Senate has been working towards creating
a more cohesive campus. My predecessor, Donny Whitton, succeeded in establishing the highly
ambitious creation of the Spirit Award. With the support of the administration, Senate
has been able to allocate $4,000 towards this award. You see, as a commuter campus, we face
a big difficulty in trying to create a sense of unity and enthusiasm towards campus activities,
and so the goal of the Spirit Award is to bring together the different branches of the
student body by supporting, for example, attending our sports games, participation in campus-wide
events and then visiting other clubs or coordinating with them in their gatherings. And then next
I wanted to report on the activities of the Student Senate Budget Committee, which has
already reviewed funding requests from four student clubs and organizations collectively
funding nearly $12,000 for their events, the expenses thereof including travel and registration
costs for various nationwide competitions, showcases and conferences. And actually on
that note, I and four of my fellow officers recently returned from a Student Government
Association Conference in St. Louis where we had the opportunity to meet with fellow
student leaders and mentors from higher education institutions all across the nation. And having
had the privilege of attending this conference last year, knowing that I would be able to
attend it again this year was one of my most anticipated opportunities. Although of course
our budget committee did not spend its own money on that. That was — we don’t spend
money on ourselves. That was a separate fund. (Laughter.)
I’d just like to conclude my speech by acknowledging the ongoing efforts of the Student Senate
to embrace the momentum we’ve gained over the past couple of years, and we’re establishing
even more student-led events and collaborations. These include efforts to partner with the
Student Sustainability Committee, the Black Student Union, and Latinos United Now and
Always to better fulfill our mutual goals. I again thank the board for having appropriated
me this time to update you all on the activities of the Student Senate and look forward to
speaking with you again in the near future. Thank you.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you so much, Mr. Rowe. Any comments?
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Will you be coming to Some Enchanted Evening?
>>Mr. Rowe: I’m sorry? Oh, Some Enchanted Evening?
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Yeah, will you be coming to Some Enchanted Evening?
>>Mr. Rowe: I will be, yes.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Okay.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Great.>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Alex, are all of your
— are all of your speeches going to be this funny and humorous?
(Laughter.) Something to look forward to I think in the
future, so…>>Mr. Rowe: Okay. I’ll keep that in mind,
then.>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Thanks, Alex.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: And now we move to the College Lobbyist Report. Mr. Carter.
>>Mr. Dick Carter: Thank you, Madam Chair. This report is going to start a little bit
differently than several of my reports have started over the past year and a half or longer
because we have what appears to be good news, and I — I qualify that with “appears to be,”
but the end of September revenues were up nearly $60 million. That is in fact good news,
and when you combine that with the first quarter earnings for the state, we are up nearly $80
million over expectations. The reality is that we still have $510 million to go before
June 30th of 2018, to meet the budget that the legislature passed this past session.
Everything seems to be going along well, and there’s no indication that October won’t have
similar results as far as receipts are concerned into the state budget. But a big shoe dropped
on October 2nd. The Supreme Court issued its decision on Gannon 2.0 on adequacy, and they
declared the funding model that was passed by the legislature this past session constitutionally
inadequate. I think that really changes — well, I don’t think. That really changes the tone
of what will happen this coming — this coming year. I reported to you last time that — that
the Board of Regents had approved and submitted a budget that would allow for reinstating
the cuts that were made in 2017 to all of higher education, and that would be their
number one priority. That is all in jeopardy now because of — because of what the legislature
faces when they return to Topeka in 2018. Some have said that they think that the Court
did not give a number, they’ve been very careful never to prescribe a dollar amount to what
funding for K-12 education should look like. But some have said who are close to that process
that it could be in the neighborhood of $200 million. It’s unclear whether that’s all at
once or spread over a period of years as an increase. Again, those details remain to be
seen, but that will be the driving force for — for the legislative session.
That’s a little bit disappointing because I think most folks had thought we had turned
the corner and would be able to sort of begin putting things back on track with respect
to other areas of state government. I did talk a little bit about in this report a couple
of things that we’re aware that will be occurring specific to higher education and possibly
specific to the college in the coming session, and one of those issues is concurrent enrollment.
There are conversations going on presently as to what a pilot project might look like
in that area, and most likely it could occur in this particular part of the state. Stay
tuned on that. That’s something that we’ll be involved in throughout the legislative
session and probably leading up to it. The other issue that we’re beginning to hear conversations
about is revisiting the guns on campus issue. And so I think that we’ll have some continued
conversations with respect to that issue. There could be new bills. They could take
on a different look and I’m not going to pretend to know what that looks like at this point,
but I think that those — those conversations are going on as well presently. The other
thing that I wanted to draw your attention to at the back of my report is kind of an
annual advocacy report that I attached. I presented this to the Government Affairs Task
Force yesterday, and this sort of outlines all of the advocacy issues that we’ve undertaken
and taken on, some of the specific activities that we’re done over the course of the past
legislative session. I understand that the year isn’t over yet, but in reality, a lot
of our activities start in November and December of the year preceding the legislative session
with some of the preparatory activities that we do, inviting the legislators to campus
for some hospitality. And so I would just highlight a couple of those. I know that you
can read and can peruse that at your leisure. We specifically tracked 50 bills related to
higher education last year. There were four bills in which the college provided testimony
on which compared to 2016 and 2015, is more than those two years combined. Last year we
participated in — and it wasn’t just our participation. The first ever Higher Education
Day at the state capitol where all 36 institutions under the umbrella of the Board of Regents
came together and held an Awareness Day. We’ll be doing that again this coming year. We made
a touchpoint, Kate and I made a touchpoint with all of the Johnson County delegation
in Topeka last year. We worked with Congressman Yoder’s office to encourage him to sign on
to a Perkins extension, a Perkins loan extension bill, which he did.
>>Chair Greg Musil: (Inaudible).>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Okay. Thanks,
Greg. He’s dropping off.>>Mr. Dick Carter: Which he did as a — which
he did as a sponsor. And then monitoring the Higher Education Reauthorization Act, which
really hasn’t taken place yet, but there are four key components to that, that I just would
call your attention to, and those are announced by Chairwoman Fox from North Carolina. Empowering
students and families to make informed decisions about college life. Simplify and improve financial
aid. Promote access, innovation and completion. And promote strong accountability with a limited
federal role. And I think you’re seeing some of those things with the education secretary,
the new administration move in, the fact that we have the extension of the Perkins Loan
Act coming out. You’ll begin to see some of those things in the coming months.
There are some of the interim committee issues that I’ve talked about in the past listed
on the final page, and then just a few more issues that will be driving the 2018 legislative
session. And so feel free to take a look at those, and if you have questions at some point,
either tonight or in the future, feel free to let me know.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Great. Thank you, Mr. Carter. Questions? Comments?
>>Trustee Lee Cross: I do have some questions, Mr. Carter. With talk of a federal tax cut
similar to what Kansas did, that would affect community college budgets, wouldn’t it?
>>Mr. Dick Carter: I think it remains to be seen what the impact of the type of tax
policy that we instituted in 2012 and ’13 would look like at the federal level, but
I think that you could anticipate that certainly the idea would be to shrink the size of government.
I think the model is very similar.>>Trustee Lee Cross: You have in your report,
you say you served as the central point of contact for Congressional staffers. What do
you mean by that?>>Mr. Dick Carter: When they have questions
or issues, there is an education staffer in the Senate and House offices. They have reached
out to me as the first point of contact to start that process, whether it’s answering
a question, getting some type of information for them about our college, or we’ve had some
of them to campus before for touring as well.>>Trustee Lee Cross: And I think in some
of our conversations I’ve been surprised to learn that many of the Congressional staff
will call you rather than even KACCT personnel to learn about issues connected to Kansas
community colleges. Is that right?>>Mr. Dick Carter: That has occurred, and
I’ve forwarded those issues on through President Sopcich to Linda Fund, but that’s a rare occasion,
but that has — that has happened.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Does it happen more
locally? Maybe I got that crossed up.>>Mr. Dick Carter: No. No, it has happened.
I think that that’s their — that’s — they know — they know they can reach me. They
know I can get them to the right person.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Thank you very much.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Anyone else? Okay. Thank you, Mr. Carter.
>>Mr. Dick Carter: Thank you.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: We’re going
to move on to Collegial Steering, and I am tasked to discuss that and I wasn’t at the
meeting this month. So I think we’re going to skip that report.
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: The issue, the primary issue was the discussion on concurrent. A
presentation was made that was extremely thorough on the data collection and the process that
goes into coming up with the cut scores and all.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Yes. I was attending the Women’s Foundation 25th anniversary
on behalf of the — representing the college, so I wasn’t at that meeting. So we’ll move
to human resources. Trustee Ingram.>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: Thank you. The Human
Resources Committee met at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, October 2nd. As a result of this meeting,
we are bringing two recommendations provided — two recommendations to the board this evening.
Prior to that, I will let you know that Julie Bevis, who is Manager of Employee Relations,
provided an overview of the college’s performance management process. Karen Martley, Vice President,
Continuing Education and Organizational Development, gave an update on the 2017 Employee Engagement
Survey. The first survey was conducted in 2015, and the Employment Engagement Surveys
are part of an AQUIP action — project. Excuse me. Jerry Zimmerman, Manager of Benefits,
reviewed the Investment Committee charter and explained the addition of an indemnification
provision for the committee’s members. The Human Resources Committee reviewed the amended
and restated Investment Committee charter as updated by the Johnson County Community
College benefits manager and found — and this is also found in our board packet. The
original charter was adopted by the college on July 1st, 2011, and addresses responsibilities
of the Investment Committee charged with overseeing all matters relating to the investment of
the assets of the Johnson County Community College 403(b)
Plan and the Johnson County Community College Tax Deferred Retirement Plan, also known as
457-b. This restated document includes an indemnification provision that provides indemnity
coverage for Investment Committee members or any director, officer, or employee of Johnson
County Community College as a result of their participation on the Investment Committee
or otherwise serving in the investment oversight of the Johnson County Community College 403(b)
plan or 457-b plan. Madam Chair, it is the recommendation of the Human Resources Committee
that the Board of Trustees accept the recommendation of the College Administration to approve the
Amended and Restated Investment Committee Charter as presented to the Human Resources
Committee, and I so move.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Second.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: There’s been a motion and a second. Discussion? All in
favor say aye. (Ayes.)
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Opposed? Motion passes.
>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: Okay. Also at the meeting, Becky Centlivre, Vice President Human
Resources, reviewed recommended changes to the Probationary Policy, which is the final
policy in the Conduct and Performance Section of the college’s policy library. Material
changes include the removal of the salary increases procedure included in the Probationary
Period Policy. The Human Resources Committee has reviewed the recommended updates to the
Probationary Period Policy. The proposed updates clarify the circumstances under which the
probationary period will start, restart, or be extended. Additionally, subject to board
approval, any applicable salary increases will go into effect for employees who are
or were in a probationary period effective at the beginning of the current fiscal year.
Madam Chair, it is the recommendation of the Human Resources Committee that the Board of
Trustees accept the recommendation of the College Administration to approve the proposed
amendments to the Probationary Period Policy as is shown subsequently in the board packet,
and again, I so move.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Second.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: There’s been a motion and a second. Discussion? Trustee
Dr. Cook?>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Thank you, Madam Chair.
I’m assuming that all of these changes are in align with our employee contract, and I
guess my question is, why now? Why are we dealing with this at the end of a what I would
consider a term?>>It was a year ago that we changed our probationary
policy from six months to a year for full-time employees, and when we did that, we inadvertently
added in a paragraph that talked about salaries and we said then that we would not — (Inaudible)
— probationary period. What’s happened is many of our full-time temporary grant-funded
positions are considered temporary the entire duration of their employment. So by doing
that, it would just basically say that those people would not be eligible for increases
in a year. So the reason we’re changing it right now is because it was changed a year
and a half ago from six months to a year, and we’re leaving that still a year; we’re
just making the material changes to when those people get increases.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Thank you.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Trustee — Madam Chair,
may I?>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Please, Trustee
Cross.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Mr. Trustee Cook, you
mean the end of the term for the service contract? The Master Agreement? Or do you mean the end
–>>And this would have no — no impact on
the Master Agreement.>>Trustee Lee Cross: I understand. I just
–>>Trustee Jerry Cook: No, I’m just — I guess
I’m thinking here we are a year and a half later and based on your answer — I was just
interested in the timing of this.>>Trustee Lee Cross: I’m not arguing with
you. I’m just asking. Thank you.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Further discussion?
All in favor say aye. (Ayes.)
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Opposed same sign. Motion passes. Learning Quality Committee
— oh, sorry. Anything further?>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: No. That concludes
my report.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Learning Quality
Committee, Trustee Cross?>>Trustee Lee Cross: Thank you, Madam Chair.
The Learning Quality Committee met October 2nd, 2017 at 8 a.m. in this room. Trustees
Sandate and I were present along with many members of the administration. Dr. Weber,
Dr. McCloud, Dr. — I believe Dr. Larson and Sopcich were there, along with Dennis Arjo,
and other faculty members. We had several presentations that day monitoring faculty
development with respect to the sabbatical appointments of Beth Gulley, professor of
English, was granted a sabbatical for the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semester. Professor
Gulley was invited to serve as a visiting scholar at the Northwestern Polytechnic University,
NPU, in Xi’an –>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Xi’an.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: — Xi’an, China, to teach English classes during the 2016-’17
school year. She’s also in charge of coordinating the selection of placement of NPU students
into English online courses at JCCC and researching the benefits to NPU students. Professor Gulley
shared her experiences through a link that you can find in the board packet. By the way,
the Learning Quality report is reported on Pages 5-7, which I incorporate by reference
here. And she used that as a tool to store the documents for the courses taught in China.
Professor Shaun Harris also gave a sabbatical presentation on an analysis. He was granted
a sabbatical for the fall 2016 semester, and the purpose of his sabbatical was to acquire
additional research specializing in contemporary world literature, which included reading literature
by Nobel Prize winners dated 1990 to 2016. And Professor Harris embedded the knowledge
from his readings into the classroom, greatly benefiting the students’ knowledge and classroom
experience. And I have to say it was a remarkable presentation mostly of Western experience,
but I think also providing insight to the global economy, from this observer’s perspective.
Another presentation was made by Professor James hopper, Web Development and Digital
Media and the Chair of the Educational Affairs Committee. He presented several curriculum
modifications to the committee effective academic year 2018 and ’19. And, Madam Chair, you’ll
be glad to know I’m going to skip those and reference those policy changes at Page 6 of
the packet and then move on to say that Dr. Gurb Singh, Associate Vice President of Academic
Affairs, presented two new affiliation agreements to the committee. The first agreement will
be with Beyond Interpreting to provide clinical experience for students enrolled in the ASL
English interpreting preparation program. The second agreement will be with New Liberty
Hospital District to provide clinical experience for the students enrolled in the neurodiagnostic
technology and respiratory care programs. Both agreements were approved by the committee
and complete details can be found subsequently in the Consent Agenda portion of the October
26 board packet. Also Rick Moehring, Dean and — Dean of Learner Engagement Success,
presented an Articulation Agreement with Kansas State University Global Campus to the committee.
The agreement provides the opportunity for qualified students to participate in DirectLink,
a dual advising initiative designed to assist bachelor’s-degree-seeking transfer students
in meeting graduation goals at both institutions. The agreement was approved by the committee
and complete details can be found subsequently in the Consent Agenda portion of the August
17 board — August 17 board packet? The agreement was approved by the committee and complete
details can be found subsequently in the Consent Agenda portion of the October 26th board packet.
I will add that we did have a discussion about the suspension of the College Now placement
scores. Dr. Weber presented for — (Phone Ringing)
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Dr. Weber presented for the administration and professors Melanie
Harvey and Beth Edmonds presented for the faculty because frankly I wanted to know what
happened. I appreciate everyone presenting that day, and I appreciate the discussion
tonight. I also do think, quite frankly, there needs to be some advice and consent sought
from the faculty. They do not always get what they want when you have a voice in what goes
on, but I do think frankly they should have been consulted, and I don’t mean to beat a
dead horse, I’m just making my position clear. Madam Chair, that concludes my report.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you, Trustee Cross. Any comments? Moving on to
Management Committee, Trustee Dr. Cook.>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Thank you. I want to
apologize to Trustee Cross for the noise. I — I’ll be very transparent about what I
was trying to do. I was trying to look at my dictionary of how to pronounce E-I because
I wanted to make sure I pronounced Philip Mein’s name correctly and I wasn’t sure if
it was –>>It’s Mein.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Is it Mein? Yeah.>>It’s Mein.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: So that’s why I got — I’m sorry I got — (Inaudible). Anyway,
the Management Committee did meet on October 4th at 8 a.m. here in the board room with
a large cadre of people attending. That report is found on Pages 8 through 21 of your board
packet. Barbara Larson, Executive Vice President of Finance, gave a report on the college’s
Continuing Education Testing Center proctor for the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing
Center. That’s on Page 43 of the Consent Agenda. She also updated us on the fiscal year ’18-’19
budget process, and those guidelines in our process actually will begin in December 6th,
when we’ll take — we’ll have those guidelines brought forth to us. Mitch Borchers, Associate
Vice President of Business Services, gave the sole service report. That’s found on Page
9 of your board packet. And again, that — those include the items of bids between 25,000 and
$100,000. Rex Hays, Associate Vice President of Campus Services and Facilities Planning,
gave a monthly update on capital infrastructure projects, and that report is found on Page
15. Tom Pagano, the Vice President of Information Services, provided a quarterly have up date
on our Information Services. That’s found on Page 16. And then we had a pretty detailed
report on information technology presented by Philip Mein. This is — October is Cybersecurity
Awareness Month and I guess I would challenge all of us if we — if we think we know quite
a bit about cybersecurity and technology, we might schedule a coffee or a lunch with
Philip, and I think that you’ll get an indication of what you know and what you don’t know.
But we were very impressed with Phillip’s presentation. He did a terrific job. We have
two recommendations this evening. The first is regarding our — our contract with our
annual Contract for Government Affairs Liaison Services. You’ll recall that we pushed that
off a month last — in September, and the reason for that was to have further discussions
with, in this case, The Carter Group regarding strategies going forward. We did enter into
a four-year renewal agreement with The Carter Group back in September of ’13, and this is
the last of a four-year renewal process. In that discussion, we finalized strategies for
state lobbying and we have removed the expectation of The Carter Group to do federal legislation.
And so that’s why you’ll see a reduced amount in the proposed contract. So it is the — excuse
me. It is the recommendation of the Management Committee that the Board of Trustees accept
the recommendation of the College Administration to approve the renewal of the annual contract
for state government affairs liaison services with The Carter Group, Inc., at an amount
not to exceed $46,738.34, plus expenses pursuant to college travel policies, and I’ll make
that motion.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: I’ll second.
There’s been a motion and a second. Discussion?>>Trustee Lee Cross: Madam Chair, I disagreed
with the — I disagreed with the recommendation in committee. I disagree with it now. I think
in my estimation we do need a lobbyist in D.C. We’re looking for the role of contrarian,
I’m happy to have it now. I think that the human being on the ground matters. I think
the relationships with a person that can be delegated from the administration to someone
with the knowledge and experience of the lay of the land, particularly when I think he’s
well received by everyone in Washington. I disagree that it’s more than planning three
meetings for $27,000, and I do think I will — I will vote no on this. So thank you very
much, Madam Chair.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you,
Trustee Cross. Trustee Cook?>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Madam Chair, as I indicated
to Trustee Cross at management and will say again tonight, one of our reasons for making
this decision is we have a number of staff that have been very engaged, depending upon
the topic, at the Congressional level with the Congressional’s local staff. We have — including
trustees, administration, and other staff members that have that engagement. And I think
while you asked the question of Mr. Carter during his report, he did say it happens,
but he also said I — I think I heard him say it’s rare, but it does happen, he does
have outstanding relationships with staff, but we feel at this point in time for this
year, we would like to pursue the Congressional issues with our — with our — with our staff,
and that’s why we’re making the recommendation.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: I have a quick
question of the — or those on the Management Committee, if there was any conversation about
the uncertainty in Washington, D.C., the — what’s going on in education in general, in higher
education specifically, just the sort of kerfuffle that’s become Congress right now as they head
into the end and the crucial part of their session? Was that conversation —
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Well, yes. And I think there’s, every day there’s a question about
what will be resolved in Washington, what will be resolved with tax reform. I think
Trustee Cross raised a great question about how will federal tax reform impact the potential
dollars at the college level. We seem to be, though, I think and properly should be more
focused on where the state is rather than the federal. The Pell Grants, there’s strong
support at the — at the national level for year-round Pell. That was approved last year.
That’s one of the big federal programs. Perkins Act is another big program. And I think our
feeling is that in the Congress, in a nonpartisan way there’s strong support for community college
activities and we thought we would like to see a year of how — how it would work with
our own staff involved.>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: So you’re suggesting
that this is just for a year, that we will revisit this?
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: We will — we can renew this — this whole issue when the — and this
contract would go, we’re recommending, through September 30th of 2018. For the remainder
of this year. Correct.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Trustee Cross.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Thank you, Madam Chair. As much as I enjoy riling up Trustee Cook,
I do just respectfully disagree. I think now is the time not to pull out with the lobbyist.
I do think that reasonable people can disagree, and I’ve thought long and hard about why any
of our previous boards or administrations would have done this, and I think it’s just
the flanking of a marketing tool, having a lobbyist on the ground, I think separates
yourself from the 19 other community colleges and 6 technical schools, at a minimum. So
I think while we have KACCT, and I agree the state is more important generally, we have
in the past five years had moneys from the federal government come anywhere from — what
did I say? I heard — I meant to say KACCT and ACCT, if I didn’t say that. 24 to $40
million over the last five years has been the amount of money we get from the federal
government. I think Senator Flake was somebody that instituted taking out earmarks. I think
that has been I think to the detriment of any kind of deal cutting in Congress. Nevertheless,
I think if I understand Trustee Sharp’s point, I think now is an uncertain time in not knowing
what’s going on — knowing what’s going on in Congress is more important than ever because
you have to be there on the ground to know what’s going on because there’s a complete
lack of trust, you literally have to operate the human network to know what’s going on.
They don’t tweet and Facebook everything they’re doing. I’m sorry, folks. They just don’t.
So I disagree.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Any further
discussion? Okay. I have — I have some comments. Having worked in D.C. both in a U.S. Senate
office and in a state office representing a U.S. Senator back here in the state, in
Wichita, in a district office is what they’re called, leaving this to chance and to staff
that I know is already overworked and — and mostly under paid, I have some serious concerns
about leaving our federal responsibilities un or under-monitored at this point. D.C.
is a mess. We think Topeka or our local communities are having trouble. D.C. is a — is a mess
and now is not the time I think that we need to — to back out of that. We need someone
there especially since this RFP is open again in 11 months or something, we’re due for an
RFP. I think we should continue this — this current contract and re — and have that conversation
since we’re going to have a new RFP at next year anyway. So with that being said, I make
a substitute motion to amend the Management Committee’s recommendation to restore the
original contract amount to include federal lobbying services and continue the amended
amount through the remaining 11 contract months upon which the board can reconsider such work
with the next RFP. I do make that a substitute motion.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: I believe we should vote on the first motion before we entertain
a substitute motion.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Substitute
motion takes priority.>>Second.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Tanya?>>(Inaudible).
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: I’ll just respond to Trustee Sharp’s comments. A lot of the recommendation
came from staff, based upon how they felt they could handle the Congressional issues.
That was important in our decision. And based on what the topic would be, I have every confidence
that our staff can handle it and that we can save the college $27,000.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Further discussion?>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Madam Chair?
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Yes. Is this Dr. —
>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Yeah, this is Dave Lindstrom.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Yes.>>Trustee David Lindstrom: I will be supporting
the original motion and not the substitute motion.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Okay. We’re voting on the substitute motion. All in favor,
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: We probably need a — all opposed?
(Ayes.)>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Okay. Substitute
motion fails. We’re back on the original motion. The original motion is the original recommendation
from the Management Committee. Discussion on that motion? All in favor?
(Ayes).>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Opposed?
(Noes).>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Motion passes.
Moving on to the next recommendation for the Management Committee?
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Our final recommendation has to do with the printing for continuing
education catalogs. You can find that information on Page 13 and 14. This is a second renewal
year of a four-year option. It is the recommendation of the Management Committee that the Board
of Trustees accept the recommendation of the college administration to approve the renewal
of the annual contract for the printing of continuing education catalogs with Henry Wurst,
Inc., at a total annual expenditure not to exceed $235,000, and I’ll make that motion.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Second.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: There’s been
a motion and a second. Discussion? Without discussion, all in favor?
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Opposed, same sign. Motion passes.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Thank you, Mr. Chair, that concludes my report. Madam Chair.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you, Trustee Dr. Cook. We now move on to the President’s
Recommendations for Action, and the Treasurer’s Report. Trustee Cross.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Yes, Madam Chair. Let me pull that up. The board packet contains
the Treasurer’s Report for the month ended August 31st, 2017, and some items of note
include Page 1 of the Treasurer’s Report is the General/Post-Secondary Technical Education
Fund summary. August was the second month of the college’s 2017-2018 fiscal year. State
credit hour operating grant payments of 10.3 million were received during August and recorded
in the General and Post Secondary Technical Education Funds. Ad valorem tax distribution
of 4.6 million was received from the Johnson County — from Johnson County in September
and will be reflected in next month’s report. The college’s unencumbered cash balance as
of August 31st, 2017, in all funds, was 100.8 million, which is approximately $13.9 million
higher than at the same time last year. Expenditures in the primary operating funds are within
the approved budgetary limits, and is it, therefore, Madam Chair, the recommendication
of the College Administration that the Board of Trustees approve the Treasurer’s Report
for the month ended August 31st, 2017, subject to audit.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: We have a motion. Do we have a second?
>>Second.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Motion and
a second. Discussion? Questions? Okay. All in favor say aye.
(Ayes).>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Opposed same
sign. Motion passes. We — do you have anything further, Trustee Cross?
>>Trustee Lee Cross: That concludes my report.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: We move to
Monthly Report to the Board from Dr. Sopcich.>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Thank you, Vice Chair
Sharp. I wasn’t going to say much tonight, but I am going to speak a little bit about
concurrent because all of a sudden concurrent is a hot issue across the state. Yesterday
Dr. McCloud, Dr. Moppen and I attended our second panel, a panel I guess you could say,
an inquiry conducted by members of the Kansas Board of Regents and the State Department
of Education. Dick alluded to this earlier. The objective here, and this does have legislative
traction, I can tell you, is to provide greater accessibility and affordability to concurrent
education across the state. The legislature is big on to this, as well as both of those
educational oversight bodies because of what it can do. There’s a strong belief that when
a student can take one course in concurrent, it — we have a better chance of getting them
engaged and going to school. So this is — this is a train that’s on the track and it’s moving
pretty fast. I would like to commend Dr. McCloud for his informal testimony yesterday. They
were still talking about that today as Mickey lectured them on higher education and the
way — what was your — your speech yesterday?>>Mr. Mickey McCloud: The differences between
university and community college and the ranking systems that provide stability to the educational
system of higher ed and put teeth into a degree.>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Yeah. It was outstanding.
And they were — we were discussing this today. Over the past couple weeks, Dr. McCloud and
Dr. Weber and I have visited every school superintendent and their associates who work
with concurrent. Those — I can’t share with you the enthusiasm that these superintendents
have obviously for what they do, but the incredible amount of effort that’s happening in the K-12.
We — for those that had newer facilities, for example, like Shawnee Mission and yesterday
we got to tour the new Career and Tech Facility at Gardner Edgerton, which is fantastic, and
their new culinary kitchen, they are so excited about the opportunities they’re going to be
able to provide their students. Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who turned out
here tonight. The beauty of working on a college campus is that people can come to meets like
this and voice their points of view, and that is what makes this community so strong and
obviously there is great passion behind this issue. With so much passion, the odds of eventual
success and living up to process are good. So again, on behalf of the administration,
the cabinet, thank you for being here this evening.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: That’s all. All right. We have nothing under new business
— or sorry, old business. New business, Mr. Clayton.
>>Mr. John Clayton: Thank you for the opportunity to present to you the new strategic plan and
the hard work over the past year that has gone on by this campus community. So tonight
I’m going to present to you for your review the 2017-2020 strategic plan and new key performance
indicators. If you remember correctly, we went into detail about this at the Board of
Trustees retreat, so you’ve — or seen all the behind the scenes stuff that’s happened.
I just wanted to do a formal presentation here so that we can start the process of getting
this approved. This was a collaborative effort of over 200 campus faculty, staff, students,
and administration. Through the use of the environmental scanning process, SWAT, and
evaluation of campus data and needs, five institutional priorities that you see here
are being proposed and were developed. These five institutional priorities will help the
— guide the institution for success into the future. Multiple strategies have been
developed to assist with focusing the college in addressing these priorities, and we’ll
see those as we go forward here tonight. I’m just going to briefly walk through each one
of these. The first one is academic excellence. You can see the three strategies there. Academic
excellence is focused on keeping the college relevant. And is one of the more critical
components to the college’s success. This priority will assist us in meeting the needs
of students and the community through providing appropriate programs and assistance to students
while maintaining rigor in the course room. Institutional priority 2, which is focused
around student success. This has been focused on to ensure that programs and services are
aligned to help students meet their educational needs and that — and goals while they’re
here at the college. The college seeks to identify and develop a pathway for success
for each student, whether they be credit or non-credit, or whether they be career or transfer.
Institutional priority 3 is focused around employee engagement. Get to my right sheet
here. This critical component for the college and people value that people are a valuable
resource to the college. The college is committed to hiring and developing strong leaders to
create a positive difference for students and the community in which we serve. Institutional
priority 3, which is looking at community engagement, we strive to be local leaders,
regional leaders, national leaders, and even international here at the college. We want
to provide a great experience for our community. We also look to support the local economy
by providing the fuel for the local economic engine. That fuel is an educated workforce
and a strong — and strong students. The last one is focused on keeping the college relevant
and making sure that we use the tax dollars appropriately. Get my right sheet. We want
to make sure that we’re keeping appropriate facilities and that we’re using — taking
a holistic approach to sustainability and operational efficiency. With this new plan
we need to take the opportunity to review our key performance indicators, or our KPIs.
These metrics will guide the institution forward and ensure that faculty, staff, cabinet, the
Board of Trustees, and our community are achieving the mission of Johnson County Community College,
and if you notice here on the KPIs, each one of those are aligned underneath those institutional
priorities and which one those are measuring. This is the new strategic plan as we go forward.
This is an opportunity for you guys to look at this and see this. If you’ll notice on
the sheets there in front of you, Trustee Ingram, we took your suggestion about looking
at that community diversity and we’ve actually changed that to community inclusion and really
strengthened the wording around that to talk about how we value diverse thoughts and ideas
and people within our community and want to bring them together to create a more unified
community. So we took that feedback from the trustees’ retreat and incorporated it into
the new plan. At this point in time, are there any questions for present — on the content?
Yeah.>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: I would just say
although you — you have given me credit, it’s not really mine to take credit for, so
I would just suggest that when we had our first meetings at the beginning of the year,
that was just the overall theme that I felt like if — if we really believed it, then
we needed to move forward with it. So, you know, although you suggest that, it’s a team
effort, so.>>Mr. John Clayton: Absolutely. Absolutely.
>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: Thank you.>>Mr. John Clayton: I just was, you know,
cabinet heard the feedback you provided to us and we were — we took that and incorporated
it in.>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: And I know this guy
feels the same way.>>Mr. John Clayton: Yeah.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Thank you, Vice Chair Sharp. Well, we had detail at our retreat
and appreciated that. In light of what’s happened in the last month and in terms of the testimony
this evening, I’m really looking forward to goal 3 on employment engagement and how as
we a collective community work together as to what is the right engagement and the proper
decisions. I would hope that we always think of the student first. I’ll be a student advocate.
And like I said earlier, maybe our collective best isn’t good enough. So I’m looking forward
to that, and I really appreciate how we’ve built this strategic plan on our previous
strategic plan. There are some components that we had and now we’re — we’re revising
it and I thought Sheri Barrett made a great comment in our retreat when she said that
when we — when we’re dealing with the highing learning — Higher Learning Commission, it’s
a process that you go through, you make a decision and then hopefully you review that
decision for improvement. So I see this as an improved model based upon where we’ve been.
So thank you.>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: John, how are these KPIs
different than what we’ve been using?>>Mr. John Clayton: They’re — some of them
are actually the same. So if you notice up there, we see graduation and transfer full-
and part-time. You’ll see award attainment, the number of degrees we’ve awarded. Some
of the pieces that we’ve added is we’re actually including some of the non-credit majors where
in the past those were not included. So that whole section of the college, there was really
very few KPIs around that section of the college. And so now we’re starting to include those
in with — with the KPIs. One of the new metrics is actually the Quantum Workplace, which is
looking at our employee engagement. So those are three metrics on there that the faculty
and staff and administrators that took the employee engagement survey identified as areas
in which we need to focus. And so the institution has put that as part of our KPIs. So if we’re
measuring it, it’s something we’re going to get our attention, it’s something we’re going
to focus on. Always have to have student satisfaction. That’s one that’s carried over from which
is the Noel Levitz SSI. A new one on there is course completion. This is going towards
that academic excellence. We assume that a student enrolls in a course wants to complete
that course and so that’s something that we hadn’t measured in the past and so we’re actually
going to move forward with that as a key performance indicator. A new metric that we’re working
on is the community perception survey. This is something where we’re going to be surveying
the community around the campus and saying what’s your perception of us, what’s — what
should we be valuing and looking for there. So that’s something that’s a new metric moving
forward. Something that wasn’t a metric before but something we always take about, whether
it’s in cabinet, whether it’s Board of Trustees, whether it’s in any of the Board of Trustees
committees is what’s our enrollment. It’s something that we have to have as an institution
to be sustained, but yet it’s not a, you know, it’s something we had never really measured
before in the past as far as part of our KPI. And then a new one is the composite financial
indicator, it’s something that we’ve always tracked with the higher learning commission.
They monitor that on us, but it’s something we hadn’t tracked as a KPI, but it was a metric
that was tracked internally. So… does that answer your question, Dr. Sopcich?
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Sure.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Trustee Cross?
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Thank you, Madam Chair. Didn’t — I’m not saying we pioneered these
metrics exactly, but didn’t we help pioneer these metrics nationally?
>>Mr. John Clayton: What do you mean by pioneered?>>Trustee Lee Cross: I don’t know about pioneered.
Didn’t we invent them? (Laughter.)
>>Mr. John Clayton: Really didn’t invent them. A lot of these are ones that are used
by other institutions, like the Noel Levitz student satisfaction inventory, all those
satisfaction metrics are a national survey that we participate in. So I wouldn’t really
say we’ve pioneered them, but we’re definitely putting them out forefront for the college
to — to focus on.>>Trustee Lee Cross: I think they’ve been
useful over the last — my four years on the board. I reserve this comment for, you know,
special and rare occasions and I think you see here tonight we don’t always agree, but
I called Dr. Sopcich “Billy Beane” one time in his review I think last year, in the 2016
Executive Session. I hope that’s appropriate, Tanya, for me to say what I said in Executive
Session. But I thought it was a creative way for us to be able to walk around or, more
accurately, drive around in Kansas and talk to people and explain what it is we do in
higher education, because we had some legislators, perhaps justifiably, asking what is it we’re
spending money on, and this was a useful way to begin pushing back I think to explain what
it is that we do, what our transfer rates are, what successes mean, crack the joke Barack
Obama counts as a negative statistic for Occidental College, you know, and then move on to say,
look, here’s what we’re doing. Very systematically. And I appreciate it. And I think it’s been
a wonderful tool and I just wanted to say something positive.
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: Much appreciated, Trustee Cross. (Laughter) But maybe perhaps for folks,
you could elaborate on exactly who Billy Beane is.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Billy Beane is now the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations
for the Oakland Athletics, formerly the general manager for the Oakland Athletics, and I guess
now the Cleveland Indians have eclipsed them for the longest winning streak in history
of Major League Baseball, though some claim it’s the Giants, but they had a tie way back
when. And so, nevertheless, Billy Beane helped bring to the fore sabermetrics and the search
for new baseball knowledge, and you, sir, have done a remarkable job these last four
years. We haven’t always agreed.>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: And who — yes, true.
And who was the actor that portrayed Billy Beane in the movie “Moneyball?”
(Laughter.)>>Trustee Lee Cross: I’m glad you asked.
It was a gentleman from Missouri, from southwest Missouri named Brad Pitt.
>>Dr. Joe Sopcich: There you go. Thank you.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Now you have
all kinds of information you never needed to know.
(Laughter.)>>That’s not true!
>>Mr. John Clayton: I’m done unless there’s other questions.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you. Further comments? Thank you, Mr. Clayton.
Reports from board liaisons and the Faculty Association. Dr. Arjo.
>>Dr. Dennis Arjo: Thank you, as always, for the opportunity to address the board and
the administration. Interesting evening. It’s been an interesting and seemingly interminable
month. We’re actually had two FA meetings since the last time I spoke here, one at the
very beginning of the month and one just right before this meeting. The Accuplacer test and
all of that occupied our attention for both those meetings. In between those two meetings,
there were two Ed Affair meetings and a Faculty Senate meeting, which were also dominated
by this topic to a large extent. So while you might be asking what I could possibly
add to what has already been said, and it’s a good question. I do feel compelled and in
fact I was charged to say a bit more. So if you could sit through just a little bit more
about this. From the beginning, I saw, and I think the FA’s position has been there was
three issues raised here: One, the nature of the decision, the way it came about; second,
the state of affairs it created, specifically vis-�-vis our accrediting body’s compliance
with our own course descriptions and so on; and then, lastly, what are we going to do
going forward. I think after all the –>>Trustee Lee Cross: Mr. President?
>>Dr. Dennis Arjo: Yes.>>Trustee Lee Cross: What was the first issue?
Sorry.>>Dr. Dennis Arjo: The nature of the decision
and how it came about. So by now I think when all the dust has settled, I see a fair amount
of agreement on all three and I’m not going to belabor any of them in particular because
I think my colleagues who came here today, I think the three statements that have been
issued by the faculty bodies of various sort speak to all of them in quite a bit of detail.
I do want to say a little bit about the second two in particular. I do think it’s critical,
and I take there has been a commitment that the current situation is not tenable for the
long-term, we do need to find out a way to get back in compliance with our accrediting
bodies and our own course descriptions, and I take it there’s been a commitment that that
process will include very involved and working with the math faculty and other relevant bodies.
So this is something we will have to work on going forward. We intend to be watching
and hearing and talking to the math department about how things are going, and hopefully
by the time we get to the end of the next semester we’ll be in a very good place. I
also want to say something a little bit about the Collegial Steering meeting. I was there
and a lot of that meeting was taken up by a very detailed presentation by Professor
Beth Edmonds, the Chair of the Math Department, explaining in a great bit of detail how the
scores were set for the placement test, the cut scores, the process by which that happens,
the way the math department sees the importance of these tests to make sure that they do not
end up with students in classes that they don’t belong in and are set up to fail and
so on. It was an impressive presentation and in light of Trustee Musil’s remark about some
of the more emotional perhaps vitriolic remarks have been made, I hope we do not lose sight
of the fact that the faculty has on numerous occasions made very substantial reasons, arguments,
and presentations about our concerns and our position. And if I could say a little bit
about the vitriol itself, you might have gathered from my tenure as FA president, it’s not really
my style, I prefer philosophy, more reasoned discourse.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: Mr. President?>>Dr. Dennis Arjo: Yes.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: What do you mean by vitriol?
>>Dr. Dennis Arjo: Strong language.>>Trustee Lee Cross: Negative in tone?
>>Dr. Dennis Arjo: Negative, hypercritical, that kind of stuff.
Again, that’s not really my style. I prefer if there are problems to remain as calm and
civil as we can and work things out, but I do think we should take that to be a sign
of feelings borne out of genuine values and commitments to the students and to high academic
standards, and I would add that you don’t get mad at people from whom you expect little.
You get mad at people who — from who you expect quite a bit, and I think a lot of what
you saw tonight and in some of those statements where the rhetoric perhaps to some people’s
taste was a bit high, you saw frustration borne out of what’s seen as a lost opportunity
for the faculty and the administration to work together to resolve a serious problem
and a hope really that the future that could be avoided. And so while I understand some
of the frustration at that language — there were some interesting things said about me
over the last month, as a matter of fact — I think we do need to ultimately look for the
places where we do see agreements, acknowledge disagreements openly, as Dr. Cook has often
said we should not be afraid to do so, and at this point get down to the work, and it’s
going to be a lot of work to fix things and make sure this doesn’t happen again.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: True. (Laughter.)
Thank you, Dr. Arjo. We now move to a report from the Johnson County Education Research
Triangle, which, Dave, are you going to give that report or is Henry going to give the
report?>>Trustee Henry Sandate: Henry.
>>Trustee David Lindstrom: Henry will do that, please.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Okay. Well, I know that you were on the line. I wasn’t
sure if you were going to be on the line, so.
>>Trustee Henry Sandate: I’m speaking for you, Dave.
>>Trustee David Lindstrom: I’m driving right now.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Okay. Then you don’t need to give the report. Trustee
Sandate.>>Trustee Henry Sandate: Please, keep your
eyes on the road, Trustee Lindstrom. Thank you, Madam Chair. As a reminder, the Johnson
County Education Research Triangle was created in 2008 when the counties voted to support
a one-eighth cent sales tax. Today the tax generates more than $17 million annually to
advance academic research and business endeavors at its partners organizations such as K-State
Olathe Campus, the KU Edwards Campus, KU Clinical Research Center. The J-CERT board last met
on Monday, April 10th. Sales tax revenues for the month of September were $1,490,123,
slightly down, .87%, with three months left in 2017. Revenues for the
year are trending more than 2% positive. For more information, visit www.jucotriangle.com
and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. That concludes my report.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Comments? Questions? Thank you, Trustee Sandate. We move to the
Kansas Association of Community College Trustees. Trustee Dr. Cook.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Thank you, Madam Chair. I have no report.
>>Trustee Lee Cross: I’m sorry?>>I’m sorry?
(Laughter.)>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Okay.
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: It’s a rare moment.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: First time
for everything. (Laughter.)
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: I’m a little speechless.
>>I am too.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: No comments
from the peanut gallery. The Foundation report, Trustee Ingram.
>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: I do have a report this evening. A crowd of over 100 attended
the Foundation’s annual dinner which was held this past Tuesday on the Yardley Hall stage.
Highlights included the presentation of the Foundation’s Colleague Award to Tanya Wilson
for her assistance with the JC3 innovations and the SAFingerStick. “The Open Petal” award
was given to Pat and Beth McCowan for their years of leadership and service in our community.
And the Hugh W. Speer Award for Distinguished Service went to Bob Regnier on the tenth anniversary
of the Regnier Center for his many years of outstanding leadership to the Foundation.
It was also announced that for the 2016-2017 academic year, the community college’s Foundation,
working with the college’s Financial Aid office, awarded nearly 1.2 million to assist 1,121
of our students with tuition, books, and program needs. This is the highest amount ever awarded
in the history of the community college’s Foundation. This past Sunday, over 200 people
gathered on campus for the annual Lace Up for Learning 5K run. The event raised over
$5,000 for Johnson County Community College student scholarships. I do have one calendar
reminder, which includes Some Enchanted Evening, which will be November 11th, and we will report
the final fundraising numbers at next month’s meeting. I would like to acknowledge Kate
Allen and her staff. The handout that you provided at the dinner the other night was
full of record-breaking information, awards, scholarship dollars that are given to our
students. So please share with your staff how much we appreciate all the hard work and
certainly want to thank our donors for their support for the college as well. So that concludes
my report.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you,
Trustee Ingram. I also wanted to point out, Clint and Britton Robinson are the chairs
this year for Some Enchanted Evening, and thank them for their time, as well as congratulate
Mark Gilman, who will be recognized as Johnson Countian of the Year for this year. And the
board will now consider the Consent Agenda. The Consent Agenda includes a number of routine
consensus items that are typically considered collectively and approved in a single motion
and vote. Any member of the board may request that a particular item be removed from the
Consent Agenda and considered, debated, and voted upon separately. Are there any items
any board member would like to remove, discuss, or comment on from the Consent Agenda and
considered as a separate item?>>Trustee Nancy Ingram: Not at this time.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: I just wanted to comment on, I saw Yvonne De Maranville’s
retirement in there and I know we’ll talk about this probably later in the year when
she’s here, but I know that she will be missed as an integral part of the administration.
I wanted to recognize I saw her name. So if I have no other comments, do I hear a motion
to approve the Consent Agenda as printed?>>So moved.
>>Second.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Discussion?
All in favor say aye. (Ayes.)
>>Yes.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Opposed same
sign. Motion passes. And now I — let’s see. I have this script. I would like to entertain
a motion to go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing a legal matter with
legal counsel pursuant to the Kansas Open Meetings Act exception relating to matters
deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship. The session will last 20 minutes and we will
resume the open meeting in this same location. No action will be taken during this session.
We would like to invite the following members to join us: Joe Sopcich, Barbara Larson, Becky
Centlivre, Tanya Wilson, and Mary Nero to join the Executive Session. Do I have a motion?
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Motion and second. Discussion? All in favor?
>>Trustee Jerry Cook: What time will we start and what time will we come out?
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: We will start at — do you guys need a break?
>>Yes.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Let’s start
at 7:00, to return at 7:20.>>Trustee Jerry Cook: Thank you.
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: All in favor? (Ayes.)
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Opposed? (Executive Session).
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Thank you. We need a little more time in Executive Session,
and I would like to entertain a motion for an additional 20 minutes. We will resume the
open meeting in this same location. No action will be taken during this session. I’d like
to invite Joe Sopcich, Barbara Larson, Becky Centlivre, Tanya Wilson and Mary Nero to join
this Executive Session. Do I hear a motion?>>So moved.
>>Second.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Discussion?
All in favor say aye. (Ayes.)
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: Same sign. Motion passes. We’ll be back at 7:40 and we’ll
see you then. (Executive Session.)
>>Trustee Stephanie Sharp: Thank you. We are back. No action was taken. It is 7:35.
I would entertain a motion for adjournment.>>So moved.
>>Second.>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: All in favor,
>>Vice Chair Stephanie Sharp: We are adjourned. (Gavel)