Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at 5:30 p.m. in the college’s Administration Center for their regular board meeting.

The board discussed and approved a board member appointment, as well as a board member resignation.  At the May 24, 2013, special meeting of the board, a sub-committee had been appointed to fill the board vacancy in District 7, which was vacated with the departure of board member Cindy Cox of Bedford who is moving out-of-state with her family.  Rech stated it was the recommendation of this sub-committee that Jan DeMott of Bedford be appointed to the vacant position.  The board voted unanimously to fill the position with DeMott until the September 10, 2013, regular school board election when a board member will be elected.  

Rech also noted Susan Lane of Leon submitted her letter of resignation from the board as of June 11, 2013.  Lane had served on the SWCC board since 1982.  Board members expressed their appreciation of Lane’s years of service and dedication to the board.  Following approval of Lane’s resignation, Rech appointed board members Denny Davis of Greenfield, Jerry Smith of Osceola, and himself to a sub-committee for the purpose of filling Lane’s vacancy until the September election.    

The board approved the college’s Affirmative Action Plan as presented.  Board members had been given copies of the plan at the regular May board meeting to review prior to the vote.

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, explained to the board the college has been participating in the preparation of the Union County Hazard Mitigation Plan.  Preparation has taken place during the past 18 months.  Lesan said this plan will allow the college to apply for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant for a tornado safe room, should the college decide to pursue such a project.  If received, the FEMA grant would pay for 85 percent of the cost for the approved project.  Following Lesan’s presentation, the board approved the Resolution to Approve and Adopt the Union County Hazard Mitigation Plan of 2013-17 as presented.

Teresa Krejci, SWCC chief financial officer, spoke to the board regarding replacement of the college’s technology servers.  Krejci said the current servers are up to 10 years old, are housed in a small crowded area that has led to issues with climate control, and are operating on an uninterrupted power source (UPS) that is struggling during times where power is lost.  Krejci noted Southwestern’s strategic plan has identified the need to provide reliable technology and infrastructure to support learning and enhance productivity.  With the proposal, Krejci explained new servers would be purchased and installed with virtualization software allowing the servers to operate multiple operating systems so the work of several servers is combined into one.  Krejci also pointed out that in the proposal one server would be placed in a separate building to serve as a disaster recovery server.  Therefore, SWCC administration requested authorization of the board to proceed with a bidding process, not to exceed $150,000, for purchase and installation of new servers and storage devices.  The board authorized administration to proceed with the bidding process for new servers.

The board approved annual dues to the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees and the Association of Community College Trustees.

Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, talked to the board regarding a proposal to partner with Union County Habitat for Humanity on construction of a house during the 2013-14 school year by SWCC’s high school carpentry program in Creston.  Students from area high schools are eligible to enroll in the high school carpentry program.  The Habitat for Humanity house will be built at 600 West Montgomery Street in Creston and will be one story with approximately 900 square feet.

During the president’s report, Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, reminded the board of the summer commencement ceremony, which will be held on June 28, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center gymnasium.

Also during the president’s report, Lesan spoke with the board regarding the college’s facilities levy, which will be voted on September 10, 2013, during the school election.  Lesan reminded the board this is the continuation of a levy that has been in place since 1966 when Southwestern Community College was established.  The levy comes before voters every 10 years.  Lesan said speaking dates are being scheduled with service groups and organizations in Southwestern’s region to help inform the general public about the levy being on the September ballot.  Advertising, paid for by The Committee for Educational Excellence at Southwestern Community College, will take place throughout Southwestern’s area prior to the vote to bring awareness to the effort as well.

Smith, SWCC’s Iowa Association for Community College Trustees (IACCT) representative, reported the next IACCT meeting will be held in late-June and the annual IACCT Retreat will be held in West Burlington from July 24-26, 2013.

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