Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of trustees met Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. in the Administration Center on the Creston campus.

Following approval of the minutes, Tia Samo, SWCC chief financial officer, explained corrections to the advance approval checks listed in the board book for the regular meeting. First, the expense listed to Office Machines for $44,500 should have been listed to Airgas; and second, the expense listed to Excel Mechanical for $13,538 should have been listed to Office Machines. The board voted to approve the Consent Agenda as corrected.

Jolene Griffith, SWCC director of human resources, briefed the board on minor revisions to the Quality Faculty Plan, which had last been approved by the board in September 2015. In accordance with Iowa Code, a Quality Faculty Plan Committee was established at SWCC to develop a plan for hiring and developing quality faculty. The first Quality Faculty Plan was effective July 2003. Following Griffith’s report regarding the most recent updates, the board voted to approve the Quality Faculty Plan as presented.

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president for economic development, spoke to the board regarding a home owner—Kim Whittington, whose property is located just west of the college—who is in the process of upgrading her sanitary sewer system and needs to connect to the sewer line located at the east entrance of the college to complete the project. According to Lesan, the college would need to enter into an easement to allow the sewer line to cross the property. Lesan said the trench for the sewer line would be placed on college property just to the north of the Department of Transportation right-of-way. Following discussion, the board authorized the administration to convey a sanitary sewer easement, across college property, to Whittington for the benefit of her property on terms and conditions negotiated by the administration.

Phil Tyler, Tyler Insurance Services, Inc., spoke with the board about the college’s insurance coverage.  Tyler noted the college’s deductible for property insurance had been increased from $500 to $2,500, which reduced the property premium by $13,000. In addition, Tyler stated the Worker’s Compensation Modification Factor increased from 1.03 to 1.33. Tyler said the athletic medical insurance also increased $4,700 due to an unusually bad loss ratio last year of 84 percent.

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, reviewed the 260E Bond Trac report.  He noted SWCC has two remaining issuances with six companies still having financial obligations to the college. 

Bill Taylor, SWCC vice president of instruction, presented the college’s Program Report to the board. This particular report includes information regarding the college’s career and technical education programs that were evaluated during the 2016-17 academic year; helps keep the board informed of the college’s endeavors with high school career academies; and provides updates to the board regarding the college’s distance education program. The report also includes the 2016-17 General Education Assessment Report, to provide a snapshot of the college’s assessment processes and accomplishments.

Beth Kulow, SWCC’s dean of student services, reported preliminary fall 2017 enrollment is at 1,587 students, and 15,145 credit hours. Kulow said headcount is down 4.5 percent from fall 2016 and credit hours are down 3.1 percent. She will give the final fall 2017 enrollment report at the October board of trustees meeting.

Jerry Smith, SWCC board member from Osceola, gave a brief report on the recent Iowa Association of Community College Trustees (IACCT) meeting in Des Moines.  

At the end of the meeting, Ken Rech, board president from Red Oak, noted that after 37 years of serving on the board of trustees, the September meeting would be his last regular board meeting. Rech noted that serving on the board had been very enjoyable. He said the college had been blessed with a strong administration and delightful and cooperative board members.

Rech became a member of SWCC’s board of trustees in October 1980. In October 1999, Rech was elected as vice president of the board. He served in this role until October 2008, when he became president of the board.