Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at 5:30 p.m., in the Agricultural Sciences Center on the Creston campus.

Following the approval of consent agenda items, including the tentative agenda, payables, and depository resolution, the board recessed to hold an exempt collective bargaining strategy session.

When the board reconvened, Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development reported to the board that a collective bargaining agreement was reached between the Southwestern Community College Education Association and Southwestern Community College. Lesan said employees covered by the agreement would receive a salary increase of 2 percent to their base salaries for fiscal year 2021.

Lesan said the agreement would continue through fiscal year 2022; however, Article IX, relating to salaries for fiscal year 2021, is effective for only one year and salary for fiscal year 2022 shall be subject to negotiation between the two parties. Minimum salary levels for 2020-21 will be as follows: entry level, $37,250; BA/BS, $38,250; MA/MS, $39,250; specialist, $41,650; and doctorate, $42,650. Following Lesan’s report, the board ratified the collective bargaining agreement as presented.

In personnel, the board moved to extend the contracts of Lindsay Stoaks, SWCC vice president of instruction, and Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, through June 30, 2021, with salary increases of 2 percent.

The board re-appointed the following members to the Education Foundation board for the 2020-21 year: Amy Hook of Creston, Randy Huewe of Creston, Rick Oshel of Osceola, Allen Pohren of Red Oak, Jerry Smith of Osceola, Alec Turner of Corning, and Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC representative.

During the president’s report, Crittenden reminded the board of the college’s modified fall academic calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this revised schedule in place, SWCC will transition to a virtual format for the final two weeks of the fall semester following Thanksgiving Break. Crittenden talked about modifications to the spring semester as well. Spring semester will begin as scheduled on January 11. Spring break in March will be eliminated to enable the college to end classes one week earlier on April 30 and alleviate the risk of spring break-related travel. Crittenden said these modifications are consistent with a number of other colleges and universities.

Susannah Miller, SWCC ag instructor, spoke to the board regarding activities and programming related to the college’s ag department. Miller gave board members a tour of the newly renovated Agricultural Sciences Center. The college embarked on this $1.8 million expansion in 2019 and the reconstruction project was completed in late-spring 2020. The project included the addition of a 45-person classroom; a 24-person lab-style room; a 24-person classroom; a student lounge; a mud room; and two faculty offices.