Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met electronically for their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. The meeting was held electronically due to social distancing requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A public hearing was held for an Industrial New Jobs Training Issuance of approximately $1.3 million. No oral or written objections or petitions were heard or submitted. Following review of the five bids received, it was the opinion of Municipal Advisor Maggie Burger, Speer Financial, Inc., that the bid of Bankers’ Bank, Madison, Wisconsin, at a true interest rate of 1.8865 percent was the best bid received and should be accepted. Following this recommendation, the SWCC board moved to receipt and file the proposed bids and then approved the resolution with Bankers’ Bank instituting proceedings for the issuance of the industrial new jobs training certificates.

Next, the board approved a resolution directing the sale and delivery of $1.18 million for industrial new jobs training certificates. Following the approval of the resolution, the board authorized the issuance of the certificates and provided for the securing of the certificates for the purpose of carrying out an Industrial New Jobs Training Program Project.

Following a report by Tia Samo, SWCC chief financial officer, the board approved a $7 per credit hour tuition increase for the 2020-21 academic year. With this increase, SWCC’s in-state tuition will be $184 per credit hour and out-of-state tuition will be $191 per credit hour. Proposed changes for fees include the following:

  • EMS 210 Emergency Medical Tech Basic Course Fee - $55
  • ADN 561 Medical Surgical Nursing II Course Fee - $128 course fee increase
  • PNN 172 Fundamentals of Nursing Course Fee - $50 course fee increase
  • Embedded Content Fees – These fees replace traditional textbooks for many classes. The Iowa Community College Online Consortium or SWCC may assess additional fees mid-year based on instructor or course requirements. Therefore, this is not an all-inclusive listing of the embedded content fees that may be charged during the year.

In personnel, the board approved the resignation of Lucas Mattson, professional music instructor, at the end of his contract.

During Discussion of Monitoring Process, board member Fred Shearer of Corning asked for clarification on how the college plans to accommodate career and technical education programs and other courses requiring labs for the summer term. Lindsay Stoaks, vice president of instruction, explained beginning Monday, May 18, the college will bring a number of these students back to campus in individual or small groups for instruction. Instructors will ask students to follow protocol regarding social distancing measures. Stoaks said in an effort to safely return faculty and small groups of students back to campus, the college is working closely with public health and implementing many COVID-19 mitigation strategies to minimize as many health risks as possible.

Tom Lesan, SWCC vice president of economic development, reported construction at the Agricultural Sciences Center at the college Ag Site is now complete.

During the president’s report, Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, explained the college’s current efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Crittenden said as the college begins to bring faculty, staff, and small groups of students back to campus, the college facilities will remain closed to the public and walk-in traffic.

Crittenden spoke briefly about the college’s 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony was premiered on YouTube on Friday, May 8, at 7:30 p.m., and remains posted for graduates and their families to watch. Dean of Student Services Kim Bishop, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Management Terri Higgins, and the marketing staff were recognized for their work in pulling this virtual ceremony together so quickly.

Jerry Smith, SWCC board member from Osceola, gave a brief report regarding the recent Iowa Association for Community College Trustees (IACCT) meeting he attended. Smith said the 2020 IACCT Conference has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.