Creston— The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) board of directors met on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, at 5:30 p.m., in the SWCC Administration Center, for their regular board meeting.

Uncollectible account write-offs were approved as presented by Brandi Shay, SWCC chief financial officer. The fiscal year 2024 amount for student account balances was $57,089.70, with $242.17 from non-student accounts. Shay said the doubtful accounts write-off amount has been less the last few years due to COVID funds the college has received; therefore, some of the accounts have had COVID dollars applied to them. Shay said the business office staff actually brought this amount down quite a bit in April by making additional contacts with students.

Wayne Pantini, SWCC vice president of economic development, told the board the Southwestern Community College Education Association agreed to a new two-year collective bargaining agreement for fiscal years 2024-26.

The agreement included a 3.6 percent increase in faculty salaries based on a 167-day contract. Pantini said the college also made an adjustment to the educational advancement schedule. Pantini said with the new schedule in place, each level achieved will give the faculty member an additional salary bump of $400.

Following Pantini’s presentation, the board ratified the FY2024-26 collective bargaining agreement.

Shay spoke to the board regarding the college’s Plant Fund Levy, which has been in place for 40 years. The resolution authorizes a levy in an amount “not exceeding 20.25 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value for a period not to exceed 10 years until imposed for 20 consecutive years for the purchase of grounds, construction of buildings, purchase of buildings and equipment for buildings, and the acquisition of libraries, for the purpose of paying costs of utilities, and for the purpose of maintaining, remodeling, improving, or expanding the college.” Shay said SWCC meets the criteria for a board approved extension of the levy for an additional period of 10 years.

With a roll-call vote, the board then approved the resolution as presented.

In personnel, the board approved the employment of Brook Adams as a nursing instructor for the college. Adams, a registered nurse, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing from Des Moines Area Community College in 2006, a diploma in practical nursing from SWCC in 2004, and a Bachelor of Arts in American studies from the University of Iowa in 1994. She has worked as a registered nurse at Greater Regional Medical Center, an adjunct and clinical instructor at SWCC, and an LPN float nurse at Mercy West Medical Center in West Des Moines.

The board voted to extend the contract of Lindsay Stoaks, SWCC president, through June 30, 2025, with a salary increase of 3.6 percent.

As part of the president’s report, Stoaks said during the past year a great deal of time was spent on master facilities planning. She said the next academic year will focus largely on development of the FY2026-30 strategic plan.

Stoaks stated, “To drive this effort forward, we are asking the board to have input on the college’s purpose statement.”

The board had a brief discussion regarding potential ideas to improve the statement including tweaking the wording to make the statement broader and more inclusive of all individuals, due to the college assisting such a wide variety of ages and populations.

Following the discussion, Stoaks said the feedback received will be utilized to further revise the college’s purpose statement and the topic will be revisited during the July or August 2024 board meeting.

Kim Bishop, SWCC dean of student services, reported the college’s summer enrollment is at 427 students and 2,384 credits, which is down 98 students and 600 credit hours from summer 2023.

Pantini reminded the board the CDL ground breaking ceremony is Thursday, June 20, at 10 a.m., at the SWCC Agricultural Sciences Center, north of campus.

Stoaks said the Community Colleges for Iowa Trustee Conference is July 10-11 at Hawkeye Community College. Stoaks, as well as board members Dr. Tony Cass, Carol Saxton, and Sue Stearns, will be in attendance.

Pantini gave a campus construction update regarding sidewalk updates, Spartan Hall rooms and halls being painted, landscaping outside the residence halls, carpet updates in the Learning Resource Center, the ORBIT Center under construction in Osceola, and CDL facility construction beginning the first week of July.