April 3, 2023, Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees convened a meeting on Monday, April 3, 2023, at 3:00 p.m., in The Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality. Dr. Theresa Banks, Vice Chair, presided.

The following members of the Board participated: Joe Barwick, Joe Brumit, Michael Garrison, Tommy Justus, Himanshu Karvir, David King, Libby Kyles, Judy Lewis, Roger Metcalf, John Parham, Frances Ramsey, and Jason Walls. Matt Kern and Ryan Adams-Clark, Ex-Officio, were absent.

Others present for the meeting included: Dr. John Gossett, President; Terry Brasier, Vice President of Student Services; Shanna Chambers, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development; Kerri Glover, Executive Director of Community Relations and Marketing; Beth Stewart, Vice President of Instructional Services; Brian Willis, Vice President of Information Technology; Dirk Wilmoth, Vice President of Business and Finance/CFO; Deborah Wright, Vice President of Economic & Workforce Development and Continuing Education; Darryl Rhymes, Director, Employment & Employee Relations; Chris Campbell, College Attorney; and Carolyn Rice, Secretary to the Board.


Call to Order

Vice Chair Banks read the ethics statement. No conflicts of interest were reported. Ms. Rice called roll; a quorum was present.


Consent Agenda

At 3:04 p.m., Vice Chair Banks asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.

Mr. Brumit moved to approve Consent Agenda items: 1. A. March 6, 2023, Board Meeting Minutes; and 1. B. Personnel Actions.

The motion to approve the Consent Agenda was seconded by Ms. Lewis. The motion passed unanimously.


Resolution/Action Items

2. A. Dr. Wilmoth shared that the current Bookstore Operations Policy has been updated to reflect State Board Code 1H SBCCC 300.3, regarding markup on books and other supplies. The College markup on the cost of textbooks is 25 percent, whereas the industry markup is 28 percent. Students may use emergency funds to purchase textbooks if needed.

Dr. Parham moved to update the Bookstore Operations Policy. Mr. Karvir seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Trustee Business

3. A. Dr. Barwick and Mr. King shared that the 2023 NCACCT Law-Legislative Seminar was a good event, with a solid panel for discussion. It is always good to meet and talk with Trustees from other Colleges.

3. B. Mr. King, Ms. Kyles, and Ms. Ramsey were appointed to the Presidential Evaluation Committee.

3. C. Dr. Banks noted that Commencement will be on Saturday, May 13, 2023, and asked that all Trustees try to attend.

3. D. The Board reviewed the draft agenda for the April 20 Retreat. Ms. Kyles asked that equity be added to the discussion. Dr. Lett will be asked to attend the Retreat to provide an update on what the College does regarding diversity and equity.

3. E. Mr. King moved to approve the Board of Trustees Self Evaluation Survey and Timeline. Ms. Lewis seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

3. F. The Board agreed to hold the June 5 meeting at A-B Tech Woodfin.


President’s Report

Dr. Gossett shared the following information with the Board:

  • The campus is quiet this week because it is Spring Break for our curriculum students, faculty, and staff.
  • The Bill to extend our agreement with the County regarding construction on campus has passed the Senate and is currently in the Rules Committee of the House.
  • The Buncombe County Commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of 111 Victoria Road.
  • We continue to focus on the results of the FTE audit and are waiting to hear from the System Office.
  • The A-B Tech Hot Food Team and Student Chef Roman Nourse will represent the College in New Orleans this summer in both team and individual competitions. Pastry student Paty Santibanez won “Southeast Pastry Chef of the Year, Roman Nourse won “Southeast Student Chef of the Year”, and the Hot Foods team won “Southeast Team of the Year!”
  • A-B Tech hosted the Taste of Asheville, which was a great way for the College to partner with local employers, say thank you, and raise the exposure of the College in the community.
  • Two in-person campus forums were held in March, and a third was held at A-B Tech Madison. Headcount, the budget, and the future of the College were discussed.
  • Dr. Gossett will chair a SACSCOC visit to Dyersburg State Community College in western Tennessee. SACSCOC visits to other colleges are a valuable professional development tool for our employees.
  • Thank you to Dr. Barwick and Mr. King for joining Dr. Gossett at the 2023 NCACCT Law-Legislative Seminar in Raleigh. Opportunities to meet and talk with our representatives are always good for the College.


Staff Report

Dr. Beth Stewart introduced BLET team Dean Clint Gorman, Ms. Sarah Benson, and Mr. Daryl Fisher to the Board. The team came to discuss the College’s Basic Law Enforcement Program (BLET) and presented the following information:

  • Basic Law Enforcement Training is required of all officers regardless of previous education, training, experience, and other states’ credentials, for certification as a law enforcement officer in North Carolina.
  • The content and delivery of BLET is strictly regulated by the North Carolina Department of Justice.
  • BLET contact hours are strictly regulated by North Carolina Criminal Justice Training Standards. State-mandated contact hours are 640.
  • A-B Tech’s BLET mandates 802 contact hours because high-liability topics such as driving, and firearms training are included.
  • A-B Tech also added blocks on emotional intelligence, cultural diversity, “Vistalar” ( a new de-escalation tactic), critical incident report writing, and a mandated review week prior to taking the state exam.
  • There must be at least eight students in a cohort to run a BLET class in North Carolina.
  • The cost of the Asheville Police Department running a BLET program versus the cost for A-B Tech to run BLET was discussed. A-B Tech’s BLET program is more cost-efficient for students.
  • A-B Tech provides a state-mandated School Director, dedicated Administrative Assistant, Qualified Assistant School Director, pursuit-rated vehicles, firearms training equipment and supplies, scenario lab equipment and supplies, required record keeping and submittals, and instructors representing our service area. The Asheville Police Department would have to provide all the above to become a certified BLET program.
  • A-B Tech has been selected by the North Carolina Criminal Justice Standards to pilot “The New BLET” fully revised curriculum program in 2023.
  • A-B Tech’s BLET program is one of if not the best in the state. We will continue to help the Asheville Police Department, the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office, and all other agencies that we can.

The Trustees commended Dean Gorman, Mr. Fisher, and Ms. Benson for their presentation, and thanked them for the services they provide to our students and community. BLET has been a program at A-B Tech for decades and will continue to be the best for years to come.


SGA Report

The A-B Tech student Blood Drive will be held on April 13, and plans are underway for Earth Day on April 19.


Closed Session

At 4:23 p.m. Mr. King moved that the Trustees enter into closed session pursuant to G.S. 143-318.11(a) (1) and (3) in order to discuss confidential personnel matters pursuant to G.S. 115D-27-29 and to discuss matters protected by the attorney-client privilege. Dr. Parham seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

At 4:57 p.m. Ms. Lewis moved to enter an open session. Ms. Kyles seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.


Open Session

7. A. Dr. Beth Stewart stated that the Computer Engineering Technology Program and the need for knowledge of the inner workings of computers have become obsolete and asked the Board to terminate the Program.

Dr. Justus moved to terminate the Computer Engineering Technology Program. Mr. King seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

7. B. Dr. Stewart shared that the demand for a Sustainability Technologies associate degree has been declining since 2018 and that the College added a certificate in Solar Photovoltaic to focus on specific sustainable courses in demand. All current students will be placed on a teach-out plan. A new Sustainable certificate is being created under the Electrical Engineering associate degree, as most courses are now tied to electrical construction. Dr. Stewart asked the Board to terminate the Sustainability Technologies Degree.

Mr. Walls moved to terminate the Sustainability Technologies associate degree. Mr. Brumit seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

7. C. Finally, Dr. Stewart informed the Board that in 2016, a major change in state programs created an Information Technology umbrella with Digital Media as one of the pathways. Although the College opted to keep Digital Media as a separate program at that time, the administration has since reconsidered and wishes to terminate the Digital Media Technology Associate Degree and move Digital Media Certificates under the Information Technology program.

Mr. Garrison moved to terminate the Digital Media Technology associate degree. Mr. King seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.



Divisional Updates, and the March 2023 Student Success Scorecard are in the Handouts

The next Board meeting will be on Monday, May 1, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. at The Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality.



Prior to adjourning, Ms. Kyles shared that she would like to see Asheville City and Buncombe County schools come together for our students.

Mr. Chris Campbell thanked Dr. Gossett and the Board for sponsoring the Asheville High Robotics team. The Robotics team competed on April 1 and is ranked twelfth in the state!

Ms. Lewis shared that it has been a year since former Trustee Max Queen passed away.

Ms. Ramsey thanked everyone for keeping Ms. Sherri Davis in their thoughts.

On a motion properly made, the meeting adjourned at 5:13 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn H. Rice
Board Secretary