August 7, 2017 Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees convened a meeting on Monday, August 7, 2017, at 3:30 p.m. in the Magnolia Building. Joe Brumit, Chair, presided.

The following members of the Board were present: Gene Bell, Bruce Briggs, Mike Fryar, Jacquelyn Hallum, Matt Kern, Roger Metcalf, William Murdock, John Parham, Frances Ramsey, Robin Ramsey, Mary Ann Rice, and Mandy Stone.

Others present for the meeting included: Dennis King, President, Dirk Wilmoth, Vice President Business and Finance/CFO, Terry Brasier, Vice President Student Services, Beth Stewart, Vice President Instructional Services, Shelley White, Vice President Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education, Kaye Schmidt, Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development, Marketing, Kerri Glover, Executive Director, Community Relations and Marketing, Brian Willis, Vice President, Information Technology/CIO, Chris Campbell, College Attorney, and Carolyn Rice, Secretary to the Board.


Call To Order

Chair Brumit read the ethics statement. No conflicts of interest were reported. Ms. C. Rice called the roll. A quorum was present.


Swearing In

At 3:35 p.m., Mr. Mike Fryar was sworn in as a reappointed Trustee of A-B Tech Community College by the Honorable Steven D. Cogburn, Clerk of Superior Court.


Presentation Of The Order Of The Long Leaf Pine

Ms. April Riddle, a representative from former Governor Pat McCrory’s office, presented Trustee Mrs. Robin Ramsey and former Trustee Mr. Nathan Ramsey with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the most prestigious award conferred by the Governor of North Carolina. It is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.

Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey received a standing ovation and congratulations from the Board.

Chair Brumit and Dr. King also presented Mrs. R. Ramsey a plaque of appreciation for her work on the A-B Tech Board of Trustees and wished her all the best for the future.


Consent Agenda

Chair Brumit asked the Trustees to read the Closed Session Minutes from the June 12 Board meeting and to return them to Mr. Campbell when finished.

Mr. Kern moved to approve the Consent Agenda items: 1.A. Minutes of June 12, 2017, 1.B. Closed Session Minutes of June 12, 2017, 1.C. Personnel Actions, 1.D. Blanket Travel Authorization and Excess Approval, 1.E. Approval of the 2018-2019 College Calendar, and 1.F. Approval Revised Policies.

Mr. Metcalf asked if the dates on the 2018-2019 College Calendar coincided with the start dates of the Buncombe County Early College. Dr. Stewart stated that all students have access to classes regardless of a designated start date.

The motion to approve the Consent Agenda was seconded by Ms. Stone and approved unanimously by the Board.

Mr. Darryl Rhymes introduced three new employees to the Board.


Resolution/Action Items

2.A. Dr. Wilmoth discussed the Financial Statements and Audit for Fiscal Year 2016 with the Board. Cherry Bekaert, the College’s Auditors, stated that “the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the College and discretely presented component unit of the College as of June 30, 2016, and the respective changes in financial position and cash flows thereof for the year then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.”

Dr. Wilmoth informed the Trustees that the College’s net position has increased by $65 million, which includes the Allied Health and Workforce Development Building, the Parking Deck, and the Mission Health/A-B Tech Event Center.

Mr. Briggs asked Dr. Wilmoth to discuss the material weaknesses found by the Auditors. Dr. Wilmoth stated that due to leadership and personnel changes in the past year, some compliance items were overlooked. Dr. Wilmoth assured the Board that the College has instituted procedures to prevent this from happening again.

On a motion by Dr. Parham, seconded by Mr. Fryar, the Financial Statements and Audit for Fiscal Year 2016 were approved by unanimous consent.

2.B. Dr. Stewart discussed the 2018 Global Education Spring and Summer Trips with the Board. Dr. Stewart informed the Board that the Global Education trips are custom designed for community college students and provide an opportunity for the student to experience learning in a foreign country that will enhance the student’s global understanding.

Several Trustees asked about and were assured that students are able to receive financial aid via scholarships for the trips, are chaperoned by College faculty, and that travel and liability insurance is included.

On a motion by Ms. Hallum, seconded by Mr. Murdock, the 2018 Global Education Spring and Summer Trips were approved by unanimous consent.


Trustee Business

3.A. Chair Brumit asked Dr. Parham to explain to the Trustees why he is unavailable to become Chair of the Board. Dr. Parham explained that due to time constraints created by his position at the V.A. Hospital, it would be difficult for him to devote the time to the Board that the Board needs. Dr. Parham is glad to remain as Vice-Chair of the Board for another year.

Chair Brumit asked Ms. F. Ramsey for the Nominating Committee’s selections for the Chair, Vice-Chair and Board Secretary for 2017-2018. Ms. F. Ramsey thanked Mr. Murdock and Dr. Metcalf for their service on the Nominating Committee and offered Mrs. M. Rice as Chair, Dr. Parham as Vice-Chair, and Ms. C. Rice as Board Secretary.

Chair Brumit opened the floor for additional nominations.

Mr. Briggs moved to close the nominations. Ms. R. Ramsey seconded the motion.

Mr. Briggs moved to accept the Nominations of Chair, Vice-Chair, and Board Secretary as presented. Mr. Fryar seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously by the Board.

Chair Brumit thanked the Nominating Committee members for their hard work and welcomed Mrs. M. Rice as the new Chair of the Board.

Ms. F. Ramsey and the Board thanked Mr. Brumit for all of his hard work on the Board, and his dedication to A-B Tech. Ms. F. Ramsey specifically shared thanks from Madison County as well.

Mr. Briggs moved to adopt a resolution to thank Mr. Brumit for his service on the Board. Dr. Parham seconded the motion, which was approved unanimously by the Board.

Chair Brumit stated that it has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the A-B Tech Board of Trustees.


President's Report

Dr. King introduced Mr. Nathan Ramsey and asked him to update the Trustees on the College’s relationship with the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board.

Mr. Ramsey presented the following to the Board:

  • Our region has the tightest job market in North Carolina.
    • The unemployment rate in Asheville metro is 3.5 percent, which is the lowest of any metropolitan area in North Carolina.
    • The unemployment rate in Buncombe County is 3.3 percent, which is the lowest of any county in North Carolina.
    • The unemployment rate in Madison County is 4.2 percent, which is on par with the North Carolina average.
  • Only two sectors in our region pay average wages above the North Carolina average:
    • Healthcare
    • Hospitality and Tourism
  • As of June 2017:
    • 13,874 positions are available in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania counties, and 8,928 individuals in those counties are currently unemployed.
  • Positions are available:
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Healthcare
    • Hospitality and Tourism
    • Skilled Trades
    • Technology/IT
  • Connect with positions:
    • Most good paying positions require a postsecondary credential.
      • A-B Tech Community College
      • Blue Ridge Community College
      • NC Works Career Center
        • Comprehensive career development services with career counselors.
        • Funding available to support job seekers with both short and long-term training.
  • Despite historic levels of prosperity, many people continue to struggle economically:
    • 15.2 percent of our region’s population live below the poverty level.
    • The poverty level for a family of four is $24,600.
    • The median income for a family in Buncombe County is $58,127.
  • NCWorks received a $250,000 Innovation Grant for “Upskill WNC”:
    • To “upskill” at least 100 individuals for jobs in career pathways.
    • To focus on SNAP population and low-level offenders in the criminal justice system.
    • To partner with local community colleges and Buncombe County Health and Human Services.
    • To have career navigators or career connectors in each of the four counties.
  • NCWorks Certified Career Pathways
    • Advanced Manufacturing
    • Hospitality and Tourism
    • Healthcare

Dr. Shelley White added that the College is in a partnership with the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board for Buncombe and Madison counties. The College employees five full and one part-time person who is engaged with the Workforce Board, receive funding and deliver services to the community. Dr. White also informed the Trustees that roles are being expanded in Madison County, and due to the low unemployment rate, the College is digging deeper to find employees and positions. The College is expanding the SNAP to Skills program into Madison County as well.

Trustee Kern asked how the College is recruiting Certified Nursing Assistants and Nursing students. Mr. Ramsey responded that recruitment starts in local neighborhoods. We work with employers to find ways to connect with their staff. Employers are motivated because the workforce is limited.

Mr. Ramsey concluded by stating that the biggest challenge is to help already employed people to increase their wages so that they can earn a living wage.

The Trustees thanked Mr. Ramsey for an excellent presentation.

Dr. King continued with the following news with the Board:

  • Dr. King showed the ALICE video to the Trustees. ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. ALICE is designed to educate students on how to react in case of an active shooter on campus. The College requires that the ALICE video be shown to all students, in every classroom, each semester.
  • A student passed away on campus due to the ingestion of opioids. A second A-B Tech student passed away off campus from opioids as well.
    • All A-B Tech Police Officers are now carrying NARCAN in hopes of preventing any further deaths due to the opioid crisis.
    • In addition, all single-stall restrooms doors on campus are being re-keyed to allow entrance with one master key.
    • Professional Development will be offered on campus to educate the faculty and staff on the signs of opioid use.
    • The Mother of the student who passed away on campus is creating a video regarding the opioid crisis, in hopes of preventing another overdose. This video will also be shown in selected classes.
  • “Lunch with the President” occurs every other month, and gives me the opportunity to get to know new employees.
  • The gutter and drainage systems, HV/AC, and the bank stabilization projects in Madison County are now out to bid. All projects should be underway by September.
  • The College hosted two very successful open houses, one at the Woodfin Campus for Emergency Management Services, and one for the Hospitality programs on the Asheville Campus.
  • The fifth floor of the Ferguson Allied Health and Workforce Development Building is in the design phase. The fifth floor will house the Physical Therapy Assistant program, Early Childhood Education, computer labs, as well as multipurpose general classrooms.
  • The Academic Achievement Ceremony was held for the spring semester. 494 students made the Dean’s list, 299 students made the President’s list, and 276 certificates were awarded.
  • Members of the Board and the College attended the Madison County Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Dinner.
  • Dr. King is a Co-Chair for Retention and Access Systems, part of the North Carolina Community College System’s (NCCCS) new Strategic Plan.
  • Dr. Jimmie Williamson, the President of NCCCS, has resigned and Ms. Jennifer Haygood will step into the role of Interim President until a new System President is hired.
  • The Ivy Campaign to raise $500,000 is underway. The renovated Ivy Building will be multipurpose.
  • Negotiations between Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Mission Health Systems are at a standstill. All North Carolina State employees have Blue Cross/Blue Shield as their health insurance provider, and employees at A-B Tech are anxiously awaiting a decision.
  • The A-B Tech Veterinary Tech program has been recognized as one of the top thirty programs, out of 200, in the nation.
  • A default judgment has been filed against Kenneth Roy Klehm regarding the “Still” purchase. Mr. Klehm’s name has been flagged in A-B Tech’s system to prevent him from receiving a transcript from the College.
  • Employees of the College took a survey called “Great Colleges to Work For” and the results of the survey will be shared at the October 2017 meeting.


Staff Reports:

Ms. Alexa Bazley updated the Board on following 2016-2019 Strategic Plan Initiative:

  • 2.1.4. – Enhance employee use of flex-time and alternative work schedules:
    • The College researched best practices, other College flex-time plans, local employers, and held listening sessions to create an Alternative Work Schedule for Faculty. A 40-hour workweek is required, and the Alternative Work Schedule gives faculty the flexibility to work longer days to shorten the workweek, according to what the best schedule for that faculty member is.

Dr. Fairley Pollock and Ms. Lisa Bush updated the Board on following 2016-2019 Strategic Plan Initiative:

  • 1.1.1. – Prioritize and fully implement the existing three-year Strategic Enrollment Management Plan:
    • The goal of Initiative 1.1.1., to Improve Access for All Student Groups, is accomplished by:
      • Targeted and integrated recruitment marketing and communications.
      • Diversifying enrollment.
      • Leveraging student scholarships.
      • Addition of new, relevant programs with varying lengths.
      • Enhancing the quality of the learning experience with technology and student services.
      • Building and sustaining a student-centered culture.
      • Dedicated International / Non-Citizen Academic Advisors.
      • High School Partnerships with Career and College Promise Programs, Classroom and financial aid presentations in area schools.
      • Home School information nights, high school visitation events, migrant family and student tours.

Ms. Bush informed the Board that the College strives to serve under-represented populations, with targeted marketing and outreach, open houses, new programs, and focused enrollment guides.

Dr. King thanked Ms. Bush and Dr. Pollock for an excellent report.

Ms. Shelly Blackburn and Mr. Ron Layne discussed ACA (Academic) Related Instruction with the Board.

  • Approximately 2,000 students per year attend ACA classes.
    • ACA courses have a standardized course template so all students have a common course experience.
    • ACA 115 includes a graduation project.
    • ACA 122 follows the College’s Strategic Plan for transfer programs.
    • Staff, adjunct faculty, and faculty teach ACA Courses from all departments.
    • Objectives include:
      • How to be successful in college
      • Honing soft skills
      • Study strategies
      • Focus on characteristics of a successful student
      • Note-taking strategies
      • Test-taking strategies
      • Career exploration
    • Students spend a great deal of time in tutoring labs
  • The ACA success rate is now up to 83 percent, and the message is repeated in each class: how to be successful in College.

Dr. King thanked Ms. Blackburn and Mr. Layne for an excellent presentation.

Ms. Frances Ramsey thanked Ms. M. Rice for accepting the Chair of the Board position and stated that the Board looks forward to working with her.



On a motion by Mr. Fryar, seconded by Dr. Metcalf, the meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m. by unanimous consent.


Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn H. Rice

Board Secretary