The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees convened a meeting on Monday, December 7, 2020, at 3:00 p.m., via Zoom and teleconference. Dr. John Parham, Chair, presided.
The following members of the Board were also present on Zoom: Theresa Banks, Joe Brumit, Himanshu Karvir, Matt Kern, Judy Lewis, Roger Metcalf, Max Queen, and Cheyane Verran. Trustee Frances Ramsey participated via teleconference. Trustees Nian Avery, Wayne Brigman, and Libby Kyles were absent.
Others present for the Zoom meeting included: John Gossett, President; Terry Brasier, Vice President Student Services; Amanda Edwards, Director of the Foundation; Anne Oxenreider, Director of Research and Planning; Beth Stewart, Vice President Instructional Services; Brian Willis, Vice President Information Technology/CIO; Dirk Wilmoth, Vice President Business and Finance/CFO; Deborah Wright, Vice President Work Force Development and Continuing Education; Darryl Rhymes, Associate Director, Human Resources and Special Assistant to the President for Equity and Compliance; Ashley Leonard, College Attorney; and Carolyn Rice, Secretary to the Board. Kerri Glover; Executive Director of Community Relations and Marketing participated via teleconference.
Call To Order
Chair Parham read the ethics statement. No conflicts of interest were reported. Ms. Rice called the roll, a quorum was present.
Chair Parham asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.
Mr. Brumit moved to approve Consent Agenda items: 1. A. November 2, 2020 Board Meeting Minutes, and 1. B. Personnel Actions.
Mr. Queen stated there was an error in the November 2 minutes. Mr. Queen then moved to approve an amended Consent Agenda with the corrected minutes. The motion to approve the amended Consent Agenda was seconded by Ms. Lewis. Trustees Banks, Brumit, Karvir, Kern, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the amended Consent Agenda. The motion passed unanimously.
2. A. Dr. Beth Stewart discussed the Mechatronics Engineering Technology Program with the Board. The College is seeking to change the name of the Industrial Systems Program to the more recognized Mechatronics Engineering Technology Program in hopes that a more recognized program title will increase enrollment in the program. Mechatronics Engineering Technology will require one additional class at no cost to the College.
Mr. Karvir moved to approve the Mechatronics Engineering Technology Program. The motion was seconded by Dr. Metcalf. Trustees Banks, Brumit, Karvir, Kern, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the Mechatronics Engineering Technology Program. The motion passed unanimously.
3. Chair Parham reminded the Board about the ongoing Annual Giving Campaign at the College and asked all Trustees to consider supporting A-B Tech. Chair Parham also informed the Trustees that Governor Appointee Ron Edgerton tendered his resignation from the Board in November.
Dr. Gossett shared the following information with the Board:
- First, our thoughts and prayers are with Chris Campbell and his family.
- Our employees returned from Thanksgiving break rested and refreshed, which is good to see.
- Anne Oxenreider continues to do great work with staff and student surveys. Students were asked if they feel safe on campus during the pandemic. I am pleased to report that 100 percent of our students said yes, and this speaks volumes for our Human Resources Department and the Covid Task Force.
- The Strategic Planning process continues, and we are proud to say that many employees have volunteered to work on the Strategic Plan.
- Only 14 employees and 34 students have tested positive for the Coronavirus since March. This is another testament to how safe the College has been during the pandemic.
- SACSCOC is holding its annual meeting virtually this year. Dr. Terry Brasier and Ms. Cynthia Anderson are presenting on how to help students through the financial aid and loan process with the ultimate goal of keeping student debt as low as possible. Through Dr. Brasier’s leadership, the College has managed to lower the financial debt of our students.
- I have met with several students and classes on Zoom. All want to know when we can get back to regular in-person classes!
- Conversations regarding Pratt & Whitney continue and we appreciate Buncombe County’s support for the project.
- Several community college presidents met with State Board President Breeden Blackwell last week regarding the hiring of a new president for the North Carolina Community College System. Interviews take place this week, and a finalist should be announced soon.
- Other than attending several committee and Asheville Chamber meetings, most of our time is consumed by pandemic-related issues. We hope the Board is proud of all of our staff and faculty, who are awesome and have been working hard during this trying time. Everyone at the College is looking forward to the winter break!
Ms. Cheyane Verran, President of the Student Government Association, informed the Board that the food drive for MANNA Food Bank and the winter coat/toy drive for Toys for Tots have been so successful that we are trying to get more bins placed around campus. The SGA is wrapping up this semester and planning for events in January to help get our students engaged with the College.
Chair Parham mentioned that the State and County Budget Report as of October 31, 2020, and the November Tracking Measures Scorecard for 2020-2021 were in the Handouts.
The next Board meeting will be on February 4, 2021, at 12:00 noon in The Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality.
Mr. Queen asked the Chair if the Board should extend the tabled 2021 Student Fee discussion. Dr. Wilmoth stated that the College will present the annual Schedule of Fees to the Board during the February meeting which will include student fees.
Mr. Queen then moved to table the discussion of fees until the February 2021 Board meeting. Ms. Lewis seconded the motion. Trustees Banks, Brumit, Karvir, Kern, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved to table the discussion of fees until the February 2021 Board Meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Ramsey requested that the Board write a letter to the staff and students, thanking them for all they have done to make 2020 a successful year for the College during the pandemic. Dr. Gossett will draft the letter and send it to the Board for edits and approval prior to sending it out to everyone.
On a motion properly made, the meeting adjourned at 3:24 p.m. unanimously.
Carolyn H. Rice