The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees convened a meeting on Thursday, February 2, 2023, at 1:36 p.m., in The Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality. Mr. Matt Kern, Chair, presided.
The following members of the Board participated: Joe Barwick, Joe Brumit, Michael Garrison, Tommy Justus, Himanshu Karvir, David King, Libby Kyles, Roger Metcalf, and John Parham. Trustees Theresa Banks, Judy Lewis, Frances Ramsey, Jason Walls, 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; Ashley Leonard, College Attorney; and Carolyn Rice, Secretary to the Board.
Call to Order
Chair Kern read the ethics statement. No conflicts of interest were reported. Ms. Rice called roll; a quorum was present.
At 1:38 P.M., Dr. Joan Heller was recognized as Professor Emerita by the Board for her years of teaching accomplishments at A-B Tech.
At 1:42 p.m., Chair Kern asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.
Mr. Brumit moved to approve Consent Agenda items: 1. A. December 5, 2022, Board Meeting Minutes; and 1. B. Personnel Actions.
The motion to approve the Consent Agenda was seconded by Dr. Parham. The motion passed unanimously.
2. A. Dr. Wilmoth informed the Board that several groups are working together to explore the opportunity to remove a small dam on Hominy Creek adjacent to A-B Tech Enka. A dangerous dam would be removed and replaced with a more natural streambed and banks. The College recommends moving forward with the removal of the dam and the bank restoration project.
Dr. Justus moved to pursue the Hominy Creek Dam Removal and Bank Restoration Project. Mr. King seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
2. B. Dr. Wilmoth discussed changes to the 2023-2024 Schedule of Student Fees with the Board. Students may pay fees with financial aid, grant money, or other available funds.
Mr. Karvir moved to approve the changes to the 2023-2024 Schedule of Student Fees as presented. Dr. Parham seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
3. A. The Board discussed the extension of Senate Bill 807 which allows Buncombe County to build and oversee construction on the campuses of A-B Tech.
Mr. Brumit moved that Dr. Gossett notify the General Assembly that the College wishes to extend the sunset date of Senate Bill 807. Dr. Barwick seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
3. B. Chair Kern asked the Board to please let Ms. Rice know if they would like to attend the March NCACCT Law-Legislative Seminar in Raleigh.
3. C. The Board agreed to hold an all-day Retreat on a date to be determined in April.
3. D. The Board discussed continuing Zoom options for Board meetings. The Board agreed that Trustees who would like to participate in Board meetings virtually must give Chair Kern and Dr. Gossett a 48-hour notice of that intent.
Ms. Leonard added that remote participation is detailed in the Board’s Constitution and that she would email the Board with the language.
Dr. Gossett shared the following information with the Board:
- Enrollment is down approximately 1.7 percent in headcount, and our FTE (Full Time Equivalent) is down one-half of a percent for the spring. A-B Tech, as well as all community colleges, have seen enrollment decline over the past six years.
- The North Carolina Community College System (NCCCS) office performed an audit on the College’s FTE, and we may have to return funds to the state. The audit found discrepancies in how attendance was recorded. We believe the discrepancies may be due to switching software during the middle of the semester. ELT is working to discover where mistakes were made, and several representatives from the College will meet with the Chief of Staff of the NCCCS to further discuss the issue.
- Roofing materials are being stored at A-B Tech Enka, in preparation for the re-roofing project this spring.
- The bid to demolish the Haynes Tower has not gone out yet.
- We still don’t have a deed to the property at the Pratt & Whitney location. Due to how slow construction seems to be, the College would like to delay building on the Pratt & Whitney site for five years.
- The “Fast Track” marketing campaign is out which will be used to recruit potential employees for Pratt & Whitney. Applicants will participate in a 16-hour training block, and completers of that training block will be guaranteed an interview. Successful applicants will then participate in an eighty-hour training program prior to being hired.
- The business office provided ELT with preliminary budget numbers for this year. We are working on what A-B Tech will look like in the future, and ELT is looking at ways to become more efficient. Examples of things to come may be:
- Coordinating class schedules.
- Expanding opportunities through work-based learning and apprenticeships.
- Working with our business partners to make sure we are producing the skills that businesses are demanding.
- Offering short-term certificates.
- Potentially moving programs from the curriculum into continuing education.
- Leveraging artificial intelligence to serve our students.
- Stress and burnout are an issue for our employees. The Professional Development staff are offering seminars which are available to everyone, dedicated to this topic, and we will continue to address this issue with our employees.
SGA President, Ms. Adams-Clark was unable to attend the meeting, but forwarded the following information: We are beginning another food pantry drive and hosting monthly movie afternoons. This month, in celebration of Black History Month, we are screening the documentary “13th”. The documentary refers to the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution. It breaks down the amendment's details and informs audiences that, while the law freed slaves, Black men were still imprisoned in large numbers for minor offenses, or for nothing at all, causing oppression. The SGA is also volunteering at the MANNA Food Bank headquarters on February 24. Clubs and independent students seem to have hit the ground running, and we are all looking forward to another wonderful semester at A-B Tech!
At 2:24 p.m., Dr. Metcalf moved that the Trustees enter 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. The motion was seconded by Mr. King and was approved unanimously.
Return to Open Session
At 3:07 p.m., Dr. Justus moved to return to Open Session. Dr. Parham seconded the motion which passed unanimously.
Chair Kern stated that the Board unanimously agreed to extend the President’s Employment Contract for an additional five years.
Divisional Updates, the State and County Budget Report as of December 31, 2022, and the January 2023 Student Success Scorecard are in the Handouts.
The next Board meeting will be on Monday, March 6, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. at the Brumit Center for Culinary Arts.
On a motion properly made, the meeting adjourned at 3:09 p.m.
Carolyn H. Rice