February 3, 2022 Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes


The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees convened a meeting on Thursday, February 3, 2022, at 1:30 p.m., in person, and via Zoom in The Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality. Mr. Matt Kern, Chair, presided.

The following members of the Board participated in person: Michael Garrison, Matt Kern, David King, Libby Kyles, Judy Lewis, Roger Metcalf, John Parham, Max Queen, Frances Ramsey, and Bethany Duke, Ex-Officio. Trustee Himanshu Karvir participated via Zoom. Trustee Joe Brumit participated by phone. Trustees Theresa Banks and Tommy Justus 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; Amanda Edwards, Executive Director of College Advancement; Kerri Glover; Executive Director of Community Relations and Marketing; Anne Oxenreider, Executive Director of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research; Beth Stewart, Vice President of Instructional Services; Brian Willis, Vice President of Information and Technology/CIO; Dirk Wilmoth, Vice President of Business and Finance/CFO; Deborah Wright, Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development and Continuing Education; Darryl Rhymes, Director of Employment and 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.

 

Consent Agenda

At 1:32 p.m., Chair Kern asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.

Dr. Parham moved to approve Consent Agenda items: 1. A. December 6, 2021, Board Meeting Minutes, and 1. B. Personnel Actions.

The motion to approve the Consent Agenda was seconded by Mr. Queen. Trustees Brumit, Garrison, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the Consent Agenda. The motion was passed by unanimous consent.

 

President's Report

Dr. Gossett shared that A-B Tech Police Officer Alan Presnell passed away and asked the Board to keep his family in their prayers.

The community college’s legislative agenda was presented to the State Board of Trustees and was unanimously approved. The General Assembly was very generous to the community college system this year, by investing heavily in our students and infrastructure. Currently, community college students are only valued at 53 percent of four-year university students.

The community college system is now focused on asking the General Assembly to invest in our students by investing in our employees. The General Assembly will be asked to raise the value of our employees so we can invest in and attract creative and qualified professionals into our communities. This past year, the College had 50 job openings and 54 applicants who withdrew their applications prior to receiving an interview due to salary concerns. Community college salaries are a problem that must be addressed.

The community college system will ask the General Assembly for an additional one percent raise next year, a three percent raise the year after that, and an additional three percent raise in the third year. The General Assembly will also be asked to raise the value of our students to keep the community colleges strong and viable in North Carolina. Dr. Gossett then asked the Board to help support the community college system by talking with their representatives.

Trustee Ramsey thanked Dr. Gossett for the outreach that the College has done in Madison County over the past few weeks and asked for a copy of the Legislative Agenda.

2. A. The Board reviewed projected Article 46 funds. Revenues have been stronger than projected during the pandemic. The annual increase in revenue after this year is projected at eight percent as opposed to four percent in the recent October 2021 projection. As a result, the fund balance projection at the tax provision’s sunset in 2027 more than doubled from October’s $21 Million to $46 Million.

2. B. Dr. Wilmoth discussed the pros and cons of five different options of what to do with the Haynes Tower at A-B Tech Enka and stated that the Administration recommends demolishing the Tower and regarding the property for future use.

The Trustees discussed the five options at length. Dr. Metcalf moved to demolish the Haynes Tower and regrade the property for future use. Mr. Queen seconded the motion. Trustees Brumit, Garrison, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the motion, which passed by unanimous consent.

The Board requested that the Administration keep the Enka community informed of why the Tower is being demolished, when it will happen, and how long it will take.

2. C. The Buncombe County Recreation Service is proposing a greenway called the Heritage Trail along Hominy Creek that will run on the A-B Tech Enka parcels owned by the College. The County will place lighting, commit to maintaining the greenway, and will sign a release holding the College harmless. The County is requesting an easement on A-B Tech Enka, and the Administration is seeking guidance from the Board as to whether it should continue to explore this opportunity.

The Board discussed the proposed greenway at length and agreed that it would add value to the A-B Tech Enka property.

Ms. Lewis moved to pursue the Heritage Trail with Buncombe County. Dr. Metcalf seconded the motion. Trustees Brumit, Garrison, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the motion, which passed by unanimous consent.

Dr. Wilmoth added that any agreement the College enters for an easement at A-B Tech Enka would be brought back to the Board for approval.

2. D. The Board reviewed a graph of State Capital and Infrastructure Funds, as well as several potential projects with their associated estimated costs.

 

Resolution/Action Items

3. A. The Administration is requesting approval to present an Article 46 capital funding request to the A-B Tech/Buncombe County Joint Advisory Committee. The funds will be used to restore the stormwater management facilities behind the Hemlock building on the Asheville campus. The College has the potential to receive grants from RiverLink and the City of Asheville to help with the mitigation of the stormwater run-off, which runs into our neighboring properties on Haith Drive. The Administration is requesting the A-B Tech/Buncombe County Joint Advisory Committee to allocate $150,000 toward the restoration of the stormwater facilities, which could be paid for out of Article 46 funds.

Dr. Parham moved to recommend to the A-B Tech/Buncombe County Joint Advisory Committee to allocate $150,000 from Article 46 funds to be used to restore the Hemlock stormwater management facilities. Mr. Garrison seconded the motion. Trustees Brumit, Garrison, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the motion, which passed by unanimous consent.

3. B. The Administration is seeking an amendment to the Joint Agreement with the City of Asheville and Buncombe County to allow the A-B Tech Police Department limited jurisdiction at the Ferguson Center for Allied Health and Workforce Development building and at the Smith McDowell House on Victoria Road. The amendment would allow the A-B Tech Police Department to enforce state laws at both properties, which are located on the Asheville campus.

Dr. Metcalf moved to amend the Joint Agreement with the City of Asheville and Buncombe County. Dr. Parham seconded the motion. Trustees Brumit, Garrison, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the motion, which passed by unanimous consent.

3. C. Due to unforeseen conditions with the subflooring in the Coman Gym, it has been determined that the College needs to revise the budget for the replacement of the gym floor and request an additional $100,000 from Connect NC Bond funds. This will be the last money available to the College from these funds.

Dr. Parham moved to revise the budget request for the Coman Gym. Mr. King seconded the motion. Trustees Brumit, Garrison, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the motion, which passed by unanimous consent.

3. D. A-B Tech started a Pharmacy Technology Curriculum Program in 2012 that would enable a student to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Unfortunately, students may now learn the profession on-the-job in a pharmacy. Additionally, many other colleges around the country and in North Carolina offer a continuing education version of Pharmacy Technology, which allows students to receive a certificate in substantially less time than a two-year program. The demand for the Pharmacy Technology Program at the College has decreased significantly, and Administration recommends terminating the Program. All remaining students (two) will complete their degree in Pharmacy Technology by this summer.

Dr. Metcalf moved to terminate the Pharmacy Technology Program. Mr. King seconded the motion. Trustees Brumit, Garrison, Karvir, Kern, King, Kyles, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the motion, which passed by unanimous consent.

 

Trustee Business

3. A. Chair Kern asked the Board to complete the Engage Buncombe County Stakeholder Survey when possible.

3. B. Dr. Gossett asked and Ms. Leonard agreed that the subject of 111 Victoria Road should be moved to a closed session.

 

Staff Report

Ms. Kerri Glover shared the following information about Community Relations and Marketing with the Board:

  • The A-B Tech Community Relations and Marketing team of five has won 65 marketing and public relations awards since 2013, and the objective of the department is to brand and promote A-B Tech.
  • Branding focuses on having a professional and consistent presentation of the College, including tones, logos, colors, images, and fonts.
  • Promoting the College involves general and targeted promotional events, sponsorships to support our strategic enrollment plan, and data steered College goals, as well as strategically targeted recruitment goals.
  • The Department is responsible for promoting 15 curriculum degrees, diplomas, and certificates, 1,971 continuing education and workforce development/small business center classes, transitional studies, college advancement, college and recruiting events, sponsorships, Covid information on the website, signage, public relations and media relations, press releases, media outreach and response, social media, a monthly editorial in the Urban news, promotional radio shows, podcasts, A-B Tech newsfeed, and email, the Tech Talk newsletter and communications for employees, the Trailblazer Talk and student communications, awards and recognition, and emergency and crises communications among many other things.
  • The College advertises in the local newspaper, on local radio stations, on billboards, on Facebook, Spotify, and Pandora. We advertise on WRES, the Urban News, Waters and Harvey Radio Show, Latina USA Radio Show, and sponsor the Martin Luther King, Jr., Annual Prayer Breakfast.
  • The new A-B Tech website was launched in July 2020 and is the College’s number one marketing tool. The College had over half a million unique users and over five million page views during the past year.

Dr. Gossett stated that it is a blessing to have Ms. Glover who works so hard to get our message out to everyone.

 

SGA Report

Mrs. Bethany Duke, President of the Student Government Association (SGA) shared the following information with the Board:

  • The College’s Health Clinic is open and available to students at a reduced cost.
  • February is Heart Health and Black History Month. This month the SGA is promoting “Love Thyself and Love Thy Neighbor”.
  • Work continues at the Salvation Army’s community kitchen where students help make food boxes for members of our community.
  • The SGA is holding another food drive this semester to support A-B Tech students and faculty.
  • Speakers are lined up for the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) Broadcast, including business executives, athletes, actors, etc.

 

Handouts

Divisional Updates and the January 2021-2022 Student Success Scorecard are in the Handouts.

The next Board meeting will be on Monday, March 7, 2022, at 3:00 p.m., in The Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality.

Ms. Kyles left the meeting at 3:10 p.m.

 

Closed Session

At 3:15 p.m.., Dr. Roger Metcalf moved that the Trustees enter into a closed session pursuant to G.S. 143-318.11 (a)(3) and (a)(5) to discuss matters protected by the attorney-client privilege. Dr. Parham seconded the motion.

 

Return To Open Session

On a motion properly made, the Board returned to Open Session at 4:15 p.m.

 

Action Item

Dr. Metcalf moved to inform the Buncombe County Commissioners that the Board of Trustees is interested in pursuing the purchase of the building located at 111 Victoria Road, Asheville. Dr. Parham seconded the motion. Trustees Brumit, Garrison, Karvir, Kern, King, Lewis, Metcalf, Parham, Queen, and Ramsey each verbally approved the motion, which passed by unanimous consent.

 

Adjourn

On a motion properly made, the meeting adjourned at 4:21 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn H. Rice
Board Secretary

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