May 1, 2023, Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees convened a meeting on Monday, May 1, 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, Judy Lewis, Roger Metcalf, Frances Ramsey, and Ryan Adams-Clark, Ex-Officio. Matt Kern, Libby Kyles, John Parham, and Jason Walls 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; 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 3:07 p.m., Vice Chair Banks asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.

Ms. Lewis moved to approve Consent Agenda items: 1. A. April 3, 2023, Board Meeting Minutes; and 1. B. Personnel Actions.

The motion to approve the Consent Agenda was seconded by Mr. Brumit. The motion passed unanimously.


Resolution/Action Items

2. A. Dr. Gossett, who is also on the Board of the YWCA, asked the Trustees to approve the “Until Justice Just Is” Proclamation, which is the YWCA’s annual campaign designed to build community among those who work for racial justice and raise awareness about the impact of institutional and structural racism.

Dr. Barwick moved to approve the Until Justice Just Is Proclamation. Mr. Karvir seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

2. B. The Board’s Audit Committee, Mr. Brumit and Ms. Ramsey, both recommend that the Board approve the Financial Statements and Audit for the Fiscal Year ended June 30, 2022. The College’s audits are always clean.

Mr. Brumit moved to approve the Financial Statements and Audit for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2022. Ms. Ramsey seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

2. C. Dr. Wilmoth discussed the proposed budget from Buncombe County with the Board. The College will request a 15.9 percent increase in the county budget.

Mr. Brumit moved to approve the 2023-2034 Proposed Budget from Buncombe County Ms. Lewis seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Dr. Wilmoth then shared that the College did not ask for an increase in the budget from Madison County as we still have cash on reserve.

Dr. Justus moved to approve the 2023-2024 Proposed Budget from Madison County. Mr. Karvir seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

2. D. Dr. Wilmoth informed the Board that the CDL/Truck Driver Training fee needs to be adjusted due to the rising costs of the contracted instructional services. Dr. Wilmoth asked the Board to adjust the 2023-2024 Schedule of Fees.

Mr. Karvir moved to Adjust the 2023-2024 Schedule of Fees. Mr. King seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

2. E. Chef Chris Bugher has been chosen to represent the United States in the World Association of Chefs Global Chefs Challenge in Santiago, Chile. The administration supports Chef Bugher’s trip to Chile and asked the Board to approve educational leave with pay for Chef Bugher. The College Foundation is paying all of Chef Bugher’s expenses for the trip.

Ms. Lewis moved to approve Educational Leave with Pay for Chef Bugher. Dr. Barwick seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Trustee Business

3. A. The Presidential Evaluation Survey will be sent electronically to the Board on May 2, 2023. The Board is asked to complete the Survey no later than May 19.

3. B. Vice Chair Banks reminded the Board of the May 13 Commencement Ceremony.

3. C. Mr. King moved to approve the 2022-2023 Board Self-Evaluation Results. Dr. Barwick seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

3. D. Dr. Metcalf moved to approve the 2023-2024 Board Priorities. Ms. Lewis seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


President’s Report

Dr. Gossett updated the Board on the following House and Senate bills:

  • Senate Bill 680 which directs Colleges to choose a new accreditor every cycle has been referred to the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee.
  • Senate Bill 692 which transfers power from the State Board to the System President, and changes the way members of local boards are appointed has been removed from the floor of the Senate and sent back to the Committee for further action.
  • House Bill 715 has ten parts, many of which the College already does. The Bill was pulled off of the Agenda.
  • House Bill 601 directs the State Board to study and report on options for improving the current funding model and accountability measures for community colleges. The Bill is now with the Committee on Rules.
  • Senate Bill 179 allows A-B Tech to use Buncombe County’s processes and funds for new construction when the project is on the A-B Tech Asheville Campus. The bill has passed in the Senate and will cross to the House. We expect the bill to pass.


Staff Report

Dr. Erika Lett provided an overview to the Board on what the College does for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belongingness (DEIB) Initiatives:

  • The College serves all people regardless of how the person identifies.
  • New legislation has been introduced that would prohibit Colleges from having DEIB offices or staff.
  • North Carolina has recently started targeting DEIB programs in higher education.
  • The following definitions were discussed:
    • Diversity: The range of differences among individuals, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, and ability status.
    • Equity: Fairness and equal treatment.
    • Inclusion: Creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.
    • Belonging: Refers to an individual feeling like they are a valued and integral part of a community or group, such as a school, classroom, department, division, or team.
  • DEIB is an integral part of the College’s Mission Statement.
  • The College’s accrediting agency, SACSCOC, supports and encourages the leadership role of its institutions in promoting and sustaining diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas of higher education.
  • The Mission of A-B Tech’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging is to celebrate all members of our community, to foster a sense of campus-wide belonging, and to help create and sustain a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all students, alumni, and employees.
  • A-B Tech’s DEIB office is currently working on several initiatives such as STEP, Minority Male Success, the REACH Collaborative, Underserved Student Outreach and Advising, and Counterbalance.

The Trustees thanked Dr. Lett for her presentation and for her hard work in creating an inclusive and welcoming campus culture.


SGA Report

SGA President, Ms. Adams-Clark, shared that students are looking forward to the end of the year and to Commencement. The A-B Tech student Blood Drive exceeded our quota! The April 19 Earth Day was very successful and had a large student turnout. Ms. Adams-Clark will remain SGA President through the end of the year.



Dr. Gossett shared the 2022-2023 Graduation Booklet for the Western Community College Leadership Academy with the Board. The Academy is a collaboration between A-B Tech, Blue Ridge Community College, Haywood Community College, and Southwestern Community College. The Colleges joined forces to deliver a year-long leadership development program for a group of five employees from each College. The Academy has been well received by all involved and will continue next year.

Divisional Updates, the April 2023 Student Success Scorecard, and The Protection You Need to Lead (Board insurance information) are in the Handouts.

The next Board meeting will be on Monday, June 5, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. at the A-B Tech Woodfin.



On a motion properly made, the meeting adjourned at 4:24 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn H. Rice
Board Secretary