The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College Board of Trustees convened a meeting on Monday, November 7, 2022, at 3:05 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, Matt Kern, David King, Judy Lewis, Roger Metcalf, Frances Ramsey, and Ryan Adams-Clark, Ex-Officio. Trustees Theresa Banks, Libby Kyles, and John Parham 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; Beth Stewart, Vice President 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; Chris Campbell, 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 3:07 p.m., Chair Kern asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.
Ms. Lewis moved to approve Consent Agenda items: 1. A. October 3, 2022, Board Meeting Minutes; and 1. B. Personnel Actions.
The motion to approve the Consent Agenda was seconded by Mr. Walls. The motion passed unanimously.
2. A. Dr. Gossett shared that the North Carolina State Home for Veterans asked the College to award an honorary degree to Ms. Bernice Buchin Liverett in recognition of her years of service to our country and for her renowned cooking and baking skills. The Administration is asking the Board to award Ms. Liverett an honorary Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts.
Dr. Justus moved to approve the Honorary Degree Resolution. Mr. Garrison seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
2. B. Dr. Wilmoth informed the Board that the fee for instructional materials for the Business & Industry training programs in Continuing Education was omitted from the previously approved 2022-2023 Schedule of Fees. Dr. Wilmoth asked the Board to approve an instructional fee of up to $1,000 per participant effective immediately.
The Continuing Education Department has funds available from the State Employees Credit Union Grant and the American Association of Retired People scholarship to help students with the additional fees.
Mr. Brumit moved to approve amending the 2022-2023 Schedule of Fees. Mr. King seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
2. C. The College reviewed proposals from two accounting firms who responded to our formal Request for Proposals this summer. The administration recommends continuing with our current accounting firm, Cherry Bekaert, LLP, for the College audit and for the next three years given the need for consistency in auditing going into the SACSCOC reaffirmation process in 2024.
Mr. Karvir moved to approve the selection of Cherry Bekaert, LLP, as the College’s auditor for the next three years. Mr. Walls seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
2. D. Dr. Wilmoth discussed the Negative Fund Balance Report as of June 30, 2022, with the Board. The College addresses negative fund balances in Student Financial Aid payments by continuing to send student balances as debt set-off to the Department of Revenue. Additionally, the College has more than enough cash and a positive institutional fund balance to offset the unplanned negative fund balance.
Mr. Garrison moved to approve the Negative Fund Balance Report as of June 30, 2022. Mr. King seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
2. E. The Board discussed the Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Buncombe and A-B Tech regarding the demolition of the Haynes Tower located on the Enka campus.
Mr. Brumit moved to approve the Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Buncombe and the Board of Trustees of A-B Tech. Mr. Karvir seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
3. A. Dr. Wilmoth reviewed the Directors and Officers Liability insurance provided by the Cincinnati Insurance Company, with the Board. The policy contains broad coverage against a wide range of potential claims inherent to higher education institutions.
Dr. Gossett shared the following information with the Board:
- Dr. Gossett presented a conceptual drawing of a training center that may potentially be located adjacent to the Pratt & Whitney plant in south Asheville. The center could be built for $10 Million, and has room for expansion.
- The conceptual drawing will be used to show Pratt & Whitney the College’s willingness to move forward with the training center.
Mr. Campbell suggested that the Board vote on the conceptual drawing of the training center.
Dr. Justus moved to accept the conceptual drawing of the training center. Dr. Barwick seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Dr. Gossett continued with his report:
- A copy of the Memorandum of Understanding with Buncombe County for the training center construction project will be sent to the Board for review prior to acting on it during the December 5 meeting.
- Roofing materials are being staged on the Enka campus for the spring re-roofing project.
- A-B Tech has partnered with Asheville High School’s Robotics program, with a sponsorship and faculty support.
- Dr. Wilmoth and Dr. Gossett have been meeting with the Buncombe County manager, and several Buncombe County Commissioners for “no agenda” lunches. The lunches are intended to build relationships with the County.
- “No agenda” lunches with Madison County Commissioners will be arranged next.
- We wished Dr. Tony Baldwin a long and happy retirement, and we will try to meet with Dr. Jackson, Buncombe County’s new Superintendent, as soon as practicable.
Dr. Deborah Wright introduced Ms. Brinda Caldwell to the Board. Ms. Caldwell is a force of nature who runs her own business within the College!
Ms. Caldwell shared the following information about Community Enrichment Programs (CSP) at the College:
- Community Enrichment Programs became totally self-supporting in 1990.
- Because of our population base, A-B Tech was able to adapt, overcome hurdles and thrive.
- Student demographics range from high school students to senior citizens.
- High school students take enrichment classes to learn a skill for a senior project or take Motorcycle Safety classes.
- A-B Tech’s Motorcycle Safety classes have been featured twice in the Blue Ridge Motorcycle magazine. There are over 450 students booked to take this class through December 2022.
- A-B Tech was also chosen to test pilot a new curriculum for Motorcycle Safety. A nationally known trainer helped with the program, which is the first in the nation. We are number one in the nation and the only College in North Carolina offering the program.
- Motorcycle Safety classes generate 27 percent, and the Pottery program generates 26 percent of CSPs total income which pays for Ms. Caldwell’s and her staff’s salaries.
- Most classes are offered in the evenings. We are currently offering 250 classes, with approximately 3,000 students enrolled.
- Classes offered range from Art, to Dance, to Foreign Languages, to Home and Garden, including Fly Fishing!
- Two of our instructors have been featured in the “Asheville Made” magazine. One is a local stained glass artist who has been working with students at A-B Tech for 45 years.
- Ed2Go (online training) offers 420 classes each year, and we have had students from as far as Vermont participating in creative writing classes.
- CSP is unique. Our instructors are business owners and local artisans.
- We have helped to build a community for thousands of individuals.
- Ms. Caldwell ended by sharing that she has been with the College for over 41 years and that in addition to higher education, A-B Tech is a place of hope and optimism for lives that we have had the privilege to impact.
The Board thanked Ms. Caldwell for her accomplishments and enthusiasm, stating that her entrepreneurial spirit shines through!
SGA President, Ms. Adams-Clark shared that October was a great month for food bank donations, and the SGA collected over 200 pounds of food for Manna Foodbank. The next focus is on “Beloved Asheville” which is a local non-profit that supports those in need. Students will be crocheting hats and scarves for the homeless, as well as donating first aid kits.
Chair Kern thanked Ms. Adams-Clark for all she is doing in our community.
Dr. Metcalf took a moment to commend Mr. Matthew Bentley and Mr. Trent Junginger for helping to make his high school reunion event wonderful.
Chair Kern wished Ms. Lewis and Ms. Edwards luck on the November 8 election.
Divisional Updates, State and County Budget Report as of September 30, 2022, and the October 2022-2023 Student Success Scorecard are in the Handouts.
The next Board meeting will be on Monday, December 5, 2022, at 3:00 p.m., at the Brumit Center for Culinary Arts and Hospitality.
On a motion properly made, the meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m.
Carolyn H. Rice