Board of Directors July 2020 Meeting Minutes | SCC

Board of Directors July 2020 Meeting Minutes

July 23, 2020

Board Members Present:

  • Ms. Charlene Harris, Chair
  • Phillip Duncan, Vice Chair
  • Ms. Kelly Johnson, Secretary
  • Mr. Jonathan Arnett                   
  • Mr. Gary Napier                                           
  • Mr. AJ Tompkins
  • Mr. BJ Brown                                               
  • Mr. Marshall Todd
  • Ms. Marsha Phelps
  • Dr. Allison Cherry

Board Members Absent:

  • None

Call to Order

Chair Harris called the meeting of the Somerset Community College Board of Directors to order at 1:05 p.m. via online Microsoft Office Teams.  She welcomed everyone in attendance.  She asked that everyone please keep their microphones muted until you want to make a comment, approve an action item or ask a question.  Also, when making a motion or seconding a motion, please also state your name so the minutes can be recorded correctly.

Roll Call

Chair Harris called upon Secretary Johnson to take a roll call of members present via online Microsoft Office Teams.  All Board members were present.  


Chair Harris called upon Secretary Johnson to present the minutes from the last meeting.  

MOTION:  Mr. Todd moved that the Board approve the minutes of the May 14, 2020 meeting.  Mr. Arnett seconded the motion.

VOTE:  The motion passed unanimously.

President's Remarks

Dr. Castle expressed his appreciation to everyone for once again meeting online.  Since the last meeting in May, the impact of Covid-19 has lessened a little bit for the College, but it still has a significant impact on fall enrollment and bringing back employees in a timely manner.  I know a lot of people have been concerned, but I think the people know we have taken a very elaborate stance on keeping things clean and sanitized.  We are following and exceeding the advice from the Governor, so I am very confident and glad to say I think we are ready and where we need to be to bring our employees and students back.

If you recall, we were already working on making up our lab classes in May.  We finished up those face-to-face labs that were unable to be completed in the spring.  It turned out pretty well and we didn’t have any issues that I’m aware of, as far students are concerned.  There are always a few folks that you have to remind to put their masks on, but in general I think people were very cooperative.  As a result, we had a very good and safe class session.  We operated the first session of the summer with online classes only and we’ve had a number of face-to-face classes in the second session.

Our fall schedule is pretty robust.  There is a lot of work that goes into putting on a fall schedule with both the academic and student affairs area.  This fall we will be offering 384 face-to-face classes, 350 online classes and about 76 that are a hybrid class.  More of the online classes are being filled than the face-to-face, but surprisingly we’ve had a large number of students come in and they are beginning to return.  It is hard to predict and we are behind in the numbers, but all of this is going to revolve around the virus and what people think is going to happen.  There are a lot of people who are waiting on the public schools to see what they do, which will determine what they do.  We expect to open August 17, but we are prepared to go totally on-line if that is what needs to happen.  We are using a new method that Dr. Hayes came up with for this year.  We are not putting out a large number of classes, but rather classes we know will be requested by students based on data from the previous year.  And we add additional classes as we need them.  At the same time we are beginning to add more classes on the second session, which are eight and twelve week sessions for the fall.  If we need to delay opening on August 17, we can add more classes to these shorter sessions so we can make up as much as possible for the fall.

We are using a large amount of technology that we weren’t using before, and we will continue to add more as the semester moves on.  With the CARES II Act funding we are adding approximately $700K-$900K of the funding into the technology needs.

There are some stringent requirements right now for safety.  Restrictions have changed numerous times over the last several months.  Currently there is a 50% employee presence/50% occupational capacity based on the Governor’s guidance.  There is a reduction in classroom capacity by more than half in most cases.  Alternative methods such as teach and transmit to two rooms, hybrid methods, additional lab assistants/instructors, and online classes are being used.  Dr. Castle is confident in the approach being used to having people at work and students returning to class.  Nothing is 100%, but I am comfortable as long as we use the guidelines provided.

Summer enrollment goals were met.  For fall we need approximately 2,500 more students to meet our goal of 5,559.  We are marketing heavily on radio, tv and social media, but we are still seeing uncertainty with students.  We are working hard on getting transfer students who are considering four-year programs and trying to encourage them to not take a gap year, but take classes locally.

Based on enrollment, one of the key issues is the budget.  The CARES Act funding has been helpful.  $1.5M went directly to students and it has all been disbursed.  We have reserved a little bit of funding in the CARES II Act funding, which is $1.5M as well.  But most the rest of that funding is going into the technology upgrades mentioned earlier, plus the very expensive things that have had to be done to make the campus safe.  There are a lot of costs of COVID-19 that continue to add up.  

Dr. Castle spoke about the SCC position statement on diversity, equity and inclusion, which was sent to Board members.  SCC wants to make sure we are treating everyone equally.  He reviewed the statement with the Board and the goals that the College wants to accomplish in the treatment of faculty, staff, and the community.

Action Item

Dr. Castle informed the Board of the transfer of ownership of the Lineman Training Center and the approximately eight acres that goes with it, located on Highway 461, from SPEDA to the College.  We are thankful to SPEDA for their help with this property.  Action from the Board is needed to endorse this transfer of property.

MOTION:  Vice Chair Duncan moved that the Board endorse the transfer of the deed for the Lineman Training Center to the College. Mr. Napier seconded the motion.

VOTE:  The motion passed unanimously.

Action Item

Ms. Jill Meece, Vice President of Administration, presented the FY 2020–2021 Operating Budget. In May the Board members approved the 2020-2021 Operating Budget request of $59,533,700. The approval was with the understanding that modifications could be made.  Ms. Meece informed the Board that the original request had a 5% contingency for expected state appropriation in case of reduction.  Based on the uncertainty of state funding related to COVID-19, the contingency was increased to 10%, so the final budget is $60,182,500.  After presentation of the budget request, Ms. Meece requested the Board of Directors adopt the FY 2020-2021 final budget in the amount of $60,182,500.

MOTION:  Mr. Napier moved that the Board approve the Budget Request as presented. Dr. Cherry seconded the motion.

VOTE:  The motion passed unanimously.

Mission Statement

Chair Harris directed members to look at the SCC Vision, Values and Mission Statement in their Board booklets.  The Vision, Values and Mission Statement were approved in 2019, but need to be reviewed each year.  After their review, Chair Harris if there were any questions and no questions were asked.

Chair Remarks

Chair Harris announced that the next scheduled Board meeting is October 22 and she appointed a nominating committee for officers to be elected at the October meeting.  She asked Mr. Arnett, Mr. Napier and Dr. Cherry to serve.

Vice Chair Duncan made a request to receive Board booklets via e-mail.  Mr. Stapp commented that he did not receive his booklet via mail and would like it via e-mail too.  Ms. Clouse said that the booklet information can be sent via e-mail and mail in the future.


There being no further business, Mr. Arnett moved that the meeting adjourn.  The meeting adjourned at 1:39 p.m.

Date Approved by Board of Directors

Charlene Harris, Chair SCC Board of Directors
Signature on file

Kelly Johnson, Secretary SCC Board of Directors
Signature on file