Board of Directors October 2020 Meeting Minutes | SCC

Board of Directors October 2020 Meeting Minutes

October 22, 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 1:03 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.

Chair Harris recognized Mr. Stapp, who completed his year on the Board as the Student Government President and representative to the Board.  He served on the Board since June, 2019.  Chair Harris congratulated Mr. Stapp on a wonderful job and expressed the Board’s appreciation for his service.  She informed him that Dr. Castle has a gift for him on behalf of the Board and will present it to him in the next week.  She then introduced Alyssa Jones, the new Student Government Association President, who will serve on the Board this year.  Ms. Jones is from Casey County and is in her second year of the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.  Chair Harris welcomed her to the Board.

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. Arnett moved that the Board approve the minutes of the July 23, 2020 meeting.  Vice Chair Duncan seconded the motion.

VOTE:  The motion passed unanimously.

President's Remarks

Dr. Castle expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to update the Board.  The Covid-19 pandemic has given everyone cabin fever and people are tired of staying home, but I think we’re doing a very good job of taking care of Covid-19 and the college at the same time.  He shared a webpage showing the data on where our region of the state is in regards to the virus and the infection rate.  We are still keeping to a 50% workforce rate, meaning no more than 50% of our employees in a work center or department at any given time.  A lot of our employees work 2-3 days on campus or 2-3 days at home. Our tracing contact system has been extremely helpful.  We have had 21 cases since June, and that has increased by a few more recently, but the cases have been in various places and those infected have gotten the various means, other than on campus.

One event that was impacted by Covid-19 is our graduation.  This year we held our graduation virtually.  The fact that we had to do the graduation one family at a time didn’t detract.  It was worth every minute and worth every student who came through.  I appreciated the time to see them and see their families as we completed the graduation process.  We will continue planning for regular graduation services next year.

Dr. Castle then called upon Dr. Hayes, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, to update the Board on the academic happenings.  Dr. Hayes spoke about how classrooms are managed through the pandemic and the issues of making sure the needs of students were met.  Currently if a student has Monday/Wednesday classes, they will attend in person one of the days and attend virtually the other day.  After Thanksgiving all classes will be online for the rest of the semester.  This is due in part to possible exposures which will occur during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Even in classes were teaching virtually is difficult, we have ways to make it effective for our students.  Some of the things we have found very effective during the time of pandemic will continue once this is over.  A winter term will be offered again and the enrollment to this point is higher than last year.  It isn’t a significant amount, but it is higher.  We are discussing programs with business and industry.  Our HVAC evening program started last year has been very successful.  Other successful programs are the electrical program expansion and the electrical electronics program.  The University Center of Southern Kentucky is now mostly open five days a week.  We also started one of our on-campus programs with Western Kentucky University to teach a middle grades math curriculum.  We just received clearance with Western Kentucky University for a bachelor’s in criminology, bachelor’s in sociology and a bachelor’s in management, which are taught on our campus.  We are also in the process of setting up access to all our centers and our Laurel Campus with some synchronous online.  We received a US Department of Agriculture Distance Learning Grant which enabled us to purchase some technical equipment to broadcast these courses and other courses to our SCC locations.  This will open up all kinds of possibilities for the University Center.  Enrollment in the University Center has doubled since it opened up in Fall 2019.  We are working on a lot of MOAs.  A system level project is ALIGN – align knowledge and skills for the future of work.  KCTCS has been doing research on a lot of factors that affect higher education.  An important thing for us to be looking at as a state is how KCTCS can help dislocated workers or those who need to quickly re-skill or up-skill.  We also were just awarded a Title 3 grant, called Raising Appalachia Innovative Student Engagement, or RAISE.  Dr. Hayes informed the Board on the opportunities and benefits that the grant will provide.

Dr. Castle updated the Board on recent gifts to the College and Foundation, including the donation of the Lineman Training Center and acreage, a gift-in-kind of an airplane, and the final payments from the City of Somerset and the Pulaski County Fiscal Court in support of the Work Ready Skills Grant, a gift from Jackson Energy in support of the new diesel program at Laurel, an ambulance from the Cumberland County EMS, funds raised in memory of Michael Hail who passed away in August, then for the Foundation a gift from United Cumberland Bank, Gator Made and pledges to the College and Foundation from our annual faculty/staff campaign.  As can be imagined, the budget this year is very up and down and we are short in our headcount about 740 students, which equals approximately $1M in our projected budget revenue.  A lot has been offset through the CARES funding and through reduced spending.  In the spring the CARES funding helped 1,059 students at an average of $1,430 per student for a total of approximately $1.5M.  For the fall, we had additional money in the amount of $150,000 and we were able to help approximately 250-300 students.  We were also able to help our students through wi-fi, mifi and laptop loan programs in order to allow them access to technology.

In closing, Dr. Castle spoke about current discussions on what happens when the pandemic is over.  Things have changed and we need to look harder at what we need to do to help our students and our businesses and industry.

Chair Remarks

Chair Harris thanked Dr. Castle on a great job.  She expressed her hope that children would be able to get back to the classroom soon, which would open up opportunity for parents to continue their education.

Action Item

The Nominating Committee for the election of officers for 2021 consisted of Mr. Arnett as Chair, Mr. Napier and Dr. Cherry.  Mr. Arnett reported that the committee recommends a slate of Board officer candidates for 2021 as follows:  Ms. Harris as Chair, Mr. Duncan as Vice-Chair and Ms. Johnson as Secretary.

MOTION:  Ms. Phelps moved that the Board approve the recommendations made by the Nominating Committee.  Mr. Todd seconded the motion.

VOTE:  The motion passed unanimously.


The next meeting will be January 28, 2021.  There being no further business, Mr. Brown moved that the meeting adjourn.  The meeting adjourned at 1:53 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