Butler Community College Trustees met April 13 for their regular monthly meeting.
Board Action Items
9100 Building in Andover – College administrators are seeking professional assistance on options for the property in north Andover. Trustees voted 5-2 (Shelby Smith and Julie Winslow opposing) to work with John Rupp of Reese Nichols Real Estate. The board also directed President Krull to connect with Mark Sudduth of Realty Executives and Jeremy Sundgren of Sundgren Realty as they seek expertise in commercial real estate in east Wichita and Andover.
COVID Protocols – Trustees voted to remove the masks restriction after May 28. Beginning May 29, masks will be recommended, but not required. All classroom, office, and meeting room seating will be set up to allow for 3 feet of social distancing.
New Student Portal – Trustees approved a new student portal platform, Campus M, to replace the current Pipeline system that was implemented in 1997. Campus M will allow students to interact with all necessary college systems from any device. It is scheduled to go live in August before Fall classes begin.
Retirement – Board members approved the retirement of Lori Llewellyn, administrative assistant for Athletics. Lori served in a full-time capacity for 15 years.
Board Strategic Discussion
Certificates of Participation (COP) Refinance – Trustees will hear from John Haas of Ransom Financial at the May Board meeting regarding the possible sale of current COPs. It is estimated the sale could save the college more than $200,000. Estimates can vary based on market fluctuations and timing of the sale. Currently, Trustees plan to review information at the May Board meeting, approve a sale for the refinancing in June, and approve the sale of the COPs as a result of a bid process in July. COP bids will be let in June following the board meeting.
Tuition and Fees – Kent Williams, vice president for finance, reviewed tuition and fee pricing for the 2021-2022 academic year and addressed Trustee questions. Tuition was raised $2 per credit hour for out-district and out-of-state students. College administrators use an elasticity rate to project drops in enrollment due to planned tuition and fee increases. That equates to projected lost revenue from enrollment decreases and increases in scholarships and tuition waiver costs.
McConnell AFB – Heather Rinkenbaugh, Dean of Online, High School and Community Learning, reiterated the faculty teaching assignments at McConnell AFB and staffing for both McConnell AFB and the Service Center on Rock Road. She also highlighted challenges and opportunities at the base. With the base shutting down due to COVID, McConnell enrollment has declined some. Administration feels enrollment will increase and get back on track when the base reopens to the public. Over the last three years operations at McConnell AFB and the Rock Road Service Center have generated more than $5.5 million in tuition and fee revenue for the college. Trustee Shelby Smith of Augusta moved to cease operations at McConnell. He offered no revenue replacement nor justification for his motion. Board Chair Lance Lechtenberg explained only items under board action on the agenda require a motion and vote. For more than 45 years Butler has partnered with McConnell AFB to provide access to education to benefit all branches of active-duty military as well as military family members and civilians.
Reports – Trustees heard a monitoring report from the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences; an academic area consisting of seven departments and generating a large portion of the college’s credit hours each year. For 2020, the division generated 52,502 credit hours. The division operates with 176 total employees, 78% of which are part-time.
Consent Agenda – Trustees approved Bills and Warrants for March 2021 at $4,482,096.04 including $2,089,260.22 in expenditures and $2,392,835.82 in payroll.
Butler Community College’s Board of Trustee meetings can be viewed on BCTV Channel 20 on Youtube. They are live streamed and are held the second Tuesday of each month.